Seeding the Universe with Life: Securing Our Cosmological Future

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Michael Mautner, 2000 - Science - 338 pages

"It is the human purpose to propagate Life". In this popular science title, a well recognized researcher describes how we can seed new solar systems with microbial representatives of our family of organic life. The book also describes a life-centered astroethics that will motivate these missions, based on the unity of all gene/protein life: a common ancestry; a unique complexity, and the coincidence of physical laws that allow biology, giving life a special place in Nature; a shared drive for survival and procreation, and a shared future. As part of this family, it is our purpose to safeguard and expand life in the universe.
To advance this purpose, Professor Mautner pioneered research on the fertilities of extra-terrestrial materials in asteroids/meteorites. The results show that many microorganisms and even plants can grow on resources found commonly in space, which are basically similar to Earth materials. The conclusions are significant: If life can flourish on Earth, life can flourish throughout the universe. Based on the results on microbes and meteorites, the author estimates the ultimate amounts of life that our missions can induce in the cosmological future. A life-centered astroethics can assure that our descendants will be there to enjoy this future.


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About the author (2000)

Michael N Mautner is Research Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, USA. His scientific interests are in physical chemistry with applications to biophysics, astroecology, and space chemistry. He is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals and book chapters. His publications and the book "Seeding the Universe with Life: Securing Our Cosmological Future" have received thousands of downloads and citations.

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