Launching alongside LAB is NfoLD, a multi-institution research coordination network focused on focused on developing technologies and techniques for life detection on other worlds. Following on decades of research supporting and expanding our understanding of habitability, the limits of life, and habitable environments on other planets and moons, NfoLD will open the frontiers of research by catalyzing and connecting the life detection community, laying the groundwork for cutting edge studies, and allowing the quest for alien life to venture into unexplored territories.
NfoLD’s mission is to engage an international group of life detection scientists and engineers, following on the success of the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) model. NfoLD’s goals are to:
collaborate to investigate life detection strategies, including biosignature creation and preservation
facilitate work between scientists and engineers to develop technologies and tools to look for extraterrestrial life
actively and inclusively engage the scientific community to foster collaboration on projects
cultivate interdisciplinary and multi-organizational initiatives
organize a reference sample set
coordinate community engagement with the ladder of life detection, incorporating the ideas of agnostic biosignatures and combining different features of assessment and confidence
work with missions during the design phase to incorporate realistic life detection goals and objectives
promote cross-cutting training and educational activities
NfoLD will gather investigators of multiple backgrounds and perspectives, beginning with core teams based at NASA Ames Research Center, Georgetown University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Soon, the consortium will expand to include new partners among NASA-funded research groups, thereby extending its expertise and capabilities.
Although NfoLD is led by researchers whose funding comes from NASA, NfoLD is a community initiative.