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Planning for planetary protection and contamination control: challenges beyond Mars

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2 Author(s)
A. P. Belz ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; J. A. Cutts

In situ analysis for targets beyond Mars brings new challenges in planetary protection, where planetary protection preserves the chemical environment of a target body for future life-detection exploration and, in sample return missions, protects the Earth from potential extraterrestrial contamination. The National Research Council's decadal survey of 2003 and the NASA Solar System Exploration Strategic Program roadmap of 2005 calls for missions to bodies of interest for life-detection or prebiotic science, including Europa, Titan, and comets. These targets present challenges because NASA planetary protection policies specify new requirements for missions to Europa, and new guidelines for Titan are anticipated; furthermore, the comet missions have additional significance because they are envisioned to be sample return missions. This document summarizes the technical challenges to planetary protection and contamination control for these targets of interest and outlines some of the considerations, particularly at the system level, in designing an appropriate technology investment strategy for targets beyond Mars

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2006 IEEE Aerospace Conference

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