Picture this: You’re an astronaut visiting Jupiter’s moon Europa for the first time.
You set down one boot and then another, bouncing around on the icy surface of the low-gravity world. Now just imagine that those boots haven’t been cleaned since you were training in them back on Earth.
Teeming colonies of microbes are now being spread over the world’s surface, contaminating what was once a pristine alien landscape.
This is exactly the kind of scenario NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection is trying to avoid. Read more…