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Planetary Protection

JPL's Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group has had a longstanding involvement in planetary projection and space biology, and has a more recent focus on non-space-related biotechnology research. As implementers of planetary protection, the BPP Group ensures that spacecraft meet stringent cleanliness requirements, which protect other solar system bodies from Earth life and protect Earth from extraterrestrial life that may be brought back by returning space missions. In support of this implementation role, the BPP Group seeks to advance spacecraft cleanliness, sterilization, and validation technologies for NASA's solar system exploration missions.

JPL's BPP Group includes more than 20 full-time scientists, engineers, and technicians who are researchers and hardware implementation specialists. Collectively, the group has extensive expertise in general microbiology and genetics, classical and molecular microbial taxonomy, analystical chemistry and biochemistry, chemical engineering, molecular biology, physics, probability analysis, research design, biosensor technology, and space instrument engineering. The BPP Group conducts other biotechnology R&D activities in addition to those related to planetary protection. The activities of the BPP Group center on five processes:

To advance detection methods, numerous new technologies are being developed and validated by the BPP Group, including:

Moo Cooper

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