As soon as we explore more distant corners of our solar system, all the more acute becomes the question of colonization or settlement beyond Earth. Manned bases on the Moon or Mars have long been the subject of dreams for many people. In our inherent natural desire to explore as far as possible and to increase the presence of humanity on a permanent or at least semi-permanent basis. But to achieve this, it is necessary to adapt to a variety of extreme environmental conditions. On the Moon, for example, a colony must be able to sustain itself and defend itself from the airless atmosphere and harsh environmental conditions.
Another thing - Mars. Although future framework can be adapted to Martian conditions, but it is not limited to our ability. It is possible to change the environment, not just adapt to its environment. This process, called terraforming, is to change the atmosphere and environment of Mars under our, earthly conditions. Although technically we do not have the strength to, in the future it may become a reality. Perhaps more important to ask the question - should we do it?
One of the major hiccups is the question of the existence of life on it. How it will affect colonization or terraforming?
If Mars has some biosphere, we must make every effort to preserve it. Small colonies will not cause harm, but our presence on Mars should not have a negative impact on local life, if it exists.
If the surface is actually such a barren and desolate as it looks at first glance, the base of the colony should not be a problem. According to scientists, the Martian caves may serve as an ideal place for such a base, as they serve as a natural protection against harsh environmental conditions. But when they found out some form of life, we will be forced to leave this invention and not to interfere in the natural course of things. In this case, the issue of terraforming will disappear by itself.
Studying Mars and other planets and moons in their current state of nature, we can learn a lot about their stories along the way to better understand our own planet.
It should also take into account the possibility of infection. There is an established protocol in accordance with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which prescribes decontaminate any space ship going to the moon or Mars. If bacteria from Earth get to Mars and survive, it will complicate the search for local life on the Red Planet.
Both the scientific and the ethical point of view, it would be wise, as our ability to protect Mars from Earth intruders. Regardless of whether there is life on Mars or not. Fortunately, the risk of infection is small planet disparagingly as for terrestrial bacteria or other micro-organisms, it would be very difficult not that spread across the Martian surface, but even just to survive.