ICAMSR - International Committee Against Mars Sample Return

News stories relating to the ICAMSR, Dr Gilbert V. Levin, and planetary protection issues:

  • Oct 25, 2012 from Fox News "Manned Mars missions could threaten Red Planet life":
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  • October 23, 2012 from Russia Beyond The Headlines "Scientists support stricter planetary quarantine":
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  • August 6, 2012 from Phys.Org "Rock varnish may hold clues to life on Mars":
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  • July 31, 2012 from The University Of Buckingham "Manganese-rich rock varnish may point to life on Mars":
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  • NASA's 2013 budget includes deep cuts to its planetary science mission, particularly its efforts to send spacecraft to Mars. Instead, the space agency will focus on human space flight and infrared astronomy.
    February 14, 2012 from The Christian Science Monitor "Is NASA giving up on Mars?":
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  • The American space agency looks set to pull the plug on its joint missions to Mars with the European Space Agency. Nasa has told Esa it is now highly unlikely it will be able to contribute to the endeavors, which envision an orbiting satellite and a big roving robot being sent to the Red Planet.
    February 6, 2012 from The BBC "ExoMars co-operation between Nasa and Esa near collapse":
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  • Although cosmic rays have been cited as the likely cause of mission failure, Popovkin also wanted to blame faulty imported microchips. "The use of imported microchips is not only our problem," he said, pointing out that NASA and the U.S. Defense Department have been concerned about illegal imports of computer parts.
    January 31, 2012 from Discovery.com "Cosmic Rays Probably Killed Russian Mars Probe":
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  • Orbital tracking reports suggest Russia's failed Mars probe, Phobos-Grunt, fell back to Earth on Sunday, to be destroyed over the Pacific.
    January 15, 2012 from The BBC "Phobos-Grunt: Failed probe 'falls over Pacific'":
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  • During the run up to the launch of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity on Nov. 26, a step in the "planetary protection" procedure wasn't adhered to. The procedure's key purpose is to make sure organic material from Earth doesn't get transferred accidentally to another planet -- in this case, Mars.
    December 1, 2011 from Discovery.com "Could Mars Rover Curiosity Infect Mars?":
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  • A step in these planetary protection measures wasn't adhered to for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, now en route to the Red Planet, SPACE.com has learned.
    November 30, 2011 from Space.com "NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity Had Planetary Protection Slip-Up by Leonard David, SPACE.com's Space Insider Columnist":
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  • NASA has repeatedly stated that its new mission to Mars, Curiosity, carries no life detector. Yet, Gilbert V. Levin, Experimenter on NASA's 1976 Viking Mission, disagrees. He says instruments aboard Curiosity can confirm his published claim that his Labeled Release (LR) experiment detected living microorganisms on Mars.
    November 28, 2011 from PR Newswire "Veteran Mars Researcher Says Curiosity Spacecraft Can Confirm Viking Detected Life":
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  • December 28, 2010 from New Scientist"Don't send bugs to Mars":
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  • Thirty-four years after NASA's Viking missions to Mars sent back results interpreted to mean there was no organic material - and consequently no life - on the planet, new research has concluded that organic material was found after all.
    September 3, 2010 from The Washington Post "Possibility of life on Mars being reexamined after new soil tests":
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  • September 3, 2010 from The New York Times "Accepted Notion of Mars as Lifeless Is Challenged":
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  • September 14, 2009 from BBC News "Crunch time for Russia Mars probe":
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  • September 21, 2009 from The Planetary Society "Phobos Grunt including Phobos LIFE Delayed Until 2011":
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  • September 25, 2009 from Space.Com "Russia Delays Phobos-Grunt Mars Mission Until 2011":
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  • September 28, 2009 from Discovery Channel "Viking 2 Likely Came Close to Finding H2O":
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  • February 5, 2009 from Time "Are We Bringing Our Germs to Mars?":
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  • February 6, 2009 from Science "Biologically Reversible Exploration":
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  • January 15, 2009 from Science "Strong Release of Methane on Mars in Northern Summer 2003":
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  • January 7, 2009 from MSNBC "Earth life headed for Mars moon":
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  • November 20, 2008 from University Of Texas "Scientists Discover Concealed Glaciers On Mars at Mid-Latitudes (Press Release)":
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  • April 23, 2008 from Brown University "Glaciers Reveal Martian Climate Has Been Recently Active (Press Release)":
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  • October 16, 2008 from ESA "Mars Express closes in on the origin of Mars' larger moon":
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  • from NewScientist "Russia planning double assault on Mars":
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  • July 2, 2008 from Physorg.com "Mars Sample Return: The next step in exploring the Red Planet":
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  • June 05, 2008 from Astrobiology Magazine "Biological Stowaways on Mars":
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  • June 6, 2008 from NewScientist.com "Could microbes on Phoenix survive on Mars?":
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  • December 12, 2006 from Sawfnews.com "Top scientist says Mars lurking with killer aliens frozen in subterranean oceans":
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  • "These observations give the strongest evidence to date that water still flows occasionally on the surface of Mars," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, Washington.
