Astrobiology as a Driver to Connect India's Public, Scientists, and Space Missions

Pandey, Siddharth; Macey, Michael C.; Das, Debashree; Mohanty, Anurup; Tiwari, Satyam; Jose, Jovel Varghese and Sharma, Siddhant (2022). Astrobiology as a Driver to Connect India's Public, Scientists, and Space Missions. New Space, 10(1) pp. 51–67.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/space.2021.0041

Abstract

Astrobiology is an emerging and interdisciplinary scientific field that aims at studying and understanding life in the universe, with research topics including the origin of life and the feasibility of life existing and being detected elsewhere in the universe. In this article, we highlight the critical role that astrobiology plays toward inspiring students and the general public toward space exploration. The cross-disciplinary nature of the field brings together scientists from various backgrounds, breaking down silos that exist in today's scientific community in India. Finally, astrobiology has continuously played a pivotal role in shaping outer space exploration programs and will be an important scientific area of development for the Indian Space Research Organization as well. The formation of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) body and the emerging New Space ecosystem in India are discussed, as they offer unique opportunities to bring down the cost, time, and programmatic challenges traditionally faced by Astrobiology missions.

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