Committee on the Review of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, National Research Council
Executive Summary: Astrobiology is a scientific discipline devoted to the study of life in the universe--its origin, evolution, distribution, and future. It brings together the physical and biological sciences to address some of the most fundamental questions of the natural world: How do living systems emerge? How do habitable worlds form and how do they evolve? Does life exist on worlds other than Earth? The tremendous breadth and depth of this endeavor requires interdisciplinary investigation in order to be fully appreciated and examined.