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Water on Mars? Water on Mars!


There could have been a stream here. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )

Life is good.

The Mars Curiosity Rover located proof that there was water on Mars. Water! But not just water! Fast-moving, possibly waist-high water! That’s the most exciting kind of water! It is impossible to type about it without exclamation marks.

Although, whose waist are we talking about here? I think that’s human-centric. If there were actual Martians, they would no doubt have been upset. “That water came level with the glort,” they’d mutter. “Barely. It helped if you had a low-slung glort.”

But never mind them.

Water! I sometimes don’t even have that in my apartment.

The more pictures I get from Curiosity, the more inclined I am to pull up stakes and live out my days on Mars. It seems pleasant there, if quiet. I like my planets like I like my men — cold, distant and not being crawled over by more than one robot at a time.

I often sit around admiring my collection of fast-moving-water-transported gravel. Of course, we’ll need more proof than this.

Whenever we start looking at the conditions for life in space, it reminds me of those days you volunteer to cook and watch other people’s kids. “It seems simple enough,” you say, waving pleasantly as they leave. They come home hours later to find the house basically destroyed, the children crying, large clumps of carbon despondently melting on the stove. It is much harder than it looks. The conditions have to be just right.

Still, Mars is the locked house next door where there were never any lights on.

Now we’re bumbling around the house fumbling for the light switch, stumbling across suggestions that this might have been a nice place to live, once, if you’re into waterfront property and don’t mind the cosmic radiation. There was once water — waist-high, fast-moving! Now there is just dust and rock hurtling through space and being pawed at by robots —

Well I’m all depressed now. But for the moment, water on Mars!

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