September 2007

Speaker: Norman Pace (University of Colorado, Boulder), Date/Time: Monday, September 24, 2007 11AM PDT

Abstract: Life anywhere in the universe is likely to be based on carbon and to have a basic biochemistry similar to our own. The fundamental demands of life anywhere thus are the same: to capture energy in order to transform organic chemistry into more of self. In order to accomplish these tasks and thrive, terrestrial life has penetrated all permissible thermodynamic and physical niches offered by planet Earth. Consequently, it is likely that terrestrial life offers models for life in almost any habitable niche in the Universe. Knowledge of terrestrial diversity thus informs us about possible life anywhere.

Release Date: September 28, 2007
Notice of Intent: November 16, 2007
Proposals Due: January 15, 2008

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is releasing a NASA Announcement of Opportunity (NNH07ZDA003O), for the Explorer Program: Small Explorers (SMEX) and Missions of Opportunity. NASA expects to select up to three SMEX missions to proceed into Phase B and subsequent mission phases. NASA desires to launch the first SMEX mission by late 2011 or 2012; the launch-by date for all SMEX missions is April 30, 2014.

The High-Lakes project researches the high lakes of South America to provide insight to Mars, as the area is considered analogous. Nathalie Cabrol, a Planetary Geologist, has been working on the High-Lakes project for several years. In previous blogs, we covered a director's colloquium that Cabrol recently gave at the center. In this blog, we will cover more of the details learned from the High Lakes Project project, which studies Licancabur, Aguas Calientes, Poquentica, Escalante, Laguna Verde and Laguna Blanca lakes.

Nathalie Cabrol, a planetary geologist for Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) who works at NASA Ames and has been leading the High Lakes project for several years, has been documenting the changes in environment. In this blog, we will cover what has been learned specifically from the ultraviolet light at the lake. The High Lakes project covers research in the Licancabur, Aguas Calientes, Poquentica, Escalante, Laguna Verde and Laguna Blanca lakes. Previous blogs on the High Lakes Project have detailed some of the findings from this research.

  • a href="">What is being learned from the High Lakes in South America?, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Looking for Super-Earths in the HD 189733 System: A Search for Transits in Most Space-Based Photometry,
  • NASA Spaceline 7 September 2007 Current Space Life Science Awareness
  • As noted in the Spring 2007 newsletter, nominations for the following ASGSB awards are due no later than 5 PM PST, October 1, 2007. Please note that the individual selected must be at the meeting to receive the award.

    Previous winners of the awards can be found at

    1. Thora W. Halstead Young Investigator Award: This award honors a young scientist who exemplifies Thora's drive and enthusiasm for science, and who has made significant contributions to the field of space biology.

    2. Orr Reynolds Distinguished Service Award: This award is made to an individual for distinguished service to the Society "above and beyond the call of duty."

    3. Founder's Award: This award is the highest honor given by the Society. It is made to a member of the Society for distinguished scientific contributions to and leadership in the field of gravitational and space biology.

    The final recipients of these awards are chosen by the Awards Committee, in consultation with the current President and the Executive Director. Nominations from the Society's membership are very strongly encouraged and may be submitted to Chair Emily Holton or to the Executive Director.

    Nominations should be accompanied by the name and professional address of the candidate and a short Curriculum Vitae, along with a paragraph outlining why the candidate is particularly deserving of the award. The most direct mechanism for submissions is by e-mail to Dr. Emily Holton, Chair, Awards Committee,

    Emily Morey-Holton, Ph.D.
    Chair, Awards Committee