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Within a generally understood context their overuse

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Unformatted text preview: ther celestial bodies shall be conducted "so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter." NASA policy (NMI 8020.7D) specifies that the purpose of preserving solar system conditions is for future biological and organic constituent exploration. It also establishes the basic NASA policy for the protection of the Earth and its biosphere from planetary and other extraterrestrial sources of contamination. The general regulations to which NASA flight projects must adhere are set forth in NHB 8020.12B, Planetary Protection Provisions for Robotic Extraterrestrial Missions. Different requirements apply to different missions, depending on which solar system object is targeted and the spacecraft or mission type (flyby, orbiter, lander, sample-return, etc.). For some bodies (such as the Sun, Moon, Mercury), there are no outbound contamination requirements. Present requirements for the outbound phase of missions to Mars, however, are particularly rigorous. Planning for planetary protection begins in Phase A, during which feasibility of the mission is established. Prior to the end of Phase A, the project manager must send a letter to the Planetary Protection Officer (PPO) within the Office of the AA for Space Science stating the mission type and planetary targets, and requesting that the mission be assigned a planetary protection category. Table 7 shows the current planetary protection categories and a summary of their associated requirements. Prior to the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) at the end of Phase B. the project manager must submit to the NASA PPO a Planetary Protection Plan detailing the actions that will be taken to meet the requirements. The project's progress and completion of the requirements are reported in a Planetary Protection Pre-Launch Report submitted to the NASA PPO for approval. The approval of this report at the Flight Readiness Review (FRR) constitutes the final approval for the project and must be obtained for permission to launch. An update to this report, the Planetary Protection Post-Launch Report, is prepared to report any deviations from the planned mission due to actual launch or early mission events. For sample return missions only, additional reports and reviews are required: prior to launch toward the Earth, prior to commitment to Earth reentry, and prior to the release of any extraterrestrial sample to t...
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