NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity Had Planetary Protection Slip-Up

All NASA spacecraft sent to other planets must undergo meticulous procedures to make sure they don’t carry biological contamination from Earth to their destinations.
However, a step in these planetary protection measures wasn’t adhered to for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, now en route to the Red Planet, has learned.
The incident has become a lessons-learned example of miscommunication in assuring that planetary protection procedures are strictly adhered to.