Universe Today Podcast

Episode 530: 386: Planetary Protection: What If We Destroy Life Before We Even Find It?

June 18th, 2019  •  10 mins 41 secs  •  Download (7.49 MB)  •  Link with Timestamp

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Explorers have always brought stowaways with them on board. Thanks to our travels around the world, hardy creatures like rats, goats, pigs and starlings and more have found their way to every corner of the globe. Not to mention our plants, microbes and viruses.

Wherever we go, life goes with us, whether we want it to or not. And when we travel to other worlds, it looks like the most extreme life Earth has ever cooked up is ready and willing to make the journey with us.

Now that the big flybys are over, it’s time to dig into the regolith, search for life in underground lakes and oceans, return samples back to Earth. We’re going to give life every opportunity to contaminate other worlds.

What can we do to prevent it?