National Academies Press: OpenBook

Biology and the Exploration of Mars (1966)

Chapter: 29 The Special Problem of Encapsulated Contaminants

« Previous: 28 Decontamination Standards for Martial Exploration Programs
Suggested Citation:"29 The Special Problem of Encapsulated Contaminants." National Research Council. 1966. Biology and the Exploration of Mars. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12409.
×
Page 482
Suggested Citation:"29 The Special Problem of Encapsulated Contaminants." National Research Council. 1966. Biology and the Exploration of Mars. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12409.
×
Page 483
Suggested Citation:"29 The Special Problem of Encapsulated Contaminants." National Research Council. 1966. Biology and the Exploration of Mars. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12409.
×
Page 484

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Next: Appendix I: Instrumentation for the Detection of Extraterrestrial Life »
Biology and the Exploration of Mars Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

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 StudyΒ 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.Β Biology and the Exploration of Mars: Report of a StudyΒ 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.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!