    December 6, 2006 from Malin Space Science Systems "Present-Day Gully Activity on Mars":
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  • A class of especially hardy microbes that live in some of the harshest Earthly environments could flourish on cold Mars and other chilly planets, according to a research team of astronomers and microbiologists.
    October 19, 2006 from HubbleSite "Mars May Be Cozy Place for Hardy Microbes":
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  • August 23, 2006 from MSNBC "China, Russia plan joint Mars mission":
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  • Scientist fears samples of soil or rock might harbor hostile microbes.
    December 3, 2004 from Chron.com "Martian invasion for real?":
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  • June 23, 2005 from CNN.com "NASA urged to test for life on Mars":
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  • December 12, 2004 from Tech News World "Mars Samples Could Harbor Hostile Microbes":
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  • September 16, 2004 from Space.Com "How Genesis Crash Impacts Mars Sample Return":
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  • Genesis sample return mission crash news. Will a Mars Sample Return capsule end up the same way?
    September 13, 2004 from News @ Nature.Com "Genesis wreck promises data":
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  • September 10, 2004 from BBC News "Genesis 'faulty battery' probed":
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  • September 10, 2004 from Salt Lake Tribune "Genesis capsule now a $264M muddy mess":
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  • November 17, 2003 from SpaceDaily.Com "The Calm Before The Storm: An Interview With Dr. Gilbert Levin":
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  • November 14, 2003 from SpaceDaily.Com "Damaged Japanese Spacecraft Might Contaminate Mars If It Hits Dec. 14":
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  • European Space Agency Gears Up for its own Mars Sample Return mission with its new Aurora program.
    November 12, 2003 from ESA Aurora Programme "ESA’s first step towards Mars Sample Return":
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  • September 4, 2003 from San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com)"Space theorist posits unusual life on Mars '2nd genesis' on Red Planet":
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  • September 3, 2003 from University Of Arkansas "Surface Water Possible Under Mars-Like Conditions":
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  • August 25, 2003 from Astrobiology Magazine "Alien Infection":
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  • BELTSVILLE, MD. Spherix Incorporated (NASDAQ/SPEX), today reported that recent data on the Martian surface sent by the Odyssey spacecraft will be interpreted as evidence for liquid water, life's most essential need, in a paper to be presented at the Astrobiology session of the SPIE (International Society for Optical Engineering) meeting in San Diego on August 4. This is the latest, perhaps most compelling, round in the years'-long fight of the paper's author, Dr. Gilbert V. Levin, a life detection scientist in NASA's 1976 Viking Mission to Mars, to gain support for his conclusion that his experiment had succeeded in detecting microbial life.
    July 29, 2003 from Spherix Inc. "VIKING MISSION SCIENTIST STRENGTHENS CASE FOR LIFE ON MARS: New Evidence For Liquid Water To Be Cited At International Meeting":
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  • Surface deposits within the northern lowlands support the oceans hypothesis
    July 16, 2003 from PSRD News "Ancient Floodwaters and Seas on Mars":
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  • June 7, 2003 from Florida Today "Manned Mars trip not yet feasible Rovers will do little to ease risky journey":
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  • Recent missions to Mars have focused on the search for water, past or present, as a surrogate for life itself. But now a British-led team is working to renew the search for life directly, fueled by doubts about the equipment that prompted NASA to declare Mars a dead world some 26 years ago.
    May 2003 from IEEE Spectrum Magazine "Mars: Dead or Alive?":
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  • Two orbiting spacecraft are already gathering information about Mars, and another orbiter and three surface landers are ready for launch — all this in a year when the red planet will be closer to Earth than it has been since prehistoric times.
