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The overprotection of Mars

Planetary protection policies aim to guard Solar System bodies from biological contamination from spacecraft. Costly efforts to sterilize Mars spacecraft need to be re-evaluated, as they are unnecessarily inhibiting a more ambitious agenda to search for extant life on Mars.

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Figure 1: Protecting Mars from Earth contamination.

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Correspondence to Alberto G. Fairén.

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Fairén, A., Schulze-Makuch, D. The overprotection of Mars. Nature Geosci 6, 510–511 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1866

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