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Sample records for mars analog soil

  1. Photometric properties of Mars soils analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pommerol, A.; Thomas, N.; Jost, B.; Beck, P.; Okubo, C.; McEwen, A.S.

    2013-01-01

    We have measured the bidirectional reflectance of analogs of dry, wet, and frozen Martian soils over a wide range of phase angles in the visible spectral range. All samples were produced from two geologic samples: the standard JSC Mars-1 soil simulant and Hawaiian basaltic sand. In a first step, experiments were conducted with the dry samples to investigate the effects of surface texture. Comparisons with results independently obtained by different teams with similar samples showed a satisfying reproducibility of the photometric measurements as well as a noticeable influence of surface textures resulting from different sample preparation procedures. In a second step, water was introduced to produce wet and frozen samples and their photometry investigated. Optical microscope images of the samples provided information about their microtexture. Liquid water, even in relatively low amount, resulted in the disappearance of the backscattering peak and the appearance of a forward-scattering peak whose intensity increases with the amount of water. Specular reflections only appeared when water was present in an amount large enough to allow water to form a film at the surface of the sample. Icy samples showed a wide variability of photometric properties depending on the physical properties of the water ice. We discuss the implications of these measurements in terms of the expected photometric behavior of the Martian surface, from equatorial to circum-polar regions. In particular, we propose some simple photometric criteria to improve the identification of wet and/or icy soils from multiple observations under different geometries.

  2. Subcritical water extraction of amino acids from Mars analog soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noell, Aaron C; Fisher, Anita M; Fors-Francis, Kisa; Sherrit, Stewart

    2018-01-18

    For decades, the Martian regolith has stymied robotic mission efforts to catalog the organic molecules present. Perchlorate salts, found widely throughout Mars, are the main culprit as they breakdown and react with organics liberated from the regolith during pyrolysis, the primary extraction technique attempted to date on Mars. This work further develops subcritical water extraction (SCWE) as a technique for extraction of amino acids on future missions. The effect of SCWE temperature (185, 200, and 215°C) and duration of extraction (10-120 min) on the total amount and distribution of amino acids recovered was explored for three Mars analog soils (JSC Mars-1A simulant, an Atacama desert soil, and an Antarctic Dry Valleys soil) and bovine serum albumin (as a control solution of known amino acid content). Total amounts of amino acids extracted increased with both time and temperature; however, the distribution shifted notably due to the destruction of the amino acids with charged or polar side chains at the higher temperatures. The pure bovine serum albumin solution and JSC Mars 1A also showed lower yields than the Atacama and Antarctic extractions suggesting that SCWE may be less effective at hydrolyzing large or aggregated proteins. Changing solvent from water to a dilute (10 mM) HCl solution allowed total extraction efficiencies comparable to the higher temperature/time combinations while using the lowest temperature/time (185°C/20 min). The dilute HCl extractions also did not lead to the shift in amino acid distribution observed at the higher temperatures. Additionally, adding sodium perchlorate salt to the extraction did not interfere with recoveries. Native magnetite in the JSC Mars-1A may have been responsible for destruction of glycine, as evidenced by its uncharacteristic decrease as the temperature/time of extraction increased. This work shows that SCWE can extract high yields of native amino acids out of Mars analog soils with minimal disruption of the

  3. Measurement of Mars Analog Soil Dielectric Properties for Mars 2020 Radar Science Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decrossas, E.; Bell, D. J.; Jin, C.; Steinfeld, D.; Batres, J.

    2017-12-01

    possible frequency bands. In their 2004 paper, Williams and Greely reported on measurements of the dielectric and attenuation properties of Mars soil analogs made in the band of 200 MHz to 1300 MHz. Their results apply directly to the Mars rover telecom links at 435 MHz and 915 MHz. This paper reports on dielectric measurements made on the same Mars soil analogs over the band of 7 GHz to 40 GHz.

  4. The Chemistry and Mineralogy of Atacama Desert soils: A Possible Analog for Mars Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Amundson, R.; Ewing, S.; Rhodes, K. W.; McKay, C.

    2002-12-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert in the world, having experienced its present hyper-arid climate since the Miocene. While Mars is vastly more dry and cold than the Atacama, the Atacama environment may be one of the best terrestrial Mars analog environments accessible to researchers. Because of the long-term hyperaridity, the soils retain atmospherically-derived elements, which accumulate to economically valuable quantities. The objective of this work was to examine physical and chemical evolution of the soils of the hyper-arid Atacama Desert to provide insight as to what soil properties may be found on Mars. Three soils were excavated and examined on widely representative landforms along a south to north transect (Copiapo > Altimira > Yungay) that coincides with decreasing moisture levels (~15mm to ~2 mm yr-1, south to north). Total chemical analyses were used to calculate strain (i.e. volume change) and elemental gains or losses (\\tau). Relative to parent material values, the Yungay and Altimira soils have expanded over 400% in certain horizons, while the Copiapo soil has collapsed by as much as 48%. The expansions are driven by elemental gains; the collapse by weathering losses. Calculations of \\tau indicate a 380 000% enrichment in Cl (halite) in the lower horizons, and S enrichments (anhydrite, gypsum) as high as 50 000% in the upper horizons, of the Yungay soil. The Altimira soil had a 110 000% enrichment of S (gypsum) and a 16,000% enrichment of carbonate, reflecting the higher precipitation and the relative solubility of salts. The southern, higher rainfall Copiapo soil had small \\tau values for S (283%) and Cl (63%) in the middle horizons, but significant gains of CaCO3 (\\tau values as high as 4 000% in certain horizons). In general, the type and depth of Cl, S, and CaCO3 enrichment in the soils varied predictably with rainfall. The results of this work, which document enormous atmospherically-derived elemental gains and

  5. Low Biotoxicity of Mars Analog Soils Suggests that the Surface of Mars May be Habitable for Terrestrial Microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Ming, Douglas W.; Golden, D. C.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies on the interactive effects of hypobaria, low temperatures, and CO2-enriched anoxic atmospheres on the growth of 37 species of mesophilic bacteria identified 14 potential biocidal agents that might affect microbial survival and growth on the martian surface. Biocidal or inhibitory factors include (not in priority): (1) solar UV irradiation, (2) low pressure, (3) extreme desiccating conditions, (4) extreme diurnal temperature fluctuations, (5) solar particle events, (6) galactic cosmic rays, (7) UV-glow discharge from blowing dust, (8) solar UV-induced volatile oxidants [e.g., O2(-), O(-), H2O2, O3], (9) globally distributed oxidizing soils, (10) extremely high salts levels [e.g., MgCl2, NaCl, FeSO4, and MgSO4] in surficial soils at some sites on Mars, (11) high concentrations of heavy metals in martian soils, (12) likely acidic conditions in martian fines, (13) high CO2 concentrations in the global atmosphere, and (14) perchlorate-rich soils. Despite these extreme conditions several studies have demonstrated that dormant spores or vegetative cells of terrestrial microorganisms can survive simulated martian conditions as long as they are protected from UV irradiation. What has not been explored in depth are the effects of potential biotoxic geochemical components of the martian regolith on the survival and growth of microorganisms. The primary objectives of the research included: (1) prepare and characterize Mars analog soils amended with potential biotoxic levels of sulfates, salts, acidifying minerals, etc.; and (2) use the simulants to conduct biotoxicity assays to determine if terrestrial microorganisms from spacecraft can survive direct exposure to the analog soils.

  6. Biotoxicity of Mars soils: 2. Survival of Bacillus subtilis and Enterococcus faecalis in aqueous extracts derived from six Mars analog soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Ming, Doug W.; Golden, D. C.

    2017-07-01

    The search for an extant microbiota on Mars depends on exploring sites that contain transient or permanent liquid water near the surface. Examples of possible sites for liquid water may be active recurring slope lineae (RSL) and fluid inclusions in ice or salt deposits. The presence of saline fluids on Mars will act to depress the freezing points of liquid water to as low as ‒60 °C, potentially permitting the metabolism and growth of halophilic microorganisms to temperatures significantly below the freezing point of pure water at 0 °C. In order to predict the potential risks of forward contamination by Earth microorganisms to subsurface sites on Mars with liquid brines, experiments were designed to characterize the short-term survival of two bacteria in aqueous soil solutions from six analog soils. The term ''soil'' is used here to denote any loose, unconsolidated matrix with no implications for the presence or absence of organics or biology. The analog soils were previously described (Schuerger et al., 2012, Planetary Space Sci., 72, 91-101), and represented crushed Basalt (benign control), Salt, Acid, Alkaline, Aeolian, and Phoenix analogs on Mars. The survival rates of spores of Bacillus subtilis and vegetative cells of Enterococcus faecalis were tested in soil solutions from each analog at 24, 0, or ‒70 °C for time periods up to 28 d. Survival of dormant spores of B. subtilis were mostly unaffected by incubation in the aqueous extracts of all six Mars analogs. In contrast, survival rates of E. faecalis cells were suppressed by all soil solutions when incubated at 24 °C but improved at 0 and ‒70 °C, except for assays in the Salt and Acid soil solutions in which most cells were killed. Results suggest that Earth microorganisms that form spores may persist in liquid brines on Mars better than non-spore forming species, and thus, spore-forming species may pose a potential forward contamination risk to sites with liquid brines.

  7. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.; Arcone, S.; Arvidson, R. W.; Baker, V.; Barlow, N. G.; Beaty, D.; Bell, M. S.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bridges, N.; Briggs, G.; Bulmer, M.; Carsey, F.; Clifford, S. M.; Craddock, R. A.; Dickerson, P. W.; Duxbury, N.; Galford, G. L.; Garvin, J.; Grant, J.; Green, J. R.; Gregg, T. K. P.; Guinness, E.; Hansen, V. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Holt, J.; Howard, A.; Keszthelyi, L. P.; Lee, P.; Lanagan, P. D.; Lentz, R. C. F.; Leverington, D. W.; Marinangeli, L.; Moersch, J. E.; Morris-Smith, P. A.; Mouginis-Mark, P.; Olhoeft, G. R.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Reilly, J. F., II; Rice, J. W., Jr.; Robinson, C. A.; Sheridan, M.; Snook, K.; Thomson, B. J.; Watson, K.; Williams, K.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2002-08-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of Martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the Mars Exploration Payload Assessment Group science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel has considered the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  8. Properties of Subsurface Soil Cores from Four Geologic Provinces Surrounding Mars Desert Research Station, Utah: Characterizing Analog Martian Soil in a Human Exploration Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Clarke, J. D. A.; Direito, S.; Foing, B.

    2011-01-01

    The DOMEX program is a NASA-MMAMA funded project featuring simulations of human crews on Mars focused on science activities that involve collecting samples from the subsurface using both manual and robotic equipment methods and analyzing them in the field and post mission. A crew simulating a human mission to Mars performed activities focused on subsurface science for 2 weeks in November 2009 at Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah --an important chemical and morphological Mars analog site. Activities performed included 1) survey of the area to identify geologic provinces, 2) obtaining soil and rock samples from each province and characterizing their mineralogy, chemistry, and biology; 3) site selection and reconnaissance for a future drilling mission; 4) deployment and testing of Mars Underground Mole, a percussive robotic soil sampling device; and 5) recording and analyzing how crew time was used to accomplish these tasks. This paper summarizes results from analysis of soil cores

  9. Nucleic Acid Extraction from Synthetic Mars Analog Soils for in situ Life Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojarro, Angel; Ruvkun, Gary; Zuber, Maria T; Carr, Christopher E

    2017-08-01

    Biological informational polymers such as nucleic acids have the potential to provide unambiguous evidence of life beyond Earth. To this end, we are developing an automated in situ life-detection instrument that integrates nucleic acid extraction and nanopore sequencing: the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG) instrument. Our goal is to isolate and determine the sequence of nucleic acids from extant or preserved life on Mars, if, for example, there is common ancestry to life on Mars and Earth. As is true of metagenomic analysis of terrestrial environmental samples, the SETG instrument must isolate nucleic acids from crude samples and then determine the DNA sequence of the unknown nucleic acids. Our initial DNA extraction experiments resulted in low to undetectable amounts of DNA due to soil chemistry-dependent soil-DNA interactions, namely adsorption to mineral surfaces, binding to divalent/trivalent cations, destruction by iron redox cycling, and acidic conditions. Subsequently, we developed soil-specific extraction protocols that increase DNA yields through a combination of desalting, utilization of competitive binders, and promotion of anaerobic conditions. Our results suggest that a combination of desalting and utilizing competitive binders may establish a "universal" nucleic acid extraction protocol suitable for analyzing samples from diverse soils on Mars. Key Words: Life-detection instruments-Nucleic acids-Mars-Panspermia. Astrobiology 17, 747-760.

  10. Evaluation of the Tindouf Basin Region in Southern Morocco as an Analog Site for Soil Geochemistry on Noachian Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberlin, Elizabeth A; Claire, Mark W; Kounaves, Samuel P

    2018-02-09

    Locations on Earth that provide insights into processes that may be occurring or may have occurred throughout martian history are often broadly deemed "Mars analog environments." As no single locale can precisely represent a past or present martian environment, it is important to focus on characterization of terrestrial processes that produce analogous features to those observed in specific regions of Mars or, if possible, specific time periods during martian history. Here, we report on the preservation of ionic species in soil samples collected from the Tindouf region of Morocco and compare them with the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, the Atacama Desert in Chile, the martian meteorite EETA79001, and the in situ Mars analyses from the Phoenix Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL). The Moroccan samples show the greatest similarity with those from Victoria Valley, Beacon Valley, and the Atacama, while being consistently depleted compared to University Valley and enriched compared to Taylor Valley. The NO 3 /Cl ratios are most similar to Victoria Valley and Atacama, while the SO 4 /Cl ratios are similar to those from Beacon Valley, Victoria Valley, and the Atacama. While perchlorate concentrations in the Moroccan samples are typically lower than those found in samples of other analog sites, conditions in the region are sufficiently arid to retain oxychlorines at detectable levels. Our results suggest that the Tindouf Basin in Morocco can serve as a suitable analogue for the soil geochemistry and subsequent aridification of the Noachian epoch on Mars. Key Words: Mars analogues-Antarctica-Morocco-Oxyanions-Perchlorate-Nitrate. Astrobiology 18, xxx-xxx.

  11. Nucleic Acid Extraction from Synthetic Mars Analog Soils for in situ Life Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojarro, Angel; Ruvkun, Gary; Zuber, Maria T.; Carr, Christopher E.

    2017-08-01

    Biological informational polymers such as nucleic acids have the potential to provide unambiguous evidence of life beyond Earth. To this end, we are developing an automated in situ life-detection instrument that integrates nucleic acid extraction and nanopore sequencing: the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG) instrument. Our goal is to isolate and determine the sequence of nucleic acids from extant or preserved life on Mars, if, for example, there is common ancestry to life on Mars and Earth. As is true of metagenomic analysis of terrestrial environmental samples, the SETG instrument must isolate nucleic acids from crude samples and then determine the DNA sequence of the unknown nucleic acids. Our initial DNA extraction experiments resulted in low to undetectable amounts of DNA due to soil chemistry-dependent soil-DNA interactions, namely adsorption to mineral surfaces, binding to divalent/trivalent cations, destruction by iron redox cycling, and acidic conditions. Subsequently, we developed soil-specific extraction protocols that increase DNA yields through a combination of desalting, utilization of competitive binders, and promotion of anaerobic conditions. Our results suggest that a combination of desalting and utilizing competitive binders may establish a "universal" nucleic acid extraction protocol suitable for analyzing samples from diverse soils on Mars.

