Colonies of fungi grown on the International Space Station, one of many extreme environments researchers are studying to see how microbes behave. Artist's rendering of a Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) molecule.
 Artist impression of a strand of DNA. Penny Boston delivers a keynote address at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Fall Symposium where she discussed the importance of exploring extreme environments on Earth in order to better understand what we might face on other planets.
Mayo Clinic Studies How Life Survives Extreme Environments One possible proxy to an extreme environment is the human body. 01/04
Joint NASA-NSF Ideas Lab on the Origins of Life Call for Proposals out now 02/04
The Center for Chemical Evolution Understanding of the chemical origin of life 03/04
NASA Selects New Director for Astrobiology Institute Penelope Boston selected to lead the NAI 04/04
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NASA MISSIONS Exploring the Red Planet

The rovers and spacecraft we’ve sent to Mars have found evidence the planet was warmer in the past, with lakes and rivers. Was there life there? Future exploration may find evidence for that as well.

The facts and figures — 37%

The gravity on Mars is only 37 percent of Earth’s gravity. Not only could you leap three times higher on Mars, but this lower gravity is one reason why Olympus Mons became the biggest volcano in the solar system.

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