Current Research on Astrobiology


What Happening In The Field Of Astrobiology?

Ever since early humans first looked skyward and imagined the stars as distant campfires, humanity has wondered if we are alone in the Universe. The ancient Greeks argued against our home planet being the only cradle for life, but lacked the technology to prove their beliefs. In the late 20th century, the near-simultaneous discoveries of the possible remains of bacterial life in a Martian meteorite, and the first planets orbiting other stars, brought the question of the existence of life beyond the Earth to the forefront of scientific endeavor

While astrobiology is a relatively young field, it has a secure and promising future. Astrobiology research has a significant impact on how agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency plan for current and future space missions. For example, many recent missions have focused on exploring worlds in our own solar system for signs of past, present or the precursors of life, including Mars (Phoenix , Pathfinder , Global Surveyor, and others) and Titan (Cassini-Huygens). At the same time, significant advances and investments in telescope technology (Kepler,  James Webb Space Telescope) have allowed researchers to begin planning and searching for habitable planets outside our solar system.

In the United States, NASA and the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) are leading policy makers and funders in astrobiology. An overview of the research goals and objectives they have articulated can be found in the NASA Astrobiology Roadmap. Internationally, astrobiology networks and institutes have been established in Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico and South America, including the Centro de Astrobiologia  in Spain, the Nordic Network of Astrobiology Graduate Schools, and the Australian Center for Astrobiology.

Journal submissions are double blind, peer reviewed by members of the Editorial Review Board. First, the journal Editor reviews papers for appropriateness, and uses a plagiarism verification tool to ensure the work has not been plagiarized. Then the Editor sends out the manuscript to two reviewers, without disclosing the identities of the authors or other reviewer. The review results are confidentially delivered to the Editor, who then reviews the reviewer feedback to ensure the comments are relevant and non-discriminatory before sending the comments back to the authors.

Best Regards
Ann Jose
Journal co-ordinator
Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach