2002 Annual Science Report

Pennsylvania State University Reporting  |  JUL 2001 – JUN 2002

Executive Summary

The success of efforts to find life or life traces on other planets in our Solar System and on other bodies in interstellar space depends on how well we come to understand Earth’s prelife environmental conditions and the interplay between early plants, animals, and microorganisms. For example, our identification and understanding of the evolutionary steps and interchanges that ultimately produced Earth’s surfaces, seas, and air, on which all living organisms are critically dependent, must be broadened. Knowing the conditions conducive to the development of living organisms on Earth and the evolutionary steps by which nature exploited them is prerequisite to systematic and fruitful searches for life elsewhere in the Universe.

The main goal of research at the Pennsylvania State University Astrobiology Research Center (PSARC) is to increase our understanding of the connection between the environment and Earth’s biota, especially during the early stages of evolution ... Continue reading.

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