Astrobiology in Missions
Mission name Mars Science LaboratoryPurpose to AstrobiologyMSL’s Curiosity rover is studying whether or not Mars ever had environments capable of supporting microbial life.
Mission name Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutionPurpose to AstrobiologyMAVEN is studying how atmospheric loss triggered the disappearance of liquid water on the surface of Mars.
Mission name Kepler and K2Purpose to AstrobiologyKepler data is used to search for Earth-sized planets around distant stars.
Mission name Cassini-Huygens Saturn Orbiter and Titan ProbePurpose to AstrobiologyCassini-Huygens reveals new details about the potential for life on moons around giant planets.
Mission name Mars Exploration Rovers Purpose to AstrobiologyThe MER rovers have shaped our understanding of Mars’ geology and past environments at the surface that may have been suitable for life.
Mission name Spitzer Space Telescope Purpose to AstrobiologyThe 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 AstronomyPurpose to AstrobiologySOFIA is making observations of new solar systems, complex molecules in space, and planets in our own Solar System.
Mission name Mars OdysseyPurpose to AstrobiologyMars Odyssey provides detailed maps of Mars that are used to determine the evolution of the Mars environment and its potential for life.
Hubble Space Telecope
Mission name Hubble Space TelecopePurpose to AstrobiologyHubble has provided observations of everything from distant galaxies to nearby planets in our own Solar System.
Mission name New HorizonsPurpose to AstrobiologyThe First Mission to the Pluto System and the Kuiper Belt
Mission name Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith ExplorerPurpose to AstrobiologyOSIRIS-REx is NASA's first sample return mission to an asteroid.
2020 Mars Rover
Mission name 2020 Mars RoverPurpose to Astrobiology2020 Mars Rover will provided details about the potential for life on Mars, both past and present.
Mission name James Webb Space TelescopePurpose to AstrobiologyJWST will be used to hunt for solar systems capable of supporting habitable planets.
Mission name Wide Field InfraRed Survey TelescopePurpose to AstrobiologyStudying dark energy, exoplanets, and infrared astrophysics
No concept missions listed
Mission name Mariner 4Purpose to AstrobiologyMariner 4 returned the first pictures of the martian surface, and changed the way astrobiologists thought about life's potential on Mars.
Mission name Apollo 11Purpose to AstrobiologyApollo 11 was the first crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.
Viking 1 and 2
Mission name Viking ProjectPurpose to AstrobiologyNASA'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 OrbiterPurpose to AstrobiologyNASA'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 AstrobiologyLCROSS 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 StressesPurpose to AstrobiologyO/OREOS studies how living organisms are affected by the space environment.
Mission name DawnPurpose to AstrobiologyDawn 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 AstrobiologyLADEE provided new data about the lunar atmosphere and air-born dust.
Mission name Intelligent Payload ExperimentPurpose to AstrobiologyValidating technologies for autonomous payload operations on a CubeSat