Re: SPACE: Contaminating Europa, was: Greens on Space

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Wed Mar 14 2001 - 07:16:01 MST

Daniel Ust wrote:

> But what about the mass exchange between celestial bodies? There does
> to be such an exchange between Mars and Earth. Whether this is or can be
> significant way of spreading life remains to be seem. Surely, it's
> comparable to some insects being blown to an island -- as compared with
> coming along on ships or planes.

The idea that microbial life might survive the ravages of interstellar
travel has been given serious consideration:

. Astrophysical and Biological Constraints on Radiopanspermia. Secker, J.,
Wesson, P. & Lepock, J. 1996, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of
Canada, 90, 184-192

My memory of this article is a bit sketchy but I believe the authors argue
that it might be possible for life to travel dormant (as a means to wait out
the thousands of years between solar systems) and inside metorites
(protecting them from radiation). (I can't remember if Robin mentions this
in the great filter argument. It would seem to lend support). Mark

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