Jump to content

The possibility and ethics of contaminating Mars. (Split from SpaceX.)


SunlitZelkova
 Share

Recommended Posts

17 minutes ago, SunlitZelkova said:

As I have stated before, the purpose of MSR is not to "rule out" life. It is to look for life without contaminating the environment to the greatest extent.

Yeah, but again, you're sampling maybe 0.000000000000001% of the planet with each such mission. Every large rover we have sent has cost literally billions. They should have gotten this data decades ago.

The MSR in planning is to fly in 2026. 5 years. If they worked at SpaceX pace (3 shifts, 24 hours a day), instead of 40 hr weeks with loads of holidays, they could be ready in under 15 months. Well in advance of the 2024 launch window. If they are serious, maybe they should do that. Heck, had they started at that rate earlier this year, they could have flown in Sept 2022.

I say the most serious group is welcome to get there first.

I'll assume I am older than most here, but a human Mars mission has been "10-20 years off" my entire adult life, and I'm frankly sick of it.

Starship could use suit ports, but on the airlock floor of the vehicle, maybe with a real airlock as a backup. So the suits get sterilized, and the crew is only ever in contact with the inside of the suit. That whole floor can be sprayed with whatever disinfectant is required. This would make the only contamination risk a function of accidents—a crash, suit puncture, etc.

Edited by tater
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

While human interplanetary capability is something to strive for, there is no reason "other issues" can not be addressed as well.

No, that's literally what actually matters, the rest is the position of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Edited by Nothalogh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, tater said:

Yeah, but again, you're sampling maybe 0.000000000000001% of the planet with each such mission. Every large rover we have sent has cost literally billions. They should have gotten this data decades ago.

Good point about previous missions should have searched for life.  I think that wasn't done because what happened with the Viking landers.  Though they though that signs of life had been found, it was actually the weird chemistry of Martian soil that was being detected.  The after-action analysis was that to actually detect life (without sample return), a sophisticated biochemistry lab with many complementary experiments would be needed.  The minimum mass of that lab then put it out of the mass budget of the other landers.

The other side of the coin is that if there is life on Mars that can find ways around the deadly radiative and chemical environment of Mars, it's likely it's spread to at least similar latitudes.  So a sample return from one location is likely as good as from a large swath of Mars.

My personal feeling is that if there's life on Mars, it's a transfer from Earth that was just tough enough to take the trip and survive.  Would be interesting to find and likely easy enough to relate to life on Earth.

 

1 hour ago, Nothalogh said:

No, that's literally what actually matters, the rest is the position of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Human interplanetary capability isn't something that can be just achieved.  It has to be learned, revised, and maintained.  And that's bloody expensive.  Have you ever had to justify such a budget to maintain it?  It's not easy and that's not going to change.

Look at all the problems with SLS.  A large factor in the problems (after the fact it just hasn't had a consistent budget) is that this was a set of skills that were built up in the 1960's in the US and Russia.  Both extended into the 1970's and 1980's to a degree, but to a large extend those skills have been mostly lost in both countries.  Even just modernizing the complex startup of the RS-25 engines is a massive challenge.

It's why nation's militaries spend so much on training and revising their doctrines and standard operating procedures.  Skills that are not practiced and refined are often degraded and lost.  So it's not just gaining a skill set, it's keeping it.  Which is why it's so costly and neglect is so common.

Edited by Jacke
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, tater said:

That whole floor can be sprayed with whatever disinfectant is required. This would make the only contamination risk a function of accidents—a crash, suit puncture, etc.

The "contamination" term has different meaning in sense of sanitation ("enough non-dirty to be defeated by the immune system") and of exobiology ("some samples have traces of chemical compounds specific for organic life, and probably fourteen structures which are probably fossilized cells").

So, once a human applied its hands, probably any sterilization can provide only the former.

2 hours ago, tater said:

I'll assume I am older than most here, but a human Mars mission has been "10-20 years off" my entire adult life, and I'm frankly sick of it.

We can just imagine how much the Martians are...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People remember how the Martians were killed in War of the Worlds, and don't want to infect them.

