Big Astrobiology Discovery

November 30th, 2010 by Brian Leave a reply »

I’m super-excited about the oxygen find on Rhea (go, Cassini!), one of Saturn’s moons.

I’m even more excited by whatever announcement NASA will make about a discovery that will change the search for extraterrestrial life. Here’s the news blurb:

WASHINGTON — NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

The news conference will be held at the NASA Headquarters auditorium at 300 E St. SW, in Washington. It will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s website at

Participants are:
– Mary Voytek, director, Astrobiology Program, NASA Headquarters, Washington
– Felisa Wolfe-Simon, NASA astrobiology research fellow, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif.
– Pamela Conrad, astrobiologist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
– Steven Benner, distinguished fellow, Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, Gainesville, Fla.
– James Elser, professor, Arizona State University, Tempe

Those are some big names in science, especially Elser and his life stoichiometry focus (how chemicals show up and balance in living things). The news conference should show up here (around noon Arizona time).

I hope this announcement is bigger than the Beatles being on iTunes.


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