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Planetary Protection and Hitchhikers in the Solar System: The Danger of Mingling Microbes

Dr. Margaret RaceApril 22, 2009

Dr. Margaret Race (SETI Institute)

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Scientists searching for life elsewhere have to worry about avoiding harmful cross contamination during the exploration of planets and their moons. We don’t want to take Earth microbes to Mars or bring back alien microbes to Earth. In this timely talk, Dr. Race gives a behind-the-scenes view of “environmental management” planning for solar system missions, and explains the role of the Outer Space Treaty and other related national and international policies in planning our hunt for life-forms out there.