Astrobiology in Missions
Mission name Mars Science Laboratory Purpose to Astrobiology MSL’s Curiosity rover is studying whether or not Mars ever had environments capable of supporting microbial life.
Mission name Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Purpose to Astrobiology MAVEN is studying how atmospheric loss triggered the disappearance of liquid water on the surface of Mars.
Mission name Kepler and K2 Purpose to Astrobiology Kepler data is used to search for Earth-sized planets around distant stars.
Mission name Cassini-Huygens Saturn Orbiter and Titan Probe Purpose to Astrobiology Cassini-Huygens reveals new details about the potential for life on moons around giant planets.
Mission name Mars Exploration Rovers Purpose to Astrobiology The MER rovers have shaped our understanding of Mars’ geology and past environments at the surface that may have been suitable for life.
Mission name Mars Odyssey Purpose to Astrobiology Mars Odyssey provides detailed maps of Mars that are used to determine the evolution of the Mars environment and its potential for life.
Mission name Spitzer Space Telescope Purpose to Astrobiology The Spitzer Space Telescope provides observations relevant to the search for habitable worlds around distant stars, and the study of astrobiology targets in our own solar system.
Mission name Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy Purpose to Astrobiology SOFIA is making observations of new solar systems, complex molecules in space, and planets in our own Solar System.
Hubble Space Telecope
Mission name Hubble Space Telecope Purpose to Astrobiology Hubble has provided observations of everything from distant galaxies to nearby planets in our own Solar System.
2020 Mars Rover
Mission name 2020 Mars Rover Purpose to Astrobiology 2020 Mars Rover will provided details about the potential for life on Mars, both past and present.
Mission name James Webb Space Telescope Purpose to Astrobiology JWST will be used to hunt for solar systems capable of supporting habitable planets.
Mission name Mariner 4 Purpose to Astrobiology Mariner 4 returned the first pictures of the martian surface, and changed the way astrobiologists thought about life's potential on Mars.
Mission name Apollo 11 Purpose to Astrobiology Apollo 11 was the first crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.
Viking 1 and 2
Mission name Viking Project Purpose to Astrobiology NASA's Viking Project was the first mission to reach the martian surface and the first to search for evidence of life on Mars.
Mission name Pioneer Venus Orbiter Purpose to Astrobiology NASA's early missions to Venus helped to solidify the idea that Mars was a better place to look for potential past or present life.
Mission name Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite Purpose to Astrobiology LCROSS identified water ice and a water cycle on the Moon, providing clues about how rocky bodies might become habitable for life.
Mission name Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses Purpose to Astrobiology O/OREOS studies how living organisms are affected by the space environment.
Mission name Dawn Purpose to Astrobiology Dawn is providing new information about the early Solar System and formation of rocky planets by visiting protoplanets in the Main Asteroid Belt.
Mission name Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer Purpose to Astrobiology LADEE provided new data about the lunar atmosphere and air-born dust.
Mission name Intelligent Payload Experiment Purpose to Astrobiology Validating technologies for autonomous payload operations on a CubeSat