Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tonight's Sky for September 13: NASA Gets into Astrobiology (1960)


It was on this date in 1960 that the first meeting of the NASA Advisory Council For Space Biology Meeting took place. In layman's terms, this meant that exactly 54 years ago, NASA made it a point to study astrobiology, or biology on other planets. At the time, the idea of life on planets other than the Earth was uncharted territory for scientists and purely in the realm of fiction writers as the only other world man had visited up to that point was the Moon by way of unmanned Soviet probes that returned only a few grainy pictures. In the time since, astrobiology has become a mainstream part of the greater science that is astronomy. One has to wonder whether the men at that first Committee meeting had any idea how far the science would come in the intervening 50+ years.  

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