Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Herpes viruses reactivate in more than half of crew aboard Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions, according to NASA research published in Frontiers in Microbiology. While only a small proportion develop symptoms, virus reactivation rates increase with spaceflight duration and could present a significant health risk on missions to Mars and beyond.

NASA's rapid viral detection systems and ongoing treatment research are beginning to safeguard —and immunocompromised patients on Earth, too.

Herpes viruses reactivate in immunocompromised astronauts

"NASA astronauts endure weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation—not to mention the extreme G forces of take-off and re-entry," says senior author Dr. Satish K. Mehta of KBR Wyle at the Johnson Space Center. "This physical challenge is compounded by more familiar stressors like social separation, confinement and an altered sleep-wake cycle."

To study the physiological impact of spaceflight, Mehta and colleagues analyze saliva, blood and collected from astronauts before, during and after spaceflight.

"During spaceflight there is a rise in secretion of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which are known to suppress the immune system. In keeping with this, we find that astronaut's —particularly those that normally suppress and eliminate viruses—become less effective during spaceflight and sometimes for up to 60 days after."

In the midst of this stress-induced amnesty on viral killing, dormant viruses reactivate and resurface.

"To date, 47 out of 89 (53%) astronauts on short flights, and 14 out of 23 (61%) on longer ISS missions shed herpes viruses in their saliva or urine samples," reports Mehta. "These frequencies—as well as the quantity—of viral shedding are markedly higher than in samples from before or after flight, or from matched healthy controls."

Overall, four of the eight known human herpes viruses were detected. These include the varieties responsible for oral and genital herpes (HSV), chickenpox and shingles (VZV) - which remain lifelong in our nerve cells—as well as CMV and EBV, which take permanent but uneventful residence in our immune cells during childhood. CMV and EBV, are two viruses associated with causing different strains of mononucleosis or the "kissing disease".

Deep-space exploration could depend on effective prevention and treatment

So far, this viral shedding is typically asymptomatic.

"Only six astronauts developed any symptoms due to viral reactivation," says Mehta. "All were minor."

However, continued shedding post flight could endanger immunocompromised or uninfected contacts on Earth, like newborns.

"Infectious VZV and CMV were shed in body fluids up to 30 days following return from the International Space Station."

What's more, as we prepare for human deep-space missions beyond the moon and Mars, the risk that herpes virus reactivation poses to astronauts and their contacts could become more crucial.

"The magnitude, frequency and duration of viral shedding all increase with length of spaceflight."

Developing countermeasures to viral reactivation is essential to the success of these deep-space missions, argues Mehta.

"The ideal countermeasure is vaccination for astronauts—but this is so far available only against VZV."

"Trials of other herpes virus vaccines show little promise, so our present focus is on developing targeted treatment regimens for individuals suffering the consequences of viral reactivation.

"This research has tremendous clinical relevance for patients on Earth too. Already, our spaceflight-developed technologies for rapid viral detection in saliva have been employed in clinics and hospitals around the world."

Explore further

Prolonged spaceflight could weaken astronauts' immune systems

More information: Bridgette V. Rooney et al, Herpes Virus Reactivation in Astronauts During Spaceflight and Its Application on Earth, Frontiers in Microbiology (2019). DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00016
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Citation: Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight (2019, March 15) retrieved 22 May 2019 from
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Mar 16, 2019
This is one of the many reasons we needed to have people sitting in orbit for decades before we attempted to establish an enduring presence farther out. What if dormant diseases began to express themselves on a trip halfway to mars?

Mar 16, 2019
Scurvy was an unanticipated result of ocean travel. We have a long history of expecting the unexpected and we have learned to take our time while venturing into the unknown. For instance, 1000s of people spending months at a time in the totally isolated atmospheres of nuclear submarines has supplied us with invaluable data on communicable disease, the effects of varying air composition and pressure, and psychological stress. This data is vital to travel in space, and this is absolutely the only way it could have been accumulated.

Which might lead us to conclude that it was one of the primary reasons these vast armadas of proto-spaceships were created and deployed in the first place.

Mar 16, 2019
Which might lead us to conclude that it was one of the primary reasons these vast armadas of proto-spaceships were created and deployed in the first place
-AND it may also give us further confidence in the suspicion that the tripartite cold war was nothing more than a sham perpetrated to give the excuse to conduct many such experiments as this... and to force the development of related technologies and industries vital to living and traveling in space.

