Oxygen and the Evolution of Life

pp 157-168


Oxygen and the Exploration of the Universe

  • Heinz DeckerAffiliated withInstitut für Molekulare Biophysik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Email author 
  • , Kensal E. van HoldeAffiliated withDept of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University

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Humankind has begun, in a tentative way, the immense project of exploring, and perhaps colonizing, other worlds. The grand enterprise has hardly begun and will certainly suffer many defeats and reversals, but it seems destined to go forward. In the course of this, both in seeking life in extraterrestrial environments and voyaging into them, we shall encounter a number of problems concerning the existence or provision of oxygen. The basis for this has been described in previous chapters. First, we would like to summarize arguments as to why life could have evolved on other planets. We need to know what to expect.