The appearance of a rock in an image captured by Mars rover Opportunity has caused speculation about alien life on the planet. NASA recently released two images taken by the rover, the first of which shows simply red dirt surface of the planet. The second image, taken 13 days after the first, depicts the same location. In the second image, however, a small white rock is present on the surface.
Although NASA claimed that the rock was probably hit into view by one of the rovers or knocked into the location by another form of impact, many believed that the rock had an unusual appearance worthy of further investigation.
According to Red Orbit, one such scientist is now suing NASA for “its failure to investigate the potential discovery of alien life” by dismissing the appearance of the object.
The scientist, Rhawn Joseph, is suing NASA as an organization as well as its administrator Charles Bolden in particular. Joseph calls for NASA and Bolden to “perform a public, scientific, and statutory duty which is to closely photograph and thoroughly scientifically examine and investigate a putative biological organism.”
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Although a lawsuit against NASA for refusing to investigate extraterrestrial life might sound like it was perpetuated by a paranoid conspiracy theorist, Joseph actually has the credentials to make his claims legitimate. Joseph has worked as a neuropsychologist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and he has published extensively throughout the scientific community. He is, however, also controversial for his views about the origin of life, which he believes was transplanted to Earth from another location. This unorthodox approach to the origin of life explains Joseph’s interest in the Mars rock.
According to the International Business Times, Joseph has incredibly specific demands for how he wants NASA to proceed with its discovery of the rock.
Joseph wants the agency to “take 100 high resolution close-up in-focus photos of the specimen identified in Sol 3540, at various angles, from all sides, and from above down into the ‘bowl’ of the specimen, and under appropriate lighting conditions which minimize glare. Take a minimum of 24 microscopic in-focus images of the exterior, lip, walls, and interior of the specimen under appropriate lighting conditions.”
NASA has yet to respond to the demands laid-out in Joseph’s lawsuit.