Here’s a familiar sounding headline: “Mars water breakthrough”.
It could be one of many headlines hitting us today from the Phoenix lander, which has finally scooped a bit of ice into one of its ovens (press release) but no! The headline came from a story in the Herald, in March 1999.
The Great Beyond has decided to do a little research, and perform a search on a well-known news search facility to see how many times headlines have screamed WATER ON MARS!!! to us over the years.
Here’s a few real headlines about water on Mars. Try and guess where and when they were reported – answers below the fold
1) Mars water found
2) Scientists find Mars water
3) Probe shows underground Mars water
4) Mars water
5) PLANET ICE!; OFFICIAL: MARS HAS WATER
6) NASA digs to find Mars water
7) Mars water news excites prof
8) UA team sees no recent sign of Mars water
9) Water could be flowing on mars today
1) The Sun, June 22, 2000
2) Yorkshire Post, January 24, 2004
3) United Press International, May 28, 2002
4) City News Service, February 13, 2003
5) Birmingham Evening Mail, January 23, 2004
6) Courier Mail (Queensland, Australia), November 27, 1999 – actually, this one doesn’t’ count because its about the Mars Polar Lander, which never made it. But the headline – familiar, non?
7) Guelph Mercury (Ontario, Canada), March 4, 2004
8) The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), March 1, 2008
9) Nature News, December 6, 2006 (yes, we’re guilty too)
So enough with the water on Mars headlines, Phoenix. We already knew it was there. Four years ago, a certain Chief News and Features Editor pointed out that we already knew Mars had water. Come back in 2012 for news of the next great discovery on Mars – here’s a clue, it will probably be water.