International Partnerships

Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)

The International Council for Science established the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) in 1958. COSPAR organizes symposia where scientific research results, information, and opinions are shared with all scientists to discuss space research. The Panel on Planetary Protection (PPP) is primarily concerned with 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). The PPP holds meetings, workshops, and symposia at COSPAR assemblies. The intent is to develop, maintain, and promote Planetary Protection knowledge, polices, and plans to prevent the harmful effects of such contamination. In July 2018, Pasadena will hold the next scientific assembly.

European Space Agency (ESA)

NASA and ESA Planetary Protection policies ensure compliance with the COSPAR Planetary Protection policy in order to accomplish the responsible exploration of space: preventing both forward and backward contamination. In support of this, JPL partners with ESA to exchange space science information and ideas. This partnership has led to the success of remarkable missions such as Rosetta and the Trace Gas Orbiter.


Trace Gas Orbiter

Collaboration With Countries Resulting
in Publications


Bashir, Mina, et al. "Functional Metagenomics of Spacecraft Assembly Cleanrooms: Presence of Virulence Factors Associated with Human Pathogens." Frontiers in Microbiology 7 (2016).

Mayer, Teresa, et al. "Microbial succession in an inflated lunar/Mars analog habitat during a 30-day human occupation." Microbiome 4.1 (2016): 1.


Vaishampayan, Parag A., et al. "Survival of Bacillus pumilus spores for a prolonged period of time in real space conditions." Astrobiology 12.5 (2012): 487-497.

Venkateswaran, Kasthuri, Myron T. La Duc, and Gerda Horneck. "Microbial existence in controlled habitats and their resistance to space conditions."Microbes and environments 29.3 (2014): 243-249.

Kwan, K., et al. "Evaluation of procedures for the collection, processing, and analysis of biomolecules from low-biomass surfaces." Applied and environmental microbiology 77.9 (2011): 2943-2953.

Moissl, Christine, James C. Bruckner, and Kasthuri Venkateswaran. "Archaeal diversity analysis of spacecraft assembly clean rooms." The ISME journal 2.1 (2008): 115-119.

Vaishampayan, Parag, et al. "Description of Tersicoccus phoenicis gen. nov., sp. nov. isolated from spacecraft assembly clean room environments."International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 63.7 (2013): 2463-2471

Probst, Alexander, et al. "Diversity of anaerobic microbes in spacecraft assembly clean rooms." Applied and environmental microbiology 76.9 (2010): 2837-2845.


Krebs, Jordan E., et al. "Microbial community structures of novel icelandic hot spring systems revealed by PhyloChip G3 Analysis." Astrobiology 14.3 (2014): 229-240.

Marteinsson, Viggó, et al. "A Laboratory of Extremophiles: Iceland Coordination Action for Research Activities on Life in Extreme Environments (CAREX) Field Campaign." Life 3.1 (2013): 211-233.


Newcombe, David, et al. "Bacillus canaveralius sp. nov., an alkali-tolerant bacterium isolated from a spacecraft assembly facility." International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 59.8 (2009): 2015-2019.

Osman, Shariff, et al. "Tetrasphaera remsis sp. nov., isolated from the Regenerative Enclosed Life Support Module Simulator (REMS) air system."International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 57.12 (2007): 2749-2753.

Vaishampayan, Parag, et al. "Bacillus horneckiae sp. nov., isolated from a spacecraft-assembly clean room." International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 60.5 (2010): 1031-1037.

Vaishampayan, Parag, et al. "Deinococcusphoenicis sp. nov., an extreme ionizing-radiation-resistant bacterium isolated from the Phoenix Lander assembly facility." International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 64.10 (2014): 3441-3446.

Behera, Pratiksha, et al. "The draft genome sequence of Mangrovibacter sp. strain MP23, an endophyte isolated from the roots of Phragmites karka." Genomics Data 9 (2016): 128-129.


Venkateswaran, Kasthuri, et al. "ATP as a biomarker of viable microorganisms in clean-room facilities." Journal of Microbiological Methods52.3 (2003): 367-377.


De Vries, Lisbeth E., et al. "The gut as reservoir of antibiotic resistance: microbial diversity of tetracycline resistance in mother and infant." PloS one6.6 (2011): e21644.

Vaishampayan, Parag A., et al. "Comparative metagenomics and population dynamics of the gut microbiota in mother and infant." Genome biology and evolution 2 (2010): 53-66.


Bengtsson, Johan, et al. "Megraft: a software package to graft ribosomal small subunit (16S/18S) fragments onto full-length sequences for accurate species richness and sequencing depth analysis in pyrosequencing-length metagenomes and similar environmental datasets." Research in microbiology 163.6 (2012): 407-412.

Nilsson, R. Henrik, et al. "Five simple guidelines for establishing basic authenticity and reliability of newly generated fungal ITS sequences." MycoKeys 4 (2012): 37.

CL#: 17-1953, 18-1585

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