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Samples from Mars carrying a deadly disease

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posted on May, 19 2003 @ 05:55 PM
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That's something I don't want to see on the headlines of our newspapers.. I'm really worried about that. Because when we send some robot thing to Mars, It's going to pick up some samples of Mars, and send it back to Utah in the desert. They say they'll take special precautions, but when they got samples from the Moon, it was stolen. So if these samples get out, and they happen to carry deadly bacteria.. we can be gone just like that.

[Edited on 19-5-2003 by CindyPants]




posted on May, 19 2003 @ 05:59 PM
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Thanks for cheering me up.



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 06:04 PM
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But seriously. I would expect anything that comes back from Mars to go to the ISS first. That's why the damn thing is there (the hardcore conspiracists here would tell you that it would go to our base on the moon first, but I don't believe we're there yet). You can be pretty sure that it would have every test run on it up there to make sure it's safe.

Don't forget as well that technology and security has advanced beyond recognition from the days since the first rocks came back from the moon so even if they landed something back home they could deal with it.



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 06:11 PM
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I seriously doubt there is much in the way of a credible concern here. Look at it like this:

On any sample return mission, the sample is going to be encapsulated inside an airtight container inside the spacecraft (they dont want to contaminate it with earth air). Any material stuck on the outside of the spacecraft is going to be sterilized during reentry as the temperatures reach several thousands of degrees.

So, unless someone actively steals the sample, opens it, and spreads it into the jet stream (and then, and only then, if there is something that likes the earth biosphere and can survive) would there be a possibility of an infection problem.

Also, consider that a totally alien bacteria, especially one that would have evolved on Mars (which is a CO2, anaerobic atmosphere), would be totally incapable of surviving in our O2 atmosphere.



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 06:19 PM
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Agreed with Dragonrider.

NASA is well aware of the possibility of the contamination of our planet by microorganisms from otherworlds -- but of even MORE important to them is trying to keep the samples from being contaminated by Earth organisms.

All the returned samples are kept in special labs and care is maintained to keep contamination out.. or in. It's far more likely that our probes have contaminated Mars than the other way around.



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by dragonrider
I seriously doubt there is much in the way of a credible concern here. Look at it like this:

On any sample return mission, the sample is going to be encapsulated inside an airtight container inside the spacecraft (they dont want to contaminate it with earth air). Any material stuck on the outside of the spacecraft is going to be sterilized during reentry as the temperatures reach several thousands of degrees.

So, unless someone actively steals the sample, opens it, and spreads it into the jet stream (and then, and only then, if there is something that likes the earth biosphere and can survive) would there be a possibility of an infection problem.

Also, consider that a totally alien bacteria, especially one that would have evolved on Mars (which is a CO2, anaerobic atmosphere), would be totally incapable of surviving in our O2 atmosphere.


Isn't that kind of presumptious that this heat can kill things that me may not even be familiar with.

I am not really concerned but it is something to consider.



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 06:34 PM
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Isn't that kind of presumptious that this heat can kill things that me may not even be familiar with. Posted by ALZ1

That is true, however, we have yet to find any evidence of any other life form other than variations on the carbon based life form.

It can well be argued that if a lifeform is so different from us that it could survive the heat of reentry, it would be so different as to be incompatible with our biosphere, and therefore could not infect anything here.



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by AZLS1

Originally posted by dragonrider
Any material stuck on the outside of the spacecraft is going to be sterilized during reentry as the temperatures reach several thousands of degrees.






That's always assuming that a spacecraft would return to Earth after returning. I think it would make far more sense to unload any payloads whilst in Earth's orbit. The shuttle would be used as the taxi service and the ISS as a quarantine and test lab.



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 10:41 PM
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Originally posted by dragonrider
Isn't that kind of presumptious that this heat can kill things that me may not even be familiar with. Posted by ALZ1

That is true, however, we have yet to find any evidence of any other life form other than variations on the carbon based life form.

It can well be argued that if a lifeform is so different from us that it could survive the heat of reentry, it would be so different as to be incompatible with our biosphere, and therefore could not infect anything here.


Anything is possible, which is why the project is so exciting. The climate of Mars is a mix of extremes, anything living there would have to be a master of adapting to varying harsh environments.



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 10:45 PM
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Just because its adapted to Mars, doesnt mean that it could adapt to Earth. Keep in mind, anything that could survive on mars is going to have to survive 100+ degrees below freezing in near vacuum, and what atmosphere there is is reducing (non oxidizing)... Almost the absolute reverse of earth atmosphere, which has high oxygen (O2, btw, is one of the most destructive gases in the universe, because it tends to react with most everything), much higher temps, 100X higher atmospheric pressure, and at least 15X higher sunlight/UV exposure.

It would take a very hardy critter to survive in both environments.



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 11:11 PM
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Conspiracies concerning things that haven't even happened, and may never happen.
This is an ATS first. We've broken through the Past Tense barrier.

[Edited on 20-5-2003 by Estragon]



posted on May, 19 2003 @ 11:16 PM
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I dont know that this really qualifies as a conspiracy, rather scientific discussion on a legitimate concern regarding cross contamination from other planets. It is something that NASA has invested large amounts of time, effort and capital into.



posted on May, 20 2003 @ 12:47 AM
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Byrd hit on the more likely scenario, that our probes to Mars will infect the Martian environment. Remeber the probe will go from a known biosphere (the earth) to a planet where the presence of life is highly questionable. On earth we have some pretty hardy bacteria which could survive the trip to Mars (for example the spores of the bacteria which causes lock jaw can exist in the ground for years). Once in the proper Martian environment, these bacteria could conceiveable take root and grow. (I can just see it - the Director of NASA, going on TV to make the annoucement, "Well forks, about the question about life on Mars, well now there is." Also remember that not all bacteria makes for deadly diseases.



posted on May, 20 2003 @ 08:33 AM
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I can't believe I'm agreeing with Dragonrider on this one, but it's true. I had coursework in microbiology and I've read enough throughout the years (and seen enough when I visited Cape Canaveral) to know that scientists already worried over this and took precautions to make sure it doesn't happen.

(Me agreeing with Dragonrider -- sheesh! Isn't this one of the signs of the Apocalypse????
)



posted on May, 20 2003 @ 08:40 AM
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I wouldn't be too worried, every probe we send to mars seems to disappear anyway, it will be tough to bring one back, when we can't even land one...or maybe that is what we are lead to believe?!?!

_____________________________________________
Be Cool
K_OS



posted on May, 20 2003 @ 11:26 AM
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"Conspiracies concerning things that haven't even happened, and may never happen.
This is an ATS first. We've broken through the Past Tense barrier."




posted on May, 20 2003 @ 04:11 PM
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Originally posted by CindyPants
That's something I don't want to see on the headlines of our newspapers..
[Edited on 19-5-2003 by CindyPants]


To me it's worse that we send out ships that are made by the lowest bidders jepardising the health of our neighbouring planets' health. What if we infact ship microorganisms to Mars? It could kill any potential life there...



posted on May, 20 2003 @ 06:24 PM
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Actually there was a short story along those lines written by Arthur C. Clarke.

In the story, Human explorers wander all over Mars, leaving garbage here and there as they go. After they leave, the planets only life form, a type of ameoba comes upon one of the garbage dumps, and sniffs through it, eating some of it. The end of its life comes from the common cold that it ingests along with a cigarette butt.

What a dignified end to a neighboring life form, dont you think?





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