Friday, January 16, 2009

Life On Mars-2009! And Airbus 320 Ditches in the Hudson River

The photograph that I nabbed off of the Drudge Report reflects this posting to a T.

NASA released the news about methane gas emissions (with either a geological or biological source). NASA Scientist Michael Mumma of the Goddard Space Flight Center said, “This raises the probability substantially that life was there or still survives at the present. We think the probability is much higher now based on this evidence.”

It is thought that the organisms that produce the gas emissions – is as large as some of those seen on Earth. What happens on Earth can happen on Mars as well. The hardy organisms still survive on the Red Planet, living underground without sunlight and using hydrogen from water for energy. Methane produced by water action on hot, carbon bearing rocks, such as in volcanic regions on Earth (this is the alternative explanation).

This implies that there is Martian microbes alive today. The methane gas is found in the same region as clouds of water vapor – the vital element needed to support life. The experts think that the methane is being emitted as a waste product by organisms called methanogens living in water beneath underground ice. They would have to still be alive today since the methane gas would have been lost from the Martian atmosphere. Methane is a by product of biology. For methane to be in Mars' atmosphere, there has to be a replenishable source.

John Murray is a member of the Mars Express European space probe team – believes the Martain microbes maybe in a form of suspended animation and could even be revived. When a reporter asked Michael Mumma if this really was life, he replied that he was “forbidden” from speaking further on that aspect of the story. Implying there will soon be additional details released on this matter.

While I consider the news about Life on Mars to be more important, another aviation event took place today. That being the US Airways Airbus 320, Flight 1549, ditching into the Hudson River after getting hit by a flock of birds. Two bird strikes (I.e. One engine knocked out due to a bird strike, and since the A320 has two engine, it suffered a two bird strike). All 155 passengers and crew survived the ditching and were rescued by the Coast Guard and other boats and ferries in the river.

Veteran pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, a 29-year verteran of US Airways and a former USAF fighter pilot who flew F-4s, was the right guy at the right place at the right time. Captain Sullenberger is also the president of Safety Reliability Methods. A California safety consulting firm.

New York Governor David Paterson said at a news conference, “We have a heroic pilot who saved himself and 154 other passengers. We've had a Miracle on 34th Street and now I believe we've had a miracle on the Hudson.”

According to the FAA, there were 79,972 incidents of bird strikes from 1990-2007. Of that nubmer, 9,087 caused damage to aircraft.

One of the passengers reported that he heard a explosion two to three minutes into the flight, looked out the left side window to see the port engine on fire.

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