Dr Barry DiGregorio even urged NASA to analyse samples on the Moon instead to avoid introducing any risk of infection by bringing them to Earth.
The space agency responded to our report that scientists fear Red Planet samples could spark a pandemic or risk upsetting Earth’s atmosphere.
EXCLUSIVE: NASA has told Daily Star Online that it will bring Mars samples back to Earth despite fears they could contain possible deadly pandemic pathogens
NASA told Daily Star Online: “NASA has policies in place for the safe return of extraterrestrial materials and is studying how best to implement these for Mars Sample Return.
NASA has vowed to bring Mars samples back to Earth for testing despite fears they could be infected with possible deadly pathogens that could cause another pandemic, Daily Star Online can exclusively reveal.
But the US agency has told us it will press ahead with returning them to our planet and dismissed Dr DiGregorio’s suggestion.
NASA is planning to send humans to the Moon in the 2030s, and is currently considering how best to return Mars samples.
“Any future sample return mission would be subject to detailed planning and rigorous independent expert review.”
“Returning Mars samples to Earth would allow scientists to study them in state-of-the-art laboratories with specialised instrumentation that cannot be transported to Mars or to the Moon.
He claims a NASA curiosity rover captured fossils on Mars in 2018, but accused it of failing to investigate in order to boost its 2030s mission. NASA denied this.
Dr DiGregorio, an honorary research fellow at the University of Buckingham’s Centre for Astrobiology, believes life has already been discovered on Mars.
It continued: “The surface of Mars today is bitterly cold, relentlessly desiccating, and harshly oxidizing so it is unlikely that life as we know it could be active.
But it told Daily Star Online this week that the chances of active life on Mars are “unlikely” and that Earth has already hosted pieces from the planet.
“Even so, the current policy is to treat any Mars samples returned to Earth with utmost caution.
“These Martian meteorites have posed no known health risks to humans or any harm to Earth’s biosphere.
“It is important to note that NASA has safely brought back comet dust, solar wind particles as well as rocks and regolith from the Moon. We also – already – have pieces of Mars here on Earth, as meteorites.
“NASA and ESA are working with international experts from industry, academia, and government agencies to design and test combinations of containment, sterilization, and molecular deactivation to meet stringent standards for preventing harm to Earth’s environment from potential extraterrestrial biology.”