Researchers call for strengthening sustainability regulations in laws governing space exploration | Space

Artist’s impression of NASA-led Artemis Base Camp on the lunar south pole. Credit: NASA.

In a new study, a team of researchers led by Dimitra Atri of the NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Center for Astrophysics and Space Science call for strengthening existing planetary protection policies beyond the space surrounding Earth to include requirements for preserving the Lunar and Martian environments. In addition to biological contamination, they argue that guidelines should be expanded to address more than orbital debris, crowding, and security issues.

They also recommend adding compliance incentives to all existing and improved sustainability policies. Team members include Paulina Umansky from the University of California, Berkeley and K. R. Sreenivasan from New York University, New York.

In the paper titled “Sustainability as a core principle of space and planetary explorationpublished in the journal Space Policy, the researchers present a new review of existing planetary protection laws and literature on planetary protection policy and identify key shortcomings of rules guiding human space exploration. Specifically, they cite several questions that existing laws leave unaddressed—including issues of atmospheric and…


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