For this “Meet an Expert” chat, André Galli from the University of Bern in Switzerland joined us to delve more into planetary protection! Students had time for Q&A with André after his presentation.
Planetary Protection rules must be taken into account for every space mission to another celestial body. These rules are to prevent the contamination of moons and planets with micro-organisms from Earth. Additional safeguards exist to prevent backward contamination, i.e., bringing organisms back from other celestial bodies to Earth. This talk will present the development of Planetary Protection and how its rules are applied in current space research and exploration. We will also have a look at new initiatives that aim to expand the considerations behind Planetary Protection into a more general framework for sustainability on planet Earth and in space.
André Galli obtained his Ph.D. in space physics at the University of Bern, Switzerland, in 2008. Since then he has spent his time mostly with scientific research at the Netherlands Institute for Space Research and at the University of Bern, and to a lesser extent with physics teaching, long-distance running, and literature. His research interests are centered on the terrestrial planets, the Moon, ice moons and comets, and the solar wind. He is currently involved in NASA’s heliospheric missions IBEX and IMAP and in ESA’s JUICE mission to the icy moons of Jupiter.