Journal article Open Access

The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap

Des Marais, David J.; Nuth, Joseph A.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Boss, Alan P.; Farmer, Jack D.; Hoehler, Tori M.; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Pohorille, Andrew; Runnegar, Bruce; Spormann, Alfred M.

The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap provides guidance for research and technology development across the NASA enterprises that encompass the space, Earth, and biological sciences. The ongoing development of astrobiology roadmaps embodies the contributions of diverse scientists and technologists from government, universities, and private institutions. The Roadmap addresses three basic questions: how does life begin and evolve, does life exist elsewhere in the universe, and what is the future of life on Earth and beyond? Seven Science Goals outline the following key domains of investigation: understanding the nature and distribution of habitable environments in the universe, exploring for habitable environments and life in our own Solar System, understanding the emergence of life, determining how early life on Earth interacted and evolved with its changing environment, understanding the evolutionary mechanisms and environmental limits of life, determining the principles that will shape life in the future, and recognizing signatures of life on other worlds and on early Earth. For each of these goals, Science Objectives outline more specific high priority efforts for the next three to five years. These eighteen objectives are being integrated with NASA strategic planning. Astrobiology 8, 715–730.
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