Not a Paradise for Humans but other life? When Sputnik was launched, with Yuri Gagarin and John Glenn and the US satellite Explorer 1 in Space the world was a different place. We thought Mars might have life, it was speculated that perhaps Venus was a hot swampy tropical planet. When Mariner 4 and Venera 13 went to Mars and Venus they showed very interesting planets but 'lifeless' worlds. For many came the conclusion we here on Earth are the only life in our solar system yet today we are still not sure if there is a possibility of microbe survival on Mars and Venus. The study of extremophiles in toxic areas, in Yellowstone National Park and in crushing Deep Sea Vents opened a whole new area of study and debate. Exobiology or Astrobiology is a massive area of scientific study today, exoplanetary star systems by space telescopes and ground based scopes discovered strange worlds, exo-worlds so far are profoundly different from our solar system it has led to supporting the 'Rare Earth' hypothesis.. Our neighborhood was thought to be dead, this was before the political time of 'Green Awareness'. However let's say soon we find something intelligent-ish, say in the next few we do find something on Jupiter's Moon Europa or our backyard, I guess maybe even animal-ish with a level of debate about 'Animal Cognition' maybe even an animal using bones or rocks or 'Tool Use' or some kind of self-recognition, awareness or wisdom.

The original days of the Space era were more politically simple you had the United States vs the USSR during the Coldwar. This historical time was before the days of the Green movement, in my personal experience I have seen a political growth in the whole vegetarianism zoolatry-ish, veganism buddhism-diet greenism movement I would rarely see as a movement it when I met people across the world but animal / plant welfare is a big concept today. I imagine there is a strong political environmental awareness on Earth, with what is referred to the 6th mass extinct known as Anthropocene extinction or 'Holocene Extinction' maybe it could be debated that 'mankind' has some 'moral obligation' not to mess up things on other 'worlds'. Today you have the Human Environment Animal Protection parties in Germany, it was before the Animal Advocate Tree Protection Party of Taiwan and Canada, it was before Brazilian had a Space Agency, before the Chinese are in space, before India launched Chandrayaan-1 the first mission to the Moon in 2008, before Japan put robots in space, before the Party for the Animals Holland Netherlands won European seats in elections and ESA Astronauts on the ISS before the Private Sector and Space Tourism became a thing, before the Moon Treaty....let's imagine for a second all these groups across our world were to form a Green Pro-XenoAlien Coalition to lobby for the Astro-biological creature found. The Moon Treaty Signed by a number of countries in NYC back in December 1979 States that there is a 'Ban on altering the environmental balance of celestial bodies & requires that states take measures to prevent accidental contamination of the environments of celestial bodies, including Earth.' In Unicode, the biohazard symbol is U+2623 (☣). There is not just political reasoning behind this but also scientific, a biological hazard event or biohazard, is a bio-substance that poses a threat to the health of living organisms. A pathogenic biological event known as viral disease or viral infection occurs when an organism's body is invaded by foreign pathogenic viruses, and a body invaded by infectious virus particles. The ongoing 2019- pandemic might have the idea of 'infection' and 'virus' staying in the public's mind for sometime to come, it has opened discussion on other epidemics and historical examination of far more fatal 'plagues' which happened in our history.

If alien life on a nearby body was found the first thing that will meet it is probably going to be a machine. I was thinking maybe the whole scientific study would be done remotely by robots, just as we are using Deep-sea exploration just as we study biological conditions on the sea bed, until someone decides 'Let's take this alien life sample and bring it back home to study on Earth.' Genesis was a failed safe re-entry but successful 'solar sample' return mission that crashed in the Utah desert in September 2004, although it 'crashed' the mission had good scientific results and NASA recovered remains of the Genesis probe, they had undergone efforts that left projects scientists saying that "things are looking very very good". There is an Old thread here before the days of 'baut' back when Phil Plait and Fraser Cain had their own forum I think this could be a 'merged' discussion from 16 years ago? The fictional B-movie scifi Andromeda Strain paints a horror fantasy picture of what happens when it goes all wrong in a hollywood universe, a mishap is similar to the original event that inspired Edward A. Murphy Jr. to formulate the now-famous Murphy's Law. Returning samples from a foreign body like Mars already has a NASA / ESA concept, there are other international missions such as a Russian proposal and a Chinese proposal, there are future Japanese Exploration plans and previous plans JAXA/NASDA/NAL groups in Japan which unveiled to retrieve samples from Moons/Asteroids/Comets. Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society, at times speaks against the whole idea of protection or even sterilization. Zubrin I believe more or less said Mars is dead and Martian pathogens or a Mars-virus stands out as 'not only illusory but hallucinatory', he says Mars and Earth already infected each other using ancient space rocks this was Zubrin's statement on the "Threat of Back Contamination." Zubrin argued in the fringe Journal of Cosmology that contamination risk of alien samples from space is functionally zero and there is little need to worry, he calls the idea of protecting against contamination the 'The Planetary Protection Racket'. Margaret Race, a zoologist who wrote on the Planetary Society website and she is also an expert on invasive species said 'When I read the opinion piece by Robert Zubrin . She said 'I didn't know how to react. As a biologist working on planetary protection and Mars sample return at the SETI institute, I wondered how an engineer and Mars enthusiast like Zubrin could make such irresponsible and inaccurate statements' Margaret Race also works with NASA through the SETI Institute, she has a concern for 'Planetary Protection'. I guess some of this debate is covered in the Mars Sample-Return (MSR) concept but let's we dont find microbes let's also say a far more complex biology / lifeform is found?