The time limit I see is Musk. As long as he is alive and driven to do this, we get ~10 years pf progress every 2.5 years (10 years of 40 hour work weeks, vs 2.5 years of 168 hour work weeks). He could drop dead, get in a crash, whatever—so I want this pushed through as quickly as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, tater said:

The time limit I see is Musk. As long as he is alive and driven to do this, we get ~10 years pf progress every 2.5 years (10 years of 40 hour work weeks, vs 2.5 years of 168 hour work weeks). He could drop dead, get in a crash, whatever—so I want this pushed through as quickly as possible.

That's getting too much into the Great Man of Science is Needed!  My military background says you can't push like that without making mistakes.  You develop and practice at a walk so that when things are really needed, you can run.  The big theme in the history of the Space Programs of the 1960's and later is how so many of the people working on it neglected their lives and suffered for it.  I think a lot of the design of Starship is a mistake.  I hope the Raptor design is good, as engines are always the pacing element in years.  One way or another, this will all play out.  Musk is at best a rich fool.  In many ways, 2022 will show the reality as opposed to the hype.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He’s not a fool. He has a decent team of people, and realized that he’d spend the same amount of money (plus whatever perk they require for odd shifts) by having 3 shifts for 3 years vs 1 shift for 12. That’s a lot of what pushes them ahead, brute force. Any other space project could do the same thing, and they’d not be behind schedule.

Starship working is an open question, but we’ll know soon enough—because they are working so fast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kerbiloid mentioned quite an important point there. It is actually quite difficult to sterilize anything and I highly doubt it has been achieved for a spacecraft yet.  Or even can be achieved.

I remember from my university days that at one point planetary protection protocols involved rubbing down the spacecraft with alcohol soaked cotton swabs. Which kills some of the microorganisms but mostly just spreads them around. I assume, methods will have advanced from that quite a bit, but unless we build a spacecraft hardy enough to put into an autoclave, there's probably nothing we can do on Earth that's worse than exposing the stowaways to space/the Martian surface for a couple of months.

And even if we do manage to kill 100% of viable germs, we will probably leave enough organic debris to interfere with our attempts to detect native life, so killing them is actually only half the job.

Not sure what my conclusions are, but I guess there's very little we can do to avoid contamination entirely and we'll just have to design our experiments around this constraint.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe, having founded a McDonald's cafee on Mars would make more sense than sterilization just because the former should give us a clear picture of life spreading from the epicenter, so we could operate with statistically predictable numbers rather than purely chaotic ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, tater said:

Yeah, but again, you're sampling maybe 0.000000000000001% of the planet with each such mission. Every large rover we have sent has cost literally billions. They should have gotten this data decades ago.

I could repeat my reasoning of why I still find it worth doing, but I have my opinion, and you have yours. At this point, I think we should agree to disagree :)

I will make a couple of comments though-

9 hours ago, tater said:

The MSR in planning is to fly in 2026. 5 years. If they worked at SpaceX pace (3 shifts, 24 hours a day), instead of 40 hr weeks with loads of holidays, they could be ready in under 15 months. Well in advance of the 2024 launch window. If they are serious, maybe they should do that. Heck, had they started at that rate earlier this year, they could have flown in Sept 2022.

They can't do this for external factors like people's personal lives (which sounds petty, but you have to remember that many SpaceX engineers are "space fanatics" and "normal people" have, if I am remembering correctly, decided to quit because they choose not to keep up with SpaceX's pace).

The biggest factor though is money. They just don't have enough to go at that pace even if they wanted to.

But, just because they can't (or "choose to not take the action needed to") does not mean their views and aspirations should be ignored. The logic surrounding such a decision (planetary protection MSR people don't get a say because they didn't work hard enough, and we are going to launch unsterilized Starship before their mission) would be like the logic of saying the Flint water crisis is the town's fault for not being richer and securing a clean water supply on their own. "MSR+planetary protection people" rely on a government budget, and are only able to rely on a government budget, and thus can't go faster.

That's not to say SpaceX "can't" launch Starship prior to MSR directly because of that though. I just don't think the situation you presented is a fair way of putting things.

