Examining NASA’s Planetary Protection Policies – New Report July 2

Protecting Earth’s environment as well as those of other planets from harmful contamination has been an important principle throughout the history of space exploration.  NASA has played an essential leadership role on behalf of the United States in developing successful safety measures and planetary protection policies for more than 50 years. However, such policies will need to be consistent with new dimensions of solar system exploration including advances in biotechnology, the entry of new international and private-sector players, and eventual human presence on other planets.

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines the history of planetary protection policy, assesses the current policy development process, and recommends actions to improve future policy development. The report also includes recommendations to help maintain planetary protection policies in the future. 

Advance copies of Review and Assessment of Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes will be available to reporters only beginning at noon EDT Friday, June 29. This report is embargoed and not for public release before 11 a.m. EDT Monday, July 2. Reporters who wish to obtain a copy of the report should contact the Office of News and Public Information at tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail news@nas.edu.