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SCI/TECH: NASA May Have Put Life On Mars

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posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 10:40 AM
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A recent accusation has put NASA in the spotlight for possibly allowing microbial life safe passage to Mars via the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. If true, this would put NASA in violation of a breach of a UN treaty prohibiting polluting other planets.
 



www.news.com.au
The bacteria, bacillus safensis, were found in a chamber in California that had been used to test the rovers. Officials believe it is likely that some of the microbes, possibly from scientists' skin, were on board when the mission left.

The craft, Spirit and Opportunity, landed on Mars last year. One key task was to look for signs of life: now it seems that if there are any organisms, it is man who has put them there. If proved, the contamination would raise concerns at possible breaches of a UN treaty to stop other planets being polluted from Earth.

The claims have been made by Kasthuri Venkateswaran, a microbiologist at NASA's spacecraft assembly plant in Pasadena. His tests have shown the microbes could survive space travel and Mars's -60C climate.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Well, don't that just get your blood boilin'? NASA, go figure, says there are enormous odds against them taking root, which is true. Still, I don't like sloppy behavior from NASA. This is one of three recent mishaps they've had (two with Discovery) and I really don't like to see them get nailed like this.

A fantastic teacher of mine always said that what killed NASA was powerpoint. Instead of researching everything in far too much depth as they'd always done, they used bullet points. I think these are examples of that.

That book, if it's anyting like it's predecessors, should be a great read.




posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 11:01 AM
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Sounds like you are pimping the book for the author if you ask me.

There is no proof the bacteria is actually on Mars and NASA clearly says


The error is revealed in Out of Eden, by Alan Burdick. A NASA spokesman said there were "massive odds" against the microbes becoming established on the planet.


Emp is mine.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 11:11 AM
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The space probe Galileo wasn't sterilized before it's mission.

There was concern that the microbes would contaminate Saturn.

It was speculated that Saturn's highly noxious atmosphere would kill any organism that entered it.

If any Earth microbes were to have hitched a ride on the rovers, they wouldn't be able to thrive on Mars.

Besides, what constitutes pollution? Surely not introducing a life form that's not indegenous to a planet can't be.

If anything, pollution would be the rovers themselves after their power supplies run out.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 11:16 AM
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Firstly, NASA has found that you can't completely sterilize a spacecraft short of dropping it into a nuclear fireball, which of course incinerates the ship, hence defeating the purpose. EVERYTHING we send up is contaminated to some degree.

Secondly, while bacteria may not construe pollution, it certainly is contamination.

Thirdly, have you ever heard of the vine kudzu? This is a plant that is not native to NA, yet was imported and qickly spread out of control, since it had no natural predators. Today, you may see it killing trees and taking over hillsides near roadways.

I think you guys can get the point I'm driving at here.

NMS



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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Thirdly, have you ever heard of the vine kudzu? This is a plant that is not native to NA, yet was imported and qickly spread out of control, since it had no natural predators. Today, you may see it killing trees and taking over hillsides near roadways.



Uhm new findings show that planting a sickle pod plant killed 100% of the kudzu vines in green house tests. Problem solved.


www.cbu.edu...

BTW it can also be controlled by cutting it before it gets out of hand



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 01:52 PM
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I wouldnt be surprised if this could have been an accidently on purpose
situation. I am certainly dissapointed. What if we actually find life. It
would be debated that it wasnt really extra-terrestrial.

What if this bacillus safensis ends up being harmfull to Mars evironment?

What if it actually ends up killing of some form of life that we havent
discovered yet??

I havent been able to learn much about bacillus safensis other than the
story. but it is interesting to note that the bacteria can survive as
spores for millions of years!

link is below scroll way down to the highlighted bacillus safensis

64.233.167.104...:sycu_vw7xkgJ:home.earthlink.net/~misaak/taxonomy/taxEtym.html+BACTERIA+INFORMATION+bacillus+safensis&hl=en



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 05:39 PM
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Greaaat. Another excuse they can use to delay the announcement of the the discovery of alien life. Wouldn't want people to think that we weren't alone would we? Even if it's bacteria it might change peple's points of view and make them think humans aren't the end all and be all of creation.