How else for instance would we have produced the 1000s of tons of fissiles, developed the tech and experience in handling, storing and transporting this material, and using it to produce power and demolitions necessary for use off-planet?

Mar 16, 2019
Fissiles are the most valuable material a civilization at our stage of development can possess. And the only way they could have been produced in sufficient quantities was under the threat of total annihilation by enemies who feared exactly the same thing.

Our fragile existence in a hostile universe became apparent about the time the Enlightenment was begun. Dangerous tech that had heretofore been forcefully suppressed was now forced to develop to protect us.

Obsolete political systems were replaced by more accomodating ones. Empires were formed in order to exploit resources on unprecedented scales, and to stage competition and conflict necessary to build industry.

Our present civilization is not the chance product of happenstance but of concerted, methodical Planning... of systematically Staging world-changing events to achieve preconceived Conclusions.

All that has happened has led us to this one point in history where we can now become a multiplanet species.

Mar 16, 2019
& if we fail to enable Biology to survive, reproduce & thrive in the deadly Void?
& On multiple planets?
What is Plan B?

Try an orbital automated infrastructure to organize the resources of Space into habitats for Biology.

If that fails to provide a boost for sustainable Life-In-Space?
What is Plan C?
Humanity might try putting some effort to rescue the Earth's Biosphere?
Unwillingly provide a sustainable rehabilitation of the Earth that will accidentally benefit not only yourself but everyone else you hate.

Meanwhile the orbiting automated factories & waldoes, the robots & drones & probes, & maybe even the Artificial Stupids can carry on our dreams of exploration & exploitation of Space Resources?
Expanding the infrastructure right across the Solar System.

To be available when some smartass, little genius girl out of a third-world slum, figures a means to sustain Humans & our biological needs in Space.

Making the heads of all the bigots explode. Comedy Gold!

Mar 16, 2019
@rrwillsj, your post was quite interesting. I suspect that it is clear to you that Plan C is the only rational approach. We must salvage what we can, assuming it not too late already.

Colonizing space is absurd. The vast amounts of resources render it unworkable on any scale that could promote our continuous presence anywhere beyond this planet.

We need to remediate the disasters of warming etc. NOW and work to reduce the population density. All too unlikely, sad to say. We are our own worst enemies, but not enough of us understand or care about this to do anything about it.

Mar 16, 2019
Colonizing space is absurd. The vast amounts of resources render it unworkable on any scale that could promote our continuous presence anywhere beyond this planet
If we stay here we die.

"An unusually big asteroid will soon pass closer to Earth than the moon
Most asteroids making close flybys are small and hard to spot, but this month a big one is just sauntering by.

"Eric Mack mugshot
MARCH 15, 2019 2:08 PM"

-Whats absurd (and evil) is ignoring the obvious in deference to some greenie ideology.

Mar 16, 2019
This natural place we call earth has supported billions of people since we evolved.

There are NO places we can travel to, or construct, that would allow us to continue as a species. The costs, risks and material demands are vastly excessive, to say the least.

Regarding a space rock, we have been hit numerous times, that is true. But the chances of it happening to wipe us out is not very good. Better off buying in to the Pick 6! And current human activities are way ahead of wiping us out over any space rock.

Better to expend efforts on deflecting such objects than to waste it on something that is vastly beyond our abilities.

So we colonize the Moon and Mars, but the core group remains on Earth. It gets wiped out by an asteroid. What happens to those space colonies? No home planet left, and stranded on extremely hostile environs. They are in deeper trouble than ever.

Mar 16, 2019
I agree with both of you, simultaneously. Though I'm certain otto will not appreciate any words of wisdom.
Don't know how you will react,

First of all? Get off your high horses & learn some humility. Cause you know where your hubris leads to!

You both need each other as allies for each of you to achieve your goals.
& you both need my conservative & minimalist orbiting automated infrastructure in a supporting role for your goals.

Neither of you are going to accomplish shit by yourselves.
As it is written: "Letting other people take the credit gains their support. It also spreads the blame when something goes wrong. & something always goes wrong!"

I believe those words of wisdom were by Benjamin Franklin?
Correct me if I am wrong. I am not afraid to be wrong if I learn from my mistakes.
& the Greatest Ben still got a full share of credit for his deeds.
& who remembers his errors except for a few crank historians?

