On the Radar: New Mars mission, 15 missing boaters, Korea talks
An artist's concept of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.
July 22nd, 2011
06:05 AM ET

On the Radar: New Mars mission, 15 missing boaters, Korea talks

Three things you need to know today.

Next Mars mission: Where on Mars will we go next year?

NASA and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on Friday will announce the destination for the latest Mars rover, scheduled to land on the Red Planet in August 2012.

The newest rover, called the The Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, is scheduled for liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in November.

Curiosity, two times as long and five times as heavy as previous Mars rovers, will look for conditions that could sustain microscopic life and any evidence of past life on Mars.

NASA's two previous Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, began their planned three-month missions on Mars in 2004. Spirit stopped communicating with Earth in 2010, but Opportunity is still at work, just last week logging its 20th mile on the Martian surface.

Watch Friday's event live and engage in a live chat at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

Missing Pacific boaters: The U.S. Coast Guard is sending one of its ships to Fanano atoll in the South Pacific after a small boat matching the description of a skiff reported missing with 15 people was spotted on the uninhabited atoll aboard 600 miles southeast of Guam.

The crew of a vessel leaving Ruo Island, the intended destination of the missing skiff, reported seeing an overturned boat on the beach of the Fanano atoll, the Coast Guard said in a statement. Several people were also on shore, it said.

A long-range Navy search plane flew over the area after the Coast Guard received the report.

"Once on scene, the aircraft reported back that a damaged vessel was overturned on the beach and several crude shelters had been erected on the beach," the statement said.

Korea talks: South Korea's chief envoy to six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program is to meet with a senior North Korean diplomat on the sidelines of the ASEAN regional forum, South Korean officials say.

Wi Sung-lac, the chief negotiator for the South, has proposed holding talks with Ri Yong-ho, who is widely expected to succeed Kim Kye-gwan as the North's top envoy to the multilateral talks, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports.

The agenda of their discussion has not been disclosed.

This is North Korea's first response to South Korea's proposal to hold nuclear talks since the beginning of this year, a South Korean foreign ministry official who did not want to be identified due to sensitivity of the matter told CNN.

North Korea pulled out of the six-party talks on nuclear disarmament in 2008.

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Filed under: Guam • Mars • North Korea • South Korea • Space • World
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Hammer Time

    i'm just happy to be here! don't forget about spaceX, they are stepping up to fill the void.

    July 22, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. kurtis

    what a joke.... lets at least land on the moon and not fake it this time around.

    July 22, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • smartlogic

      Your wife called and said she is tired of faking it as well.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Jackdaw

      Everybody likes a conspiracy, but it wasn't faked.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jarno

      *sigh* Not the tired old billion-times-over-refuted moon-flight conspiracy.

      Do some actual research on the individual conspiracy claims, and you'll find that each and every one of them has been conclusively refuted, or shown to be based on armchair phycisits misconceptions.

      Moreover, look into the nature of conspiracy theory, and to the way human psychology works. The central problem with the plausibility of grand conspiracies is the fact that the larger the conspiracy, the more people need to be "in on it", and the more difficult it becomes to keep it secret. This leads to a practical impossibility of constructing large scale conspiracies without an entirely unacceptable risk of exposure.

      Learn about "anomaly hunting", confirmation bias, and other such pitfalls of thinking that are rife in conspiracy theories, and come over to the side of reason, and true skepticism that applies the same standards of evidence to all claims, and does not lower standards of evidence for claims based on general distrust of government, or any other ideology.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aezel

      Evidence: "Herp derp, I think the moon landing was a hoax, herp derp."
      Resulting Fact: You're a moron.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CitizenCaneSugar

    I've always been very interested in science and space travel too but lets be honest THERE IS NO LIFE ON MARS. Enough with the damn probes. If you want to explore a neighboring world send some scientist to colonize and spend the rest of their lives researching it, that way when people finally except that Mars is a dead world then at least we can say we created a new home for humanity in the stars! As for the guy who asked if scientists can feed North Korean children, guess what? They probably already have; but since Kim Jong-il doesn't let anyone in, it's never going to reach them. Even if we invented a way to make steaks appear out of thin air the "Dear Leader" would just take them all and use them to open his very own private LongHorn in Pyongyang.....so shut up and go back to smoking your bong you idiotic college dropout hippie! NASA, seriously, enough with the toy cars. Sheesh.

    July 22, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Aezel

      If you were really all that interested in science and space exploration and had ACTUALLY read anything real on the subject, you would know how dead wrong you are. Nobody is looking for little green men. However the chances of finding microbial life on Mars certainly remains incredibly high. Finding life of any sort, even microscopic, on another planet would be huge, and Mars remains the best candidate for that by FAR.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • CitizenCaneSugar

      "chances of finding microbial life on Mars certainly remains incredibly high"
      Doubtful. Didn't they detect some unusually high amount of methane a few years ago, and everyone starters cheering that it was evidence of microbial life? I think it turned out to be the result of geologic processes....

