“Office of Planetary Protection”

“Planetary Protection Officer”

The first thing I thought when I heard that was:

But there really is an “Office of Planetary Protection” and a “Planetary Protection Officer”.



“The mission of the Planetary Protection Office is to minimize the biological cross-contamination resulting from the exploration of the solar system.”

“Planetary protection is the term given to the practice of protecting solar system bodies (i.e., planets, moons, comets, and asteroids) from contamination by Earth life, and protecting Earth from possible life forms that may be returned from other solar system bodies. Planetary protection is essential for several important reasons: to preserve our ability to study other worlds as they exist in their natural states; to avoid contamination that would obscure our ability to find life elsewhere — if it exists; and to ensure that we take prudent precautions to protect Earth’s biosphere in case it does.”


I want that job just so I could put that on my business card.

But seriously, apparently there is some “concern” that some drill bits on the Mars Curiosity rover may not be sterile.
Is the Sierra Club aware of this?????