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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2017 can be found here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

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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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