Planetary Protection

Planning Missions to Mars and Beyond

Margaret Race is a biologist and environmental ecologist who works with NASA and the SETI Institute. Her focus is planetary protection and science policy--avoiding cross-contamination of planets and moons during space missions in our solar system. Dr. Race will join us at Newark Library for a talk and program that the entire family can enjoy. Come learn what goes into planning missions to Mars…
Mars Ice

Possible Underground Lake Discovered on Mars

A new study published on the journal Science suggests that there may be a liquid water lake below the ice on Mars’ south pole. While water is thought to have once been abundant on Mars billions of years ago, this is the first to be found. Researchers used radar data from an instrument called MARSIS to look below the surface of Mars. MARSIS is on board a European Space Agency spacecraft called…

What Are We Protecting Mars From — And Why Do We Bother?

Mars, the small, cold fourth rock from the Sun, is being given serious consideration by 21st century explorers. Entrepreneur Elon Musk has ambitious plans to send humans to the Red Planet within seven years (and bring them back again); NASA has flown both rovers and landers; and NASA, the European Space Agency, and China have announced plans to each add a rover to the mix in 2020. Even India has…

Scientist Interview - Margaret Race - Planetary Protector

Dr. Margaret Race is concerned with protecting the planets - not just Earth, but Mars and beyond. Her work focuses on ensuring that missions to the Red Planet and other Solar System bodies do not inadvertently bring terrestrial microbes along (which would complicate our search for indigenous extraterrestrial life) or return any microbes to Earth (which might be biohazardous). Her research on…