This is a series of short information articles
that I wrote over the past couple years on various subjects. I
hope you enjoy them.
Just Pondering Series
by Lisa Long
Violating the Prime Directive
In 1997 I read an article by Jane Allen, about the possibility
of our sending a ice penetrating robot to Jupiter's moon, Europa,
and into the primal soup of it's suspected ocean.
I believe that this might be a violation of the prime directive,
if we had one. How are we going to disinfect that probe to such
a degree that we know we are not planting a planetary changing
seed of microorganisms? Or even introducing a chemical combination
that is foreign to that system, from the electrical components
of the probe itself?
One micro from us could change the future evolutionary plan of
that planet. Is that how we were seeded? From a careless, and
curious group of visitors?
Look but don't touch, is my note of caution. That is not our
moon. It belongs to Jupiter, and whatever its future lies, let's
not go messing it up. Let's clean up our own world, before we
go and mess up someone else's. Even if that or those some ones
are not born yet.
News Update - They did good....
AP Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003, Page 7 (shortened)
Scientists bid a tearful farewell to the Galileo spacecraft
NASA's aging Galileo spacecraft plunged into Jupiter's turbulent
atmosphere, bringing a deliberately fiery conclusion to a 14-year
exploration of the solar system's largest planet and its moons.
The unmanned spacecraft, traveling at nearly 173,770 kph, was
torn apart and vaporized by the heat and friction of its fall
through the clouds after it dove into the atmosphere at 19:57
GMT Sunday as planned.
....NASA initially considered leaving Galileo in orbit after
it depleted its onboard store of fuel, which was used to trim
its course on each of its 35 spins around Jupiter. Instead,
it opted to crash the 1,350kg Galileo to eliminate the possibility
it could smack into the watery moon Europa and contaminate it
with any microbes aboard. Were Earth bugs to survive on Europa,
they could compromise future attempts to probe the moon for
indigenous life, scientists feared....