October 6, 2010
Symposium To Celebrate 50 Years of Exobiology and Astrobiology at NASA
In 1959, NASA funded its first exobiology investigation, a life-detection experiment for Viking mission to Mars. In 1960, the agency established an exobiology program, whose early managers adopted an approach to advancing this field of study by funding forward-thinking, boundary-bending, multidisciplinary research projects that other funding sources tended to judge as too risky.
NASA's Viking mission included three exobiology experiments designed to look for evidence of life on Mars. By the 1980s, NASA expanded its exobiology program to encompass studies of evolutionary biology. In the 1990s, NASA again expanded the breadth and depth of this program, broadening the boundaries of "exobiology" to establish "astrobiology" as a program encompassing studies of chemical evolution in interstellar space, the formation and evolution of planets, and the natural history of Earth in addition to exobiology and evolutionary biology.
This event, sponsored by NASA and Lockheed Martin, is free and open to the public. Please RSVP (required) by 4:30 p.m. EDT Oct. 7 by sending an email to: [email protected]. Non-US Citizens provide nationality, along with passport number and expiration date.