Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-2674
2003-07-07

Biosafe Dress Rehearsal for Mars Sample Containment Using In-Space Sterilization 2003-01-2674

Total sample containment is an absolute requirement for Mars sample return missions, derived from the requirement to protect against uncontrolled introduction of potentially hazardous foreign material into the earth's biosphere. These constraints of planetary protection comprise one of the major remaining hurdles to low cost implementation of sample return missions. It is suggested here that to spread the costs of the program, the first mission should consider sterilizing the samples and canister surfaces while still in space during the return to Earth.

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