Mars Exchange
Planetary Protection: Preventing contamination of Mars

Planetary Protection: Preventing contamination of Mars

by Vince on Thursday, 8th September 2016 in Expert Opinions, People, John Rummel

Dr. John D. Rummel, an adviser to Mars One, is a Senior Scientist with the SETI Institute and was formerly the Director of East Carolina University’s (ECU’s) Institute for Coastal Science and Policy. He has served twice with NASA—from 1986 to 1993 as (among other things) Exobiology Program Manager and Manager, Life Support Systems Integration, and from 1998 to 2006 as NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer. From 2006 to 2008 he was NASA’s Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, responsible for all of NASA’s efforts in astrobiology. He chaired The International Council for Science’s Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Planetary Protection from 1999 to 2014, and is also a member of COSPAR’s Panel on Exploration and the representative of the International Union of Biological Science on the COSPAR Council. He is the lead author of some of the newest guidelines on the exploration of Mars, “A New Analysis of Mars ‘‘Special Regions’’: Findings of the Second MEPAG Special Regions Science Analysis Group,” published in 2014 in Astrobiology.

Early this year, I spoke with Dr. Rummel about the concept of planetary protection and why we need to be especially careful as we explore and look to the possibility of settling Mars. In this final of three parts, we explore the risks of contamination and how the Mars One habitat can play a role in mitigating those risks.

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Planetary Protection: How would the discovery of Martian life impact Mars One?

Planetary Protection: How would the discovery of Martian life impact Mars One?

by Vince on Thursday, 4th August 2016 in Expert Opinions, People, John Rummel

Dr. John D. Rummel, an adviser to Mars One, is a Senior Scientist with the SETI Institute and was formerly the Director of East Carolina University’s (ECU’s) Institute for Coastal Science and Policy. He has served twice with NASA—from 1986 to 1993 as (among other things) Exobiology Program Manager and Manager, Life Support Systems Integration, and from 1998 to 2006 as NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer. From 2006 to 2008 he was NASA’s Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, responsible for all of NASA’s efforts in astrobiology. He chaired The International Council for Science’s Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Planetary Protection from 1999 to 2014, and is also a member of COSPAR’s Panel on Exploration and the representative of the International Union of Biological Science on the COSPAR Council. He the lead author of some of the newest guidelines on the exploration of Mars, “A New Analysis of Mars ‘‘Special Regions’’: Findings of the Second MEPAG Special Regions Science Analysis Group,” published in 2014 in Astrobiology.

Early this year, I spoke with Dr. Rummel about the concept of planetary protection and why we need to be especially careful about contaminating Mars as we explore and look to the possibility of settling it. In this second of three parts, we explore the Martian environment and the likelihood of Martian life.

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Planetary Protection: Keeping Mars safe for Martians

Planetary Protection: Keeping Mars safe for Martians

by Vince on Wednesday, 13th July 2016 in Expert Opinions, People, John Rummel

Dr. John D. Rummel, an adviser to Mars One, is a Senior Scientist with the SETI Institute and was formerly the Director of East Carolina University’s (ECU’s) Institute for Coastal Science and Policy. He has served twice with NASA—from 1986 to 1993 as (among other things) Exobiology Program Manager and Manager, Life Support Systems Integration, and from 1998 to 2006 as NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer. From 2006 to 2008 he was NASA’s Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, responsible for all of NASA’s efforts in astrobiology. He chaired The International Council for Science’s Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Planetary Protection from 1999 to 2014, and is also a member of COSPAR’s Panel on Exploration and the representative of the International Union of Biological Science on the COSPAR Council. He is the lead author of some of the newest guidelines on the exploration of Mars, “A New Analysis of Mars ‘‘Special Regions’’: Findings of the Second MEPAG Special Regions Science Analysis Group,” published in 2014 in Astrobiology.

Early this year, I spoke with Dr. Rummel about the concept of planetary protection and why we need to be especially careful about contaminating Mars as we explore and look to the possibility of settling it. In this first of three parts, we explore the concept of planetary protection.

Read more

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