Mar 16, 2019
@rrwillsj, I had hoped for a more supportive response from you based on your earlier, more enlightened comments. Never can tell.

And while I do not ride horses low or high, your notion that I am on a high horse suggests that I have a better view of things. Will take that as a compliment. Thanks.

Humility does not belong in such discussions. The fate of humanity is a tad more significant than humility. What we need are facts and action, and lots of those to get things right.

Spending tons of money and effort on colonizing space is extreme ignorance. It is the absence of humility in this regard that forces me to point out such aspects of this debate. Again, humility has no place in this. We are not dealing with religion here.

Happy trails.........

Mar 16, 2019
earth has supported billions of people since we evolved
"It took all of human history up to 1804 for the world's population to reach 1 billion."
we have been hit numerous times, that is true. But the chances of it happening to wipe us out is not very good
"a bottleneck of the human population occurred c. 70,000 years ago, proposing that the human population was reduced to perhaps 10,000–30,000 individuals when the Toba supervolcano in Indonesia erupted"
And current human activities are way ahead of wiping us out over any space rock
-Not true, but many of them also have the potential to destroy civilization to unrecoverable levels.
They are in deeper trouble than ever
'Totally independent' means without support from earth.

Ignorant people like you show up here all the time. Trying to educate you is tedious and pointless because your opinions werent formed from reason and evidence to begin with.

You never learned how to think and you dont care.

Mar 16, 2019
"... We are not dealing with religion here. ..."

So, how exactly di you intend to counter the Evangelicals, America's Own Taliban, from wrecking your efforts to save their descendant's lives?

Without reaching put with one hand to find a common interest by appealing to their better natures?
While your other hand is holding your nose?

They are a substantial demographic of America's taxpayers & investors & voters.
I would suggest appealing to their greed.
Many worship at the altar of Mammon. Point out the substantial profits they could gain from the planetary-wide rehabilitation projects,
Notice I did not say "earn". Capitalism is all about our monkey instincts to seize the most & share the least,
Guess what?
Human life has little value for them unless you can convince then of the value to them, of their descendant's future by assisting in the salvage of our Biosphere.

- cont'd -

Mar 16, 2019
@rrwillsj, your questions and comments are well justified. I am not suggesting that everybody will make peace and it all works out well. That ain't gonna happen easily, but the only hope. Too much greed is what got us where we are. See my next post as I have no answers to most of your correctly noted issues. "Religion" does play a role, sorta.

Religions like the ones you mention don't care about the planet - they are all waiting to go to heaven. I guess what's left of this planet is what becomes hell (on earth). No one could have an answer to "salvage of our Biosphere" except the western industrialized nations whose policies trend toward survival (as many are going green) and hope that the holy rollers fall in line, or at least stay out of the way.

Mar 16, 2019
- cont'd -

Then you have the wanna-be-conquistadors.
Whose fabulist "literature" assures them of their rightful place as "Conquerors of the Galaxy!"

I can see you rolling your eyes. Yeah, me too!

But they are also a substantial demographic of American consumers, taxpayers & voters.
Who can support the technology we will need to develop to repair this planet.
By explaining testing & advancing this technology will be very useful when they try to colonize other worlds.
Wow them with the term "Win-Win".

The space infrastructure is a very conservative program.
Bootstrapping orbital robot factories with the very least possible use of any Earth resources. To be self-funding it must take advantage of Space resources.

On Earth, we will depend on the automatons supplying cheap observation, comm, science satellites.

In addition to otto's concern over infalling rocks, that a space network could detect those early enough to safely divert.

Again win-win.

Mar 16, 2019
The permian-triassic extinction was the most brutal catastrophe to ever hit life on planet earth. Likely massive volcanism (Siberian Traps), possibly in combination with an antipodal major impactor, was responsible. This happened around 250 million years ago and resulted in the extinction of over 95% of marine species and 70% of land vertebrates. It is more colorfully known as "The Great Dying".

We find in the fossil and geological record many mass extinctions, including the K–Pg (aka K-T) boundary that wiped all the dinosaurs, etc., setting the stage for the evolution of the most dangerous species to ever occupy the planet: Homo sapiens. We are this species, and for anybody who isn't paying attention, there is a mass extinction occurring right now like none other seen on the planet. And it is brought to you and me by, well, you and me!

