More than 10 years of Astrobiology


Ten years ago the CAB building was inaugurated with the presence of different authorities. Coinciding with this inauguration, an international symposium was organized on the theme "Astrobiology: from the interstellar medium to ecology Explorations to understand life", which was attended by three Nobel laureates: Murray Gell-
Mann (Physics, 1969), Christian de Duve (Medicine, 1974) and Baruch Blumberg (Medicine,

But the origin of the CAB goes back to the proposal presented in 1998 to the NASA by a group of Spanish and North American scientists led by Juan Pérez-Mercader
to join the then newly created NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). On November 19, 1999, the constitution agreement that created the CAB as a mixed center between the CSIC and INTA was signed, becoming the first center in the world dedicated specifically to Astrobiology. In April 2000 the CAB joined the NAI and thus became its first Associate Member outside the United States.

Now, it is ten years from that date and the CAB wanted to celebrate by organizing a mini-symposium to remember those beginnings, review the achievements made and how to look forward to the future. In these more than ten years of Astrobiology the CAB has grown and has established itself as a research center of recognized prestige, international and unique in Spain dedicated to Astrobiology. In the center they work with astrophysicists, biologists, physicists, chemists, virologists, geologists, engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians, among others. In addition to everything that has to do with the understanding of the phenomenon of Life as we know it (emergence, conditions of development, adaptability -extremofilia-, etc.), it also involves the search for Life outside

Earth (exobiology) and its derivations, such as space exploration (planetology) and
habitability. Currently, about 200 researchers and technicians develop in CAB different lines of research framed in scientific projects both national and international.

The CAB is located on the campus of INTA in Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid. Its thirteen laboratories devoted to the understanding of the phenomenon of life in the context of the Universe are distributed over an area of ​​approximately 7,000 m2 in the main building and two annexes, a greenhouse of molecular ecology and an observatory
astronomical with a robotic telescope. In addition, the CAB has another headquarters that is part of the Department of Astrophysics at the European Space Astronomy Center (ESAC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Villanueva de la Cañada (Madrid).

Additionally, there are two Units Associated with the University of Valladolid: the Advanced Spectroscopy Group in Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Group of Molecular Spectroscopy. Finally, the CAB has two other robotic telescopes located at the Spanish-German Astronomical Observatory of Calar Alto (CAHA), Almería,
and at the ESA Deep Space Satellite Monitoring Station in Cebreros, Ávila.


Fuente: UCC-CAB

Fecha: 2013-02-28


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Departments and support units

The answer to questions about life and its origin come from the combined efforts of many disciplines

Research areas

The science developed in the CAB is channeled through interdepartmental research lines

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