SETI is Part of Astrobiology


"Traditional SETI is not part of astrobiology" declares the NASA Astrobiology Strategy 2015 document. This is incorrect.

In this white paper, I argue that SETI$-$seen as the search for technosignatures characteristic of the future of life in the universe$-$is a neglected complement to the search for biosignatures in NASA's astrobiology portfolio, and may offer the more fruitful avenue to the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe, as recognized by the Astro2010 decadal survey.

I rebut six erroneous perceptions that may contribute to the field's absence from NASA's astrobiology strategy, and argue that since SETI is, quite obviously, part of astrobiology, SETI practitioners should at the very least be expressly encouraged to compete on a level playing field with practitioners of other subfields for NASA astrobiology resources.

Jason T. Wright
(Submitted on 15 Jan 2018)

Comments: 5 pages, submitted as a white paper to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine ad hoc Committee on Astrobiology Science Strategy for Life in the Universe, 2018. this http URL
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:1801.04868 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1801.04868v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Jason Wright
[v1] Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:35:50 GMT (59kb)

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