Scientists are preparing for a possible viral close encounter. Researchers argue that when humans return to Mars from a planned trip in the 2030s, they'll have to isolate themselves because rock samples from the Red Planet could be just as harmful as Ebola, even if it's unlikely to happen. So Possible Viral Danger Awaiting Astronauts on Mars.
Rockets returning from Mars will have to go through a chemical cleaning process that involves a lot of heat.
Stanford aeronautics and space professor Scott Hubbard told Stanford News when welcoming anyone or anything from Mars that "planetary defense" for Earth should come first.
"In my and the scientific community's judgment," Hubbard said, "the probability that millions of years old rocks from Mars contain an active form of life that could infect Earth is extremely remote.
“However, [Mars] samples returned by [NASA] will be quarantined and treated like the Ebola virus until they can be safely verified.”
They will be "baked at high temperature" before scientists analyze samples returned by NASA's Perseverance Rover's unmanned Mars 2020 mission planned this summer.
NASA has stated that humans will be sent to Mars as early as 2035.
Atmosphere and Air: The Martian atmosphere is mainly composed of carbon dioxide. Unlike Venus, however, the Martian atmosphere is very thin, leaving the planet bombarded by cosmic rays and producing little greenhouse effect. Flying to Mars on July 14, 1965, Mariner 4 found that Mars has only 1 to 2 percent of Earth's atmospheric pressure. Temperatures on Mars average -81 degrees F. However, temperatures range from about -220 degrees F. to +70 degrees F. in winter at the poles. at lower latitudes in summer.
Various probes over the past few decades have found the surface of Mars to be quite desert-like. A stunning panoramic view of the Martian surface was captured by the Pathfinder mission in 1997.
The surface is cratered, but not as much as our Moon or Mercury. The craters are likely weather eroded over the years by violent storms, some of which can cover the entire planet. These storms are common on the red planet and lift rust-colored dust well into the atmosphere surrounding the entire world. The red color of Mars comes from the reddish rock, sand and soil that covers about 5/8 of the surface.
There is no running water today, but NASA announced on March 2, 2004 that two rovers Spirit and Opportunity have confirmed that liquid water once flowed on Mars.
The rest of Mars has green spots. It's unclear what produces this green color, however, because it's definitely not vegetation. There is evidence in the field that water has eroded some of the soil.
Additionally, a NASA research team in 1984 found a meteorite in Antarctica that may have come from Mars. The meteorite dates back 4,5 billion years, and some evidence of microscopic life remained in the rock. Currently, Martian water appears to be trapped in polar ice caps and possibly below the surface. Due to Mars' very low atmospheric pressure, any water that tries to exist on the surface boils quickly.