Input from the greater scientific community in the form of white papers has been an essential part of the decadal survey process for many years. Such submissions help to ensure that the members of survey committees are exposed to as wide a diversity of ideas as is practicable. Given that the current study was designed to feed into the upcoming decadal surveys in astronomy and astrophysics and planetary science, the committee decided that it was important to give members of the astrobiology and related communities an opportunity to share their ideas and views concerning the most recent advances in the discipline and important avenues for future efforts.
A web-based submission mechanism was established several months prior to the committee’s first meeting and white papers were accepted from November 7, 2017, through January 8, 2018. One expressed goal of the white-paper process was to promote broad community participation. For this reason, consensus-driven papers with many authors were particularly encouraged for submission. Specifically, members of the community were asked to submit white papers touching upon at least one of the following, pertaining to the search for life’s origins, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe:
- Significant scientific or technological progress since publication of the NASA Astrobiology Strategy 2015;
- Important scientific or technological topics omitted from the NASA Astrobiology Strategy 2015;
- Promising key research goals for which near-term progress is likely;
- Technological challenges in astrobiology;
- Key scientific questions in astrobiology;
- Scientific advances that can be addressed by U.S. and international space missions and relevant ground-based activities; and
- How to expand partnerships (interagency, international, and public/private) to advance the goals of astrobiology.
For the purposes of file management, in addition to meeting the January 8 deadline, authors were asked to limit their submissions to five single-spaced pages to receive full consideration. Additionally, all co-authors were required to give explicit permission prior to submission. Where appropriate several are cited in the main text of the committee’s report. The authors and titles of the 52 white papers received can be found below and the full text of each can be found online at http://sites.nationalacademies.org/cs/groups/ssbsite/documents/webpage/ssb_190758.pdf.
Airapetian, V.S., W.C. Danchi, C.F. Dong, S. Rugheimer, M. Mlynczak, K.B. Stevenson, W.G. Henning, et al. 2018. Life Beyond the Solar System: Space Weather and Its Impact on Habitable Worlds.
Ansdell, M., and P. Kalas. 2018. Expanding Public-Private Partnerships for NASA Astrobiology.
Barnes, R., A. Shahar, C. Unterborn, H. Hartnett, A. Anbar, B. Foley, P. Driscoll, et al. 2018. Geoscience and the Search for Life Beyond the Solar System.
Batalha, N.M., W. Danchi, E.B. Ford, J.J. Fortney, D. Huber, H. Jang-Condell, N. Turner, et al. 2018. Life Beyond the Solar System: Exoplanet Properties as Context for Planetary Habitability.
Blank, J.G., T.L. Roush, C.L. Stoker, A. Colaprete, S. Datta, U. Wong, M. Deans, et al. 2018. Planetary Case as Astrobiology Targets.
Cable, M.L., C.D. Neish, M.J. Malaska, S. MacKenzie, C.A. Nixon, R. Hodyss, A. Hayes, et al. 2018. Seeking the Origins of Aqueous Life on Titan.
Cable, M.L., J.I. Lunine, J.H. Waite, C.R. Glein, C. Porco, L.J. Spilker, J.Baross, et al. 2018. Enceladus: A Review of Recent Discoveries.
Cabrol, N.A., J. Bishop, S.L. Cady, N. Hinman, J. Moersch, N. Noffke, C. Phillips, et al. 2018. Bridging Strategic Knowledge Gaps in the Search for Biosignatures on Mars.
Cabrol, N.A., L.K. Fenton, W.H. Diamond, N. Hinman, G. Mackintosh, J. Moersch, P. Sobron, et al. 2018. Mission Concept—High-Resolution Mars Environmental Sensor Array.
Cabrol, N.A., W.H. Diamond, N. Altaf, J. Bishop, S.L. Cady, L Fenton, N. Hinman, et al. 2018. Advancing Astrobiology Through Public/Private Partnerships: The FDL Model.
Chatterjee, S. 2018. Hydrothermal Impact Crater-Lakes and the Origin of Life.
Clark, K.B. 2018. Searching for (Proto)Cellular Logics Proteins in Earth-like Environments Hospitable and Inhospitable to Life.