9 hours ago, tater said:

Starship could use suit ports, but on the airlock floor of the vehicle, maybe with a real airlock as a backup. So the suits get sterilized, and the crew is only ever in contact with the inside of the suit. That whole floor can be sprayed with whatever disinfectant is required. This would make the only contamination risk a function of accidents—a crash, suit puncture, etc.

Starship's volume does present a lot of options for safety measures should humans be sent, whether that be with prior MSR or no MSR at all.

8 hours ago, Nothalogh said:

No, that's literally what actually matters, the rest is the position of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

I have become confused as to the context of our conversion. Are you saying everything (Earth economy, Earth environment, everything else on Earth, all other space exploration initiatives, astronomy, biology, all other fields of science, etc.) is worthless and all resources should (ideally) be focused upon making life multiplanetary, or are you saying within space exploration, everything (space telescopes, robotic missions, lunar exploration, Earth science satellites, Earth orbital space stations, space tourism, etc.) is worthless and all space exploration resources should (ideally) be focused upon making life multiplanetary?

I am going to assume the latter.

I am curious, what threats do you find to be so pressing to life on Earth that things like JWST and Jupiter probes "do not matter"?

1 hour ago, Piscator said:

Kerbiloid mentioned quite an important point there. It is actually quite difficult to sterilize anything and I highly doubt it has been achieved for a spacecraft yet.  Or even can be achieved.

Sterilization never meant literally killing everything on it, not only in planetary protection but in other fields too. You just need to do the best you can.

Starship covered in the sweat of SpaceX employees and Boca Chica contractors does not qualify as such. That's not just the external area, components inside represent a threat too. Obviously it goes through vacuum and radiation but this isn't enough by planetary protection standards.

Edited by SunlitZelkova
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

They can't do this for external factors like people's personal lives (which sounds petty, but you have to remember that many SpaceX engineers are "space fanatics" and "normal people" have, if I am remembering correctly, decided to quit because they choose not to keep up with SpaceX's pace).

The biggest factor though is money. They just don't have enough to go at that pace even if they wanted to.

 

SpaceX is spending what would not huge amounts of money annually for NASA. Pick a number, $2B/year on Starship? SpaceX is charging NASA less for the HLS system—including 2 landings (1 test, 1 with crew) for the cost of Perseverance. Give SpaceX $2B/year for a Mars mission, and they will spend it 24/7. Give BO $2B/yr—you'll have to wait until mid-January, everyone there is on vacation—when they do get it, they will spend it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (minus holidays).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

I am going to assume the latter.

You would be incorrect

10 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

by planetary protection standards

And here we get to saying the quiet part out loud.

The point of all this is to filibuster with demands of compliance to unattainable standards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Starship covered in the sweat of SpaceX employees and Boca Chica contractors does not qualify as such. That's not just the external area, components inside represent a threat too. Obviously it goes through vacuum and radiation but this isn't enough by planetary protection standards.

What are the standards?

They have an allowable number of spores, presumably. What's the math there, or do they just pick a small, round number? Google suggests the Viking landers probably had hundreds of thousands of spores on them. If 45 years to spread 105 spores is not concerning, what is the allowed number now, with a crew sample return? They could have more spores, but less time to spread (1 year instead of 45), right?

That spores survive in simulated martian environments I think has been established, but do they actually grow? If not, who cares?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, tater said:

What are the standards?

For an uncrewed lander not intended to investigate life, which is what an uncrewed Starship landing on Mars would basically be, it is not more than 3 x 10^5 spores, with not more than 300 spores per square meter. This is the standard agreed upon by COSPAR and adopted by NASA.

This is achieved through dry heat sterilization of some components, assembly in a clean room, and frequent wiping of components, plus testing by frequently swabbing the spacecraft throughout assembly.

Basically whoever is building the spacecraft is free to propose their own reduction measures, but it has to be approved by the Planetary Protection Officer. I can not imagine anyway SpaceX could achieve this for Starship.

Without approval from the PPO they can't actually launch, but this only applies to robotic missions, so theoretically SpaceX could exploit the loophole I will mention below to launch anyways. Not a good way to make friends though, IMO.

13 hours ago, tater said:

crew sample return

Do you mean crewed mission that involves bringing back samples?

