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Articles on Astrobiology

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TRAPPIST-1e is a rocky exoplanet in the habitable zone of a star 40 light-years from Earth and may have water and clouds, as depicted in this artist’s impression. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Wikimedia Commons

To search for alien life, astronomers will look for clues in the atmospheres of distant planets – and the James Webb Space Telescope just proved it’s possible to do so

Life on Earth has dramatically changed the chemistry of the planet. Astronomers will measure light that bounces off distant planets to look for similar clues that they host life.
This artist’s rendering shows OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending toward asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx will land on an asteroid to bring home rocks and dust – if it can avoid Mt. Doom

OSIRIS-REx will touch down on asteroid Bennu, collect a sample of the dust and begin its journey back to Earth, where scientists will study it, hoping to learn secrets of the solar system’s origin.
People do live outside Earth – on the International Space Station! But humans have had to find a way to make the conditions there more like what we’re used to at home. Flickr/NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Curious Kids: can people live in space?

The short answer is yes, but it’s really, really difficult.
Scientists conduct research in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park to practice for Mars landings. Shutterstock

Rehearsing for the Mars landings in Hawaii and Idaho

To prepare for future Mars missions, scientists collect samples and simulate communications conditions from volcano parks on Earth.

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