Technology development is necessary in areas such as the following:
Low-temperature sterilization techniques, such as microwave plasma and other plasma-ashing techniques;
Radiation sterilization technologies for whole spacecraft as well as “hot-spot” removal;
Real-time, non-culture-based systems for monitoring the amount and types of bioload; and
Means for providing a suitable mineralogical biological and organic clean sample blank for proofing critical sample-handling pathways.
1. National Research Council, Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2006.
2. COSPAR, “Report of the 34th COSPAR General Assembly,” COSPAR Information Bulletin, No. 156, pp. 24, 67-74, April 2003.
3. National Research Council, Biological Contamination of Mars: Issues and Recommendations, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1992.
4. National Research Council, Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2006.
5. The MEPAG Special Regions-Science Analysis Group, “Findings of the Mars Special Regions Science Analysis Group,” Astrobiology 6:677-732, 2006.