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Is Curiosity carrying Earth bacteria ?


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#16    Mentalcase

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:50 AM

View PostOpinionist, on 14 September 2012 - 04:11 AM, said:

But would that bacteria survive martian environment?
If it has a source of energy, then it is possible. IMO, not very likely with the conditions. However, we don't know how fast life can evolve in different environments. It may be extreme, but we have extremophiles.

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#17    Lava_Lady

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:13 AM

Is this a kind of transpermia?

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#18    tipotep

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:40 AM

I have to agree with Waspie on this one , its  a disaster if we have contaminated Mars , how can we be certain ( if we find some sort of life ) we didnt bring it with us , most , if not all collected samples would be pretty much usless .

I would have thought that all items would have been cleaned , re-cleaned and double checked 10 times over before it was packed for transport .

Bit of a shame , hopefully the bacteria has died along the trip .....

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#19    ROGER

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:33 PM

If there was life or not doesn't concern me. I would like to send lichens samples to Mars to see if it will grow.


#20    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:47 PM

View PostROGER, on 14 September 2012 - 03:33 PM, said:

If there was life or not doesn't concern me. I would like to send lichens samples to Mars to see if it will grow.
Whether life on Earth is unique is one of the most important scientific questions ever. Whether it concerns you or not is of no importance, it is of great importance to many people, and not just scientists. Proving once and for all that the Earth is not unique in terms of life will be a discovery that will be felt for generations to come.

The fact that you would destroy that chance with a nonsensical, pointless experiment that could be done more easily and cheaply by reproducing Martian conditions on Earth makes me glad that it is NASA running the show, not random people on the internet.

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#21    pallidin

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:23 PM

Well, this will certainly cause an interesting debate if "dead or alive" micrbial life is "found" on Mars after using the contaminated drill bit.
What I'm curious, though, is if there is any actual evidence of contamination, or any way to conclusively find out prior to actual drilling.


#22    Render

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:50 PM

View PostLava_Lady, on 14 September 2012 - 05:13 AM, said:

Is this a kind of transpermia?

Is it transpermia or panspermia? Maybe both are accepted.
Anyway, I guess so. Instead of life spreading via asteroids it could now spread through a Rover.


A lot can happen in 2 years. I just wonder if water is really needed to produce life. What about methane and possible ethane?

Edited by Render, 14 September 2012 - 05:51 PM.


#23    MID

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:41 PM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 14 September 2012 - 03:47 PM, said:

Whether life on Earth is unique is one of the most important scientific questions ever. Whether it concerns you or not is of no importance, it is of great importance to many people, and not just scientists. Proving once and for all that the Earth is not unique in terms of life will be a discovery that will be felt for generations to come.

The fact that you would destroy that chance with a nonsensical, pointless experiment that could be done more easily and cheaply by reproducing Martian conditions on Earth makes me glad that it is NASA running the show, not random people on the internet.

Understood, and agreed with, Waspie!


#24    Lava_Lady

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 12:22 AM

View PostRender, on 14 September 2012 - 05:50 PM, said:



Is it transpermia or panspermia? Maybe both are accepted.
Anyway, I guess so. Instead of life spreading via asteroids it could now spread through a Rover.


A lot can happen in 2 years. I just wonder if water is really needed to produce life. What about methane and possible ethane?

You're Right!  Panspermia!  Lol
Maybe that is how Earth started, some alien touched a rover that was being sent to Earth and now we are the product of the bacteria on its hands or tentacles our whatever... Lol

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#25    mrknownothing

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 12:51 AM

Glad they were careful when they spent all that time and money on this project. Isn't it wonderful to just watch the smart folk throw away years of their lives and millions of our hard earned dollars.


#26    MID

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 12:50 PM

View Postmrknownothing, on 15 September 2012 - 12:51 AM, said:

Glad they were careful when they spent all that time and money on this project. Isn't it wonderful to just watch the smart folk throw away years of their lives and millions of our hard earned dollars.

Just how do you determine that these fine people "threw away years of their lives"?


Oh yes, and you spent, as did all other Americans (and you have to be one to whine like that), approximately $8.50 of your hard earned money over the past 7 years to fund this exploratory wonder.  That's $1.21 per year, and lets make it look really expensive:

$ 0.0033 per day...

I bet you don't get that?   (It's 3/10 of a cent!)

That's 2 cents a week,  9 cents a month...$1.08 per year to fund scientific understanding?

Uh...IT'S CHEAP. PROBABLY WAY CHEAPER THAN IT OUGHTA BE!Engineers are miracle workers.

