We can consider ourselves very lucky to be witnessing wonderful space exploration like probes sent to Mars, others examining the winds of Jupiter, the solar flares, and much more. But like many other activities, space exploration can also pose a threat to the health of those involved.
That’s why NASA now decided to make some overhaul for the rules of exploring Mars and the Moon, and it’s totally understandable. The two cosmic objects are the main attractions for astronomers at this point, as they plan to send humans there in the near future.
The Outer Space Treaty speaks for itself
The Outer Space Treaty was signed over half a century ago, and it appoints for NASA to be careful with not causing too much biological contamination when sending probes or humans to other cosmic objects. Furthermore, other nations are demanded to explore other space objects without bringing back any alien bacteria that could jeopardize our health.
There’s no secret to anyone that whenever astronauts go into space, they carry along plenty of bacteria, regardless of how much they clean themselves. But NASA recently released two new “interim directives” for laying out potential changes for guidelines when it comes to exploring the Moon and Mars.
Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA, declared:
“We need to relook at these policies because we can’t go to Mars with humans if the principle that we’re living by is that we can’t have any microbial substances with us,”
“Because that’s just not possible.”
The first directive reclassifies parts of the Moon so that there will be fewer restrictions when it comes to sending spacecraft and astronauts to our natural satellite. The chances are low that contamination carried by a spacecraft could jeopardize upcoming missions.
The second directive is updating the rules for Mars so that human missions won’t be forbidden in the future. There’s undeniably huge interest in finding life on the Red Planet, which means a significant risk of contamination.
NASA is planning to return humans to the Moon after more than half a century. Therefore, if everything goes well with the upcoming Artemis program, Mars will be the next stop.