Note: alert readers will recall that we recently profiled Ray Stanford here on CSL. The link to that article is here. -sg
By Alex DeMetrickÂ Via CBS:
GREENBELT, Md. (WJZ)â€“ The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) may be in the â€˜futureâ€™ business, but at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, it also has a footprint in the distant past.
When NASA sent its latest rover to Mars, it carried a critical chemistry lab designed and built at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. But the newest discovery was in their own backyard.
â€œAnd all of a sudden, I saw sticking out of the ground the edges of a footprint,â€ dinosaur tracker Ray Stanford said.
People walked right by it not knowing itâ€™s the footprint of a dinosaur.
â€œYou tend to ignore it, Stanford said. â€œMost people have different search images. They donâ€™t have dinosaur tracks on their mind.â€
But Stanford does. An amateur paleontologist, he was visiting the NASA campus when he spotted it.
â€œAnd there it was, to much of my joy and amazement,â€ he said.
Easier to see the outline now? Itâ€™s prehistoric mud pushed up and frozen in time, quite probably by something that looked like a Nodosaur, named for the armor-like nodes or nobs on its body.
â€œThis thing was very large and heavy,â€ Stanford said. â€œWhen it steps down into the mud, it oozes a squish-up, a squeeze-up around it and thatâ€™s exactly what happened here.â€
Evidence of dinosaurs here is like finding Jurassic Park in Tomorrowland.
â€œWeâ€™re looking for life on Mars, and here, we are finding outrageous finds right here on our center,â€ NASA spokesman Alan Binstock said.
And while it takes nothing away from the current rover mission, which will look for evidence of extinct life on Mars, it is a nice cosmic twist.
Read more here.