Clark, R.N., M. Gudipati, K.P. Hand, and K. Hibbitts. 2018. The Role of Laboratory Data to Interpret Results from Europa Clipper: Mission Success, Habitability and Landing Site Characterization.
Craft, K., C. Bradburne, and C. Hibbitts. 2018. Life Detection Strategy and the Need for Robust Sample Preparation Techniques.
Davila, A., C.P. McKay, D. Willson, J. Eigenbrode, and T. Hurford. 2018. Follow the Plume: Organic Molecules and Habitable Conditions in the Subsurface Ocean of Enceladus.
Del Genio, A., V. Airapetian, D. Apai, N. Batalha, D. Brain, W. Danchi, D. Gelino, et al. 2018. Life Beyond the Solar System: Observation and Modeling of Exoplanet Environments.
Desch, S.J., S. Kane, C.M. Lisse, C.T. Unterborn, H.E. Hartnett, and S.-H. Shim. 2018. A Procedure for Observing Rocky Exoplanets to Maximize the Likelihood that Atmospheric Oxygen Will Be a Biosignature.
Domagal-Goldman, S., N.Y. Kiang, N. Parenteau, D.C. Catling, S. DasSarma, Y. Fujii, C.E. Harman, et al. 2018. Life Beyond the Solar System: Remotely Detectable Biosignatures.
Ehlmann, B., E. Kite, D. Rogers, T. Glotch, C. Fassett, A. Hayes, C. Edwards, et al. 2018. Mars as a Linchpin for the Understanding the Habitability of Terrestrial Planets: Discoveries of the Last Decade from Mars and Why a New Paradigm of Multiple, Landed Robotic Explorers is Required for Future Progress in Terrestrial Planet Astrobiology.
Eigenbrode, J.L., B. Glass, C. McKay, P. Niles, and J. Spry. 2018. Martian Subsurface Ice Science Investigation with a Special Regions Drill.
Fairén, A.G., D. Schulze-Makuch, V. Parro, L. Whyte, J. Bishop, J. Gómez-Elvira, C. Cockell, and A. Pavlov. 2018. Planetary Protection Should Enable the Exploration of Mars and Not Prohibit It.
Giri, C., T. Jia, H.J. Cleaves II, T. Usui, D. Bodas, C. Carr, H. Chen, et al. 2018. Life-Detection Technologies for the Next Two Decades.
Hand, K.P., A.E. Murray, J.B. Garvin, W.B. Brinckerhoff, B. Christner, K.E. Edgett, B. Ehlmann, et al. 2018. Astrobiological Potential of the Europa Lander Mission Concept.
Hand, K.P., and C.B. Phillips. 2018. On the Past, Present, and Future Role of Biology in NASA’s Exploration of our Solar System.
Haqq-Misra, J., S. Som, B. Mullan, R. Loureiro, E. Schwieterman, L. Seyler, H. Mogosanu, et al. 2018. The Astrobiology of the Anthropocene.
Hendrix, A.R., T. Hurford, J. Amend, M. Aye, M. Bannister, L. Barge, P. Beauchamp, et al. 2018. Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds (ROW): Goals, Objectives, Investigations.
Hendrix, A.R., T. Hurford, J. Amend, M. Aye, M. Bannister, L. Barge, P. Beauchamp, et al. 2018. Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds (ROW): Priorities.
Hipkin, V. 2018. Canadian Science Priorities for Astrobiology.
Johnson, S.S., H. Graham, E. Anslyn, P. Conrad, L. Cronin, A. Ellington, J. Elsila, et al. 2018. Agnostic Biosignatures: Towards a More Inclusive Life Detection Strategy.
Kane, S.R., G. Arney, D. Crisp, S. Domagal-Goldman, L.S. Glaze, C. Goldblatt, A. Lenardice, C. Unterborn, and M.J. Way. 2018. Venus: The Making of an Uninhabitable World.
Kuhn, J.R., S.V. Berdyugina, D. Apai, A.V. Berdyugin, D.C. Catling, T. Darnell, B. Diamond, et al. 2018. Exo-Life Finder (ELF): A Hybrid Optical Telescpe for Imaging Exo-Earths.
