Perhaps We Should “Be More Slowly… Deliberative” — As We Approach Studying The Potential Signs Of Microbial Life In The High Amber Clouds, On Venus

Last year, in early August of 2019, we both reported on — and editorialized / discussed — the manifold problems a privatized Israeli lander’s crash may have caused, as to contaminating the Moon, with hardy Earth based life, onboard the Israeli craft — besmirching. . . that otherwise pale, and sterile orb (our nearest neighbor — see small image below, right).

Quite rightly, at least a few astro-biologists are suggesting that purely privatized missions to Venus, in search of a Venusian microbe or two. . . perhaps ought to be curtailed — mostly to protect the purity of whatever it is that is generating the excess phosphine there.

Given our collective histories, with Earth-based, private “land rush” operations, in the 12th through 19th centuries — and here I refer primarily to peoples of Western European (and US) origin — I think it wise to be circumspect about who, and what — will be allowed to aim to pierce the Venusian cloud tops, before NASA gets there in 2026.

Here it is, from Slate, last night. Do read it all — but here is a bit:

. . .One potential solution to this new chemical mystery on Venus is to immediately pour efforts into going there, leading to a near-future “Venus Rush.” But much like other moments in history where we have rushed forth, humans have the ability to curtail possible futures, and to create great harm, when we rush. . . .

Planetary protection isn’t just cleaning a spacecraft; it is born out of a philosophy for how we can ethically engage with other worlds. At least in my case, I am hopeful — both for phosphine and for a future where we have deeply considered ethical frameworks for exploration. In the meantime, excitement and anxiety will always go hand in hand. . . .

Onward. . . and so speaking, this evening, we’re in need of good thoughts, for my own mother. . . sadly. Anxiety, indeed, now over a multiple broken bones fall, overnight. Keep a good thought. . . . that’s what I’ll do.


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