Astrobiology (general)

National Research Council Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science

By Keith Cowing
March 12, 2012

The National Research Council’s Space Studies Board has merged the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) and the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life (COEL) to create the new Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Sciences (CAPS). The prime functions of CAPS will be to monitor the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Vision and Voyages planetary science decadal survey and in the reports drafted under the aegis of COEL and COMPLEX, and to act as the organizing committee for future studies in the areas of astrobiology and planetary science (e.g., the mid-term assessment of the decadal survey). Philip Christensen (Arizona State University) and J. Gregory Ferry (Pennsylvania State University) have agreed to serve as the co-chairs of CAPS. Seventeen additional individuals have been identified and have agreed to serve on the committee, pending approval by the NRC’s Executive Office. CAPS will hold its first face-to-face meeting on 23-25 May in the National Academies’ Keck Center, 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20001. Additional details about CAPS will be posted on its website at:

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.