Wiley
Wiley.com
Print this page Share
E-book

Complete Course in Astrobiology

Gerda Horneck (Editor), Petra Rettberg (Editor)
ISBN: 978-3-527-61900-9
434 pages
June 2008
Complete Course in Astrobiology (3527619003) cover image
This up-to-date resource is based on lectures developed by experts in the relevant fields and carefully edited by the leading astrobiologists within the European community. Aimed at graduate students in physics, astronomy and biology and their lecturers, the text begins with a general introduction to astrobiology, followed by sections on basic prebiotic chemistry, extremophiles, and habitability in our solar system and beyond. A discussion of astrodynamics leads to a look at experimental facilities and instrumentation for space experiments and, ultimately, astrobiology missions, backed in each case by the latest research results from this fascinating field. Includes a CD-ROM with additional course material.
See More
1 Astrobiology: From the Origin of Life on Earth to Life in the Universe (André Brack).

1.1 General Aspects of Astrobiology.

1.2 Reconstructing Life in a Test Tube.

1.3 The Search for Traces of Primitive Life.

1.4 The Search for Life in the Solar System.

1.5 The Search for Life Beyond the Solar System.

1.6 Conclusions.

1.7 Further Reading.

2 From the Big Bang to the Molecules of Life (Harry J. Lehto).

2.1 Building Blocks of Life.

2.2 Big Bang: Formation of H and He.

2.3 First Stars: Formation of Small Amounts of C, O, N, S and P and Other Heavy Elements.

2.4 Normal Modern Stars, Bulk Formation of C, O, N, S, P and Other Heavy Elements.

2.5 The First Molecules (CO and H2O).

2.6 Interstellar Matter.

2.7 Generation of Stars: Formation of the Sun and Planets.

2.8 Further Reading.

2.9 Questions for Students.

3 Basic Prebiotic Chemistry (Hervé).

3.1 Key Molecules of Life.

3.2 Historical Milestones.

3.3 Sources of Prebiotic Organic Molecules.

3.4 From Simple to Slightly More Complex Compounds.

3.5 Conclusions.

3.6 Further Reading.

3.7 Questions for Students.

4 From Molecular Evolution to Cellular Life (Kirsi Lehto).

4.1 History of Life at Its Beginnings.

4.2 Life as It Is Known.

4.3 Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA).

4.4 “Life” in the RNA–Protein World: Issues and Possible Solutions.

4.5 “Life” Before the Appearance of the Progenote.

4.6 The RNA World.

4.7 Beginning of Life.

4.8 Further Reading.

4.9 Questions for Students.

5 Extremophiles, the Physicochemical Limits of Life (Growth and Survival) (Helga Stan-Lotter).

5.1 A Brief History of Life on Earth.

5.2 Extremophiles and Extreme Environments.

5.3 Microbial Survival of Extreme Conditions.

5.4 Conclusions.

5.5 Further Reading.

5.6 Questions for Students.

6 Habitability (Charles S. Cockell).

6.1 A Brief History of the Assessment of Habitability.

6.2 What Determines Habitability?

6.3 Uninhabited Habitable Worlds.

6.4 Factors Determining Habitability.

6.5 A Postulate for Habitability.

6.6 Some Test Cases for Habitability.

6.7 Conclusions.

6.8 Further Reading.

6.9 Questions for Students.

7 Astrodynamics and Technological Aspects of Astrobiology Missions in Our Solar System (Stefanos Fasoulas and Tino Schmiel).

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 The Rocket Equation.

