In the beginning there was neither existence nor non- existence; there was no atmosphere, no sky, and no realm beyond the sky. What power was there? Where was that power? Who was that power? Was it finite or infinite?
Rig Veda 10:129.1-7 (Quote from Ancient Indian Scripture)
Over thousands of years, our ancestors around the world have pondered over these questions- Ancient Indian scriptures contribute to this testimony. In today’s space science endeavours, a multidisciplinary field evolved that aimed to address these universally relevant questions. As NASA’s Astrobiology Program has postulated them- How did life begin and evolve? Is there life beyond Earth and can it be detected? What is the future of life on Earth and in the Universe?
In search of answers, astrobiologists and astrogeoscientists conduct laboratory and field experiments in various parts of the world. Places that offer ‘harsh’ or ‘extreme’ environments and exhibit sustenance of life in the forms of singular or complex microorganisms. Also of interest, are the places on Earth that offer an insight into the origin and evolution of topographic changes due to physical and chemical processes over time. These add to the body of existing knowledge about prebiotic chemistry and conditions for life to exist and adapt to challenges on Earth and perhaps in other ‘habitable’ environments in the universe.
We welcome you to our quest towards exploring such sites in India and helping better connect the science community (researchers, educators, students) with those else where in the world. Together we shall move forward, on our final frontiers, educating and enlightening ourselves as we proceed.
On Behalf of the NASA Spaceward Bound India Coordination Team