Planetary protection involves preventing biological contamination on both outbound and sample return missions to other planetary bodies. Numerous areas of research in astrobiology/exobiology are improving our understanding of the potential for survival of Earth microbes in extraterrestrial environments, relevant to preventing contamination of other bodies by organisms carried on spacecraft. Research is required to improve NASA's understanding of the potential for both forward and backward contamination, how to minimize it, and to set standards in these areas for spacecraft preparation and operating procedures. Improvements in technologies and methods for evaluating the potential for life in returned samples are also of interest.
Notices of Intent are now due on June 29, 2012.
Proposals are now due September 5, 2012.
This change is being made so that the due dates occur on work days. Go to: http://nspires.nasaprs.com/
Questions concerning the Planetary Protection Research Program, may be addressed to
Cassie Conley firstname.lastname@example.org 202-358-3912