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#1 2018-03-03 12:37:21

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,345

Planetary Protection

I have some thoughts about planetary protection.

1) As long as humans are kept off of Mars it impedes the discovery of fossil life.  Fossil life would be a very important scientific discovery.

2) Infection concerns. Earth>Mars, or Mars>Earth.  I suppose we could argue that no risks should be taken, but if no risks are ever taken, then it may be very hard to confirm a discovery of a existing living life form on Mars.

One piece of evidence I can give already is this.  For planets around other stars, an indicator of the non-existence of life is said to be the presence of Carbon Monoxide.  Well, Mars, has Carbon Monoxide, and twice that of Oxygen.  If there is a life form, then there is not enough of it to consume the Carbon Monoxide.

I have some additional patience, for NASA and others to send probes, but I want to be sure that this is not ploy to  hold the human race back.  There are thing to suspicious about.

For instance, diverting the American space program from the Moon to Mars, then to a tiny asteroid, then to a boulder on a tiny asteroid.  Then we find out that Elon Musk launching a tesla into space where it is possible that in millions of years it might impact Mars (Or Earth or the sun instead).....All the sudden, no, you can't go to Mars (Apparently).  So, why did we spend money on space device that was to go to the Moon first and then build up to go to Mars?

Obviously if a tesla in a millions year orbit is unacceptable then ever landing humans and non-sterilized equipment on Mars will never be acceptable.  Try sterilizing a whole BFR smile

So as far as infection risk, I suggested landing on top of Olympus Mons, as the environment there is likely to be almost as hostile to life as the Moon.  Maybe more hostile.  Of course that landed like a rock for most of the members here, because it likely is impractical.  But it was a starter idea.  Around here as soon as a newborn is shows up it typically gets clubbed to death instead of trying to modify it to practicality smile

I was just trying to get ready to deal with the planetary protection crowd (Either the honest ones or the faker socialist/fascists).

3) Morality issues:  Carl Sagan said that if we found life on Mars, we should forever leave Mars alone.
I'm not so sure.  For instance, it may be that things humans would do to Mars might enhance it's future opportunities.  For instance life forms from Earth might end up hosting Martian life in a tolerable way.  Or terraforming Mars, might actually be good in the long run for Martian life, as it would eventually adapt to the new less hostile conditions.

I sure I had more, but I am getting tired:

Still I am going to try some logic next:

If you believe that the issue is one of morality, that we should never visit a planet that has an indigenous life form, then you are welcome to have your opinion, but I will need to ask you for your credentials.  Who made you my ruler?  How is it that you can tell me what to do?  It is a matter to ponder.  (All of what I said, and your feelings as well).


Now if you value the scientific data, then I can have more respect for your position.
So, we have three possible types of scientific data from life on Mars.
1) Extinct life.
2) Surface life.
3) Underground life/Aquafers.

1) In my opinion getting scientific data about Extinct life will benefit greatly from human boots on the ground. Here I am talking about microbial fossils in rock.
2) Evidence for surface life might be found by sterilized automation, but at great expense, and the current surface is thought to be the most hostile environment that has existed on Mars.  (I have suspicions that Mars has been much more hostile on the surface).  But sure maybe a probe can find evidence of broken DNA or something like that.
3) If #2 does not suggest life, on the surface, then I don't see how underground life can ever be discovered without human boots on the ground.

So, if you want to get your scientific data for #2, please get your rears in gear and quit wasting time.  Talk to Elon Musk.  Maybe he could modify his plans and orbit a BFR, not land it but the humans could deploy a sterilized mega probe to land on Mars, and find evidence of surface life.

Otherwise your policies are depriving humans of the scientific data that might be obtained from #1 and #3.

.....

Now some other logic:

If Mars has/had a unique genesis of life, then that means that genesis happened twice in one solar system.  That suggests that out there will be uncountable instances of genesis, both of Earth and Mars type.

So there will likely be Mars like planets with microbes from a unique genesis, and in many of those solar systems there will be no Earth with intelligent (Tee Hee) life.  So, by that logic, if genesis is occurring all the time, why is it so important to keep our Mars from experiencing a new climatic situation induced by humans and Earth life?  Life is common in that case.

In the case where Earth and Mars life (If it exists), are historically related, same thing.  Why is it OK for Humans to go to Antarctica to study life but not to Mars.  Can we say that the activities would not provide such Mars life with a new evolutionary pathway?  Is it moral not to help such life have a new evolutionary pathway?


......

Booger Monsters:
Well the movie "Calvin" was pretty creepy, but I think very unlikely.  But of course I would advise a very careful study of Martian life (If it exists) before becoming relaxed about what might happen if it came here.  But first you have to discover it before you can study it.

I'm done.















Not done.

Last edited by Void (2018-03-03 13:18:48)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#2 2018-03-03 17:07:03

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,720

Re: Planetary Protection

1.  I agree.

2.  I agree.  Extremophiles can easily survive the interplanetary journey in a lump of rock (meteorite). But personally I would still land plunk in the middle of a plain, not on top of Olympus Mons.