  12. The MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot; Soucek, Alexander; Frischauf, Norbert; Stumptner, Willibald; Ragonig, Christoph; Sams, Sebastian; Bartenstein, Thomas; Häuplik-Meusburger, Sandra; Petrova, Polina; Evetts, Simon; Sivenesan, Chan; Bothe, Claudia; Boyd, Andrea; Dinkelaker, Aline; Dissertori, Markus; Fasching, David; Fischer, Monika; Föger, Daniel; Foresta, Luca; Fritsch, Lukas; Fuchs, Harald; Gautsch, Christoph; Gerard, Stephan; Goetzloff, Linda; Gołebiowska, Izabella; Gorur, Paavan; Groemer, Gerhard; Groll, Petra; Haider, Christian; Haider, Olivia; Hauth, Eva; Hauth, Stefan; Hettrich, Sebastian; Jais, Wolfgang; Jones, Natalie; Taj-Eddine, Kamal; Karl, Alexander; Kauerhoff, Tilo; Khan, Muhammad Shadab; Kjeldsen, Andreas; Klauck, Jan; Losiak, Anna; Luger, Markus; Luger, Thomas; Luger, Ulrich; McArthur, Jane; Moser, Linda; Neuner, Julia; Orgel, Csilla; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Paternesi, Roberta; Peschier, Jarno; Pfeil, Isabella; Prock, Silvia; Radinger, Josef; Ramirez, Barbara; Ramo, Wissam; Rampey, Mike; Sams, Arnold; Sams, Elisabeth; Sandu, Oana; Sans, Alejandra; Sansone, Petra; Scheer, Daniela; Schildhammer, Daniel; Scornet, Quentin; Sejkora, Nina; Stadler, Andrea; Stummer, Florian; Taraba, Michael; Tlustos, Reinhard; Toferer, Ernst; Turetschek, Thomas; Winter, Egon; Zanella-Kux, Katja

    2014-05-01

    We report on the MARS2013 mission, a 4-week Mars analog field test in the northern Sahara. Nineteen experiments were conducted by a field crew in Morocco under simulated martian surface exploration conditions, supervised by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria. A Remote Science Support team analyzed field data in near real time, providing planning input for the management of a complex system of field assets; two advanced space suit simulators, four robotic vehicles, an emergency shelter, and a stationary sensor platform in a realistic work flow were coordinated by a Flight Control Team. A dedicated flight planning group, external control centers for rover tele-operations, and a biomedical monitoring team supported the field operations. A 10 min satellite communication delay and other limitations pertinent to human planetary surface activities were introduced. The fields of research for the experiments were geology, human factors, astrobiology, robotics, tele-science, exploration, and operations research. This paper provides an overview of the geological context and environmental conditions of the test site and the mission architecture, in particular the communication infrastructure emulating the signal travel time between Earth and Mars. We report on the operational work flows and the experiments conducted, including a deployable shelter prototype for multiple-day extravehicular activities and contingency situations.

  13. A Study of Soil and Duricrust Models for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    2001-03-01

    Analysis of soil and duricrust formation mechanisms on Mars. Soil analog mixtures have been prepared, characterized and tested through wet/dry cycling experiments; results are compared with Mars Pathfinder soil data (spectral, chemical and magnetic).

  14. Mars on Earth: Analog basaltic soils and particulates from Lonar Crater, India, include Deccan soil, shocked soil, reworked lithic and glassy ejecta, and both shocked and unshocked baked zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, S. P.

    2017-12-01

    "There is no perfect analog for Mars on Earth" [first line of Hipkin et al. (2013) Icarus, 261-267]. However, fieldwork and corresponding sample analyses from laboratory instrumentation (to proxy field instruments) has resulted in the finding of unique analog materials that suggest that detailed investigations of Lonar Crater, India would be beneficial to the goals of the Mars Program. These are briefly described below as Analog Processes, Materials, and Fieldwork. Analog Processes: The geologic history of Lonar Crater emulates localities on Mars with 1.) flood basaltic volcanism with interlayer development of 2.) baked zones or "boles" and 3.) soil formation. Of six flows, the lower three are aqueously altered by groundwater to produce a range of 4.) alteration products described below. The impact event 570 ka produced a range of 5.) impactites including shocked baked zones, shocked soils, and altered basalt shocked to a range of shock pressures [Kieffer et al., 1976]. Analog Materials: 65 Ma Deccan basalt contains augite and labradorite. Baked zones are higher in hematite and other iron oxides. Soil consists of calcite and organic matter. Several basalts with secondary alteration are listed here and these mirror alteration on Mars: hematite, chlorite, serpentine, zeolite, and palagonite, with varying combinations of these with primary igneous minerals. All of these materials (#1 through 4 above) are shocked to a range of shocked pressures to produce maskelynite, flowing plagioclase glass, vesiculated plagioclase glass, and complete impact melts. Shocked soils contain schlieren calcite amidst comminuted grains of augite, labradorite, and these glasses. Shocked baked zones unsurprisingly have a petrographic texture similar to hornfels, another product of contact metamorphism. Analog Fieldwork: The ejecta consists of two layers: 8 m of lithic breccia with unshocked and fractured basalts under a 1 m suevite consisting of all ranges of shock pressure described above

  15. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs" included the following:Physical Meaning of the Hapke Parameter for Macroscopic Roughness: Experimental Determination for Planetary Regolith Surface Analogs and Numerical Approach; Near-Infrared Spectra of Martian Pyroxene Separates: First Results from Mars Spectroscopy Consortium; Anomalous Spectra of High-Ca Pyroxenes: Correlation Between Ir and M ssbauer Patterns; THEMIS-IR Emissivity Spectrum of a Large Dark Streak near Olympus Mons; Geomorphologic/Thermophysical Mapping of the Athabasca Region, Mars, Using THEMIS Infrared Imaging; Mars Thermal Inertia from THEMIS Data; Multispectral Analysis Methods for Mapping Aqueous Mineral Depostis in Proposed Paleolake Basins on Mars Using THEMIS Data; Joint Analysis of Mars Odyssey THEMIS Visible and Infrared Images: A Magic Airbrush for Qualitative and Quantitative Morphology; Analysis of Mars Thermal Emission Spectrometer Data Using Large Mineral Reference Libraries ; Negative Abundance : A Problem in Compositional Modeling of Hyperspectral Images; Mars-LAB: First Remote Sensing Data of Mineralogy Exposed at Small Mars-Analog Craters, Nevada Test Site; A Tool for the 2003 Rover Mini-TES: Downwelling Radiance Compensation Using Integrated Line-Sight Sky Measurements; Learning About Mars Geology Using Thermal Infrared Spectral Imaging: Orbiter and Rover Perspectives; Classifying Terrestrial Volcanic Alteration Processes and Defining Alteration Processes they Represent on Mars; Cemented Volcanic Soils, Martian Spectra and Implications for the Martian Climate; Palagonitic Mars: A Basalt Centric View of Surface Composition and Aqueous Alteration; Combining a Non Linear Unmixing Model and the Tetracorder Algorithm: Application to the ISM Dataset; Spectral Reflectance Properties of Some Basaltic Weathering Products; Morphometric LIDAR Analysis of Amboy Crater, California: Application to MOLA Analysis of Analog Features on Mars; Airborne Radar Study of Soil Moisture at

  16. Effects of Low-Temperature Plasma-Sterilization on Mars Analog Soil Samples Mixed with Deinococcus radiodurans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janosch Schirmack

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available We used Ar plasma-sterilization at a temperature below 80 °C to examine its effects on the viability of microorganisms when intermixed with tested soil. Due to a relatively low temperature, this method is not thought to affect the properties of a soil, particularly its organic component, to a significant degree. The method has previously been shown to work well on spacecraft parts. The selected microorganism for this test was Deinococcus radiodurans R1, which is known for its remarkable resistance to radiation effects. Our results showed a reduction in microbial counts after applying a low temperature plasma, but not to a degree suitable for a sterilization of the soil. Even an increase of the treatment duration from 1.5 to 45 min did not achieve satisfying results, but only resulted in in a mean cell reduction rate of 75% compared to the untreated control samples.

  17. Utah Marbles and Mars Blueberries: Comparitive Terrestrial Analogs for Hematite Concretions on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, M. A.; Beitler, B.; Parry, W. T.; Ormö, J.; Komatsu, G.

    2005-03-01

    Compelling comparisons show why Utah iron oxide-cemented "marbles" are a good analog for Mars hematite "blueberries". Terrestrial examples offer valuable models for interpreting the diagenetic history and importance of water on Mars.

  18. Community Decadal Panel for Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, N. G.; Farr, T.; Baker, V. R.; Bridges, N.; Carsey, F.; Duxbury, N.; Gilmore, M. S.; Green, J. R.; Grin, E.; Hansen, V.; Keszthelyi, L.; Lanagan, P.; Lentz, R.; Marinangeli, L.; Morris, P. A.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Robinson, C.; Thomson, B.

    2001-11-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites for Mars, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel is considering the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the MEPAG science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel is considering the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  19. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars: NRC Community Panel Decadal Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.

    2002-12-01

    A report was completed recently by a Community Panel for the NRC Decadal Study of Solar System Exploration. The desire was for a review of the current state of knowledge and for recommendations for action over the next decade. The topic of this panel, Terrestrial Analogs to Mars, was chosen to bring attention to the need for an increase in analog studies in support of the increased pace of Mars exploration. It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all of these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the overarching science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel considered the issues of data collection and archiving, value of field workshops, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities. Parts of this work were performed under contract to NASA.

  20. Drilling Automation Tests At A Lunar/Mars Analog Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, B.; Cannon, H.; Hanagud, S.; Lee, P.; Paulsen, G.

    2006-01-01

    Future in-situ lunar/martian resource utilization and characterization, as well as the scientific search for life on Mars, will require access to the subsurface and hence drilling. Drilling on Earth is hard - an art form more than an engineering discipline. The limited mass, energy and manpower in planetary drilling situations makes application of terrestrial drilling techniques problematic. The Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) project is developing drilling automation and robotics for projected use in missions to the Moon and Mars in the 2011-15 period. This has been tested recently, drilling in permafrost at a lunar/martian analog site (Haughton Crater, Devon Island, Canada).

  1. A Study of Soil and Duricrust Models for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Janice L.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    This project includes analysis of the Mars Pathfinder soil data (spectral, chemical and magnetic) together with analog materials and the products of laboratory alteration experiments in order to describe possible mechanisms for the formation of soil, duricrust and rock coatings on Mars. Soil analog mixtures have been prepared, characterized and tested through wet/dry cycling experiments for changes in binding and spectroscopic properties that are related to what could be expected for duricrusts on Mars. The smectite-based mixture exhibited significantly greater changes (1) in its binding properties throughout the wet/dry cycling experiments than did the palagonite-based mixture, and (2) in its spectral properties following grinding and resieving of the hardened material than did the palagonite-based mixture.

  2. Mars for Earthlings: an analog approach to Mars in undergraduate education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Marjorie; Kahmann-Robinson, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Mars for Earthlings (MFE) is a terrestrial Earth analog pedagogical approach to teaching undergraduate geology, planetary science, and astrobiology. MFE utilizes Earth analogs to teach Mars planetary concepts, with a foundational backbone in Earth science principles. The field of planetary science is rapidly changing with new technologies and higher-resolution data sets. Thus, it is increasingly important to understand geological concepts and processes for interpreting Mars data. MFE curriculum is topically driven to facilitate easy integration of content into new or existing courses. The Earth-Mars systems approach explores planetary origins, Mars missions, rocks and minerals, active driving forces/tectonics, surface sculpting processes, astrobiology, future explorations, and hot topics in an inquiry-driven environment. Curriculum leverages heavily upon multimedia resources, software programs such as Google Mars and JMARS, as well as NASA mission data such as THEMIS, HiRISE, CRISM, and rover images. Two years of MFE class evaluation data suggest that science literacy and general interest in Mars geology and astrobiology topics increased after participation in the MFE curriculum. Students also used newly developed skills to create a Mars mission team presentation. The MFE curriculum, learning modules, and resources are available online at http://serc.carleton.edu/marsforearthlings/index.html.

  3. Observations of Crew Dynamics during Mars Analog Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy L.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation reviews the crew dynamics during two simulations of Mars Missions. Using an analog of a Mars habitat in two locations, Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) which is located on Devon Island at 75 deg North in the Canadian Arctic, and the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) which is located in the south of Utah, the presentation examines the crew dynamics in relation to the leadership style of the commander of the mission. The difference in the interaction of the two crews were shown to be related to the leadership style and the age group in the crew. As much as possible the habitats and environment was to resemble a Mars outpost. The difference between the International Space Station and a Mars missions is reviewed. The leadership styles are reviewed and the contrast between the FMARS and the MDRS leadership styles were related to crew productivity, and the personal interactions between the crew members. It became evident that leadership styles and interpersonal skill had more affect on mission success and crew dynamics than other characteristics.

  4. Use of near infrared correlation spectroscopy for quantitation of surface iron, absorbed water and stored electronic energy in a suite of Mars soil analog materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coyne, Lelia M.; Banin, Amos; Carle, Glenn; Orenberg, James; Scattergood, Thomas

    1989-01-01

    A number of questions concerning the surface mineralogy and the history of water on Mars remain unresolved using the Viking analyses and Earth-based telescopic data. Identification and quantitation of iron-bearing clays on Mars would elucidate these outstanding issues. Near infrared correlation analysis, a method typically applied to qualitative and quantitative analysis of individual constituents of multicomponent mixtures, is adapted here to selection of distinctive features of a small, highly homologous series of Fe/Ca-exchanged montmorillonites and several kalinites. Independently determined measures of surface iron, relative humidity and stored electronic energy were used as constituent data for linear regression of the constituent vs. reflectance data throughout the spectral region 0.68 to 2.5 micrometers. High correlations were found in appropriate regions for all three constituents, though that with stored energy is still considered tenuous. Quantitation was improved using 1st and 2nd derivative spectra. High resolution data over a broad spectral range would be required to quantitatively identify iron-bearing clays by remotely sensed reflectance.

  5. Observations of Crew Dynamics During Mars Analog Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy L.

    2009-01-01

    Crewmembers on Mars missions will face new and unique challenges compared to those in close communications proximity to Mission Control centers. Crews on Mars will likely become more autonomous and responsible for their day-to-day planning. These explorers will need to make frequent real time decisions without the assistance of large ground support teams. Ground-centric control will no longer be an option due to the communications delays. As a result of the new decision making model, crew dynamics and leadership styles of future astronauts may become significantly different from the demands of today. As a volunteer for the Mars Society on two Mars analog missions, this presenter will discuss observations made during isolated, surface exploration simulations. The need for careful crew selections, not just based on individual skill sets, but on overall team interactions becomes apparent very quickly when the crew is planning their own days and deciding their own priorities. Even more important is the selection of a Mission Commander who can lead a team of highly skilled individuals with strong and varied opinions in a way that promotes crew consensus, maintains fairness, and prevents unnecessary crew fatigue.

  6. Coordinating Chemical and Mineralogical Analyses of Antarctic Dry Valley Sediments as Potential Analogs for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, S. N.; Bishop, J. L.; Englert, P.; Gibson, E. K.

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic Dry Valleys (ADV) provide a unique terrestrial analog for Martian surface processes as they are extremely cold and dry sedimentary environments. The surface geology and the chemical composition of the Dry Valleys that are similar to Mars suggest the possible presence of these soil-formation processes on Mars. The soils and sediments from Wright Valley, Antarctica were investigated in this study to examine mineralogical and chemical changes along the surface layer in this region and as a function of depth. Surface samples collected near Prospect Mesa and Don Juan Pond of the ADV were analyzed using visible/near-infrared (VNIR) and mid-IR reflectance spectroscopy and major and trace element abundances.

  7. Mars weathering analogs - Secondary mineralization in Antarctic basalts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkley, J. L.

    1982-01-01

    Alkalic basalt samples from Ross Island, Antarctica, are evaluated as terrestrial analogs to weathered surface materials on Mars. Secondary alteration in the rocks is limited to pneumatolytic oxidation of igneous minerals and glass, rare groundmass clay and zeolite mineralization, and hydrothermal minerals coating fractures and vesicle surfaces. Hydrothermal mineral assemblages consist mainly of K-feldspar, zeolites (phillipsite and chabazite), calcite, and anhydrite. Low alteration rates are attributed to cold and dry environmental factors common to both Antarctica and Mars. It is noted that mechanical weathering (aeolian abrasion) of Martian equivalents to present Antarctic basalts would yield minor hydrothermal minerals and local surface fines composed of primary igneous minerals and glass but would produce few hydrous products, such as palagonite, clay or micas. It is thought that leaching of hydrothermal vein minerals by migrating fluids and redeposition in duricrust deposits may represent an alternate process for incorporating secondary minerals of volcanic origin into Martian surface fines.

  8. Mars extant-life campaign using an approach based on Earth-analog habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palkovic, Lawrence A.; Wilson, Thomas J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Robotic Outpost group at JPL has identified sixteen potential momentous discoveries that if found on Mars would alter planning for the future Mars exploration program. This paper details one possible approach to the discovery of and response to the 'momentous discovery'' of extant life on Mars. The approach detailed in this paper, the Mars Extant-Life (MEL) campaign, is a comprehensive and flexible program to find living organisms on Mars by studying Earth-analog habitats of extremophile communities.

  9. MaMBA - a functional Moon and Mars Base Analog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinicke, C.; Foing, B.

