Habitability and Astronomical Biosignatures
Currently Inactive


Chair: Vikki Meadows

The NAI Focus Group on Habitability and Astronomical Biosignatures (HAB) has a scientific purview that includes:

  • the effect of planetary processes and the planet-star interaction on habitability, to address the planetary environmental aspects of Astrobiology Roadmap Goal 1: Understand the nature and distribution of habitable environments in the Universe, and
  • the definition and detectability of biosignatures that can be remotely-sensed either from astronomical or orbiting platforms, to address Astrobiology Roadmap Goal 7: Determine how to recognize signatures of life on other worlds and on early Earth.

This NAI focus group provides a strongly interdisciplinary forum to discuss the relevance of these aspects of astrobiology to NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder and Life Finder mission concepts, and the European Space Agency’s Darwin mission concept.

We continue to develop an interested cadre of scientists whose interdisciplinary astrobiological expertise can be used to address scientific issues that affect NASA’s short-term and long-term vision for astrobiologically relevant missions. These missions include the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) the Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission concept (TPF) and the NASA Lifefinder Vision mission concept.

HAB submitted a white paper for the Astro2010, the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. We are planning to provide timely support to any further NASA mission planning events, especially any that may occur in response to the imminent upcoming NRC Space Studies Board and AAAC Extrasolar Planet Task Force reports.


The Habitability and Astronomical Biosignatures Focus Group submitted a white paper for the Astro2010, the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey Link