Copyright © 2007 by J.J. Hurtak and Matthew Egan. Published by The Mars Society with permission.
NEW POLICY DIRECTIVES FOR PROTECTING MARTIAN WATER RESOURCES
Dr. J.J. Hurtak, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Matthew Egan, Ph.D.
Un of California, Berkeley
High-resolution images from the Mars Global Surveyor and other international Martian probes have allowed scientists to examine the details of craters that appear to show an outflowing of water from within the crater walls. By studying layers of bedrock, researchers hope to determine what forces shaped the rocks and perhaps answer with certainty the questions of whether liquid water once covered the Martian surface.
If fossilized microbial life is found in the new water sources and returned to Earth for sampling, what type of legal regime for water fossils and protection controls around geological sites will be needed to avoid contamination? If there exists liquid water devoid of life on Mars, what additional precautions do we have to take to avoid it being contaminated by terrestrial microbes that may be on the spacecraft sent to retrieve the collection samples. For a Mars sample return mission, the details of governance should involve many separate decisions, technologies, and issues, and will require input from numerous disciplines to establish a baseline science, engineering, mission design, operational and cost factors critical for the mission.
KEY WORDS: Mars, water, governance