(Mirror Daily, United States) – NASA’s freshly minted planetary protection officer Lisa Pratt warned that Elon Musk’s Tesla roadster that was launched into space earlier this month and is now heading to Mars may contaminate the Red Planet with our microbes.
Pratt, whose job is to keep the Earth clean from space microbes, said she’s deeply concerned about some private space flight companies’ practice of throwing Earth’s trash into space.
Pratt criticized the tech billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk for deploying a Tesla roadster into space as part of a test flight of a Falcon Heavy rocket. The NASA scientist is concerned that, as companies like Musk’s SpaceX have more money on their hands, they will forget about sustainability when it comes to space exploration.
Pratt advocates for a clean solar system that is free of our planet’s junk. According to Space News, Pratt has recently encouraged other NASA scientists to “work closely” in finding a way to prevent “another red Roadster up there in orbit.”
Martian Soil Should Remain Clean
Pratt is confident that alien life exists in our solar system, so she doesn’t want Earth bacteria to kill it. The new planetary protection officer is a professor at Indiana University. Also, she has been analyzing the adaptations of microorganisms in harsh places for over three decades.
She even explored gold mines in Africa to research the bacteria in ultra-hot waters coming out from the planet’s inner layers. She has also documented the adaptations of microbial life living in the extreme temperatures in the Canadian arctic.
Now, Pratt hopes to find microbial life in Mars’ harsh environment as well and doesn’t want a foolish gesture like sending a bacteria-laden sportscar drifting into space spoil the alien bacteria. On Mars, temperatures can hit minus 240 degrees F.
Part of Pratt’s mission is to ensure that the Martian soil remains clean when another NASA rover will land on it, in 2020.
Image Source: Flickr
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