From Exobiology to Cosmobiology at LISA and Elsewhere

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Since the emergence of Exobiology, back to the 1960ties, this field drastically increased and, although differently named, is today a largely recognized scientific domain of wild interdisciplinarity. It includes not only the search for extraterrestrial living systems, in particular by direct exploration of planetary bodies and studies of extraterrestrial materials, but also the study on the origins of life on Earth and, in connection to this field, the study of extraterrestrial organic chemistry. The exobiology programmes currently developed at LISA are related to this last aspect. They include the study of prebiotic-like chemistry in the gas and solid phases, based on laboratory simulation experiments, theoretical modeling and future in situ measurements in Titan's atmosphere and in cometary nuclei. A national program of exobiology, coordinated by LISA is under development in France, it covers many of the various aspects of Exobiology, including the study of life in extreme environments, as a reference tool for extraterrestrial life, the study of the primitive environment of the Earth, of the organic chemistry in comets and on Titan, of Mars and Europa and even of extrasolar planets as potential niches for extraterrestrial living systems, associated to the determination of the electromagnetic signatures of life. In parallel to this general program, a proposal for a large simulation chamber to be used as a national facility in particular to simulate the organic chemistry in various planetary environments, and in the interstellar medium, is under preparation. International cooperations linked to these programmes, in particular in the frame of the development of an exobiology facility on the International Space Station, would be of crucial interest


  • Biological Sciences in Space  

    Biological Sciences in Space 12(2), 66-72, 1998-06 

    Japanese Society for Biological Sciences in Space

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    ZR1(科学技術--生物学) // ZM33(科学技術--宇宙科学)
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