National Aeronautics and Space Administration Planetary Protection Office
About the Office





Mission Categories

Solar System Bodies

List of Missions

Mission Design & Requirements

Methods & Implementation

International Policy

Research in Planetary Protection

History of Planetary Protection

Course in Planetary Protection

Glossary of Terms



Planetary Protection Course

Planetary Protection: Policies and Practices

List of Course Topics

  • Relevant treaties, regulations and policies;
  • The biology of microflora, including extremophiles;
  • Laboratory techniques and practices;
  • Planning for compliance;
  • Guidelines for hardware design; and
  • Data analysis and reporting.

About the Course
NASA’s Planetary Protection Office has developed a course on planetary protection policies and practices to familiarize current and future practitioners with NASA and COSPAR planetary protection programs. The course is held twice a year at different locations in the United States and once a year in Europe. It provides a comprehensive review of all applicable policies, practices and procedures necessary to implement a successful planetary protection program, emphasizing integration of managerial, administrative, and laboratory activities. The course is supported by the NASA Planetary Protection Office and the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

This course is designed for managers, engineers, designers, lab technicians and others interested in learning about the theory behind and application of planetary protection principles. Participants learn how the work of personnel with diverse skills and responsibilities is coordinated to implement successful planetary protection programs. The course also provides hands-on training in microbial sampling and data management. It is taught by experts in the field with years of practical experience in all aspects of planetary protection.