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Planetary Protection Concerns During Pre-Launch Radioisotope Power System Final Integration ActivitiesThe Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is a next-generation radioisotope-based power system that is currently being developed as an alternative to the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). Power sources such as these may be needed for proposed missions to solar system planets and bodies that have challenging Planetary Protection (PP) requirements (e.g. Mars, Europa, Enceladus) that may support NASA s search for life, remnants of past life, and the precursors of life. One concern is that the heat from the ASRG could potentially create a region in which liquid water may occur. As advised by the NASA Planetary Protection Officer, when deploying an ASRG to Mars, the current COSPAR/NASA PP policy should be followed for Category IVc mission. Thus, sterilization processing of the ASRG to achieve bioburden reduction would be essential to meet the Planetary Protection requirements. Due to thermal constraints and associated low temperature limits of elements of the ASRG, vapor hydrogen peroxide (VHP) was suggested as a candidate alternative sterilization process to complement dry heat microbial reduction (DHMR) for the assembled ASRG. The following proposed sterilization plan for the ASRG anticipates a mission Category IVc level of cleanliness. This plan provides a scenario in which VHP is used as the final sterilization process. Keywords: Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), Planetary Protection (PP), Vapor hydrogen peroxide (VHP) sterilization.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Chen, Fei
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
McKay, Terri
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Spry, James A.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Colozza, Anthony J.
(Vantage Partners, LLC Brook Park, OH, United States)
DiStefano, Salvador
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
February 14, 2012
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2013
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Country: United States
Start Date: February 25, 2013
End Date: February 28, 2013
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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