Author Topic: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)  (Read 233545 times)

Offline llanitedave

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #40 on: 03/13/2014 03:34 PM »
As long as we're still considering the possibility of extant life, contamination issues can't be ignored.
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Offline IRobot

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #41 on: 03/13/2014 05:12 PM »
Maybe Dragon can afford to be contaminated, if receives samples from an existing rover on the surface. The samples could be well enclosed before they are loaded into the capsule.

Offline starsilk

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #42 on: 03/13/2014 05:13 PM »
Maybe Dragon can afford to be contaminated, if receives samples from an existing rover on the surface. The samples could be well enclosed before they are loaded into the capsule.

contamination of *Mars*, not *Dragon*.

Offline hrissan

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #43 on: 03/13/2014 05:30 PM »
As long as we're still considering the possibility of extant life, contamination issues can't be ignored.
Yeah! The basic question is just "who eats who?" :):):)

Offline IRobot

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #44 on: 03/13/2014 06:17 PM »
Maybe Dragon can afford to be contaminated, if receives samples from an existing rover on the surface. The samples could be well enclosed before they are loaded into the capsule.

contamination of *Mars*, not *Dragon*.
I know that, I was talking about sample contamination, not Mars. Mars contamination is bound to happen. The purpose of the mission is to get uncontaminated samples.

Offline Jim

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #45 on: 03/13/2014 06:34 PM »
Mars contamination is bound to happen.

It doesn't matter, the mission has to try to prevent it as reasonably possible.  Which means the vehicle has be built in a cleanroom and not a factory floor.

Offline Prober

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #46 on: 03/13/2014 11:49 PM »
Mars contamination is bound to happen.

It doesn't matter, the mission has to try to prevent it as reasonably possible.  Which means the vehicle has be built in a cleanroom and not a factory floor.

That kills the whole idea someone was trying to sell the bean counters on.    The reuse of old dragons is dead. :-X
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Online Kaputnik

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #47 on: 03/16/2014 04:03 PM »
Article 9 of the Outer Space Treaty binds signatories to take adequate measures to avoid contamination of planetary bodies. You can't wave that away under the guise of 'colonisation', especially for a NASA funded mission.

The practical impact of this is significant. Materials, such a lubricants, have to be chosen carefully to withstand prolonged heating during sterilisation.
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Offline CuddlyRocket

Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #48 on: 03/17/2014 06:17 AM »
Article 9 of the Outer Space Treaty binds signatories to take adequate measures to avoid contamination of planetary bodies. You can't wave that away under the guise of 'colonisation', especially for a NASA funded mission.

That might be taken seriously for initial missions - though the ability of lawyers and politicians to argue endlessly over what is or is not 'adequate' shouldn't be underestimated - but if there is to be a colony, it's going to have to be modified; probably trading objections for access.

Though for Red Dragon, which is intended for scientific missions, it will probably be applied in full.
« Last Edit: 03/17/2014 06:23 AM by CuddlyRocket »

Offline Jim

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #49 on: 03/17/2014 01:33 PM »

That might be taken seriously for initial missions - though the ability of lawyers and politicians to argue endlessly over what is or is not 'adequate' shouldn't be underestimated - but if there is to be a colony, it's going to have to be modified; probably trading objections for access.


As long as the rocket is a US licensed launch, it will have to follow US laws and treaties.  FAA is not going to give approval.

Offline Vultur

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #50 on: 03/18/2014 03:58 AM »
Maybe Dragon can afford to be contaminated, if receives samples from an existing rover on the surface. The samples could be well enclosed before they are loaded into the capsule.

If we're talking specifically about detecting life - in returned samples - it will be trivial to distinguish Earth contamination from Mars life. DNA tests are pretty normal in microbiology these days, if it looks like something familiar it's contamination, if it doesn't have the stuff shared by Earth life it's alien.

Contamination of Mars is of course another matter (especially legally -- I am rather skeptical of any microbe likely to be found in a spacecraft assembly facility being able to out-compete a hypothetical native organism which would necessarily be adapted to Martian conditions.)
« Last Edit: 03/18/2014 03:59 AM by Vultur »

Offline CuddlyRocket

Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #51 on: 03/18/2014 07:37 AM »

That might be taken seriously for initial missions - though the ability of lawyers and politicians to argue endlessly over what is or is not 'adequate' shouldn't be underestimated - but if there is to be a colony, it's going to have to be modified; probably trading objections for access.


As long as the rocket is a US licensed launch, it will have to follow US laws and treaties.  FAA is not going to give approval.

