For the past 20 years, one of the major roles of the NASA Astrobiology Program at NASA Headquarters was to support and catalyze collaborative interdisciplinary research in astrobiology across a range of science disciplines and organizations. The primary program element supporting this goal was the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), established as a Virtual Institute (VI). Moving forward, the new Astrobiology Research Coordination Networks will take over much of this role. Additional successful mechanisms of coordinating research that will continue include hosting and sponsoring workshops (e.g., building on the success of Mass Independent Fractionation of Sulfur Isotopes, Upstairs Downstairs, Exoplanet Biosignatures, Exoplanetary Space Weather), provide funding to relevant community meetings, and organize the community to update the Astrobiology Strategy every 5 years. The Astrobiology Program will continue coordinating research investments with partners, such as the NASA and NSF co-sponsored interdisciplinary Ideas Lab that brought together scientists interested in the origin of life. The aim of this Ideas Lab was to facilitate the generation and execution of innovative research projects aimed at identifying and funding potentially transformative research to addressing the origin and early evolution of the modern, two-polymer life system.

Astrobiology FAQ