Just read that headline again. This is an actual thing. We have a rover on the red planet, and it has sent back pretty good evidence that there is water flowing on Mars. This is very exciting news, and also something we can't actually prove, since we could just send the rover over to check it out.

But guess what...we can't.

But why, you ask? Well, a group called the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) has set up "planetary protection" rules. They say we can only send a "sterile" lander to investigate that area.

I guess they're worried about the millions of people on Mars that our investigation will contaminate. All those cute lil furry animals, the fish, the farmers, celebrities...just think what our investigation of these "rivers" would do to the economy on Mars!

We contaminate the drinking water, and everyone gets sick...the animals begin to die, contaminating more water, people get more sick and miss work, so people lose their jobs up there, Martian babies would get sick...Obamacare stops paying out for Martian illness, and everyone begins to die.

Heck, we'd even have to launch a massive global effort to bring Matt Damon home before the plague spreads to his habitat, either killing him outright, or mutating him into an unrecognizable monster that would burst into the Martian cities, killing and sending all the population to Hell until Karl Urban and The Rock come with other UAC forces to exterminate all the Hellspawn...oh, wait...I got sidetracked thinking about Doom there for a second. How did I combine The Martian movie with Doom, suddenly?

Okay, maybe they're right about not investigating without a sterile lander...but I think the scenario i outlined above should be considered the far extreme end on the spectrum of possibility. Seriously, do you really think we could afford to send The Rock and Karl Urban to Mars to fight Hellspawn? We don't have that kind of money.

Maybe if we call Captain Kirk, he can have sex with the hot green alien leader, and get us special permission?