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Scientific challenges to prevent the biological contamination of Outer Solar System bodies - what do we need to know for planetary protection?

Rettberg, P. (2019) Scientific challenges to prevent the biological contamination of Outer Solar System bodies - what do we need to know for planetary protection? EANA 2019, 3 – 6 September 2019, Orléans, France.

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Abstract

With increasing evidence of the presence of liquid water in the outer Solar System, the number of potentialy habitable environments has increased and, in consequence, the issue of contaminating other solar system bodies has become more important and relevant. Within the current Planetary Protection framework, the challenges to prevent the unwanted biological contamination of Outer Solar System bodies of astrobiological interest, here especially Europa and Enceladus, are tightly linked to the potential of Earth organisms to arrive at and survive and replicate in an environment in the Outer Solar system that would be habitable for them (“problematic species”). The identification of these relevant groups of organisms was addressed through background research, a dedicated international workshop and the consultation of additional experts in geology, geophysics, space radiation dosimetry, radiation biology, planetology, and microbiology. Problematic species for icy moons were identified as those that are able to survive long periods of desiccation and exposure to radiation and thereafter can replicate at low temperatures under oligotrophic anaerobic conditions in the presence of salts. There is a need for long-term microbiological research to characterise the cleanroom microbial community with respect to the presence of problematic species. The unknowns about the environment, especially the radiative environment, but also the extent of exchange processes between the moon's surface and the subsurface ocean, its composition and the temperature gradient in the ice shell also need to be explored in respect to their effects on microorganisms.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/129859/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Scientific challenges to prevent the biological contamination of Outer Solar System bodies - what do we need to know for planetary protection?
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Rettberg, P.Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany; petra.rettberg (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Date:4 September 2019
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Planetary Protection
Event Title:EANA 2019
Event Location:Orléans, France
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:3 – 6 September 2019
Organizer:European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA)
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 - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:30 Oct 2019 15:01
Last Modified:30 Oct 2019 15:01

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