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How Does NASA Plan to Keep Samples From Mars Safe From Contamination (and Contaminating) Earth?

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NASA’s Mars Sample Return Mission is inching closer and closer. The overall mission architecture just hit a new milestone when Perseverance collected the first sample that will be sent back. But what happens once that sample actually gets here? NASA and its partner, ESA, are still working on that, but recently they released a fact sheet that covers what will happen during the first stage of that process – returning to the ground.

That return will take place in the middle of the desert in the western US, in an area called the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR). While this may seem like an obscure place to land such an important mission, it does have several things going for it.

First, it’s in the continental US. That gives it relatively easy access to advanced laboratory equipment available throughout the country. NASA is the most likely candidate to be able to marshal all the resources necessary to quarantine the sample to keep it separate from the wider Earth environment, which would help eliminate the (admittedly unlikely) event of a Martian superbug getting on the loose.

UT video describing the MSR mission.

Secure containment is one of the reasons the agency is foregoing a water landing. Doing so would lessen the impact on the samples, but it also would have a slight chance that the capsule could sink into the ocean and the tiny bits of Mars within it could be lost to the sea. Avoiding that would be nice, so it’s better to land on land.

But that land has to be isolated, another advantage of the UTTR. Not only is it not near any roads, but it is also already restricted air space, as it is the site of plenty of rocket and plane testing. Being isolated also means that the capsule is less likely to impact anything important if something goes wrong with the trajectory.

That will be particularly important given the method of landing selected for the MSR capsule. It’s going to fall to the ground using only aero-braking – no parachute required. Therefore, it will be going significantly faster than the typical parachute-assisted capsule returns. But, according to NASA’s calculations, the samples and their containers should survive the impact. Not using a parachute will massively simplify the capsule’s design and lessen its weight, both of which are essential factors considering the capsule itself has to return from Mars. 

A test capsule from NASA also makes a nice dent in the landscape.
A test capsule from NASA also makes a nice dent in the landscape.
Credit – NASA

Even so, the impact itself is going to make a nice dent in the landscape. NASA has already begun performing testing using a mock-up of the MSR’s sample return capsule. Doing so has created a series of 1.3-meter-wide craters in the landscape and ejected material 15 meters away from the crater.

Assuming the samples and capsule do survive, the next step would be safely transporting them to a laboratory where they can be properly studied. That is, after all, the whole purpose of the Mars Sample Return mission. So far, that part of the program hasn’t been defined yet, but knowing that the samples will end up in the middle of the Utah desert is at least a place to start.

Learn More:
NASA – Utah Test and Training Range: The Proposed Landing Site for Mars Sample Return
UT – This is Where the Mars Sample Return Mission Could be Landing
UT – NASA is Already Designing Hardware for a Mars Sample Return Mission
UT – Perseverance is Searching for the Perfect Landing Spot for the Upcoming Sample Return Mission

Lead Image:
Map of the UTTR, with the planned landing spot for MSR in the red ellipse in the upper left corner.
Credit – NASA

The post How Does NASA Plan to Keep Samples From Mars Safe From Contamination (and Contaminating) Earth? appeared first on Universe Today.



Source: https://www.universetoday.com/157905/how-does-nasa-plan-to-keep-samples-from-mars-safe-from-contamination-and-contaminating-earth/


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    Total 4 comments
    • LOSERS_NEVER_ GO_VIRAL

      …… GUESS THIS IS PART OF THE REVEAL..
      …… AND HOW THE WORLD GETS BROUGHT INTO THE REAL WORLD..
      ……
      …… Since the fake lies of NASA … REPRESENT… THERE IS OR WAS A ” MARS MISSION ”
      ……
      …… No worriies HUMANITY… Let the ” LOSER AMERICANS ” fall prey to the lies and deciept…
      …… There will no longer be a fake false ” SPACE PROGRAM ” IN 2014…
      …… CHINA had made world notification… they will not be participating in any 2024 space programs
      …… Russia has made world notification… they will not be participating in any 2024 space program…

      ….. The financial ramifications of the ” FALL OF THE CABAL ” has innitiated notification all financial funding
      ….. From all sources other than THE USA.. has been discontinued…. … WE WILL LEARN SHORTLY WHAT THAT
      …. GROSS FUNDING TO NASA WAS … VERY SHORTLY HERE…
      …. BEING THE WORLD HAS BEEN INFORMED NASA was specifically a USA FUNDED SPACE ENTITY….

