Protection of the environment has been considered as the primary objective on earth, in order to be able to ensure the availability of purified water and purified air for humans in the coming days. However, humans tend to be myopic and concentrate on protecting only developed species of plants and animals. Basic life forms like the bacteria are taken into consideration for protection only when exceptional need arises.
The research of Claudius Gros revolves around the degree of analogous derivation of norms for protection of the planets from issue arising in earth’s environmental protection. Gros currently serves as a theoretical physics professor at Goethe University.
The international agreements made by COSPAR on areas such as space research maintain that it must be ensured that any form of existing life during space missions, such as on Jupiter’s moon called Europa, even if it’s merely traces of previously existent life forms, say on Mars, remain unpolluted and thereby, stay intact for future scientific purposes. Interestingly, there is no stipulation regarding extra-terrestrial life being protected as valuable.
These guidelines are applicable only on our current solar system. The extent to which they are being applied when it comes to planetary bodies beyond our galaxy is an extremely relevant issue. Since launch pads have been invented to conduct miniature interstellar space missions, the issue is of all the more importance in the present scenario.
According to Gros, exoplanet protection for use of humans is unjustified. This is because any significant scientific study would require space probes equipped with the ability to lower speed in an unidentified solar system. With the technology available at hand currently, such a mission is likely to span over at least several thousand years.
Gros is of the opinion that matters pertaining to the protection of planets outside our solar system would be rendered irrelevant in case these planets did not contain life, irrespective of whether they’re otherwise habitable. This would, in all probability, include planet systems like Trappist-1 system that has one M-dwarf star as its central star.