The Space Studies Board of the National Research Council (NRC) serves as the primary adviser to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on planetary protection policy, the purpose of which is to preserve conditions for future biological and organic exploration of planets and other solar system objects and to protect Earth and its biosphere from potential extraterrestrial sources of contamination. In October 1995 the NRC received a letter from NASA requesting that the Space Studies Board examine and provide advice on planetary protection issues related to possible sample-return missions to near-Earth solar system bodies.
Table of Contents
|2 THE POSSIBILITY OF EXTANT LIFE ON MARS||10-16|
|3 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MARTIAN METEORITES||17-18|
|4 THE POTENTIAL FOR LARGE-SCALE EFFECTS||19-22|
|5 SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS THAT COULD REDUCE UNCERTAINITY||23-26|
|6 EVALUATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF SAMPLES RETURNED FROM MARS||27-29|
|7 THE SAMPLE-RECEIVING FACILITY||30-33|
|8 PROGRAM OVERSIGHT||34-36|
|9 TECHNOLOGY ISSUES||37-40|
|APPENDIX: LETTER OF REQUEST||45-47|
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