    2017-09-01

    Despite impressive progress in robotic exploration of celestial bodies, robots are believed to never reach the effectiveness and efficiency of a trained human. Consequently, ESA proposes to build an international Moon Village in roughly 15 years and NASA plans for the first manned mission to Mars shortly after. One of the challenges still remaining is the need for a shelter, a habitat which allows human spacefarers to safely live and work on the surface of a celestial body. Although a number of prototype habitats has been built during the last decades and inhabited for various durations (e.g. MDRS, FMARS, HI-SEAS, M.A.R.S.), these habitats are typically equipped for studies on human factors and would not function in an extraterrestrial environment. Project MaMBA (Moon and Mars Base Analog) aims to build the first functional habitat based on the lessons learned from intermediate and long duration missions at the mentioned habitats. The habitat will serve for testing technologies like life support, power systems, and interplanetary communi­cation. Special attention will be given to the develop­ment of the geoscience laboratory module. Crews will live and work inside the habitat to ensure its functionality.

  10. McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica - A Mars Phoenix Mission Analog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Anderson, R. M.; Archer, D.; Douglas, S.; Kounaves, S. P.; McKay, C. P.; Ming, Douglas W.; Moore, Q.; Quinn, J. E.; Smith, P. H.; hide

    2010-01-01

    The Phoenix mission (PHX; May 25 - Nov. 2, 2008) studied the north polar region of Mars (68deg N) to understand the history of water and potential for habitability. Phoenix carried with it a wet chemistry lab (WCL) capable of determining the basic solution chemistry of the soil and the pH value, a thermal and evolved-gas analyzer capable of determining the mineralogy of the soil and detecting ice, microscopes capable of seeing soil particle shapes, sizes and colors at very high resolution, and a soil probe (TECP) capable of detecting unfrozen water in the soil. PHX coincided with an international effort to study the Earth s polar regions named the International Polar Year (IPY; 2007-2008). The best known Earth analog to the Martian high-northern plains, where Phoenix landed, are the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), Antarctica (Fig. 1). Thus, the IPY afforded a unique opportunity to study the MDV with the same foci - history of water and habitability - as PHX. In austral summer 2007, our team took engineering models of WCL and TECP into the MDV and performed analgous measurements. We also collected sterile samples and analyzed them in our home laboratories using state-of-the-art tools. While PHX was not designed to perform biologic analyses, we were able to do so with the MDV analog samples collected.

  11. Evolved Gas Analysis of Mars Analog Samples from the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition: Implications for Analyses by the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdam, A.; Stern, J. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Blake, D. F.; Bristow, T.; Steele, A.; Amundsen, H. E. F.

    2012-01-01

    The 2011 Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) investigated several geologic settings on Svalbard, using methodologies and techniques being developed or considered for future Mars missions, such as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL consists of a quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), a gas chromatograph (GC), and a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS), which analyze gases created by pyrolysis of samples. During AMASE, a Hiden Evolved Gas Analysis-Mass Spectrometer (EGA-MS) system represented the EGA-QMS capability of SAM. Another MSL instrument, CheMin, will use x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) to perform quantitative mineralogical characterization of samples. Field-portable versions of CheMin were used during AMASE. AMASE 2011 sites spanned a range of environments relevant to understanding martian surface materials, processes and habitability. They included the basaltic Sverrefjell volcano, which hosts carbonate globules, cements and coatings, carbonate and sulfate units at Colletth0gda, Devonian sandstone redbeds in Bockfjorden, altered basaltic lava delta deposits at Mt. Scott Keltie, and altered dolerites and volcanics at Botniahalvoya. Here we focus on SAM-like EGA-MS of a subset of the samples, with mineralogy comparisons to CheMin team results. The results allow insight into sample organic content as well as some constraints on sample mineralogy.

  12. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Robotic rovers and landers have enabled the mineralogical, chemical, and physical characterization of loose, unconsolidated materials on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists refer to the regolith material as "soil." NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s. Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian "soil" and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements. The study of martian surface materials and how they might react as agricultural soils opens a new frontier for researchers in the soil science community. Other potential applications for surface "soils" include (i) sources for extraction of essential plant-growth nutrients, (ii) sources of O2, H2, CO2, and H2O, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, and (iv) shielding materials surrounding outpost structures to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from radiation. There are many challenges that will have to be addressed by soil scientists prior to human exploration over the next two decades.

  13. Hints of Habitable Environments on Mars Challenge Our Studies of Mars-Analog Sites on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    desMarais, David J

    2009-01-01

    environments persisted in the near-subsurface for hundreds of millions of years and might exist even today. Studies of Mars-analog environments must better understand subsurface nonphotosynthetic ecosystems and their biosignatures in mafic and ultramafic terranes. Studies must determine minimum needs for water activity and energy and also establish survival limits when conditions that support active metabolism and propagation become progressively less frequent over time.

  14. The nanophase iron mineral(s) in Mars soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banin, A.; Ben-Shlomo, T.; Margulies, L.; Blake, D. F.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Gehring, A. U.

    1993-01-01

    A series of surface-modified clays containing nanophase (np) iron oxide/oxyhydroxides of extremely small particle sizes, with total iron contents as high as found in Mars soil, were prepared by iron deposition on the clay surface from ferrous chloride solution. Comprehensive studies of the iron mineralogy in these "Mars-soil analogs" were conducted using chemical extractions, solubility analyses, pH and redox, x ray and electron diffractometry, electron microscopic imaging, specific surface area and particle size determinations, differential thermal analyses, magnetic properties characterization, spectral reflectance, and Viking biology simulation experiments. The clay matrix and the procedure used for synthesis produced nanophase iron oxides containing a certain proportion of divalent iron, which slowly converts to more stable, fully oxidized iron minerals. The clay acted as an effective matrix, both chemically and sterically, preventing the major part of the synthesized iron oxides from ripening, i.e., growing and developing larger crystals. The precipitated iron oxides appear as isodiametric or slightly elongated particles in the size range 1-10 nm, having large specific surface area. The noncrystalline nature of the iron compounds precipitated on the surface of the clay was verified by their complete extractability in oxalate. Lepidocrocite (gamma-FeOOH) was detected by selected area electron diffraction. It is formed from a double iron Fe(II)/Fe(III) hydroxy mineral such as "green rust," or ferrosic hydroxide. Magnetic measurements suggested that lepidocrocite converted to the more stable maghemite (gamma-Fe2O3) by mild heat treatment and then to nanophase hematite (alpha-Fe2O3) by extensive heat treatment. After mild heating, the iron-enriched clay became slightly magnetic, to the extent that it adheres to a hand-held magnet, as was observed with Mars soil. The chemical reactivity of the iron-enriched clays strongly resembles, and offers a plausible mechanism

  15. Water Uptake By Mars Salt Analogs: An Investigation Of Stable Aqueous Solutions On Mars Using Raman Microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuding, D.; Gough, R. V.; Jorgensen, S. K.; Tolbert, M. A.

    2013-12-01

    To understand the formation of briny aqueous solutions on Mars, a salt analog was developed to closely match the individual cation and anion concentrations as reported by the Wet Chemistry Laboratory aboard the Phoenix Lander. ';Instant Mars' is a salt analog developed to fully encompass the correct concentrations of magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, perchlorate, chloride, and sulfate ions. Using environmental Raman microscopy, we have studied the water uptake by the Instant Mars analog as a function of temperature and relative humidity. Water uptake was monitored using Raman spectroscopy in combination with optical microscopy. A MicroJet droplet generator was used to generate 30 μm diameter particles that were deposited onto a quartz disc. The particles undergo visual transformations as the relative humidity (RH) is increased and the presence of water uptake is confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. At -30° C, water uptake begins at ~ 35% RH as humidity is increased. The water uptake is marked by the growth of a sulfate peak at 990 cm-1, an indicator that sulfate has undergone a phase transition into an aqueous state. As the RH continues to increase, the peak in the O-H region (~3500 cm-1) broadens as more liquid water accumulates in the particles. The Instant Mars particles achieve complete deliquescence at 68% RH, indicated both visually and with Raman spectroscopy. The gradual water uptake observed suggests that deliquescence of the Instant Mars particles is not an immediate process, but that it occurs in steps marked by the deliquescence of the individual salts. Perhaps of even more significance is the tendency for the Instant Mars particles to remain aqueous at low humidity as RH is decreased. Raman spectra indicate that liquid water is present as low as 2% RH at -30° C. Ongoing work will examine the phase of Instant Mars particles under simulated Martian surface and subsurface conditions to gain insight into the possibility for aqueous solutions on Mars

  16. Biosignatures of Hypersaline Environments (Salt Crusts) an Analog for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, H. D.; Duncan, A. G.; Davilla, A. F.; McKay, C. P.

    2016-05-01

    Halophilic ecosystems are models for life in extreme environments including planetary surfaces such as Mars. Our research focuses on biosignatures in a salt crusts and the detection of these biomarkers by ground and orbital assests.

  17. Salt Attack on Rocks and Expansion of Soils on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Carey, J. W.

    2004-12-01

    Salt-rich sediments observed by the MER rover Opportunity at Meridiani Planum show that brines have been present on Mars in the past, but a role for groundwater in widespread rock weathering and soil formation is uncertain. Experiments by several groups suggest instead the action of acid fog over long time spans, with episodic input of volcanic gases, as a more significant agent of Mars weathering. Salt minerals formed in these acid weathering experiments consistently include gypsum and alunogen, with epsomite or hexahydrite forming where olivine provides a source of Mg. Analogous to the martian acid fog scenario are terrestrial acid rain or acid fog attacks on building and monument stone by chemical action and mechanical wedging through growth of gypsum, anhydrite, epsomite, hexahydrite, kieserite, and other sulfate minerals. Physical effects can be aggressive, operating by both primary salt growth and hydration of anhydrous or less-hydrous primary salts. In contrast, soils evolve to states where chemical attack is lessened and salt mineral growth leads to expansion with cementation; in this situation the process becomes constructive rather than destructive. We have made synthetic salt-cemented soils (duricrusts) from clays, zeolites, palagonites and other media mixed with ultrapure Mg-sulfate solutions. Although near-neutral in pH, these solutions still exchange or leach Ca from the solids to form cements containing gypsum as well as hexahydrite. At low total P (1 torr) and low RH (duricrust expands by formation of a complex mixture of Mg-sulfate phases with various hydration states. The expanded form is retained even if the duricrust is again dehydrated, suggesting that soil porosity thus formed is difficult to destroy. These processes can be considered in the context of Viking, Pathfinder, and MER evidence for differing salt components in the weathered surfaces of rocks versus duricrust-like materials in soils. The divergent chemical trends indicate that soil

  18. Technology under Moon and Mars Analog Missions Activities (MMAMA)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA Analog Missions research addresses the need for integrated interdisciplinary field experiments as an integral part of preparation for planned human and robotic...

  19. BASALT A: Basaltic Terrains in Idaho and Hawaii as Planetary Analogs for Mars Geology and Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Scott S.; Haberle, Christopher W.; Nawotniak, Shannon E. Kobs; Sehlke, Alexander; Garry, W. Brent; Elphic, Richard C.; Payler, Sam J.; Stevens, Adam H.; Cockell, Charles S.; Brady, Allyson L.; hide

    2018-01-01

    Assessments of field research target regions are described within two notably basaltic geologic provinces as Earth analogs to Mars. Regions within the eastern Snake River Plain of Idaho and the Big Island of Hawaii, USA, provinces that represent analogs of present-day and early Mars, respectively, were evaluated on the basis of geologic settings, rock lithology and geochemistry, rock alteration, and climate. Each of these factors provide rationale for the selection of specific targets for field research in five analog target regions: (1) Big Craters and (2) Highway lava flows at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho; and (3) Mauna Ulu low shield, (4) Kilauea Iki lava lake and (5) Kilauea caldera in the Kilauea Volcano summit region and the East Rift Zone of Hawaii. Our evaluation of compositional and textural differences, as well as the effects of syn- and post-eruptive rock alteration, shows that the basaltic terrains in Idaho and Hawaii provide a way to characterize the geology and major geologic substrates that host biological activity of relevance to Mars exploration. This work provides the foundation to better understand the scientific questions related to the habitability of basaltic terrains, the rationale behind selecting analog field targets, and their applicability as analogs to Mars.

  20. Aseptically Sampled Organics in Subsurface Rocks From the Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment: An Analog For The Search for Deep Subsurface Life on Mars.}

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaccorsi, R.; Stoker, C. R.

    2005-12-01

    The subsurface is the key environment for searching for life on planets lacking surface life. Subsurface ecosystems are of great relevance to astrobiology including the search for past/present life on Mars. The surface of Mars has conditions preventing current life but the subsurface might preserve organics and even host some life [1]. The Mars-Analog-Rio-Tinto-Experiment (MARTE) is performing a simulation of a Mars drilling experiment. This comprises conventional and robotic drilling of cores in a volcanically-hosted-massive-pyrite deposit [2] from the Iberian Pyritic Belt (IBP) and life detection experiments applying anti-contamination protocols (e.g., ATP Luminometry assay). The RT is considered an important analog of the Sinus Meridiani site on Mars and an ideal model analog for a deep subsurface Martian environment. Former results from MARTE suggest the existence of a relatively complex subsurface life including aerobic and anaerobic chemoautotrophs and strict anaerobic methanogens sustained by Fe and S minerals in anoxic conditions. A key requirement for the analysis of a subsurface sample on Mars is a set of simple tests that can help determine if the sample contains organic material of biological origin, and its potential for retaining definitive biosignatures. We report here on the presence of bulk organic matter Corg (0.03-0.05 Wt%), and Ntot (0.01-0.04 Wt%) and amount of measured ATP (Lightning MVP, Biocontrol) in weathered rocks (tuffs, gossan, pyrite stockwork from Borehole #8; >166m). This provides key insight on the type of trophic system sustaining the subsurface biosphere (i.e., heterotrophs vs. autotrophs) at RT. ATP data (Relative-Luminosity-Units, RLU) provide information on possible contamination and distribution of viable biomass with core depth (BH#8, and BH#7, ~3m). Avg. 153 RLU, i.e., surface vs. center of core, suggest that cleaness/sterility can be maintained when using a simple sterile protocol under field conditions. Results from this

  1. The nanosphere iron mineral(s) in Mars soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banin, A.; Ben-Shlomo, T.; Margulies, L.; Blake, D. F.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Gehring, A. U.

    1993-01-01

    A series of surface-modified clays containing nanophase (np) iron/oxyhydroxides of extremely small particle sizes, with total iron contents as high as found in Mars soil, were prepared by iron deposition on the clay surface from ferrous chloride solution. Comprehensive studies of the iron mineralogy in these 'Mars-soil analogs' were conducted using chemical extractions, solubility analyses, pH and redox, x ray and electron diffractometry, electron microscopic imaging specific surface area and particle size determinations, differential thermal analyses, magnetic properties characterization, spectral reflectance, and Viking biology simulation experiments. The clay matrix and the procedure used for synthesis produced nanophase iron oxides containing a certain proportion of divalent iron, which slowly converts to more stable, fully oxidized iron minerals. The noncrystalline nature of the iron compounds precipitated on the surface of the clay was verified by their complete extractability in oxalate. Lepidocrocite (gamma-FeOOH) was detected by selected area electron diffraction. It is formed from a double iron Fe(II)/Fe(III) hydroxyl mineral such as 'green rust', or ferrosic hydroxide. Magnetic measurements suggested that lepidocrocite converted to the more stable meaghemite (gamma-Fe203) by mild heat treatment and then to nanophase hematite (aplha-Fe203) by extensive heat treatment. Their chemical reactivity offers a plausible mechanism for the somewhat puzzling observations of the Viking biology experiments. Their unique chemical reactivities are attributed to the combined catalytic effects of the iron oxide/oxyhydroxide and silicate phase surfaces. The mode of formation of these (nanophase) iron oxides on Mars is still unknown.

  2. Mars analog minerals' spectral reflectance characteristics under Martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poitras, J. T.; Cloutis, E. A.; Salvatore, M. R.; Mertzman, S. A.; Applin, D. M.; Mann, P.

