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

Rettberg, Petra and Anesio, Alexandre M. and Baker, Victor R. and Baross, John A. and Cady, Sherry L. and Detsis, E. and Foreman, Christine M. and Hauber, Ernst and Ori, Gian Gabriele and Pearce, David A. and Renno, Nilton O. and Ruvkun, Gary and Sattler, Birgit and Saunders, Mark P. and Smith, David H. and Wagner, Dirk and Westall, Frances (2016) Planetary Protection and Mars Special Regions—A Suggestion for Updating the Definition. Astrobiology, 16 (2), pp. 119-125. Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. doi: 10.1089/ast.2016.1472. ISSN 1531-1074.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ast.2016.1472


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 SRSAG2 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.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/102929/
Document Type:Article
Title:Planetary Protection and Mars Special Regions—A Suggestion for Updating the Definition
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Rettberg, Petrainstitute of aerospace medicine, radiation biology division, german aerospace center (dlr e.v.), linder höhe, 51147 cologne, germanyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Anesio, Alexandre M.Bristol Glaciology Centre, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.UNSPECIFIED
Baker, Victor R.Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Baross, John A.School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Cady, Sherry L.Environmental and Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Detsis, E.Space Sciences Group, European Science Foundation, Strasbourg, France.UNSPECIFIED
Foreman, Christine M.Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Hauber, ErnstDepartment of Planetary Geology, German Aerospace Centre, Berlin, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Ori, Gian GabrieleInternational Research School of Planetary Sciences, Universita d’Annunzio, Pescara, Italy.UNSPECIFIED
Pearce, David A.Department of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.UNSPECIFIED
Renno, Nilton O.College of Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Ruvkun, GaryRichard B. Simches Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Sattler, BirgitAustrian Polar Research Institute, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.UNSPECIFIED
Saunders, Mark P.Langley Research Center, NASA, Hampton, Virginia, USA (Retired).UNSPECIFIED
Smith, David H.Space Studies Board, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Washington, DC, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Wagner, DirkGerman Research Centre for Geosciences Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Westall, FrancesCentre de biophysique moléculaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Orléans, France.UNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Astrobiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 119-125
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Keywords:Planetary protection, Mars Special Regions, COSPAR policy, Astrobiology
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof , Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:11 Feb 2016 11:25
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:23

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