Questions tagged [contamination]

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What Mars science research would be impeded by the presence of humans on Mars surface?

What Mars science research would be impeded by the presence of humans on Mars surface? The NASA InSight Mars Lander had seismometers sensitive enough to pick up vibrations caused by dust devils in the ...
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18 votes
1 answer

Did the Perseverance and Curiosity skycranes land gently, or did they crash?

I don't think I found any references as to further fate of the skycranes after detaching the rovers other than them "flying away" from the rover. Does NASA make any minimal effort to land ...
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2 votes
0 answers

Avoiding Martian contamination with Earth microbes

Unmanned probes can be sterilized, but when humans begin occupying Mars in large quantities, how can contamination of possible Martian microbes with Earth microbes be avoided?
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6 votes
2 answers

Legality of nuclear debris field on the Moon?

A while ago, I asked about what happens to a nuclear engine that gets smashed into the Moon. While not conclusively answered, it's likely that the contaminated area would be of significant size. But ...
5 votes
3 answers

Life on Mars: How do we know it is not from Earth?

Firstly I would like to start the question with the knowledge that we have, that the most basic form of life we want and expect to find in our Solar System is the primitive kind, such as viruses or ...
4 votes
1 answer

Were probes of "lunar microbes" taken from the spacecraft?

While I read that the Apollo spacecraft had to be decontaminated from potential lunar microbes, I wonder whether also probes were taken to investigate later on whether there had been any?
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6 votes
0 answers

Why Russian rockets do not employ a true Range Safety Officer (RSO) destruct system?

In contrast to US & ESA programs, Russians do not employ true RSO destruct system. If rocket loses control, ground officers can send manual shut down command but they never destroy rocket in air ...
  • 2,193
0 votes
0 answers

Lunar contamination by tardigrades [duplicate]

According to this tweet the recent crash of Beresheet on the Moon could have spread tardigrades on the Moon surface. Isn't this a violation of the agreement on preventing contamination of outer ...
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10 votes
1 answer

Why would the Apollo Lunar Module pressure dump (to space?) valve have a bacterial filter?

This answer to Why did they bother closing the hatch on the LM while doing EVA? links to a transcript of Apollo 11 which contains the following (find it there by searching for "radiative"): 109:41:...
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5 votes
1 answer

How are electrical connectors on the ISS protected from humidity and contaminants?

Early concepts of Apollo had a single computer that was to be unplugged and moved between the CM and LM. This idea was soon abandoned because of contaminant buildup in the connectors: Electrical ...
  • 47.1k
5 votes
0 answers

Are Peace Vallis and it's alluvial fan on Mars classified as special regions or not?

According to the answer for this question, that was not accepted, alluvial fans might have water and thus a IVc category mission would be required to visit such an area. Curiosity meets only the IVa ...
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1 vote
1 answer

Do you have to build your own satellite in sterile conditions?

If you were to build your own satellite (say, like a CubeSat), is it required to build it in sterile conditions? The satellite would never reach another planet/the Moon so I wouldn't have thought that ...
1 vote
1 answer

Probable future tech to sterilize an EVA suit as it is being worn

As far as I've been able to find (please correct me if I am wrong!), there is no current technology that would permit an EVA suit that is being worn to be sterilized without risk of damage to the suit ...
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7 votes
2 answers

Could a biohazard sample return capsule from Mars be safely hard landed on Earth?

There are some planetary protection concerns about backward contamination of Earth by returning samples from Mars, a mission which may well happen around the Earth-Mars opposition of 2025. One of the ...
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3 votes
1 answer

How plans for Mars colonization comply with Planetary protection act?

The existence of extraterrestrial life or proto-life organic evolution in isolated environment of Mars is question of ontological magnitude. Mars is probably the only place in solar system where ...
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5 votes
1 answer

How are ultra-sensitive aerogel suspended samples secured for Earth reentry and touchdown?

For example, how were the Stardust particle collector samples, that were suspended in brittle and extremely low density (0.014 g/cm3) silica aerogel, secured prior to atmospheric reentry so they ...
13 votes
3 answers

Sending trash into space

What would be the positive and negative affects of using other planets and/or space itself for storing trash - instead of wasting place for that on Earth? Also, what are the possible obstacles of ...
8 votes
4 answers

Is 'Mars One' a one-way mission for fear of infecting Earth with unknown pathogens?

Will the Mars One mission team be testing samples to know for sure that there are no deadly viruses on Mars? If there are no viruses, will this pave the way for Mars travel? What would be the ...