Laine, P.E. 2018. Habitability and Biosignatures.
Malaska, M.J., M.L. Cable, R. Hodyss, S.M. MacKenzie, J.I. Lunine, P.M. Beauchamp, C.R. Glein, et al. 2018. Seeking Non-Aqueous Life on a Hydrocarbon World.
Nadeau, J., C. Lindensmith, W. Fink, D. Schulze-Makuch, K.H. Nealson, L.M. Barge, H. Sun, J. Bowman, and I. Kanik. 2018. Just Look!
Nguyen, M., and N. Tacconi. 2018. From Nucleotides to a LUCA.
Pappalardo, R., C. Phillips, O. Abramov, N. Altobelli, A. Barrr, M.J. Blacksberg, S. Bolton, et al. 2018. Addressing the Habitability of Europa with the Europa Clipper Mission.
Ricco, A.J., M.B. Wilhelm, R.C. Quinn, A. Davila, and D.J. Harrison. 2018. The Critical Role of Integrated Microfluidic Systems in the Search for Life: Key Challenges, Recent Progress, Path Forward.
Rummel, J.D., M.S. Race, and J.A. Spry. 2018. Planetary Protection: A Cross-Cutting Concern, and a Necessity for Basic and Exploration Driven Research in Astrobiology.
Schwieterman, E., C. Reinhard, S. Olson, and T. Lyons. 2018. The Importance of UV Capabilities for Identifying Inhabited Exoplanets with Next Generation Space Telescopes.
Siegler, N., M. Bolcar, B. Crill, S. Domagal-Goldman, E. Mamajek, and K. Stapelfeldt. 2018. Life Beyond the Solar System: Technology Needs.
Snyder, D.P. 2018. A Better Biologically Informed Manned Mission to Mars.
Tarter, J., J. Rummel, A. Siemion, R. Martin, C. Maccone, and G. Hellbourg. 2018. Three Versions of the Third Law: Technosignatures and Astrobiology.
Taylor, S.F. 2018. Unexpected Features in the Distribution of Counts of Giant Planets Could Have an Influence on the Numbers of Potentially Habitable Planets.
Trainer, M.G., G.N. Arney, M.L. Cable, J.I. Lunine, S.J. Horst, C.A. Nixon, S.D. Domagal-Goldman, et al. 2018. “Pale Orange Dot”: Titan as an Analogy for Early Earth and Hazy Exoplanets.
Turyshev, S.G., M. Shao, and L. Friedman. 2018. A Mission to Find and Study Life on an Exoplanet: Using the Solar Gravity Lens to Obtain Direct Megapixel Imaging of a Putative Habitable World and High-Resolution Spectroscopy of its Atmosphere.
Van Kranendonk, M.J., R. Baumgartner, E. Boyd, S. Cady, K. Campbell, A. Czaja, B. Damer, et al. 2018. Terrestrial Hot Springs and the Origin of Life: Implications for the Search for Life Beyond Earth.
Vance, S.D., S. Kedar, M.P. Panning, S.C. Stahler, and R.D. Lorenz. 2018. Geophysical Investigations of Habitability in Icy Ocean Worlds.
Vlada, S., J. Barross, D. Beaty, B. Luther, M.S. Bell, J.G. Blank, D. Breuer, et al. 2018. Mars Subsurface Access: From Sounding to Drilling.
Williams, R.M.E., L.C. Kah, E.S. Boyd, D.E. Eby, M.V. Berg, T.C. Chidsey, D.R. Lageson, et al. 2018. The Importance of Formative Conditions & Biosignature Characteristics in Martian Sample Selection.
Willis, P., W. Brinckerhoff, A. Ricco, J. Creamer, M.F. Mora, A. Noell, J. Eigenbrode, et al. 2018. A Universal Approach in the Search for Life at the Molecular Level.
Willson, D., R. Bonaccorsi, and C.P. McKay. 2018. Sample Collection and Contamination Management for Life Detection in Ocean Worlds during Plume Fly-throughs.
Wright, J.T. 2018. SETI is Part of Astrobiology.