2016/17 Astrobiology Seminar Series

We are please to kick off this year’s seminar series by hosting Beth Healey from the European Space Agency to talk to us about her recent work in Antarctica.


Concordia Station, Antarctica, is a spaceflight analogue, ‘White Mars’, in view of its isolation, inaccessibility, altitude, low light levels and skeleton crew. Beth has recently returned from a year-long mission there where she was working for the European Space Agency implementing research protocols to investigate the effects of this extreme environment on the physiology and psychology of the overwinter crew.


Beth is a UK trained doctor who has recently returned from Antarctica where she was working as research MD for the European Space Agency at spaceflight analogue Concordia ‘White Mars’. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and patron of Expedition Medicine with an interest in polar environments she has worked as part of logistical and medical support teams for ski mountaineering expeditions and endurance races in Svalbard, Greenland, Siberia and at the North Pole.


Click here for details of the seminar location and time.

Astrobiology Academy 2016 Concludes

The UKCA’s fourth astrobiology academy has concluded. Teachers from across Scotland and from the US attended the three day Continuing Professional Development (CPD) event from July 4-6th. In addition to leaning about astrobiology with events and activities, the participants also wrote unit plans for Astrobiology in the Classroom. This year’s work focused on taking astrobiology lesson plans written in previous years and assembling them into whole astrobiology units (up to one year long) for teaching astrobiology in secondary schools across the UK.


This year the academy was supported by Dynamic Earth and was pleased to have the support of the National Space Centre through involvement of Christopher Carr and the UK Space Agency through the involvement of Susan Buckle.


Next year the Astrobiology Academy will begin one day astrobiology CPD events.


The ‘Astrobiology in the Classroom’ lesson plans can be found here.


Planetary Science and Exploration in the Deep Subsurface

The UKCA has published its first paper resulting from its deep subsurface science and exploration analog research at Boulby Mine, UK. The Centre uses the mine environment, an ancient 250 million year old Permian salt deposit, to carry out the testing of technologies for mining and future planetary exploration. The paper summarises the science and technology results from the first three of these campaigns.


Your can access the paper by following this link: Planetary Science and Exploration in the Deep Subsurface.


In July, the centre will be hosting its fourth underground analog campaign (MINAR 4) focusing on biosignatures in the deep subsurface.  The campaign includes representatives from the Chinese Academy of Space Technology as well as universities across the UK and scientists from the Spanish Centre for Astrobiology.