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TIL: We Could Give Mars Our “Cooties” | Today I Learned ctm magazine



Catching “cooties”—it’s not just fodder for playground politics. What if a single hair on your head, the oils on your fingertips, or one of the thousands of droplets of saliva you expel each time you cough had the potential to jeopardize a multibillion-dollar interplanetary mission?
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Love crazy facts? We do too. Get ready to amaze your friends with some of the strangest facts you’ve ever heard. National Geographic explorers tell you new, obscure, and amazing things about the world (and beyond).

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Catching “cooties”—it’s not just fodder for playground politics. What if a single hair on your head, the oils on your fingertips, or one of the thousands of droplets of saliva you expel each time you cough had the potential to jeopardize a multibillion-dollar interplanetary mission? This fear hits far too close to home for every NASA scientist who helps build the Mars rovers or any other instrument destined for outer space.

Mars hasn’t received an “Earth vaccine,” so if too much earthly biological material gets transferred from the scientists to the rovers to Mars, those Earth germs could have devastating effects—not only on the success of NASA’s missions but to the red planet as a whole.

NASA mechanical engineer Kobie Boykins, who helped design all four rovers that have landed on Mars, explains how we could infect Mars and what precautions NASA takes against doing so, and he reminds us what happened in the past when scientists didn’t keep their “”cooties”” to themselves.

Read more about making Mars home in the latest issue of National Geographic magazine and watch MARS, the global event series on National Geographic.
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/11/spacex-elon-musk-exploring-mars-planets-space-science/
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/mars/

PRODUCERS: Nora Rappaport and Laurence Alexander
EDITOR: Nora Rappaport
SERIES PRODUCER: Chris Mattle
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS: Elaina Kimes and Jared M. Gair
FOOTAGE COURTESY: NASA

TIL: We Could Give Mars Our “Cooties” | Today I Learned

National Geographic
https://www.youtube.com/natgeo

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27 Comments

  • Nermo Nuhi on November 18, 2016

    Niceee

  • Irene Rohrmoser on November 18, 2016

    Cool

  • Alexander Knight on November 18, 2016

    That's pretty cool

  • Fred Dyslexic on November 18, 2016

    This guys voice sounds like Vince Vaughn

  • William Kung on November 18, 2016

    Humans can't even protect their own planet. and now trying so hard to convince us we can make life on a dead planet? LOL. LOL.

  • Ash bro on November 18, 2016

    I loved it

  • Exploring with the Stewarts on November 18, 2016

    yes yes well maybe

  • black puta on November 18, 2016

    the government already has aliens living there

  • rere kk on November 18, 2016

    intresting

  • Baba on November 18, 2016

    I could watch this guy talk all day.

  • outdoorinitiative on November 18, 2016

    let me show you how democracy works. guns, germs, and steel.

  • Rance Super King on November 18, 2016

    Was this made by Buzzfeed?

  • Meghamitra Kundu on November 18, 2016

    When the rocket will be launched and it's in the launch pad, from then till it's in the earth's atmosphere, isn't there a chance of "contamination" ? If yes how will those be eliminated ? If no, please explain.

  • lord aromat on November 18, 2016

    this is all a hoax

  • whykhr on November 18, 2016

    Funny thing is NASA is dragging its ass in actually seeking out Mars life. It is quite capable of building a rover now to detect existing life and or fossil bacteria on Mars but keeps putting off that mission. Many already belief Mars has life right now or did have life and more than likely Mars life infected the Earth (through material exchange) so all of us here are in fact the progeny of Mars. But NASA is fairly certain it will find life on Mars, but wants to milk its budget to the max by delaying that important mission for many years into the future.

  • Marizyth on November 18, 2016

    people that think life is unique to earth can go watch my intro for 1 hour long

  • Ned Mescudi on November 18, 2016

    Wouldn't that be a good thing to bring our life to mars?

  • estrelka on November 18, 2016

    cool scientist 🙂

  • New Message on November 18, 2016

    Well.. it's pretty clear we're like cosmic aids.. we're destroying our planet's immune system, and now we're looking to infect the next host.

  • THE TRUTH ABOUT MARS on November 18, 2016

    We are more likely to catch cooties from whatever microbes may still be alive as they have survived under extreme cosmic conditions, including radiation and been strengthened by this extremely harsh environment.

  • wishmasterbrazen on November 18, 2016

    yeah.. but wed still find the dead bodies.. so wed still figure it out after. so whatever 🙂

  • GALAL ABDULHMEED AL-BARASHI on November 19, 2016

    ناسا

  • BeeFriendlyApiary on November 19, 2016

    Here is a novel idea…lets make life on Earth better and STOP destroying the environment here where pollinators aren't dying en mass!!!!

  • Daniel Patterson on November 19, 2016

    Seems like everyone you bring in you give cooties to.

  • yeah on November 21, 2016

    Even if we found life on Mars it most likely wouldn't prove a second genesis which is what we actually need to find to change humanity's perspective in the universe.

  • Heather Brockus on December 26, 2016

    Great!! 🙂

  • Muhammad M on June 6, 2021

    This programme should be restarted

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