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An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars

Project Scope

The committee will undertake a study that defines a scientific strategy for the
search for life on Mars. Techniques appropriate to the detection of extinct or
extant life, in situ and in the laboratory, will be considered as well as the
impact of sample sterilization protocols on life detection. The study committee
will encompass both biological and environmental perspectives relevant to the
search for martian life and build upon the conclusions and recommendations
contained in the various NRC reports including "Signs of Life, Assessment of
Mars Science and Mission Priorities," and "New Frontiers in the Solar System"
and take note of the findings and recommendations contained in the strategy
documents issued by the community-based Mars Exploration Program Analysis
Group, including Scientific Goals, Objectives, Investigations, and Priorities.

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

Click here to read the report.

Committee Membership:

Dr. Bruce M. Jakosky - (Chair)
University of Colorado at Boulder


Dr. Martin Keller
Diversa Corporation

Dr. Jan P. Amend
Washington University


Dr. Harry Y. McSween, Jr.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. William M. Berelson
University of Southern California


Dr. Kenneth H. Nealson
University of Southern California

Dr. Ruth Blake
Yale University


Dr. Barbara Sherwood-Lollar
University of Toronto

Dr. Susan L. Brantley
Pennsylvania State University


Dr. Andrew Steele
Carnegie Institution of Washington

Dr. Michael H. Carr
U.S. Geological Survey


Dr. Roger Summons
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. James K. Fredrickson
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Dr. Meenakshi Wadhwa
Arizona State University
Dr. Anthony Keefe
Archemix Corporation


David Smith, Study Director
Space Studies Board