Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars 2003-01-2523
A recent NASA workshop examined systems and concepts that might enable the future safe and productive human exploration of Mars. The workshop emphasized planetary protection (PP)issues-protecting Mars from forward contamination during exploration, protecting astronaut health during the mission, and protecting Earth from back contamination upon return. A range of critical design and operational considerations were identified including mitigation procedures and equipment; human health and life support needs; mission tasks and schedules; equipment and operations for laboratory, habitat, life support, exploration, sampling and sample integrity needs, and sample; and back contamination controls and procedures for the return to Earth. The workshop report includes findings and recommendations that are likely to affect the design and cost of advanced life support systems for long duration human missions to Mars.