NASA 2002c

iMARS 2008d

Accepts NRC 1997 recommendations and requirements

Accepts requirement of containment and biohazard testing for release

Accepts NRC 1997 recommendations and requirements

Technology developments focus on reliable sample containment throughout all mission phases, including landing, transport of hardware and samples to SRF; operations in SRF until samples are cleared for release; in-flight verification of containment and system-level terminal sterilization

Assumes samples will be returned unsterilized and exterior of sample-return canister will be free of martian materials; container to be opened only in the SRF, followed by rigorous biohazards testing

Assumes draft protocol report will be updated and used to plan SRF; containment to be maintained thoughout re-entry and transfer of samples to SRF

Not applicable

Not applicable

If returned samples include martian life, it may or may not be “life as we know it”; the absence of carbon is not evidence for absence of life, but sterilization will be adequate to break the chemical bonds of biological molecules

Not applicable; study focused on facility operations and technology and not issues of science and the potential for martian life

Agrees with the need to contain and test returned samples for biohazards; only replicating organisms or entities that can be replicated and amplified by a terrestrial biological system pose a potential widespread threat. Other potential hazards (e.g., toxins) may be important to consider in protecting laboratory workers exposed to returned samples. Levels of containment and handling in the SRF should be based on perceived risks from biohazards; other potential hazards are dealt with accordingly

Not applicable



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