tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post2485606394480699770..comments2020-11-09T07_43_07.776-08_00Comments on Mike Brown's Planets: Sea salt (part 3)Unknownnoreply@blogger.comBlogger14125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-34951327857570981922013-10-17T23_26_47.444-07_002013-10-17T23_26_47.444-07_00Mike thanks as always for your research and your b...Mike thanks as always for your research and your blogging.<br /><br />I have no doubt we could get a sterile probe onto the surface of Europa. The Mars mission already deals with the contamination issue quite well. We therefore need not fear landing on Europa (not to mention the fact that massively sterilizing conditions already exist on Europas surface).<br /><br />What I do fear is that we will continue putting off any meaningful missions to Europa or Enceladus in the near term. It absolutely boggles my mind that there are currently no concrete missions planned to go to bodies where the existance extraterrestrial oceans have been confirmed.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-4343164868799867612013-07-22T10_31_34.554-07_002013-07-22T10_31_34.554-07_00Dr. Brown, what do you think about the argument Eu... Dr. Brown, what do you think about the argument Europa&#39;s oceans would be too acidic for life:<br /><br />March 02, 2013<br />Could the Solar System&#39;s Deepest Ocean Harbor Life?<br />http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/03/jupiters-europa-does-it-harbor-the-deepest-ocean-in-the-solar-system-weekend-feature.html<br /><br /> Bob ClarkRobert Clarkhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/16114043697010364282noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-26745607578335464982013-07-22T10_26_14.275-07_002013-07-22T10_26_14.275-07_00Thanks for the informative article. It turns out t... Thanks for the informative article. It turns out the delta-v requirements to return a sample from Europa are surprisingly low. Then it&#39;s possible such a Europa sample return mission could be mounted by the SLS or even by the Falcon Heavy, which is scheduled for a first test launch in 2015.<br /><br /> Bob ClarkRobert Clarkhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/16114043697010364282noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-38649696820854741942013-04-30T05_36_33.992-07_002013-04-30T05_36_33.992-07_00How much of the Na, K, and Mg in Io&#39;s volcanic...How much of the Na, K, and Mg in Io&#39;s volcanic plumes gets ionized and whisked away by the Jovian magnetic field?C W Mageehttps://www.blogger.com/profile/09706100504739548720noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-50201212266006547142013-04-18T12_40_37.448-07_002013-04-18T12_40_37.448-07_00Thinking about it, it seems chlorine might be in a...Thinking about it, it seems chlorine might be in a little short supply for space colonization needs. It&#39;s pretty volatile.<br /><br />What happens to salt on Venus? It should form lakes, the temperature is about right.<br /><br />Thanks for the article :)<br /><br />-Mike Emmertmikeemmerthttps://www.blogger.com/profile/06086633057200198850noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-70223339074268606072013-03-12T00_43_29.641-07_002013-03-12T00_43_29.641-07_00Some years ago there was a blurb or two describing...Some years ago there was a blurb or two describing work by Brad Dalton on the some aspects of the Europan spectra, near-IR IIRC,... can there now be any follow-up on that extraordinary but very preliminary study? Coacervatehttps://www.blogger.com/profile/16066541749371451976noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-57701672934739852702013-03-08T13_25_05.903-08_002013-03-08T13_25_05.903-08_00Perhaps another more likely scenario involves the ...Perhaps another more likely scenario involves the unintentional introduction of an organism(s) that originated from Earth to another world where no indigenous life exists. It is possible for some Earth organisms to adapt to the conditions and environment of other worlds and forever change and corrupt the environment of the world?<br /><br />Whatever scenario actually happens has yet to be seen, but such scenarios are more likely with each world people explore. In the not too distant future, humans will colonize the Moon, then perhaps engage in commercial mining operations on asteroids, then colonize Mars etc.<br /><br />From strictly an environmental perspective, there is absolutely no environment, whether teaming with biodiversity or devoid of life, that humans have not damaged or destroyed in some way.