.. What is PPOSS – Planetary Protection of Outer Solar System
PPOSS is a EU project
PPOSS: Planet Protection Outside of Solar System


What is PPOSS

Planetary protection is aimed to prevent contamination between Earth and other bodies in the context of space exploration missions. To ensure that scientific investment in space exploration is not compromised by cross-contamination, special care need to be taken by all actors and stakeholders. The basic mandate of planetary protection is:

  • to avoid jeopardizing the search for extraterrestrial life, precursors and remnants and,
  • to protect Earth and its biosphere from extraterrestrial sources of contamination

The Planetary Protection of Outer Solar System (PPOSS) project tackles the science, technology and policy making components related to biological and organic contamination of outer solar system bodies, in particular icy moons. This intensive three year programme will provide an international platform and forum where science, industry and policy actors will meet to nurture and catalyse discussions, exchange of knowledge and produce policy recommendations on the matter of planetary protection.

Space exploration missions are international endeavours and planetary protection is by nature an issue of global relevance. Thus, PPOSS brings in international partners and observers from non-European countries.

The main objectives of the PPOSS project are:

  • describe the state of the art and good practice for implementing planetary protection requirements, and identify good practices and lessons to be learnt.
  • identify scientific challenges, scientific requirements and knowledge gaps related to planetary protection of outer solar systems bodies, including small solar system bodies.
  • develop an European engineering roadmap for the industry sector.
  • review of the international outer solar system planetary protection regulation structure and categorisation, suggest improvements.
  • facilitate the dissemination of knowledge related to planetary protection.

The PPOSS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 687373.

The PPOSS project Coordination and Support Action has received funding from the European Comission’s H2020 Programme (2016-2018) under grant agreement 687373.


Sources and Publications