The law was passed originally to protect Earth from possible biological contamination resulting from the US Apollo Space Program and other space exploration programs. It has been suggested by researchers and scientists that the U.S. government was very concerned that contact with extra-terrestrial bacteria could result in a worldwide plague. The immune system of human beings wouldn't be able to fight off extra-terrestrial bacteria, so therefore any kind of "extra-terrestrial exposure" was taken very seriously.
People in the UFO community especially were alarmed with the law because its broad definitions could allow the US government to prosecute people in NASA as well as individuals of the general public who come into contact with extra-terrestrials and their vehicles.
UFO and ET believers found it interesting that in one hand the government was denying they had any interest in extra-terrestrials, yet they had a law which forbid contact with ETs and their craft.
1211.100 - Scope
This part establishes:
- NASA policy, responsibility and authority to guard the Earth against any harmful contamination or adverse changes in its environment resulting from personnel, spacecraft and other property returning to the Earth after landing on or coming within the atmospheric envelope of a celestial body; and
- security requirements, restrictions and safeguards that are necessary in the interest of national security.
1211.102 - Definitions
- "NASA" and the "Administrator" mean, respectively, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or his authorized representative.
- "Extra-terrestrially exposed" means the state of
condition of any person, property, animal or other form of life or matter
whatever, who or which has:
- Touched directly or come within the atmospheric envelope or any other celestial body
- Touched directly or been in close proximity to (or been exposed indirectly to) any person, property, animal or other form of life or matter who or which has been extra-terrestrially exposed by virtue of paragraph (b)(1) of this section. For example, if person or thing "A" touches the surface of the Moon, and on "A's" return to Earth, "B" touches "A" and, subsequently, "C" touches "B", all of these - "A" through "C" inclusive - would be extra-terrestrially exposed ("A" and "B" directly; "C" indirectly).
- "Quarantine" means the detention, examination and decontamination of any persons, property, animal or other form of life or matter whatever that is extra-terrestrially exposed, and includes the apprehension or seizure of such person, property, animal or other form of life or matter whatever.
- "Quarantine period" means a period of consecutive calendar days as may be established in accordance with 1211.104
Administrative actions.The Administrator or his designee..shall in his discretion:
- Determine the beginning and duration of a quarantine period with respect to any space mission; the quarantine period as it applies to various life forms will be announced.
- Designate in writing quarantine officers to exercise quarantine authority.
- Determine that a particular person, property, animal, or other form of life or matter, whatever is extra-terrestrially exposed and quarantine such person, property, animal, or other form of life or matter whatever. The quarantine may be based only on a determination, with or without the benefit of a hearing, that there is probable cause to believe that such person, property, animal or other form of life or matter whatever is extra-terrestrially exposed.
- Determine within the United States or within vessels or vehicles of the United States the place, boundaries, and rules of operation of necessary quarantine stations.
- Provide for guard services by contract or otherwise, as many be necessary, to maintain security and inviolability of quarantine stations and quarantined persons, property, animals or other form of life or matter whatever.
- Provide for the subsistence, health and welfare of persons quarantined under the provisions of this part.
- Hold such hearings at such times, in such manner and for such purposes as may be desirable or necessary under this part, including hearings for the purpose of creating a record for use in making any determination under this part for the purpose of reviewing any such determination.
- During any period of announced quarantine, no person shall enter or depart from the limits of the quarantine station without permission of the cognizant NASA officer. During such period, the posted perimeter of a quarantine station shall be secured by armed guard.
- Any person who enters the limits of any quarantine station during the quarantine period shall be deemed to have consented to the quarantine of his person if it is determined that he is or has become extra-terrestrially exposed.
- At the earliest practicable time, each person who is quarantined by NASA shall be given a reasonable opportunity to communicate by telephone with legal counsel or other persons of his choice.
- NASA officers and employees are prohibited from discharging from the limits of a quarantine station any quarantined person, property, animal or other form of life or matter whatever during order or other request, order or demand an announced quarantine period in compliance with a subpoena, show cause or any court or other authority without the prior approval of the General Counsel and the Administrator.
- Where approval to discharge a quarantined person, property, animal or other form of life or matter whatever in compliance with such a request, order or demand of any court or other authority is not given, the person to whom it is directed shall, if possible, appear in court or before the other authority and respectfully state his inability to comply, relying for his action on this 1211.107.