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Looking at Life in Lyon
Topic: Missions
In October, the sixth workshop of the European Astrobiology Network Association was held in Lyon, France. Scientists from around the world gathered to discuss topics such as interstellar chemistry, the origin of life, and the search for life in the solar system.

ESA's Astrolab Mission: Making Space a Safer Place
Topic: Missions
European astronaut Thomas Reiter recently began Europe┬┤s first long-duration human mission on the International Space Station. Over a period of several months, Reiter will conduct experiments to assess the effect on the human body of long-term exposure to the high-radiation and microgravity environment of space.

The Nordic Invasion
Topic: Missions
In early May, scientists met in Stockholm, Sweden for the first Nordic Astrobiology conference. This overview provides a look at some of the conference presentations, which dealt with the origin and distribution of life in the universe.

How small nations think big...
Topic: Missions
Long before Astrobiology was even a real word, scientists in Europe had started using space research to try and find answers to deep-rooted questions about life. From simple beginnings, the experiments became more complex and more ambitious. Looking at the effects of space on living systems, exploring new worlds for life or the building blocks of it, searching for habitable planets outside our Solar System; step by step Europe has developed a strong and diverse programme of space research for astrobiology.

Going Up, Next Floor
Topic: Missions
Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke famously predicted that we'd see space elevators 50 years after people stopped laughing at the idea. Jerome Pearson has been thinking about space elevators since the early 1970s.

Genesis Suffers A Crash Landing
Topic: Missions
The Genesis sample capsule crash-landed today after its parachutes failed to deploy. A recovery crew is in the field now, hoping to recover materials from the shattered capsule.

Rebuilding the Biggest Building
Topic: Missions
One of the world's largest buildings sustained damage over the weekend as hurricane Frances pounded a natural scar on the face of a manmade wonder. Florida's Space Coast has witnessed many launches designed specifically to study and predict the damaging effects of hurricanes--one of the few storms so large that it can best be viewed from orbit.

It's a Bird, It's a Planet
Topic: Missions
When the space station passes across the Sun or moon, the scene offers an interesting demonstration of how planet hunter's look for new candidates by measuring the periodic dimming of a parent star.

Countdown Meets Perfect Storm
Topic: Missions
The early Monday morning launch of the first orbital mission to Mercury encountered a difficult weather pattern that scrubbed what operators call an 'instantaneous' launch window. Although the mission will extend to seven years until 2011, only twelve seconds are available to time a successful trajectory.

Starfield of Dreams
Topic: Missions
Should we terraform Mars? What is the future of life on Earth? Will we ever find alien life? These are just a few of the questions addressed at the 2004 Astrobiology Science Conference.
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