NASA Astrobiology Roadmap 1: Solar System Exploration

It is critically important that the community participate in the current ongoing discussion for the NASA roadmaps. Particularly if you are an early career researcher. This is your opportunity to make the case for what you think is interesting and important.

NASA Astrobiology

NASA is going through a series of Roadmap exercises by the different directorates, trying to set medium and long term policy for science goals, technology development and capabilities.

The NASA Astrobiology Program is doing a rolling series of Roadmap input sessions for four themes for Astrobiology.
Each theme kicks off with a web chat session to define the issues for discussion, followed by a one week open input session for suggestions for new ideas and open issues from the community.

The first week kicked off with Solar System Exploration, with the web chat taking place last monday from 2-3 EST.
A forum at provides a transcript of the web discussion, and a curated discussion forum for people to raise issues, pose open questions and present new ideas.

Next week is the discussion on Prebiotic Evolution, followed by Early Evolution of Life and the Biosphere and then Planetary Conditions for Life.

It is very very important that interested members of the community provide input to these fora. Please read over the ongoing discussion and tell us what you think is important in interesting.

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The most important discoveries are called transformative, which occur when new relationships between fundamental disciplines are discovered. Therefore, the most important roads for the future lead between NASA directorates dedicated to well-established disciplines.

Therefore, one of the most important steps to be taken now would seem to be establishing a small program to support highly transdisciplinary research that can lead to radical advancement, such as future interstellar capabilities.

Justification, background, and advocacy available at

By Buck Field (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink

Astrobiology is a thin reed supported by a huge mass of hope and hype. Having been a bystander when the program was put together, institutionally NASA saw the program as a way of supporting the planetary program in a time of budget savagery.

They were probably right, but there is also an argument to be made that Astrobiology has distorted the focus on space science in general. There is not better example of this than the Mars program.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 25 May 2013 #permalink