This blog has been live for about two months now, and it’s already clear that there are various comments and attitudes towards the risks of Mars Sample Return. The comments usually fall into descrete categories, ranging from “Why even bother doing this, it’s a waste of money anyway”, to “We must take the risk to better all mankind.” Although the sample of comments is far too few to project the precise percentages of how the pubic opinion breaks down, the following categories give the gist of the predominant comments (not ranked by popularity). The rounded percentages are shown (76 applicable comments).
1) Why even bother doing Mars Sample Return? Use the money to take care of the Earth. 8%
2) I think it is too dangerous to bring the Mars samples back to Earth (some people suggest study it on the ISS, or at a future Lunar base). 34%
3) I think Mars Sample Return is safe because, from what I’ve heard, Mars is probably sterile. 9%
4) I think Mars Sample Return is safe, because I don’t think Mars life would be a pathogen or survive on Earth as an invasive species. 7%
5) I think Mars Sample Return is safe because I trust scientist to keep the samples contained, (some add “like they did with the Apollo Moon samples”, or add the importance to mankind). 29%
6) I think Mars Sample Return is safe because meteors have been bringing Mars life here for a long time. 13%
So where do you fall in the spectrum of responses? Or do you have a different view?