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					Astrobiology Road Mapping (AstRoMap) - A project within FP7
of the European Commission
F. G´mez1∗ , N. Walter2 , G. Horneck3 , C. Muller4 , P. Rettberg5 , M. Capria6 ,
    o

1
                         ıa                    o
  Centro de Astrobiolog´ (INTA-CSIC), Torrej´n de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
2
  European Science Foundation, Strasbourg, France
3
                           e          e
  Association pour une R´seau Europ´en d’Exo/Astrobiology (EANA), France
4
  B-USOC, Brussels, Belgique
5
  Deutsches Zentrum fr Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Cologne, Germany
6
  National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), Naples, Italy
∗
  E-mail of corresponding author: gomezgf@cab.inta-csic.es

    Background: Astrobiology and space exploration have received growing attention within the last phase
of Framework Programme 7 of the European Commission, e.g., with EuroPlaNet (European Planetol-
ogy Network), CAREX (Coordination Action for Research Activities on life in Extreme Environments),
THESEUS (Towards Human Exploration of Space – a EUropean Strategy) and HAMLET (Human model
MATROSHKA for radiation exposure determination of astronauts). The need for a European Space Ex-
ploration Programme is rooted in the European space policy in Article 189 of the TFEU (Treaty of the
Functioning of the European Union) “to support research and technological development and coordinate
the efforts needed for the exploration and exploitation of space.” Noting that Europe has committed to
participate in the international space exploration initiatives, the Space Advisory Group of the European
Commission recommended that Europe should prepare a European vision for space exploration and in-
vest its key competences in this international enterprise [1]. The 5th Call of the European Commission
within FP7 invited proposals for research activity roadmaps concentrating on planetary exploration and
astrobiology - among other disciplines. Following this call, the proposal ‘AstRoMap’ was formulated
and proposed under the coordination of INTA-CAB, and was accepted by the European Commission.
Description of AstRoMap. AstRoMap will be executed within the following four steps:
    1. Community consultation. This activity will include the following tasks:
         • Reach and expand the astrobiology community in order to perform a wide consultation on
           current and future research and space activities in astrobiology in relation with AstRoMap
           roadmap definition process.
         • Map the astrobiology and planetary sciences science landscape in Europe and beyond.
         • Facilitate networking and exchange of information within the research community
    2. Workshops organisation. On the basis of the feedbacks from the community consultation, the
       potential participants and interesting topics will be identified. Each workshop will address one
       astrobiology topic, specially tailored according to the Astrobiology community needs. Themes of
       the workshops are suggested as follows:
       (a) Origin of Solar system
       (b) Origin of organic compounds, steps to life
       (c) Physico-chemical boundary conditions for habitability
       (d) Biosignatures as facilitating life detection
      Each workshop will be structured according to the following steps:
         • Step: Definition of science goals
         • Step: Identification of knowledge gaps – Science and technology
         • Step: Suggested missions/instrumentation and experiments to reach the goals
      In addition, the following three cross-cutting activities will be discussed during the workshops, if
      relevant:


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       • Earth analogues: How Earth analogues can contribute to identify putative extraterrestrial
         habitats and technology test?
       • Planetary protection: What are the conditions and requirements for planetary protection and
         planetary ethics?
       • Technology: What new technologies need to be developed for space missions designed to answer
         the questions defined in the workshops?
  3. Astrobiology road-mapping. Based on the results and major conclusions elaborated during the
     workshops, an astrobiology roadmap will be constructed tailed to the European needs and compe-
     tences.
  4. Education and public outreach. Parallel to the workshop and consultation activities, AstRoMap
     will provide a comprehensive education and outreach program and disseminate the progress of
     AstRoMap through its web site (in progress).

References:
  1. G. Horneck, A. Coradini, G. Haerendel, M.-B. Kallenrode, P. Kamoun, J- P Swings., A. Tobias,
     J.-J. Tortora, Towards a European vision for space exploration: Recommendations of the space
     advisory group of the European Commission. Space Policy, 26, 109-112 (2010)




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posted:11/17/2012
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