Planetary Protection

…is not required by Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty. I suspect a lot of people at COPUOS would disagree.

[Update a while later]

Sorry, bad link fixed.

19 comments on this post.
  1. McGehee:

    The link seems to point to the local-government autonomy piece linked in the previous post.

  2. ken anthony:

    YES, you will have private property and the govt. will protect it from any viable use (/sarc) (even after the fact of development as they take it away.)

    I almost lost my apartment by govt. protecting me this last moth so I’m rather bitter about it. My kidneys have failed and doctors have complete disregard for my desire for the best treatment with my spiritual beliefs and living desires because like all tyrants they know better how to decide my life than I do.

    They’ve actually delayed the treatment that may save my life. But I will die before giving up my liberty.

  3. Leland:

    I’m sorry to hear of your condition.

  4. ken anthony:

    Everybody has troubles. I want to fight for them. Thanks Leland.

    Planetary protection is a perfect example of political tyranny hiding in a lab coat.

    BTW, my sister spent her last $15 this month on gas to get from Tucson to Mesa which was the only thing that gave me the leverage to escape being held against my will. I had prepared by having a thousand dollars cash on me to cover any of my escape expenses (not so smart but it worked.) The system wants to take all of your income in exchange for PB&J to keep you alive. I escaped this trap once before.

    Then I had to play nice with a surgeon that went full Demon on me. It’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to keep my composure to get through.

    Liberty or death is not just a historical phrase to me. I live it for real.

  5. Laura Montgomery:

    I’m sorry to hear about your condition, Ken.

  6. ken anthony:

    I discovered tonight I do not have the strength to live alone in my apartment any more. I’m trying to get into one of the better local PB&J human warehouses now. I don’t know what this means for my internet access.

  7. wodun:

    Sorry to hear that Ken.

  8. David Spain:

    Likewise, to hear of your condition saddens me. Good luck to you Ken.

  9. ken anthony:

    I have had a great 15 years reading here and have no idia how long I’ve got left. Drs are full of shit and quite willing to scare you. Mine telling me without dialysis I’ve got about two weeks left to live. This is BS.

    I’ve lived over two years in my current apartment and they will drag out my dead body when the time comes.

    What is it about living here? I just called the fire chief and he came over and repaired my lift chair and put my bed up on blocks making it possible to stand out of if it. He refused to take any payment.

  10. MikeR:

    Confusingly-written article. But it doesn’t really seem to take a position, at least not one I could understand. Personally, I would have thought that bringing bacteria to the moon is a non-issue, but to Mars any sane person would like us to really try hard to see if there’s life before we bring some of our own. Elon Musk obviously puts a hard deadline on that, so we should get moving.

  11. ken anthony:

    any sane person would like us to really try hard to see if there’s life before we bring some of our own

    With respect, some perspective? This is the same argument that we should fix earth before going any where else. Mars is a planet where we will be studying life for centuries after landing. The idea that we could contaminate it so that any native bacteria can’t be found is beyond absurd.

  12. wodun:

    Elon Musk obviously puts a hard deadline on that, so we should get moving.

    When I put on my planetary protection hat, the answer becomes clear. We just stop Musk from going to Mars until SLS can mount a series of decadal missions to prepare for eventually searching for microbes at the poles, at the equators, in the canyons, deep in the volcanoes, and anywhere a microscopic organism can hide!

  13. ken anthony:

    Exactly, it’s political maneuvering. Just assume planetary protection is a real thing and now we can tie up Musk until he can answer every stupid question that drips from their moronic brains.

  14. Laura Montgomery:

    Sorry about that. The underlying article kept saying planetary protection was mandated by treaty. I was simply trying to make the narrow but important point that it’s not. “Planetary protection” is just one possible interpretation of the Outer Space Treaty’s admonition to avoid “harmful contamination,” which is what the treaty actually says. It’s not the only possible intepretation as a legal matter, and it’s not what the treaty says, which is an important legal distinction. Sure, there’s an international body that addresses this, namely COSPAR, but they aren’t a governmental organization, so their recommendations aren’t mandatory on the USG, much less the private sector. Hope that clears up what I was trying to get at.

  15. Fenster314:

    I’ve always thought that commerical space exploiters should operate from some small nation near the equator that would be pliable to exchanging jobs and a higher standard of living for telling the rest of the UN to go fish.

  16. Laura Montgomery:

    ITAR is an obstacle for that plan.

  17. Sam Dinkin:

    How about some anti-asteroid planetary protection for our current planet?

  18. Andew Robson:

    I find it curious that NASA seems to have abandoned looking for life on Mars. No experiments on any landers or rovers since Viking have looked for signs of present life.

    The next mission, InSight will study the geology of Mars’s interior and Mars 2020 will look for ancient life on Mars, among other things (mostly geology).

    It’s as if NASA doesn’t want to find life there for fear of the eco-nuts (or should we call them Mars Greens?) coming out and demanding a quarantine of the planet in order to save the native life from Terran invaders(!)

    Ken – Sorry to hear about your condition. Hang in there and do what you need to to get well.

  19. Laura Montgomery:

    Alberto G. Fairen has argued that NASA needs to go ahead and investigate the special regions, which could house life, and it needs to be done before people get there. He’s got a good article here:

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