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Mars Sample Return

15 Jun 2018, 13:00 UTC
Mars Sample Return
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Wikipedia dixit:
“A Mars sample return mission (MSR) would be a spaceflight mission to collect rock and dust samples from Mars and to return them to Earth. Sample return would be a very powerful type of exploration, because analysis is freed from the time, budget, and space constraints of spacecraft sensors.
Since it is currently unknown whether life forms exist on Mars, the mission could potentially transfer viable organisms resulting in back contamination—the introduction of extraterrestrial organisms into Earth’s biosphere. The scientific consensus is that the potential for large-scale effects, either through pathogenesis or ecological disruption, is extremely small. Nevertheless, returned samples from Mars will be treated as potentially biohazardous until scientists can determine that the returned samples are safe. The goal is to reduce the probability of release of a Mars particle to less than one in a million. In addition, the proposed NASA Mars Sample Return mission will not be approved by NASA until the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process has been completed. The NEPA process would require a public review of all potential impacts that could result from MSR, including worst case back contamination scenarios. It is likely that a formal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would ...

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