NASA's Mars rover may have inadvertantly carried bacteria from Earth on to Mars in its drillbits.
Reports have suggested that a NASA engineer may have opened the sealed drill unit a few months before launch in order to install a drillbit because he was concerned that the rough landing might make this impossible later on. The team dedicated to preventing contamination were never consulted about the move, meaning that it is possible microbes could have hitched a ride on the drillbit and are now multiplying on the Curiosity rover.
It isn't clear how accurate this report is or what NASA would do if it turned out to be true. It is possible that NASA will decide not to use the drill on the rover at all as a result of the error.
"Worried scientists at Nasa now estimate that there may be as many as 250,000 bacterial spores that could have survived both the journey to Mars and the landing."
View: Full article | Source: Wired
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