With the ongoing discovery of thousands of planets around other stars, the question of whether life exists on other worlds is not only compelling but is becoming answerable. However, due to the faintness of these distant worlds, a bold new generation of space telescopes, building on new technologies, is a must to search for signatures of life. We present a revolutionary space observatory concept, the Nautilus Space Observatory, designed to survey a thousand planets for atmospheric gases that are indicative of life. Nautilus is enabled by a new technology of hybrid (diffractive-refractive) lenses, which provides very large-aperture (8m-class) space telescopes that are ultralight and can be cost-effectively reproduced. We briefly describe here the new lens technology, the Nautilus Space Observatory concept, ongoing technology and concept development work, and also introduce the Nautilus Probe, a first, stand-alone science and demonstration unit proposed to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey.