03.20.2009

March 20, 2009: On March 19th, astronauts onboard the International Space Station checked themselves for microbes before stepping outside on a space walk. It was a first-ever test of planetary protection technology that, one day, could keep humans from contaminating the sands of Mars.

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“We conducted the tests using LOCAD-PTS, a miniature biological lab for space travelers,” explains Jake Maule, principal investigator for the experiment. LOCAD-PTS stands for Lab-On-A-Chip Application Development Portable Test System.

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