The search for life on Mars is crawling to a stop due to the policies of the “Planetary Protection” requirements. NASA, among other related space agencies put this Planetary Protection law into place to try to prevent any of Earth’s bacteria from contaminating the other planets in or beyond our solar system. Scientists are growing more upset because this is digging deep into finances. Their argument to NASA is that it is no different than debris from an asteroid attack on the Earth making its way onto the surface of Mars.
The last time that robots had made their way to search for life on Mars was about 30 years ago when NASA’s twin Vikings were pulled off of their mission. It costs so much money to follow the guidelines of the Planetary Protection that it is stopping missions into outer space simply because the project can not be funded. Due to requirements of allowing no more than 300,000 bacterial spores on any surface that will leave planet Earth, it would cost $500 million dollars just to get the spaceship ready to take off.
“If Earth micro-organisms can thrive on Mars, they almost certainly already do; and if they cannot, the transfer of Earth life to Mars should be of no concern, as it would simply not survive,” stated scientists Fairen and Schulze-Makuch. “We cannot see how our current program of Mars exploration might pose any real threat to a possible Martian biosphere.” The search for Mars will slowly continue due to the curiosity of the human race and to make all attempts to find out the questions people have been asking for centuries: Did life every exist on Mars and is our sister planet a place that we would be able to make our new habitat if the time came down to it?