posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 04:41 AM
The first issue would be "where do we land?"
Even if we are dealing with pre-technological societies (that simply wouldn't be radiating any kind of signatures to pick up with sensors) or
predatory animals, any landing space-craft is going to make a hell of an entrance that is going to draw attention. Landing in a place that can be
easily secured against any hostile entities is paramount. Everything we know to be life has a way of defending itself or something designed to
kill/eat it - let's not get naive in our wonderful dreams of space exploration.
The second concern will revolve, largely, around your landing craft. It's unlikely you are going to find prefabricated runways for you to land on.
If there are those around - you'll probably want to consider moving on and looking elsewhere, as that world is not only inhabited, but by a
technological/industrial species that will react unpredictably. Unless you're in something out of Star Trek - first-contact is ill-advised (this is
going from the perspective of a sort of 'colony ship' that just sets out on its own little adventure with almost no contact with Mother Earth).
Either way - you will need to land your little vessel and do so in as ideal of a location as you can find from space. You will want to land near
places that have a supply of apparently clean water, likely food sources, and shelter from atmospheric, geological, and other phenomena.
Once you find a landing zone, and safely land - you'll want to begin securing whatever assets you've brought along with you. In all likelihood,
you've been using some kind of hydroponics and 'green house' technology to produce food. Get that set up for on-planet operations and begin
analyzing the local soils for organic compounds and microbes that can both be used in growing -known- safe food, or could jeopardize the growing of
You would then begin analyzing the local fauna and flora similarly.
While local bacteria may pose a risk - it is quite unlikely. There are countless bacteria on the planet and only a select few regularly harm human
beings. Immunities to bacteria are virtually non-existent within our populations - our bodies and immune systems are pretty capable of dealing with
Viruses are also not a very practical concern. Viruses often only affect certain species - and of those, only certain cellular groups. It is quite
unlikely that another ecosystem would have viruses that would be capable of infecting us - and vice-versa. It is not completely out of the question -
but it is very unlikely - and the present DNA sequencing capabilities do not allow us to easily identify unknown viruses or predict how certain
viruses will interact with our bodies. This will likely change over the next century - but to what degree is virtually unpredictable.
There is, however, the "other" category - such as parasites and fungi. Or things like them - pollen in another ecosystem may be particularly
irritating or debilitating to us. It could even react adversely with our bodies in ways we cannot predict (perhaps the local pollen attempts to
'merge' with our cells as it would the female cells of its species). Perhaps reproduction is asexual and similar to budding/spores where tiny
'seeds' are released into the atmosphere - and our eyes provide an environment they like to sprout in.
That leads us closer to the "unknown" category - systems or types of life that we simply don't have, but impact us none-the-less. The crust could
be rich in piezoelectric compounds and be very seismically active - creating large electromagnetic and electrostatic fields that affect our biology
and physiology in unwanted ways.
In these cases - there really isn't much to do but manage the risks you take. You're exploring the unknown - it's called unknown and unexpected
for a reason. Spending years trying to catalog everything before you set foot outside of the ship and take a breath of unfiltered air is probably not
very practical. Just don't let the whole crew and your head of the medical department run around in speedos and bikinis at the local beach while
playing with the local equivalent of a sea-urchin, eating anything that looks edible, and burning anything that looks like wood to cook the ox-lobster
After that - you'd want to start setting up home and industry - both agricultural and other industries. Create some documents on the local
equivalent of granite attempting to pass the knowledge on to your offspring in the event something catastrophic happens and you can't teach them.
And remember that whatever you do - it's the start of a new planetary society. You're Adam and Eve - especially if that aforementioned catastrophe
strikes and all that's left of how you got here and the knowledge of technology/industry lost. Your offspring are Cane, Abel, Moses, etc. Even if
the knowledge of origins and technology is maintained - don't underestimate the religious aspect to all of this.
In other words - don't suck as parents - because your teachings will spawn an entire planet of ideals and cultures.