WASHINGTON – The White House issued a national strategy for planetary protection on December 30, outlining new assessments to prevent otherworldly terrestrial pollution and vice versa.
The national strategy for planetary protection has been developed by an inter-working group led by the National Space Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), both to update planetary security policies, in view of scientific advice Lets work on the framework to be done next year. With increasing personal capabilities in space exploration.
The strategy is designed to implement a portion of the updated National Space Policy, released on 9 December, which calls on OSTP, in cooperation with NASA and other agencies, to guide the security of new planets. Working with scientific, commercial and international partners to develop directives for the proper protection of planetary bodies and Earth from harmful biological contamination.
“A strategy is needed to support a safe, sustainable and predictable Earth and space environment in current and future missions to Mars and other destinations,” National Space Council Executive Secretary Scott Pace said in a statement. “By establishing objectives for the 2020 implementation of the National Space Policy on Planetary Security, this strategy continues the American leadership in scientific exploration, human exploration, and private sector space activities.”
The planetary security strategy has three broad objectives. One is to create a “risk assessment and science-based guideline” to reduce what is known by terrestrial life as “further contamination,” or other-world contamination. It also assesses the role of planetary security in the government’s payload review process for private missions.
A second objective seeks to avoid “backward contamination,” or possible contamination of the Earth, by any supernatural life. The strategy directs sampling agencies to develop various frameworks for the assessment of the risks of sample return missions and other sources of backward contamination, as well as an approval framework for missions and processes that deal safely beyond the earth Works in a safe manner.
A third objective seeks to incorporate private sector views on planetary security issues, particularly on Mars, given the increasing capabilities and interest of companies in flight missions to other worlds. This objective includes developing guidelines for authorization by the government and continuous monitoring of private sector missions with implications for planetary security.
The strategy does not lay down any new policy, but rather works on various issues to be undertaken during the next year. “Actually it’s an action plan,” said an administrative officer, speaking on the background. “This is a work that is being done for the next nine months to a year.”
Planetary security has traditionally been an issue primarily for NASA. The agency is working to update its own planetary security policies based on recommendations made by an independent review board last year. In July, NASA announced that it was issuing new interim directives to reconsider both moons, with no need to protect the lower planet, as well as to study whether future humans for Mars How to make planetary safety guidelines compatible with the mission.
“We’re very fine with what NASA has done, but the problem is that NASA’s rules and interim directives don’t really apply to the private sector,” said an administration official. The strategy follows what the officer described as a “light touch” approach to any planetary security rules for private missions. “We are trying to find ways so that people can move forward, but to do so safely.”
The strategy also seeks to leverage the expertise of other agencies. The Inter-State Working Group consisted of several cabinet level departments ranging from Agriculture and Health and Human Services to Commerce and the State. This included the Centers for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration, among others.
Many of them were brought in support of work on backward contamination. An administration official said, “This is a great opportunity to bring in departments and agencies that may not have historically worked together on this issue,” but are now very excited to do so. “
“There is really no reason for space people to reinforce the wheel. “There is a lot of expertise there,” said an official.
Part of the increase in space conservation policy by the White House in the last week of the Trump administration is the planetary security strategy. In addition to the updated National Space Policy, the White House released a space nuclear strategy on 16 December outlining priorities for the development of nuclear power and propulsion capabilities and related policy issues.