      …. THE SAME GLOBAL CABAL BANKING FUNDING FOR CHINA AND RUSSIA has been DISCONTINUED…
      …. AND BOTH RUSSIA AND CHINA HAVE MADE OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION …. NO MORE SPACE PROGRAMS

      …. WHICH IS GONNA BE A WHOLE LOT OF UNCONTROLLED POTENTIAL FUNDING FOR PRIVE INDUSTRY TO
      …. TAKE OVER THE ***** SPACE RACE *****

    • LOSERS_NEVER_ GO_VIRAL

      ….. IT’S GONNA GET MUCH MORE FUN MOVING FORWARD…
      …. IN moving forward and shutting down all space agencies due to ” UNFORSEEN CIRCUMSTANCES ”
      …. That being here in the USA… more rigerous and public release of programs and releases of information

      ….. Where for us… HERE IN THE USA… as has been stated and forshadowed… the FIRMAMENT has.. …
      ….. For some longer than 17 years… excluded NASA from BREECHING the firmament for moon landings
      ….. both in the past…. where misrepresented/fake false data information has been PRESENTED TO THE
      ….. AMERICAN POPULACE … AND WORLD.. By both CHINA AND RUSSIA SPACE PROGRAMS AS WELL

      ….. Where HUMANITY… will release facts in evidence and proof that the FIRMAMENT has never been penetrated
      ….. …………………………CAN NOT BE PENETRATED..

      ….. WHICH WILL *** IR-REFUTABLY *** prove and verify…
      ….. The event of a Martian superbug getting on the loose inside the atmosphere…. as falsely claimed by NASA
      ………….. NASA = ” NEVER A STRAIGHT ANSWER ” AS NO SPACE MISSION EVER LAUNCHED FROM EARTH

      …. WHERE the lies and deceipt in an attempt to prevent the world from seeing and participating in a more GLOBAL
      …. ASPECT OF OUR WORLD… HAS QUITE BLUNTLY…… ***** LOST ITS FUNDING *****

      …………… AND THE ” NEVER A STRAIGHT ANSWER” CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG…

      …. OH THE WORLD IS EAGERLY AWAITING FOR THE RETURN…

    • LOSERS_NEVER_ GO_VIRAL

      …. OH THE WORLD IS EAGERLY AWAITING FOR THE RETURN OF NASA’S MISSION…

      ………….. WHICH WILL NEVER MAKE IT THROUGH THE FIRMAMENT….

      …… AND IN THE SAME RESPECT… AS IN MANY OF THE SAME RESPECT…

      …. ELON MUSK… MUST BE REMOVED AND IMPRISONED ALONG SIDE EVER SINGLE NASA EMPLOYEE…
      …. FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY…. SINCE HIS SATELLITES INTENTIONALLY BELOW THE FIRMAMENT
      …. WHERE ANY ATTEMPT TO BREECH THE FIRMAMENT WOULD EXPOSE THE GLOBEL DECEPTION… OF MUSK

      …. THE SAME WITH ANY INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES WHO HAVE HAD FULL KNOWLEDG OF THE FIRMAMENT
      …. BEING INVOLVED WITH AERONAUTICS AND INTERNTIONAL FUNDING CORRUPTION COVER UPS..

      ……. THIS WILL BE THE EVENT THAT MAKES THE COVID NEVER ISOLATED AS VIRUS.. PALE IN COMPARISON…

      ………………… ON A GLOBAL SCALE HERE TO FOR NEVER BEFORE SEEN

    • LOSERS_NEVER_ GO_VIRAL

      …… LET POLITICIANS – SCIENTISTS – ASTRONOMERS… ASTRO- PHYSICISTS BE ADVISED…….
      …… NASA INTENDING TO FAKE A RETURN MISSION FROM MARS.. WIL INVOKE HELL FIRE AND FURY
      …… Against … indivduals….. organizations.. nations… private funding sources… public information releases
      …… All across the globe… all prvate globalist funding ie cabal banking.. has concluded world wide…
      …… You have been notified… and now the world is being put on notice… advising scientific organizations
      …… HUMANITY is coming for the HISTORY in your ledgers and anals having been kept from HUMANITY
      …… THROUGHOUT HISTORY

      L… ASTROLOGERS…. WORLD WIDE… YOU HAVE BEEN PUT ON NOTICE RELEASE DETAILS AND INFORMATION
      ….. OF AND ON… protected data that has been kept from THE WORLDS POPULACE… OR FACE THE EXTINCTION
      ….. OR YOUR OWN SCHOLASTIC PLACE IN HISTORY TO BE EXPOSED AS FRAUDS AND ANCIENT EVIL HUMANITY
      ….. RULING MINIONS…… HIDE IN THE HOPES AND BE BURNT AT THE STAKE ALONG WITH YOUR PEERS….
      ….. FOR YOUR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. THIS BEING THE CRIME OF ALL CRIMES
      ……………… AGAINST HUMANITY…. MAKE IT QUICK.. NASA’S LIE WILL BE YOUR PUBLIC DOWNFALL

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