FAQ: How do the the RCNs relate to the goals of the astrobiology program?

In general, the topics for the Research Coordination Networks (RCNs) were selected based on broad research areas of importance articulated in the 2015 Astrobiology Science Strategy, An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe (National Academy of Science Engineering and Medicine), and on the need for foundations research for ongoing and future missions planned with astrobiological significance.

In 2017 Congress modified the 51 U.S. Code § 20102 – Congressional declaration of policy and purpose [for NASA] to specifically call out astrobiology in the agency’s objectives.

NASA ... “shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives: (10) The search for life’s origin, evolution, distribution and future in the Universe."
51 U.S. Code § 20102Congressional declaration of policy and purpose [for NASA]

The themes of the RCNs map to the strategies and this objective.

The themes of the Research Coordination Networks map to strategies outlined inn the 2015 Astrobiology Science Strategy and the NASEM decadal survey, as well as the 51 U.S. Code § 20102 - Congressional declaration of policy and purpose [for NASA].
Image credit: NASA Astrobiology.

The themes of the RCNs map to ongoing and future missions planned and being considered with Astrobiological significance.

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Image credit: NASA Astrobiology.