Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP)
Astrobiology arises from the necessity to investigate the origin, presence and influences of life in the universe. The search for evidence of life on Mars is important to astrobiology, as it provides important clues that address the questions: what is life, is life an expected consequence of the evolution of the universe, and can we determine general principles for the origin and evolution of life? The answers to these questions will not come from any single discipline, but from the combined efforts of many disciplines. Astrobiology is a trans-disciplinary field in which physics, geology, chemistry, biology, engineering, etc..., interact in order to answer core questions about the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of Life in the universe.
Mars exploration is central to astrobiology. By studying Mars, we learn about the planetary evolution of Mars and the conditions that may have supported life in the past or might enable life to exist there today. For this reason, in this year when so much new information on Mars has become available, we chose to devote the Josep Comas i Solà Summer School in Astrobiology to the red planet.
We invite those who are interested in the exploration of Mars: young people, senior year students in the above-mentioned (and other) disciplines, as well as established scientists. We also wish to attract people interested in instrumentation for Mars exploration. The short course will be an exciting workshop which, we hope, will stimulate new research on Mars exploration in Europe, the U.S. and other parts of the world. The course will encourage informal discussions on a wide range of topics, including instrument design and development, and will explore and stimulate new approaches.