7.3 Orbital Mechanics and Astrodynamics.

7.4 Orbital Maneuvers.

7.5 Example: Missions to Mars.

7.6 Further Reading.

7.7 Questions for Students.

8 Astrobiology of the Terrestrial Planets, with Emphasis on Mars (Monica M. Grady).

8.1 The Solar System.

8.2 Terrestrial Planets.

8.3 Further Reading.

8.4 Questions for Students.

9 Astrobiology of Saturn’s Moon Titan (François Raulin).

9.1 Extraterrestrial Bodies of Astrobiological Interest.

9.2 Some Historical Milestones in the Exploration of Titan.

9.3 General Properties, Formation and Internal Structure of Titan.

9.4 Atmosphere and Surface of Titan.

9.5 Astrobiological Aspects of Titan.

9.6 Outlook: Astrobiology and Future Exploration of Titan.

9.7 Further Reading.

9.8 Questions for Students.

10 Jupiter’s Moon Europa: Geology and Habitability (Christophe Sotin and Daniel Prieur).

10.1 A Short Survey of the Past Exploration of Europa.

10.2 Geology of the Moon Europa.

10.3 Internal Structure of the Moon Europa.

10.4 Models of Evolution of the Moon Europa.

10.5 Astrobiological Considerations about Possibilities for Life on the Moon Europa.

10.6 Summary and Conclusions.

10.7 Outlook and Plans for Future Missions.

10.8 Further Reading.

10.9 Questions for Students.

11 Astrobiology Experiments in Low Earth Orbit: Facilities, Instrumentation, and Results (Pietro Baglioni, Massimo Sabbatini, and Gerda Horneck).

11.1 Low Earth Orbit Environment, a Test Bed for Astrobiology.

11.2 Astrobiology Questions Tackled by Experiments in Earth Orbit.

11.3 Exposure Facilities for Astrobiology Experiments.

11.4 Results from Astrobiology Experiments in Earth Orbit.

11.5 Future Development and Applications of Exposure Experiments.

11.6 Further Reading.

11.7 Questions for Students.

12 Putting Together an Exobiology Mission: The ExoMars Example (Jorge L. Vago and Gerhard Kminek).

12.1 Background of the ExoMars Mission.

12.2 ExoMars Science Objectives.

12.3 ExoMars Science Strategy.

12.4 ExoMars Mission Description.

12.5 Outlook and Conclusions.

12.6 Further Reading.

12.7 Questions for Students.

13 Astrobiology Exploratory Missions and Planetary Protection Requirements (Gerda Horneck, André Debus, Peter Mani, and J. Andrew Spry).

13.1 Rationale and History of Planetary Protection.

13.2 Current Planetary Protection Guidelines.

13.3 Implementation of Planetary Protection Guidelines.

13.4 Astrobiology Exploratory Missions of Concern to Planetary Protection.

13.5 Outlook: Future Tasks of Planetary Protection.

13.6 Further Reading.

13.7 Questions for students.

Index.

See More
Gerda Horneck and Petra Rettberg are the leading astrobiologists of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and have outstanding renommee on both sides of the Atlantic.
Gerda Horneck and Petra Rettberg serve as heads of the photo- und exobiology group at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine of the DLR.
Their research interests focus on exo-/astrobiology, radiation/photo biology, e.g. including the effects of radiation of various kind on biological systems.

Dr. Horneck has been principal investigator of several radiobiological and exobiology experiments in space on Spacelab, LDEF, EURECA, FOTON and ISS as well as coordinator of research projects for both ESA and NASA.

Petra Rettberg's research activities included research projects at NASA Ames and in Japan and investigations of past and future space missions.
Numerous board memberships and publications round off their portfolio.
Extensive teaching experience make them ideal editors for this book.

See More
"Obwohl als Hochschullehrbuch konzipiert, bietet dieses Buch auch interessierten Amateurastronomen einen gut verständlichen Einblick in die aktuelle Astrobiologie."
Interstellarum
Nov. 07

"Fazit: Ein empfehlenswertes Buch - nicht nur für Spezialisten. Allerdings wird es kaum jemand durchlesen wie einen Roman. Dazu ist es zu sehr Lehrbuch, aber eben ein besonders gutes und hochaktuelles. Die Autoren garantieren für einen Standard, der kaum Wünsche offen lässt: Wenn man etwas über das Thema "Astrobiologie" auf profunde Weise erfahren kann, dann sicher hier. Es lohnt also, sich einzelne Kapitel gezielt vorzunehmen (sie sind dazu unabhängig genug). Beginnen sollte man aber unbedingt mit dem ersten: ein perfekt geschriebener Einstieg ins Thema. Wer selbst unterrichtet, dem wird die beigefügte CD mit Powerpoint-Präsentationen aus Vorlesungen der Autoren nützlich sein."
http://www.spektrumdirekt.de/
Dezember 2007

"Die Kapitel verfügen durchweg über hilfreiche Hinweise auf weiterführende Literatur sowie Kontrollfragen für Studenten. Der ausführlich Index am Ende des Buches erleichtert sicherlich das Nachschlagen. Ein netter Bonus ist die mitgelieferte CD-Rom, auf der die Bildschirmpräsentationen der Vorlesungen gespeichert sind, die dem Buch zugrunde liegen."
Sterne und Weltraum, April 2008
See More

Related Titles

Back to Top