Saturday, March 08, 2008

Earth cooling down and practicing for Mars

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here's today's news:
g Abodes - At its birth, our young planet was a ball of molten hot rock. How long did it take to cool down? The answer could indicate the conditions necessary for life to arise, and provide insight into the evolutionary history of life on Earth. See article.
g Life - In view of the substantial challenges ahead in instrumentation and trials on Earth analogs, we must now begin to plan a second generation of feasible evolutionary experiments with whole microorganisms. In those new experiments universal evolutionary biomarkers should be searched for in space. See article.
g Cosmicus - Last month, eight people began a simulated mission to Mars in the desert of Utah. The Earth-based experiment will help researchers understand the logistic, scientific and psychological issues involved in designing a real mission to Mars. See article.

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