Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mars Bound Craft Sterlization Unnecessary?

For the past several years, NASA's Office of Planetary Protection have taken  expensive efforts to keep Earth microorganisms off Mars.  

Now two astrobiologists from Cornell University - Alberto Fairén and Washington State University -  Dirk Schulze-Makuch say that NASA's efforts are expensive and unnecessary.

Fairén and Schulze-Makuch, posit that such efforts are probably in vain since life from Earth has had billions of years and untold meteorite impacts to spread Earth-life to Mars.  Plus Several Earth spacecraft have visited Mars without undergoing the sterilization procedures now in place.

The researchers have said that should be cleaned to avoid confusing results, however craft like orbiters and geology-oriented devices should be scaled way back on sterilization. 

For more:


Steve said...

I find it hard to imagine that much can survive in the vacuum of interplanetary space anyway.I'd like to know more about this.

Beam Me Up said...

the original article link is included at the bottom of the short article I wrote.

Check that out and more on

kallamis said...

Actually Steve, a lot of things can survive in space. You can as well, just not for very freaking long. But microbes and bacteria though tiny little buggers can survive a lot of things that would wipe us almost instantly. Anything we send into space anywhere, should be completely sterilized before we send it out. At least I think it should be. What if there was still life under the ice of Europa, or still microbial life on Mars. We have no right to be sending our microbes and parasites into their eco system as we have no idea what the result would be then. It is careless, and a few other things I won't mention here. Just because we thing there is no life somewhere doesn't mean much. We thought life couldn't exist here on Earth kin a lot of places, and now we know just how wrong we were for so many years.