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SOTERIA: searching for organisms through equipment recovery at impact areas

Whitepaper #348 submitted to the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. Topics: life and prebiotic organics; Mercury and/or the Moon; planetary protection

Published onMar 18, 2021
SOTERIA: searching for organisms through equipment recovery at impact areas

Spacecraft sent to the Moon carry microbial contaminants. Do any still survive? Modeling predicts some may, in spacecraft debris at the Lunar South Pole. We propose recovering debris to assay for biosignatures and viable microbes, in a mission that will provide valuable data for astrobiology, planetary protection, and space biology.


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