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The internationally accepted COSPAR (Committee on Space Research) Planetary Protection guidelines were set into place to avert the contamination of other habitable planets and moon in our solar system and to protect Earth from potentially harmful extraterrestrial agents. To comply with these requirements the bioburden and biodiversity of spacecraft is routinely monitored and controlled at various stages of its assembly process. The Astrobiology Group is performing Planetary Protection Verification Assays on behalf of ESA, actually for the upcoming ExoMars 2016 and 2018 mission in addition to bioburden measurements for other international mission.
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