I suspect they're going to use this explaination every time we find microbial life somewhere outside of this planet.



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 02:14 AM
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Uhm new findings show that planting a sickle pod plant killed 100% of the kudzu vines in green house tests.


Yeah that'll be great, until the South is overrun by sickle pod plants


It's almost unavoidable that wherever we go in space, we will spread life.
Maybe that's the point.



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 02:49 AM
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Well, if true, I say Good On NASA.


If we humans have any purpose in the Universe, it is to spread life around.

The more, the merrier.

I always celebrate the birth of children.

Finally a story that can make an old man smile.

Pass out the party hats!



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 05:29 AM
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Ironie Is saying life on otherplanets is very UNLIKeLY .
then saying theres no way to compleatly stop life from hiching a 6 month ride on a rocket to another world and starting over there.
mt view is were life is possible Quote (Life finds a way.)



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 06:21 AM
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Some theories (panspermia) state that Earth was "polluted" by
Martian microbes billions of years ago. Maybe by hitching a ride on
a meteor, blasted from the surface of Mars, by an even bigger meteor.
And now, here we are, the result of that pollution!

Maybe the microbes just wanted to get home..



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 10:07 AM
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Originally posted by intelearthling
If any Earth microbes were to have hitched a ride on the rovers, they wouldn't be able to thrive on Mars.


From the article:

The claims have been made by Kasthuri Venkateswaran, a microbiologist at NASA's spacecraft assembly plant in Pasadena. His tests have shown the microbes could survive space travel and Mars's -60C climate.



Besides, what constitutes pollution? Surely not introducing a life form that's not indegenous to a planet can't be.


Yes indeedy do. Imagine if something got over there and actually took hold. It could very easily take over the entire planet, wipe out any life that might have been developing there, even wipe out any trace of past life, as well as forever change the landscape. That counts as pollution.


If anything, pollution would be the rovers themselves after their power supplies run out.


That I'll give you.



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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I still remember that there was a mars rock found in Antarctica and we found small life in it. but the rock was at earth many millions years old perhaps billions.



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 11:32 AM
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Not too long ago there was an article in Discover Magazine which described the problems with "sterilizing" a spacecraft. They identified that as the crafts are stripped bare of most pathogens, they become a perfect haven for this really tough form of bacteria.

I'm sorry, but after reading about all manner of extremeophiles living off hot and cold vents deep in the ocean, I have a hard time believing that life doesn't simply "find a way." Sure, the conditions on Earth may be sufficiently stable and unique to foster large scale evolution, but that doesn't mean that most of the rest of the universe is littered with little bugs that we don't yet recognize as being living.

Anyway, what would it really matter if we "contaminated" Mars with exotic bacteria from Earth. Are all of you afraid that it will become the next intergalactic Kudzu and that in no time giant tendrils will grow from Mars, bind the Earth, and pull us out of a stable orbit?



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 01:43 PM
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I have my doubts Earthly life is going to outcompete life that evolved there in the first place anyway, if such life exists.



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 06:19 PM
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Depends on the circumstances, but life from Earth could very easily have had an easier time adapting, and getting to a point that life on Mars just couldn't compete with.


apc

posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 05:46 PM
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This is one of those things where I just have to go "Oh Well." It doesn't appear to like iron all that much so it probably hasn't left the pads.

But the little bugs wouldve gotten there eventually, assuming they weren't already. Im sure the Viking missions brought plenty of hitchikers over. Sure we sterilized the landers, but at the time the best we had were optical microscopes.. there's a lot you cant see with those. For all we know we've already infected the face with herpies!

And when the first Man sets foot? I doubt his boots will be very clean. How about the first latrine on Mars?


I think as long as we pick up our McMartian wrappers the planet will be just fine.



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 06:17 PM
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Micro organisms cannot be 100% eliminated. If the world is going to participate in space exploration that is the risk that goes with it. If other life forms have visited earth I am sure they may have left a something behind as well. The only way to prevent any contamination is to simple stop all space exploration.

If you take a plant from Maine to Florida you can contaminate. I understand the concerns of this thread but in reality, the debates are fruitless.



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