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Challenges 2017, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/challe8010012

Ethics and the Potential Conflicts between Astrobiology, Planetary Protection, and Commercial Use of Space

Center of Theological Inquiry, 50 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
Academic Editor: Palmiro Poltronieri
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [158 KB, uploaded 27 May 2017]

Abstract

A high standard of planetary protection is important for astrobiology, though the risk for contamination can never be zero. It is therefore important to find a balance. If extraterrestrial life has a moral standing in its own right, it will also affect what we have to do to protect it. The questions of how far we need to go to protect extraterrestrial life will be even more acute and complicated when the time comes to use habitable worlds for commercial purposes. There will also be conflicts between those who want to set a world aside for more research and those who want to give the green light for development. I believe it is important to be proactive in relation to these issues. The aim of my project is therefore to identify, elucidate, and if possible, suggest solutions to potential conflicts between astrobiology, planetary protection, and commercial use of space. View Full-Text
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Persson, E. Ethics and the Potential Conflicts between Astrobiology, Planetary Protection, and Commercial Use of Space. Challenges 2017, 8, 12.

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