In the points of interest of the January 2015 Popular Science there was an interesting article.
The article talked about NASA’s efforts to cleanse space vehicles. It spoke in detail about how the Curiosity Rover was cleaned prior to launch. They cooked it to 230 Degrees F. Then prior to launch they swabbed the vehicle and found 54,000 organisms from 377 bacterial strains.
Wow, that is scary.
The article went on to describe how in other tests they have put acid on the bacteria, hit them with ultraviolet light, scrubbed them with lye and dehydration. Much of the bacteria laughed at some of the attempts to kill them.
There was bacteria called Gracilibactilas that eats the salts in rocket fuel and which occurs naturally on Mars. It actually might eat the soil of Mars.
So what will happen in the future, will we visit the oceans of Europa and then come back 100 years from now and find it overrun with stuff we left? By then it will likely have mutated and maybe it will be pissed off. Will we ultimately be invaded by an aggressive life form that we deposited?
Food for thought, but be careful it might contain bacteria.
Ray Jay Perreault