Certain Areas On Mars Are Forbidden For Exploration

REAL PARANORMAL

Books - Sollog - News - Videos - UFOS - Magazine

Listen to #1 Paranormal Podcast

The #1 Paranormal News Site

Listen to REAL PARANORMAL Podcast

There is the possibility that Mars might have been home to microbial life at some point, and it is possible that it still might today. With this in mind, there are some regions of Mars that, in the future, might be out of bound for explorers, whether they are human or robotic, as these are special regions that are forbidden.

Some Regions On Mars Are Forbidden For Exploration

Mars has always been thought to be a cold and lifeless planet, however, now it is possible that it may have been habitable once. If people want to find out in the future they are going to have to ensure that there is no contamination with microbes from Earth. The majority of Mars is said to be deadly for any life from Earth. However, it is possible that there are regions where the microbes could hide away onboard a spacecraft and this might lead to there being a false detection about life on Mars at some point in the future.

Scientists Drew Up Special Regions On Mars

Scientists have drawn up what they have termed special regions. These were set up by the Committee on Space Research during 2008. The Planetary Protection Policy is regions where terrestrial organisms are thought likely to be able to propagate or they are regions that have been interpreted to possibly have a high potential for extant Martian life to exist.

The definition was given an update in 2016 so that it was more specific. A special region is now said to be a region where there is water activity of between 0.5 and 1. The water activity is the measure of just how suitable Mars might be for hosting life and is dependent on just how easy life might use it for food.

Another feature that makes up a special region is the temperature. This has to be warm enough so that it supports terrestrial organisms and the temperature has been defined at -25 Centigrade and higher. There has been a debate as to whether methane should be included in that definition but up to now, this has not happened.

Up To Now Not One Special Region Has Been Found

However, not a single special region has been found on Mars up to now. John Rummel from the East Carolina University and also one of the authors, who helped to redefine the special regions, said that there are no special regions existing on Mars. He clarified that the regions had been defined but up to now, none had been found on Mars. He did say that this does not mean that none will ever be found in the future. He said that if this happens then there may be problems.

Rummel said that Mars had once been home to a huge amount of liquid water lying on the surface and this may have been in the form of a huge ocean in the northern hemisphere. Scientists are also under the impression that the atmosphere could have been thicker and Mars may have had temperatures that could mean there might have been life. During the last few million years, Mars managed to lose its magnetic field along with its atmosphere. This meant that the water on the surface boiled away. However, underground and on some of the surface, huge reservoirs of ice are there and these could hold what is left of the habitable life of the past of Mars. There have also been trickles of water seen and this suggests that perhaps Mars still has some life on it.

Worries About Earth Being Contaminated By Earths Organisms

Rummel said that he believes that there may be certain regions on Mars that might have been contaminated by the organisms on Earth. However, right now these are regions that are difficult to get to. He went on to say that if there were regions such as these still in existence there will be concerns about how any spacecraft sent to Mars would be cleaned. Rummel said that the spacecraft could be sterilized but there would still be a slight chance that some microbes might remain hidden away.

A map of the special regions was made in 2006 and it included regions where ice water had been found within 5 meters of the surface. This is of particular importance as if a lander was to crash on Mars it would be able to reach 5 meters in depth. It was said that with ice being found close to the equator, the non-special zone had shrunk. In 2016 this was re-evaluated and by then it was difficult to predict where any special regions would be. Instead, the researchers looked at each of the regions on a case by case basis.

Any Visiting Spacecraft Would Need Through Sterilization

Spacecraft could still visit the special regions; however, they would have to go through sterilization procedures that were stringent first. The Planetary Protection Policy has five broad categories for sterilization that the spacecraft must go through. Category 1 is said to be for bodies that are not of any interest in the search for life. Category IV revolves around worries of the craft that hope to land on Mars in regions that are biologically interesting. It was said that spacecraft travelling to the regions would have to be sterilized to Viking level.

The Viking 2 spacecraft landed in a region of Mars that was very interesting biologically, Utopia Planitia, in 1976 in the search for life. However, the region was dead and cold, but water ice had been found underneath the surface. The lander made a direct search for life but it was inconclusive.

Up to now, there has not been any region of Mars that has ticked all of the boxes and there have not been any plans for a mission going anywhere close to the special regions. A more recent study has led people to believe that the Mars surface might even be more deadly for microbes from Earth than people had first thought.

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX wants to send a robotic along with manned mission within the next decade. However, there have been concerns that perhaps he would not take into account the guidelines for the special region.

Listen to REAL PARANORMAL Podcast

Listen to #1 Paranormal Podcast


REAL PARANORMAL

Books - Sollog - News - Videos - UFOS - Magazine

The #1 Paranormal News Site


Listen to #1 Paranormal Podcast

Leave a Reply