Panel 2 on Extraterrestrial Life

Panel 2 on Extraterrestrial Life was one of the first two groups set up in the late 1950s to study problems related to life beyond Earth, the other being the Space Science Board's Panel on Extraterrestrial Life. Panel 2 operated under the auspices of the Joint Armed Forces-National Research Council Committee on Bio-Astronautics and was chaired by Melvin Calvin. Its eight member scientists, including Carl Sagan, Henry Linschitz, Richard E. Lord, Matthew Messelson, Malcolm Ross, Wolf Vishniac, and Harold F. Weaver, who were interested primarily in extraterrestrial life, the origin of life, and SETI, had to contend with other colleagues and military officers who were more concerned with the effects of space travel on human beings (see space medicine). Panel 2 was dissolved in August 1960 so that the National Academy of Sciences would have a single representative in this field, the Space Science Board. The activities of Panel 2 were taken over by Committee 14 on Exobiology on August 12, 1960.