The chances of a single Mission One destroying or even adversely affecting a Mars ecology are very remote I think. Mission One is likely to establish whether there is an extensive ecology on Mars, or not.  The likely answer is not, but we don't know yet.  If we did find such an ecology we might review colonisation plans, to direct them towards scientific discovery rather than a determined colony-building operation. But we need to get there to find out first.


Void wrote:

I have some thoughts about planetary protection.

1) As long as humans are kept off of Mars it impedes the discovery of fossil life.  Fossil life would be a very important scientific discovery.

2) Infection concerns. Earth>Mars, or Mars>Earth.  I suppose we could argue that no risks should be taken, but if no risks are ever taken, then it may be very hard to confirm a discovery of a existing living life form on Mars.

One piece of evidence I can give already is this.  For planets around other stars, an indicator of the non-existence of life is said to be the presence of Carbon Monoxide.  Well, Mars, has Carbon Monoxide, and twice that of Oxygen.  If there is a life form, then there is not enough of it to consume the Carbon Monoxide.

I have some additional patience, for NASA and others to send probes, but I want to be sure that this is not ploy to  hold the human race back.  There are thing to suspicious about.

For instance, diverting the American space program from the Moon to Mars, then to a tiny asteroid, then to a boulder on a tiny asteroid.  Then we find out that Elon Musk launching a tesla into space where it is possible that in millions of years it might impact Mars (Or Earth or the sun instead).....All the sudden, no, you can't go to Mars (Apparently).  So, why did we spend money on space device that was to go to the Moon first and then build up to go to Mars?

Obviously if a tesla in a millions year orbit is unacceptable then ever landing humans and non-sterilized equipment on Mars will never be acceptable.  Try sterilizing a whole BFR smile

So as far as infection risk, I suggested landing on top of Olympus Mons, as the environment there is likely to be almost as hostile to life as the Moon.  Maybe more hostile.  Of course that landed like a rock for most of the members here, because it likely is impractical.  But it was a starter idea.  Around here as soon as a newborn is shows up it typically gets clubbed to death instead of trying to modify it to practicality smile

I was just trying to get ready to deal with the planetary protection crowd (Either the honest ones or the faker socialist/fascists).

3) Morality issues:  Carl Sagan said that if we found life on Mars, we should forever leave Mars alone.
I'm not so sure.  For instance, it may be that things humans would do to Mars might enhance it's future opportunities.  For instance life forms from Earth might end up hosting Martian life in a tolerable way.  Or terraforming Mars, might actually be good in the long run for Martian life, as it would eventually adapt to the new less hostile conditions.

I sure I had more, but I am getting tired:

Still I am going to try some logic next:

If you believe that the issue is one of morality, that we should never visit a planet that has an indigenous life form, then you are welcome to have your opinion, but I will need to ask you for your credentials.  Who made you my ruler?  How is it that you can tell me what to do?  It is a matter to ponder.  (All of what I said, and your feelings as well).


Now if you value the scientific data, then I can have more respect for your position.
So, we have three possible types of scientific data from life on Mars.
1) Extinct life.
2) Surface life.
3) Underground life/Aquafers.

1) In my opinion getting scientific data about Extinct life will benefit greatly from human boots on the ground. Here I am talking about microbial fossils in rock.
2) Evidence for surface life might be found by sterilized automation, but at great expense, and the current surface is thought to be the most hostile environment that has existed on Mars.  (I have suspicions that Mars has been much more hostile on the surface).  But sure maybe a probe can find evidence of broken DNA or something like that.
3) If #2 does not suggest life, on the surface, then I don't see how underground life can ever be discovered without human boots on the ground.

So, if you want to get your scientific data for #2, please get your rears in gear and quit wasting time.  Talk to Elon Musk.  Maybe he could modify his plans and orbit a BFR, not land it but the humans could deploy a sterilized mega probe to land on Mars, and find evidence of surface life.

Otherwise your policies are depriving humans of the scientific data that might be obtained from #1 and #3.

.....

Now some other logic:

If Mars has/had a unique genesis of life, then that means that genesis happened twice in one solar system.  That suggests that out there will be uncountable instances of genesis, both of Earth and Mars type.

So there will likely be Mars like planets with microbes from a unique genesis, and in many of those solar systems there will be no Earth with intelligent (Tee Hee) life.  So, by that logic, if genesis is occurring all the time, why is it so important to keep our Mars from experiencing a new climatic situation induced by humans and Earth life?  Life is common in that case.

In the case where Earth and Mars life (If it exists), are historically related, same thing.  Why is it OK for Humans to go to Antarctica to study life but not to Mars.  Can we say that the activities would not provide such Mars life with a new evolutionary pathway?  Is it moral not to help such life have a new evolutionary pathway?


......

Booger Monsters:
Well the movie "Calvin" was pretty creepy, but I think very unlikely.  But of course I would advise a very careful study of Martian life (If it exists) before becoming relaxed about what might happen if it came here.  But first you have to discover it before you can study it.

I'm done.















Not done.


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