NASA Wants to Lay Some Ground Rules For Space Explorers

An astronaut walking on the moon, rear view, low section

WASHINGTON, DC — With the growing number of players getting into space exploration, NASA released a report with recommendations on a few ground rules for space exploration.

The agency said in a statement, “With NASA, international, and commercial entities planning bold missions to explore our solar system and return samples to Earth, the context for planetary protection is rapidly changing. NASA established the Planetary Protection Independent Review Board (PRIRB) to conduct a thorough review of the agency’s policies.”

With new actors heading to space, and NASA’s Artemis program making plans for human missions to Mars, a planetary protection creates guidelines to prevent contamination of Earth from space, and space from Earth’s biology.

With 34 findings from NASA, and 43 recommendations from the PPIRB, the agency plans to begin a dialogue with international and commercial partners about conducting planetary missions.

“Planetary science and planetary protection techniques have both changed rapidly in recent years, and both will likely continue to evolve rapidly,” Alan Stern, chair of PPIRB said. “Planetary protection guidelines and practices need to be updated to reflect our new knowledge and new technologies, and the emergence of new entities planning missions across the solar system. There is global interest in this topic, and we also need to address how new players, for example in the commercial sector, can be integrated into planetary protection.”

NASA Wants to Lay Some Ground Rules For Space Explorers