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Important Deadlines and News

Upcoming deadlines / important events
Application deadline: 2017-11-01
MELiSSA Call for Doctorate and Postdoctoral Proposals

Application deadline: 2017-09-25
Six postdoc positions for interdisciplinary origins of life research

Participation application deadline: 2017-12-17
Gordon Research Conference on the Origins of Life

Registration deadline: 2017-10-27
ESA workshop: Research opportunities on the deep space gateway

Early registration deadline: 2017-10-24
51st ESLAB Symposium: “Extreme Habitable Worlds”

In August 2017, the European Space Agency issued a "Call for Ideas for Research Opportunities on the Deep Space Gateway". Submissions received in response to this Call will be presented and discussed at a workshop to be held at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), ESA`s technical heart in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, on 5 and 6 December 2017. Registration is now open for this workshop. 

Please note that places at the workshop are limited to 120 so early registration is recommended. Registration will close on 27 October, or earlier if capacity is reached.

Added 12 Sep 2017
Special issue of the journal Space Science Reviews
Planet Earth and Space: Precious and sometimes unexpected tools for astrobiology research

In 1953, Stanley Miller performed an experiment seen as a turning point in the study of the origins of life on Earth: he demonstrated that key molecules considered essential for the appearance of life, namely amino acids, can be "simply" formed in the atmosphere of a planet if it has the right initial ingredients: the appropriate molecules, the right conditions. This historical experiment became a foundational element of what was called "exobiology" in 1960: an interdisciplinary field with the goal of understanding the origins of life on Earth and, by extension, knowing how and where to look for signs of extraterrestrial life.
Today, this discipline is broadly termed astrobiology. Many studies have provided a wealth of results over the past five decades, giving this scientific field in an important place in many academic research programs even as it became a priority for space agencies worldwide. Understanding how life appears and finding its evidence elsewhere have become central questions in science, no longer relegated to science fiction. Several years ago, the European Space Agency, ESA, brought together an international, interdisciplinary team of researchers, the "Astrobiology Topical Team." Its charge was to review and report on the latest advances in the field in order to plan more strategically for the future. The work of these researchers is now published in a series of three scientific articles in a special issue of the journal Space Science Reviews (volume 209).

Added 23 Aug 2017
MASE Newsletter
The MASE - Mars Analogues for Space Exploration Newsletter, April 2017, is now available for download.

Added 21 Apr 2017

Monthly research highlight (-> More highlights)

Cataldi et al. (2017): Searching for Biosignatures in Exoplanetary Impact Ejecta

Astrobiology 2017, 17(8), 721-746, DOI:10.1089/ast.2015.1437

Link to paper

With the number of confirmed rocky exoplanets increasing steadily, their characterization and the search for exoplanetary biospheres are becoming increasingly urgent issues in astrobiology. To date, most efforts have concentrated on the study of exoplanetary atmospheres. Instead, we aim to investigate the possibility of characterizing an exoplanet (in terms of habitability, geology, presence of life, etc.) by studying material ejected from the surface during an impact event. [...]
Conferences (-> Detailed Information)
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