Recent spacecraft and robotic probes to Mars have yielded data that are changing our understanding significantly about the possibility of existing or past life on that planet. Coupled with advances in biology and life-detection techniques, these developments place increasing importance on the need to protect Mars from contamination by Earth-borne organisms. To help with this effort, NASA requested that the NRC examine existing planetary protection measures for Mars and recommend changes and further research to improve such measures. This report discusses policies, requirements, and techniques to protect Mars from organisms originating on Earth that could interfere with scientific investigations. It provides recommendations on cleanliness and biological burden levels of Mars-bound spacecraft, methods to reach those levels, and research to reduce uncertainties in preventing forward contamination of Mars.
National Research Council. 2006. Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11381.
|2 Policies and Practices in Planetary Protection||22-35|
|3 Future Mars Exploration: The Rolling Wave||36-40|
|4 Environments on Mars Relative to Life||41-68|
|5 Expanding Our Knowledge of the Limits of Life on Earth||69-90|
|6 Advances in Technologies for Life Detection and Bioburden Reduction||91-104|
|7 Assessing Non-Living Contaminants of Concern||105-110|
|8 A Path Forward for Planetary Protection in the 21st Century||111-123|
|9 Transition Process and Time Line||124-128|
|Appendix A Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff||129-134|
|Appendix B Recommendations from Two Previous NRC Reports on Forward Contamination||135-137|
|Appendix C Summary of Procedures Currently Used to Assess Bioburden in Spacecraft Assembly Clean Rooms and on Spacecraft||138-139|
|Appendix D History of Recommended Values for Probability of Growth||140-140|
|Appendix E Approaches to Bioburden Reduction for Lander Missions to Mars||141-143|
|Appendix F Ambiguities in Geomorphic Interpretation: Martian Gullies||144-147|
|Appendix G Spacecraft Propellant and By-Products as Potential Contaminants||148-151|
|Appendix H Acronyms and Abbreviations||152-154|
The Chapter Skim search tool presents what we've algorithmically identified as the most significant single chunk of text within every page in the chapter. You may select key terms to highlight them within pages of each chapter.
The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Rightslink, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Rightslink allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Rightslink you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the National Academies Press (NAP) through Rightslink:
Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Rightslink service, please contact:
Rightslink Customer Care
Tel (toll free): 877/622-5543
To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-624-6242 for pricing.
To request permission to translate a book published by the National Academies Press or its imprint, the Joseph Henry Press, pleaseclick here to view more information.