Biology and the Exploration of Mars: Report of a Study
View larger
  • Status: Final Book
  • 536 pages
  • Downloads: 24
Biology and the Exploration of Mars:
Report of a Study
(1966)
Overview

Authors

Description

Until recent years the origin of life and its possible occurrence elsewhere in the universe have been matters for speculation only. The rapid growth of molecular biology since 1940 has, to be sure, made it possible to discuss life's origins in far more precise and explicit terms than was possible earlier; and the subject entered a new experimental phase in the 1950's with successful abiogenic synthesis of important biochemical substances in conditions simulating the presumptive environment of the primitive Earth. But the real transformation that the subject has undergone stems from the spectacular growth of space technology in the last decade. The possibility of life's origin and occurrence on planets other than ours is no longer limited to idle speculation: it has entered the realm of the testable, of science in the strict sense. Given the rockets now available, and especially those available by 1969, it has become fully realistic to consider plans for the biological exploration of Mars.

Biology and the Exploration of Mars: Report of a Study concludes that the exploration of Mars--motivated by biological questions--does indeed merit the highest scientific priority in the nation's space program over the next decades. This report further concludes that the favorable opportunities for exploration between 1969 and 1973 can and should be exploited as vigorously as possible. The report considers the potential scientific yields of exploration, the possibility of life occurring on Mars and our ability to detect it with available and foreseeable technology, and gains from further astronomical work from Earth, by Martian fly-by missions, Martian orbiters, and Martian landers. Biology and the Exploration of Mars: Report of a Study contains the findings of the study, a postscript discussing the significance of the observations obtained during the flight of Mariner IV past Mars, and a collection of the working papers that formed the basis of discussions.

Topics

  • Space and Aeronautics — Space Exploration and Development
  • Biology and Life Sciences — Biology
Contents

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-xvii
Summary and Conclusions 3-18
Postscript: October 1965 19-24
1. What Is Life? 25-40
2. The Origin of Life 41-72
3. The Solar System as an Abode of Life 73-113
4. Biological Materials in Carbonaceous Chondrites 114-126
5. Signs of Life 127-140
6. Optical Asymmetry 141-146
7. The Biochemistry of Terrestrial Soils 147-163
8. Properties of Desert Soils 164-186
9. Remote Detection of Terrestrial Life 187-212
10. Development of Rigorous Tests For Extraterrestrial Life 213-228
11. A Model of Martian Ecology 229-242
12. Exotic Biochemistries in Exobiology 243-251
13. Higher Organisms on Mars 252-258
14. Some Terrestrial Programs 259-263
15. Potential Yields of Biological Relevance from Remote Investigations of Mars 264-282
16. Launch Opportunities and Seasonal Activity on Mars 283-291
17. Space Vehicles for Planetary Missions 292-324
18. Biological Objectives and Strategy for the Design of a Space Vehicle to be Landed on Mars 325-330
19. The Automated Biological Laboratory 331-346
20. Analytical Methods for Landers 347-426
21. The Use of Martian Materials in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life 427-432
22. Impact of Manned Spacecraft on the Exobiology Program 433-435
23. Prospects for Manned Mars Missions 436-442
24. Back Contamination and Quarantine--Problems and Perspectives 443-448
25. The Nature of the Problem 449-462
26. Objectives and Technology of Spacecraft Sterilization 463-466
27. Spacecraft Sterilization 467-469
28. Standards for Spacecraft Sterilization 470-481
29. The Special Problem of Encapsulated Contaminants 482-486
APPENDIX I. Instrumentation for the Detection of Extraterrestrial Life 487-502
APPENDIX II. Potential Application of Electron-Optical Methods to Storage of Information for Direct Retrieval 503-506
APPENDIX III. List of Participants and Contributors to the Study 507-509
APPENDIX IV. Note on the Space Science Board 510-519
Research Tools

Suggested Citation

National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council. Biology and the Exploration of Mars: Report of a Study. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1966.

Import this citation to:

Copyright Information

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:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

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
Tel: 978/777-9929
E-mail: customercare@copyright.com
Web: http://www.rightslink.com

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, please click here to view more information.

Related Books more