Researchers discuss recent developments in origin of life studies. From left to right: Sara Walker (Arizona State University), Leroy Cronin (Glasgow University), Betul Kacar (Harvard University), and Irena Mamajanov (ELSI, Tokyo Institute of Technology).The field of hydrothermal vents known as Loki’s Castle, in the North Atlantic Ocean, where scientists found archaea believed to be related to the archaea that created eukaryotes through endosymbiosis with bacteria.Ceres, Asteroids, and Us. Dawn spacecraft has detected organic compounds on the dwarf planet CeresLife-Detecting Lander for Europa. NASA Panel Supports a Lander that would follow on the Europa Clipper orbiter mission that is scheduled to launch in the 2020s.
New Prospects of Finding Life Elsewhere Excite AstrobiologistsAbscission 2017: A major scientific gathering displays a maturing field.01/04
Looking for LUCA, the Last Universal Common AncestorLife's earliest ancestor, a hydrothermal vent extremophile, and the “two-branch” theory of evolution.02/04
Ceres, Asteroids, and UsDawn spacecraft has detected organic compounds on the dwarf planet Ceres03/04
Life-Detecting Lander for EuropaNASA Panel Supports a Lander that would follow on the Europa Clipper orbiter mission that is scheduled to launch in the 2020s.04/04
NextPrevious
Go Explore
Astrobiology Research LocationsResearch LocationsExplore Detailed InformationExplore
Mars rover taking a picture of itself.
NASA MISSIONSExploring 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.

Learn more