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Interplanetary Contamination

  Sep 01, 2020

Interplanetary Contamination

Q. Why is this in news?

A. Amidst these proliferating space missions world over, along with advances in commercial space flight, astrobiologists have expressed concerns about possible ‘interplanetary contamination’.

Q. What is Interplanetary Contamination?

Interplanetary contamination refers to biological contamination of a planetary body by a space probe or spacecraft, either deliberate or unintentional.

Q. What are types of interplanetary contamination?

A. There are two types of interplanetary contamination:

  1. Forward contamination is the transfer of life and other forms of contamination from Earth to another celestial body.
  2. Back contamination is the introduction of extra-terrestrial organisms and other forms of contamination into Earth’s biosphere. It also covers infection of humans and human habitats in space and on other celestial bodies by extra-terrestrial organisms, if such habitats exist.

Q. Are there any mechanisms to prevent such contaminations?