    2018-05-01

    We investigated the spectral reflectance properties of minerals under a simulated Martian environment. Twenty-eight different hydrated or hydroxylated phases of carbonates, sulfates, and silica minerals were selected based on past detection on Mars through spectral remote sensing data. Samples were ground and dry sieved to <45 μm grain size and characterized by XRD before and after 133 days inside a simulated Martian surface environment (pressure 5 Torr and CO2 fed). Reflectance spectra from 0.35 to 4 μm were taken periodically through a sapphire (0.35-2.5 μm) and zinc selenide (2.5-4 μm) window over a 133-day period. Mineral stability on the Martian surface was assessed through changes in spectral characteristics. Results indicate that the hydrated carbonates studied would be stable on the surface of Mars, only losing adsorbed H2O while maintaining their diagnostic spectral features. Sulfates were less stable, often with shifts in the band position of the SO, Fe, and OH absorption features. Silicas displayed spectral shifts related to SiOH and hydration state of the mineral surface, while diagnostic bands for quartz were stable. Previous detection of carbonate minerals based on 2.3-2.5 μm and 3.4-3.9 μm features appears to be consistent with our results. Sulfate mineral detection is more questionable since there can be shifts in band position related to SO4. The loss of the 0.43 μm Fe3+ band in many of the sulfates indicate that there are fewer potential candidates for Fe3+ sulfates to permanently exist on the Martian surface based on this band. The gypsum sample changed phase to basanite during desiccation as demonstrated by both reflectance and XRD. Silica on Mars has been detected using band depth ratio at 1.91 and 1.96 μm and band minimum position of the 1.4 μm feature, and the properties are also used to determine their age. This technique continues to be useful for positive silica identifications, however, silica age appears to be less consistent

  3. Mineralogical, chemical, organic and microbial properties of subsurface soil cores from Mars Desert Research Station (Utah, USA): Phyllosilicate and sulfate analogues to Mars mission landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Clarke, Jonathan; Direito, Susana O. L.; Blake, David; Martin, Kevin R.; Zavaleta, Jhony; Foing, Bernard

    2011-07-01

    We collected and analysed soil cores from four geologic units surrounding Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Utah, USA, including Mancos Shale, Dakota Sandstone, Morrison formation (Brushy Basin member) and Summerville formation. The area is an important geochemical and morphological analogue to terrains on Mars. Soils were analysed for mineralogy by a Terra X-ray diffractometer (XRD), a field version of the CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission (2012 landing). Soluble ion chemistry, total organic content and identity and distribution of microbial populations were also determined. The Terra data reveal that Mancos and Morrison soils are rich in phyllosilicates similar to those observed on Mars from orbital measurements (montmorillonite, nontronite and illite). Evaporite minerals observed include gypsum, thenardite, polyhalite and calcite. Soil chemical analysis shows sulfate the dominant anion in all soils and SO4>>CO3, as on Mars. The cation pattern Na>Ca>Mg is seen in all soils except for the Summerville where Ca>Na. In all soils, SO4 correlates with Na, suggesting sodium sulfates are the dominant phase. Oxidizable organics are low in all soils and range from a high of 0.7% in the Mancos samples to undetectable at a detection limit of 0.1% in the Morrison soils. Minerals rich in chromium and vanadium were identified in Morrison soils that result from diagenetic replacement of organic compounds. Depositional environment, geologic history and mineralogy all affect the ability to preserve and detect organic compounds. Subsurface biosphere populations were revealed to contain organisms from all three domains (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya) with cell density between 3.0×106 and 1.8×107 cells ml-1 at the deepest depth. These measurements are analogous to data that could be obtained on future robotic or human Mars missions and results are relevant to the MSL mission that will investigate phyllosilicates on Mars.

  4. Soil Crystallinity As a Climate Indicator: Field Experiments on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horgan, Briony; Scudder, Noel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Rutledge, Alicia

    2016-01-01

    Soil crystallinity is largely determined by leaching rates, as high leaching rates favor the rapid precipitation of short order or poorly-crystalline phases like the aluminosilicate allophane. High leaching rates can occur due to high precipitation rates, seasonal monsoons, or weathering of glass, but are also caused by the rapid onset of seasonal melting of snow and ice in cold environments. Thus, cold climate soils are commonly dominated by poorly crystalline phases, which mature into kaolin minerals over time. Thus, we hypothesize that, in some contexts, soils with high abundances of poorly crystalline phases could indicate formation under cold climatic conditions. This model could be helpful in interpreting the poorly-constrained paleoclimate of ancient Mars, as the crystallinity of ancient soils and soil-derived sediments appears to be highly variable in time and space. While strong signatures of crystalline phyllosilicates have been identified in possible ancient paleosols on Mars, Mars Science Laboratory rover investigations of diverse ancient sediments at Gale Crater has shown that they can contain very high abundances (40-50 wt%) of poorly crystalline phases. We hypothesize that these poorly crystalline phases could be the result of weathering by ice/snow melt, perhaps providing support for sustained cold climates on early Mars punctuated by more limited warm climates. Furthermore, such poorly crystalline soils could be highly fertile growth media for future human exploration and colonization on Mars. To test this hypothesis, we are currently using rover-like instrumentation to investigate the mineralogy and chemistry of weathering products generated by snow and ice melt in a Mars analog alpine environment: the glaciated Three Sisters volcanic complex in central Oregon. Alteration in this glacial environment generates high abundances of poorly crystalline phases, many of which have compositions distinct from those identified in previous terrestrial

  5. Antarctic Mirabilite Mounds as Mars Analogs: The Lewis Cliffs Ice Tongue Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socki, Richard A.; Sun, Tao; Niles, Paul B.; Harvey, Ralph P.; Bish, David L.; Tonui, Eric

    2012-01-01

    It has been proposed, based on geomorphic and geochemical arguments, that subsurface water has played an important role in the history of water on the planet Mars [1]. Subsurface water, if present, could provide a protected and long lived environment for potential life. Discovery of gullies [2] and recurring slopes [3] on Mars suggest the potential for subsurface liquid water or brines. Recent attention has also focused on small (the mid to high latitudes on the surface of Mars which may be caused by eruptions of subsurface fluids [4, 5]. We have identified massive but highly localized Na-sulfate deposits (mirabilite mounds, Na2SO4 .10H2O) that may be derived from subsurface fluids and may provide insight into the processes associated with subsurface fluids on Mars. The mounds are found on the end moraine of the Lewis Cliffs Ice Tongue (LCIT) [6] in the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica, and are potential terrestrial analogs for mounds observed on the martian surface. The following characteristics distinguish LCIT evaporite mounds from other evaporite mounds found in Antarctic coastal environments and/or the McMurdo Dry Valleys: (1) much greater distance from the open ocean (approx.500 km); (2) higher elevation (approx.2200 meters); and (3) colder average annual temperature (average annual temperature = -30 C for LCIT [7] vs. 20 C at sea level in the McMurdo region [8]. Furthermore, the recent detection of subsurface water ice (inferred as debris-covered glacial ice) by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter [9] supports the use of an Antarctic glacial environment, particularly with respect to the mirabilite deposits described in this work, as an ideal terrestrial analog for understanding the geochemistry associated with near-surface martian processes. S and O isotopic compositions.

  6. Habitability: Where to look for life? Halophilic habitats: Earth analogs to study Mars habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, F.; Rodríguez-Manfredi, J. A.; Rodríguez, N.; Fernández-Sampedro, M.; Caballero-Castrejón, F. J.; Amils, R.

    2012-08-01

    Oxidative stress, high radiation doses, low temperature and pressure are parameters which made Mars's surface adverse for life. Those conditions found on Mars surface are harsh conditions for life to deal with. Life, as we know it on Earth, needs several requirements for its establishment but, the only "sine qua nom" element is water. Extremophilic microorganisms widened the window of possibilities for life to develop in the universe, and as a consequence on Mars. Recently reported results in extreme environments indicate the possibility of presence of "oasys" for life in microniches due to water deliquescence in salts deposits. The compilation of data produced by the ongoing missions (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity) offers a completely different view from that reported by Viking missions: signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity. The discovery of important accumulations of sulfates, and the existence of iron minerals like jarosite, goethite and hematite in rocks of sedimentary origin has allowed specific terrestrial models related with this type of mineralogy to come into focus. Río Tinto (Southwestern Spain, Iberian Pyritic Belt) is an extreme acidic environment, product of the chemolithotrophic activity of microorganisms that thrive in the massive pyrite-rich deposits of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. The high concentration of ferric iron and sulfates, products of the metabolism of pyrite, generate a collection of minerals, mainly gypsum, jarosite, goethite and hematites, all of which have been detected in different regions of Mars. Some particular protective environments or elements could house organic molecules or the first bacterial life forms on Mars surface. Terrestrial analogs could help us to afford its comprehension. We are reporting here some preliminary studies about endolithic niches inside salt deposits used by phototrophs for taking advantage of sheltering particular light

  7. Poás volcano in Costa Rica as a hydrothermal analog for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmaarry, M. R.; Hynek, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    Mars has experienced intensive volcanic and impact activity early in its history, coinciding with a similarly extensive hydrologic activity on a global scale. These activities constitute the main ingredients of hydrothermal activity. Data acquired from the study of Martian meteorites, remote sensing spectral observations, and robotic rovers has shown the surface of Mars to be mineralogically diverse including mineral assemblages that resemble those of analogous hydrothermal systems on Earth. In particular, evidence for extensive acid-sulfate weathering has been observed by the MERs at Gusev and Meridiani, as well as by MSL at Gale crater. Furthermore, there is growing evidence for silicic volcanism on Mars as indicated by the detection of silica-rich mudstone at Gale containing tridymite and cristobalite coupled with spectral observations indicative of felsic rocks in geographically disparate locations on Mars. For that, the Poás volcano in Costa Rica offers a geologic setting that can be analogous to similar environments on Mars. The Poás volcano is a basaltic andesite stratovolcano in central Costa Rica. Its caldera houses a highly acidic lake inside the caldera 130 m below the crater rim. The volcano has been active in recent historical times, and is currently displaying intensive activity since Apr 2017. Unaltered andesitic basalts collected from the 1953-1955 magmatic activity are mainly composed of plagioclase and minor amounts of orthopyroxene and olivine. We collected samples during our fieldwork in March 2017 (few weeks before its eruption) from fumaroles inside the caldera. The fumaroles were emitting gases at 92°C, and the acidic lake minor abundances of hematite, anatase, and amorphous silica. Most of these minerals have been observed on Mars under potentially similar settings. We plan to continue our investigation by carrying out additional analyses and compare to samples collected from earlier campaigns to gain a better understanding of how the

  8. Earth analogs for Martian life - Microbes in evaporites, a new model system for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    1990-01-01

    It is suggested that 'oases' in which life forms may persist on Mars could occur, by analogy with terrestrial cases, in (1) rocks, as known in endolithic microorganisms, (2) polar ice caps, as seen in snow and ice algae, and (3) volcanic regions, as witnessed in the chemoautotrophs which live in ocean-floor hydrothermal vents. Microorganisms, moreover, have been known to survive in salt crystals, and it has even been shown that organisms can metabolize while encrusted in evaporites. Evaporites which may occur on Mars would be able to attenuate UV light, while remaining more transparent to the 400-700 nm radiation useful in photosynthesis. Suggestions are made for the selection of Martian exobiological investigation sites.

  9. An alkaline spring system within the Del Puerto ophiolite (California USA): A Mars analog site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blank, J.G.; Green, S.; Blake, D.; Valley, J.; Kita, N.; Treiman, A.; Dobson, P.F.

    2008-10-01

    Mars appears to have experienced little compositional differentiation of primitive lithosphere, and thus much of the surface of Mars is covered by mafic lavas. On Earth, mafic and ultramafic rocks present in ophiolites, oceanic crust and upper mantle that have been obducted onto land, are therefore good analogs for Mars. The characteristic mineralogy, aqueous geochemistry, and microbial communities of cold-water alkaline springs associated with these mafic and ultramafic rocks represent a particularly compelling analog for potential life-bearing systems. Serpentinization, the reaction of water with mafic minerals such as olivine and pyroxene, yields fluids with unusual chemistry (Mg-OH and Ca-OH waters with pH values up to {approx}12), as well as heat and hydrogen gas that can sustain subsurface, chemosynthetic ecosystems. The recent observation of seeps from pole-facing crater and canyon walls in the higher Martian latitudes supports the hypothesis that even present conditions might allow for a rockhosted chemosynthetic biosphere in near-surface regions of the Martian crust. The generation of methane within a zone of active serpentinization, through either abiogenic or biogenic processes, could account for the presence of methane detected in the Martian atmosphere. For all of these reasons, studies of terrestrial alkaline springs associated with mafic and ultramafic rocks are particularly timely. This study focuses on the alkaline Adobe Springs, emanating from mafic and ultramafic rocks of the California Coast Range, where a community of novel bacteria is associated with the precipitation of Mg-Ca carbonate cements. The carbonates may serve as a biosignature that could be used in the search for evidence of life on Mars.

  10. Licancabur Volcano, Bolivia and life in the Atacama: Environmental physics and analogies to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hock, Andrew Nelson

    Although there is no perfect environmental analog to Mars on Earth, quantitative study of relevant terrestrial field sites can serve as the basis for physical models and technology development to aid future exploration. This dissertation describes original field and laboratory research on two terrestrial analog sites: Licancabur Volcano, Bolivia, and the Atacama Desert, Chile. Atop Licancabur, at an elevation of nearly 6,000 meters above sea level, sits the highest volcanic lake on Earth. Prior to this work, little was known about the lake, its waters, the role of volcanism or its potential relationship to locales on Mars. In the first part of this work, I describe observations of the lake resulting from several years of field study, including data on meteorological conditions and solar irradiance. These and other measurements provide the basis for (1) the first quantitative mass and energy balance model of the lake, and (2) the first determination of the altitude effect on solar visible and ultraviolet flux from the high altitude summit. Under the observed conditions, model results indicate: lake waters are primarily meteoric in origin and evaporating rapidly; volcanic input is not required to explain observations of lake water temperature or year-end model results. Nearby, Chile's Atacama Desert is known to be one of the driest, most inhospitable environments on Earth. There, environmental similarities to Mars provide an apt testing ground for new astrobiological exploration technologies. In the latter part of this work, I present results from my work with the Life In The Atacama (LITA) Mars rover field experiment. In particular, I report on the development of a new data analysis tool named the LITA Data Scoring System (DSS). Subject to the user-defined constraints, the DSS was used to facilitate targeting, analysis and mapping of rover science results relevant to potential habitability and evidence for life at three desert field sites. Although experimental in

  11. Experimental Acid Weathering of Fe-Bearing Mars Analog Minerals and Rocks: Implications for Aqueous Origin of Hematite-Bearing Sediments in Meridiani Planum, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, D. C.; Koster, A. M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Mertzman, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    A working hypothesis for Meridiani evaporite formation involves the evaporation of fluids derived from acid weathering of Martian basalts and subsequent diagenesis [1, 2]. However, there are no reported experimental studies for the formation of jarosite and gray hematite (spherules), which are characteristic of Meridiani rocks from Mars analog precursor minerals. A terrestrial analog for hematite spherule formation from basaltic rocks under acidic hydrothermal conditions has been reported [3], and we have previously shown that the hematite spherules and jarosite can be synthetically produced in the laboratory using Fe3+ -bearing sulfate brines under hydrothermal conditions [4]. Here we expand and extend these studies by reacting Mars analog minerals with sulfuric acid to form Meridiani-like rock-mineral compositions. The objective of this study is to provide environmental constraints on past aqueous weathering of basaltic materials on Mars.

  12. Spectroscopy of Loose and Cemented Sulfate-Bearing Soils: Implications for Duricrust on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Christopher D.; Mustard, John F.

    2002-07-01

    The goal of this work is to determine the spectroscopic properties of sulfate in martian soil analogs over the wavelength range 0.3 to 25 μm (which is relevant to existing and planned remotely sensed data sets for Mars). Sulfate is an abundant component of martian soil (up to 9% SO 3 by weight) and apparently exists as a particulate in the soil but also as a cement. Although previous studies have addressed the spectroscopic identity of sulfates on Mars, none have used laboratory mixtures of materials with sulfates at the abundances measured by landed spacecraft, nor have any works considered the effect of salt-cementation on spectral properties of soil materials. For this work we created mixtures of a palagonitic soil (JSC Mars-1) and sulfates (MgSO 4 and CaSO 4·2H 2O). The effects of cementation were determined and separated from the effects of packing and hydration by measuring the samples as loose powders, packed powders, cemented materials, and disaggregated materials. The results show that the presence of particulate sulfate is best observed in the 4-5 μm region. Soils cemented with sulfate exhibit a pronounced restrahlen band between 8 and 9 μm as well as well-defined absorptions in the 4-5 μm region. Cementation effects are distinct from packing effects and disaggregation of cemented samples rapidly diminishes the strength of the restrahlen bands. The results of this study show that sulfate in loose materials is more detectable in the near infrared (4-5 μm) than in the thermal infrared (8-9 μm). However, cemented materials are easily distinguished from loose mixtures in the thermal infrared because of the high values of their absorption coefficient in this region. Together these results suggest that both wavelength regions are important for determining the spatial extent and physical form of sulfates on the surface of Mars.

