Do a little research on planetary protection, and you're going to encounter Michael Crichton's "The Andromeda Strain." But if you want a campier take on the subject, pick up (or download) the 1982 flick "Creepshow." In it, there's a story called "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill," which stars Stephen King in the eponymous role. Jordy is a farmer who finds a meteorite and thinks it's his golden ticket. Unfortunately, the meteorite carries alien spores that turn the poor guy into a walking weed. It's not a happy ending, but it's an interesting take on planetary protection.Related Articles
- How Aliens Work
- How the Mars Exploration Rovers Work
- How NASA Works
- How Terraforming Mars Will Work
- How the Apollo Spacecraft Worked
- How Extremophiles Work
- Are we looking for aliens in the wrong places?
- COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy. Oct. 20, 2002, amended Mar. 24, 2011.
- Hurst, William C. and A. Estes Reynolds. "Food, Hands and Bacteria." University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Mar. 19, 2010. (Feb. 20, 2012) http://www.caes.uga.edu/publications/pubDetail.cfm?pk_id=5982
- Irion, Robert. "Did Life on Earth Come from Mars." Discover Magazine. Aug. 1, 2001. (Feb. 20, 2012) http://discovermagazine.com/2001/aug/featmars/?searchterm=planetary%20protection
- Jha, Alok. "Martian meteorite contains pockets of the red planet's atmosphere." The Guardian. Feb. 8, 2012. (Feb. 20, 2012) http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/feb/08/natural-history-museum-martian-meteorite
- Koerner, Brendan. "Your Planetary Protection Officer." Slate. Apr. 20, 2004. (Feb. 20, 2012) http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2004/04/your_planetary_protection_officer.html
- Lemonick, Michael D. "Alien Life Discovered in a Meteorite! Or Maybe Not." Time. Mar. 7, 2011. (Feb. 20, 2012) http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2057461,00.html
- Meltzer, Michael. "When Biospheres Collide: A History of NASA's Planetary Protection Programs." NASA. 2011.
- NASA Office of Planetary Protection Web site. (Feb. 20, 2012) http://planetaryprotection.nasa.gov/
- USS Hornet. "Apollo 11 & 12 Recovery." (Feb. 20, 2012) http://www.uss-hornet.org/history/apollo/
- Weed, William Speed. "Are We Ready for Alien Bugs?" Discover Magazine. March 1, 2003. (Feb. 20, 2012) http://discovermagazine.com/2003/mar/featalien/?searchterm=planetary%20protection