Can rocks brought from Mars infect the Earth with dangerous microbes

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are going to bring soil samples to our planet in the 2030s,

air, rocks. But is it really safe? Discuss

The plan of specialists from NASA and ESA is toin order to send spacecraft to Mars at the end of the 2020s, which will take samples of soil, atmosphere, rocks collected by the Perseverance rover. Now this rover is on the surface of the Red Planet. These samples will reach the Earth only in the 2030s.

According to experts, the likelihood that thesesamples can be dangerous to the Earth's biosphere, is extremely small (less than one chance in a million). For example, meteorites from Mars regularly fall on our planet, but no pollution occurs. In addition, people do not know for sure whether there is life on Mars, so if a dangerous particle does get to Earth, then it is unlikely to be biological.

NASA and ESA will also collect all samplesobserving a number of precautions. First of all, the material will be taken only from the first few centimeters of the Martian surface. This means that micro-organisms are unlikely to live on it, as this surface is exposed to strong solar radiation and is generally very dry.

After the sample is delivered into orbitMars, it will be sealed inside one of two pressurized containers, which will also be heated. He will then enter a "clean cell" which will then be sealed and sent to Earth.

The route of the return of the breed to Earth toocarefully thought out. Therefore, representatives of NASA and ESA are confident that they have taken all possible measures to reduce the risk of contamination of the Earth's biosphere with hazardous substances from Mars.