Third Annual ESA/NASA Planetary Protection Course
27 Jul 2011



Third Annual ESA/NASA Planetary Protection Course

​​Practical session in the Harwell Research Complex

​​Practical session in the Harwell Research Complex​

RAL Space, hosted its Annual Planetary Protection Course between 18th and 20th July 2011 of 26 delegates, from space industry and academic institutions from across the ESA member states. The course was delivered by six instructors from ESA, NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the German Air and Space Agency (DLR).

Planetary Protection is an area that ESA and NASA have routinely worked on collaboratively, which requires an understanding of how to verify the microbiological cleanliness of spacecraft headed to other planets to preserve those planets in their natural state for generations of space scientists to come. The focus of this workshop was on the early stage Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission where we will also need to contain returned samples to prevent cross-contamination and guard against the introduction of undiscovered life to our planet.

The instructors and delegates were delighted with the lab facilities in the Harwell Research Complex which provided participants (mainly physicists and engineers) with invaluable practical expertise of basic microbiology and sample handling. Our thanks to all involved in making the course a success.

For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries