Student-Faculty Programs Office
Summer 2017 Announcements of Opportunity

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Project:  Process development for the assembly of biologically clean hardware for the Mars 2020 Mission
Disciplines:  Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Biology/Bioengineering
Mentor:  Fei Chen, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 393-6386
Background:  Planetary protection is the discipline of preventing harmful contamination of extra-terrestrial bodies with terrestrial biota, and protecting the Earth from potential threats posed by returned extra-terrestrial samples. The Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group (BPPG) at JPL performs planetary protection research, and has implemented planetary protection on spaceflight projects such as the Mars Exploration Rovers, Phoenix, and Mars Science Laboratory.
Description:  The focus of this project is to adopt and improve pre-existing techniques for the detection and quantification of low level biological contamination on surfaces and to develop sampling strategy and standard operation protocols for verifying the cleanliness of M2020 sample caching system. The result of this study will enable us to monitor the cleanliness of ultra clean hardware and to ensure the future returned samples are free of earth microbes (less than one viable organism). The candidate will be responsible for preparing samples and executing various assays to determine the cleanliness of hardware. Publication of the resulting analysis is encouraged. Knowledge and lab experience in biology and chemistry are preferred.
Student Requirements: 
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: Yes.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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Problems with or questions about submitting an AO?  Call Jen Manglos of the Student-Faculty Programs Office at (626) 395-2885.
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