Comments for en-gb 30 Sun 13 Jul 2014 17:49:40 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Jonathan Amos One reason why we would not want to delay the 2018 launch is because it is a particularly favourable opportunity. The positions of the planets makes it an ideal time to send a big payload - similar to the opportunity that arose in 2003 when Nasa was able to send two rovers to the Red Planet. Mon 25 Jan 2010 18:53:10 GMT+1 zaphodbbrox I am fascinated by space exploration, particularly of Mars, but also frustrated by piddling about with tiny rovers and probes sent to look at solving single issue problems. When is the human race going to get into gear and explore Mars properly, ie with a lengthy stay manned mission crewed by scientists?I recently read a book called The Case for Mars, by Robert Zubrin an ex-NASA engineer, which outlines his vision for a manned exploration/colonisation program of Mars which he costed at $50 billion if carried out by (a restructured) NASA and much less if done privately. [I would urge anyone with an interest in space to read this book as it is quite fascinating]. This would be an incredible achievement, possibly the biggest achievement of the human race since the discovery of fire, and it would achieve two important goals (along with countless other benefits) 1) by establishing a human colony on another world, massively increase the long term survival chances of the human race [which interestingly Zubrin didn't even mention in his justification] 2) give us a great chance of resolving the massively important question of the origin of life and whether it exists on other worlds. It is increasingly clear that NASA is an old lumbering organisation riddled with beauracracy and self interest which due to American politics is never going to achieve anything like this. It seems the only hope for the human race to reach Mars is with the Chinese and Indians. Go China! Thu 21 Jan 2010 16:59:40 GMT+1 Graeme Hill On Earth, life tends to favor the uptake of lighter isotopes of carbon (namely 12C). I hope that ExoMars TGO and/or the rovers will include instrumentation to determine the relative carbon isotopic abundances of Martian methane. Such a determination may provide additional support for a biotic or abiotic methane production process. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:20:38 GMT+1 wolfeii Rather than delaying the launch (again), might it not be better to simply postpone the landing site selection decision until Mars orbit, as had to be done for Viking 1 and 2? It would seem the obvious choice for maximum flexibility, but perhaps there is a reason for not doing this? Tue 19 Jan 2010 16:47:53 GMT+1 gaetano marano This post has been Removed Tue 19 Jan 2010 16:47:20 GMT+1 knowles2 May be this is a mission where they can developed on the fly landing experience an technology. Whiles having years to plan your landing spot seems a little impractical to me an potentially a money waster if you are sending a other probe first to study an locate the very things the rovers are design to look for. A simple solution would be to delay the launch of the rovers until the analyst of the orbiter can be analyse. Tue 19 Jan 2010 11:54:51 GMT+1 Jonathan Amos Follow the link, Reuben. When the reactions take place in the presence of carbon dioxide, methane is a possible product. Tue 19 Jan 2010 06:14:36 GMT+1 reuben leberman " when rocks rich in the minerals olivine and pyroxene react chemically with water, releasing methane."Interesting chemistry or is it alchemy? Which of the elements would be transmuted into carbon? Tue 19 Jan 2010 04:39:35 GMT+1