Mars 2020 and the Importance of Planetary Protection

March 23, 2021 | 8:00pm
Presented Online
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Discover how we protect Mars from Earth

This Exploring Space lecture will be presented live on YouTube. Don’t miss the program! Sign up to get a reminder.

The Mars 2020 Mission and its Perseverance rover are designed to investigate key questions related to the habitability of Mars and will conduct assessments that will help plan for future human exploration of Mars. The project will also acquire and cache samples of rock, regolith, and witness samples for possible return to Earth by a future mission. The entire flight system was expected to meet Planetary Protection requirements, to include being subjected to microbial reduction, with additional specific emphasis on the sample acquisition and caching. Mars 2020 had a very unique biological contamination plan to both protect Mars as well as the scientific integrity of the collected sample. Moo Cooper, the Planetary Protection Lead Engineer for the Mars 2020 mission, will share a mission overview and the Planetary Protection actions taken by her team and why Planetary Protection is important.

This program will be presented with live closed captioning.

About the Exploring Space Lecture Series

The Worlds We’ve Touched: Robotic Missions to Other Worlds 
Missions that visit and sample other worlds give us a different perspective and expand our understanding in new ways. Mars, Venus, Titan, Bennu: Our understanding of these distant worlds are enhanced by incredible robotic missions that reached out and touched them. Discover more programs in the series.

The Exploring Space Lecture Series is made possible by the generous support of Aerojet Rocketdyne and United Launch Alliance.

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