If so, NASA doesn't actually have any standards right now. They do have a "policy", but it basically states that they intend to set standards through research with ISS and Artemis- and that's it. It actually expired five months ago. A new one shall be issued shortly, but hasn't been yet. It could be expected to be similar though, as the latest round of policies is basically just a change in language for standardization across NASA, and reforms to the mission approval process.

So, because NASA has no crewed mission planetary protection policy, they could launch without needing any approval from the PPO by declaring it to be a development flight in support of a crewed landing program (which of course, it actually is).

But as far as what future standards might look like, we can only imagine based on the COSPAR planetary protection policy.

Quote

The intent of this planetary protection policy is the same whether a mission to Mars is conducted robotically or with human explorers. Accordingly, planetary protection goals should not be relaxed to accommodate a human mission to Mars. Rather, they become even more directly relevant to such missions—even if specific implementation requirements must differ. General principles include:

  • Safeguarding the Earth from potential back contamination is the highest planetary protection priority in Mars exploration.
  • The greater capability of human explorers can contribute to the astrobiological exploration of Mars only if human associated contamination is controlled and understood.
  • For a landed mission conducting surface operations, it will not be possible for all human-associated processes and mission operations to be conducted within entirely closed systems.
  • Crewmembers exploring Mars, or their support systems, will inevitably be exposed to martian materials.

In accordance with these principles, specific implementation guidelines for human missions to Mars include:

  • Human missions will carry microbial populations that will vary in both kind and quantity, and it will not be practicable to specify all aspects of an allowable microbial population or potential contaminants at launch. Once any baseline conditions for launch are established and met, continued monitoring and evaluation of microbes carried by human missions will be required to address both forward and backward contamination concerns.
  • A quarantine capability for both the entire crew and for individual crewmembers shall be provided during and after the mission, in case potential contact with a martian life-form occurs.
  • A comprehensive planetary protection protocol for human missions should be developed that encompasses both forward and backward contamination concerns, and addresses the combined human and robotic aspects of the mission, including subsurface exploration, sample handling, and the return of the samples and crew to Earth.
  • Neither robotic systems nor human activities should contaminate “Special Regions” on Mars, as defined by this COSPAR policy.
  • Any uncharacterized martian site should be evaluated by robotic precursors prior to crew access. Information may be obtained by either precursor robotic missions or a robotic component on a human mission.
  • Any pristine samples or sampling components from any uncharacterized sites or Special Regions on Mars should be treated according to current planetary protection Category V, restricted Earth return, with the proper handling and testing protocols.
  • An onboard crewmember should be given primary responsibility for the implementation of planetary protection provisions affecting the crew during the mission.
  • Planetary protection requirements for initial human missions should be based on a conservative approach consistent with a lack of knowledge of martian environments and possible life, as well as the performance of human support systems in those environments. Planetary protection requirements for later missions should not be relaxed without scientific review, justification, and consensus.

To sum it up, this is strong on back contamination prevention but basically says "we should create a policy" for forward contamination, and that's it.

Some personal observations-

1. They suggest monitoring the microbes carried by a human mission to help in identifying both forward and back contamination threats. This can't be done until we know what the microbe environment actually looks like on a long duration crewed mission. To do this, it might make sense to rehearse the entire Mars mission profile in LEO, using the exact hardware but without actually leaving Earth's SOI. Interestingly, on a "normal" (government) mission, this might be seen as expensive and unfeasible, but with Starship it could be possible. Plus point there for them regardless of what happens, as that could help in managing contamination once we do start doing crewed exploration.

2. The same biohazard safety requirements are the same for returning samples (and the crew) back to Earth as an uncrewed MSR probe. Which leads me to the following-

As unlikely as it is that a Mars organism would present a danger to Earth, the possibility is still there. I am personally unconcerned about it, but regardless of the fate of MSR, Starship returning from Mars will make many a person (both astrobiologist and laymen) concerned (just an observation, not a reason to "stop Starship").

14 hours ago, Nothalogh said:

You would be incorrect

Human multiplanetary capability is something nice to strive for, but you will not achieve it by throwing everything else away and focusing on it alone.

