Dr. Pascal Lee

December 21, 2006

“Astrobiology-Focused Planetary Science And Exploration Investigations In Terrestrial Analog Environments”

NCC 2–1416

An interdisciplinary scientific research program being carried out to advance astrobiology-focused planetary science and exploration based on field investigations in terrestrial analog environments. The proposed research comprises two modules:

1) The “NASA Haughton-Mars Project” (HMP): Science and Exploration Studies at the Haughton Impact Structure and Surrounding Terrain, Devon Island, High Arctic, Viewed as a Mars Analog Site;

2) “Astrobiology in Settings where Water is Extremely Rare” (ANSWER) Studies: Investigation of Water-Poor Extreme Environments for Life.

Both modules address central questions in astrobiology through the investigation of geologic and hydrologic features, settings, and processes in extreme environments on Earth which may serve as analogs for planetary environments, past or present. In each module, the planned research comprises science and technology components. The proposed research will help to advance our understanding of planetary evolution and the possibilities of life in the universe, and will help to plan the future exploration of planets by both robots and humans.