I am happy to announce that there is a fair to good possibility that seeding life on Mars may be much more difficult than previously thought. In a recent study, an extensive analysis of the chemical elements present on the planet’s surface (especially in the regolith^) has shown that Martian soil might very well be outright poisonous for life.
So why am I happy because of this “bad news”? Because it’s not bad at all. I believe that given the current state of our society and civilization, Mars is too costly and too early an investment to make. Mars is not going to be easy to colonize in the next decades. Before we go about colonizing Mars, I believe we should do our homework. And I’m not talking only about the technology to shield us from the radiation in space, but also about our own society. A species that is still governed by what I can only call “uncontrolled survivalistic behavior” is not ready for the responsibility of being the shepherd of a new ecosystem.