Look no further than a few decades ago and you will see that finding life in space was nothing but a beautiful dream. Today astrobiology is a popular field as more and more discoveries are made while endless opportunities are still put there.
In order to show their success and some of the future endeavors, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has recently organized a panel. A summary has been published as paper that contains several advices for NASA.
The most important advice offered by the paper is to think outside the job, as the best solutions may come from the most unexpected sources. The best example is astrobiology which developed incredibly fast after it appeared.
The paper complements a report that also includes two National Academy commissions that focus on two-decade-long surveys on astronomy and astrophysics along with planetary sciences. After the surveys will be completed, they will influence what NASA will do in the future.
A large part of the report focuses on the technological upgrades that are needed in the future. One of them is the launch of several new telescopes in the following years and starlight-blocking instruments are in development.
The report also includes guidelines aimed at research practices. This is the side of the also mentions astrobiology, as it highlights the emphasis on the interdisciplinary thinking that made it such a successful field. Among the new recommendations, we can find the promotion of thinking at system-level, treating planets as a complete object, and converting habitability into a spectrum scale instead of a definite yes/no answer.
Many of the changes have been inspired by our own planet and the incredible abilities exhibited by living organisms found in various places around our planet, ranging from Atacama Desert to Antarctica. This is why the report notes that scientists should take a more creative approach when it comes to its activities. Collaborations with private companies, like the Boeing and SpaceX projects, are also encouraged.
The search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, has also been added back to the mainstream research, but it’s now geared towards finding intelligent life forms.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here