Taxpayer dollars being used to protect the environment on Mars

Believe it or not, NASA has at least one employee whose job is environmental protection on Mars.  Seriously.

At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Catharine A. Conley has a lofty job title: planetary protection officer.

Thousands, millions, sometimes many times more, bacteria travel across the solar system on spacecraft. Earth has been invading Mars since November 1971, when the Soviet Mars 2 lander crashed. Certainly life exists on Mars today — the microbes that have hitchhiked from Earth. Even in the harsh environs of Mars — cold, dry, bombarded by ultraviolet light — it takes many years for all of them to be killed off.

The concern is that some of them might not only survive but thrive.

There are no animals on Mars.  No Martian rabbits.  No Martian deer, no Martian antelope, no Martian Pomeranians.  There are no plants on Mars.  No Martian lettuce.  No Martian carrots.  No nothing.  We have photographed most of the planet.  There's nothing there.  At most, there is a remote possibility there might be some bacteria we have not yet discovered.

But basically, it's a dead planet, and yes, we know this for a fact.

So who cares if microbes from the Earth "contaminate" Mars?  There is no ecosystem to contaminate.  It's a dead planet.

Furthermore, if the illegal alien population becomes too unbearable and we someday colonize Mars to escape them, we will unavoidably bring microbes with us.  And if we never colonize Mars, it simply won't matter.

And yet, your taxpayer dollars are going to pay at least the salary of one useless employee to safeguard the empty "environment" on Mars.  Who knows what else NASA is wasting money on?  Wait, I have an answer: the study of worms in zero gravity.

Dr. Conley inadvertently entered the planetary protection field because of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia, which was carrying an experiment of hers involving nematode worms when it disintegrated during re-entry in 2003

I'll bet if we dug into the NASA budget, we'd find a lot of ridiculousness like that.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of, the conservative news site.