NASA announced July 9 two new directives regarding planetary protection for missions to the moon and Mars that implement recommendations of an independent review board last year.
As part of its planetary protection campaign, NASA is encouraging companies to establish a working group to establish standards to ensure spacecraft do not accidentally transfer extra-terrestrial life to Earth.
An independent report is calling on NASA to update decades’ old planetary protection policies to reflect changing knowledge of solar system habitability and to enable future exploration by both the space agency and commercial entities.
NASA will establish an independent committee to review its planetary protection policies to reflect new developments in human space exploration and commercial spaceflight.
The NASA Advisory Council has recommended that NASA review its existing planetary protection guidelines to balance the needs of science and exploration, an effort that could set the stage for a similar revision at the international level.
A new advisory committee has proposed a set of recommendations to NASA in areas ranging from export control to advertising to enhance commercial activities in space.
NASA’s approaches to planetary protection are outdated in an era of more ambitious missions and emergence of private space exploration ventures and thus need to be revised, a new report concludes.
NASA's new planetary protection officer is open to reexamining how the agency deals with both government and commercial missions to Mars and other potentially habitable worlds in the solar system.