Space as a Tool for Astrobiology: Review and Recommendations for Experimentations in Earth Orbit and Beyond

Hervé Cottin 1 Julia Michelle Kotler 2, 3, 4 Daniela Billi 5 Charles Cockell 6 René Demets 7 Pascale Ehrenfreund 8, 2 Andreas Elsaesser 9, 10 Louis d'Hendecourt 11 Jack J. W. A. van Loon 7, 12 Zita Martins 13 Silvano Onofri 14 Richard C. Quinn 15 Elke Rabbow 16 Petra Rettberg 16 Antonio J. Ricco 15 Klaus Slenzka 17, 18 Rosa de la Torre 19 Jean-Pierre de Vera 20 Frances Westall 21 Nathalie Carrasco 22, 23 Aurélien Fresneau 1 Yuko Kawaguchi 24 Yoko Kebukawa 25 Dara Nguyen 1 Olivier Poch 1 Kafila Saiagh 1 Fabien Stalport 1 Akihiko Yamagishi 24 Hajime Yano 26 Benjamin A. Klamm 15
Abstract : 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
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Hervé Cottin, Julia Michelle Kotler, Daniela Billi, Charles Cockell, René Demets, et al.. Space as a Tool for Astrobiology: Review and Recommendations for Experimentations in Earth Orbit and Beyond. Space Science Reviews, Springer Verlag, 2017, 209 (1-4), pp.83-181. ⟨10.1007/s11214-017-0365-5⟩. ⟨insu-01544000⟩

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