ASTROBIOLOGY SCIENCE CONFERENCE SESSION:
BIOSIGNATURE DETECTION ON MARS – WHERE, WHAT, WHEN, WHY and HOW?
Abstracts due: January 18, 2017
Meeting: April 24-28, Mesa AZ
Finding evidence of extant life on Mars would be a watershed event. We have evidence on Mars for many environments that may have been habitable in the past, but the range of possible biogeochemistries those environments allow, the co-evolution of those environments with life, the specific niches that are most likely to host detectable biosignatures, and the path forward to explore those environments are still key unknowns. We invite contributions that: (1) explore the succession of physical and environmental processes and their combination on Early Mars, (2) evaluate (ideally quantitatively!) the geo/environmental context of potential sites for biological exploration of Mars, (3) detail the most promising locations, instrument concepts, and strategies for investigating these ecosystems, (4) define the relevant objects, substances or patterns that could serve as definitive biosignatures for martian life, and (5) investigate metabolisms, survival strategies, and energy sources that may be relevant to the search for biosignatures on Mars. Organizers: Nathalie Cabrol (SETI/NASA Ames), Alberto Fairen (CAB, Cornell), Caroline Freissinet (NASA GSFC), Leslie Bebout(NASA Ames), Jorge Vago (ESA), Dirk Schulze-Makuch (TU Berlin).