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Re: starship-design: The Way ahead & Bugs

> From: KellySt@aol.com
> In a message dated 10/13/98 12:03:54 PM, andrew@hmm.u-net.com wrote:
> >I thought several of the tests carried out on the Mars soil samples were
> >"dubious" at best - I remember some controversy over the tests to decide
> >whether there were traces of bacteria in the soil - some of the tests
> >succeeded, some failed, but some were in direct contradiction of the 
> > others..
> The contradictino was that the soil did react rapidly to the "food" samples,
> and the presence of sunlight which passed the criteria for bacterial and
> photosynthetic life.  But no organic mater.  So after a lot of heated debate
> they decided the only thing that would explain it was a very chemically
> reactive oxidizing substance in the soil that broke down even trace orgaic
> mater.  Of course others have suggested that it could be life and the organic
> detector wasn't sensative enough to detect it.  More fearce debate.---
That shows clearly the superiority of manned exploration 
over a robotic one.
A run-of-the-mill geologist with a hammer and a few chemicals
in his suitcase field lab can settle the problem in ten minutes,
and in several hours he can produce a wealth of data on the Martian
conditions larger than all robotic crafts ever sent to Mars.

-- Zenon