...you usually know something interesting is going on:
White House Briefed on Potential for Mars Life
Is anyone else having a vision of that scene from the film version of Contact where James Woods (who I'd like to say played a very creditable national security tool) comes striding out of a Blackhawk to take over Jodie Foster's SETI effort?
Now I know I've been a little harsh on Phoenix, what with the long-running inability to get the experiments working, but no matter how kludgy and inelegant you are, if you manage to answer The Big Question (or one of them) then I'm all apologies and hats off to you...
I just hope we don't run in to a "this is exciting for the geeks but blase to the public" situation or else something akin to the over-promised discover potential of Viking that pretty much set back Mars exploration for a decade or so and turned the word "exobiology" in to an obscenity in spaceflight circles. But, if you're willing to brief Bubba on the issue, then it tells me there might be some teeth to it. On the other hand, there is a bit of a history for this White House to make things into news events and grab some hurrah out of things that are best handled more subtly. But I digress (although I now get to check the "politics" button in my category keyword list).
But any way you cut it -- the news coming out of MECHA (the chemical analyzer on Phoenix) has been fairly quiet. Which can speak to nothing to report or to something you want to double check first.
And so now I will just be quiet and go check out my various spaceflight newsgroups and see what they have to say...