NASA needs to be wary of viruses from outer space

The Print | May 23, 2020 at 9:45 AM
  • This summer, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will launch a rover designed to collect samples of the Martian surface and store them until they can eventually be brought back to Earth.
  • Clearer safety guidelines are essential both for protecting Earth and for ensuring that a wary public is comfortable with humanity’s next steps into the solar system.
  • The Committee on Space Research (or COSPAR), a global research group, came up with non-binding protocols for various types of missions, and wisely requested that any “non-terrestrial replicating entity” — that is, a lifeform — remain contained on landing.