Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Office of the Provost


"Interplanetary Hygiene: The risk of accidentally infecting other planets with Earth life"

Posted on October 7, 2011

All spacefaring nations are bound by the UN Outer Space Treaty to protect the biological integrity of other planets and moons.  But what does that really mean?  As we discover more and more potentially habitable environments in our solar system, this question has been transformed from a philosophical issue to a practical issue of keeping all sorts of hardy Earth life from hitchhiking a ride to a new home.

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