Skip to Main Content
International planetary protection policies apply to planets, moons and small bodies in the solar system, presenting unavoidable challenges and requirements for both robotic and human missions. Engineers, designers, and planners should be aware of the importance of these policies, understand how they will impact different mission phases, and become familiar with findings and recommendations from previous workshops and research that outline the types of operational and technology complications that need additional research and attention. This paper provides an overview of planetary protection policies as related to the moon, Mars and other small bodies and discusses implications for designers of environmental monitoring and control technologies. In planning technologies for future long duration missions, it will be important to avoid pursuing multiple distinct and expensive technology pathways-one for the Moon and the other for Mars or other bodies. Awareness of planetary protection requirements on the design and operation of environmental monitoring and control technologies will be important to ensure they are built into the early designs, and not become serious impediments later.