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Man dies on planet X

  1. Feb 22, 2017 #1
    Confession: I have no background in astronomy. I'm not even sure whether this question is apt.

    So a hypothetical situation goes like this. One of my friends is filthy rich and has one of those richman fantasies. By chance, a space science institution is willing to offer him a trip to planet X. He does whatever it takes, and finally reaches planet X.

    Unfortunately, the module is no more in the best of its condition, there are lots of technical difficulties to initiate the return trip. The team gives up, soon they all die. Since there is no other living organism on the whole of the planet, as learnt by earlier expeditions, would this team lay dead for eternity(nothing to decompose).

    If that is so, is it not the best idea to preserve all of Earth's perishable history by just sending all relevant materials to a particular planet?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2017 #2


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    This is not true, as we carry a vast variety of bacteria already in us. So we will decompose.
    This implies to choose a planet without atmosphere to exclude erosion. Say the moon. However, regarding the many craters on the moon, how should we exclude impacts? Also changes in temperature may play a role, since many of our materials don't like to be overheated or undercooled. After all, it's simply too expensive, and why should we at all? The Voyagers and our radio broadcasts are already sent out to last forever.
  4. Feb 22, 2017 #3


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    Maybe not, it depend on the temperature and other environmental factors.

    Still, OPs idea doesn't have a lot of merits. It's easier and cheaper to store things here. Maybe if some cataclysm was occuring we might want to shoot our DNA off into space hoping some kind Alien life would clone us or something.
  5. Feb 22, 2017 #4


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    Yes, if it is cold enough and the bodies cool down fast enough. But we don't inoculate our earthen bodies here with bacteria when we bury them, which means that there is nothing needed from outside, which was my point.
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