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The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems

 

Project Scope

Based on an assessment of a limited set of possible alternative chemistries for
life, the study (1) evaluated the possibility that non-standard chemistry
may support life in known solar system and conceivable extrasolar environments;
and (2) defined broad areas that might guide NASA, NSF, and other relevant
agencies and organizations to fund efforts to expand scientific knowledge in
this area.

Overall, the programmatic goal of the study was to identify research
directions that will assess the likelihood of non-terran life and the potential
cost needed to find it. From this came a recommendation whether the
likelihood of finding non-terran life is sufficiently low that NASA should
ignore its possibility, or sufficiently high that it should pursue it.

The report was released third quarter 2007.

This project was funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

View the report: The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems

 
Committee Membership

JOHN A. BAROSS,
University of Washington,
Chair

STEVEN A. BENNER,
Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution

GEORGE D. CODY,
Carnegie Institution of Washington

SHELLEY D. COPLEY,
University of Colorado at Boulder

NORMAN R. PACE,
University of Colorado at Boulder

JAMES H. SCOTT,
Dartmouth College

ROBERT SHAPIRO,
New York University

MITCHELL L. SOGIN,
Marine Biological Laboratory

JEFFREY L. STEIN,
Sofinnova Ventures

ROGER SUMMONS,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

JACK W. SZOSTAK,
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University

Staff

DAVID H. SMITH,
Study Director

JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER,
Senior Staff Officer

ROBERT L. RIEMER,
Senior Staff Officer (shared with the Board on Physics and Astronomy)