Mars rover curiosity bacteria drill + 4kg plutonium ?

posted Sep 12, 2012, 11:36 AM by Solar Life   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 2:52 PM ]

If the Mars rover finds water, it could be H2 ... uh oh!

If Curiosity locates H2O, a simmering NASA controversy will boil over. The rover's drill bits may be tainted with Earth microbes that could survive upon touching water.

Planetary Protection Officer Catharine Conley
protecting Mars from earth bacterias "drill bits"
Under the agency's procedures, the box should not have been opened without knowledge of a NASA scientist who is responsible for guarding Mars against contamination from Earth. But Planetary Protection Officer Catharine Conley wasn't consulted.

Those rules required sterilization of any part of Curiosity that will touch the surface of the planet, including the drill bits and all six of the rover's wheels. The precaution was taken to preserve the ability to explore water or ice — even if the chances of finding it were remote. 

About 250,000 bacterial spores throughout Curiosity are assumed to have survived the landing, officials said
                NON STERILE "DRILL BITS" contact water ?

Just this year, Andrew Schuerger, a plant pathologist and expert on the survival of terrestrial microorganisms under Martian conditions, found a bacterium species capable of growing in conditions present on the surface of Mars, including air pressure of just seven millibars. Air pressure on Earth is 1,017 millibars at sea level. 

NASA UN  ethical concern 

Fear of microbial contamination of the Martian environment long ago moved NASA and a United Nations space advisory committee to divide the planet's surface into areas based on the probability of encountering ice and water. The group also recommended sterilizing spacecraft destined for areas with ice and water.

Contaminating another planet is an ethical concern for scientists

source: latimes.com





Mars 13% Plutonium Radioactivity after 250 years stay 
for the next human explorers, what happens if the craft 
would stop on earth orbit like the Russian and fall back 
with 4kg high toxic Plutonium - no warning was done.
   Drill bits on rover 
   could contaminate Mars
   source: seattletimes.com