Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Space Studies Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Board Members
Board Meetings
Discipline Committees
Decadal Surveys
Current Projects
Completed Projects
Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Internships

Contact Us

Space Studies Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 334-3477
Fax: (202) 334-3701

Bookmark and Share 

  Follow us on Twitter 

Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System

Project Scope

The Space Studies Board lead a multi-unit effort to determine what
processes account for the reduced carbon compounds found throughout the solar
system and how planetary exploration can further understanding of this central
issue. This study examined what the observable characteristics of
planetary bodies show about the effects of starting materials, energy sources,
and processes of organic transformation and alteration.

Earlier works include "The Quarantine and Certification of Martian Samples"
(SSB, 2000), "A Science Strategy for the Exploration of Europa" (SSB, 1999),
"Exploring the Trans-neptunian Solar System" (SSB, 1998), "The Exploration of
Near-Earth Objects" (SSB, 1998), "Life-Detection Workshop" (SSB-BB, 2000), "An
Integrated Strategy for the Planetary Sciences: 1995-2010" (SSB, 1994), "The
Search for Life's Origins: Progress and Future Directions in Planetary Biology
and Chemical Evolution" (SSB, 1990), "Scientific Assessment of Exploration of
the Solar System: Science and Mission Strategy" (SSB, 2000).

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

Click here to read the report.

Committee Membership:

Dr. James P. Ferris - (Chair)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Robert E. Johnson
University of Virginia
Dr. Luann Becker
University of California, Santa Barbara
Dr. William Klemperer
Harvard University
Dr. Kristie A. Boering
University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Karen J. Meech
University of Hawaii-West Oahu
Dr. George D. Cody
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
Dr. Keith S. Noll
Space Telescope Science Institute
Dr. G. Barney Ellison
University of Colorado at Boulder
Dr. Martin Saunders
Yale University
Dr. John M. Hayes
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


David Smith, Study Director
Space Studies Board