Astrobiology (general): September 2008

Dr. Mary A. Voytek, a microbiologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, VA, takes charge of NASA's Astrobiology Program effective September 15 as Interim Senior Scientist for Astrobiology in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA HQ.

Dr. Voytek takes over from Dr. John Rummel, who served as Senior Scientist for Astrobiology from late 2006 to August 2008. Dr. Rummel has taken a position with East Carolina University as Director of its Institute for Coastal Science and Policy.

This amendment delays the proposal due dates for three program element of ROSES-2008: Earth Science for Decision Making: Gulf of Mexico Region (Appendix A.28), Outer Planets Research (Appendix C.7), and Astrobiology: Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology (Appendix C.17).

The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute announces the introduction of the Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and solicits applications for fellowships to begin in the fall of 2009.

The Sagan Fellowships support outstanding recent postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that is broadly related to the science goals of the NASA Exoplanet Exploration area. The primary goal of missions within this program is to discover and characterize planetary systems and Earth-like planets around nearby stars.

NNH08ZDA009O, entitled "Stand Alone Missions of Opportunity Notice (SALMON)" is being released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on September 3, 2008. This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) solicits investigations that address the science objectives of the Science Mission Directorate's (SMD) astrobiology, lunar science, and planetary science programs and the Exploration Science Mission Directorate's (ESMD) fundamental space biology program.