Yet man saw it not. But for Christ's sake, he better start looking.*

*stolen from Ian Anderson off the Aqualung LP.

Mar 16, 2019
@rrwillsj, I am feeling better about you with every post. Had to give all your posts 5s just to be sure.

We are at least reading from the same "book". It is titled "Reality. Like it or Not."

Mar 16, 2019
Again from the Aqualung LP (approximately):

"In the beginning man created god, and in the image of himself, created he him. And man gave onto god a multitude of names, so he might rule over all the earth, when it was fitting to man. But man became the god that he created, and with his powers did rule over all the earth."

This is the greatest challenge we face, as @rrwillsj so succinctly pointed out. Getting enough on board without sinking the ship.

Still think I need to adopt some humility? I suggest many of us need to adopt some common sense, and being Mr. Nice Guy won't make it. You need to force their eyeballs onto this new "Great Dying" so we can forestall it.

But will come to nil in the end. Man cannot survive forever, no matter where he runs, or how far he tries to get away from himself. Entropy will get us all in the end.

Mar 16, 2019
otto, the problem I have with your declared intentions to escape the Doom pf Earth?
Whats in it for anyone else?
Whats in it for everyone else?

Cause they ain't going to be happy campers when they realize that you intend to abandon them to a miserable death.
After all the sacrifices they will be forced too endure to make your escape possible?

You tell them, "it is so the Human Race can survive. Even if the Mother planet dies.
Then you voluntarily give up your ticket to a proven healthy breeder.
Uh, huh, thought so.

Why would any persons of color or other distinguishing features you disprove of?
Why would they,
why should they
believe you will give them a fair shot at the escape ticket lottery?

Cause a long history & herstory of suffering imposed on not-so-well-armed peoples of the non-Arayan persuasion.
Caused by the "good will" of your tribe of savages.

dfj & otto, these are some of the reasons you need to work together.
"Or, Hang Separately!"

Mar 16, 2019
Can't comment for everybody, but Otto aint going anywhere. Even if we could get something kick started on the moon or mars, it will be very limited.

The shear cost would bankrupt 95% of the worlds' countries EVEN if they all pitched in together. Estimated at one $trillion just for one trip to (and back, maybe) Mars. What do you suppose a colony there would cost?!

Yet for the life of me I cannot image why anyone would want to live in such a nasty place. Let all who think they can get there try it. We will throw roses on the carpet leading to the launch pads. The best thing we get out of it - they likely won't make it back. Good riddance. All the naysayers can go to Mars, Otto is paying. It is all wishful dreaming (thinking clearly has nothing to do with it).

Reminds me of something out of "Sirens of Titan" by Vonnegut. It is all about forming an army on Mars to invade earth with supermen born and raised on Olympus Mons!!

Mar 17, 2019
So after being exposed as a PHD FRAUD dfjohnston wikis up...
The permian-triassic extinction was the most brutal catastrophe to ever hit life on planet earth. Likely massive volcanism (Siberian Traps), possibly in combination with an antipodal major impactor, was responsible. This happened around 250 million years ago and resulted in the extinction of over 95% of marine species and 70% of land vertebrates. It is more colorfully known as "The Great Dying"
-Sorry PHD, anybody who thinks that the
earth has supported billions of people since we evolved
-has no cred whatsoever here.
The shear cost would bankrupt 95% of the worlds' countries EVEN if they all pitched in together. Estimated at one $trillion just for one trip to (and back, maybe) Mars
"The entire project would cost $20 billion and Russia would contribute 30% of these funds"

-See what I mean? LIAR and FRAUD. You dont belong here PHD

Mar 17, 2019
Perhaps the key information here is the he continued increase in exposure of cosmic rays, the increase of hydrogen sulfide may lead to the further weakening and even dissipation of the ozone layer as is now in evidence, the ocean floors being proven not to be anoxic at the deepest level, the continued planned stressors on the public thru media manipulation, all are going to lead to a diminution of intelligence as the body redirects defenses against these combined attacks.
The wolves breed even in Chernobyl territory, and we will too.

Mar 17, 2019
Roboticized Humans are the way to go

What is the point of 1000s of people cooped up in tiny box's in orbit or to mars where they will never come back because of viruses
as going to mars, as you're not coming back any way
your now doubly not coming back
Till we manufacture space propulsions engines
For now
For the foreseeable future
For ever
Roboticized Humans are the way to go

Mar 17, 2019
Why would any persons of color or other distinguishing features you disprove of?

rr: you are such a lunatic.

