Status Report

Availability for Comment; NASA Draft Test Protocol for Detecting Possible Biohazards in Martian Samples Returned to Earth

By SpaceRef Editor
July 30, 2003
Filed under , , ,

[Federal Register: July 30, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 146)]
[Page 44819]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []


[Notice: (03-085)]

Availability for Comment; Draft Test Protocol for Detecting
Possible Biohazards in Martian Samples Returned to Earth

AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Availability for comment.

SUMMARY: NASA has prepared a draft protocol for the testing and
evaluation of samples that may be returned from Mars by future missions
in its Mars exploration program. This protocol is designed to provide a
model method whereby such samples can be tested for possible biohazards
that could be present if life exists on Mars. The protocol has been
prepared as a draft to guide the development of both a final protocol
to accomplish biohazard and life-detection testing, and to aid in the
eventual design of the facility or facilities that will be required to
accomplish that testing. Public comment on this draft protocol is
sought to provide for refinement of the draft and to provide
information for future NASA planning efforts.

A Mars sample return mission is not currently scheduled or funded
by NASA, but is being considered as one option in planning future
pathways for the exploration of Mars. The draft protocol is a pre-
decisional document with respect to planning for a future sample return

This notice informs the public of the availability of the draft
protocol for electronic distribution, and solicits public comment.

During the comment period, an electronic version (.pdf) of the NASA
Conference Publication, “A Draft Test Protocol for Detecting Possible
Biohazards in Martian Samples Returned to Earth,” NASA/CP-2002-211842,
is available via internet at, and a limited number of print copies (one per
addressee until the supply is exhausted) is available by writing to the
address below.

DATES: Interested parties are invited to submit comments on this
document in writing on or before November 28, 2003, to assure full
consideration during future planning for Mars exploration missions
involving surface or subsurface sample return missions.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to Dr. John D. Rummel,
NASA Headquarters, Code S, Washington, DC 20546-0001. Comments may also
be sent by electronic mail to:
Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001; 202-358-0702; electronic mail:

John D. Rummel,

Planetary Protection Officer.

[FR Doc. 03-19287 Filed 7-29-03; 8:45 am]


SpaceRef staff editor.