Planetary protection regulations stymieing Mars missions, says researchers

June 27, 2013 11:28 AM

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Planetary protection regulations stymieing Mars missions, says researchers

While NASA has been carrying out some extensive missions on Mars, looking for evidence of water and signs that the planet could have supported life, it has been required to follow strict requirements to prevent contamination. The idea behind this is that the introduction of microbes from Earth could harm the Martian planet, something researchers have spoken out against today.

The journal Nature Geoscience published a piece today on the topic, in which two researchers – Cornell University’s Alberto Fairen and Washington State University’s Dirk Schulze-Makuch – state that such planetary protection requirements are putting undue financial strain on these missions and hinder...

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