Mar 17, 2019
Space weather is also a concern for colonizing moons and planets. Some of the worst are a coronal mass ejection (CME), where the sun blasts out a stream of high speed, high energy protons. A billion tons of these traveling at millions of miles an hour will kill anyone that is not significantly shielded. This concern is most pronounced when you are beyond the protective range of the Van Allen belts - i.e. on trips to different worlds.

The Apollo astronauts took a chance with this. Had they been hit by a big CME while on the moon, they would have died within hours to days, depending on the power and duration of the CME.

Any long trips into space must take this into consideration. Sufficient shielding would take a lot of lift-offs to construct spaceships to Mars, at the very least. CMEs occur on average a few times a day. More during solar max, less at min. They are highly directional - most would miss you. There is always a risk over the long term - especially for installations.

Mar 17, 2019
Regarding the price of a mission to Mars - total cost of the entire Space Shuttle program was well over $200 billion - yielding per flight cost ca. $1.6 billion. It was cancelled because of this. Sadly, it was getting out of hand. The three shuttles were still in prime condition.

Actual cost of a trip to Mars would be substantially higher. Low bids are known as "buying in", to get started. We all know how this works. Cost "over-runs" always add vast amounts to the end product. That's biz anywhere it seems.

Critical mission redundancy should require two identical spacecraft to maximize the chance of success, with each craft able to support all people on both. We will likely never know the true cost (won't happen), but will be many hundreds of billions minimum. All the people, heavily shielded, with lots of food, water, propellant, etc, etc, etc, for months of travel and landing(s) and lift off(s) - gigatons of money. Send only the robots.

See you on The Dark Side of the Moon!

Mar 17, 2019
It's kind of silly to think about this but if you wanted to breed on Mars you would have blast off to a rad shielded Martian orbital facility equipped with replicated Earth gravity via centrifuge habitat, grow your baby for 9 months so it doesn't have medical problems, and then land back down to mars with baby in tow, watching the baby grow up adapting to 1/3 Earth's gravity.

Sheesh, for all of that you might as well pursue becoming a void borne species instead of a multi-planet one.

Mar 17, 2019
yes old coot, you are correct. But I am a truthful lunatic & that;s what frosts your buns!

"otto, since you can't have it exactly your way?
You throw a tantrum
You throw a fit
You throw away the opportunity to gain allies.
Publicly influential allies,
who could share the burden of developing the sophisticated technology needed for the success of your project?
otto, you need to check out the terms "lowballing"
"cost overruns"
"mean time to failure"
"Okay, who gets this payoff?"

& get use to hearing some drunken russian explain a malfunction with a shrug of his shoulders & a hearty bellow of
"Трахни тебя! Если вы не можете пошутить!"
It's an ancient version of their national motto, you know.

Mar 17, 2019
Fabulous post @Renfield2468. Love the centrifugal habitat. Jeez, breeding on Mars.

A real Martian, finally!

Would they have citizen status on earth should they be lucky enough to return? Where is their passport gonna come from? Damn aliens.....

Shoot, growing up in 1/3 g would not be an advantage if they came back. Probably life-long disability. More drain on SS system. :o)

Anyone interested in a good overview of a manned trip to Mars should look up the wiki article. Google "manned trip to Mars". Read 'em and weep!

Minimum estimate from a 2010 publication says '$500 billion, and probably more'. (It is always more!) One thing I did not consider is a first run, no-landing orbit and return flight (like Apollo 8). Jeez, that just keep pushing things higher and higher. Let's not, and say that we did. Even our fearless leader will agree to that!

You could make one helluva movie for a few billion dollars!

Mar 17, 2019
@rrwillsj, actually the Russians are outstanding when it comes to space flight. They almost never lose a manned flight. The only one I remember is the loss of the cosmonauts on re-entry back in the 1960s.

They might be drunk, but they do get the job done.

Mar 17, 2019
About the sun's dangerous coronal mass ejections (CME's):

I hope the International team making the Lunar Gateway also make a plan in the case of these things occurring, since they will not be protected by the Van Allen belts out there in cislunar space. What are the options? You won't have time to take a lander down to the moon and get into a bunker. They would have to send up some sort of water tank lined module to use as a shelter from the CME. That will add some significant mass to the mini space station.

