NASA’s Planned Mars Sample Return Campaign Draws Criticism From Unexpected Source

NASA is soliciting public input on its planned Mars Sample Return (MSR) project. In the agency’s statement, it details that the mission will:

“use robotic Mars orbiter and lander missions launched in 2027 and 2028 to retrieve samples of rocks and atmosphere being gathered by NASA’s Perseverance rover and return them to Earth. The samples of Mars material, securely isolated inside a robust Earth Entry System using a layered ‘container within a container’ approach, could be brought to Earth in the early 2030s, landing notionally at the Utah Test and Training Range operated by the U.S. Air Force. The Earth Entry System would then be transported to a specialized MSR sample receiving facility.”

The agency’s request for public comment focuses on its draft environmental impact statement, said statement focusing on the launch of, and recovery/storage of, vehicles involved in the mission. However, concerns have arisen that the statement neglects the MSR’s potential environmental impact on Mars.

Given the pressing need to be good stewards of natural resources by not harming local habitats regardless of location, here at RedState we believe it vital to reach out and cover all angles of this story. Therefore, we have contacted an interplanetary-recognized expert on Mars and Mars/Earth relations.

Sir, what are your thoughts on the MSR project?

It makes me very angry! Very angry indeed!

What upsets you about the project?

How would you feel if some robots suddenly showed up on your front lawn and started taking gardenia samples without permission? Hmm?

Well … I can see your point. But the mission is taking rocks. Surely you can’t object to that.

To you, they may be rocks. To me, they are part of my lovely planet. Besides, I’ve arranged them quite nicely to help me focus on finishing my Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

Your what?

My Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. I’m going to use it to blow up the Earth.


It blocks my view of Venus. Besides, have you looked around your planet lately? Very, very messy.

You have us there. But that aside, what else do you object to regarding the project?

You still need to file the proper paperwork.

That’s not true. The draft environmental impact statement is on NASA’s website for all to see, and …

Don’t contradict me, Earthling. I am the third part-time deputy sub-assistant to the fourth-floor regional vice-minister for Thursday morning in-between coffee breaks closet space and environmental impact. You must send me a copy of the statement for review before proceeding. We cannot permit harming the local environment for the sake of alien scientific exploration.

We’re taking a few rocks. I’ve seen pictures of your planet. You have plenty to spare.

Those aren’t rocks. Those are instant Martians. You add water, and you have your own army all ready to go. We can’t allow you Earthlings to take our army.

You’re on Mars. Why do you need an army?

Same reason you have the Second Amendment.

Fair enough.

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