It was just a few weeks back that SpaceX founder Elon Musk revealed his future plans for Mars colonization. The South African billionaire revealed that SpaceX will fly its Mars rocket in 2019, ahead of the planned Mars mission in 2022.
NASA is also aiming to launch a manned mission to the red planet to search for extraterrestrial life in 2030. But now, adding woes to their mission plans, Dr Barry Di Gregorio, an astrobiologist and an honorary research fellow at the University of Buckingham has warned that aliens if present in Mars could kill humans with a deadly pathogen once we land there.
Are Unknown pathogenic microbes a threat to astronauts?
"Astronauts could be exposed to unknown pathogenic microbes and viruses that we have no idea how to control. That is why it is so important to fly additional life detection instruments to Mars – to make sure it is safe to send human beings or to return samples to Earth," Barry DiGregorio told Daily Star.
The scientist also said that Elon Musk's plan to send humans continuously to Mars is nothing but absurd.
"Look at the scenarios that Elon Musk is presenting, he's talking about sending people to Mars on a regular basis which is completely absurd. He's totally ignoring the fact that there could be microbial life on Mars, and as far as being a scientist goes, the one thing you want to make sure of is that your people have a degree of confidence that the surface of Mars is sterile," added the University of Buckingham researcher.
The first Mars mission will be the last one too
DiGregorio strongly believes that astronauts who reach Mars will die due to the infections caused by pathogens in the red planet. He also added that first manned mission to Mars will also turn out to be the last one due to the unexpected consequences.
"What kind of publicity would you have if the first humans to set foot on Mars die of pathogenic diseases from indigenous microbes? There wouldn't be too many more missions," continued DiGregorio.
This is not the first time that Barry DiGregorio is making claims on extraterrestrial lives on Mars. Earlier, the scientist said that he has found the evidence of trace fossils and alien footprints on Mars, and also added that NASA is intentionally trying to cover it up.