Centro de Astrobiología (CAB, CSIC-INTA)
Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) is a joint research center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA). Created in 1999, it was the world's first center dedicated specifically to astrobiological research and the first non-US associate member of NASA's Astrobiology Institute (now the NASA Astrobiology Program). It is an interdisciplinary research center whose main objective is to study the origin, presence and influence of life in the universe. Its staff includes scientists specialized in a wide range of fields such as biology, chemistry, geology, physics, genetics, ecology, astrophysics, planetology, engineering, mathematics and computer science. In 2017, CAB was distinguished by the Ministry of Science and Innovation as “María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence”, for the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022.
CAB participates in different missions and instruments of great astrobiological relevance, such as CARMENES, CHEOPS, PLATO, the James Webb Space Telescope JWST or the BepiColombo mission of the European Space Agency (ESA). It has also developed instruments for international space missions such as REMS and TWINS, on Mars since 2012 and 2018 respectively, and MEDA and RLS, which will arrive in 2021 and 2023 respectively. In addition, since its creation, the center has been working on the development of the SOLID instrument, aimed at the search for life in planetary exploration.
Astrobiology is by definition a multi- and transdisciplinary science. Being part of the SOMMa allows Centro de Astrobiología to have a closer contact with other Research Centres of Excellence in different areas, generating new synergies and leading to a higher efficiency.
José Miguel Mas Hesse
Former Director at CAB