If you are trying to ask a question live during Ask an Astrobiologist, please do so in the main chatroom at the bottom of the screen! You can also ask on twitter @saganorg using #AskAstrobio

Right now, the SAGANet team is working hard to bring you a brand new version of the site! On our new platform, it will be much easier to ask your questions and get answers, interact with astrobiology Experts, and participate in our live show.

In the meantime, we have set up this temporary discussion forum where you can post your questions. We will do our best to move them over to the new site when we launch, so feel free to discuss anything astrobiology right here!

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Hi Jerry,

I'm happy to help you with specific questions!


Hi Sanjoy. I sent a few questions your way via e-mail by way of your @bmiss address on Dec 3 that outlined a few things I didn't understand. Should I just copy and paste those questions here?

Does astrobiology include space medicine? Or is that considered a separate discipline?

Honestly, jus about any study could be related to astrobiology in some way, but there are definitely connections between space medicine and astrobiology. Understanding how the space environment effects the health of humans and other organisms and how biology can overcome the effects of the space environment falls into better knowing how life may spread through the universe once biospheres become able to either shed their living material in some way (planetary impacts, massive eruptions, etc.) or when intelligent organisms set out into the space environment of their own accord.

I worked for JPL/NASA for 40 years and I spent a lot of time at JSC.  I did some work on microgravity experiments both at JSC and at Edwards AFB. One of the concerns we had was micromusculature atrophy in an extended microgravity environment. Atrophy of the arterial walls in the lower extremities due to a lack of gravity induced hydrostatic pressure was of particular concern. Inappropriate soft tissue remodeling appeared to be a serious problem. What is the status of this now?  It would seem to be a problem for a Mars mission.

Hello all,

I got to know about this website through professor Sara Imari Walker's interview on Sean Carroll's podcast, and was really excited to hear from scientists exploring a broader definition of what life is in the way she laid it. It seemed to me you guys operate in the general field of Object Oriented Ontology, among other schools of thought, is that correct?

I apologize if those are noob questions, I'm not a trained scientist; just very curious and an avid reader of philosophical and scientific works. I do have the goal of developing a thesis on the field of the ethics of space exploration (astroethics? Is that or could that be a thing?), but, unfortunately, that's a nonexistant program in my country as of now. Do you know of any course or program in that line in academia today?

Questions that intrigue me and that I'd like to investigate from a philosophical POV, for instance, are the impacts of space mining and other operations in which biological processes (meaning "intelligent" "life") actuate in the rate of matter and energy exchange from planets to the cosmos and vice-versa. Is this a valid scope of scientific investigation in your opinion, or have I just been watching way too much Trek?

Thanks in advance for you attention,

Hi Gina, 

     I recently graduated with my undergrad in Natural Sciences with a concentration in Biology from Excelsior, and on March 2nd, I will begin my graduate education via American Military University (AMU), in Space Studies.


     I'm in need of a bit of guidance, being that I'm not actively working in any field of science, some of the requirements and/or expectancies can be a bit foreign to me. 


     My curriculum at Excelsior didn’t include a chemistry, physics, or geology, so along the way I decided to try and take these courses when and wherever I could if I had an open elective to support it. I recently voiced my concerns to Excelsior after the fact about how I thought that these courses are usually considered core courses at most other colleges, including AMU.

     So, what I want to know is this. 


Q1. From a big picture perspective do not having these courses on my transcript matter?


     In any case, I was able to take both an Earth Science, and Chemistry course in seat, but sadly, no physics. 


Q2. I guess what I really would like to know if whether or not, NOT having exposure to all of the sciences (being B,E,C,A,P; Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, Astronomy & Physics) would be looked down on?


Q3. If so, what are some alternatives to traditional college courses?


     I would really like to take a physics and another chemistry class prior to the start of my space studies graduate but then again I’d like to be certain that the motions that I’m going through will be recognized and accounted for.


Q4. Could MOOCs, ACE credits or classes provided by outlets such as Coursera , EdX, or www.study.com be used to supplant those traditional colleges or to serve as proof of understanding of the topics to a potential employer or team?

Q5. Or should I not worry about this and just spend all additional efforts going forward knocking out Astrobiology course work online via NASA?




Again, any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. 





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