Catherine A. Conley's Life On Mars

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Catherine A. Conley is NASA’s planetary-protection officer. Her job is to protect other planets from Earth while we are exploring them. This is position helps to enforce an international agreement made in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which says that nations must take care to avoid contaminating the planets they explore. The planet that NASA is concerned mostly is Mars. This is due to the fact that the Mars rovers contain microbes from Earth, which may potentially be harmful to whatever life may be on Mars. Most of these microbes feed on rock, like lichen, which “. . . basically eat rock and they breathe sunlight.” That being said, the rovers are not allowed to enter what are known as “special regions” which have attributes that allow bacteria from Earth to thrive. The special regions include “. . . the periodic dark streaks, known as recurrent slope lineae, spotted on the sides of crates, canyons, and mountains. Scientists recently said they were generated by the percolating of water, one of the essentials for life.” as well as areas where ice is within one meter of the surface of the planet. In most missions, when the satellites have completed…show more content…
Not only is NASA conforming to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, but they are doing a favor to the supposed life on Mars, as “The environment on mars potentially is basically one giant dinner plate for Earth organisms.” That being said, even if life is not found on Mars, we ought to keep it healthy in case people discover a way to live on the planet. Another reason as to why we should prevent as many microbes as possible from dwelling on Mars, or any planet, is that we would not be able to accurately study the planet when covered in Earth microbes. The planets are very different from Earth; however the more microbes from our rovers and satellites inhabit these places, the more they become similar to
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