Amusing. You might be a good engineer, but that's not a skill set commonly transferable to public policy and political acumen.

Laws can be changed and the US is not famed for keeping to its treaty obligations. Do you really think that a push to establish a Mars colony (especially a privately financed one) is going to be blocked by the FAA? If they can't finesse the law and regulations they'll ask Congress to modify them; if they get the chance before some Congressman or Senator up for re-election gets there first.

Anyway, the FAA will love the idea. Nothing a bureaucrat loves more than expanding their empire.

Offline newpylong

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #52 on: 03/18/2014 12:46 PM »
He said the vehicles will need to be sterilized/built in a clean room setting and such vehicles will need to follow the law upon launch. He never said the FAA would block colonization, if these steps are taken.

Expecting these laws to change is speculation. Everyone needs to play by the rules.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #53 on: 03/18/2014 12:52 PM »
You can't sterilize humans, newpylong. It'd be like sterilizing surgical instruments then having them fetched by a dog.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #54 on: 03/18/2014 01:11 PM »

1.  Laws can be changed and the US is not famed for keeping to its treaty obligations. Do you really think that a push to establish a Mars colony (especially a privately financed one) is going to be blocked by the FAA?

2.  If they can't finesse the law and regulations they'll ask Congress to modify them; if they get the chance before some Congressman or Senator up for re-election gets there first.


1.  Why should the FAA care about a Mars colony?  The FAA's mandate is concerned with vehicles passing through US airspace and those vehicles observing US laws.  Just because you think establishing a Mars colony is important doesn't mean the FAA or US gov't does. 

2.  Again, why should this matter to a Congressman or Senator?  They would be losing constituents.  Again, the end game does not benefit either of them or the US gov't.


« Last Edit: 03/19/2014 10:58 PM by Lar »

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #55 on: 03/18/2014 01:21 PM »
1.  Why should the FAA care about a Mars colony?  The FAA's mandate is concerned with vehicles passing through US airspace and those vehicles observing US laws.  Just because you think establishing a Mars colony is important doesn't mean the FAA or US gov't does. 

So are you saying that manned exploration of Mars can never happen, because of the contamination rules? Contamination of Mars cannot be avoided when sending people, regardless of purpose, colonization or exploration.

Or would there be a different set of rules if NASA is doing it?

Offline Jim

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #56 on: 03/18/2014 01:28 PM »

So are you saying that manned exploration of Mars can never happen, because of the contamination rules? Contamination of Mars cannot be avoided when sending people, regardless of purpose, colonization or exploration.


There is some lines getting crossed.

No, just that near term commercial probes (Red Dragon) would have to follow the protocols. That is what started this link.  At some point when they figure out what is on Mars, the rules will be changed. The issue is when is that point, especially if Musk wants to move faster than the scientists.
« Last Edit: 03/18/2014 01:30 PM by Jim »

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #57 on: 03/18/2014 01:42 PM »

So are you saying that manned exploration of Mars can never happen, because of the contamination rules? Contamination of Mars cannot be avoided when sending people, regardless of purpose, colonization or exploration.


There is some lines getting crossed.

No, just that near term commercial probes (Red Dragon) would have to follow the protocols. That is what started this link.  At some point when they figure out what is on Mars, the rules will be changed. The issue is when is that point, especially if Musk wants to move faster than the scientists.

Thanks for the carification.


Edit: That would mean if NASA does not move, Musk cannot go to Mars.
« Last Edit: 03/18/2014 01:47 PM by guckyfan »

Offline Jim

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #58 on: 03/18/2014 01:50 PM »

So are you saying that manned exploration of Mars can never happen, because of the contamination rules? Contamination of Mars cannot be avoided when sending people, regardless of purpose, colonization or exploration.


There is some lines getting crossed.

No, just that near term commercial probes (Red Dragon) would have to follow the protocols. That is what started this link.  At some point when they figure out what is on Mars, the rules will be changed. The issue is when is that point, especially if Musk wants to move faster than the scientists.

Thanks for the carification.


Edit: That would mean if NASA does not move, Musk cannot go to Mars.

Not just NASA but the UN.  There is a way out, Musk could send probes and bring back samples to aid in determine the "point"

Online Kaputnik

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Re: Red Dragon Discussion Thread (2)
« Reply #59 on: 03/18/2014 02:05 PM »
As I understand it, the current rules/protocols were established to govern the 'initial phase of exploration', so it is reasonable to expect them to be revised in due course.
Sadly, I don't think those writing the rules in 1967 expected it to take until 2020+ to be returning samples and even longer to be considering manned missions.
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