PANEL ON PLANETARY PROTECTION (PPP)

Chair:

Coustenis, A. (France), 2018 - 2022 

 

Vice-Chairs:

Hedman, N. (UNOOSA), 2018 - 2022

Kminek, G. (ESA/ESTEC), 2018 - 2022

Members Appointed by Space Agencies:

Ammannito, E. (ASI), 2018 - 2022

Deshevaya, E. (IKI), 2018 - 2022

Green, J. (NASA), 2018 - 2022

Li, L. (CNSA), 2018 - 2022

Rettberg, P. (DLR), 2018 - 2022

Sreekumar, P. (ISRO), 2018 - 2022

Tsuneta, S (JAXA/ISAS), 2018 - 2022

Viso, M. (CNES), 2018 - 2022

 

Scientists Representing COSPAR Scientific Commissions B and F:

Doran, P. (SC B / USA), 2018 - 2022

Grasset, O. (SC B / France), 2018 - 2022

Hayes, A. (SC B / USA), 2018 - 2022

Nakamura, A. (SC B / F / Japan), 2018 - 2022

Prieto-Ballesteros (SC B / Spain), 2018 - 2022

Raulin, F. (SC F / France), 2018 - 2022

Zaitsev, M (SC B / Russia), 2018 - 2022

Zorzano, M.-P. (SC B / Sweden and Spain), 2018 - 2022

 

Terms of Reference

 

1.        Scope and Objectives of the Panel on Planetary Protection

The Panel on Planetary Protection (PPP) is concerned with biological interchange in the conduct of solar system exploration, including: (1) possible effects of contamination of planets other than the Earth, and of planetary satellites within the solar system by terrestrial organisms; and (2) contamination of the Earth by materials returned from outer space carrying potential extraterrestrial organisms. The primary objective of the Panel within COSPAR is to develop, maintain, and promulgate clearly delineated policies that provide specific requirements as to the standards that must be achieved to protect against the harmful effects of such contamination.  These policies must be based upon the most current, peer-reviewed scientific knowledge, and should be based upon the principle that COSPAR planetary protection policies should enable the exploration of the solar system, not prohibit it. It is not the purpose of the Panel to specify the means by which adherence to the COSPAR planetary protection policy is achieved; the best and most cost effective means to adhere to the COSPAR planetary protection requirements is reserved to the engineering judgment of the organization responsible for the planetary mission, subject to certification of compliance with the COSPAR planetary protection requirements by the national or international authority responsible for compliance with the UN Outer Space Treaty.  However, the Panel should make every effort, through symposia, workshops, and topical meetings at COSPAR Assemblies, to provide an international forum for the exchange of information on the best practices for adhering to the COSPAR planetary protection requirements. Through COSPAR the Panel will inform the international community, e.g., the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) of the United Nations, as well as various other bilateral and multilateral organizations, of policy consensus on planetary protection.

2.        Panel Membership

The Panel, led by a Chair with the support of two Vice Chairs, consists of appointed members who represent the national or international authority responsible for compliance with the UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967, and representatives of COSPAR Scientific Commissions B – Space Studies of the Earth-Moon System, Planets and Small Bodies of the Solar Systems, and F-Life Sciences as Related to Space. The COSPAR Bureau formally appoints the Panel leadership and members. Panel meetings will be attended by, as active participants, representatives of COSPAR’s National Scientific Institutions, International Scientific Unions, and COSPAR Scientific Commissions.

The Chair of the Panel may not represent a national or international authority responsible for compliance with the UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967, but is chosen for his or her stature as an established leader of international space science, and ability to oversee the expeditious execution of the Panel’s responsibilities in such manner that COSPAR is recognized as fulfilling its responsibilities to provide accepted guidelines on planetary protection to guide compliance with the wording of the UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and other international agreements.  The appointment of the Chair is for four years, and is renewable once.

The two Vice Chairs of the Panel are as follows: One is chosen for his or her detailed knowledge of planetary protection issues and may concurrently represent a national or international authority responsible for compliance with the UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967.  One is appointed by the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to ensure that COSPAR is fulfilling its responsibilities under the UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967. The appointment of each Vice Chair is for four years and is renewable once.

3.        Panel Operations

The Chair of the Panel will convene all official meetings of the Panel at which major issues concerning planetary protection are to be discussed, and any updates or revisions to the COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy are to be recommended to the COSPAR Bureau and Council. The Chair will determine the agenda for the meeting, soliciting inputs from the Vice Chair(s), members, and other participants in the Panel meeting. The announcement of an official meeting of the Panel will be made at least two months in advance, and when possible will occur in concert with COSPAR Assemblies, Symposia, and/or Bureau meetings to encourage maximum attendance. In special circumstances, meetings, and the discussions and determination of a consensus position, can be held electronically.

The primary objective of the Panel is to develop and maintain the COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy. This is accomplished by having official meetings of the Panel continuously consider and evaluate the best available scientific knowledge of the risks of such contamination and the most expeditious means to avoid such contamination, and to discuss and propose, as needed, updates and revisions of the COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy.  The discussions on the Panel should include experts on planetary protection who are drawn from representatives of COSPAR’s National Scientific Institutions, International Scientific Unions, and COSPAR Scientific Commissions (mainly, B – Space Studies of the Earth-Moon System, Planets, and Small Bodies of the Solar System, and F – Life Sciences as Related to Space). Any proposed updates and revisions that are to be submitted to the Bureau and Council for adoption, must be established by consensus of the Panel, including the Vice Chair(s), members, and experts on planetary protection present at, or participating electronically, in the official meeting.

The Chair of the Panel is also responsible for ensuring that the Panel informs the international community, e.g., the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) of the United Nations, as well as various other bilateral and multilateral organizations, of the COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy.

4.        Panel Reporting

Reports of Panel activities, and any recommendations for modification of the COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy, are made to the COSPAR Bureau and Council.

COSPAR Planetery Protection Policy (published in Space Research Today, COSPAR's information bulletin, Number 200, December 2017 after having been approved by the COSPAR Bureau at its meeting in March 2017).

Last update of terms of reference 22 March 2017.

Last update of this page 27 December 2018.

* (after officer term) = second and final term in the office indicated