• Chair: Waleed Abdalati, NASA Chief Scientist
  • Pascale Ehrenfreund, Reseach Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs, Space Policy Institute, Washington, DC, and Professor of Astrobiology, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  • Julie Robinson, ISS Programme Scientist NASA
  • Masaru Matsuoka, Senior Advisor, RIKEN
  • Gerhard Schmidtke, Senior Project Scientist, Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques, Germany
  • Boris Zagreev, Head of Laboratory, Central Research Institute for Machine Building, TsNIIMash, Russia
  • Torsten Neubert, Head of Section for Solar System Physics, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark 

Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe, seeking answers to fundamental questions on life. Understanding the fundamentals of life requires using the ISS.

NASA’s MISSE-X exposes materials to space environment.

JAXA’s MAXI monitors objects over the whole sky using X-rays. It acts as a early warning system to inform satellites and telescopes on the ground where to look.

MAXI highlights: 1. Capturing black hole disruptions. 2. Capturing super bursts from binary stars.

SOLAR : monitoring the energy flowing from the Sun. Data from SOLAR is providing tools for improving climate modelling. Data over a full solar cycle would be indispensable, the ISS offers a stable platform to achieve this data.

ASIM will study thunderstorms above clouds. Lightning sometimes goes up instead of hitting Earth’s surface. Studying thunderstorms above clouds is not easy as the clouds hamper investigation from Earth. ASIM on ISS will study many aspects of these lightning ‘jets’. The ISS is the best platform to study this as its orbit covers all local times and the most thunderstorm reason as well orbiting as close to Earth as possible. In addition the team would like to complement data with astronaut observations from the Cupola observation module.

These experiments benefit from human interaction to add observations, check the equipment and calibrate or repair if necessary. These actions are not an option on normal satellites.