National Aeronautics and Space Administration Planetary Protection Office
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Human Missions & Planetary Protection

Workshop on Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Extraterrestrial Missions

Cosponsor: NASA Human Exploration and Operations

Final Documents

Location & Dates

  • Abstract Call
  • NASA Ames Research Center & SETI Institute
  • March 24-26, 2015; Moffett Field, California

Premise, Objectives, & Goal

While planetary protection requirements are in place for robotic missions, there is presently insufficient scientific and technological knowledge to establish effective quantitative requirements for the development of crewed spacecraft and missions. To prepare for such future missions, NASA created the NASA Policy on Planetary Protection Requirements for Human Extraterrestrial Missions (NPI 8020.7) that outlines the need to increase knowledge in the following study areas while iteratively developing an appropriate set of requirements:

  • Study Area 1: Microbial and human health monitoring
  • Study Area 2: Technology and operations for contamination control
  • Study Area 3: Natural transport of contamination on Mars

The goal of this workshop was to capture the current state of knowledge in the aforementioned areas and identify additional research to appropriately inform planetary protection requirements development for the human exploration of Mars.


Presentations, Abstracts, & Video

Introductory Material

Microbial and Human Health Monitoring Session

  • The Sloan Foundation Microbiology of the Built Environment Program: What’s There? Where Does it Come From? And What Does it Mean?, P.J. Olsiewski (abstract) (video)

Technology and Operations for Contamination Control Session

  • Exploration Space Suit Architecture and Critical Science Operations for Mars (part 1 & part 2), A. Ross [keynote speaker] (video)

Natural Transport of Contamination on Mars Session

  • Understanding the Process and Drivers for Developing Human Exploration Planetary
Protection Requirements, M.A. Jones (abstract)
Workshop Breakout Sessions
  • Breakout Rules (video)
  • Breakout Session 1 Outbrief (video)
  • Breakout Session 2 Outbrief (video)
  • Breakout Session 3 Outbrief (video)
  • Next Steps & Wrap Up (video)

Workshop Attendee Points-of-Contact

To encourage continued and future collaboration regarding planetary protection and the human exploration of Mars, the following list of workshop attendees volunteered to make their contact information available: