Planetary Protection

Center of Excellence


Protecting all of the planets all of the time

Planetary Protection

JPL's Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group (BPPG) has had a longstanding involvement in mission implementation, and more recently, space microbiology research and technology development. The team ensures that spacecraft meet stringent cleanliness requirements to prevent forward contamination (microbial contamination of the solar system by spacecraft that we launch from Earth) and backward contamination (extraterrestrial contamination of the Earth and Moon by way of sample return missions). In support of this implementation role, the BPP Group seeks to advance spacecraft cleanliness, sterilization, and validation technologies for NASA's solar system exploration missions.


The mission of the Office of Planetary Protection is to promote the responsible exploration of the solar system by implementing and developing efforts that protect the science, explored environments, and Earth.


NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity Brenda Manuel welcome you to NASA's Modern Figures Website: https://www.nasa.gov/modernfigures



Current Expertise


Picture of Clay Wang (University of Southern California)

Clay Wang (University of Southern California), left, and Kasthuri Venkateswaran (JPL), right, will launch fungi into space and study the environmental impact on these fungi within the international space station.

  • Analytical Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • Bioinformatics

  • Biomedical Engineering

  • Biosensor Technology

  • Chemical Engineering

  • Classical and Molecular Microbial Taxonomy

  • Genetics

  • Metagenomics and Metabolomics

  • Microbial Archiving

  • Microbiology

  • Molecular Biology

  • Physics

  • Planetary Protection Implementation

  • Planetary Protection Research and Technology Development

  • Probability Analysis

  • Research Design

  • Space Instrument Engineering

  • Systems Engineering



Explore Planetary Protection


Mission Implementation


The BPP Group carefully samples spacecraft surfaces and performs microbiology tests to demonstrate compliance with requirements for biological cleanliness.

Current Research


A wide range of space microbiology research to advance spacecraft cleanliness, sterilization, and validation processes.

Technology Development


Development and standardization of more sensitive, accurate, rapid, and cost-effective technologies for spacecraft cleanliness and validation.

Facilities


Four lab facilities support a wide range of mission implementation and research & technology development capabilities at JPL.

Members


More than 15 scientists, engineers, and technicians, who are researchers and flight project implementation specialists.




Events



Coming Soon!

The Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group will host a variety of seminar series, workshops and conferences. Check back frequently for more information.

CL#17-1953

Site Manager: Kristina Stott

Webmaster: Kristina Stott

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