Workshop: The Biology of Biosignature Detection - Part II

January 29 - February 2, 2024
California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA 91125

Workshop Overview:

The current framework for life detection for Mars exploration uses the ancient biosignatures paradigm where robust organics and former lacustrine environments provide assessments of habitability. This framework does not provide the science community with direct evidence of extant life potentially inhabiting these regions. With the recent Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey emphasizing a focus on extant life searches, it is critical to revisit and update our scientific investigations and datasets to more definitively interpret potential extant biology outside of our terrestrial biosphere.

The proposed ordinated sets of experiments and biological measurements decided during the team’s first workshop (July 2023) will be now integrated into the latter two goals for this workshop series. While still maintaining their science-driven approach for biological validation, this team will incorporate and organize the necessary astrobiology and life detection measurements into a measurement, instrument, and sample frameworks necessary for biological validation for in-situ and returned samples from outside our terrestrial biosphere. This incorporation will include the results from their first workshop, protocols necessary for agnostic and terrestrial biology, and pave the way for the future ‘search for life’ mission concepts that will utilize our biological validation set of experiments.

Schedule coming soon...

List of Workshop Participants Coming Soon...

Lodging for out-of-town attendees

There are a number of hotels that are close to the Caltech campus where we have a negotiated rate. (Please note that this negotiated rate does not guarantee you the lowest rate as there may be internet specials or AAA rates that may be better.)

Please note that with enough notice, you can reserve rooms for attendees at the Athenaeum, which has been recognized as a Platinum Club of America. It is conveniently located on the Caltech Campus. Contact Janet Seid if you would like to check the availability of this option.

Directions to the Keck Center

For information on arriving to the Keck Center, visit our Maps & Directions page.

Parking (for Visitors and for JPL Personnel)

For Visitors: From the Arroyo Parkway, turn right (east) on Del Mar Avenue. Proceed approximately one and a quarter miles. The Caltech campus will be on your right. Turn right (south) onto Wilson Avenue. Turn right into the North Wilson Structure and park in an unmarked spot. Buy a parking permit from the kiosk located inside the North Wilson Structure or request one ahead of time from KISS.

For JPL Personnel: JPLers may use their JPL hang tag for parking or request a special parking hangtag from the JPL parking office. Employees who do not have on-Lab parking privileges can obtain a hang tag created for this purpose from JPL parking coordinator Robert Kennedy (818-354-4586, Building 310-108B, 9/80 schedule). Please park in an unmarked spot in the North Wilson Structure located on Wilson Avenue.

Maps and General Information on Pasadena

Visa Requirements

For Visa requirement information and travel to the United States please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State.