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1 Planetary Protection and Mars Special Regions
Pages 5-8

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From page 5...
... . The 1967 United Nations Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Bodies states that all countries party to the treaty "shall pursue studies of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct exploration of them so as to avoid their harmful contamination." Internationally, technical aspects of planetary protection are developed through deliberations between space agencies and national and international scientific organizations, and the international consensus policy is maintained by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)
From page 6...
... MARS SPECIAL REGIONS Observations conducted by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor in the late-1990s and early-2000s led to the discovery of transient activity in martian gullies suggesting that liquid water may have flowed on the surface of Mars in recent times (see, for example, Malin and Edgett 2000)
From page 7...
... 2014) : • Clarifying the terms in the existing COSPAR definition; • Establishing temporal and spatial boundary conditions for the analysis; • Reviewing the data sets on the limits of microbial life and the availability of water on Mars; • Identifying applicable threshold conditions for propagation; • Evaluating the distribution of the identified threshold conditions on Mars; • Analyzing on a case-by-case basis those purported environments on Mars that could potentially meet or exceed the biological threshold conditions; • Describing conceptually the possibility for spacecraft-induced conditions that could exceed the threshold levels for propagation; and • Considering the impact of special regions on potential future human missions to Mars.
From page 8...
... • The relationship between martian geological, hydrological, and mineralogical features and Special Regions. Important aspects of this topic include the following: biotic and abiotic sources of methane on Mars; gullies, polar slope streaks, recurring slope lineae, and related features; snow and ice deposits; subsurface environments, caves, and cavities; and the phenomenon of deliquescence.

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