Should environmental protection rules apply to worlds outside the solar system? Scientists believe that possible extraterrestrial life forms deserve immunity, if they can be scientifically investigated. What about the numerous lifeless planets whose oxygen atmospheres are predisposed for earthly forms? The researchers decided to answer these questions.
On Earth, environmental protection primarily provides access to clean water and air, which should also be provided to future generations. Typically, these trends also extend to developed animals with plants. But not everything is so simple with lower life forms, such as bacteria, especially if they are not from our planet.
Not everyone is aware of the existence of the COSPAR international space research agreement. It provides that space missions traveling to potentially livable worlds (for example, the satellites of Jupiter or the planet Mars) must ensure that there is no pollution. That is, it is important to keep the object as it was before the arrival of the apparatus, in order to satisfy the purity of scientific research. However, no one considers this issue from the perspective of the value of the alien life itself. The COSPAR manual applies to the solar system. But what about exoplanets around alien stars? And this question will become particularly relevant with the advent of high-speed miniature interstellar space probes. Scientists agree that the protection of such worlds would be unjustified. They are located far away and the device will spend thousands of years flying, so it would be difficult to predict the risk of interference from terrestrial bacteria.
Some believe that the protection of exoplanets would be irrelevant even if life were there. We are talking about planets, like those that are located in the TRAPPIST-1 system with an M-dwarf star. These worlds are endowed with a dense oxygen atmosphere, but it is doubtful that life there would develop, since free oxygen destroys the prebiotic reaction cycles (prerequisites for the emergence of life).
So far, no one can say for sure that there is no life in such worlds. But if you believe modern knowledge and assumptions, the majority of usable planets in the Universe are uninhabited, which means they are suitable for “pollution” with earth life. Perhaps somewhere it will be possible to launch the evolutionary processes that once occurred on Earth.