I'm still trying to figure out how millions of your hard earned dollars were spent... :innocent:


People who make such comments about the cost of space exploration drive me nuts.  They don't understand.   It reminds me of President Kennedy's Rice University address in 1961, where he spoke about the cost of Apollo, and the NASA budget in 1962 was mentioned.  He said it was alot, and at $5.4 billion dollars, it was still less than we spend on cigarrettes and cigars in a year!

He was right (as Jack Kennedy usually was).

Think about that the next time you want to make comments about how much hard earned money it costs to explore space.


That case of beer you purchased this weekend?

It cost you three times what it  cost you to fund Curiosity over the past 7 years!  And it only took a minute to spend that!

Suppose you're a pack-a-day smoker?

In two days you exceeded what you spent  over the past 7 years to fund MSL.

Oh wait?  You drive.?  You filled your tank this week?  Lets say  It cost you $50.00?

That in itself is FIVE TIMES what you paid over the past 7 years to fund Mars Science.

In the two or three minutes it took you to fill your tank--youspent $50.00, but you'd only spent  5/1,000,000 of a cent to fund Curiosity.


:clap:

You don't need to answer me regarding the cost of space exploration.  It's a non-expense.  Your statement about millions of your hard earned dollars was ridiculous.  You can't address that.  If you're a smoker and you've got a cigarrette in your mouth right now, you've got 90 times the amount of money filling your lungs that you spent per day on Curiosity!

But anyway, I do look forward to your answer about how people have thrown away years of their lives!


If your answer is anything like your grasp of the cost, we may have some fun here!

:td: :td:


#27    bmk1245

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 04:39 PM

Hm, how about heating drills with laser bursts? If thats technically possible after all...

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#28    MID

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:39 PM

View Postbmk1245, on 15 September 2012 - 04:39 PM, said:

Hm, how about heating drills with laser bursts? If thats technically possible after all...


I'd really prefer it if people spent their time learning about  the space environment, microbial life on earth, and un-manned space exploration rather than making comments about  a microbial life form from Earth actually surviving on or in an unmanned, unpressurized, non-environmentaI spacecraft, exposing itself to vacuum, solar wind, cosmic radiation, massive temperature flux, and then, a brutal entry into the Martian atmosphere!

What is it that makes people think that a bacteria from Earth , having somehow gotten in contact with the MSL spacecraft, would be alive after a trip through space of many months, or...a trip through space of a minute, if not protected from that environment???

I mean, let me pick on someone alot bigger, say, YOU, and here's what I'll do.

I'll contaminate our next craft with you, and just tape you to the exterior surface, or maybe secure you in the battery compartment.

Then, you'll be launched into orbit aboard an Atlas V, and be boosted a couple hours later on a trajectory to Mars.

You wouldn't survive into orbit.  You'd have been screaming for mercy in a minute, as the G load built up to suilly levels, and within a few minutes, would be so well up through the atmosphere that you'd pass out, and die in minutes as near vacuum and freezing cold attacked your body, as well as the 4-5 G load.

That's about the truth.  So, think about that poor microbe "contaminating" the Rover spacecraft!!!

How's he making it, when you couldn't even get into Earth orbit???


#29    Parsec

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:30 PM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 13 September 2012 - 05:37 PM, said:

No it wouldn't.

It would be anything but funny. From a scientific point of view it would be a disaster. It would mean we would never be able to know if there was native life on Mars.

If I were a consiracy theorist, I'd say that this news came just on time, so they can study without any problem the martian enviroment and be able not to share with common people their findings, because they "can't understand if it's native life or imported".
Hopefully I'm not, but it's still sad that for an overconscious engeneer the whole mission can be doomed.


#30    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 12:25 AM

View PostMID, on 15 September 2012 - 08:39 PM, said:

What is it that makes people think that a bacteria from Earth , having somehow gotten in contact with the MSL spacecraft, would be alive after a trip through space of many months, or...a trip through space of a minute, if not protected from that environment???

MID, when it comes to space exploration your knowledge and logic are usually faultless. I'm afraid that I suspect that this is a rare exception.

Why do people think the microbes could survive the harsh environment of space? Because experiments have shown that microbes CAN survive the harsh environment of space and for far longer than it took Curiosity to reach Mars. In an experiment carried out on the ISS bacteria survived outside the Columbus module for 553 days. Any potential bacteria on Curiosity also had the advantage of being at least partially protected by the heat-shield and back-shell that protected the rover in flight.

I'm afraid that it is not impossible that some bacteria survived the journey.


See this BBC story from August 2010 for further details.

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