Books and Publications of Interest to Astrobiology
  • Astrobiology on the International Space Station
    by Jean-Pierre de Vera

    Springer Cham
    Publication Date: November 2020
    ISBN 978-3-030-61690-8

    Book website

    This volume on astrobiology of the Springer Briefs in Life Sciences book series addresses the three fundamental questions on origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe: how does life begin and evolve? Is there life beyond Earth and, if so, how can we detect it? What is the future of life on Earth and in the universe? The book provides insights into astrobiological experiments that are being performed on the International Space Station, ISS, and discusses their findings. This extremely exciting volume on astrobiology is intended for scientists of various research fields and for laypersons interested in space research and in the fundamental issues of the universe and life.

  • Assembling Life: How Can Life Begin on Earth and Other Habitable Planets?
    by Deamer, D.

    Oxford University Press
    Publication Date: February 2019

    Book website

  • Astrobiology: Current, Evolving and Emerging Perspectives
    by Ed.: André Antunes

    Caister Academic Press
    Publication Date: February 2020
    ISBN: 978-1-912530-31-1

    Link to article

    Astrobiology is a modern cross-disciplinary research field which studies the origin and development of life in the universe and includes the search for extinct and currently existing organisms outside our planet. As part of this on-going search, astrobiology successfully combines researchers and techniques from the fields of biology, geology, chemistry and planetary sciences. This volume includes contributions from several leading astrobiologists across the globe, providing an overview of their respective fields and highlighting current and emerging topics. Topics of note include: overview of astrobiology, the origin of life, habitability, and future exploration; planetary protection and the application of molecular methodologies for analyzing potential microbial contaminants in space missions; organic matter and biosignatures in space missions; life in impact craters; microbial exploration of terrestrial analogue sites (of Mars and the of the icy moons of the outer solar system); insights from microbiological studies in low pressure environments and in the stratosphere. Aimed at research scientists, advanced students and other professionals, this informative and up-to-date book is an invaluable review on current research in astrobiology and is an essential acquisition for anyone involved in this cross-disciplinary field. This contribution is particularly timely given the upcoming wave of space missions focused on astrobiology and targeting Mars and the icy moons of the outer solar system.

  • EXPOSE R-2 on the ISS: The BOSS and PSS Experiments Results
    by Petra Rettberg and Hervé Cottin

    Mary Ann Liebert
    Publication Date: July 2019
    ISSN: 1531-1074

    Link to article

    This is a special collection with results from the EXPOSE R-2 experiments PSS and BOSS, in addition to the PPOSS white book about biological contamination prevention for icy moons.

    Free access for the full special collection available through September 7, 2019.

  • Special Collection: BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment)
    by Guest Editor: Jean-Pierre de Vera

    Publication Date: February 2019
    ISSN: 1531-1074

    Link to article

    Please see also the more recent paper by De la Torre et al. (2020): doi:10.1089/ast.2018.1959

  • Biosignatures for Astrobiology
    by Eds.: Barbara Cavalazzi and Frances Westall

    Publication Date: 2019
    ISBN 978-3-319-96175-0

    Book website

    This book aims at providing a brief but broad overview of biosignatures. The topics addressed range from prebiotic signatures in extraterrestrial materials to the signatures characterising extant life as well as fossilised life, biosignatures related to space, and space flight instrumentation to detect biosignatures either in situ or from orbit. The book ends with philosophical reflections on the implications of life elsewhere. In the 15 chapters written by an interdisciplinary team of experts, it provides both detailed explanations on the nature of biosignatures as well as useful case studies showing how they are used and identified in ancient rocks, for example. One case study addresses the controversial finding of traces of fossil life in a meteorite from Mars. The book will be of interest not only to astrobiologists but also to terrestrial paleontologists as well as any reader interested in the prospects of finding a second example of life on another planet.

  • Thermodynamic Inversion: Origin of Living Systems
    by Kompanichenko V.N.

    Springer International Publishing, Cham
    Publication Date: 2017
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-53512-8

    Link to article

    This book discusses the theory, general principles, and energy source conditions allowing for the emergence of life in planetary systems. The author examines the material conditions found in natural hydrothermal sites, the appropriate analogs of prebiotic environments on early Earth. He provides an overview of current laboratory experiments in prebiotic materials chemistry and substantiation of a new direction for the experiments in the origin of life field.

  • Our Place in the Universe
    by Sun Kwok

    Publication Date: 2017
    ISBN 978-3-319-54172-3

    Book website

    This new book discusses the 3000 years of astronomical developments and their effects on society, philosophy and religion.

  • Astrobiology Special Collection: STARLIFE
    by Guest Editors: Ralf Moeller and Gerda Horneck

    Publication Date: February 2017
    ISSN: 1531-1074

    Link to article

    Special Collection: STARLIFE
    Intercomparison Study of Astrobiological Model Systems in Their Response to Major Components of Galactic Cosmic Radiation

  • Review of the MEPAG Report on Mars Special Regions
    by Committee to Review the MEPAG Report on Mars Special Regions

    The National Academies Press
    Publication Date: September 2015
    ISBN: 978-0-309-37904-5

    Book website

    Planetary protection is a guiding principle in the design of an interplanetary mission, aiming to prevent biological contamination of both the target celestial body and the Earth. The protection of high-priority science goals, the search for life and the understanding of the Martian organic environment may be compromised if Earth microbes carried by spacecraft are grown and spread on Mars. This has led to the definition of Special Regions on Mars where strict planetary protection measures have to be applied before a spacecraft can enter these areas. At NASA's request, the community-based Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) established the Special Regions Science Analysis Group (SR-SAG2) in October 2013 to examine the quantitative definition of a Special Region and proposed modifications to it, as necessary, based upon the latest scientific results. Review of the MEPAG Report on Mars Special Regions reviews the conclusions and recommendations contained in MEPAG's SR-SAG2 report and assesses their consistency with current understanding of both the Martian environment and the physical and chemical limits for the survival and propagation of microbial and other life on Earth. This report provides recommendations for an update of the planetary protection requirements for Mars Special Regions.

  • Special Issue on AstRoMap
    by Authors: Horneck Gerda, Walter Nicolas, Westall Frances, Grenfell John Lee, Martin William F., Gomez Felipe, Leuko Stefan, Lee Natuschka, Onofri Silvano, Tsiganis Kleomenis, Saladino Raffaele, Pilat-Lohinger Elke, Palomba Ernesto, Harrison Jesse, Rull Fernando, Muller Christian, Strazzulla Giovanni, Brucato John R., Rettberg Petra, and Capria Maria Teresa

    Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
    Publication Date: March 2016
    DOI: 10.1089/ast.2015.1441

    Link to article

  • Astrobiology Primer 2.0
    by Domagal-Goldman Shawn D., Wright Katherine E., et al.

    Astrobiology, Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
    Publication Date: August 2016
    DOI: 10.1089/ast.2015.1460

    Link to article