2005 Annual Science Report

Marine Biological Laboratory Reporting  |  JUL 2004 – JUN 2005

Executive Summary

The relevance of microbes to NASA’s exploration program.

The stage for life was set billions of years ago and we are on the verge of knowing what happened to its characters. Two convergent lines of evidence raise expectations that biological systems could occur beyond the confines of Earth. The first is the detection of microbial life forms in terrestrial environments that may be similar to those on other solar system bodies. The second is NASA’s spectacular discoveries of significant water reservoirs on Mars and Europa, and evidence of liquid organic environments on other solar system bodies such as Titan. Knowledge about the diversity and evolution of life on Earth will provide important inputs for the design of future astrobiology missions in NASA’s exploration program.

During the initial 2-3 billion years of Earth’s history, the only form of life was microbial and it generally consisted of ... Continue reading.

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