    March 2003 from Spectroscopy Magazine "":
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  • December 11, 2002 from The Planetary Society "More Water Found on Mars":
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  • May 9, 2002 from The Planetary Society "NRC Issues Report on Mars Missions: Safety First, Don't Engage Martian 'Life'":
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  • June 20, 2002 from Smithsonian: National Air and Space Museum "Large Former Lake, Catastrophic Flood Identified on Mars":
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  • April 9, 2002 from Discovery Channel "Chlorophyll Patches Found on Mars?":
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  • In September of 2000 Dr. Serge Pershin found evidecne for organic pigments on Mars, now a NASA Ames team says they may have found chlorophyll on the red planet.
    April 5, 2002 from BBC News "Life on Mars hopes raised":
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  • Odyssey and Mars Sample Return?
    March 3, 2002 from Space.com "Odyssey Helps Plot Mars Exploration Plans":
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  • February 5, 2002 from Aviation Week & Space Technology "Scientists Rethinking Mars Sample Return":
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  • February 16, 2002 from BBC News "The dangers of bio-prospecting":
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  • 'Are there medical implications of geomicrobiology?' does this apply to Mars?
    February 15, 2002 from EurekaAlert "The new biology of rocks: 'Are there medical implications of geomicrobiology?'":
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  • January 14, 2002 from The University Of Arizona "Newly Discovered Antarctic Microbes Suggest Life Is Possible In Terrains on Mars":
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  • December 17, 2001 from Space.Com "Report: Microbes Rain Down from Space? More Support for Controversial Theory":
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  • The red tinge of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, could be caused by frozen bits of bacteria.
    December 11, 2001 from New Scientist "Bacterial explanation for Europa's rosy glow":
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  • Calculations by an American astronomer suggest there is a slim chance that microbes could be carried from one solar system to another.
    March 14, 2001 from New Scientist "Galactic hitchhikers":
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  • The seldom discussed realities of sending people to Mars by Greg Bear:
    June 24, 2000 from Greg Bear "Greg Bear: Biospace 21":
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  • Did cosmic dust laden with extraterrestrial pathogenic spores cause the extinction of the dinosaurs?
    May 8, 1998 from BBC News "Space dust 'did for dinosaurs'":
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  • September 4, 2001 from CNN.com "For Mars pro-life camp, an unlikely ally":
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  • Fred Hoyle Dies at 86; Opposed 'Big Bang' but Named It.
    August 23, 2001 from Independent.co.uk "Professor Sir Fred Hoyle":
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  • August 3, 2001 from www.cryms.org "Microbes in Rocks and Meteorites: A New Form of Life Unaffected by Time, Temperature, Pressure":
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  • July 31, 2001 from Space Daily "Water Shaped Martian Landscape In Recent Times":
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  • July 30, 2001 from UniSci "First Evidence Of Life Coming From Space Reported":
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  • July 28, 2001 from Space.Com "Scientists Say Mars Viking Mission Found Life":
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  • Levin and Straat vindicated.
    July 27, 2001 from EurekaAlert "USC neuroscientist finds signature of life on Mars in decades-old data":
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  • July 20, 2001 from CNN.Com "Debate on Mars life rages long after Viking":
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  • July 20, 2001 from Space.Com "Rethinking Viking: The Life on Mars Debate Rages On":
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  • Spring/Summer 2001 from Georgia Tech Research News (Research Horizons Magazine)
    "Scientists Find Evidence of Highly Oxidizing Environment Over the South Pole":
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  • July 2, 2001 from CNN.Com "Researcher: Mars Rock Varnish Hints Of Life":
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  • Here is an interesting article showing that transfer of life between planets is unlikely in ejecta over 100,000 years old.
    June 12, 2001 from Space Daily "Life's Rocky Road Between Worlds":
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  • June 11, 2001 from Space Daily "Man: The Inherent Polluter":
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  • June 1, 2001 from CNN.Com "Tito: Manned Missions Do Little For Science":
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  • In response to the latest report on how to safely handle Mars samples, questions about the ability to make a safe retriveal container are raised in an opinion piece for SpaceDaily readers by Barry DiGregorio.
    May 31, 2001 from Space Daily "The Quarantine And Certification Of Martian Samples":
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  • May 29, 2001 from CNN.Com "Quarantine Urged For Mars Sample Return":
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  • May 10, 2001 from Space Daily "Italian Researchers Find Traces Of Life In Meteorites":
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  • Italian researchers claim to have found conclusive evidence that life on Earth arrived from outer space.
