Mars 2020 and the Importance of Planetary Protection
March 23, 2021 | 8 - 9pm
Discover how we protect Mars from Earth
This Exploring Space lecture will be presented live on YouTube here.
One exciting part of the Mars 2020 mission – which features the Perseverance rover that landed on Mars last month — is the collection of Mars rocks for possible return to Earth. In order to preserve the integrity of these samples, we have to make sure that no microbes from Earth hitched a ride to the Red Planet with the rover.
To achieve this, 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.
Join Dr. Moogega "Moo" Cooper, the Planetary Protection Lead Engineer for the Mars 2020 mission, as she shares 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.