NASA Invites Public Comments on Draft Test Protocol for Detecting Possible Biohazards in Martian Samples Returned to Earth

NASA has prepared a draft protocol for the testing and evaluation of samples that may be returned from Mars by future missions in its Mars exploration program. This protocol is designed to provide a model method whereby such samples can be tested for possible biohazards that could be present if life exists on Mars. The protocol has been prepared as a draft to guide the development of both a final protocol to accomplish biohazard and life-detection testing, and to aid in the eventual design of the facility or facilities that will be required to accomplish that testing. Public comment on this draft protocol is sought to provide for refinement of the draft and to provide information for future NASA planning efforts.