Thursday, March 1, 2018

Elon Musk's Bacteria-Covered Space Car May Be a 'Biothreat'

Duuude, Prime Directive, Prime Directive.*

From Motherboard:

“The load of bacteria on the Tesla could be considered a biothreat—or a backup copy of life on Earth.*
Earlier this month, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk launched his personal Tesla into space on top of the most powerful rocket in the world. At first glance, it would appear that the car was launched without any passengers aside from an empty space suit Musk dubbed ‘Starman.’

But Jay Melosh, a professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Purdue University, said the car is likely teeming with bacterial life collected during its manufacture and as Musk drove it around Los Angeles. In fact, it may be the largest collection of terrestrial bacteria ever sent into space, considering that rocket payloads are typically sterilized before launch.

“Even if they radiated the outside, the engine would be dirty,” Melosh said in a statement. “Cars aren’t assembled clean. And even then, there’s a big difference between clean and sterile.”
Motherboard has reached out to SpaceX about whether the car was sterilized before launch. We will update this post if we hear back....MORE
*From Memory-Alpha:

Starfleet General Orders and Regulations
...General Order 1: "No starship may interfere with the normal development of any alien life or society." (TAS: "The Magicks of Megas-Tu") General Order 1 was also better known as the Prime Directive. (TNG: "The Drumhead") It superseded all other laws and directives, with the exception of the Omega Directive. (VOY: "The Omega Directive")... 
"A starship captain's most solemn oath is that he will give his life, even his entire crew, rather than violate the Prime Directive."
– James T. Kirk, 2268 ("The Omega Glory")