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  Information - BG7.01/PS8 Astrobiology and Mars: robotic Mars exploration and the search for evidence of life on Mars (co-organized by PS)

Event Information
Remarkable and sometimes astounding news from Mars continue to return to
Earth from the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers and ESA’s Mars Express
orbiter. Both these missions have contributed greatly to our current
perception of what Mars must once have been like – a planet that was
perfectly habitable in its early history and upon which simple life could
have evolved and survived. As yet, no compelling data towards evidence of
life on Mars has been presented, leading both ESA and NASA to devise
strategies to explore the red planet for its possible biological history.
In preparation for this technically and scientifically challenging
endeavor, it is paramount that we rigorously test and hone the analytical
instrumentation considered for solving the above question. This includes
laboratory based testing and experimentation, field testing in terrestrial
planetary analogue environments, or simulation experiments. With
astrobiology missions planned for Mars exploration, planetary protection
aspects will further play an important role in the mission design.

We therefore invite papers for this session from all aspects of
astrobiological research relevant to the subjects of life on Mars and
astrobiology Mars exploration. Papers covering aspects of analytical
instrumentation for Mars exploration, testing of such instruments in the
laboratory and field, laboratory and/or space experimentation, as well as
contributions that deal with issues related to planetary protection and
spacecraft sterilization procedures are encouraged. With this scheme we
hope to facilitate the exchange of latest knowledge on research and
development regarding astrobiology exploration of Mars, as well as to
stimulate discussion on future planetary exploration strategies.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers
Dr. Augustin Chicarro - Mars Express Project Manager; European Space Agency
Prof. Bruce Jakosky - University of Colorado, Boulder; Director Center for Astrobiology
Dr. Jorge Vago - ExoMars Project Scientist; European Space Agency ESA/ESTEC


General Statement
The information contained hereafter has been compiled and uploaded by the Session Organizers via the "Organizer Session Form". The Session Organizers have therefore the sole responsibility that this information is true and accurate at the date of publication, and the conference organizer cannot accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made, and he makes no warranty, expressed or implied, with regard to the material published.

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