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Robert WalkerRSS Feed of this column.

I'm Robert Walker, inventor & programmer. I have had a long term special interest in astronomy, and space science since the 1970s, and most of these blog posts currently are about Mars and space... Read More »


This is the latest of several articles I've done about NASA / ESA’s plan to return a sample from Mars. The samples would be geological ones, but they also could contain life indeed NASA motivate the mission by the possibility of life, especially past life but present day life can't be ruled out. This means it could lead to extraterrestrial life coming into contact with Earth's biosphere. That leads to the question - what are NASA or ESA doing to prepare the planetary protection procedures and the supporting environmental legislation for a sample return?

NASA have put a great deal of work into the engineering for a sample return but I can't find any papers or blog posts or any sign of prepration for the legal side of the return mission. We are strongly protected by many environmental laws and laws to protect human health that we didn’t have at the time of Apollo. These laws don’t rely on the Outer Space Treaty for their legal basis. How NASA categorizes Mars makes no difference to them. See the article by Margaret Race of the SETI institute.

Right now all our missions to Mars are sterilized to protect it from any Earth life that could hitch a ride and confuse the searches. A report by the “Planetary Protection Independent Review Board” recommends that NASA treats most of Mars similarly to the Moon for planetary protection. It comes with a cover letter from NASA recommending to their planetary protection officer that they implement the proposal. This would be fine if Mars was like the Moon.

YouTube creators are panicking as YouTube classifies their videos as directed towards kids when they are not. It's a dumb algorithm. It would classify this as a comic book probably.

A human would never classify this channel as for kids under 13:


Jem Bendell’s “Deep Adaptation” is scaring many people, sometimes referred to as "The Climate Change Paper So Depressing It's Sending People to Therapy"- yet - it is not a published paper. It is an unpublished draft that has been rejected for failing the minimum standards of an academic paper. It is written by a sociologist, not a climate scientist. As its main cite, it uses a blog post by a system analyst recording a talk he gave to a group of businessmen. When he submitted this draft to a journal, they requested major revisions because it didn’t meet the minimum standards for an academic paper.

The New York Times has done numerous mistaken climate change stories. They would never run an obituary about someone who hasn’t died. They wouldn’t make up a sports result and say one team won the superbowl when in fact the other did. They wouldn’t say that the UK has left the EU when it hasn’t.

Why do journalists feel that it is okay to invent whatever you like about climate change and claim it is the truth?

Here are my annotations for this article using, the academic web annotation tool: