Astrobiology (general)

Life-Detection Technologies for the Next Two Decades

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
October 15, 2018
Filed under
Life-Detection Technologies for the Next Two Decades

Since its inception six decades ago, astrobiology has diversified immensely to encompass several scientific questions including the origin and evolution of Terran life, the organic chemical composition of extraterrestrial objects, and the concept of habitability, among others.

The detection of life beyond Earth forms the main goal of astrobiology, and a significant one for space exploration in general. This goal has galvanized and connected with other critical areas of investigation such as the analysis of meteorites and early Earth geological and biological systems, materials gathered by sample-return space missions, laboratory and computer simulations of extraterrestrial and early Earth environmental chemistry, astronomical remote sensing, and in-situ space exploration missions.

Lately, scattered efforts are being undertaken towards the R&D of the novel and as-yet-space-unproven life-detection technologies capable of obtaining unambiguous evidence of extraterrestrial life, even if it is significantly different from Terran life. As the suite of space-proven payloads improves in breadth and sensitivity, this is an apt time to examine the progress and future of life-detection technologies.

Chaitanya Giri, Tony Z. Jia, H. James Cleaves II, Tomohiro Usui, Dhananjay Bodas, Christopher Carr, Huan Chen, Yuka Fujii, Yoshihiro Furukawa, Hidenori Genda, Richard J. Gillams, Keiko Hamano, Shingo Kameda, Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, Cornelia Meinert, Markus Meringer, Kishore Paknikar, Sudha Rajamani, Sisinthy Shivaji, Andrew Steele, Masateru Taniguchi, Hikaru Yabuta, Akihiko Yamagishi
(Submitted on 14 Oct 2018)

Comments: 6 pages, the white paper was submitted to and cited by the National Academy of Sciences in support of the Astrobiology Science Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1810.06026 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1810.06026v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Tony Jia
[v1] Sun, 14 Oct 2018 12:35:38 GMT (174kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