NASA might have infected Mars.

Remember awhile back when I pondered if there was any chance that in our search of other planets for signs of life past or present that we might end up accidentally transporting it there ourselves? Well according to one NASA scientist that might have actually happened:

The US space agency believes the two rover spacecraft scuttling across the red planet are carrying bacteria from Earth.

The bacteria, bacillus safensis, were found in a chamber in California that had been used to test the rovers. Officials believe it is likely that some of the microbes, possibly from scientists’ skin, were on board when the mission left.

The craft, Spirit and Opportunity, landed on Mars last year. One key task was to look for signs of life: now it seems that if there are any organisms, it is man who has put them there. If proved, the contamination would raise concerns at possible breaches of a UN treaty to stop other planets being polluted from Earth.

Oops.

11 thoughts on “NASA might have infected Mars.

  1. I don’t really see the problem. I mean, sure, it may make any eventual discovery of martian life (if any exists) harder to prove. But ANY such discovery would have to be vetted extensively to rule out just such a contamination case.

    As for the ‘sanctity’ or ‘purity’ of a different planet – I must say that I clearly belong to the ‘Green’ and not the ‘Red’ faction (see Kim Stanley Robinson’. If life CAN flourish somewhere, but hasn’t so far, it is a worst a neutral, at best a positive to spread it there.

  2. It’s time to drop an algae coctail on that planet.
    They’ll tell you where the water is.
    At least by the time were done dicking around it will be barely breathable.

    Maybe we could suck up a bit of the upper strata from the venesian atmosphere..  Then just plant the hell out of it.

    Lets terraform that puppy.. ..after all
    we are the aliens.

  3. Yeah!  Let’s US go get us some Mars ‘fore they attack us like in that movie!!!  vampire

    I’m not really too worried about this.  If (as I’ve seen in a couple studies) germs can’t live all that long on a toilet seat, they’re not likely to colonize Mars. 

    There are a few places on Earth with (except for the atmosphere composition) Mars-like conditions, and bacteria are even hard to find there.

  4. Well, as long as they were good rightous Christian skin microbes. Then its ok, those microbes can just go forth – raping and killing other microbes in the name of the LORD!  wink

  5. I never thought of that DOF. We might be trying to spread democracy to mars, or that will be the next reason given.

  6. If H.G. Wells has taught us anything, it’s that earthly microbes will kill Martians. We should send more over there, kill them all, and then steel their Tripods. Those things are cool.

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