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Is Curiosity carrying Earth bacteria ?


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#31    DONTEATUS

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:32 AM

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

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???
Do go on Mon-Captatian ! After this guys dead and the cold of space quick freezes his body,then what on the 6 month trip to Mars, THen tell about the landing,or crash onto the surface.
THen the very,very,thin atmosphere of Mars takes hold of our intrepid traveler.
Go  on !Its getting intresting.

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#32    synchronomy

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:40 AM

When Apollo 12 landed on the Moon, the site was only 500 feet from where Surveyor 3 landed a couple of years earlier.  The astronauts brought back pieces of the Surveyor and it was found to still have live Earth bacteria on it.
So if they could survive on the Moon for a couple of years, surely Mars would be a cake-walk.
Read about it here:
http://science.nasa....8/ast01sep98_1/

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#33    Belial

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:10 AM

Just the rover being there is 'alien' so any contamination as already happened, who are we as humans to say that some organism we know nothing of as cultured the already infecting metal robot from earth?

Where it states "For official use only" - gently rub a white wax candle over the area indicated.

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#34    bmk1245

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:51 AM

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

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???
[...]
MID, I would go with Waspie on this: during flight, instruments "sit" safely in their "pockets" behind shields plus RTG generating some heat. Furthermore, even dead bacteria can contaminate results. Anyway, just my 2¢.

Edit: spelling

Edited by bmk1245, 16 September 2012 - 10:52 AM.

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#35    MID

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:27 PM

View Postbmk1245, on 16 September 2012 - 10:51 AM, said:

MID, I would go with Waspie on this: during flight, instruments "sit" safely in their "pockets" behind shields plus RTG generating some heat. Furthermore, even dead bacteria can contaminate results. Anyway, just my 2¢.

Edit: spelling


OK, and for everyone who wants to worry that Curiosity is contaminated with human bacteria that survived a trip to Mars, let's consider:

Why isn't there controversy over Rangers 1 through 9 and the 7 surveyors on the Moon compromising the lunar environment?  Or the 9 Ranger impacts on the Moon?
Or..Vikings 1 and 2 and the Phoenix Mars Lander contminating Mars...or...

Cassini Huygens, contamiminating Titan???

We could've ruined the solar system by now!!!


:no:


#36    Parsec

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 11:42 PM

Maybe because they didn't have as a main goal of their missions to check if there're traces of past life on the planet.







Or maybe because they found the perfect cover-up excuse for not sharing what they'll will find, who knows. :lol:


#37    synchronomy

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:06 AM

View PostParsec, on 16 September 2012 - 11:42 PM, said:

Maybe because they didn't have as a main goal of their missions to check if there're traces of past life on the planet.







Or maybe because they found the perfect cover-up excuse for not sharing what they'll will find, who knows. :lol:

Is it possible NASA might fake finding evidence of primitive life or ancient life on Mars to raise their profile and put America back in the forefront in space?

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#38    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:04 AM

View Postsynchronomy, on 16 September 2012 - 02:40 AM, said:

When Apollo 12 landed on the Moon, the site was only 500 feet from where Surveyor 3 landed a couple of years earlier.  The astronauts brought back pieces of the Surveyor and it was found to still have live Earth bacteria on it.

Actually this has now been shown to be untrue. Those bacteria were actually from contamination once the Surveyor 3 samples had arrived back on Earth, see this story: "Moon microbes" explained




View PostMID, on 16 September 2012 - 10:27 PM, said:

OK, and for everyone who wants to worry that Curiosity is contaminated with human bacteria that survived a trip to Mars, let's consider:

Why isn't there controversy over Rangers 1 through 9 and the 7 surveyors on the Moon compromising the lunar environment?  Or the 9 Ranger impacts on the Moon?
Or..Vikings 1 and 2 and the Phoenix Mars Lander contminating Mars...or...

Cassini Huygens, contamiminating Titan???

We could've ruined the solar system by now!!!


:no:
Well no one has ever seriously considered the possibility of Earth life contaminating the Moon.

