Table of Contents:
Chapter 1. General introduction into astrobiology: Astrobiology, from life on Earth to life in the Universe
Chapter 2. From Big Bang to the molecules of life
Chapter 3. Basic prebiotic chemistry
Chapter 4. From molecular evolution to cellular life
Chapter 5. Extremophiles, the physico-chemical limits of life (growth and survival)
Chapter 6. Habitability in our solar system and beyond
Chapter 7. Astrodynamics and technology aspects of astrobiology missions in our solar system
Chapter 8. Astrobiology of terrestrial planets with emphasis on Mars
Chapter 9. Astrobiology of the moons of the giant planets with emphasis on Titan and Europa
Chapter 10. Experiment facilities and instrumentation for space experiments in astrobiology
Chapter 11. Astrobiology missions
Chapter 12. Astrobiology exploratory missions and planetary protection requirements
1 Astrobiology: From the Origin of Life on Earth to Life in the Universe (Andre Brack).1.1 General Aspects of Astrobiology.1.2 Reconstructing Life in a Test Tube.1.3 The Search for Traces of Primitive Life.1.4 The Search for Life in the Solar System.1.5 The Search for Life Beyond the Solar System.1.6 Conclusions.1.7 Further Reading.2 From the Big Bang to the Molecules of Life (Harry J. Lehto).2.1 Building Blocks of Life.2.2 Big Bang: Formation of H and He.2.3 First Stars: Formation of Small Amounts of C, O, N, S and P and Other Heavy Elements.2.4 Normal Modern Stars, Bulk Formation of C, O, N, S, P and Other Heavy Elements.2.5 The First Molecules (CO and H2O).2.6 Interstellar Matter.2.7 Generation of Stars: Formation of the Sun and Planets.2.8 Further Reading.2.9 Questions for Students.3 Basic Prebiotic Chemistry (Herve).3.1 Key Molecules of Life.3.2 Historical Milestones.3.3 Sources of Prebiotic Organic Molecules.3.4 From Simple to Slightly More Complex Compounds.3.5 Conclusions.3.6 Further Reading.3.7 Questions for Students.4 From Molecular Evolution to Cellular Life (Kirsi Lehto).4.1 History of Life at Its Beginnings.4.2 Life as It Is Known.4.3 Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA).4.4 "Life" in the RNA-Protein World: Issues and Possible Solutions.4.5 "Life" Before the Appearance of the Progenote.4.6 The RNA World.4.7 Beginning of Life.4.8 Further Reading.4.9 Questions for Students.5 Extremophiles, the Physicochemical Limits of Life (Growth and Survival) (Helga Stan-Lotter).5.1 A Brief History of Life on Earth.5.2 Extremophiles and Extreme Environments.5.3 Microbial Survival of Extreme Conditions.5.4 Conclusions.5.5 Further Reading.5.6 Questions for Students.6 Habitability (Charles S. Cockell).6.1 A Brief History of the Assessment of Habitability.6.2 What Determines Habitability?6.3 Uninhabited Habitable Worlds.6.4 Factors Determining Habitability.6.5 A Postulate for Habitability.6.6 Some Test Cases for Habitability.6.7 Conclusions.6.8 Further Reading.6.9 Questions for Students.7 Astrodynamics and Technological Aspects of Astrobiology Missions in Our Solar System (Stefanos Fasoulas and Tino Schmiel).7.1 Introduction.7.2 The Rocket Equation.7.3 Orbital Mechanics and Astrodynamics.7.4 Orbital Maneuvers.7.5 Example: Missions to Mars.7.6 Further Reading.7.7 Questions for Students.8 Astrobiology of the Terrestrial Planets, with Emphasis on Mars (Monica M. Grady).8.1 The Solar System.8.2 Terrestrial Planets.8.3 Further Reading.8.4 Questions for Students.9 Astrobiology of Saturn's Moon Titan (Francois Raulin).9.1 Extraterrestrial Bodies of Astrobiological Interest.9.2 Some Historical Milestones in the Exploration of Titan.9.3 General Properties, Formation and Internal Structure of Titan.9.4 Atmosphere and Surface of Titan.9.5 Astrobiological Aspects of Titan.9.6 Outlook: Astrobiology and Future Exploration of Titan.9.7 Further Reading.9.8 Questions for Students.10 Jupiter's Moon Europa: Geology and Habitability (Christophe Sotin and Daniel Prieur).10.1 A Short Survey of the Past Exploration of Europa.10.2 Geology of the Moon Europa.10.3 Internal Structure of the Moon Europa.10.4 Models of Evolution of the Moon Europa.10.5 Astrobiological Considerations about Possibilities for Life on the Moon Europa.10.6 Summary and Conclusions.10.7 Outlook and Plans for Future Missions.10.8 Further Reading.10.9 Questions for Students.11 Astrobiology Experiments in Low Earth Orbit: Facilities, Instrumentation, and Results (Pietro Baglioni, Massimo Sabbatini, and Gerda Horneck).11.1 Low Earth Orbit Environment, a Test Bed for Astrobiology.11.2 Astrobiology Questions Tackled by Experiments in Earth Orbit.11.3 Exposure Facilities for Astrobiology Experiments.11.4 Results from Astrobiology Experiments in Earth Orbit.11.5 Future Development and Applications of Exposure Experiments.11.6 Further Reading.11.7 Questions for Students.12 Putting Together an Exobiology Mission: The ExoMars Example (Jorge L. Vago and Gerhard Kminek).12.1 Background of the ExoMars Mission.12.2 ExoMars Science Objectives.12.3 ExoMars Science Strategy.12.4 ExoMars Mission Description.12.5 Outlook and Conclusions.12.6 Further Reading.12.7 Questions for Students.13 Astrobiology Exploratory Missions and Planetary Protection Requirements (Gerda Horneck, Andre Debus, Peter Mani, and J. Andrew Spry).13.1 Rationale and History of Planetary Protection.13.2 Current Planetary Protection Guidelines.13.3 Implementation of Planetary Protection Guidelines.13.4 Astrobiology Exploratory Missions of Concern to Planetary Protection.13.5 Outlook: Future Tasks of Planetary Protection.13.6 Further Reading.13.7 Questions for students.Index.
Gerda Horneck and Petra Rettberg are the leading astrobiologists of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and have outstanding renommee on both sides of the Atlantic. Gerda Horneck and Petra Rettberg serve as heads of the photo- und exobiology group at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine of the DLR. Their research interests focus on exo-/astrobiology, radiation/photo biology, e.g. including the effects of radiation of various kind on biological systems. Dr. Horneck has been principal investigator of several radiobiological and exobiology experiments in space on Spacelab, LDEF, EURECA, FOTON and ISS as well as coordinator of research projects for both ESA and NASA. Petra Rettberg's research activities included research projects at NASA Ames and in Japan and investigations of past and future space missions. Numerous board memberships and publications round off their portfolio. Extensive teaching experience make them ideal editors for this book.
...the book would be a valuable addition to the library of any institution concerned with microbiology. (Microbiology Today, November 2007)