Dirt! Now From Mars!!!

C.G. Lander DescentI stay current about things like this because they interest me and I kind of have to for my job: The newest martian robot has successfully scooped up a cup of dirt and is analyzing it as I write this. This relatively insignificant step for mankind has generated my favorite Reuters quote of the day.:

The small sample includes a large Martian dirt clod crusted with white matter that intrigues NASA scientists because they believe it could be salt left behind by evaporated water or ice

Wow! A Salty Dirt Clod!!! Who knew we'd get so lucky? If that doesn't make you want to stand on your couch and sing God Bless America at the top of your lungs, then you obviously hate our freedom to farm the surface of Mars for dirt clods (whatever their salinity may be).

Finally, I'll close with a joke:

Q: How long does it take a 420 million dollar Mars lander to analyze a sample of alien dirt clods?

A: a "week or so."

Okay, so I admit it's not particularly funny in the classical sense. Still, it makes me laugh just thinking about it.