Recognizing life in the Solar System: guidance from meteoritic organic matter
In the next decade, numerous space missions will attempt to detect organic matter on planets and other objects in the Solar System. Recognizing carbon-based life or its remains will be a fundamental goal of future missions. In preparation, studies of organic matter in meteorites are enabling scientists how to discriminate between biogenic and abiogenic materials.(Published Online February 7 2006)
(Received October 27 2005)
(Accepted September 9 2005)
Key Words: meteorites; molecules; organic matter; origin of life; space missions.