New life on Mars ?

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posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 03:42 AM
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What kind of Earth life (bacteria, plants, insects) could live on Mars ? If any, why don't we put them there, why don't we spread Earth’s life across the universe ?





posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 03:54 AM
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Why would we want to do that? We could send microbes to other planets that could potentially wipe out civilizations.



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 03:55 AM
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a reply to: Ove38

Because we need to first discover evidence of potential life on mars ,planting life would contaminate potential findings
edit on 17-8-2014 by amurphy245 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 04:31 AM
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originally posted by: amurphy245
a reply to: Ove38

Because we need to first discover evidence of potential life on mars ,planting life would contaminate potential findings


100% THIS.

We take great pains to make sure we don't contaminate Mars or other bodies of astrobiological interest. They are planning to plunge Cassini into Jupiter's atmosphere where it will burn up so that it doesn't potentially contaminate the moons TItan or Enceladus.

One of the biggest fears is that we will make a 'false discovery' of life that didn't actually originate on Mars or Europa or TItan but on Earth, brought there by a previous spacecraft.



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 05:05 AM
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if i understand correctly this has already happened with insulation on the viking landers. also if humans go anywhere so will our mites, gut fauna, urine fauna, mouth bacteria and so forth. so if we colonize mars we will contaminate it. i would not be surprised if some of the lunar astronauts have not left behind bags of urine or poop or other contaminants.

may as well lob a few thousand tardigrades out there.



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 05:43 AM
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originally posted by: stormbringer1701
if i understand correctly this has already happened with insulation on the viking landers. also if humans go anywhere so will our mites, gut fauna, urine fauna, mouth bacteria and so forth. so if we colonize mars we will contaminate it. i would not be surprised if some of the lunar astronauts have not left behind bags of urine or poop or other contaminants.

may as well lob a few thousand tardigrades out there.



Perhaps there already are, the ISS dumps its human waste overboard, the junk in orbit is, in my opinion, now covered in human 'goo'.



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 09:25 AM
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As I understand it, Earth gets contaminated by other-worldly microbes all the time. Panspermia? Whatever it's called, I don't think humans should limit ourselves because of our own fear(s).



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 12:45 PM
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a reply to: pikestaff




Perhaps there already are, the ISS dumps its human waste overboard, the junk in orbit is, in my opinion, now covered in human 'goo'.

Incorrect.
science.howstuffworks.com...



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 12:48 PM
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originally posted by: skunkape23
Why would we want to do that? We could send microbes to other planets that could potentially wipe out civilizations.


It's actually being worked on right now.

I read an article where University graduates are engineering bacteria to survive conditions on Mars, with a view to placing them there.

It's basically crude, early baby steps towards terraforming Mars.


A team of undergraduates from Stanford and Brown Universities are busy applying synthetic biology to space exploration, outfitting microbes to survive extreme Martian conditions and produce resources needed to sustain a human colony.


Link:

Wired.com
edit on 17-8-2014 by MysterX because: Added quote and link.



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 12:49 PM
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originally posted by: lostbook
As I understand it, Earth gets contaminated by other-worldly microbes all the time. Panspermia? Whatever it's called, I don't think humans should limit ourselves because of our own fear(s).




Really? Do you have a link to the bolded part because discovery of just one of those would be huge news.

And I am all for Space Exploration but you must recognize, we are babies at this. We should proceed with caution because we don't want to inadvertently trample what might be one of the greatest discoveries of humankind simply because we had the hubris to think we should "spread our type of life around" when our type of life could be toxic to whatever xenobiology we might have discovered.
edit on 17-8-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 12:56 PM
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a reply to: JadeStar

Frankly, concern for indigenous life is all well and good, and i'm personally for safeguards to protect it, but historically, it has never been a barrier to Human expansionism on Earth, with myriad examples of such trampling spread throughout our recorded history.

I doubt Human planetary colonisation would be any different...especially if there are rich pickings in terms of resources to be scooped up and brought home.



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 12:57 PM
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originally posted by: MysterX

originally posted by: skunkape23
Why would we want to do that? We could send microbes to other planets that could potentially wipe out civilizations.


It's actually being worked on right now.

I read an article where University graduates are engineering bacteria to survive conditions on Mars, with a view to placing them there.

It's basically crude, early baby steps towards terraforming Mars.


A team of undergraduates from Stanford and Brown Universities are busy applying synthetic biology to space exploration, outfitting microbes to survive extreme Martian conditions and produce resources needed to sustain a human colony.


Link:

Wired.com


The key thing here is that they would be used INSIDE the colony which presumably would be isolated from the larger environment of Mars.


To be really successful, the bacteria must do more than just survive on Mars. They need to perform functions useful for establishing a human colony one day. In addition to the Hell Cell suite, the team is developing bacteria that could extract minerals from Martian sediment or recycle rare metals from spacecraft electronics.

The team’s main focus is on the latter, which requires engineering bacteria to separate metals from the silica that coats most electronics.

