NASA awards $50 million to Seven Teams to study Extraterrestrial life in Universe

NASA awards $50 million to Seven Teams to study Extraterrestrial life in Univers

Seven research teams have been awarded about $50 million by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to study extraterrestrial life in the universe. For over five years, the research teams will study the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life.

Jim Green, Planetary Science Division, at NASA Headquarters, said that earlier NASA had launched Curiosity rover to investigate climate and geology at Mars, and potential habitability of the planet. Apart from that, agency's Kepler mission is discovering earth-like planets, and Mars 2020 mission is under study by NASA.

About the seven research teams that the agency has awarded, Green said, "These research teams will provide the critical interdisciplinary expertise to help interpret data from these missions and future astrobiology-focused missions".

The seven teams that will work under NASA are: NASA's Ames Research Centre at California, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, The SETI Institute in California, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, University of Montana in Missoula, University of California and University of Colorado in Boulder.

Each research team will have about $8 million. These teams will be members of NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), which is located in California.

According to NASA's director of astrobiology programme Mary Voytek, astrobiology provides a vast scope from knowing how life started on earth to how humans adapted to its environment.

The teams' work will be to develop connections between different organizations and subject that stimulate fundamental scientific advances.

According to NASA, out of seven, four research teams are from California who have been awarded approximately $29 million to study the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

Five research teams are already in the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). The teams will conduct studies on extraterrestrial life in the universe for over five years.

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