Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA)
The 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 first Research Center in the world specifically devoted to interdisciplinary astrobiology research and became the first Associate Member to the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) in April 2000. Its main objective is to study the origin, presence and influence of life in the universe. In addition to the understanding of the phenomenon of life as we know it (emergence, development, adaptability to extreme environments, etc.), it also involves the search for life beyond Earth (Exobiology) and Planetary Exploration and Habitability. Finally, the development of Advanced Space Technology and Instrumentation is also one of its main objectives.
CAB is a truly multi-disciplinary institute, hosting scientists specializing in a very wide range of topics as Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Genetics, Ecology, Astrophysics, Planetology, Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, etc. The CAB has developed the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) for Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, an environmental station on board NASA’s Curiosity rover, which is exploring Mars since 2012. Also, CAB is participating in the upcoming missions to Mars: TWINS instrument for NASA’s InSight mission, MEDA instrument for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission and finally RLS instrument for ESA’s ExoMars 2020 mission. The CAB also participates in several instruments of great astrobiological relevance in development and/or operation, such as CHEOPS, PLATO, JWST/MIRI and JWST/NIRSPEC.
Astrobiology is by definition a multi- and transdisciplinary Science. Being part of the SOMMa allows Centro de Astrobiologia to have a closer contact with other Research Centres of excellence in different areas, generating new sinergies and leading to a higher efficiency.
José Miguel Mas Hesse
Director at CAB