The US space agency has revealed its plan to bring a piece of Mars back to Earth and this may have some scary consequences.
As scientists and researchers continue to explore the possibility of life on other plants, NASA had sent the Perseverance rovers to collect samples from the Martian surface. It has collected 11 samples so far. However, bringing them back to the earth can be a tricky task. Earlier, the US space agency had disclosed a plan for sending a rover to Mars in order to bring back samples of Martian rock to Earth. And it has shared the brief of the plan of how Perseverance will be used to transfer the rocks to a spacecraft for the return journey on its Instagram handle. It wrote, “We’re bringing a piece of Mars back to Earth.” They said that their Perseverance rover is currently rolling through Jezero Crater, and picking up samples from the Red Planet. They also revealed their plan to collect the samples from Perseverance as they’ll be sending along two Ingenuity-class helicopters for potential backup if needed.
They further shared, “These samples would lift off in our Mars Ascent Vehicle and hitch a ride back home in the @EuropeanSpaceAgency’s Earth Return Orbiter; when they land on Earth (currently scheduled for 2033), they’ll be the first scientific samples we’ve ever brought back from another planet.”
Further, they added that this month marks the 25th anniversary of the Mars Pathfinder landing as the Pathfinder lander deployed Sojourner, the first-ever rover on the Red Planet after touching down on July 4, 1997. Sojourner spent 83 days roaming the surface of Mars, paving the way for future Martian explorers. Nasa hopes that the samples would land back on Earth by 2033.
While bringing back martian samples will give researchers new insight about the formation and evolution of the red planet, it could be risky for earth. Dr. Moogega Cooper a planetary protection engineer at NASA while speaking to Talks at Google said, “When you bring something back you don’t want to bring something that may be harmful to humans. So we have to do the best job possible to make sure it’s done right.”