    May 10, 2001 from Discovery Channel News "Scientists Claim to Revive Alien Bacteria":
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  • April 17, 2001 from Spaceflight Now "Contracts awarded for initial Mars sample return studies":
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  • April 5, 2001 from University of California "Hitchhiking molecules could have survived fiery comet collisions with Earth, UC Berkeley experiment shows":
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  • March 27, 2001 from Space.Com "Mars Rock Return Mission Planned by British":
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  • February 8, 2001 from UniSci "Bacterium Can Alter Evolution Of Another Species":
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  • July 27, 2000 from Space.Com "Space Fungus: A Menace to Orbital Habitats":
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  • from Lunar and Planetary Science XXXII (2001) "Organic Matter In SNC Meteorites: Is It Time To Re-Evaluate The Viking Biology Experimental Data?":
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  • September 2000 Issue from NSSDC News "Viking Lander Biology Data Restored by NSSDC and PDS":
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  • January 15, 2001 from Space Daily "Stardust Makes Earth Flyby":
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  • January 11, 2001 from Sanford Report "Biological warfare emerges as 21st-century threat":
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  • Professor Richard Hoover, head of NASA's astrobiology unit at the Marshall Space Flight Center told the Herald Sun that he has strong evidence of fossilized bacterial cells in a 1969 Martian meteorite.
    December 20, 2000 from Cosmic Ancestry "Fossils Found in Victorian Meteor":
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  • Mars Society President Robert Zubrin blasted by planetary science community.
    November/December 2000 issue of The Planetary Report from The Planetary Society, letter from the editor:
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  • December 3, 2000 from Rense.Com "Dried-up Sea Beds Found on Mars":
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  • Has the first organism from space been found?
    November 24, 2000 from CNN "Scientists Discover Possible Microbe From Space":
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  • November 8, 2000 from Science Daily "NASA Outlines Mars Exploration Program For Next Two Decades":
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  • November 7, 2000 from CNN "Mars sample return plan carries microbial risk, group warns":
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  • Bruce Moomaw's excellent 4 part report on the future of NASA's Mars Exploration program. Moomaw reports that NASA's Mars Sample Return plans from last year:
    "In particular, the previous plan included NO firmly assigned funding for the handling, biological quarantine, curation or scientific analysis of the first returned Martian surface samples, or for construction of biohazard labs to contain them!"

    November 6, 2000 from Space Daily "Mars In The Early 21st Century":
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  • Salts of Mars may hold dormant bacteria spores for millions of years.
    November 2, 2000 from BBC News "University Of Missouri Research Could Pave Way For Discovery Of Life On Mars":
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  • Do the dangers of importing foreign terrestiral microbes in ship ballast tanks illustrate possible hazards of planetary sample return missions with microorganisms as their cargo?
    November 1, 2000 from BBC News "Alien invaders hitch a ride on ships":
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  • October 26, 2000 from BBC News "Nasa's big plans for Mars":
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  • October 19, 2000 from Hannibal Courier-Post "Scientists Claim to Revive 250 Million-Year-Old Bacteria":
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  • October 18, 2000 from BBC News "Alive...after 250 million years":
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  • September 5, 2000 from Space Daily "Building The Infrastructure For Martian Exploration":
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  • August 1, 2000 from Space Daily "New Information Supports Claim Viking Discovered Life in 1976":
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  • July 16, 2000 from Space Daily "The Need For Mars Mission Exobiologists":
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  • July 6, 2000 from Space Daily "Viking Data May Hide New Evidence For Life":
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  • July 6, 2000 from BBC News "NSF-funded researchers discover evidence of microscopic life at the South Pole":
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  • June 21, 2000 from BBC News "Water ' found on Mars ' ":
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  • May 3, 2000 from The Times "Spacecraft Discovers Tar-Like Compounds in Deep Space":
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  • April 27, 2000 from Space.Com "Life Detection Technology Gets Room to Grow":
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  • April 10, 2000 from Space.Com "Mars Sample Mission: All or Nothing Proposition, Scientist Says":
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  • April 9, 2000 from Space.Com "Sample Return Missions Scare Some Researchers":
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  • April 7, 2000 from Space.Com "More Grief for NASA: Report Calls Deep Space 2 Microprobes Unfit":
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  • March 28, 2000 from Space.Com "Hands Off the Planet? How Finding Life On Mars Could Stop Exploration":
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  • March 17, 2000 from BBC News "Nasa pulls back from Mars":
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  • March 7, 2000 from PNAS Online "The missing organic molecules on Mars":
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  • NASA Space Science Administrator Edward Weiler calls Mars Sample Return mission high risk. Mission may be postponed indefintely.
