What is Our Martian Quarantine Protocol?

If you somehow haven’t read or watched War of the Worlds, here’s a spoiler alert. The Martians are brought down by the common cold. You can argue if alien biology would be susceptible to human pathogens, but if they were, it wouldn’t be surprising if aliens had little defense against our bugs. The worrisome part of that is the reverse. Could an astronaut or a space probe bring back something that would ravage the Earth with some disease? This is not science fiction, it is both a historically serious question and one we’ll face in the near future. If we send people to Mars are they going to come back with something harmful?

A Bit of News: Methane Gas Fluctuations on Mars

What got me thinking about this was the mounting evidence that there could be life on Mars. Not a little green man with a death ray, but perhaps microbe-like life forms. In a recent press release, NASA revealed that they not only found old organic material in rocks, but they also found that methane gas is present on Mars and the amount varies based on the season with more methane occurring in the summer months. There’s some dispute about possible inorganic reasons for this, but it is at least possible that the variation is due to increased biological activity during the summer.

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Building a travel trailer from the ground up

While it may only be [ioan]’s first ‘real build’, we’re loving his DIY teardrop travel trailer built from the ground up.

The trailer started its life as a Super Duty Harbor Freight utility trailer that [ioan] managed to put together in a day. After mounting a wooden frame on the utility trailer, [ioan] fabricated the body of the trailer out of 1/2 inch plywood for the exterior, hard foam as insulation, and gorgeous 5mm plywood for the interior. To finish off his build, [ioan] cemented aluminum sheets to the exterior for a wonderful Airstream aesthetic.

[ioan] even went so far as to install a small kitchen in the back of his trailer that includes a small propane stove and (a limited supply of) running water. It’s an excellent build that really shows off his craftsmanship, and something we wouldn’t mind spending a weekend in.

[ioan] put up an Instructable of his build that showcases the construction including all the electrical work of wiring up his trailer with LED lights and 12 volt power jacks.