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1 Introduction
Pages 6-9

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From page 6...
... It has long been known, from orbital photographs of river channels on the surface of Mars, that liquid water was once present on the martian surface, although it is not now (the vapor pressure of water in the martian atmosphere is far too low to permit the stable coexistence of liquid water) .l~3 Most recently, the surprising discovery has been made of small gullies on Mars that appear to be very recent, eroded by a liquid that issued from remarkably shallow depths (e.g., Figure 1.1~.4 When samples are collected on Mars for return to Earth, a high priority will be given to sampling materials from these previously aqueous environments to maximize the chances of the materials including relicts of martian life.5 These materials can be expected to include loose soil, rock fragments, and possibly rock cores, including cores of sedimentary rocks (Figure 1.2)
From page 7...
... A sample-return mission (Mars Surveyor 2003) had been scheduled to return martian material to Earth in 6Space Studies Board, National Research Council.
From page 8...
... This may seem to put sample return comfortably far in the future, from a planning perspective, but the present report concludes that the order of a decade of time will be needed to adequately plan and prepare a quarantine facility to receive the samples. The nature of the required quarantine facility and of quarantine procedures has been considered by the National Research Council's (NRC's)
From page 9...
... ~ ~~ ~ ~ Repanel of ~experts, ir~cluding representatives of relevant governmental and scientific~bodies, should be established as soon;~as possible once serious planning for a Mars sample-return mission has begun, to coordinate regulatory responsibilities and to advise NASA on the implementation of planetary protection measures for sampJe-return ~:missions. The panel should be in place at least one year prior to the establishment of the sample-receiving facility (at least three years prior to launch)

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