NASA Bioscience Advisory Committee

The NASA Bioscience Advisory Committee was a committee appointed in July 1959 to provide recommendations on NASA's future direction in the life sciences. It reported in January 1960 that NASA's involvement should include not only space medicine in support of manned spaceflight but also "investigations of the effects of extraterrestrial environments on living organisms including the search for extraterrestrial life." In the spring of 1960, the NASA Office of Life Sciences came into existence, and by August NASA had authorized the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to investigate the type of spacecraft needed to land on Mars and search for life. To study the chemical evolution of life and related issues, a life sciences laboratory was set up at the NASA Ames Research Center.