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Mandatory Fields
Golden, A;Shearer, A;Browne, J;Butler, R;Penny, A;Nuth, J
A virtual laboratory model for coordinating future astrobiological research
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Future multidisciplinary problems in European Astrobiological research will require a large effort across a broad spectrum of work activities. These activities are likely to involve resources and personnel distributed amongst the various ESA member states. Current and evolving informatic technologies could, by means of centralising and distributing information through a 'Virtual Laboratory' (VL) environment, greatly enhance such work. We propose to implement such a VL environment to coordinate research into prebiotic chemistry in the early Solar Nebula. This will involve facilities in both a number of ESA member states and the US, and personnel similarly distributed. We outline preliminary aspects of the VL that require particular attention, focus on critical informatic requirements, and assess the overall outcome of such a programme of research. We emphasise the considerable efforts required to provide a working 'real time' interactive environment for the participants.
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