As a follow-on to existing exobiology activities in low earth orbit, ESA commissioned a Science Team in the period late 1996 to mid 1998 to assess the interest of 'search for life' exobiology research in a European context. In particular the Science Team has concentrated on the search for life in the Solar System and more recently on possible European activities related to the search for extinct life on Mars. The Science Team recommended the development of a multi-user Exobiology package employing a sub-surface distribution system and various analytical instruments for in-situ analysis on Mars. This paper also discusses the required technical developments and the possible upcoming mission opportunities. Some considerations on the performance of exobiological research during future human missions to Mars are also given.
Paul F. Clancy, Paul F. Clancy,
"ESA exobiology activities: present status and future perspectives", Proc. SPIE 3441, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology, (6 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.319823; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.319823