Sunday , March 26 2023

Human researchers who search for life on Mars can ultimately kill her


In order to completely eliminate any such risk, in 2003 NASA used the last fuel in a spacecraft to slip into Jupiter's atmosphere. The Galileo speed is 30 miles per second.

NASA reinstated this Protected Month Scenario 14 years later. The Casino Mission stopped and studied Saturn and its satellites from 2004 to 2017. In September 2017, when the fuel was slowed down, Cassini's operators deliberately drove a space craft into the atmosphere of Saturn, where it split up.

Mars is the target of seven active missions, including two rovers, an opportunity and curiosity. On November 26, NASA's InSight mission is scheduled to depart Mars, where it will carry out measurements of the internal structure of the planet. For the planned flights by 2020, the ExoMars Rover and NASA's Mars 2020 Mars Rover, the European Space Agency, are designed to look for evidence of life on Mars.

Robotic riders produce a low risk of contamination against Mars, as all spacecraft designed to unload them are subjected to strict sterilization procedures before launching them. These rovers are most likely to have an extremely low path of micro-organisms.

Any terrestrial biota that is able to shut off trips outside of this rover would be very hard to survive a half-year journey from Earth to Mars. The space vacuum, along with harsh X-rays, ultraviolet rays and cosmic rays, will almost certainly sterilize the exterior of all of Mars's ship's spacecraft.

Any bacteria that got into a rover could be alive in Mars. But if one of them escapes, a thin Mars atmosphere will not actually provide protection from high-energy, sterilizing radiation from outer space. It is possible that these bacteria will be killed immediately. Due to this harsh environment, life on Mars, if it exists at present, is almost certainly to hide under the surface of the planet. No rover has explored caves or dropped deep pipes to search for possible Mars germs.

Given that Mars exploration has so far been limited to unmanned vehicles, the planet will most likely remain free of land-based pollution.

But when Earth send Mars to the astronauts, they will travel with life support, energy supply systems, habitats, 3D printers, food and tools. None of these materials can be sterilized just like a spacecraft. Human colonists will waste, try to grow food and use machines to get water from the ground and in the atmosphere. Just living on Mars, human colonists will contaminate the planet.

It is important that every attempt is made to obtain evidence of any past or present life in Mars even before future missions to Mars involving humans. What we are discovering can affect decisions about whether to send colonists there.

Even if we ignore or worry about the risks that a human presence might pose for life, the issue of Mars's return to Earth is a serious social, legal and international consequence that deserves to be discussed before it's too late.

What is the risk Mars life can have for the Earth's environment or human health? Is a country or group entitled to endanger all life on Earth?

NASA, United Arab Emirates Mars 2117, SpaceX, Mars One and Blue Origin are planning to transport colonists to build cities on Mars.

• Weintraub is a professor of astronomy at Vanderbilt University in Nansville, Tennessee. This article was first published on

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