Astrobiology (general): June 2006

In conjunction with the 2006 GRC Origin of Life conference, organizers are offering the first Origin of Life Graduate Research Seminar. The Graduate Research Seminar is designed to identify top young talent in diverse fields and encourage them to present cutting edge research in origin of life contexts.

"The First", by Stuart Atkinson

Maybe you're on Mars, inside
or hiding beneath a rock, many rocks,
exiled by the lethal blue-leeched sky
to a world of damp and dark,
A crystalline, Noachian dungeon where
"water" is just a scent and Time runs slow:
one billion sols... two billion sols...
between each breath a billion more...

NRC Report: An Assessment of Balance in NASA's Science Programs

Astrobiology: NASA's astrobiology program is built around three overarching scientific questions:

1. How does life begin and evolve?
2. Does life exist elsewhere in the universe?
3. What is life's future on Earth and beyond?

The program consists of four independent R&A elementsthe exobiology and evolutionary biology program, the Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development program, the Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets program, and the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). Together, these were funded in FY 2006 at a combined level of $65 million, already down 13 percent from the FY 2005 program. The FY 2007 budget would cut the program again, to half its current level. This is projected to be a permanent reduction in the size of the program.

Led by the E/PO Leads from NAI's University of Arizona, teachers from across the country convened in Alberta, Canada this past weekend for a two day professional development experience focused on astrobiology science and the latest research in pedagogy, curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Europlanet #1, European Planetary Science Congress 2006, Berlin, Germany, 18 - 22 September 2006 - The intention of the European Planetary Science Congress 2006 is to cover a broad area of science topics related to planetary science and planetary missions. The program of the congress will contain oral and poster sessions, and it will emphasize workshops and panel discussions in order to have a strong interaction between the participants.