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space breeding

Send organic matter into space and maybe kick off life somewhere
 
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Get a smallish box, rent space on a shuttle or something. Get hundreds of vials. Charge xx dollars per vial, send them out, people can fill them with *whatever* they want. Get them back, fill box. Send up with shuttle. Jetison. Maybe it lands on world just about to start life and gets included as part of original dna or something.
dja, Aug 02 2000

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       No so bad an idea. Might want to call it "Space Seeding". Maybey we got our start same way.
CButts, Aug 03 2000
  

       (Allow 3-4 centuries for delivery.)*
___________
  

       *assuming ]some[ attempt at directed propulsion of the packages.
centauri, Aug 03 2000, last modified Aug 04 2000
  

       3-5 Billenia (or whatever you would call it) more like. Small price to become immortal. Bwa ha ha!
dja, Aug 03 2000
  

       you'd have to assume that's how life can be 'started'... that's not a leap I'd make.
ember, Aug 04 2000
  

       I would think that the real problem would be breakdown of any even vaguely complex molecules during the long trips. (we are talking of launching these from LEO at a few hundred miles an hour) I refer my fellow space-seeding nerds to the Rama series by Authur C. Clark. He was under the imperssion that cylendrical space habitats with walls several feet thick would loose atmosphere over millenia. This, of course, assumes that they would even make it out of the solar system. Jupiter does a pretty good job of screening out the imcoming crap, it would probably do a pretty good job of catching a few hundred sealed testubes. (again, we are talking about something launched at a maximum of a few hundred miles an hour. the things would probably just be tossed out the shuttle cargo bay (underhand, at that!) and end up over india.
bear, Aug 25 2000
  

       Why do we even want there to be life in outer space?
mrthingy, Aug 25 2000
  

       bear: assuming we don't care whether the life we send out is human, there are a few species of bacteria that can survive intense heat, cold, and radiation - all in the same bug. And, with our knowledge of celestial mechanics, it's possible at least to get an object out of our system. Jupiter even helps. Getting them safely into another system with Jovian-class worlds might be tricky.   

       mrthingy: you ask a good question. One thing about life, is that it seems to want to propagate. Usually, it just wants to propagate life that looks kinda like itself, but life is life, when it comes down to it. Also, it might be the only way for our species to make a lasting impression on our galaxy.
centauri, Aug 25 2000
  

       Unless you have some pretty hefty sort of propulsion behind these test tubes, they'll not make it out of low earth orbit, much less out of the solar system. They will most likely present a major space navigation hazard in whatever orbit in which they are released, until they eventually burn up in the atmosphere.
beland, Feb 03 2001
  

       Put all the stuff in the front of a rocket, spend whatever the amount of time is necesary for the highest velocity slingshot(total journey time = 5billenia so a few years or even centuries flying round the solar system is a small amount in comparison and if we can get a reasonable % of c we get time dialation which would help preserve the stuff), hit alien planet, explode, spread stuff everywhere and bingo...
RobertKidney, Jun 21 2001
  

       Hate to say it, but this kinda reminds me of the fundamentalists claiming that 'Evolution is like saying you can shake a box with a puzzle in it enough to assemble it.'. Isen't life more likely to occur from local sources than it is from a few bits of (probably) completely incompatable bio-matter?
The idea does have a sort of appeal, but I think NASA's got other goals in mind.
Orb2069, Mar 22 2002
  

       Baked. It's called Panspermia. Though, it's usually used in the context of life coming to Earth from other planets. Not the other way around.   

       There are varying degrees of panspermia. At one end, you have scientists who believe some organic compounds originated on Earth through comet/meteor bombardment. On the other end you have folks like the Raelians who believe that humans were brought about through extra-terrestrial meddling. Somewhere in the middle, you'd find my favourite whackjob theory by Terrence McKenna. McKenna postulates that hallucinogenic mushrooms came from other planets, with their spores surviving the long cold journey through the void. They were to be spread far and wide to allow various life forms to enter higher states of consciousness. A gateway to god, in a sense.   

       I don't believe McKenna's theory, though I do find it intriguing. I suppose I might have different feelings on the matter should I actually have a spiritual mushroom trip, instead of merely looking at the neat patterns in wallpaper move around and change colours.
rapid transit, May 16 2003
  

       We could do the same thing in the desert! Just throw a box of old socks and used snuff on the ground and walk away! When we check in a couple weeks, there will be weird aliens in a weird alien forest, right? Right? Guys?
GutPunchLullabies, Jul 02 2004
  

       Hmm. I like. Assuming of course that we TRY to direct the "space seeds" at actual planets or stars suspected to have planets. You'd want to use organisms that can encyst themselves or enter a natural state of suspended animation (there are many already baked by mother nature). I think if they were correctly packaged and insulated, the cold of vacuum would actually protect and preserve the seeds. The big problem I see would be actual delivery. It'd be very very hard to time things so that the capsule would arrive where the star and planet would be after all that transit time had elapsed, so it needs to be able to correct it''s own course. It needs to be able to survive entry through an atmosphere without harming the life within, and then it needs to disperse the seeds again without destroying them. But solve those problems and I would be very much impressed with this idea. If we ever manage to destory ourselves it would be nice if some of the biodiversity of this planet had even a one in a billion chance at survival somewhere else. On the other hand I would hate to be the perpetrator of interstellar biological warfare on an already existing ecosystem. Maybe we'd better keep this limited to planets that we have confirmed are lifeless.
submitinkmonkey, Mar 10 2005
  

       Have to do something before we fry this planet, so why not? At xx dollars per vial? Reckon I could fill a few. Just picture it - the entire universe could be one big dog's breakfast!........... WHO'S YOUR DADDY!!!!!!!!
the dog's breakfast, Aug 08 2007
  

       I think the problems are not really getting it out of the solar system, we've managed to do that already. It will be harder to get it to navigate to a planet and then land on it at a reasonable speed.
marklar, Aug 08 2007
  
      
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