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2001 Annual Science Report

University of California, Los Angeles Reporting  |  JUL 2000 – JUN 2001

Astrobiology at UCLA: An Intergrated Multidisciplinary Approach to Research and Education

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Field Sites

Project Progress

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An Integrated multidisciplinary approach to research and education (dm)

Research at UCLA continues to be focused on six main themes: (1) extrasolar planetary systems; (2) geobiology and geochemistry of early Earth and Mars; (3) evolution of Earth’s early life; (4) genomic evolution and the tree of life; (5) celestial influences on planetary environments; and (6) exploration for life in the Solar System. Over the past year, activities of NAI Focus Groups have allowed us to explore many of these themes in conjunction with partners across the astrobiology community. Progress in several of these areas has exceeded expectations because the problems were well chosen (Hadean environment, Archean sulfur cycles, geomicrobiology, etc.) and they were attacked with state-of-the-art instrumentation (ion microprobes, adaptive optics, fast computers, etc.). In other cases, longer-term goals are being achieved progressively. This is particularly true for genomic investigations and those that are aimed at Solar System exploration. Mission-oriented achievements include the selection of the Artemis project (David Paige, PI) as one of ten Scout mission concepts for possible launch to Mars in 2007.