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Our Plan To Treat Alien Viruses

Say an astronaut goes to Mars and picks up a scary Martian virus. Then what? Will he be doomed to a quarantined life in space, or is there a plan to handle this real-life horror movie plot? Trace explains what we’ll be forced to do.

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Back from the Moon, Apollo Astronauts Had to Go Through Customs

“Before the ticker tape parades and the inevitable world tour, the triumphant Apollo 11 astronauts were greeted with a more mundane aspect of life on Earth when they splashed down 40 years ago today – going through customs.

Mars Life May Be Contaminated by Spacecraft, Experts Warn

“Is there life on Mars? If there is, NASA might be contaminating it with microbes from Earth. The concern prompted the Washington, D.C.-based National Research Council (NRC) to issue an advisory yesterday urging the U.S. space agency to adopt more stringent spacecraft-sterilization techniques.”

Arctic Bacteria Thrives at Mars Temps

“Researchers discover a microbe living at -15°C, the coldest temperature ever reported for bacterial growth, giving hope to the search for life elsewhere in the cosmos.”

Preventing Infection on a Mission to Mars

“The idea of prolonged human space flight to another planet or an asteroid may have been the fodder of Jules Verne’s imagination or Ray Bradbury’s dreams, but today such ventures are the source of serious discussion at NASA.”

“Manned missions to Mars will result in a diminution of immune status among the
crew and cause profound changes to the composition of the bacterial flora in the intestinal
tract, nasal passages and upper airways, leading to an increased risk of infection.”


“In 1963, a special subcommittee of the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences was convened to consider the general problem of handling material and personnel returned from flights to the moon.”

Bacterium from Canadian High Arctic and life on Mars

“Permafrost microbe discovered growing at –15°C, the coldest temperature ever reported for bacterial growth.”

Bacterial growth at −15 °C; molecular insights from the permafrost bacterium Planococcus halocryophilus Or1

“Planococcus halocryophilus strain Or1, isolated from high Arctic permafrost, grows and divides at −15 °C, the lowest temperature demonstrated to date, and is metabolically active at −25 °C in frozen permafrost microcosms.”

UA Collaborates on NASA Grant Exploring Infectious Microbes and Spaceflight Risk

“The University of Arizona is part of a team of researchers collaborating on a three-year, $750,000 NASA grant to advance understanding of astronaut crew health and performance during space exploration missions.”

Planetary Protection For Mars Sample Return

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