Category V Compliant Container For Mars Sample Return Missions 2000-01-2421
A novel containerization technique that satisfies Planetary Protection Category V requirements has been developed and demonstrated on the mock-up of the Mars Sample
Return Container. The proposed approach uses explosive welding with a sacrificial layer and cut-through-the-seam techniques. The technology produces a container that is free from Martian contaminants on an atomic level. The containerization technique can be used on any celestial body that may support life. A major advantage of the proposed technology is the possibility of very fast (less than an hour) verification of both containment and cleanliness with typical metallurgical laboratory equipment. No separate biological verification is required. In addition to Category V requirements, the proposed container presents a surface that is clean from any, even non-viable organisms, and any molecular fragments of biological origin that are unique to Mars or any other celestial body other than Earth.