Missions to Mars ‘will increase risk of aliens invading Earth’, warns expert
The chances of an alien attack on Earth have increased, according to new research, and it's all thanks to planned manned missions to Mars.
A new report from Professor Anthony Ricciardi, an expert in the ecology of invasive species, has said that “extra-terrestrial organisms” could devastate ecosystems.
Bacteria, fungi, and other invisible stowaways could attach themselves to spacecraft, and survive the mission back to Earth.
Professor Ricciardi said: “Owing to their massive costs to resource sectors and human health, biological invasions are a global biosecurity issue requiring rigorous trans-boundary solutions."
“The era of space exploration brings with it a new risk – invasion.
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“The peril comes not from little green men arriving on flying saucers but, rather, from microbiological contamination of Earth from extra-terrestrial environments and vice versa.
“Bacterial strains exhibiting extreme resistance to ionising radiation, desiccation and disinfectants have been isolated in NASA 'clean rooms' used for spacecraft assembly.”
It is also feared that similar organisms from earth could survive a journey to another planet and have a similar effect there, too.
What do you think? Is it possible other life forms can travel back to Earth via manned missions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Prof Ricciardi, writing in the BioScience journal, also warned that parasite-host interactions could be a threat.
He said: “Research in invasion science has produced novel insights for epidemiology, rapid evolution, the relationship between biodiversity and community stability and the dynamics of predator-prey and parasite-host interactions – among many other concepts.
“Protocols for early detection, hazard assessment, rapid response and containment procedures currently employed for invasive species on Earth could be adapted for dealing with potential extra-terrestrial contaminants.”
The race to Mars is very real, as China has already announced that it plans to send its first crew in 2033 – with regular follow-up flights, although it is though that the US wants to get there first – and Russia has also been rumoured to be musing flights to Mars, too.
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