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Ivy League scientist says NASA may have accidentally spread life to Mars

Added 05-14-21 03:56:03am EST - “A Cornell University geneticist posits that life discovered on the red planet might have actually originated on earth in NASA labs, despite thorough on-site cleaning procedures and spacecraft assembly in specialized rooms.” - Thehill.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Thehill.com: “Ivy League scientist says NASA may have accidentally spread life to Mars”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

A Cornell University geneticist posits that life discovered on the red planet might have actually originated on earth in NASA labs, despite thorough on-site cleaning procedures and spacecraft assembly in specialized rooms.

Amid the latest exploration and search for life on Mars, a Cornell scientist wonders what kind of microbe humans could have accidentally “carried into space and survived the trip to make its new home on Mars.”

Cornell University geneticist Christopher Mason wrote in an May 10 piece for the BBC that life discovered on the red planet might have actually originated on earth in NASA labs, despite thorough on-site cleaning procedures and spacecraft assembly in specialized rooms. 

Spacecraft, like the Perseverance Rover, are built in meticulously sterilized rooms piece by piece with each component cleaned before being added. This should theoretically ensure that no bacteria or organism survives the assembly process, according to Mason. Filtration systems in the spartan rooms offer an extra layer of protection so “only a few hundred particles can contaminate each square foot.”

“But, it is almost impossible to get to zero biomass. Microbes have been on Earth for billions of years, and they are everywhere,” Mason wrote. “They are inside us, on our bodies, and all around us. Some can sneak through even the cleanest of clean rooms.”

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