Under the policy you propose, human society would end up like North Korea, except instead of a dysfunctional, backwards military barely kept intact by the backwards and malnourished civilian sector, humanity would have nothing to show for its stunted quality of life and technological development in other areas, apart from a small space transport system, fraught with accidents and malfunctions, barely keeping some sort of permanently inhabited research base supplied while trying to maintain launch cadence.

If you want to achieve a goal as big as making life truly multiplanetary, you need to keep the whole of society healthy, not just try and rush with one thing while letting the other sectors collapse. Space development doesn't exist in a vacuum, it requires the rest of the economy to be healthy as well.

If we did as you proposed, SpaceX wouldn't have money to fund Starship, because their Starlink customers would be starving and dying, while their government payload suppliers would be bankrupt and unable to build probes.

14 hours ago, Nothalogh said:

And here we get to saying the quiet part out loud.

The point of all this is to filibuster with demands of compliance to unattainable standards.

Here are some links to planetary protection policy documents-

https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/displayDir.cfm?t=NPR&c=8715&s=24

https://cosparhq.cnes.fr/assets/uploads/2021/07/PPPolicy_2021_3-June.pdf

https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/OPD_docs/NID_8715_129_.pdf

These are not "unattainable standards", and nothing is being "filibustered". If a mission meets the requirements agreed upon, it can go, if it doesn't, re-examination of the plan is needed. That's all it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

For an uncrewed lander not intended to investigate life, which is what an uncrewed Starship landing on Mars would basically be, it is not more than 3 x 10^5 spores, with not more than 300 spores per square meter. This is the standard agreed upon by COSPAR and adopted by NASA.

Why this number? Because that is exactly what the estimates of Viking contamination were?

I want them to "show their work" honestly.

"Doing something" just to show you've tried to do something, even if it in fact does nothing... I feel like we all have lengthy personal experience with that right now.

What if the number of spores sufficient to contaminate Mars—like they could grow and reproduce—turns out to be 1-3 per landing event, say for argument 2/3 would never germinate (is that the right word for spores?). The literally 3 and you've likely seeded Mars. Numbers are pulled out of my posterior, but that is the ACTUAL requirement to avoid contamination in the sense i mean it. Spores that will stay spores until they are no longer viable? Yeah, I don't care, even a little—they can ID them. Spores that can actually result in bacteria living on Mars? That's actual contamination, and the allowable number needs to be small enough that it is not possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two problems don't let the scientists of Earth have a calm sleep in the nights:

1. How to stop the terrestrial life from surviving on Mars.

2. How to let the terrestrial life survive on Mars.

Schizophrenia?

No, dialectics.
The unity and the struggle of the opposites.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

No, dialectics.
The unity and the struggle of the opposites.

So many current issues are coincident with this ;)

Yeah, we have two camps, one that wants to terraform Mars, another concerned about not allowing a handful of bacteria to survive—like I said, these were camps in the Red/Green/Blue Mars books.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

1. How to stop the terrestrial life from surviving on Mars.

2. How to let the terrestrial life survive on Mars.

The problem is we don't know if aliens would be friendly or un-friendly or not even conscious about their death. We could just steamroll over them like hundreds of other species on earth, but we don't do that on purpose, we don't want to but at this point modern civilization needs it until someone updates the thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

To sum it up, this is strong on back contamination prevention but basically says "we should create a policy" for forward contamination, and that's it.

Some personal observations-

1. They suggest monitoring the microbes carried by a human mission to help in identifying both forward and back contamination threats. This can't be done until we know what the microbe environment actually looks like on a long duration crewed mission. To do this, it might make sense to rehearse the entire Mars mission profile in LEO, using the exact hardware but without actually leaving Earth's SOI. Interestingly, on a "normal" (government) mission, this might be seen as expensive and unfeasible, but with Starship it could be possible. Plus point there for them regardless of what happens, as that could help in managing contamination once we do start doing crewed exploration.

2. The same biohazard safety requirements are the same for returning samples (and the crew) back to Earth as an uncrewed MSR probe. Which leads me to the following-

As unlikely as it is that a Mars organism would present a danger to Earth, the possibility is still there. I am personally unconcerned about it, but regardless of the fate of MSR, Starship returning from Mars will make many a person (both astrobiologist and laymen) concerned (just an observation, not a reason to "stop Starship").

