Originally Posted by Johnny Angell
Presumably, the vehicles we send to Mars are sterlized and I also think it's likely we could tell the difference from something native and something foreign.
I think it would be BIG news if we found so much as a microbe on Mars. I also think it would disturb a lot of people. We've got a bunch of people killing other people simply because they believe something different than the killers do. Humans can be very inflexible.
We've already had an incident where the experts had trouble telling what planet something came from. Remember a few years ago, when there was a story that microbes from Mars had been found on a meteor (or something) that came from Mars to Earth? It didn't get big headlines. Then later they said they think the microbes got on it after it got to Earth.
So if they have that much trouble identifying stuff that's on Earth and can be accessed pretty easily, it seems like it would be even harder to determine if what they're looking at is on Mars at the time.
If it's a manned mission, how would they be sure everything was sterile when it left Earth?