NASA's advisory council recommends the agency review existing policies on preventing extraplanetary matter from contaminating earth and Earth-based spacecraft from contaminating foreign planets, Space News reported Friday.
Following a two-day meeting, the council advises NASA to establish a committee to conduct this review on planetary protection and formulate policies that balance exchanges between Earth and other planetary bodies. The council urges NASA to form this group of experts from industry, science and government communities. The recommendation aims to scientifically, socially and economically support the country's space missions, the report noted.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA, said he supports the formation of the recommended task force for a more balanced planetary protection policy.