    March 6, 2000 from Space.Com "NASA Needs More Time to Re-think Mars Program":
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  • February 16, 2000 from Space Daily "Was Polar Lander Doomed By Fatal Design Flaw":
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  • February 9, 2000 from Space.com "Rare Earth Punctures Alien Assumptions":
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  • January 22, 2000 from Space Daily "The Dilemma Of Influenza":
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  • Thomas Gunn's hard hitting International Mars Conference paper on the realities of the human settlement of Mars. Note that Tom Gunn points out that the US and Russia had an agreement at the 1st International Mars Conference to shoot down any spacecraft carrying Martian soil samples. This is how dangerous Martian microbes were considered in the late 1960's.
    January 6, 2000 from Thomas Gunn "MARS - One Way To Stay":
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  • ICAMSR Executive Director Barry E. DiGregorio responds to Bruce Moomaw's three part series about Mars Sample Return.
    December 8,1999 From Space News Online "Mars: Is Biohazard Level 4 Enough?":
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  • Dr. Gilbert V. Levin blasts NASA for its lack of interest on searching for life on Mars.
    December 6,1999 From Space News "Will NASA Unwittingly Confirm Life on Mars":
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  • In 1977 Dr. Gilbert V. Levin told NASA he saw greenish patches on the rocks of Mars while NASA claimed that Mars was just a red planet for rocks, soil, and sky. Now, 23 years later, Dr. Levin's observation appears to be correct. Now, Dr. Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems says Mars is indeed multicolored including greenish areas.
    December 1,1999 From Space.Com "Is the Red Planet Really Red?":
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  • Antarctic researchers use Dr. Gilbert V. Levin's Labeled Release experiment concept to locate miniscule populations of ancient microbes from Lake VostoK.
    October 9,1999 From Space News Online "Life found beneath Antartic ice sheet":
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  • If NASA can lose a spacecraft like Mars Climate Orbiter to a silly navigation error, then how will a complex mission like MSR be handled?
    October 6,1999 From ABCNEWS.com "On the morning of Sept. 23, a senior engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory saw several people huddled in a hallway":
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  • ICAMSR founder Barry E. DiGregorio Op Ed for Spacer.Com on the possible dangers of returning Martian microbes to the Earth.
    October 5,1999 From Space Daily "Can Martian Microbes Endanger The Earth?":
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  • If microbes can survive Space and other harsh environments, the potential for cross contamination becomes a greater possibility. We must be very cautious.
    October 4,1999 From the Washington Post "Hardy Microbes Appear Able to Survive in Space":
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  • May 28, 1999 From the ABCNEWS.com "Ocean May Have Lapped Mars":
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  • May 10, 1999 From Biospherics.Com "Shed Light, Not Heat, on Mars":
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  • April 28, 1999 From Space News "NASA scientist: We will find living forms on Mars":
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  • April 24, 1999 From the Deseret News Archives "The red planet? What red planet? Mars is officially yellowish brown":
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  • Is the snow an available water source for microbial life?
    March 23, 1999 From Space Daily "A Blanket Of Frost Persists".
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  • Additional supporting evidence for ancient microbial life on Mars:
    March 1998 - From EarthSky.com "Life Signs in Mars Meteorite ALH84001?".
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  • March 8, 1999 - From Space News page 15 "Protecting Earth" NASA Planetary protection Officer Dr. John D. Rummel's comments on ICAMSR founder Barry DiGregorio's guest Op Ed for the February 22 issue of Space News "Rethinking Mars Sample Return".

  • February 22, 1999 - From Space News page 21 "Rethinking Mars Sample Return" by Barry E. DiGregorio. Are there alternative options for Mars Sample Return that would prove less dangerous to the environment of Earth? Yes, there are.

  • February 4, 1999 Article by Jim Oberg for ABC News: "E.T. in Quarantine":
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  • January 20, 1999 - Dr. Gilbert V. Levin's plea to fellow scientists:
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  • August 29, 1998 - MSNBC Article by Alan Boyle: "The Shape of Mars Missions To Come":
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    Last updated October 28, 2012.
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