  13. Simulations of the Viking Gas Exchange Experiment using palagonite and Fe-rich montmorillonite as terrestrial analogs: implications for the surface composition of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, R; Orenberg, J

    1993-10-01

    Simulations of the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEX), one of the Viking Lander Biology Experiments, were run using palagonite and Fe-rich montmorillonite as terrestrial analogs of the Martian soil. These terrestrial analogs were exposed to a nutrient solution of the same composition as that of the Viking Landers under humid (no contact with nutrient) and wet (intimate contact) conditions. The headspace gases in the GEX sample cell were sampled and then analyzed by gas chromatography under both humid and wet conditions. Five gases were monitored: CO2, N2, O2, Ar, and Kr. It was determined that in order to simulate the CO2 gas changes of the Viking GEX experiment, the mixture of soil analog mineral plus nutrient medium must be slightly (pH = 7.4) to moderately basic (pH = 8.7). This conclusion suggests constraints upon the composition of terrestrial analogs to the Mars soil; acidic components may be present, but the overall mixture must be basic in order to simulate the Viking GEX results.

  14. On the in situ aqueous alteration of soils on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, Ronald; Ewing, Stephanie; Dietrich, William; Sutter, Brad; Owen, Justine; Chadwick, Oliver; Nishiizumi, Kunihiko; Walvoord, Michelle; McKay, Christopher

    2008-08-01

    Early (>3 Gy) wetter climate conditions on Mars have been proposed, and it is thus likely that pedogenic processes have occurred there at some point in the past. Soil and rock chemistry of the Martian landing sites were evaluated to test the hypothesis that in situ aqueous alteration and downward movement of solutes have been among the processes that have transformed these portions of the Mars regolith. A geochemical mass balance shows that Martian soils at three landing sites have lost significant quantities of major rock-forming elements and have gained elements that are likely present as soluble ions. The loss of elements is interpreted to have occurred during an earlier stage(s) of weathering that may have been accompanied by the downward transport of weathering products, and the salts are interpreted to be emplaced later in a drier Mars history. Chemical differences exist among the sites, indicating regional differences in soil composition. Shallow soil profile excavations at Gusev crater are consistent with late stage downward migration of salts, implying the presence of small amounts of liquid water even in relatively recent Martian history. While the mechanisms for chemical weathering and salt additions on Mars remain unclear, the soil chemistry appears to record a decline in leaching efficiency. A deep sedimentary exposure at Endurance crater contains complex depth profiles of SO 4, Cl, and Br, trends generally consistent with downward aqueous transport accompanied by drying. While no model for the origin of Martian soils can be fully constrained with the currently available data, a pedogenic origin is consistent with observed Martian geology and geochemistry, and provides a testable hypothesis that can be evaluated with present and future data from the Mars surface.

  15. A half-century of terrestrial analog studies: From craters on the Moon to searching for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Léveillé, Richard

    2010-03-01

    Terrestrial analogs to the Moon and Mars have been used to advance knowledge in planetary science for over a half-century. They are useful in studies of comparative geology of the terrestrial planets and rocky moons, in astronaut training and testing of exploration technologies, and in developing hypotheses and exploration strategies in astrobiology. In fact, the use of terrestrial analogs can be traced back to the origins of comparative geology and astrobiology, and to the early phases of the Apollo astronaut program. Terrestrial analog studies feature prominently throughout the history of both NASA and the USGS' Astrogeology Research Program. In light of current international plans for a return missions to the Moon, and eventually to send sample return and manned missions to Mars, as well as the recent creation of various analog research and development programs, this historical perspective is timely.

  16. Biological Characterization of Microenvironments in a Hypersaline Cold Spring Mars Analog

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haley M. Sapers

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available While many habitable niches on Earth are characterized by permanently cold conditions, little is known about the spatial structure of seasonal communities and the importance of substrate-cell associations in terrestrial cyroenvironments. Here we use the 16S rRNA gene as a marker for genetic diversity to compare two visually distinct but spatially integrated surface microbial mats on Axel Heiberg Island, Canadian high arctic, proximal to a perennial saline spring. This is the first study to describe the bacterial diversity in microbial mats on Axel Heiberg Island. The hypersaline springs on Axel Heiberg represent a unique analog to putative subsurface aquifers on Mars. The Martian subsurface represents the longest-lived potentially habitable environment on Mars and a better understanding of the microbial communities on Earth that thrive in analog conditions will help direct future life detection missions. The microbial mats sampled on Axel Heiberg are only visible during the summer months in seasonal flood plains formed by melt water and run-off from the proximal spring. Targeted-amplicon sequencing revealed that not only does the bacterial composition of the two mat communities differ substantially from the sediment community of the proximal cold spring, but that the mat communities are distinct from any other microbial community in proximity to the Arctic springs studied to date. All samples are dominated by Gammaproteobacteria: Thiotichales is dominant within the spring samples while Alteromonadales comprises a significant component of the mat communities. The two mat samples differ in their Thiotichales:Alteromonadales ratio and contribution of Bacteroidetes to overall diversity. The red mats have a greater proportion of Alteromonadales and Bacteroidetes reads. The distinct bacterial composition of the mat bacterial communities suggests that the spring communities are not sourced from the surface, and that seasonal melt events create

  17. Mineralogy of Antarctica Dry Valley Soils: Implications for Pedogenic Processes on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, J. E.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Douglas, S.; Kounaves, S. P.; McKay, C. P.; Tamppari, L, K.; Smith, P. H.; Zent, A. P.; Archer, P. D., Jr.

    2010-01-01

    The Antarctic Dry Valleys (ADVs) located in the Transantarctic Mountains are the coldest and driest locations on Earth. The mean annual air temperature is -20 C or less and the ADVs receive 100mm or less of precipitation annually in the form of snow. The cold and dry climate in the ADVs is one of the best terrestrial analogs for the climatic conditions on Mars [2]. The soils in the ADVs have been categorized into three soil moisture zones: subxerous, xerous and ultraxerous. The subxerous zone is a coastal region in which soils have ice-cemented permafrost relatively close to the surface. Moisture is available in relatively large amounts and soil temperatures are above freezing throughout the soil profile (above ice permafrost) in summer months. The xerous zone, the most widespread of the three zones, is an inland region with a climate midway between the subxerous and ultraxerous. The soils from this zone have dry permafrost at moderate depths (30-75cm) but have sufficient water in the upper soil horizons to allow leaching of soluble materials. The ultraxerous zone is a high elevation zone, where both temperature and precipitation amounts are very low resulting in dry permafrost throughout the soil profile. The three moisture regime regions are similar to the three microclimatic zones (coastal thaw, inland mixed, stable upland) defined by Marchant and Head.

  18. Satellite-Based Thermophysical Analysis of Volcaniclastic Deposits: A Terrestrial Analog for Mantled Lava Flows on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A. Price

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Orbital thermal infrared (TIR remote sensing is an important tool for characterizing geologic surfaces on Earth and Mars. However, deposition of material from volcanic or eolian activity results in bedrock surfaces becoming significantly mantled over time, hindering the accuracy of TIR compositional analysis. Moreover, interplay between particle size, albedo, composition and surface roughness add complexity to these interpretations. Apparent Thermal Inertia (ATI is the measure of the resistance to temperature change and has been used to determine parameters such as grain/block size, density/mantling, and the presence of subsurface soil moisture/ice. Our objective is to document the quantitative relationship between ATI derived from orbital visible/near infrared (VNIR and thermal infrared (TIR data and tephra fall mantling of the Mono Craters and Domes (MCD in California, which were chosen as an analog for partially mantled flows observed at Arsia Mons volcano on Mars. The ATI data were created from two images collected ~12 h apart by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER instrument. The results were validated with a quantitative framework developed using fieldwork that was conducted at 13 pre-chosen sites. These sites ranged in grain size from ash-sized to meter-scale blocks and were all rhyolitic in composition. Block size and mantling were directly correlated with ATI. Areas with ATI under 2.3 × 10−2 were well-mantled with average grain size below 4 cm; whereas values greater than 3.0 × 10−2 corresponded to mantle-free surfaces. Correlation was less accurate where checkerboard-style mixing between mantled and non-mantled surfaces occurred below the pixel scale as well as in locations where strong shadowing occurred. However, the results validate that the approach is viable for a large majority of mantled surfaces on Earth and Mars. This is relevant for determining the volcanic history of Mars, for

  19. Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE): An Experimental Demonstration of Key Technologies for Searching for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol

    2004-01-01

    The discovery of near surface ground ice by the Mars Odyssey mission and the abundant evidence for recent Gulley features observed by the Mars Global Surveyor mission support longstanding theoretical arguments for subsurface liquid water on Mars. Thus, implementing the Mars program goal to search for life points to drilling on Mars to reach liquid water, collecting samples and analyzing them with instrumentation to detect in situ organisms and biomarker compounds. Searching for life in the subsurface of Mars will require drilling, sample extraction and handling, and new technologies to find and identify biomarker compounds and search for living organisms.

  20. Plume Mitigation for Mars Terminal Landing: Soil Stabilization Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hintze, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

    Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has led the efforts for lunar and Martian landing site preparation, including excavation, soil stabilization, and plume damage prediction. There has been much discussion of sintering but until our team recently demonstrated it for the lunar case there was little understanding of the serious challenges. Simplistic sintering creates a crumbly, brittle, weak surface unsuitable for a rocket exhaust plume. The goal of this project is to solve those problems and make it possible to land a human class lander on Mars, making terminal landing of humans on Mars possible for the first time.

  1. Stabilization of marly soils with portland cement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piskunov, Maksim; Karzin, Evgeny; Lukina, Valentina; Lukinov, Vitaly; Kholkin, Anatolii

    2017-10-01

    Stabilization of marlous soils with Portland cement will increase the service life of motor roads in areas where marl is used as a local road construction material. The result of the conducted research is the conclusion about the principal possibility of stabilization of marlous soils with Portland cement, and about the optimal percentage of the mineral part and the binding agent. When planning the experiment, a simplex-lattice plan was implemented, which makes it possible to obtain a mathematical model for changing the properties of a material in the form of polynomials of incomplete third order. Brands were determined for compressive strength according to GOST 23558-94 and variants of stabilized soils were proposed for road construction.

  2. Subsurface Halophilic Microbial Communities in the Hyperarid Core of the Atacama Desert: An Analog for Possible Subsurface Life in Regolith on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, A.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; Rainey, F. T.; Ewing, S.; McKay, C. P.

    2003-12-01

    The Atacama Desert in its driest portion provides an interesting analog for possible past or present life in the Martian regolith. In the hyperarid core of the Atacama, surface soils are virtually abiotic, with no plants and "near sterile" concentrations of heterotrophic bacteria (i.e., exceedingly low densities of approximately 100 colony forming units per gram soil). The dearth of microbial life at the surface is likely maintained through extremely low water availability, low organic content and the highly oxidizing nature of the soil. In marked contrast to the surface, however, extremely halophilic microorganisms exist in salt layers 1.2-1.5m below the surface. Mineralogical analyses indicate the layers are predominantly halite (70% NaCl) but also contain sodium nitrate (5% NaNO3). Culturing and polar lipid analyses suggest the halophiles are archaeal Halobacterium-like motile rods. Microclimate monitoring at 1m indicates a soil relative humidity of 20% which is stable year-round even during decadal rain events such as that experienced in July 2002. This suggests the layers are isolated from even significant moisture influxes at the surface. Although further research is necessary, important parallels exist between this Earthly desert analog and the possible existence and detection of subsurface life on Mars despite harsh abiotic conditions at the surface.

  3. Model for Volatile Incorporation into Soils and Dust on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Yen, A.

    2006-12-01

    Martian soils with high content of compounds of sulfur and chlorine are ubiquitous on Mars, having been found at all five landing sites. Sulfate and chloride salts are implicated by a variety of evidence, but few conclusive specific identifications have been made. Discovery of jarosite and Mg-Ca sulfates in outcrops at Meridiani Planum (MER mission) and regional-scale beds of kieserite and gypsum (Mars Express mission) notwithstanding, the sulfates in soils are uncertain. Chlorides or other Cl-containing minerals have not been uniquely identified directly by any method. Viking and Pathfinder missions found trends in the elemental analytical data consistent with MgSO4, but Viking results are biased by duricrust samples and Pathfinder by soil contamination of rock surfaces. The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) missions have taken extensive data on soils with no confirmation of trends implicating any particular cation. In our model of martian dust and soil, the S and Cl are initially incorporated by condensation or chemisorption on grains directly from gas phase molecules in the atmosphere. It is shown by modeling that the coatings thus formed cannot quantitatively explain the apparent elemental composition of these materials, and therefore involve the migration of ions and formation of microscopic weathering rinds. Original cation inventories of unweathered particles are isochemically conserved. Exposed rock surfaces should also have micro rinds, depending upon the length of time of exposure. Martian soils may therefore have unusual chemical properties when interacting with aqueous layers or infused fluids. Potential ramifications to the quantitative accuracy of x-ray fluorescence and Moessbauer spectroscopy on unprocessed samples are also assessed.

  4. Basaltic caves at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve as analogs for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinman, N. W.; Richardson, C. D.; McHenry, L.; Scott, J. R.

    2010-12-01

    Basaltic caves and lava tubes offer stable physicochemical conditions for formation of secondary minerals. Such features, putatively observed on Mars, intercept groundwater to weather country rock, leading to formation of secondary minerals. Further, caves are stable environments to search for evidence of past life, as they could offer protection from the oxidizing martian atmosphere. Searching for signs of life in a cave that could protect bio/organic compounds would preclude the need for risky drilling on Mars. Craters of the Moon National Monument (COM) offers an opportunity to study caves in Holocene iron-rich basalt flows to characterize secondary mineral deposits and search for organic compounds associated with secondary minerals; COM basalts are a good analog for martian basalts because of their high iron but other elements are higher at COM than on Mars. The Blue Dragon flow (~2.1 ka) contains the majority of the accessible caves and lava tubes. Two types of secondary mineral deposits were observed in these caves: ceiling coatings and crack or floor precipitates. Hematite, silica, and calcite comprise ceiling coatings. The crack and floor precipitates are white, efflorescent deposits in cavities along cave walls and ceilings or in localized mounds on cave floors. The secondary minerals in crack and floor precipitates are mainly thenardite and mirabilite with some minor concentrations of trona and/or burkeite. Organic compounds were found associated with the efflorescent deposits. Formation of the deposits is likely due to chemical leaching of basalt by meteoritic water. To test this, fluids collected from the ceiling and walls of the caves were analyzed. Solutions were modeled with the geochemical code, PHREEQC. The model tracked composition as water evaporated. Selected minerals were allowed to precipitate as they became oversaturated. Among the first minerals to become oversaturated were quartz and calcite, which are observed in ceiling deposits. Iron

  5. Field trial of a dual-wavelength fluorescent emission (L.I.F.E.) instrument and the Magma White rover during the MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot; Sattler, Birgit; Weisleitner, Klemens; Hunger, Lars; Kohstall, Christoph; Frisch, Albert; Józefowicz, Mateusz; Meszyński, Sebastian; Storrie-Lombardi, Michael; Bothe, Claudia; Boyd, Andrea; Dinkelaker, Aline; Dissertori, Markus; Fasching, David; Fischer, Monika; Föger, Daniel; Foresta, Luca; Frischauf, Norbert; Fritsch, Lukas; Fuchs, Harald; Gautsch, Christoph; Gerard, Stephan; Goetzloff, Linda; Gołebiowska, Izabella; Gorur, Paavan; Groemer, Gerhard; Groll, Petra; Haider, Christian; Haider, Olivia; Hauth, Eva; Hauth, Stefan; Hettrich, Sebastian; Jais, Wolfgang; Jones, Natalie; Taj-Eddine, Kamal; Karl, Alexander; Kauerhoff, Tilo; Khan, Muhammad Shadab; Kjeldsen, Andreas; Klauck, Jan; Losiak, Anna; Luger, Markus; Luger, Thomas; Luger, Ulrich; McArthur, Jane; Moser, Linda; Neuner, Julia; Orgel, Csilla; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Paternesi, Roberta; Peschier, Jarno; Pfeil, Isabella; Prock, Silvia; Radinger, Josef; Ragonig, Christoph; Ramirez, Barbara; Ramo, Wissam; Rampey, Mike; Sams, Arnold; Sams, Elisabeth; Sams, Sebastian; Sandu, Oana; Sans, Alejandra; Sansone, Petra; Scheer, Daniela; Schildhammer, Daniel; Scornet, Quentin; Sejkora, Nina; Soucek, Alexander; Stadler, Andrea; Stummer, Florian; Stumptner, Willibald; Taraba, Michael; Tlustos, Reinhard; Toferer, Ernst; Turetschek, Thomas; Winter, Egon; Zanella-Kux, Katja

    2014-05-01

    Abstract We have developed a portable dual-wavelength laser fluorescence spectrometer as part of a multi-instrument optical probe to characterize mineral, organic, and microbial species in extreme environments. Operating at 405 and 532 nm, the instrument was originally designed for use by human explorers to produce a laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) spectral database of the mineral and organic molecules found in the microbial communities of Earth's cryosphere. Recently, our team had the opportunity to explore the strengths and limitations of the instrument when it was deployed on a remote-controlled Mars analog rover. In February 2013, the instrument was deployed on board the Magma White rover platform during the MARS2013 Mars analog field mission in the Kess Kess formation near Erfoud, Morocco. During these tests, we followed tele-science work flows pertinent to Mars surface missions in a simulated spaceflight environment. We report on the L.I.F.E. instrument setup, data processing, and performance during field trials. A pilot postmission laboratory analysis determined that rock samples acquired during the field mission exhibited a fluorescence signal from the Sun-exposed side characteristic of chlorophyll a following excitation at 405 nm. A weak fluorescence response to excitation at 532 nm may have originated from another microbial photosynthetic pigment, phycoerythrin, but final assignment awaits development of a comprehensive database of mineral and organic fluorescence spectra. No chlorophyll fluorescence signal was detected from the shaded underside of the samples.