      July 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CitizenCaneSugar

    Wow lots of typos there, rant now seems ironic ^.^

    July 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeremy

    'Curiosity, two time as long and five times as heavy as previous Mars rovers, will look for conditions that could sustain microscopic life and any evidence of past life on Mars.'

    What a colossal waste of taxpayer's money. In a similar vein to SETI, some scientists seemingly cannot accept the notion that intelligent life does not exist on other planets. There has never been conclusive evidence to support the existence of such extraterrestrial life, but owing to their anti-theistic world view, they have to believe that life evolved elsewhere in the universe. A mission like the one quoted above will not lead to technological breakthrough... yet the funding for this project could have been used to aid many poverty-stricken communities, but it seems such things are unimportant.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • CitizenCaneSugar

      You make it sound as though atheists are the only ones who believe there is no life on Mars. I don't believe in God, and I don't believe in Martians either. As for other planets, honestly, the jury is still out....

      July 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Jackdaw

      Jeremy, I don’t even know where to begin. I'll start simple and get bigger for you, so you can stop reading when it gets difficult.

      Firstly, SETI is privately funded, so you don’t need to worry about your money getting spent on it.

      Secondly, if you don’t think that there is life beyond Earth, you have not got the faintest idea of the vastness and possibilities of the universe. If/when man is capable of exploring beyond our own back yard; I'm willing to bet that the universe will be found to be teeming with life. The necessary building blocks are everywhere and self-replicating molecules that are the basis for life on Earth have been reproduced in labs as far back as the 1950’s. Following a theology blindly so that you are convinced that nothing exists beyond you is as narrow-minded and ignorant as you can get. That mindset has no place in the world of today; which brings me to my third point.

      THERE IS NO GOD! Sorry to upset you, but you are making extraordinary claims that have no evidentiary basis. Life beyond Earth is plausible. Deities are not. Religion halts progress and rewards ignorance. It is the opiate of the masses and a security blanket for those who need to feel as though there is an eye in the sky watching gout for them. It makes people pompous and arrogant and perpetuates small mindedness. It is time that people start putting on the big boy pants and start taking responsibility for their own actions. Bring me some evidence and I will be more than willing to listen with an open mind, but after a lifetime of searching, it is easy to conclude that the entire thing is a fantasy. It is time to lead, follow, or get out of the way. You are not going to stop progress by proclaiming your magical thoughts.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      "There has never been conclusive evidence to support the existence of such extraterrestrial life"

      True, not yet. But there likely will be. The universe is simply too vast to assume otherwise. Also, there has never been conclusive evidence to support the existence of God either. Hopefully in time, we'll have that proof too. Let's all agree to meet back here when either story breaks. :)

      July 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Jackdaw

      We will be back for Life. Never for God.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brian M

    Since it has been proven many times there is no intelligent life on earth, why not check other planets?

    July 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Jackdaw

      Because humans are cancer and its time to spread to new organs.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. moorejw

    And Brian M wins the best comment award for this thread!! Congrats Brian!

    July 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ART

    Jeremy it was not said that they were looking for inteleigent life in your trailer park , so keep your "facts" to your self.

    July 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. puck n icehole

    ahhhhh, we are in outerspace. This sugests that life can exist out there, whether it be on Mars or not, who cares.

    We need to take care of us and our bad habits like...........polution and contaminating our planet and the life on it. It's kinda of ironic,we go to these other planets and moons and what is the first thing we do when we get there. LEAVE SOME GARBAGE. If there is life there, they probably would rather we turn around before we destroy there planet too.

    July 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mike

    I laughed so much. Telling a lie is not salable(free:-). Do you believe that USA went to moon? just googled what u see. Telling huge lie, why they don't do again like doing right now

    July 23, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jaded

    This is pathetic, if America allows the mob of the ignorant to run things (go palin!); then you are doomed to decline and fail. I suggest you relocate to Europe or Canada before the Brownshirt tea party thugs take you away for " knowin too much bout booklernin." by killing the space program your government has finally capitulated to both your redneck and corporate masters. Though our indian friends comment made no sense, there will be Hindu and Chinese space colonies while your societies best and brightest end up in a mass grave or some FEMA death camp. Best of luck 'merica!

    July 23, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. black monkey

    Dear white god,
    Please hurry up and get on with it, reach out to space, there you'll find your ancessters waiting with open arms and tears fild eyes to welcome you home, please don't kill all the trees, spoil the water and leave only GM food for us as you go. Your contrbution to earth ever since you landed ia a dismal failure, wish you will do better where ever else you find life you can colonise and enslave.
    Yours, black monkey.

    July 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. milkthebull

    Korea is planning big. Did anyone read the funny story about the 3 missing NASA astronauts?

    http://milkthebull.com/2011/07/24/three-nasa-astronauts-missing/

    July 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
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