Friday, July 11, 2014

Leading Space Experts to Discuss the Search for Life Beyond Earth

The artist's concept depicts Kepler-186f , the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone-a range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the planet's surface. Image credit: NASA.  Full image and caption

NASA Television will air a panel discussion of leading science and engineering experts on Monday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT (2 to 3:30 p.m. EDT), who will describe the scientific and technological roadmap that will lead to the discovery of potentially habitable worlds among the stars. 

The event will take place at NASA Headquarters in Washington. 

Space and ground observatories are cataloging and characterizing hundreds, and what is expected to eventually be thousands, of potentially habitable worlds in our galaxy. NASA space-based observatories are making unprecedented new discoveries. The agency's next step, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will continue to help scientists rewrite scientific textbooks after its scheduled launch in 2018. 

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden will provide opening comments.

Panel participants include:

--Ellen Stofan, NASA chief scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington

--John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator, NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington

--John Mather, Nobel Laureate and Senior Project Scientist for JWST, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

--Sara Seager, MacArthur Fellow and Professor of Planetary Science and Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

--Dave Gallagher, director for Astronomy and Physics, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

--Matt Mountain, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore and Telescope Scientist for JWST

Questions can be asked during the event by attendees or via Twitter using the hashtag #AskNASA.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit:

For more information about NASA's role in the search for life, visit:

Whitney Clavin
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters, Washington