I need a reviewer of this for Space Policy! If you are interested, please email me through the contact form, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was on a panel at the Edinburgh Science Festival on Terraforming Mars with the author of this book, the brilliant Dr Lousia Preston. She is a TED Fellow and was recently awarded the UK Space Agency Aurora Fellowship.
Forthcoming June 2016
Today we know of only a single planet that hosts life: the Earth. But across a Universe of at least 100 billion possibly habitable worlds, surely our planet isn't the only one that is just right for life? As Goldilocks was searching for the perfect bowl of porridge, Astrobiologists are searching for conditions throughout the Universe that are just right for life as we currently know it to exist.
With the Earth as our guide the search has begun for similar worlds sitting at the perfect distance from their Sun - within the aptly named Goldilocks Zone - that would enable them to keep water as a liquid on their surface and therefore support a thriving biosphere. The Earth is littered with carbon and pulses with energy, which combined with its flowing water allows life to exist beneath our thick protective atmosphere. In just over four billion years, life on Earth has evolved from a single-celled organism to an upright humanoid with the capacity to understand its place in the Universe and undertake missions to other worlds searching for a biological neighbour.
What might life look like on these other worlds? It is possible to make best-guesses using facts rooted in biology, physics and chemistry, and by studying 'extremophiles' on Earth, organisms such as the near-indestructible water bears that can survive in the harshest conditions that Earth, and even space, can offer. In this book, we'll take a tour of the astrobiological Universe, exploring what life is made of, what it needs to originate and thrive, how resilient and adaptable it can be and what is next for humanity as it steps off the Earth and into the realms of the unknown. Goldilocks and the Water Bears is a tale of the origins and evolution of life, and the quest to find it on other planets, on moons, in other galaxies, and throughout the Universe.