Keep It Clean Says NASA SpaceDaily

The Aerospace Corporation has landed a follow-on effort with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to continue researching the effectiveness of spacecraft cleaning methods used by NASA in missions to planets and moons that could harbor life. “Sterilization of spacecraft is very important for NASA missions to planets and moons that could potentially harbor life,” explained Dr. Carl Palko, a project engineer involved in the research. “Outbound sterilization and cleaning is important to prevent both the accidental contamination or infection of alien worlds with terrestrial organisms and the accidental contamination of extraterrestrial soil or ice samples being returned to Earth with terrestrial organisms that could be mistaken as evidence for alien life,” Palko said.