Space for Science
The universe is the greatest of all imaginable physics laboratories. Cosmologists study how the universe expands and evolves under the laws of physics, using ever more powerful satellites and telescopes. Rapid advances in planetary sciences promise to shed light on the prevalence of biological activity in the universe within our lifetime. Humanity is now opening a new chapter in space missions, with a much larger and more
diverse set of countries having space ambitions. The most ambitious plans include establishing bases and villages on the moon as well as the first manned landing on the planet Mars. There are technical challenges to design and construct the necessary ground-based and space-based instrumentation to characterise potential habitats and discern signs of life, but unequivocal proof of biological activity will require a synthesis
among many disciplines.