Biohazard Prevention

Morring, Jr., Frank
October 2003
Aviation Week & Space Technology;10/13/2003, Vol. 159 Issue 15, p49
Trade Publication
The deliberate destruction of the $3-billion U.S./European Galileo planetary probe to prevent it from crashing into one of Jupiter's moons underscores the importance that the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other space agencies place on protecting planets and moons from biological contamination as a by-product of exploration. With the pace of robotic solar system forays quickening, planetary protection is likely to gain increased visibility. Nozomi, a Japanese Mars probe that has run low on fuel after a course-correction anomaly, could potentially cause what planetary protectionists call "forward contamination" if it should crash on the Martian surface instead of going into the highly elliptical orbit its controllers have targeted. INSET: Safety Drop.


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