NASA’s planetary protection engineer Dr Moogega cooper works to prevent “contamination”Spacecraft bringing Earth to Earth, and stopping Earth germs from going the other direction
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NASA scientist Laura Johnson says her goal is to stop alien viruses from reaching Earth.
Dr. Moogega Cooper is responsible for preventing such. “contamination”being returned home by astronauts or spacecrafts, but also to ensure Earth germs are not put at risk on other planets.
After revealing her identity during an interview with Talks at Google, she was dubbed a real-life Guardian of the Galaxy.
She stated that her job as a planetary protector engineer is double.
She explained: “The first part is, when we’re sending out spacecraft, rovers, orbiters, whatever it may be, beyond our own planet to another either planet, Moon, asteroid that may harbour life, it’s my goal and the team’s goal to make sure that we don’t send our Earth germs to those locations, especially when we’re trying to search for life.”
Dr Cooper explained that scientists might mistake new life from another “world” as a danger, but that it is actually a possibility. “hitchhiker from Earth”.
Her job is prevent this scenario from ever happening and to also protect Earth against any future threats. “alien contamination”.
She said: “One day we hope to bring samples back to our own planet and you have to have that same consideration.
“When you bring something back you don’t want to bring something that may be harmful to humans.
“So we have to do the best job possible to make sure it’s done right.”
Dr Cooper said that her and her team could only protect us against the way we know life, but she would be happy to learn if anything new was discovered. “we can modify that approach”.
She stated that it is similar to Covid’s approach.
She also added: “We only know life as we know it. So, we’ll use the worst thing we can think of on our planet as the model for Martian life.”
Scientists base their current research on “potentially dangerous”Martian life is based on prions, which are neurotoxic molecules.
Mad cow disease can be caused by Earth prions, which can cause dementia and even death.
Dr Cooper and her team use such models to simulate worst-case scenarios. This allows them to compare Martian life with ours. “similar to prions”.
There are also contaminates that can get into spacecraft. Therefore, people who put together spacecraft should wear special clothes and work in an environment with ambient air.
This prevents Earth germs being inhaled and being sent out into space.