Space as a Tool for Astrobiology:Review and Recommendations for Experimentationsin Earth Orbit and Beyond
Cottin, Hervé; Kotler, Julia Michelle; Billi, Daniela; Cockell, Charles; Demets, René; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Elsaesser, Andreas; d'Hendecourt, Louis; van Loon, Jack J. W. A.; Martins, Zita; Onofri, Silvano; Quinn, Richard C.; Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Ricco, Antonio J.; Slenzka, Klaus; de la Torre, Rosa; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Westall, Frances; Carrasco, Nathalie; Fresneau, Aurélien; Kawaguchi, Yuko; Kebukawa, Yoko; Nguyen, Dara; Poch, Olivier; Saiagh, Kafila; Stalport, Fabien; Yamagishi, Akihiko; Yano, Hajime; Klamm, Benjamin A.; ASI sponsor
Jul - 2017
DOI: 10.1007/s11214-017-0365-5

journal : Space Science Reviews

Volume : 209 ; Issue : 1-4
type: Article Journal

The space environment is regularly used for experiments addressing astrobiology research goals. The specific conditions prevailing in Earth orbit and beyond, notably the radiative environment (photons and energetic particles) and the possibility to conduct long-duration measurements, have been the main motivations for developing experimental concepts to expose chemical or biological samples to outer space, or to use the reentry of a spacecraft on Earth to simulate the fall of a meteorite. This paper represents an overview of past and current research in astrobiology conducted in Earth orbit and beyond, with a special focus on ESA missions such as Biopan, STONE (on Russian FOTON capsules) and EXPOSE facilities (outside the International Space Station). The future of exposure platforms is discussed, notably how they can be improved for better science return, and how to incorporate the use of small satellites such as those built in cubesat format.

keywords : Astrobiology, Exobiology, Astrochemistry, Hardware for space experiments, BIOPAN, STONE, EXPOSE, Tanpopo, Cubesat, Nanosatellites, International Space Station, Space environment

Notes : Acknowledgements. [...] Daniela Billi and Silvano Onofri acknowledge Italian Space Agency (ASI) for financial support of the projects BIOMEX-Cyano, BOSS-Cyano, BIOMEX-MCF and E-GEM. [...]