National Aeronautics and Space Administration Planetary Protection Office

2nd COSPAR Workshop on Refining Planetary Protection Requirements for Human Missions

Location & Dates


Workshop Objectives & Goals
As part of planning for future space exploration, COSPAR (The Committee on Space Research) together with space agencies NASA and ESA, is organizing an interdisciplinary workshop to consider next steps in the review and formulation of the international planetary protection policy for future human missions beyond Earth orbit.

The 2nd COSPAR Workshop on Refining Planetary Protection Requirements for Human Missions will be held on May 15-16 at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX. This workshop is an interdisciplinary meeting seeking to align previously identified knowledge gaps in planetary protection with mission opportunities in the timeframe between now and the first crewed flight to the Martian surface. This workshop will feed into subsequent working meetings that produce COSPAR reports assessing potential opportunities to address knowledge gaps in the areas of: i) Microbial and human health monitoring; ii) Technology and operations for contamination control; and iii) Natural transport of contamination on Mars.

The meeting will evaluate recent efforts, activities and the state of the art in the context of current COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy. It will provide a forum for international and interdisciplinary coordination and communication on future efforts in generating a roadmap to ensure timely closure of knowledge gaps.

The meeting is a follow-on to the 2015 NASA and 2016 COSPAR workshops on planetary protection for human missions to Mars, which first identified and then prioritized important knowledge gaps in science and technology areas

If interested in attending, please let us know by April 2 2018 by responding to Andy Spry. Note that because of space limitations, only confirmed participants should plan to travel to the meeting in person. A detailed agenda and logistics information will follow soon.


Workshop Summary & Documents