Planetary Permafrost and Astrobiology


  • Dirk Wagner
  • Christopher McKay

Statement of Goals:

  • Investigate microbial activities and growth rates at in situ conditions (e.g.
  • subzero temperature) in ice and permafrost, including development of aseptic drilling techniques and sampling strategies
  • Conduct biological experiments in the outer space
  • Conduct measurements of long-lived radioisotopes and development of modelling of their radiation in permafrost
  • Interpret data obtained by space vehicles with regard to permafrost (e.g. morphology, living conditions, water)


EGU General Assembly (2009), COSPAR (2010, Germany), Polar and Alpine Microbiology (2011, Slovenia), AGU Fall meeting (2011)
Liaison with SCDIC: Dirk Wagner
Liaison with international organizations and programs: European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA), NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), European Space Agency (ESA), Russian Space Agency, Virtual Exo/Astrobiology Institute