Forward Contamination of Mars

Submitted by Esma Bozlak to fulfill the ethics in science requirement for the Young Scientist Program at BMSIS. Mars has attracted the attention of scientists from the past to present, and going to Mars to explore with robots as well as with humans has been of interest to many people. Many successful, as well as unsuccessful, Mars missions have been attempted since the beginning of the space age. The first successful launch was done with Mariner 4 in 1964. It was the […]

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Studying the Climate History of Mars – a new Habitable Worlds grant to BMSIS Scientist Dr. Jacob Haqq-Misra

Dr. Jacob Haqq-Misra of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science was recently awarded a grant by the NASA Habitable Worlds program to study the climate history of early Mars. This project will draw upon recent geologic discoveries from the ongoing exploration of Mars to understand how Mars was once able to sustain an unfrozen ocean. Dr. Haqq-Misra will collaborate with Dr. Michael Way of NASA GISS in this project, which uses computational models of the Martian climate to calculate […]

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TED Talk by Armando Azua-Bustos

How can Earth teach us about extraterrestrial life? In his TED Talk, The most Martian place on Earth, Dr. Armando Azua-Bustos takes us on a tour of the Atacama Desert, his childhood home now turned into his astrobiological laboratory. Searching for signs of life on Mars, or other planets, requires careful understanding of how organisms can survive in dry and extreme environments, and Dr. Azua-Bustos’ research helps to reveal the conditions that we might find life both there and elsewhere. […]

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Ethical Considerations of Altering Mars and Other Planetary Bodies

Tara Vega¬†shares her ethics & society case study, which she completed as part of our Young Scientist Program. While studying the various factors that go into allowing permanent human settlement on Mars, I repeatedly came across many possibilities of contamination. Carrying plants, microbes, water etc., within spacecraft landings to Mars all harbor the possibility of contaminating the red planet. I use not the term contamination as negativity, but more as the result of no better way to explain such an […]

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The Problems of Contaminating Mars with Earth’s Microorganisms

Rodrigo Abans¬†shares his ethics & society case study, which he completed as part of our Young Scientist Program. There has been much concern about whether humankind is taking enough care in space exploration. There are a plethora of ethical issues. One of these concerns is the fact that anything that goes offworld carries a certain amount of dormant microorganisms. This led to the decision of destroying the Juno spacecraft by crashing it into Jupiter instead of risking an accidental crash […]

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