March 6, 2014: All the Planets, All the Time: Planetary Protection and its Role in Space Exploration

Throughout the history of space exploration, we’ve been improving our understanding of life and habitability on other planets and solar bodies. It is our responsibility to preserve and protect the environments under investigation as well as our own should a sample be returned. Thus, a set of policies and guidelines have been set in place to ensure that we are good custodians of the solar system and beyond. This concept of Planetary Protection Planetary Protection will be discussed in the context of past missions and its importance will be highlighted in light of the upcoming Mars Sample Return mission.

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