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Latest Chris McKay Stories

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2010-09-03 14:35:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander discovered a surpise chemical in 2008, which suggests that carbon-based chemicals found in 1976 by Viking Mars landers could be from the Martian soil and not from cleaning fluids, according to a NASA statement released on Friday. "This doesn't say anything about the question of whether or not life has existed on Mars, but it could make a big difference in how we look for evidence to answer that question," said Chris McKay of NASA's Ames Research...

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2007-04-02 15:31:37

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- Searching for clues to the potential for life on Mars, NASA scientists recently explored microbial communities in some of the world's oldest, driest and most remote deserts, in China's northwest region, and found evidence suggesting that conditions there may be similar to those in certain regions of Mars. This is the first comprehensive study of microbial ecosystems in the extreme deserts of China. Scientists looked for microbial life and tried to determine climate's...

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2006-08-10 13:10:35

Interview with Chris McKay The launch of the Mars Phoenix Lander is just a year away. The spacecraft will be aiming for the martian north pole, and if it lands successfully it will dig in snow and ice in one of the few places on Mars where scientists think life could be preserved. Chris McKay, a planetary scientist with NASA's Ames Research Center, is a co-investigator for the Phoenix Lander, as well as for the Mars Science Laboratory, which is scheduled for launch in 2009. In this...

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2005-11-08 06:55:00

Saturn's giant moon Titan is so cold that, on its surface, water is as hard as a rock - literally. The European Space Agency's Huygens probe landed on Titan earlier this year. Images sent back to Earth by the probe reveal what appear to be rocks made of super-frozen water. But other instruments on the probe have raised some doubts. Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, recently gave a public lecture, sponsored by the Planetary Society, about what scientists have...

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2005-10-27 06:25:00

Saturn's moon Titan is notable both because it is the largest moon in our solar system and because it is the only moon in the solar system with a significant atmosphere. Early this year, NASA's Cassini orbiter, currently orbiting Saturn, released the European Space Agency's Huygens probe, which descended through Titan's atmosphere and landed on the moon's surface. Recently, Chris McKay, a planetary research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, gave a public lecture, sponsored by the...

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2005-11-04 06:20:00

Earth, Mars and Venus all have greenhouse effects. So does Saturn's giant moon Titan. But unlike any other world in our solar system, Titan also has an anti-greenhouse effect. Recently, Chris McKay, a planetary research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, gave a public lecture, sponsored by the Planetary Society, in which he talked about the scientific results of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. In this, the third in a four-part series, McKay explains why Titan's...

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2005-04-08 03:56:44

Planetary scientist Chris McKay asks one of the most interesting questions in astrobiology: how would one know an organic relic when it appears? Astrobiology Magazine -- Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at the Ames Research Center, has long been investigating the coldest and driest places on Earth. These harsh environments - and the ability of life to adapt there - could point the way to finding life on Mars. McKay presented this lecture, entitled "Drilling in Permafrost on Mars to Search...

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2005-03-29 13:53:13

Planetary scientist Chris McKay describes one of the driest place on Earth and how one might test for the equivalent of a bacterial 'treeline', a region so harsh in the Andes Mountains where even microbes cannot thrive. Astrobiology Magazine -- Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at the Ames Research Center, has long been investigating the coldest and driest places on Earth. These harsh environments - and the ability of life to adapt there - could point the way to finding life on Mars. McKay...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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