Humans should contaminate Mars to make it suitable for colonization, says study

Mars colony
A representative image of Mars Colony Team SEArch /Apis Cor’s 3D modeled design

Space agencies like NASA and private companies like SpaceX are now busy gearing up with their Mars colonization ideas, and it was around a couple of days back that Elon Musk, the SpaceX founder unveiled the starship that is designated to take humans to the Red Planet. In the meantime, a study paper titled 'Space Colonization Beyond Earth with Microbes First' has suggested that humans should initially contaminate Mars to make it suitable for humans to live.

The study paper published in the journal FEMS Microbiology Ecology argues that the primary colonists in the Red Planet should be microorganisms that include virus, bacteria and fungi. As per this study report, these microorganisms play a crucial role in supporting various life processes back on earth, and their presence will be very much necessary in the Red Planet too.

"Life as we know it cannot exist without beneficial microorganisms. To survive on a barren and as far as all voyages to date tell us, sterile planets, we will have to take beneficial microbes with us," said Jose Lopez, a professor at Nova Southeastern University, and an author of the study in a recent statement.

As per Jose Lopez, microorganisms can terraform the planet, and thus the plans to colonize Mars by humans can be accelerated. He also added that this method will help to save a considerable amount of time and money.

However, space experts reveal that implementing this task is not an easy task. As per these experts, scientists should carefully determine the microbial candidates that might be useful in space, and this will be possible only by carrying out in-depth research in space-like conditions.

It was around a few weeks back that Elon Musk opened up his idea to nuke Mars before human colonization. Musk believes that nuking Mars will help to release the trapped carbon dioxide on the planet, and thus it will be perfect for future human colonization.