There is much work required to identify, select, and prepare (using autonomous robotics) a site for safe habitation and crew operations long before the astronauts leave Earth for Mars.
There are many challenges facing anyone who plans to go to Mars and the more that can be solved before we ever set human footprints on the ground, the better the chances of a safe and productive journey.
Please join Robert Moses (NASA Langley Research Center) and D.R. Komar (NASA Langley Research Center) along with host Tony Darnell and co-hosts Harley Thronson and Alberto Conti as they discuss some of the critical steps that must be taken before we send anyone to the Red Planet, including thoughts on the Human Exploration Zones (HEZ) and what would possibly be allowed to be contaminated by crew while living there versus what areas within that HEZ need to remain pristine for science.
We hope you'll join us live, Thursday January 5th, 3pm ET and ask our guests questions or join the discussion with comments. A live chat will be available during the hangout.