By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Space Studies Board, Committee on Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars

ISBN-10: 030909724X

ISBN-13: 9780309097246

Contemporary spacecraft and robot probes to Mars have yielded information which are altering our figuring out considerably concerning the chance of current or prior existence on that planet. Coupled with advances in biology and life-detection ideas, those advancements position expanding value at the have to defend Mars from illness by way of Earth-borne organisms. to assist with this attempt, NASA asked that the NRC study latest planetary safeguard measures for Mars and suggest adjustments and extra study to enhance such measures. This document discusses regulations, requisites, and strategies to guard Mars from organisms originating on the earth which could intrude with medical investigations. It offers tips about cleanliness and organic burden degrees of Mars-bound spacecraft, the right way to succeed in these degrees, and examine to minimize uncertainties in combating ahead infection of Mars.

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1994). In 2002, due to concerns about ensuring adequate control of forward contamination during exploration, COSPAR again modified the planetary protection policy by adding a new category, Category IVc, for missions that investigate martian “special regions,” even if those missions do not include life-detection experiments. A special region was defined as “a region within which terrestrial organisms are likely to propagate, or a region which is interpreted to have a high potential for the existence of extant Martian life forms” (COSPAR, 2003, p.

3 Probability of Contamination and Probability of Growth Historically, the approach used in establishing planetary protection requirements for spacecraft sent to Mars was to require that the probability of contamination (Pc ) with terrestrial microorganisms—that is, the probability that Earth microorganisms introduced to Mars would then reproduce in situ on Mars—be below some threshold. One approach was to require that Pc multiplied by the total number of missions expected to be sent to Mars during the period of biological exploration would remain small compared with 1, that is, that the probability of contamination summed over all missions would remain small.

Billings. 2004. Issues in planetary protection: Policy, protocol and implementation. Space Policy 20: 49-54. L. G. J. P. McKay. 2003. Survival of endospores of Bacillus subtilis on spacecraft surfaces under simulated martian environments: Implications for the forward contamination of Mars. Icarus 165: 253-276. A. 2002. Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000. Monographs in Aerospace History, No. 24. NASA SP-2002-4524. C. S. Department of State. 2004. Narrative: Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.

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Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars by National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Space Studies Board, Committee on Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars


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