  6. Can Plants Grow on Mars and the Moon: A Growth Experiment on Mars and Moon Soil Simulants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wamelink, G.W.W.; Frissel, J.Y.; Krijnen, W.H.J.; Verwoert, M.R.; Goedhart, P.W.

    2014-01-01

    When humans will settle on the moon or Mars they will have to eat there. Food may be flown in. An alternative could be to cultivate plants at the site itself, preferably in native soils. We report on the first large-scale controlled experiment to investigate the possibility of growing plants in Mars

  7. Rock Abrasion and Ventifact Formation on Mars from Field Analog, Theoretical, and Experimental Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, N. T.; Laity, J. E.

    2001-01-01

    Rocks observed by the Viking Landers and Pathfinder Lander/Sojourner rover exhibit a suite of perplexing rock textures. Among these are pits, spongy textures, penetrative flutes, lineaments, crusts, and knobs Fluvial, impact, chemical alteration, and aeolian mechanisms have been proposed for many of these. In an effort to better understand the origin and characteristics of Martian rock textures, abraded rocks in the Mojave Desert and other regions have been studied. We find that most Martian rock textures, as opposed to just a few, bear close resemblance to terrestrial aeolian textures and can most easily be explained by wind, not other, processes. Flutes, grooves, and some pits on Mars are consistent with abrasion by saltating particles, as described previously. However, many other rock textures probably also have an aeolian origin. Sills at the base of rocks that generally lie at high elevations, such as Half Dome, are consistent with such features on Earth that are related to moats or soil ramps that shield the basal part of the rock from erosion. Crusts consisting of fluted fabrics, such as those on Stimpy and Chimp, are similar to fluted crusts on Earth that spall off over time. Knobby and lineated rocks are similar to terrestrial examples of heterogeneous rocks that differentially erode. The location of specific rock textures on Mars also gives insight into their origin. Many of the most diagnostic ventifacts found at the Pathfinder site are located on rocks that lie near the crests or the upper slopes of ridges. On Earth, the most active ventifact formation occurs on sloped or elevated topography, where windflow is accelerated and particle kinetic energy and flux are increased. Integrated 0 together, these observations point to significant aeolian 0 modification of rocks on Mars and cast doubt on whether many primary textures resulting from other processes are preserved. Experimental simulations of abrasion in the presence of abundant sand indicate that

  8. Saline Playas on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau as Mars Analog for the Formation-Preservation of Hydrous Salts and Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, A.; Zheng, M.; Kong, F.; Sobron, P.; Mayer, D. P.

    2010-12-01

    Qinghai-Tibet (QT) Plateau has the highest average elevation on Earth (~ 4500 m, about 50-60% of atmospheric pressure at sea-level). The high elevation induces a tremendous diurnal (and seasonal) temperature swing caused by high level of solar irradiation during the day and low level of atmospheric insulation during the evening. In addition, the Himalaya mountain chain (average height >6100 m) in the south of the QT Plateau largely blocks the pathway of humid air from the Indian Ocean, and produces a Hyperarid region (Aridity Index, AI ~ 0.04), the Qaidam Basin (N32-35, E90-100) at the north edge of the QT Plateau. Climatically, the low P, T, large ΔT, high aridity, and high UV radiation all make the Qaidam basin to be one of the most similar places on Earth to Mars. Qaidam basin has the most ancient playas (up to Eocene) and the lakes with the highest salinity on QT Plateau. More importantly, Mg-sulfates appear in the evaporative salts within the most ancient playas (Da Langtang) at the northwest corner of Qaidam basin, which mark the final stage of the evaporation sequence of brines rich in K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, C, B, S, and Cl. The evaporation minerals in the saline playas of Qaidam basin, their alteration and preservation under hyperarid conditions can be an interesting analog for the study of Martian salts and salty regolith. We conducted a field investigation at Da Langtan playa in Qaidam basin, with combined remote sensing (ASTER on board of NASA’s Terra satellite, 1.656, 2.167, 2.209, 2.62, 2.336, 2.40 µm), in situ sensing of a portable NIR spectrometer (WIR, 1.25-2.5 µm continuous spectral range), and the laboratory analyses of collected samples from the field (ASD spectrometer, 0.4 -2.5 µm, and Laser Raman spectroscopy). The results indicate that the materials contributing the high albedo layers in playa deposits are carbonate-gypsum-bearing surface soils, salt-clay-bearing exhaumed Pleistocene deposits, dehydrated Na-sulfates, hydrous Mg

  9. Infrared Spectroscopic Analyses of Sulfate, Nitrate, and Carbonate-bearing Atacama Desert Soils: Analogs for the Interpretation of Infrared Spectra from the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, J. B.; Dalton, J. B.; Ewing, S. A.; Amundson, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-01-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert on Earth, receiving only a few mm of rain per decade. The Mars climate may, in the past, have been punctuated by short-lived episodes of aqueous activity. The paleo-Martian environment may have had aqueous conditions similar to the current conditions that exist in the Atacama, and Mars soils may have formed with soil chemistry and mineralogy similar to those found in the Atacama. Remote and in-situ analysis of the Martian surface using infrared technology has a long heritage. Future investigations of the subsurface mineralogy are likely to build upon this heritage, and will benefit from real life lessons to be learned from terrestrial analog studies. To that end, preliminary results from a near- and mid-infrared spectroscopic study of Atacama soil profiled at a range of depths are presented.

  10. Gas cluster ion beam for the characterization of organic materials in submarine basalts as Mars analogs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sano, Naoko; Barlow, Anders J.; Cumpson, Peter J.; Purvis, Graham W. H.; Abbott, Geoffrey D.; Gray, Neil N. D.

    2016-01-01

    The solar system contains large quantities of organic compounds that can form complex molecular structures. The processing of organic compounds by biological systems leads to molecules with distinctive structural characteristics; thus, the detection and characterization of organic materials could lead to a high degree of confidence in the existence of extra-terrestrial life. Given the nature of the surface of most planetary bodies in the solar system, evidence of life is more likely to be found in the subsurface where conditions are more hospitable. Basalt is a common rock throughout the solar system and the primary rock type on Mars and Earth. Basalt is therefore a rock type that subsurface life might exploit and as such a suitable material for the study of methods required to detect and analyze organic material in rock. Telluric basalts from Earth represent an analog for extra-terrestrial rocks where the indigenous organic matter could be analyzed for molecular biosignatures. This study focuses on organic matter in the basalt with the use of surface analysis techniques utilizing Ar gas cluster ion beams (GCIB); time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), to characterize organic molecules. Tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) thermochemolysis was also used to support the data obtained using the surface analysis techniques. The authors demonstrate that organic molecules were found to be heterogeneously distributed within rock textures. A positive correlation was observed to exist between the presence of microtubule textures in the basalt and the organic compounds detected. From the results herein, the authors propose that ToF-SIMS with an Ar GCIB is effective at detecting organic materials in such geological samples, and ToF-SIMS combined with XPS and TMAH thermochemolysis may be a useful approach in the study of extra-terrestrial organic material and life.

  11. Gas cluster ion beam for the characterization of organic materials in submarine basalts as Mars analogs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sano, Naoko, E-mail: naoko.sano@ncl.ac.uk; Barlow, Anders J.; Cumpson, Peter J. [National EPSRC XPS Users' Service (NEXUS), School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Stephenson Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 7RU (United Kingdom); Purvis, Graham W. H.; Abbott, Geoffrey D.; Gray, Neil N. D. [School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Devonshire Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 7RU (United Kingdom)

    2016-07-15

    The solar system contains large quantities of organic compounds that can form complex molecular structures. The processing of organic compounds by biological systems leads to molecules with distinctive structural characteristics; thus, the detection and characterization of organic materials could lead to a high degree of confidence in the existence of extra-terrestrial life. Given the nature of the surface of most planetary bodies in the solar system, evidence of life is more likely to be found in the subsurface where conditions are more hospitable. Basalt is a common rock throughout the solar system and the primary rock type on Mars and Earth. Basalt is therefore a rock type that subsurface life might exploit and as such a suitable material for the study of methods required to detect and analyze organic material in rock. Telluric basalts from Earth represent an analog for extra-terrestrial rocks where the indigenous organic matter could be analyzed for molecular biosignatures. This study focuses on organic matter in the basalt with the use of surface analysis techniques utilizing Ar gas cluster ion beams (GCIB); time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), to characterize organic molecules. Tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) thermochemolysis was also used to support the data obtained using the surface analysis techniques. The authors demonstrate that organic molecules were found to be heterogeneously distributed within rock textures. A positive correlation was observed to exist between the presence of microtubule textures in the basalt and the organic compounds detected. From the results herein, the authors propose that ToF-SIMS with an Ar GCIB is effective at detecting organic materials in such geological samples, and ToF-SIMS combined with XPS and TMAH thermochemolysis may be a useful approach in the study of extra-terrestrial organic material and life.

  12. Terrestrial analogs for interpretation of infrared spectra from the Martian surface and subsurface: Sulfate, nitrate, carbonate, and phyllosilicate-bearing Atacama Desert soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Dalton, J. B.; Ewing, S. A.; Amundson, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2007-10-01

    Hyperarid (Mars soils have similar sulfate concentrations; possess phyllosilicates (e.g., smectite) and minor carbonate. Nitrate has not been detected on Mars, but its presence has been proposed. The similar compositions of Atacama and Mars soils have prompted the visible-infrared (0.35-25 μm) investigation of Atacama soils as Mars analogs. Results from this work determined the best infrared features for detecting sulfate, nitrate, carbonate, and phyllosilicate on Mars. The fundamental region (>6.5 μm) was not suited for salt and phyllosilicate detection because of overlapping spectra from primary silicates (e.g., feldspar), water and carbon dioxide. The visible near-infrared (0.35-2.5 μm) region was suited for detecting carbonate, nitrate, gypsum water of hydration, and phyllosilicate hydroxyls without interference from primary silicates. However, gypsum water of hydration features can obscure phyllosilicate hydroxyl, carbonate and nitrate, features if gypsum levels are high. Overtone/combination absorption features in the midinfrared were determined to be the best indicators of sulfate (4.48-4.70 μm), nitrate (4.12 μm), and carbonate (3.98 μm) because interferences from overlapping primary silicate and water features are not present in this region. Interferences from CO2 and thermal emission effects in the overtone/combination region are possible but may be minimized by corrective techniques. Infrared analysis of Atacama Desert soils can provide insight into the spectral search of sulfate, nitrate, carbonate, and phyllosilicate containing soils on Mars.

  13. Soil developments in polar deserts: Implications for exobiology and future Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Chemical alterations, weathering, and diagenesis of soil profiles from the dry valleys of Antarctica were studied as analogs of regolith development for the Martian regolith. Chemical weathering processes play an important part in soil development within the dry valleys of Antarctica. A suite of core samples were studied which were taken within the valley floors in addition to samples taken in the vicinity of evaporite and brine ponds. Analysis of water soluable cations and anions from core samples were performed along with petrographic analysis of selected samples. It was shown that ionic transport processes operate primarily above the permafrost zone. Abundances of the water soluable ions reflect the nature of secondary minerals produced by evaporation and weathering. Chloride, calcium, and sodium abundances for soils from the cores within the North and South Forks of Wright Valley, reflect the secondary mineralogy of the soil columns. Calculations for Na, Ca, and Cl abundances reflect the appearance of halite and antarcticite. In areas where excess Ca is present, X-ray diffraction studies show the presence of gypsum. It is well known that the Martian surface conditions may be favorable for chemical weathering. Primary silicates would be expected to be reactive with any ground water. It seems likely that Martian subsurface water is available to assist in the weathering of the primary minerals. Such weathering could result in the formation of clays, sulfates, carbonates, hydrates, halides, and zeolites. The dry valley cores have shown that they maybe excellent analogs to weathering processes on the near-surface of Mars. Since movement of water within the near-surface region clearly results in chemical weathering, leaching, and salt formation in the dry valleys, similar processes are probably operating within the Martian regolith.

  14. Sounding of Groundwater Through Conductive Media in Mars Analog Environments Using Transient Electromagnetics and Low Frequency GPR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jernsletten, J. A.; Heggy, E.

    2004-05-01

    INTRODUCTION: This study compares the use of (diffusive) Transient Electromagnetics (TEM) for sounding of subsurface water in conductive Mars analog environments to the use of (propagative) Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) for the same purpose. We show data from three field studies: 1) Radar sounding data (GPR) from the Nubian aquifer, Bahria Oasis, Egypt; 2) Diffusive sounding data (TEM) from Pima County, Arizona; and 3) Shallower sounding data using the Fast-Turnoff TEM method from Peña de Hierro in the Rio Tinto area, Spain. The latter is data from work conducted under the auspices of the Mars Analog Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE). POTENTIAL OF TEM: A TEM survey was carried out in Pima County, Arizona, in January 2003. Data was collected using 100 m Tx loops, a ferrite-cored magnetic coil Rx antenna, and a sounding frequency of 16 Hz. The dataset has ~500 m depth of investigation, shows a ~120 m depth to the water table (confirmed by several USGS test wells in the area), and a conductive (~20-40 Ω m) clay-rich soil above the water table. The Rio Tinto Fast-Turnoff TEM data was collected using 40 m Tx loops, 10 m Rx loops, and a 32 Hz sounding frequency. Note ~200 m depth of investigation and a conductive high at ~80 m depth (interpreted as water table). Data was also collected using 20 m Tx loops (10 m Rx loops) in other parts of the area. Note ~50 m depth of investigation and a conductive high at ~15 m depth (interpreted as subsurface water flow under mine tailings matching surface flows seen coming out from under the tailings, and shown on maps). Both of these interpretations were roughly confirmed by preliminary results from the MARTE ground truth drilling campaign carried out in September and October 2003. POTENTIAL OF GPR: A GPR experiment was carried out in February 2003 in the Bahria Oasis in the western Egyptian desert, using a 2 MHz monostatic GPR, mapping the Nubian Aquifer at depths of 100-900 m, beneath a thick layer of homogenous marine

  15. A Volcanic Origin for Sinuous and Branching Channels on Mars: Evidence from Hawaiian Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleacher, Jacob E.; deWet, Andrew; Garry, W. Brent; Zimbelman, James R.

