Feature Stories

  • Future missions to the Moon or Mars could use plants as bio-harvesters to extract valuable elements from the alien soils.
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  • By calculating where photosynthesis might be possible around the galaxy, scientists are developing a new way to figure out where Earth-like planets with life might be located.
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  • The shrinking technology of cell phones, laptops and cameras are now leading to palm-sized satellites. Easy to build and affordable, these small satellites offer a new way to conduct astrobiology research. They also could change the way we explore the universe.
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  • Recent discoveries of gas giant planets in unusual orbits challenge the generally accepted theory of planet formation. While these discoveries do not disprove the theory, they have opened our eyes to chaotic solar systems quite unlike our own.
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  • Jupiter's moon Europa has a salty ocean where life could exist. A thick ice shell separates the ocean from our exploration vehicles, and it´s not known how far down we´d need to drill. But why drill at all, when evidence for life could
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  • Jupiter´s moon Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system. Could it also be a habitat for life?
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  • NASA´s Phoenix lander revealed water ice mere inches beneath the martian surface, and chemical evidence from the landing site strongly hints that the region is habitable. But learning whether there is life in martian ice will require drilling — and drilling on Mars will be
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  • A new study of how climate conditions have affected the origin and evolution of life on Earth could provide clues to understanding how climates on alien planets might affect their potential for life.
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  • Mars is frozen today, but when it was young there may have been liquid water on its surface. What does the latest evidence indicate about the ancient martian climate? Understanding the past environment of Mars can help future missions "follow the water" in
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  • Jupiter´s moon Europa has a salty ocean, and scientists have long wondered if life could be found there. One scientist says Europa also has enough oxygen to support an ocean teeming with life.
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