Planetary Protection Research is now soliciting proposals through the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) 2021 Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES). The Planetary Science Research Program supports investigations to help ascertain the content, origin, and evolution of the Solar System and the potential for life elsewhere, consistent with the strategy for Planetary Science Exploration embodied in the 2020 Science Plan. The Planetary Science Research portfolio contains specific program elements aimed at addressing these strategic objectives.

Planetary Protection is the practice of understanding and limiting terrestrial biological contamination of specific solar system bodies and stringently protecting Earth from possible life forms that could be returned from specific solar system bodies considered to be habitable. Numerous areas of research in astrobiology/exobiology are improving our understanding of the potential for survival of Earth microbes in extraterrestrial environments, relevant to preventing contamination of other bodies by Earth organisms carried on spacecraft.

Step 1 proposals for Planetary Protection Research are due April 12, 2021.

Full proposals are due May 13, 2021.

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The full list of current ROSES solicitations can be found at: