Planetary Protection

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Christopher K.
Posts: 4335
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Planetary Protection

Post by Christopher K. » October 30th, 2011, 11:59 pm

NASA practices the policy of planetary protection, meaning that it as much as possible lowers the chance of any Earth microbes being present in a robotic mission to other bodies of the Solar System. The process of removing or eradicating those microbes from a craft's components is called microbial reduction.

Missions to Mercury, the Moon and the Sun do not fall under planetary protection guidelines. However, Jovian satellites (Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) and Saturnian satellites (Titan and Enceladus) are notable sites of potentially valuable astrobiology studies.

More information:
http://planetaryprotection.nasa.gov/about/

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