ROADS Freestyle “Meet an Expert” #1 — John Rummel (March 26, 2020)

John Rummel, a senior scientist at the SETI Institute, joined us for an hour to talk, and take questions, on a subject that may sound very familiar right now — planetary protection. How do we keep Earth from getting contaminated by microbes from space? How do we protect other bodies in the solar system (Mars, for example!) from becoming contaminated by organisms from Earth? When the Apollo 11 astronauts returned from that first mission to the moon, they were quarantined for nearly a month in a special Airstream trailer. What does planetary protection look like in our modern era? John’s talk will cover the rationale for planetary protection considerations and its implementation during interplanetary journeys.