    2012-01-01

    Observations of sinuous and branching channels on planets have long driven a debate about their origin, fluvial or volcanic processes. In some cases planetary conditions rule out fluvial activity (e.g. the Moon, Venus, Mercury). However, the geology of Mars leads to suggestions that liquid water existed on the surface in the past. As a result, some sinuous and branching channels on Mars are cited as evidence of fluvial erosion. Evidence for a fluvial history often focuses on channel morphologies that are unique from a typical lava channel, for instance, a lack of detectable flow margins and levees, islands and terraces. Although these features are typical, they are not necessarily diagnostic of a fluvial system. We conducted field studies in Hawaii to characterize similar features in lava flows to better define which characteristics might be diagnostic of fluvial or volcanic processes. Our martian example is a channel system that originates in the Ascraeus Mons SW rift zone from a fissure. The channel extends for approx.300 km to the SE/E. The proximal channel displays multiple branches, islands, terraces, and has no detectable levees or margins. We conducted field work on the 1859 and 1907 Mauna Loa flows, and the Pohue Bay flow. The 51-km-long 1859 Flow originates from a fissure and is an example of a paired a a and pahoehoe lava flow. We collected DGPS data across a 500 m long island. Here, the channel diverted around a pre-existing obstruction in the channel, building vertical walls up to 9 m in height above the current channel floor. The complicated emplacement history along this channel section, including an initial a a stage partially covered by pahoehoe overflows, resulted in an appearance of terraced channel walls, no levees and diffuse flow margins. The 1907 Mauna Loa flow extends > 20 km from the SW rift zone. The distal flow formed an a a channel. However the proximal flow field comprises a sheet that experienced drainage and sagging of the crust

  16. Human presence impacts fungal diversity of inflated lunar/Mars analog habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blachowicz, A; Mayer, T; Bashir, M; Pieber, T R; De León, P; Venkateswaran, K

    2017-07-11

    An inflatable lunar/Mars analog habitat (ILMAH), simulated closed system isolated by HEPA filtration, mimics International Space Station (ISS) conditions and future human habitation on other planets except for the exchange of air between outdoor and indoor environments. The ILMAH was primarily commissioned to measure physiological, psychological, and immunological characteristics of human inhabiting in isolation, but it was also available for other studies such as examining its microbiological aspects. Characterizing and understanding possible changes and succession of fungal species is of high importance since fungi are not only hazardous to inhabitants but also deteriorate the habitats. Observing the mycobiome changes in the presence of human will enable developing appropriate countermeasures with reference to crew health in a future closed habitat. Succession of fungi was characterized utilizing both traditional and state-of-the-art molecular techniques during the 30-day human occupation of the ILMAH. Surface samples were collected at various time points and locations to observe both the total and viable fungal populations of common environmental and opportunistic pathogenic species. To estimate the cultivable fungal population, potato dextrose agar plate counts method was utilized. The internal transcribed spacer region-based iTag Illumina sequencing was employed to measure the community structure and fluctuation of the mycobiome over time in various locations. Treatment of samples with propidium monoazide (PMA; a DNA intercalating dye for selective detection of viable microbial populations) had a significant effect on the microbial diversity compared to non-PMA-treated samples. Statistical analysis confirmed that viable fungal community structure changed (increase in diversity and decrease in fungal burden) over the occupation time. Samples collected at day 20 showed distinct fungal profiles from samples collected at any other time point (before or after

  17. A drill-soil system modelization for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finzi, A. E.; Lavagna, M.; Rocchitelli, G.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a first approach to the problem of modeling a drilling process to be carried on in the space environment by a dedicated payload. Systems devoted to work in space present very strict requirements in many different fields such as thermal response, electric power demand, reliability and so on. Thus, models devoted to the operational behaviour simulation represent a fundamental help in the design phase and give a great improvement in the final product quality. As the required power is the crucial constraint within drilling devices, the tool-soil interaction modelization and simulation are finalized to the computation of the power demand as a function of both the drill and the soil parameters. An accurate study of the tool and the soil separately has been firstly carried on and, secondly their interaction has been analyzed. The Dee-Dri system, designed by Tecnospazio and to be part of the lander components in the NASA's Mars Sample Return Mission, has been taken as the tool reference. The Deep-Drill system is a complex rotary tool devoted to the soil perforation and sample collection; it has to operate in a Martian zone made of rocks similar to the terrestrial basalt, then the modelization is restricted to the interaction analysis between the tool and materials belonging to the rock set. The tool geometric modelization has been faced by a finite element approach with a Langrangian formulation: for the static analysis a refined model is assumed considering both the actual geometry of the head and the rod screws; a simplified model has been used to deal with the dynamic analysis. The soil representation is based on the Mohr-Coulomb crack criterion and an Eulerian approach has been selected to model it. However, software limitations in dealing with the tool-soil interface definition required assuming a Langrangian formulation for the soil too. The interaction between the soil and the tool has been modeled by extending the two-dimensional Nishimatsu

  18. The Role of the Photogeologic Mapping in the Morocco 2013 Mars Analog Field Simulation (Austrian Space Forum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losiak, Anna; Orgel, Csilla; Moser, Linda; MacArthur, Jane; Gołębiowska, Izabela; Wittek, Steffen; Boyd, Andrea; Achorner, Isabella; Rampey, Mike; Bartenstein, Thomas; Jones, Natalie; Luger, Ulrich; Sans, Alejandra; Hettrich, Sebastian

    2013-04-01

    The MARS2013 mission: The Austrian Space Forum together with multiple scientific partners will conduct a Mars analog field simulation. The project takes place between 1st and 28th of February 2013 in the northern Sahara near Erfoud. During the simulation a field crew (consisting of suited analog astronauts and a support team) will conduct several experiments while being managed by the Mission Support Center (MSC) located in Innsbruck, Austria. The aim of the project is to advance preparation of the future human Mars missions by testing: 1) the mission design with regard to operational and engineering challenges (e.g., how to work efficiently with introduced time delay in communication between field team and MSC), 2) scientific instruments (e.g., rovers) and 3) human performance in conditions analogous to those that will be encountered on Mars. The Role of Geological Mapping: Remote Science Support team (RSS) is responsible for processing science data obtained in the field. The RSS is also in charge of preparing a set of maps to enable planning activities of the mission (including the development of traverses) [1, 2]. The usage of those maps will increase the time-cost efficiency of the entire mission. The RSS team members do not have any prior knowledge about the area where the simulation is taking place and the analysis is fully based on remote sensing satellite data (Landsat, GoogleEarth) and a digital elevation model (ASTER GDEM)from the orbital data. The maps design: The set of maps (covering area 5 km X 5 km centered on the Mission Base Camp) was designed to simplify the process of site selection for the daily traverse planning. Additionally, the maps will help to accommodate the need of the field crew for the increased autonomy in the decision making process, forced by the induced time delay between MSC and "Mars". The set of provided maps should allow the field team to orientate and navigate in the explored areas as well as make informed decisions about

  19. The limitations on organic detection in Mars-like soils by thermal volatilization-gas chromatography-MS and their implications for the Viking results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-González, Rafael; Navarro, Karina F; de la Rosa, José; Iñiguez, Enrique; Molina, Paola; Miranda, Luis D; Morales, Pedro; Cienfuegos, Edith; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, François; Amils, Ricardo; McKay, Christopher P

    2006-10-31

    The failure of Viking Lander thermal volatilization (TV) (without or with thermal degradation)-gas chromatography (GC)-MS experiments to detect organics suggests chemical rather than biological interpretations for the reactivity of the martian soil. Here, we report that TV-GC-MS may be blind to low levels of organics on Mars. A comparison between TV-GC-MS and total organics has been conducted for a variety of Mars analog soils. In the Antarctic Dry Valleys and the Atacama and Libyan Deserts we find 10-90 mug of refractory or graphitic carbon per gram of soil, which would have been undetectable by the Viking TV-GC-MS. In iron-containing soils (jarosites from Rio Tinto and Panoche Valley) and the Mars simulant (palogonite), oxidation of the organic material to carbon dioxide (CO(2)) by iron oxides and/or their salts drastically attenuates the detection of organics. The release of 50-700 ppm of CO(2) by TV-GC-MS in the Viking analysis may indicate that an oxidation of organic material took place. Therefore, the martian surface could have several orders of magnitude more organics than the stated Viking detection limit. Because of the simplicity of sample handling, TV-GC-MS is still considered the standard method for organic detection on future Mars missions. We suggest that the design of future organic instruments for Mars should include other methods to be able to detect extinct and/or extant life.

  20. The limitations on organic detection in Mars-like soils by thermal volatilization–gas chromatography–MS and their implications for the Viking results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-González, Rafael; Navarro, Karina F.; de la Rosa, José; Iñiguez, Enrique; Molina, Paola; Miranda, Luis D.; Morales, Pedro; Cienfuegos, Edith; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, François; Amils, Ricardo; McKay, Christopher P.

    2006-01-01

    The failure of Viking Lander thermal volatilization (TV) (without or with thermal degradation)–gas chromatography (GC)–MS experiments to detect organics suggests chemical rather than biological interpretations for the reactivity of the martian soil. Here, we report that TV–GC–MS may be blind to low levels of organics on Mars. A comparison between TV–GC–MS and total organics has been conducted for a variety of Mars analog soils. In the Antarctic Dry Valleys and the Atacama and Libyan Deserts we find 10–90 μg of refractory or graphitic carbon per gram of soil, which would have been undetectable by the Viking TV–GC–MS. In iron-containing soils (jarosites from Rio Tinto and Panoche Valley) and the Mars simulant (palogonite), oxidation of the organic material to carbon dioxide (CO2) by iron oxides and/or their salts drastically attenuates the detection of organics. The release of 50–700 ppm of CO2 by TV–GC–MS in the Viking analysis may indicate that an oxidation of organic material took place. Therefore, the martian surface could have several orders of magnitude more organics than the stated Viking detection limit. Because of the simplicity of sample handling, TV–GC–MS is still considered the standard method for organic detection on future Mars missions. We suggest that the design of future organic instruments for Mars should include other methods to be able to detect extinct and/or extant life. PMID:17060639

  1. Suited versus unsuited analog astronaut performance using the Aouda.X space suit simulator: the DELTA experiment of MARS2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soucek, Alexander; Ostkamp, Lutz; Paternesi, Roberta

    2015-04-01

    Space suit simulators are used for extravehicular activities (EVAs) during Mars analog missions. Flight planning and EVA productivity require accurate time estimates of activities to be performed with such simulators, such as experiment execution or traverse walking. We present a benchmarking methodology for the Aouda.X space suit simulator of the Austrian Space Forum. By measuring and comparing the times needed to perform a set of 10 test activities with and without Aouda.X, an average time delay was derived in the form of a multiplicative factor. This statistical value (a second-over-second time ratio) is 1.30 and shows that operations in Aouda.X take on average a third longer than the same operations without the suit. We also show that activities predominantly requiring fine motor skills are associated with larger time delays (between 1.17 and 1.59) than those requiring short-distance locomotion or short-term muscle strain (between 1.10 and 1.16). The results of the DELTA experiment performed during the MARS2013 field mission increase analog mission planning reliability and thus EVA efficiency and productivity when using Aouda.X.

  2. Can plants grow on Mars and the moon: a growth experiment on Mars and moon soil simulants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G W Wieger Wamelink

    Full Text Available When humans will settle on the moon or Mars they will have to eat there. Food may be flown in. An alternative could be to cultivate plants at the site itself, preferably in native soils. We report on the first large-scale controlled experiment to investigate the possibility of growing plants in Mars and moon soil simulants. The results show that plants are able to germinate and grow on both Martian and moon soil simulant for a period of 50 days without any addition of nutrients. Growth and flowering on Mars regolith simulant was much better than on moon regolith simulant and even slightly better than on our control nutrient poor river soil. Reflexed stonecrop (a wild plant; the crops tomato, wheat, and cress; and the green manure species field mustard performed particularly well. The latter three flowered, and cress and field mustard also produced seeds. Our results show that in principle it is possible to grow crops and other plant species in Martian and Lunar soil simulants. However, many questions remain about the simulants' water carrying capacity and other physical characteristics and also whether the simulants are representative of the real soils.

  3. Can plants grow on Mars and the moon: a growth experiment on Mars and moon soil simulants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wamelink, G W Wieger; Frissel, Joep Y; Krijnen, Wilfred H J; Verwoert, M Rinie; Goedhart, Paul W

    2014-01-01

    When humans will settle on the moon or Mars they will have to eat there. Food may be flown in. An alternative could be to cultivate plants at the site itself, preferably in native soils. We report on the first large-scale controlled experiment to investigate the possibility of growing plants in Mars and moon soil simulants. The results show that plants are able to germinate and grow on both Martian and moon soil simulant for a period of 50 days without any addition of nutrients. Growth and flowering on Mars regolith simulant was much better than on moon regolith simulant and even slightly better than on our control nutrient poor river soil. Reflexed stonecrop (a wild plant); the crops tomato, wheat, and cress; and the green manure species field mustard performed particularly well. The latter three flowered, and cress and field mustard also produced seeds. Our results show that in principle it is possible to grow crops and other plant species in Martian and Lunar soil simulants. However, many questions remain about the simulants' water carrying capacity and other physical characteristics and also whether the simulants are representative of the real soils.

  4. Definitive Mineralogical Analysis of Mars Analog Rocks Using the CheMin XRD/XRF Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, D. F.; Sarrazin, P.; Bish, D. L.; Feldman, S.; Chipera, S. J.; Vaniman, D. T.; Collins, S.

    2004-01-01

    Mineral identification is a critical component of Mars Astrobiological missions. Chemical or elemental data alone are not definitive because a single elemental or chemical composition or even a single bonding type can represent a range of substances or mineral assemblages. Minerals are defined as unique structural and compositional phases that occur naturally. There are about 15,000 minerals that have been described on Earth, all uniquely identifiable via diffraction methods. There are likely many minerals yet undiscovered on Earth, and likewise on Mars. If an unknown phase is identified on Mars, it can be fully characterized by structural (X-ray Diffraction, XRD) and elemental analysis (X-ray Fluorescence, XRF) without recourse to other data because XRD relies on the principles of atomic arrangement for its determinations. XRD is the principal means of identification and characterization of minerals on Earth.

  5. The human story of Crew 173- capturing a Mars analog mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Niamh; Musilova, Michaela; Pons Lorente, Arnau; Sisaid, Idriss; Naor, Roy; Blake, Richard

    2017-04-01

    An international crew of six scientists, engineers, artists and entrepreneurs with different space specialisations were selected by the Mars Society to take part in a Martian simulation in January 2017. An ambitious outreach and media strategy was developed, aimed at communicating the benefits of missions to Mars to the public and to capture the public's interest by telling the human story of the crew's mission. Entitled Crew 173 Team PRIMA, they entered the Mars Desert Research Station in the Utah Desert and conducted research in 3D printing, hydroponics, geology and astronomy. Both the scientific and community experience of this mission was documented through still image, video, audio, diary and daily journalling by the resident artist of the mission, Niamh Shaw. The full experience of the crew was documented (before, during and after the expedition), to capture each individual experience of the crew and the human experience of isolation of future human space missions.

  6. Using Mars Mission Analogs and Authentic Experiences to Stimulate STEM Learning in K-14 Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, S. L.; Grigsby, B.; Valderrama, P.; Watt, K.

    2005-12-01

    Today, in many of the classrooms across our nation, K-12 educators are finding it more difficult to engage their students in the subjects that will help them to succeed to a more productive way of life - science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Finally, add to this formidable task a diverse set of learners (demographically and skill level) of an average classroom and the constraints of high stakes testing. Quite a challenge, indeed! The Arizona State University (ASU) Mars Education Program, in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Public Engagement Team have created programming, curriculum, and activities that help to bridge the gap between STEM learning and student interest. Starting with the Standards in the STEM areas - the areas which teachers are tasked to teach already, our team has modeled the STEM-based curriculum after the way that NASA's Mars team conducts their work and research. There is much challenge in the statement "Science for All Americans" when it comes to applying it equally to all classrooms across the U.S. To make sure that these curricular materials and hands-on experiences are available to any teacher and student, the ASU Mars Education Program has adopted a "high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech" approach. In other words, materials and programming have to be available and doable with whatever capabilities a classroom might possess. Using this approach, successful examples of Mars-based educational materials include Marsbound and the Mars Student Imaging Project. The Marsbound simulation is based on National Technology Standards and seemingly low tech. However, the simplicity of this simulation is quickly forgotten as it follows the familiar NASA scenario of building a mission to Mars with engineering constraints. Student teams use a set of equipment cards and a playmat (both available at no cost) to build their mission and balance it according to the constraints given. Students soon realize there is a lot of complexity to

  7. Survival of Halophilic Archaea in the Stratosphere as a Mars Analog: A Transcriptomic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    DasSarma, S.; DasSarma, P.; Laye, V.; Harvey, J.; Reid, C.; Shultz, J.; Yarborough, A.; Lamb, A.; Koske-Phillips, A.; Herbst, A.; Molina, F.; Grah, O.; Phillips, T.

    2016-05-01

    On Earth, halophilic Archaea tolerate multiple extreme conditions similar to those on Mars. In order to study their survival, we launched live cultures into Earth’s stratosphere on helium balloons. The effects on survival and transcriptomes were interrogated in the lab.

