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Geological Evolution and Habitability of Earth-like Planets (GeoHab)

Proposal for EU's Marie Curie Research Training Network of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6-2005-Mobility-1)
Of the rocky planets in the inner solar system, Earth stands out! It harbours life and oceans of water, it continuously renews its surface through plate tectonics, and it shields its surface environment from radiation and protects the atmosphere form solar wind erosion through a self sustained magnetic field. Other planets and satellites share some features with Earth but lack others. What are the links between the Earth characteristics and life? Does the Earth bear life because it has them all? Are Mars and the Jovian satellite Europa hosting life? Did they host it in the past? Understanding the habitability of terrestrial planets and satellites requires a broad view. If geologic diversity, transport of nutrients, surface water and a magnetic field are important, then atmospheres, surfaces, interiors and their interactions must be studied for more than one candidate planet to come to general conclusions. This integrative look requires skills in geological, atmospheric and planetary sciences. The proposed network will bring together researchers and engineers from leading geo- and planetary science institutes with a broad spectrum of skills for the purpose of teaching European students 'on the job'. The students will use data from present and past missions, and they will be introduced to the planning and building of instrumentation, augmented by short periods of industrial training. The scientists will need a good understanding of missions and instrumentation to make a proper use of the acquired wealth of data. Europe has entered the race through the Aurora Exploration program and looks into the future with ESA's new Cosmic Vision program. The young scientists of Europe need to acquire the skills to participate in these programs, in an atmosphere that counters fragmentation of the scientific community through national borders and interests. The reward will be a better understanding of how planets work, even this planet that we call home.

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WWW-Editor: Nils Müller
Last Changes: Monday, 23-Jan-2006 15:49:22 CET
URL of this page: http://solarsystem.dlr.de/TP/geohab.shtml
 
Coordinator

 > Prof. Dr. Doris Breuer

Address

Institute of Planetary Research
Department of Planetary Physics
Rutherfordstr. 2
D-12489 Berlin

Internet:  > http://www.dlr.de/pf