Planetary Protection and Mars Special Regions - A Suggestion for Updating the Definition

Petra Rettberg, Alexandre M. Anesio, Victor Baker, John A. Baross, Sherry L. Cady, Emmanouil Detsis, Christine M. Foreman, Ernst Hauber, Gian Gabriele Ori, David A. Pearce, Nilton O. Renno, Gary Ruvkun, Birgit Sattler, Mark P. Saunders, David H. Smith, Dirk Wagner, Frances Westall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We highlight the role of COSPAR and the scientific community in defining and updating the framework of planetary protection. Specifically, we focus on Mars "Special Regions," areas where strict planetary protection measures have to be applied before a spacecraft can explore them, given the existence of environmental conditions that may be conducive to terrestrial microbial growth. We outline the history of the concept of Special Regions and inform on recent developments regarding the COSPAR policy, namely, the MEPAG SR-SAG2 review and the Academies and ESF joint committee report on Mars Special Regions. We present some new issues that necessitate the update of the current policy and provide suggestions for new definitions of Special Regions. We conclude with the current major scientific questions that remain unanswered regarding Mars Special Regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalAstrobiology
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

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planetary protection
Mars
mars
suggestion
Committee on Space Research
Spacecraft
committees
microbial growth
history
environmental factors
spacecraft
History
histories
Growth
environmental conditions

Keywords

  • COSPAR policy
  • Mars special regions
  • Planetary protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Rettberg, P., Anesio, A. M., Baker, V., Baross, J. A., Cady, S. L., Detsis, E., ... Westall, F. (2016). Planetary Protection and Mars Special Regions - A Suggestion for Updating the Definition. Astrobiology, 16(2), 119-125. https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2016.1472

Planetary Protection and Mars Special Regions - A Suggestion for Updating the Definition. / Rettberg, Petra; Anesio, Alexandre M.; Baker, Victor; Baross, John A.; Cady, Sherry L.; Detsis, Emmanouil; Foreman, Christine M.; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Pearce, David A.; Renno, Nilton O.; Ruvkun, Gary; Sattler, Birgit; Saunders, Mark P.; Smith, David H.; Wagner, Dirk; Westall, Frances.

In: Astrobiology, Vol. 16, No. 2, 01.02.2016, p. 119-125.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rettberg, P, Anesio, AM, Baker, V, Baross, JA, Cady, SL, Detsis, E, Foreman, CM, Hauber, E, Ori, GG, Pearce, DA, Renno, NO, Ruvkun, G, Sattler, B, Saunders, MP, Smith, DH, Wagner, D & Westall, F 2016, 'Planetary Protection and Mars Special Regions - A Suggestion for Updating the Definition', Astrobiology, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 119-125. https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2016.1472
Rettberg, Petra ; Anesio, Alexandre M. ; Baker, Victor ; Baross, John A. ; Cady, Sherry L. ; Detsis, Emmanouil ; Foreman, Christine M. ; Hauber, Ernst ; Ori, Gian Gabriele ; Pearce, David A. ; Renno, Nilton O. ; Ruvkun, Gary ; Sattler, Birgit ; Saunders, Mark P. ; Smith, David H. ; Wagner, Dirk ; Westall, Frances. / Planetary Protection and Mars Special Regions - A Suggestion for Updating the Definition. In: Astrobiology. 2016 ; Vol. 16, No. 2. pp. 119-125.
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