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Exploration of the Habitability of Mars: Development of Analytical Protocols for Measurement of Organic Carbon on the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory

  • Paul MahaffyEmail author
Part of the Space Sciences Series of ISSI book series (SSSI, volume 25)

Abstract

The mission goal of the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory is to assess the habitability of a region on Mars. This large rover incorporates an Analytical Laboratory that contributes to this mission objective by means of a detailed characterization of mineralogy and chemistry. The Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite in the Analytical Laboratory provides the capability to analyze volatiles released from rocks and soils and gases directly sample from the atmosphere. A primary focus of this suite is the detection and identification of organic molecules. The protocols for the extraction and analysis of organics under development for this mission are described as are experiments carried out on Mars analog samples to evaluate these methods.

Keywords

Mars Organics Mars Science Laboratory Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation Astrobiology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, BV 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Atmospheric Experiment LaboratoryNASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

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