eldavojohn writes "Space.com has a blog on Russia's Phobos-Grunt project designed to explore the planet further. He voices concerns about part of this exploration that is dubbed LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) and backed by The Planetary Society that involves sending several samples of Earth's hardiest microbes to see if they can survive the round trip voyage. Space.com's correspondent Leonard David did some legwork to ensure that The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 was being upheld as it prevents cross-contamination between planets and receives some interesting responses from experts on this mission. The Phobos-Grunt mission will also deploy a Chinese sub-satellite 'Firefly-1,' which will attempt to figure out how water on Mars disappeared. Unfortunately, The United States is not taking part in Phobos-Grunt."