Introduction to Astrobiology
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In this introductory lecture, Dr. Gerda Horneck of the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne describes Astrobiology as a newly emerging field of science.Astrobiology comprises the study of the overall pattern of chemical evolution of potential precursors of life, in the interstellar medium, and on the planets and small bodies of our solar system. Astrobiology also consists of studying the history of life on Earth back to its roots, deciphering the environments of planets in our solar system and of their satellites and searching for other planetary systems in our Galaxy.Hereby, Astrobiology provides clues to the understanding of the origin, evolution and distribution of life and its interaction with the environment, here on Earth and in the Universe.