Roadmap Banner Image Introduction Principles Home Objectives Goals











Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe. It provides a biological perspective to many areas of NASA research, linking such endeavors as the search for habitable planets, exploration missions to Mars and Europa, efforts to understand the origin of life, and planning for the future of life beyond Earth.

The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap is the product of efforts by more than 150 scientists and technologists, spanning a broad range of disciplines. More than 100 of these participated in a three-day Roadmap Workshop held in July 1998 at NASA Ames Research Center, while others attended previous topical workshops and are participating by email. The co-chairs of the Roadmap team are David Morrison, Director of Space at NASA Ames Research Center, and Michael Meyer, Astrobiology Discipline Scientist at NASA Headquarters and Program Scientist for Mars Sample Return. The Roadmap participants include NASA employees, academic scientists whose research is partially funded by NASA grants, and many members of the still wider community who have no formal association with NASA.

Astrobiology addresses three basic questions, which have been asked in some form for generations. Astrobiology is exciting today because we have the technology to begin to answer these fundamental questions:

Question: How does life begin and develop?

Question: Does life exist elsewhere in the universe?

Question: What is life's future on Earth and beyond?

The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap will provide guidance for research and technology development across several NASA Enterprises: Space Science, Earth Science, and the Human Exploration and Development of Space. The Roadmap is formulated in terms of ten Science Goals, and 17 more specific Science Objectives, which will be translated into specific programs and integrated with NASA strategic planning. In addition, the NASA Roadmap emphasizes four Principles that are integral to the operation of the Astrobiology Program.


Questions? Comments?

Responsible NASA Official:
Mary Voytek

Last Updated: October 27, 2014