Astrobiology is a scientific field within the life and environmental sciences that studies the origins, early evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe by investigating its deterministic conditions and contingent events. As a discipline, astrobiology is founded on the premise that life may exist beyond Earth.
Research in astrobiology comprises three main areas: the study of habitable environments in the Solar System and beyond, the search for planetary biosignatures of past or present extraterrestrial life, and the study of the origin and early evolution of life on Earth.
The field of astrobiology has its origins in the 20th century with the advent of space exploration and the discovery of exoplanets. Early astrobiology research focused on the search for extraterrestrial life and the study of the potential for life to exist on other planets. In the 1960s and 1970s, NASA began its astrobiology pursuits within the Viking program, which was the f