As for the other missions you mention, particular care was taken to make sure that the craft was decontaminated. MSL also underwent this procedure until it's quarantine was broken. Therein lies the problem, also NASA's care in attempting not to contaminate Mars could have been undone by one decision.

Here is a Wikipedia article on Planetary protection.

It should be noted that NASA has an obligation under international law to "protect pristine celestial environments".

It should also be noted that MSL is a Category IV mission. Only missions returning samples to Earth are categorised higher.

It should be further noted that missions to the Moon are only Category II.

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#39    synchronomy

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:33 AM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 17 September 2012 - 01:04 AM, said:

Actually this has now been shown to be untrue. Those bacteria were actually from contamination once the Surveyor 3 samples had arrived back on Earth, see this story: "Moon microbes" explained


That's interesting, and thanks for pointing that out.
So what this means is that as recently as 1998, NASA was sticking to their story...and it took an external think tank to point out to them that their research was in fact sloppy and unprofessional.
Unfortunately, that's basically what it boils down to.

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#40    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:55 AM

View Postsynchronomy, on 17 September 2012 - 01:33 AM, said:



That's interesting, and thanks for pointing that out.
So what this means is that as recently as 1998, NASA was sticking to their story...and it took an external think tank to point out to them that their research was in fact sloppy and unprofessional.
Unfortunately, that's basically what it boils down to.
No, that is NOT what it boils down to.

Unfortunately the link to the original article no longer works, however you seem to have overlooked two very important phrases in one sentence.
Firstly:

Quote

The claim never passed peer review
That means that the results were NEVER accepted scientifically. Not by NASA or anyone else. I have no idea where you get the date of 1998 from, a source for that would be appreciated as it doesn't appear to be in the article I linked to.

Secondly:

Quote

yet has persisted in the press -- and on the Internet -- ever since
Again no mention of it being a claim made by NASA, more of an urban myth.

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#41    synchronomy

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:00 AM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 17 September 2012 - 01:55 AM, said:

No, that is NOT what it boils down to.

Unfortunately the link to the original article no longer works, however you seem to have overlooked two very important phrases in one sentence.
Firstly:

That means that the results were NEVER accepted scientifically. Not by NASA or anyone else. I have no idea where you get the date of 1998 from, a source for that would be appreciated as it doesn't appear to be in the article I linked to.

Secondly:

Again no mention of it being a claim made by NASA, more of an urban myth.

Yes, that's what it boils down to:

Here's the link with a notation at the bottom of the page saying,
NASA Official: Ruth Netting
Send us your comments!
Last Updated: April 6, 2011
....so in fact as of 2011, NASA is sticking to their urban myth!

http://science.nasa....8/ast01sep98_1/

Edited by synchronomy, 17 September 2012 - 02:05 AM.

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#42    bmk1245

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:49 AM

View PostMID, on 16 September 2012 - 10:27 PM, said:

OK, and for everyone who wants to worry that Curiosity is contaminated with human bacteria that survived a trip to Mars, let's consider:

Why isn't there controversy over Rangers 1 through 9 and the 7 surveyors on the Moon compromising the lunar environment?  Or the 9 Ranger impacts on the Moon?
Or..Vikings 1 and 2 and the Phoenix Mars Lander contminating Mars...or...

Cassini Huygens, contamiminating Titan???

We could've ruined the solar system by now!!!


:no:
Waspie :tu:  was quicker once again.

Anyway, just wanted to bring conclusions made by team researching simulated "trip to Mars" and "stay on Mars":

