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On December 4, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology met for a hearing on “Astrobiology: Search for Biosignatures in our Solar System and Beyond”.

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Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

The hearing’s purpose was to examine astrobiology research and the search for signs of life in our Solar System and beyond. It included a general assessment of the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of astrobiology research, including the role astrobiology plays in formulating NASA space missions. It also examined the techniques and capabilities necessary to determine the potential for the existence of biosignatures within our Solar System.

With the discovery of potential Earth-like planets outside of our Solar System, the committee heard three experts discuss what methods are being used to determine if any of these planets may harbour life and explored existing and planned astrobiology research strategies and roadmaps.

Links: House Committee on Science and Technology website, including the witnesses’ testimony in transcript form and an archived webcast of the proceedings.

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