The Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group is particularly interested in the potential for organisms to survive and reproduce in conditions present on the surface or subsurface of Mars (special regions), and on Europa and other icy satellites – potentially in the presence of a heat source brought from Earth (induced special regions). It is important to identify microbes with high potential for surviving spacecraft flight or planetary environmental conditions (e.g., radiation resistant organisms and high salt concentration tolerant organisms). Additionally, microbes found in spacecraft assembly cleanrooms – and the people that work in them – are the primary source of contaminants, and therefore, of great interest for studying the abundance and diversity of the microbial community present. Understanding how these microorganisms might survive different sterilization processes provides valuable information for the development of new sterilization methods in order to meet Planetary Protection implementation requirements. Space Biology and Human Research Programs have implications to planetary protection research. Understanding microbial populations and their impact on astronauts and the surrounding built environments, such as on the International Space Station, enable for preparation of human missions to Mars and deep space. This work also gives insights into microbial adaptations to the space environment.