The Goals, Rationales, and Definition
of Planetary Protection
Committee to Review the Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes
Space Studies Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
A Consensus Study Report of
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS500 Fifth Street, NWWashington, DC 20001
This study is based on work supported by the Contract No. NNH17CB02B with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any agency or organization that provided support for the project.
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24809
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Suggested Citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Goals, Rationales, and Definition of Planetary Protection: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24809.
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COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE PLANETARY PROTECTION POLICY DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES
JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER, Alexander Space Policy Consultants, Chair
DAVID P. FIDLER, Indiana University
JOANNE I. GABRYNOWICZ, University of Mississippi
G. SCOTT HUBBARD, Stanford University
EUGENE H. LEVY, Rice University
NORINE NOONAN, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
KENNETH OLDEN, Environmental Protection Agency (retired)
FRANCOIS RAULIN, University of Paris Est Créteil
MARK P. SAUNDERS, NASA (retired)
BETH A. SIMMONS, NAS, University of Pennsylvania
PERICLES D. STABEKIS, Independent Consultant
ANDREW STEELE, Carnegie Institution of Washington
DAVID H. SMITH, Study Director, Space Studies Board
MIA BROWN, Research Associate, Space Studies Board
ANDREA REBHOLZ, Program Coordinator, Space Studies Board
MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director, Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board.
1 Joined the committee on June 29, 2017.
2 Member, National Academy of Engineering.
3 Member, National Academy of Sciences.
4 Member, National Academy of Medicine.
SPACE STUDIES BOARD
FIONA HARRISON, NAS, California Institute of Technology, Chair
ROBERT D. BRAUN, NAE, University of Colorado Boulder, Vice Chair
DAVID N. SPERGEL, NAS, Princeton University and Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Simons Foundation, Vice Chair
JAMES G. ANDERSON, NAS, Harvard University
JEFF M. BINGHAM, Consultant
JAY C. BUCKEY, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
MARY LYNNE DITTMAR, Dittmar Associates
JOSEPH FULLER, JR., Futron Corporation
THOMAS R. GAVIN, California Institute of Technology
SARAH GIBSON, National Center for Atmospheric Research
WESLEY T. HUNTRESS, Carnegie Institution of Washington
ANTHONY C. JANETOS, Boston University
CHRYSSA KOUVELIOTOU, NAS, George Washington University
DENNIS P. LETTENMAIER, NAE, University of California, Los Angeles
ROSALY M. LOPES, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
DAVID J. MCCOMAS, Princeton University
LARRY PAXTON, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory
SAUL PERLMUTTER, NAS, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
ELIOT QUATAERT, University of California, Berkeley
BARBARA SHERWOOD LOLLAR, University of Toronto
HARLAN E. SPENCE, University of New Hampshire
MARK H. THIEMENS, NAS, University of California, San Diego
MEENAKSHI WADHWA, Arizona State University
MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director
CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, Administrative Coordinator
TANJA E. PILZAK, Manager, Program Operations
CELESTE A. NAYLOR, Information Management Associate
MEG A. KNEMEYER, Financial Officer
SU LIU, Senior Financial Officer
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Jack Barengoltz, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (retired),
Steven J. Battel, NAE,1 Battel Engineering, Inc.,
Athena Coustenis, Paris Observatory,
Michael Ettenberg, NAE, Dolce Technologies,
Victoria E. Hamilton, Southwest Research Institute,
Ram Jakhu, McGill University,
Gerhard Schwehm, European Space Agency (retired), and
Norman H. Sleep, NAS,2 Stanford University.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lennard A. Fisk, NAS, University of Michigan. He was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.
1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.
2 Member, National Academy of Sciences.
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In 2016, NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate John Grunsfeld asked the Space Studies Board to review the current state of planetary protection policy development, assess the responsiveness of the policy development process to contemporary and anticipated needs, and recommend actions that might assure the effectiveness of NASA’s future coordination and execution of planetary protection. (See Appendix A for the full task statement for this study.)
In December 2016, Dr. Grunsfeld’s successor, Thomas Zurbuchen, asked the ad hoc Committee to Review the Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes to prepare an interim report as soon as possible before the full study is completed. Dr. Zurbuchen wanted the interim report to address the goals of and rationales for planetary protection policies and suggest a working definition of planetary protection consistent with those goals. The statement of task for the interim report is at the end of Appendix A.
The study committee (see Appendix B for biographies of the committee members) held its first meeting on March 7-9, 2017, and devoted the meeting to preparing this interim report. (See Appendix C for the full meeting agenda.) Given the short time available to produce the interim report, the committee focused exclusively on planetary protection as it applies to U.S. government-sponsored, robotic, scientific missions. This interim report does not address future commercial planetary missions, human missions to planetary bodies, or roles and responsibilities for implementing policies, but the committee will address those issues in its final report.
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