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Report: Evaluation of Bioburden Requirements for Mars Missions

Status Report From: National Academy of Sciences
Posted: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Could some areas on Mars be subject to less stringent requirements for biological contamination?

Missions to the surface of Mars are required to meet strict planetary protection requirements to reduce the amount of biological contamination transported from Earth to Mars (or from Mars back to Earth). These policies are important to preserving the integrity of experiments searching for life on other planets.

However, with a growing number of missions to Mars, including potential human missions, it is important to consider whether some planetary exploration activities could pose less of a contamination risk to these pristine sites. At the request of NASA, a new report from the National Academies identifies criteria for determining whether missions to certain areas of Mars could be subject to less stringent bioburden requirements.

Learn more by downloading the report and report resources using the links below:

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