<br /><br />In the case of the Cassini-Huygens mission, I find it contradictory to direct Cassini into Saturn for destruction so it could never crash onto any of Saturn&#39;s satellites and contaminate them, yet it is okay to land a manmade probe (Huygens; that was attached to Cassini) onto Titan&#39;s surface; what did Cassini have that Huygens does not? <br /><br />No matter what precautions scientists/engineers take or protocols they follow, inevitable accidents will occur. If you think our protocols regarding sterilizing (or keeping an object sterile in the first place) objects is flawless, then look at the infection records of hospitals. <br /><br />Still not convinced, look at the protocols followed by Russia, Japan and the U.S.A. regarding nuclear power plants; all of these countries have space programs and all of them had serious nuclear accidents. <br /><br />Regarding worlds with atmospheres such as Mars and Titan, the risk of widespread contamination is much greater because organisms could be made airborne and blown around. Titan may experience other types of weather such as rain and/or snow, making water or other liquid contamination possible. <br /><br />NASA and other space agencies need to devise and implement a policy regarding exploration (and other activities) of other worlds as it pertains to environmental and astrobiological/astroecological issues. <br />G. Smithnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-18929048334578579172013-03-08T00_26_46.430-08_002013-03-08T00_26_46.430-08_00I have a question: could the magnesium come from m...I have a question: could the magnesium come from meteorites? Then it would be in the form of silicates, and might be converted to sulfates on the trailing hemisphere?David Frankishttps://www.blogger.com/profile/09586713131483488218noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-51841363399896862042013-03-07T23_02_55.488-08_002013-03-07T23_02_55.488-08_00By a curious coincidence, the instrument package f...By a curious coincidence, the instrument package for JUICE was announced yesterday:<br /><br />http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/van-kane/20130301-instruments-for-the-juice.html<br /><br />includes a spectrometer and a spectrograph.<br /><br /><br />Doug M.<br />Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-38871444859502868572013-03-06T18_45_02.297-08_002013-03-06T18_45_02.297-08_00Hey Doug: Thank you for your comments, however my...Hey Doug:<br /><br />Thank you for your comments, however my issue with (surface) exploration is a morality based one (in general), not meant as a condemnation of the mentioned missions. I am just opening a discussion on the issue and do not need to add to Google&#39;s traffic to investigate or research all of the ongoing and proposed missions, i.e. the topic is for discussion only.<br /><br />President Obama has mentioned in his directive that he wants astronauts to land on an asteroid by 2025 and through some basic sleuthing, Ceres, a dwarf planet, has not only been chosen as a prime candidate for this visit, but is also considered in the scientific community based in part to its proximity to the Sun and perhaps having a liquid water ocean like Europa, Titan and Enceladus, to be a prime candidate to harbor life. <br /><br />Penetration tests are being conducted on thick terrestrial ice packs and sheets so we could penetrate through the &quot;protective&quot; crust of ice that covers most of the aforementioned worlds. Once in a liquid water ocean, a probe could introduce invasive terrestrial organisms that may infect or compete with indigenous species. <br /><br />There is no means to completely decontaminate spacecraft as we cannot even decontaminate hospitals; people frequently get sick or infected while at a hospital, from viruses, bacteria and other contaminants (germs). Germs have an efficient way to survive, they have done so for perhaps millions of years and would probably be assured of surviving even after a global nuclear war. You think engineers/scientists can get rid of 100% of the germs on a spacecraft, probe, rover or spacesuit, we cannot even cure or vaccinate people against the common cold.<br /><br />Once we have introduced a virus or other organism to an extraterrestrial world, it is quite difficult to put the genie back in the bottle. <br /><br />All I want to discuss is what do people think about the dilemma, i.e. do we explore and cross the proverbial bridge when we come to it or do we plan and have policies in place regarding extraterrestrial life. Remember, there are several other countries with space programs and there needs to be worldwide policies (and perhaps laws) regarding extraterrestrial life.