AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 3 Space Missions: Planet Finding, Astrobiology and Others
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[3.10] Identifying Organic Molecules in Space - The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) Mission Concept

K.A. Ennico, S.A. Sandford, L.J. Allamandola, J.D. Bregman (NASA Ames Research Center), M. Cohen (UC Berkeley), D.P. Cruikshank (NASA Ames Research Center), C. Dumas (Jet Propulsion Lab, Caltech), T.P. Greene, D.M. Hudgins (NASA Ames Research Center), S. Kwok (University of Calgary, Canada), S.D. Lord (IPAC/Caltech), S.C. Madden (CEA Saclay, France), C.R. McCreight, T.L. Roellig (NASA Ames Research Center), D.W. Strecker (Ball Aerospace), A.G. Tielens (Kapteyn Astronomy Institute, Netherlands), M.W. Werner (Jet Propulsion Lab, Caltech), K.L. Wilmoth (NASA Ames Research Center)

The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission concept consists of a modest dedicated space observatory having a 60 cm class primary mirror cooled to T < 50 K equipped with a modest resolution cross-dispersed spectrometers having cooled large format near- and mid-infrared detector arrays. Such as system would be capable of addressing outstanding problems in Astrochemistry and Astrophysics that are particularly relevant to Astrobiology and addressable via astronomical observation.

This mission's observationsal program would make fundamental scientific progress in establishing the nature, distribution, formation and evolution of organic and other molecular materials in the following extraterrestrial environments:

1 The Outflow of Dying Stars

2 The Diffuse Interstellar Medium

3 Dense Molecular Clouds, Star Formation Regions, and Young Stellar/Planetary Systems

4 Planets, Satellites, and Small Bodies within the Solar System, and

5 Interstellar Media of Other Galaxies

ABE could make fundamental progress in all of these areas by conducting a 1 to 2 year mission to obtain a coordinated set of infrared spectroscopic observations over the 2.5-20 micron spectral range at a spectral resolution of R > 2500 of about 1500 galaxies, stars, planetary nebulae, young stellar objects, and solar system objects.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://abe.arc.nasa.gov/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: Kimberly.A.Ennico@nasa.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.