These projects expand on a Mars theme started last year, when the team designed BioBricks that allow bacteria to produce a cement-like material for building, and sugar for feeding other microbes.

Usefulness aside, sending bacteria to Mars poses certain ethical concerns. “If you were to release something into the environment that killed off the native fauna, that would be devastating to science,” said Burnier. But if there isn’t life there, and engineered bacteria could help humans explore, “the argument could be made that it would be a good thing.”



So that is why the primary thing to learn about Mars is whether there is any life there already, BEFORE we start bringing our brand of it there en-masse.



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 01:03 PM
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originally posted by: MysterX
a reply to: JadeStar

Frankly, concern for indigenous life is all well and good, and i'm personally for safeguards to protect it, but historically, it has never been a barrier to Human expansionism on Earth, with myriad examples of such trampling spread throughout our recorded history.


I think we have learned a bit from history. That's why every space agency on Earth takes pains to sterilize anything we send to Mars. We did it, the Russians did it, Europe did it, India did it.


I doubt Human planetary colonisation would be any different...


It's space, it's always different. This is not crossing some ocean to another part of the Earth. This is going to a whole other ecosystem which may have things which could be very helpful or very harmful to ours if we're not careful. (Plenty of sci-fi has alien viruses which nearly annihilate mankind.)

We take these precautions as much for stuff we send out there as we do when we return or plan to return samples from there because it is NOT our place to wipe out other life in the Solar System or beyond. At least not before having a chance to study it and preserve it in some way.

Until we know what is there it would be ignorant for us to just pretend as if we are exploring another part of the Earth.



especially if there are rich pickings in terms of resources to be scooped up and brought home.



There are plenty of those resources on dead rocks strewn throughout the solar system. There is no reason to start stripmining a body of astrobiological interest like Mars or Europa or TItan for them.
edit on 17-8-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 01:05 PM
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a reply to: JadeStar

I suppose plans are in place to do such, but i seriously doubt any manned mission could prevent contamination for very long.

It would depend on the design of the EVA suits and so on, because if they are inside the habitat, people will be touching and contaminating them with many types of bacteria just getting the suits on...then those bacteria and other microbes will be loose out in the open.

Most wouldn't survive the conditions, but who knows..there are plenty of extremophiles on our own world that continue to startle biologists with their extraordinary tenacity.

The same could be true on some of what we take to Mars, deliberately (as in the story i linked to) or accidental exposure to the Martian environment.

After a while, after the good intentions have been exhausted and inevitable cavalier attitudes begin to prevail, widespread contamination will ensue...i expect.

But i agree with you, we ought to be careful as much as is possible, within reason.



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: Ove38

The problems with doing as you suggest are many fold.

First, the chances are that the soil of Mars, and the significantly reduced light that the planet receives, when compared with the circumstances on Earth, would probably result in significant changes over generations of plants, to the DNA of the plant, assuming one could be made to grow at all. This would likely result in either the death of the plants from runaway, unhelpful mutations, or make the plant adapt to its surroundings in a manner which makes it less useful to grow.

Crops could become corrupted, plants that once breathed out oxygen could end up breathing out some other gas....

There are just too many things, biologically, that could go wrong.

But another thing is this... Until every square centimetre of the surface of Mars, not to mention every cave, crevasse, and gap in a rock, has been probed and prodded and examined by robots and people alike, trying to essentially terraform a world would be irresponsible. Doing so prematurely could result in the destruction of some native life forms, or destabilise an entire ecology, so we have to be CERTAIN that there is nothing living there, of any kind, before we begin that sort of process.

Lastly, we humans need to get over our obsession with making our surroundings familiar to us, with taking our customs and opinions and applying them to every place we happen to be in at the time. The universe is a place of beauty and savagery, wonderful in its majesty, and terrible in its cold, oppressive scale. We should appreciate the beauty which exists in this universe, without having to paint it in the colours of our territory, our birth world.

The last thing I want for my descendants, is for them to be able to travel the universes breadth, and never escape the mundane. It would be like taking a trip to a near by star system, only to find that McDonalds had beaten your there! I say the hell with it. We should experience the universe as it is, waaaaaay before we start thinking about making it as we would like it!



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 08:25 PM
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a reply to: Ove38

Because what if Mars has life .. and we destroyed it? How can anyone think this is a good idea?



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 08:32 PM
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a reply to: Ove38

I think there's life on Mars already.



posted on Aug, 18 2014 @ 09:25 PM
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I'll just leave this here:

sciencenotes.ucsc.edu...

synopsis: we have contaminated the moon and mars already. in the case of the moon the bacteria in question was identified when one of the earlier missions cameras was retrieved and brought back after spending two years on the lunar surface. sojourner and other mars probes were not fully decontaminated prior to launch and even in the case of viking even though not mentioned in the article (if it's not just my memory playing tricks on me; ) even after they did every thing they could to decon viking i seem to remember (really really old) articles about bacteria surviving in the insulation.





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