The search for extraterrestrial life
Just follow the water: The search for extraterrestrial life on Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn
SNI Lecture by Florian Kehl, Ph.D., Life Detection Technologist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA
All life – as we know it – developed in water and needs water to thrive. Today, we know that Mars once had rivers, lakes, and seas, while the moons of Jupiter and Saturn still harbor more liquid water under their icy crusts than all of Earth’s oceans combined. This is why these so-called “Ocean Worlds” became a prime target for the search for evidence of life beyond Earth.
Florian Kehl, a former student of the nano curriculum in Basel and Life Detection Instrumentation Technologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, develops instruments and methods for the detection of biosignatures on celestial bodies.
In this talk, he’s going to present how NASA and the global scientific community are planning on exploring these Ocean Worlds and why he’s testing his prototypes in extreme environments on simulated Mars missions in the Atacama Desert in Chile, as well as under the Arctic sea ice in Alaska.