[ExI] Thoughts on space, on the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 19 17:10:10 UTC 2009

--- On Sat, 7/18/09, MB <mbb386 at main.nc.us> wrote:
> > --- On Sat, 7/18/09, MB <mbb386 at main.nc.us>
> wrote:
> >> > In some sense I tend to agree with the option
> “We
> >> need to expand, but
> >> > with biologically modified transhumans”.
> >>
> >> Puts me in mind of James Blish's "The Seedling
> Stars" from
> >> so many years ago.
> >
> > Any reason we should right now start "contaminating"
> Mars and other bodies in the
> > solar system with Earth life? We could easily start
> dumping microbes on Mars, for
> > instance. Wouldn't add much cost to any future
> mission... Of course, then we could
> > never be sure, if we find life there, that it's truly
> native. And, no doubt, it'll
> > alter any local climate and other systems. So we lose
> some objects of study... But
> > this is true of any change we make, no?
> >
> The post just reminded me of the stories. The biological
> modifications were quite
> interesting. And it was fun to read, considering that the
> various characters
> retained their "humanness" even though heavily modified for
> alien environments.
> We may already have dumped microbes on Mars - and the moon.
> Eventually we'll find
> out if anything lived - we have such astonishing variety of
> life here on this planet
> there's no telling what of "ours" might make it elsewhere
> also.

Yes, though if we actively dump it, the odds are even higher it's "ours." Also, "natural" processes -- mass exchange, etc. -- probably have planted some Earth life on Mars before. (The Moon is another story. Bacteria already contamination it -- well its probes and landers, no?)

But most current probes have due dilegence to prevent contamination. This merely lowers the odds by a lot, but doesn't make forward contamination impossible.




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