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Proceedings Paper

Development and implementation of aseptic operations to meet planetary protection requirements on the MOMA-mass spectrometer (Conference Presentation)
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Paper Abstract

The ExoMars 2020 Rover is a life detection mission, and is classified as Planetary Protection (PP) Mission Category IVb, the first IVb mission since the Viking missions. Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer – Mass Spectrometer (MOMA-MS) is a life detection instrument for the rover. To meet the stringent bioburden requirement of 0.03 spore/m2, the MS is subjected to Dry Heat Microbial Reduction (DHMR) to decrease the bioburden from a measured 88 spores/m2 to 0.009 spores/m2. After DHMR, exposure of the sample path must be kept to an absolute minimum and requires aseptic operations. Aseptic operations include determining the safe exposure time based on the surface area of exposure and particle fallout expected in the aseptic ISO class 5 workspace, preparing an aseptic ISO class 5 workspace, and using sterile garments and tools. During the exposure activity the environment is monitored with active and passive fallout for bioburden and real time airborne particle counts. Sterile tools are handled by a two person team so the operator touches only the tool and not the exterior surfaces of the sterilization pouch, and a sterile operating field is established as a safe place to organize tools or parts during the aseptic operations. In cases where aseptic operations are not feasible, localized DHMR is used after exposure. Any breach in the PP cleanliness can necessitate repeating instrument level DHMR, which not only has significant cost and schedule implications, but also is a risk to hardware that is not rated for repeated long exposures to high temperatures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 September 2018
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Proc. SPIE 10748, Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2018, 107480V (18 September 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2321137
Show Author Affiliations
Erin N. Lalime, SGT, Inc. (United States)
John S. Canham, Orbital ATK (United States)
Radford L. Perry III, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10748:
Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2018
Carlos E. Soares; Eve M. Wooldridge; Bruce A. Matheson, Editor(s)

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