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Threat from Mars. Scientists warn that NASA could infect the Earth’s biosphere

Researchers believe that deadly extraterrestrial beings can infect the biosphere and this will lead to unpredictable consequences for our planet.

As early as the beginning of the next decade, around 2031, NASA plans to bring back rock samples from Mars that may contain signs of Martian microbial life. As part of the Mars Sample Return program, samples will be delivered to Earth, which the Perseverance rover is currently continuing to collect on Mars. NASA conducted a survey among scientists regarding this issue, and many of them are categorically against Martian microorganisms getting to Earth. Although not everyone is of this opinion, reports Scientific American.

According to NASA’s plan, the spacecraft carrying the samples will land in Utah. Then these samples of Martian rock with potential microorganisms will be moved to a special laboratory for study.

Focus already wrote about Mars Sample Return program and the fact that NASA said that it is possible that rock samples will be delivered from Mars to Earth not in 2031, but in 2033.

Mars Sample Return

According to NASA plans, the rocket will deliver the collected samples from Mars to orbit, where they will be picked up by the orbiter.

Photo: NASA

Recently, NASA decided to ask the opinion of scientists to find out how they feel about the fact that these microorganisms from another planet will fall on Earth. Indeed, recently, many scientists have already stated that these creatures can pose a danger to the Earth’s biosphere and it is impossible to predict the consequences of their entry into the planet.

NASA believes that the threat to the environment and humans from these extraterrestrial organisms is minimal, because the agency plans to comply with all biosecurity measures. As a result of a survey of scientists, NASA received 170 comments, most of which were negative.

Many scientists have expressed concerns that Martian samples may contain unknown, potentially life-threatening pathogens on Earth.

Mars

Many scientists have expressed concerns that Martian samples may contain unknown, potentially life-threatening pathogens on Earth.

“Are you crazy? Not just no, but hell no,” one of the scientists interviewed expressed his opinion.

“No single country should put the entire planet at risk,” another scientist added.

Some scientists have proposed studying rock samples from Mars outside of Earth, somewhere in space. But such an approach is very difficult to implement, including for financial reasons. A sufficiently large group of scientists agrees with NASA’s opinion that microorganisms from Mars do not pose a threat.

According to astrobiologist Steve Banner, if the Martian rocks carried some kind of threat, then this would have long been known. Asteroids and meteorites often fall on Mars, as a result of which a large number of local rocks break off from the planet and fly into space. Approximately 500 kg of Martian rocks fall to Earth every year, Banner says.

Mars

Asteroids and meteorites often fall on Mars, as a result of which a large number of local rocks break off from the planet and fly into space. According to Banner, approximately 500 kg of Martian rocks fall to Earth every year.

Photo: NASA

“I don’t think this discussion, whether Martian creatures are dangerous or not for us, should not be held at all. In the more than 3.5 billion years since life appeared on Earth, trillions of rocks from Mars have come to our planet. If microbial life exists on Mars, and it is dangerous for the Earth’s biosphere, then this would have been known long ago and the consequences would have been visible. So a few more kilograms of Martian rock will not change anything, “Benner says.

According to NASA’s original plans, this was how the process of sending rock samples from Mars to Earth should have looked like.

Some scientists all recommend that NASA pay special attention to the safety of storing and studying the obtained samples from the Red Planet. Scientists recommend already starting the design and construction of a special laboratory in order to be in time by 2031.

“I believe that special attention should be paid to safety. We don’t know much about Mars. What can I say, we still find organisms unknown to science on Earth. Caution does not hurt anyone,” says astrobiologist John Rummel, who previously retirement, worked for NASA.

As already wrote Focusthe Mars Express spacecraft that searches for water on Mars updated my software. Prior to that, he worked on software that is based on Windows 98.

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