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.