Quote

The space experiment PROTECT of the EXPOSE-E mission
provides experimental data on the responses of the most
resistant microbial representatives, for example, spores of B.
subtilis 168 and B. pumilus SAFR-032, to the conditions of a
simulated ‘‘trip to Mars’’ and an extended ‘‘stay on Mars.’’
These data are important information for the Panel on Planetary
Protection of COSPAR as well as for the major space
agencies that are constantly revisiting the protocols of planetary
protection with the aim of amending bioload measurements
by adding recent innovations in molecular
biology analysis and sterilization methods (e.g., taken from
treatment of medical devices or pharmaceuticals). Since the
specification of biological cleanliness depends on the type of
model microbe, the microbial reduction methods require
knowledge of the most resistant types of microorganisms
that may be present.
Our studies have confirmed the high resistance of spores
of two Bacillus species to the most adverse parameters encountered
during a planetary mission, such as space vacuum,
cosmic radiation, temperature fluctuations, long
storage time, and martian atmospheric pressure and com-
position.However, these studies have also confirmed the
enormous killing efficiency of solar UV radiation experienced
on an Earth-to-Mars route as well as on the surface of
Mars. Spores could only escape this harmful attack by
hiding in cracks or pits of the spacecraft surface, protecting
the inner layers in spore clumps, or shielding via the
spacecraft itself (reviewed in Nicholson et al., 2005). However,
because the landing probe is most likely encased in
an entry shield or bioshield, putative spore passengers attached
to the lander may well escape this irradiation during
the Earth-to-Mars trajectory and thus survive the journey.
Likewise, the chances of survival at the martian surface
increase with the degree of shielding against martian UV
radiation. Nevertheless, our data suggest that a substantial
fraction of spores in multilayers could survive an exposure
to martian UV irradiation for more than 3000 h.
By providing this information on the responses of the
most resistant microbial representatives to the harsh environment
of space and the martian surface, our investigation
contributes to avoidance of false positives in life-detection
experiments performed either in situ or on Mars samples
returned to Earth, in the event that some of these resistant
types of microbes escape sterilization treatment and are exported
to Mars.
(Gerda Horneck et al, (2012) Resistance of Bacterial Endospores to Outer Space for Planetary Protection Purposes—Experiment PROTECT of the EXPOSE-E Mission, 12(5): 445-456.)

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#43    bmk1245

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:52 AM

View Postsynchronomy, on 17 September 2012 - 02:00 AM, said:

Yes, that's what it boils down to:

Here's the link with a notation at the bottom of the page saying,
NASA Official: Ruth Netting
Send us your comments!
Last Updated: April 6, 2011
....so in fact as of 2011, NASA is sticking to their urban myth!

http://science.nasa....8/ast01sep98_1/
But it did not generated any papers (at least I'm not aware of such), so yeah, it remains myth.

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#44    Subsonicjourno

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:21 PM

This could have been how life got to earth lol


#45    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 04:25 PM

View Postsynchronomy, on 17 September 2012 - 02:00 AM, said:

Yes, that's what it boils down to:

Here's the link with a notation at the bottom of the page saying,
NASA Official: Ruth Netting
Send us your comments!
Last Updated: April 6, 2011
....so in fact as of 2011, NASA is sticking to their urban myth!

http://science.nasa....8/ast01sep98_1/
Thanks for providing the link, and I concede the point that NASA was perpetuating this myth (if indeed that is what it is) as late as 1998 (I'm not sure how much we can read into the "updated in 2011" comment without knowing exactly what was updated. You could argue that NASA is continuing to perpetuate the myth now as that article is still on line, but they don't remove old articles even when newer data overtakes them).

It is also worth noting that it was not until 2011 that researchers concluded that the Surveyor 3 bacteria were the result of contamination after return to Earth.

So what we have are results which were never conclusive enough to lead to peer reviewed papers, but which remained the prevailing theory until 2011. There is also some evidence supporting the original claim that these bacteria indeed were survivors of contamination from before launch.

As is so often the case in science it is not clear what the true conclusion should be and as the original camera parts are no longer kept in sterile conditions it is impossible to repeat the analysis.

Here is a Wikipedia article on the Surveyor 3 bacteria: Reports of Streptococcus mitis on the moon, which gives both sides of the argument.

In many ways this is a moot point (as well as beginning to take us a little off topic) as, what ever the origin of the bacteria on the Surveyor 3 camera, more recent research has shown that bacteria can survive in the vacuum of space, which was, I believe, the point of your post in the first place.

It is also worth noting that no science is truly wasted. These bacteria have led to a huge amount of research on whether bacteria can survive in space. That mistake may have lead to a better understanding of the possibility of life than would have occurred had they not been found.

I have to say that I have learnt something here. I was convinced that the bacteria on the moon story had been shown to be false, but reading more I now see that it is unlikely we will ever know for sure.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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