archive: SETI Re: is Visions of Mars CD-ROM radiation-protected?

SETI Re: is Visions of Mars CD-ROM radiation-protected?

Larry Klaes ( lklaes@bbn.com )
Thu, 13 May 1999 15:39:14 -0400

>X-Sender: tpsldf@sun.planetary.org
>X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Pro Version 3.0 (32)
>Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 21:03:52 -0700
>To: Larry Klaes <lklaes@bbn.com> (by way of Linda Wong
<tps@mars.planetary.org>)
>From: Louis Friedman <tps.ldf@mars.planetary.org>
>Subject: Re: is Visions of Mars CD-ROM radiation-protected?
>Cc: robert.anderson@jpl.nasa.gov
>
>I can't say anything about the NASA CDs -- but The Planetary Society CD on
>the Mars 96 mission was rated for over 100 day lifetime. They were special
>archival disk, made of glass/silica.
>
>Louis Friedman
>
>
>At 08:07 AM 5/12/1999 -0700, Larry Klaes wrote:
>>Hello,
>>
>>What is the point of placing one's name on a
>>CD-ROM bound for Mars when the planet's environment
>>will render it unreadble in a matter of days?
>>
>>Does this mean that the Vision of Mars CD created by
>>The Planetary Society, preserving thousands of records
>>about humanity's views on Mars, would also have been
>>corrupted if it had ever made it past Earth orbit
>>on the failed Mars '96 probe.
>>
>>http://www.andromedasoftware.com/cd149.htm
>>
>>http://planetary.org/news/articlearchive/headlines/1996/headln-121996.html
>>
>>The same will no doubt go for the CD on Cassini bound
>>for the planet Saturn.
>>
>>http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini/MoreInfo/dvd.html
>>
>>Thankfully at least the messages on Voyager 1 and 2
>>were placed on a good old-fashioned LP record.
>>
>>http://vraptor.jpl.nasa.gov/voyager/record.html
>>
>>
>>The article which prompted the above tirade:
>>
>>http://www.salonmagazine.com:80/tech/log/1999/05/10/mars/index.html
>>
>>Write your name on Mars
>>[ 09:00 p.m. PDT- 05/10/1999 ]
>>
>>When will you get a chance to visit Mars? Who
>>knows -- but your name could easily make its way
>>onto the very next mission.
>>
>>By visiting the Sign Up For Mars Web site, you can give
>>NASA your name and let space agency officials burn it
>>onto a CD-ROM that will be carried to the Red Planet
>>on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander. John Lee, a program
>>analyst for the Mars 2001 mission, expects to collect
>>"3 to 4 million names at a minimum."
>>
>>http://spacekids.hq.nasa.gov/2001/
>>
>>A similar CD was carried on last year's Mars 98
>>Polar Lander -- but only school-age kids could
>>participate. Over 932,000 kids' names were
>>collected, and Lee says that quite a few adults
>>wanted in on it, too. [Puleeze - That Web site had
>>no way of knowing how old anyone was who put their
>>name on the list.]
>>
>>http://spacekids.hq.nasa.gov/mars/home.cfm
>>
>>Now they're getting their chance. Within a day of
>>announcing the new CD on a NASA mailing list, nearly
>>9,000 people signed up to have their names rocketed
>>into space in April, 2001. Lee says adults are as
>>excited as kids about the names CD, if not more so.
>>
>>In fact, he's been hearing from kids who don't want
>>their names sent to Mars, but who have been added to
>>the CD by "overzealous uncles." Some kids are afraid
>>that the CD will be used by Martians to compile an
>>invasion hit list. [What year is this?!]
>>
>>The kids have little to worry about: Because of
>>the high radiation levels on Mars -- the planet has
>>no atmospheric shield like Earth's ozone layer --
>>the data on the CD will be damaged beyond
>>recognition within a few days of landing.
>>
>>NASA could construct a radiation-proof case for the CD,
>>but "the added cost to the mission would be considerable."
>>
>>Instead, the agency will let the CD destruct and will leave
>>its remains on Mars.
>>
>>The Mars 2001 Lander is part of NASA's new
>>philosophy of "Faster, Better, Cheaper," which
>>attempts to generate maximum scientific returns at
>>a minimum of cost. The mission will carry a
>>number of experiments specifically designed to
>>aid a future human visit to Mars.
>>
>>Most notable is a system devised to create rocket fuel
>>out of materials readily available in the Martian
>>environment, a procedure suggested in the 1996
>>Robert Zubrin book, "The Case for Mars."
>>
>>But until the day when tourists can head off to the
>>Red Planet, the name CDs will give everyday
>>people a chance to send a bit of themselves to
>>Mars. Lee expects that the name lists could
>>become a regular part of NASA missions, at least
>>those with an element of public interest.
>>
>>"We'd like to do this on the Europa mission," Lee
>>says. (Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, will be the
>>target of an upcoming mission to look for
>>extraterrestrial life.) [No, Europa Orbiter will
>>be looking for signs of a liquid water ocean under
>>the moon's ice, which could mean the presence of
>>life, but EO will not be looking for life directly.]
>>
>>http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ice_fire//europao.htm
>>
>>[That job could go to something like Icepick.]
>>
>>http://klx.com/europa/
>>
>>[And if you think Mars has destructive radiation,
>>just wait until the Europa Orbiter CD gets into
>>Jupiter's radiation belts, where the icy moon is
>>located deep inside!]
>>
>>"Humans have a natural inclination to be explorers,"
>>he says. By adding one's name to the 2001 Lander CD,
>>Lee purports, "you can be a part of the exploration."
>>
>>At least for a few days after landing.
>>
>>-- Jamais Cascio
>>
>>
>>
>>
>