The Network for Life Detection (NfoLD) is a NASA Astrobiology Research Coordination Network (RCN) dedicated to advancing the science and technology required to search for evidence of life beyond Earth. Our goal is to build a cohesive life detection community whose research and expertise becomes integral to all stages of astrobiology-themed interplanetary and exoplanet mission activity, from inception to operations.
Although NfoLD is led by researchers whose funding comes from NASA, NfoLD is a community initiative. As such, any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA.
The diverse expertise needed to develop and implement strategies to search for evidence of life beyond Earth is distributed across multiple science and technology disciplines, some of which are not primarily focused on astrobiology questions. Our goal is to promote communication, coordination, and synergy among researchers in the fields relevant to life detection. In so doing, we aim to build a cohesive life detection community whose research and expertise becomes integral to all stages of astrobiology-themed solar system and exoplanet mission activity, from inception to operations.
NfoLD is open to any individual, group, or organization engaged in life detection-themed research and technology development. International participation is encouraged and sought. We ask only that members contribute in an engaged and positive fashion to the activities of the network. NfoLD activities are overseen by three co-leads, a NASA Astrobiology Program representative, and a Steering Committee comprised of the principal investigators of life detection-related NASA ROSES awards. Research team members on those awards automatically become NfoLD members. NfoLD is open to the broader research community via the Affiliate Member program.
Goals of NfoLD
Advance Life Detection Strategy and Capability:
Identify priorities for, and carry out, research and technology development that informs strategies and enhances capabilities for detecting evidence of life beyond Earth.
Identify research and technology objectives that may be best or only achieved through interdisciplinary collaborations; create an environment and develop activities that promote and enable new collaborations.
Support NASA Programs and Missions:
In keeping with the recommendations of the 2018 National Academies report on Astrobiology Strategy, improve the integration of life detection science and technology into all stages of planetary and astrophysical missions, from Decadal Survey and program planning to mission science definition, implementation, and interpretation.
Foster Community Development:
Increase scientific and demographic diversity in the life detection community, engage international participation, and facilitate the involvement of students and early career researchers in all aspects of NfoLD activities.
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