Biosignatures of Extant Life on Ocean Worlds Workshop

September 12-14, 2016

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Building 34, Room W150

New Updates!

Select presentations are now available on the Program page

NASA employees and contractors should note that this event is classified as a conference, and therefore NASA Conference Tracking (NCTS) rules apply.

This conference’s number is NCTS # 26129-16. Please forecast your attendance in the NCTS system no later than Friday, July 29.

Purpose and scope

The goal of this workshop is to evolve our understanding of the detectability of extant life on ocean worlds, such as Europa and Enceladus. The event will bring astrobiologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, oceanographers and mission and instrument developers together to discuss the informational value of different types of biosignatures, the importance of context and the concept of ecology in the search for extant life, and examples of measurement sets and exploration criteria that would support a productive search for extant biology in future missions. We envision a three-day workshop located in the greater Washington, DC, region, in which discussions inspired by a series of topics will be interspersed with breakout working group discussions.

This meeting is expected to foster a sophisticated exchange of ideas between leaders and innovators in astrobiology to discuss how analog studies and in situ investigations of Earth’s oceans and icy environments can provide new techniques and methodologies that will encourage an open-minded optimization of strategies in the search for extant life on ocean worlds. The workshop will produce a draft report package as well as one or more peer-reviewed publications that will provide reference materials for the astrobiology community at large.