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Fading from public memory October 19, 2010

Posted by Simon in Uncategorized.

Here’s an interesting blog post written in 2006, on the 10th anniversary of the ALH84001 controversy.

I can relate to the opening paragraphs – ALH84001 sticks in my mind pretty clearly, probably because it happened just as I was leaving physics to study business – had I left just as things were getting interesting?

I think the point about the impact of ALH84001 on NASA’s Mars program is spot on. These days Martian missions happen pretty routinely, and it’s easy to forget about how little attention NASA was paying to Mars in the early 1990s. ALH84001 stirred up the public’s enthusiasm and focused NASA on searching for water and habitable environments.

It’s interesting to read about how far ALH84001 has faded from memory. I was surprised by the story about the Mars conference attendee who doesn’t know what ALH84001 is, although I’m probably not the best judge of these things, since I’ve been studying it intensively for 3 months now!




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