MEPAG Astro meyer

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Information about MEPAG Astro meyer

Published on January 24, 2008

Author: Savin


Astrobiology:  Astrobiology How does life begin and evolve? Does life exist elsewhere in the Universe? What is the future for life on Earth and beyond? The study of life in the Universe, focused on three fundamental questions: Astrobiology Roadmap:  Astrobiology Roadmap Goal 2 - Explore for past or present habitable environments, prebiotic chemistry and life that might exist elsewhere in our Solar System. Characterize ancient climates, any extinct life and potential habitats for extant life on Mars, and determine the presence of life's chemical precursors and potential habitats in the outer Solar System. Astrobiology Roadmap:  Astrobiology Roadmap Objective 2.1 - Mars exploration. Through orbital and surface missions, explore Mars for potentially habitable environments, as evidenced by water or aqueous minerals. Study Martian meteorites to guide future Mars exploration. Develop the methods and supporting technologies for the in situ characterization of aqueous minerals, carbon chemistry and/or life. Astrobiology Program Elements:  Research and Analysis Exobiology Program : Research centered on pathways leading to and from the origin of life, to determine the potential for life elsewhere in the Universe Evolutionary Biology : New research program to understand the physical and biological forces that affect biological evolution and the interaction of life with its environment NASA Specialized Centers of Research & Training (NSCoRT) NASA Astrobiology Institute Virtual institute whose members conduct interdisciplinary research as a community, geographically dispersed, interacting also with the national and international community Technology & Development Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development (ASTID) Life-centered perspective in technology development, first set of proposals selected soon Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) Program of campaigns to extreme environments to develop integrated systems and exploration savvy (start FY02) Astrobiology Program Elements What have we will learned?:  What have we will learned? Extreme Environments Life is robust and found in a wide range of liquid water environments Early Earth Difficulty in differentiating earliest microfossils from remnant organic chemistry Isotopes are only good in context Mars meteorites Tons of the state-of-the-art instrumentation available Informed progress in analyses Context is critical Discovery of life may require multiple lines of corroborating evidence . . . and more Why Mars & Astrobiology?:  Why Mars & Astrobiology? Answers to fundamental questions about Mars and our place in the universe

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