Planetary Protection

NASA to Discuss Planetary Protection Review's Findings and Recommendations

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
October 16, 2019
Filed under
NASA to Discuss Planetary Protection Review's Findings and Recommendations
Mars Sample Return

NASA will host a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 18, to discuss recommendations presented by the Planetary Protection Independent Review Board (PPIRB), established in June 2019 by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s website.

The PPIRB, comprised of a high-level team of 12 experts and stakeholders from science, engineering, and industry, examined the planetary protection guidelines the agency has used for decades in order to suggest changes needed to address the changing reality of space exploration. Planetary Protection is the practice of protecting solar system bodies from contamination by Earth life and protecting Earth from possible life forms that may be returned from other solar system bodies.

The teleconference will provide an overview of the board’s 34 findings, and 43 recommendations.

The briefing participants are:

– Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
– Alan Stern, planetary scientist and associate vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado
– Tommy Sanford, executive director, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Washington.
– Amanda Hendrix, senior scientist, Planetary Science Institute, Lakewood, Colorado

To participate in the teleconference, media must contact Alana Johnson at 202-358-1501 or [email protected] by 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, for dial-in information.

A report with the board’s findings will be posted by 11 a.m. on Oct. 18, on the agency’s website.

Learn more about NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection at:

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