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On possible release of microbe-containing particulates from a Mars lander spacecraft

Harstad, Kenneth and Bellan, Josette (2006) On possible release of microbe-containing particulates from a Mars lander spacecraft. Planetary and Space Science, 54 (3). pp. 273-286. ISSN 0032-0633. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2005.12.007.

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Due to possible planet contamination, before Earth-departure, Mars landers and/or rovers are subject to strict requirements on the maximum number of attached spores or particles that carry viable microbes. Estimates of the release rates of these particles on Mars are made considering the three mechanisms of wind shear, collision with suspended dust, and collision with saltating sand particles. The first mechanism is found to apply only to particles of size greater than 10μm, the second mechanism has a characteristic particle adhesion half life that is so long as to be of no concern, and the third mechanism is deemed of possible importance, vitally depending on attached particle size and detailed surface characteristics of sand and spacecraft. While not investigated in detail, dust devils are shown to be possible contributors to release of microbe-containing particles.

Item Type:Article
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Bellan, Josette0000-0001-9218-7017
Additional Information:© 2006 Elsevier Ltd. Received 23 August 2005, Revised 7 December 2005, Accepted 9 December 2005, Available online 30 January 2006. This study was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Mars Technology Program. Mrs. Elly Ponce is thanked for the drawing of Fig. 1. Dr. Jack Barengoltz and Dr. Jason Kastner are thanked for their careful reading of the manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Mars planetary protection; Adhesion; Hamaker constant; Microbes; Saltation
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171019-101258515
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Official Citation:Kenneth Harstad, Josette Bellan, On possible release of microbe-containing particulates from a Mars lander spacecraft, In Planetary and Space Science, Volume 54, Issue 3, 2006, Pages 273-286, ISSN 0032-0633, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:82485
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Oct 2017 18:11
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:50

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