If you look at the currently proposed schematic ( https://upload.wi..._Map.jpg ) there is no shelter module of the like. Which makes me think this is intended to be largely a stop and go station mostly run by automation.

Mar 17, 2019
djf, you need to get more pragmatic.
The tech for colonizing another world?
Is the same needed to repair this poor old battered planet.

Yes, much of the recovery will be hoes & shovels. Robot labor, on Earth's surface will be
ridiculously expensive.

How will you motivate the men & women needed to do that brute strength labor?

Will they believe your promises of a better future?
As motivation, I suggest intense education & technical training for their children.
If the workers can see the future being developed right in front of them, that will benefit their descendants?
You can worry a little less about when will the guillotines be brought out.

As for the cost of assisting otto & the other cosmic refugees?
That funding doesn't actually go anywhere. Like Foreign Aide, the money never leaves your sight.
It will be available to bolster your own efforts.
Which is how you get the technocrats & media to support you.

Yeah, pragmatism, Civic Virtue as an artform.

Mar 17, 2019
On this barren Mars

Or better still
Renfield2468> It's kind of silly to think about this but if you wanted to breed on Mars you would have blast off to a rad shielded Martian orbital facility equipped with replicated Earth gravity via centrifuge habitat, grow your baby for 9 months so it doesn't have medical problems, and then land back down to mars with baby in tow, watching the baby grow up adapting to 1/3 Earth's gravity.

Mummy could take a trip to another planet in this solar system
there's tales in folklore
handed down from generation to generation
there is this planet
that has oceans full of life
arable land
cities with skyscrapers that reach the sky
where people fly in silver birds
where these streets are overflowing with shops
with billions of people thronging these cities
as these peoples want for nothing
Renfield2468, mind you
these are just tales of folklore
Handed down the millennia

Mar 17, 2019
@Renfield2468, was reading up on shielding and was surprised to learn that water could be used to protect from CMEs. Also hydrogen, and both would be carried in large amounts if you are going anywhere.

It also appears that aluminum may make the radiation worse from "knock-offs". All dreadful if not planned for.

Other materials looked at are certain plastics, which have weight advantage etc. All of this will take a lot of time and dough.

@rrwillsj, it is not pragmatic to believe puny humans are going to make a habitable planet from what we have locally. It just is not going to happen. We simply are not capable of such enormous feats of engineering. Our only real hope lies with interstellar travel to an existing biosphere that has not been ruined already. Now what would that cost.........

Again, concentrate on what we have now - Mother Earth. (see @granville583762).

Mar 17, 2019
djf. my apologies fort my failure to bmy vision of why pragmatism is a useful means to gain your goal of rescuing the Earth's Biosphere. Which I do believe is absolutely necessary.

You will not accomplish your rescue mission without allies & public support. As we all try to work together on the rescue, you need to find the different motivations necessary to convince them to work wit you.

If tou need a visualization? Think of otto & the other wanna-be-stellar-reugees as stubborn mules pulling your plow. You get them movong forward by waving a carrot tied ti stick over their heads,

In other words, they want to survive long enough to flee? They will need to join into the mutual effirt to rehabilitate the Earth.


I have always expressed a disbelief that Biology can survive, reproduce & thrive off Earth.
As for cyborgs? Pttthhh!!

Mar 18, 2019
@rrwillsj, saving the planet is almost impossible at any rate, no matter how many wannabe "savers" you enlist. The problem - ca. 7.3 billion people, the vast majority simply struggling to stay alive. These people don't care, or even if they did, could not contribute to our bio-salvation. Indeed, their numbers are the cause of it.

Simply put, there is not enough people to recruit. It has to be done by governments forcing it on their people like a vaccine. And I don't see any vaccines for ignorance and greed, the two most critical barriers to bio-salvation.

What is likely to happen (which will make things better) is that nature will resolve the issue by killing off some billions of people when food and potable water supplies crash, which they are now doing. Cutting the population down big time by such a "self-inflicted" calamity is the way this story is likely to play out.

Mar 22, 2019
Here is the latest estimate for a trip to Mars. $1.5 trillion. Not surprising -


"It must sustain a crew for 2-3 years!! This is not a freakin' moon shot. It is a very long range project with incredible demands on resources, and so many other things undone for something as dopey as this.

You might say this is one of those times one likes to have the last word!

May 09, 2019
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