It is approximately 100 years in the future. A base has been set up on the Moon and further settlement is ongoing (total population ~1000). The first interplanetary research base has recently been established on Mars, following the discovery of subsurface life by a previous expedition. However, after extensive studies, it has been determined that:
- This bacterial organism is adapted to several different underground environments and widespread across the planet's subsurface lakes.
- This organism is COMPLETELY biologically incompatible with Earth life.
Because of this, it has been decided to cancel further human colonization (at least until more data/a plan to breed this organism can be formulated), to avoid both forward and back contamination by microorganisms and preserve Mars's ecosystem for further study.
The question remains, though: if Mars is "off-limits", where else to colonize in the Solar System?
Any input would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time!