Centro de Astrobiología (CAB, CSIC-INTA)
The Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) is a Joint Research Center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA). Created in 1999, it was the first Associate Member to NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). The CAB is a truly multi-disciplinary institute and Its main objective is to study the origin, presence and influence of life in the universe. The CAB received in 2017 the “Unit of Excellence Maria de Maeztu” Award, within the subprogramme of Institutional Strengthening of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation.
CAB is a truly multi-disciplinary institute, hosting scientists specializing in a very wide range of topics as Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Genetics, Ecology, Astrophysics, Planetology, Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, etc. CAB has developed the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) for the mission Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), an environmental station on board NASA’s Curiosity rover, operating on Mars since 2012. Also, CAB has developed TWINS, Temperature and Wind Sensors for NASA’s InSight mission, on Mars since November 2018. In addition, the CAB is involved in the development of two more instruments that will travel to Mars in 2020 and 2022, respectively: MEDA, an instrument for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission and RLS instrument for ESA’s ExoMars 2022 mission. Finally, CAB also participates in different missions and instruments of great relevance such as CARMENES, CHEOPS, PLATO, the Space Telescope James Webb (JWST) with the instruments MIRI and NIRSPEC or BepiColombo ESA’s mission.
Astrobiology is by definition a multi- and transdisciplinary science. Being part of the SOMMa allows Centro de Astrobiología to have a closer contact with other Research Centres of Excellence in different areas, generating new synergies and leading to a higher efficiency.
José Miguel Mas Hesse
Former Director at CAB