<br /><br />I know that religious leaders may want to bury their head in the sand concerning this topic, but that does not mean that rationally, logically and ethically minded individuals have to, too. <br /><br />I know there are perhaps &quot;loose&quot; policies regarding extraterrestrial life, but they are not strict as in the case of the Cassini-Huygens mission, where the genie may already be out of its bottle. <br /><br /> <br /> G. Smithnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-3866962942106932872013-03-06T15_00_09.963-08_002013-03-06T15_00_09.963-08_00Mike - I&#39;ve had a name for this Europa mission...Mike - I&#39;ve had a name for this Europa mission for years. I think your blog readers who know Yiddish will appreciate it -<br /><br />SearCH for Life on Europa Probe or<br /><br />SCHLEP<br /><br />Stardoc Joel Goodman<br />Planetarium Director<br />Robinson Nature Center <br />Columbia, MarylandAnonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-62170322680544933932013-03-06T03_34_24.628-08_002013-03-06T03_34_24.628-08_00Actually, one other question. If there&#39;s H2SO...Actually, one other question. If there&#39;s H2SO4 on the surface, and there&#39;s regular exchange between surface and ocean, don&#39;t you end up with a lot of H2S04 in the ocean? In other words, something a lot more like battery acid than ocean water?<br /><br /><br />Doug M.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-52737898860240309802013-03-06T00_26_34.212-08_002013-03-06T00_26_34.212-08_00G. Smith, you could just spend two minutes with Go...G. Smith, you could just spend two minutes with Google and look this stuff up yourself. Cassini will be crashed into Saturn, to burn up in the atmosphere. Dawn will never touch Ceres or Vesta. Huygens underwent a complex decontamination based on international protocols. &quot;Enceladus Explorer&quot; is a hypothetical mission that wouldn&#39;t launch for at least another decade.<br /><br />Seriously, dude: before you comment again, just google for a few moments. There&#39;s a lot of literature on this. You can start with the Wikipedia article on &quot;Planetary Protection&quot;.<br /><br />Anyway: I have two questions for Mike. One, when would you reasonably expect to have access to better spectra? Three years, five years, ten years? And two, the only currently planned mission to Jupiter&#39;s moons is JUICE -- currently scheduled for a 2022 launch and a 2030 arrival in the Jupiter system. What might JUICE tell you, that you wouldn&#39;t expect to already know by then from Earth-based observations?<br /><br />cheers,<br /><br /><br />Doug M.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9094742788006644220.post-20090896513063178792013-03-05T21_52_44.812-08_002013-03-05T21_52_44.812-08_00Dear Mr. Brown: Thank your for your insightful ex...Dear Mr. Brown:<br /><br />Thank your for your insightful explanation about the mysteries regarding the salty world of Europa. <br /><br />Although you just mentioned it in passing and in jest, you wrote &quot;It [Galileo] was old on the first day it took data at Jupiter. (It was intentionally crashed into Jupiter in 2002 to prevent, among other things, an accidental crash into Europa, which would clearly disturb the whales).&quot;<br /><br />Well Mr. Brown, it seems that those (at NASA) with ethical heads on their shoulders, agree that the potential risk of cross-contamination of terrestrial (Earth) organisms with those (possible) on Europa, was reason enough to deliberately disintegrate a spacecraft via plunging it into the crushing depths of Jupiter. If such a policy exists regarding the potential contamination of another world that may disrupt or even destroy life on it, what morally sound reason does NASA and similar agencies, have regarding missions to places like Titan (Cassini-Huygens), Enceladus (Enceladus Explorer) and Ceres (Dawn and possible manned mission)?<br /><br />I think missions to map and otherwise explore, potentially life harboring worlds is needed for our knowledge, but to do so from orbiting spacecraft; not landing spacecraft. What precautions are being taken to prevent even microscopic terrestrial organisms from getting into extraterrestrial ecosystems?<br /><br />Since some living terrestrial organisms have been found on spacecraft that have been in space for quite some time, the prospect of contamination is real and for such a huge topic to go without thorough discussion in both scientific and public forums is unconscionable. <br /><br />What policies are in place if we discover life on another world, i.e. do we collect it and return it to Earth (dead or alive) so scientists may study it? Do we study extraterrestrials only in their native environment (live and let live)? What happens if we accidentally bring an extraterrestrial life form to Earth?<br /><br />Some of the aforementioned questions may seem moot or even preposterous, but some things may have seemed equally preposterous including landing people on the Moon, supersonic flight and splitting atoms, just 100 years ago. <br /><br />What are your thoughts?<br /><br />G. Smithnoreply@blogger.com