Intelligent “Life” has been Found on Mars

November 28, 2011, By George Lang

Intelligent activities are taking place on Mars in the form of home-grown computer technology. The United States has safely landed experiments on the surface of Mars six out of seven attempts: Viking 1 in 1976, Viking 2 in 1976, Mars Pathfinder in 1997, Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit in 2004, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in 2004, and Mars Phoenix Lander in 2008. No one else has done it with such complete success, despite many, expensive attempts. Landing locations are indicated in yellow on the Martian map below.

Mars Mission Landing Sites

Each of these missions has included an on-board computer. The Pathfinder mission used a CMOS version of an antiquated Intel 8085 processor. Current state-of-the-art processing “power” is provided by a British made BAE RAD6000 PowerPC model. This device is used on the MERs but can also be considered archaic in terms of modern computing. Your computer processor at home is probably at least one hundred times more powerful than the BAE RAD6000.

The next mission, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) named Curiosity, launched successfully over this past Thanksgiving Day holiday and is on a straight and true course for Mars. It carries the most advanced computers on a lander/rover to date. The MSL uses tandem BAE RAD750 processors which compute at up to 200 MHz speeds compared to the single 20 MHz units available on the MERs. In comparison, most home computers today use between 1 and 3 GHz processors (Cundall). None-the-less, we do have intelligent “life” on Mars!

The following is an animation created on computers for the Mars Exploration Rover program by Dan Maas. It demonstrates, once again, the power of computer intelligence.

The enormous success rate of the previous missions, when compared to others who have tried and failed (refer to the Soviet Mars exploration programs), says a lot about complex, intellectual scientific pursuit in the US. That information technology has an incomparable American history suggests a possible link between success in the US space program and advanced computer evolution.

Click Roving Mars to watch the trailer for the new Disney Imax movie.

The further we get from having successfully landed men on the moon in 1969, the more we grow to understand just how difficult and complex that endeavor was; particularly in light of the many miserable failures by other countries who have tried missions to Mars (e.g., Russia and Japan).

How Curiosity Sizes Up to a 5'-8" Man

Call it nationalistic pride if you will. But the fact that both complex scientific undertakings and computer intelligence have been launched from US soil so often, gives this American reporter enormous pride. Too much, you say? Perhaps, but in an imperfect world, pride has driven this country to do more with less; to advance where others have failed; to land men on an extraterrestrial object for the first time in history. How can we not take pride in being part of such tremendous accomplishment?

Future pride will necessarily be extended to the international community. The cost of sending men on a journey to Mars is prohibitive for a single country; even one as wealthy and prosperous as the US.  Intelligence is expanding to include a global initiative. With the US leading the way, the whole world can now begin to represent extraterrestrial intelligence for the pride of future generations. Together, we will indeed find even more intelligent “life” on one of our nearest neighboring planets.

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