NASA Astrobiology Program

New NAI Team at RPI Launches New York Center for Astrobiology

By Keith Cowing
December 19, 2008

In January, NAI will welcome ten new teams, one of which is based at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. A gala event was held at RPI to launch their New York Center for Astrobiology, led by RPI Professor Doug Whittet. The opening ceremonies were highlighted by Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer and professor of physics, and Paul Tonko, United States Congressman-Elect of New York.

Based within the School of Science at Rensselaer, the New York Center for Astrobiology is devoted to investigating the origins of life on Earth and the conditions that lead to the formation of habitable planets in our own and other solar systems. The center includes researchers and students from a variety of research backgrounds and universities, including regional partners at the University at Albany and Syracuse University, and national partners at the University of South Dakota and the University of Arizona.

“The New York Center for Astrobiology builds on a legacy of discovery and collaboration developed over the past half century by NASA and scientists around the world, including right here at Rensselaer,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “The scientists in the center will help piece together the fragmented clues that could lead to the discovery of the first extraterrestrial life, and the origins of the first life to appear here on Earth.”

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Source: NAI Newsletter

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