This makes sense, except—first we need to know what is actually concerning. If it turns out that literally any spores "wrecked" Mars, then that ship has already sailed, no need to do anything. if 300k spores per vehicle is fine, why is 300,001 bad, exactly? There have been experiments showing that spores remain viable in space—but viability is meaningless if they are sitting on Mars, perfectly viable, but never germinate.

The sterilization requirements seem to be based on nothing at all as far as I can tell. Pick a round number. They can't pick "zero" because they could never guarantee that, so they pick some nonzero number as acceptable.

Edited by tater
Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, if the assumption is that any life on Mars would be widely spread, and X samples would likely detect it—why not send the appropriate lab equipment to do it remotely?

Land Starship (no crew first times anyway). Lower rover, fully sterilized. River self tests itself (swabs?) inside SS before leaving as a baseline. Drive rover away from landing site. Take samples, test. Rover can be arbitrarily large within SS cargo mass requirements. Tons. Only job is this.

Edited by tater
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would just send a shipload of frozen chicken eggs and spread it across the area suspected of the unauthorized biological activity.

If the life exists there, when the eggs unfreeze they will become a perfect substrate widely used on the Earth for the pathogen herding.

We know the chicken DNA. We should look for non-chicken genetic material by studying the colored spots grown on the rotten eggs.

For better accuracy, the egg-producing hens should be fed with slightly radioactive food, to easily take the substrate distribution picture, and to trace the unexpected paths of the substrate motion.

If there is an unauthorized biological agent populating the planet, it would be definitely more visible where it has food rather than where it not has food.

Edited by kerbiloid
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Mars has life it is most likely subterranean and as such would take a lot for us to contaminate. If Martian life is not related to us, totally separate evolution of biochemistry then it most likely could eat us as well as we can eat plastic.   Even if Martian life is related to us and thus could hypothetically infect us, most subterranean bacteria here on earth has no clue what to do in an oxygenated human body,  geobacter and shewanella are harmless even to people who are immunocompromised. I understand CYA because of unknown unknowns means we need to take outlandish precautions, so here I what I propose:

If ice coring samples of potential human landing sites find water ice under the ground (for making fuel for the return trip) and IF they find life in those cores then send a One-way trip of biochemists to figure out what that life is and determine how harmful it can be before sending us back, if ever, I volunteer.  If we become infected with Mars life and can never return, so be it. 

 

Edited by RuBisCO
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/24/2021 at 11:46 AM, Piscator said:

Kerbiloid mentioned quite an important point there. It is actually quite difficult to sterilize anything and I highly doubt it has been achieved for a spacecraft yet.  Or even can be achieved.

I remember from my university days that at one point planetary protection protocols involved rubbing down the spacecraft with alcohol soaked cotton swabs. Which kills some of the microorganisms but mostly just spreads them around. I assume, methods will have advanced from that quite a bit, but unless we build a spacecraft hardy enough to put into an autoclave, there's probably nothing we can do on Earth that's worse than exposing the stowaways to space/the Martian surface for a couple of months.

And even if we do manage to kill 100% of viable germs, we will probably leave enough organic debris to interfere with our attempts to detect native life, so killing them is actually only half the job.

Not sure what my conclusions are, but I guess there's very little we can do to avoid contamination entirely and we'll just have to design our experiments around this constraint.

Alcohol is nice for disinfect, as in its nice for killing bacteria who is harmful for us, other benefit is that its cheap and safe to use. It might not work well against extremophiles  nor is its an acceptable standard for disinfecting surgical tools outside an emergency.

Now I agree with many other here that if its life on Mars its well underground we found life km down into rock after all. It did not evolve there but it was an niche some bacteria evolved into probably a lots of times so the first ones on earth is likely to died off.
Its also not something we will find without SS and humans on the ground. Drill rigs who can take core samples many  hundreds of meter or more likely many km down are heavy and labor intensive even if you work hard to automate them.  
You then has to use analyze to find if the thing you found is related to earth life. If independent it might not even show up as dna as its not. 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...