Science and Exploration

Panel Discussion: The Search for Life in the Universe

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
July 15, 2014
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Panel Discussion: The Search for Life in the Universe
Panel Discussion: The Search for Life in the Universe

NASA space-based observatories are making unprecedented new discoveries and revealing worlds never before seen.
During a televised panel discussion of leading science and engineering experts at NASA Headquarters on Monday, July 14, a scientific and technological roadmap to lead to the discovery of potentially habitable worlds among the stars was addressed. The agency’s next step, the James Webb Space Telescope (Webb telescope), was featured as a new tool that will continue to help scientists rewrite scientific textbooks long after its scheduled launch in 2018.

Panel participants include:

— Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington
— John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington
— John Mather, Nobel Laureate and Senior Project Scientist for the Webb telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
— Sara Seager, MacArthur Fellow and Professor of Planetary Science and Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
— Dave Gallagher, director for Astronomy and Physics, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
— Matt Mountain, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore and Telescope Scientist for the Webb telescope

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