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Brushing Your Spacecrafts Teeth: A Review of Biological Reduction Processes for Planetary Protection MissionsMuch like keeping your teeth clean, where you brush away biofilms that your dentist calls "plaque," there are various methods to clean spaceflight hardware of biological contamination, known as biological reduction processes. Different approaches clean your hardware's "teeth" in different ways and with different levels of effectiveness. We know that brushing at home with a simple toothbrush is convenient and has a different level of impact vs. getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist. In the same way, there are some approaches to biological reduction that may require simple tools or more complex implementation approaches (think about sonicating or just soaking your dentures, vs. brushing them). There are also some that are more effective for different degrees of cleanliness and still some that have materials compatibility concerns. In this article, we review known and NASA-certified approaches for biological reduction, pointing out materials compatibility concerns and areas where additional research is needed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pugel, D. E. (Betsy) (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Rummel, J. D. (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Inst. Mountain View, CA, United States)
Conley, Catharine (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Date Acquired
March 8, 2017
Publication Date
March 4, 2017
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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