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2005 Annual Science Report

SETI Institute Reporting  |  JUL 2004 – JUN 2005

Executive Summary

The SETI Institute (SI) NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) team is conducting a suite of coupled research projects in the co-evolution of life and its planetary environment. These projects address three of NASA’s Astrobiology Roadmap fundamental questions: (1) how does life begin and evolve?; (2) does life exist elsewhere in the universe? and (3) what is the future of life on Earth and beyond? These projects begin by examining specific fundamental ancient transitions that ultimately made complex life possible on Earth. They will conclude with a synthesis that will bring many of the team’s investigations together into an examination of the suitability of planets orbiting M dwarfs for either single-celled or more complex life.

The astrobiology roadmap calls for a strategy “for recognizing novel biosignatures” that “ultimately should accommodate a diversity of habitable conditions, biota and technologies in the universe that probably exceeds the diversity observed ... Continue reading.

Field Sites
6 Institutions
1 Project Reports
0 Publications
0 Field Sites

Project Reports

  • Planetary Biology, Evolution and Intelligence

    Chris Chyba, Cynthia Phillips, Kevin Hand- The project has two components. The first, an overview of the astrobiological potential of various geological features on Europa, is proceeding well — we are continuing study of various proposed formation mechanisms for different features types such as ridges, bands, and chaotic terrain. The second, a search for current geological activity by comparing Galileo images taken on different orbits, is also in progress. We have performed a first-stage search of the Galileo Europa images to find overlapping images, and are currently working on an automated search method to make sure that we find all possible comparison images. We are also working on automated processing techniques.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 2.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 4.1 4.2 5.1 5.2 5.3 6.1 6.2 7.1 7.2