  8. The wide perspective on Mars-500 as an analog of deep space exploration: the Czech monograh

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stuchlíková, I.; Šolcová, Iva; Poláčková Šolcová, Iva; Mazehóová, Y.; Vinokhodova, A.; Gushin, V.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 4 (2013), s. 175-175 ISSN 0233-528X. [XIV. Conference on Space Biology and Aerospace Medicine. 28.10.2013-30.10.2013, Moskva] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP407/11/2226 Institutional support: RVO:68081740 Keywords : Mars-500 * group communication * resilience * motivation Subject RIV: AN - Psychology

  9. Fatty Acid Detection in Mars-Analogous Rock Samples with the TMAH Wet Chemistry Experiment on the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, A. J.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Wilhelm, M. B.; Johnson, S. S.; Craft, K.; O'Reilly, S.; Lewis, J. M. T.; Williams, R.; Summons, R. E.; Benison, K. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2017-12-01

    The Curiosity rover is exploring sedimentary rock sequences in Gale Crater for evidence of habitability and searching for organic compounds using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. SAM includes a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC-MS) and pyrolysis ovens. SAM has the ability to perform wet chemistry experiments, one of which uses tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) thermochemolysis to liberate bound lipids, making them sufficiently volatile for detection by GC-MS. To determine the effectiveness of the SAM-like TMAH experiment on fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) biomarker identification, rock and sediment samples were collected from a variety of Mars analog environments including iron oxides from a modern mineral precipitate and older surface gossan at Iron Mountain, CA, as well as modern acid salt and neutral lake sediments with mixed iron oxides and clays from Western Australia; siliceous sinter from recently inactive and modern near-vent Icelandic hot springs deposits; modern carbonate ooids from The Bahamas, and organic-rich shale from Germany. Samples underwent pyrolysis with TMAH. Fatty acids were analyzed by pyro-GC-MS using a SAM-like heating ramp (35°C/min) as well as a 500°C flash on a Frontier pyrolyzer and Agilent GC-MS instrument. Results reveal that FAMEs were detectable with the TMAH experiment in nearly all samples. Low molecular weight (MW) C6:0-C10:0 FAMEs were present in all samples, medium MW C11:0-C18:2 FAMEs were present in select samples, and high MW (HMW) C20:0-C30:0 FAMEs were present in the shale sample. Many of these samples exhibited an even-over-odd carbon number preference, indicating biological production. These experiments demonstrate that TMAH thermochemolysis with SAM-like pyro-GC-MS is effective in fatty acid analysis from natural Mars-analog samples that vary in mineralogy, age, and microbial community input. HMW FAMEs are not detected in iron-dominated samples, and may not be detectable at low

  10. Preparation, Characterization, and UV Irradiation of Mars Soil Analogues Under Simulated Martian Conditions to Support Detection of Molecular Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornaro, T.; Brucato, J. R.; ten Kate, I. L.; Siljeström, S.; Steele, A.; Cody, G. D.; Hazen, R. M.

    2018-04-01

    We present laboratory activities of preparation, characterization, and UV irradiation processing of Mars soil analogues, which are key to support both in situ exploration and sample return missions devoted to detection of molecular biomarkers on Mars.

  11. Laboratory Investigations on the Survival of Bacillus subtilis Spores in Deliquescent Salt Mars Analog Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuding, Danielle L; Gough, Raina V; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J; Spry, James A; Tolbert, Margaret A

    2017-10-01

    Observed features such as recurring slope lineae suggest that liquid water may exist on the surface and near-subsurface of Mars today. The presence of this liquid water, likely in the form of a brine, has important implications for the present-day water cycle, habitability, and planetary protection policies. It is possible that this water is formed, at least partially, by deliquescence of salts, a process during which hygroscopic salts absorb water vapor from the atmosphere and form a saturated liquid brine. We performed laboratory experiments to examine the ability of Bacillus subtilis (B-168) spores, alone or mixed with calcium perchlorate salt (Ca(ClO 4 ) 2 ), to form liquid water via deliquescence under Mars-relevant conditions. Spore survival after exposure to these conditions was examined. An environmental chamber was used to expose the samples to temperature and relative humidity (RH) values similar to those found on Mars, and Raman microscopy was used to identify the phases of water and salt that were present and to confirm the presence of spores. We found that B-168 spores did not condense any detectable water vapor on their own during the diurnal cycle, even at 100% RH. However, when spores were mixed with perchlorate salt, the entire sample deliquesced at low RH values, immersing the spores in a brine solution during the majority of the simulated martian temperature and humidity cycle. After exposure to the simulated diurnal cycles and, in some cases, perchlorate brine, the impact of each environmental scenario on spore survival was estimated by standard plate assay. We found that, if there are deliquescent salts in contact with spores, there is a mechanism for the spores to acquire liquid water starting with only atmospheric water vapor as the H 2 O source. Also, neither crystalline nor liquid Ca(ClO 4 ) 2 is sporicidal despite the low water activity. Key Words: Raman microscopy-Mars-Planetary protection-Salts-Water activity. Astrobiology 17, 997-1008.

  12. Field Characterization of the Mineralogy and Organic Chemistry of Carbonates from the 2010 Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition by Evolved Gas Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdam, A. C.; Ten Kate, I. L.; Stern, J. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Blake, D. F.; Morris, R. V.; Steele, A.; Amundson, H. E. F.

    2011-01-01

    The 2010 Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) investigated two geologic settings using methodologies and techniques being developed or considered for future Mars missions, such as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), ExoMars, and Mars Sample Return. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) [1] instrument suite, which will be on MSL, consists of a quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), a gas chromatograph (GC), and a tunable laser mass spectrometer (TLS); all will be applied to analyze gases created by pyrolysis of samples. During AMASE, a Hiden Evolved Gas Analysis-Mass Spectrometer (EGA-MS) system represented the EGA-MS capability of SAM. Another MSL instrument, CheMin, will use x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) to perform quantitative mineralogical characterization of samples [e.g., 2]. Field-portable versions of CheMin were used during AMASE. AMASE 2010 focused on two sites that represented biotic and abiotic analogs. The abiotic site was the basaltic Sigurdfjell vent complex, which contains Mars-analog carbonate cements including carbonate globules which are excellent analogs for the globules in the ALH84001 martian meteorite [e.g., 3, 4]. The biotic site was the Knorringfjell fossil methane seep, which featured carbonates precipitated in a methane-supported chemosynthetic community [5]. This contribution focuses on EGA-MS analyses of samples from each site, with mineralogy comparisons to CheMin team results. The results give insight into organic content and organic-mineral associations, as well as some constraints on the minerals present.

  13. Luminescence Dating of Martian Polar Deposits: Concepts and Preliminary Measurements Using Martian Soil Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepper, K.; Kuhns, C. K.; McKeever, S. W. S.; Sears, D. W. G.

    2000-08-01

    Martian polar deposits have the potential to reveal a wealth of information about the evolution of Mars' climate and surface environment. However, as pointed out by Clifford et al. in the summary of the First International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration, 'The single greatest obstacle to unlocking and interpreting the geologic and climatic record preserved at the [martian] poles is the need for absolute dating.' At that same conference Lepper and McKeever proposed development of luminescence dating as a remote in-situ technique for absolute dating of silicate mineral grains incorporated in polar deposits. Clifford et al. have also acknowledged that luminescence dating is more practical from cost, engineering, and logistical perspectives than other isotope-based methods proposed for in-situ dating on Mars. We report here the results of ongoing experiments with terrestrial analogs of martian surface materials to establish a broad fundamental knowledge base from which robust dating procedures for robotic missions may be developed. This broad knowledge base will also be critical in determining the engineering requirements of remote in-situ luminescence dating equipment intended for use on Mars. Additional information can be found in the original extended abstract.

  14. Exploration of a Subsurface Biosphere in a Volcanic Massive Sulfide: Results of the Mars Analog Rio Tinto Drilling Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Stevens, T.; Amils, R.; Fernandez, D.

    2005-12-01

    Biological systems on Earth require three key ingredients-- liquid water, an energy source, and a carbon source, that are found in very few extraterrestrial environments. Previous examples of independent subsurface ecosystems have been found only in basalt aquifers. Such lithotrophic microbial ecosystems (LME) have been proposed as models for steps in the early evolution of Earth's biosphere and for potential biospheres on other planets where the surface is uninhabitable, such as Mars and Europa.. The Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE) has searched in a volcanic massive sulfide deposit in Rio Tinto Spain for a subsurface biosphere capable of living without sunlight or oxygen and found a subsurface ecosystem driven by the weathering of the massive sulfide deposit (VMS) in which the rock matrix provides sufficient resources to support microbial metabolism, including the vigorous production of H2 by water-rock interactions. Microbial production of methane and sulfate occurred in the sulfide orebody and microbial production of methane and hydrogen sulfide continued in an anoxic plume downgradient from the sulfide ore. Organic carbon concentrations in the parent rock were too low to support microbes. The Rio Tinto system thus represents a new type of subsurface ecosystem with strong relevance for exobiological studies. Commercial drilling was used to reach the aquifer system at 100 m depth and conventional laboratory techniques were used to identify and characterize the biosphere. Then, the life search strategy that led to successful identification of this biosphere was applied to the development of a robotic drilling, core handling, inspection, subsampling, and life detection system built on a prototype planetary lander that was deployed in Rio Tinto Spain in September 2005 to test the capability of a robotic drilling system to search for subsurface life. A remote science team directed the simulation and analyzed the data from the MARTE robotic drill. The results

  15. Laboratory Investigations on the Survival of Bacillus subtilis Spores in Deliquescent Salt Mars Analog Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuding, Danielle L.; Gough, Raina V.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J.; Spry, James A.; Tolbert, Margaret A.

    2017-10-01

    Observed features such as recurring slope lineae suggest that liquid water may exist on the surface and near-subsurface of Mars today. The presence of this liquid water, likely in the form of a brine, has important implications for the present-day water cycle, habitability, and planetary protection policies. It is possible that this water is formed, at least partially, by deliquescence of salts, a process during which hygroscopic salts absorb water vapor from the atmosphere and form a saturated liquid brine. We performed laboratory experiments to examine the ability of Bacillus subtilis (B-168) spores, alone or mixed with calcium perchlorate salt (Ca(ClO4)2), to form liquid water via deliquescence under Mars-relevant conditions. Spore survival after exposure to these conditions was examined. An environmental chamber was used to expose the samples to temperature and relative humidity (RH) values similar to those found on Mars, and Raman microscopy was used to identify the phases of water and salt that were present and to confirm the presence of spores. We found that B-168 spores did not condense any detectable water vapor on their own during the diurnal cycle, even at 100% RH. However, when spores were mixed with perchlorate salt, the entire sample deliquesced at low RH values, immersing the spores in a brine solution during the majority of the simulated martian temperature and humidity cycle. After exposure to the simulated diurnal cycles and, in some cases, perchlorate brine, the impact of each environmental scenario on spore survival was estimated by standard plate assay. We found that, if there are deliquescent salts in contact with spores, there is a mechanism for the spores to acquire liquid water starting with only atmospheric water vapor as the H2O source. Also, neither crystalline nor liquid Ca(ClO4)2 is sporicidal despite the low water activity.

  16. Characterization of terrestrial hydrothermal alteration products with Mars analog instrumentation: Implications for current and future rover investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Sarah R.; Hynek, Brian M.

    2018-06-01

    Interpretation of Martian geology relies heavily on our understanding of terrestrial analog deposits and our ability to obtain comprehensive and accurate mineralogical compositions. Many previous studies of terrestrial hydrothermal deposits relied on limited datasets and/or did not use instruments analogous to those deployed on Mars. We analyzed 100 hydrothermally altered basalts from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Iceland with Mars analog Visible to Short Wave Infrared (VSWIR) spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction (XRD), and Raman laser spectrometry. Alteration mineralogy consisted of amorphous and crystalline SiO2 (cristobalite, tridymite, quartz), Ca/Al/Fe/Mg-sulfates (gypsum, anhydrite, alunite, jarosite, hexahydrite, alunogen), Fe-, Ti-, and Mg-oxides/hydroxides (hematite, goethite, anatase/brookite, brucite), elemental sulfur, and phyllosilicates (montmorillonite, kaolinite). Results indicate VSWIR is best suited for identification of X-ray amorphous materials such as hydrated SiO2 and phyllosilicates, while XRD is best utilized for highly ordered crystalline materials such as sulfates, crystalline SiO2 polymorphs, elemental sulfur, and Mg-hydroxides identification. Surprisingly, XRD had the lowest identification rates for Fe-oxides/hydroxides (42% compared to 61% and 75% for VNIR and Raman, respectively), and nearly equal identification rates as VSWIR for kaolinite (76% for VSWIR, 71% for XRD). Identification of phyllosilicates in XRD, while possible, is not as effective as VSWIR without extensive sample preparation. Our observed identification rates may be attributed to the relative abundance of materials-Fe-oxides/hydroxides being present as surface coatings, the presence of large amounts of kaolinite in some samples, and an increased particle size for kaolinite relative to other clays. Elemental sulfur and Fe- and Ti-oxides/hydroxides were more readily identified with Raman. With NASA's current focus on habitability, hydrothermally altered areas-which we know to

  17. Terrestrial Analogs for Clay Minerals at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treiman, Allan H; Morris, Richard V.; Bristow, Thomas; Ming, Douglas W.; Achillies, Cherie; Bish, David L.; Blake, David; Vaniman, David; Chipera, Steve

    2013-01-01

    Sediments of the Sheepbed unit, Gale Crater, were analyzed by the CheMin X-ray diffraction instrument on the Curiosity Rover. The sediments consist of typical basalt minerals (Fe-forsterite, augite, pigeonite, plagioclase), as well as Fe oxide/hydroxides, Fesulfides, amorphous material, and a phyllosilicate. The phyllosilicate has a broad 001 peak at approx 1.0 nm, consistent with a poorly ordered smectite. However, in the absence of diagnostic tests possible on Earth, its identity is not clear. The position of the 06L diffraction band is generally used to distinguish dioctahedral from trioctahedral smectite, but it is beyond CheMin's range of 2 Theta. The measured position of the 02L diffraction band (approx 22.5deg 2 Theta by CheMin), implies that the smectite is trioctahedral. The exact position and shape of the 02L band is determined by the cations in the 'M' sites of the smectite; to constrain those cations, we sought analogs among terrestrial smectites, emphasizing those developed from basaltic precursors. A potential analog for the Sheepbed smectite is 'griffithite,' a variety of trioctahedral smectite in altered basalt of the Topanga formation, Griffith Park, Los Angeles. 'Griffithite' has an 02L diffraction band that is close in position and shape to that of the Sheepbed smectite, although 'griffithite' has a very sharp 001 peak, indicating a high degree of layer ordering not seen in the Sheepbed smectite. A typical chemical formula for 'griffithite,' determined by electron microprobe, is (Ca0.59 Na0.03) (Mg4.28 Fe1.83) (Si6.64 Al1.36) O20 (OH)4, normalized to Si+Al=8. This formula is consistent with a fully trioctahedral Fe-Mg smectite with Ca and Na as interlayer cations. In the Topanga basalt, four types of 'griffithite' are present: fine-grained, filling cracks and vesicles; coarse-grained, filling vesicles; coarse-grained, replacing olivine phenocrysts; and coarse-grained, replacing glassy mesostasis. The fine-grained 'griffithite' formed first, and

  18. Fluvial Channel Networks as Analogs for the Ridge-Forming Unit, Sinus Meridiani, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, M. J.; du Bois, J. B.

    2010-01-01

    Fluvial models have been generally discounted as analogs for the younger layered rock units of Sinus Meridiani. A fluvial model based on the large fluvial fan provides a possibly close analog for various features of the sinuous ridges of the etched, ridge-forming unit (RFU) in particular. The close spacing of the RFU ridges, their apparently chaotic orientations, and their organization in dense networks all appear unlike classical stream channel patterns. However, drainage patterns on large fluvial fans low-angle, fluvial aggradational features, 100s of km long, documented worldwide by us provide parallels. Some large fan characteristics resemble those of classical floodplains, but many differences have been demonstrated. One major distinction relevant to the RFU is that channel landscapes of large fans can dominate large areas (1.2 million km2 in one S. American study area). We compare channel morphologies on large fans in the southern Sahara Desert with ridge patterns in Sinus Meridiani (fig 1). Stream channels are the dominant landform on large terrestrial fans: they may equate to the ubiquitous, sinuous, elongated ridges of the RFU that cover areas region wide. Networks of convergent/divergent and crossing channels may equate to similar features in the ridge networks. Downslope divergence is absent in channels of terrestrial upland erosional landscapes (fig. 1, left), whereas it is common to both large fans (fig. 1, center) and RFU ridge patterns (fig 1, right downslope defined as the regional NW slope of Sinus Meridiani). RFU ridge orientation, judged from those areas apparently devoid of impact crater control, is broadly parallel with the regional slope (arrow, fig. 1, right), as is mean orientation of major channels on large fans (arrow, fig. 1, center). High densities per unit area characterize fan channels and martian ridges reaching an order of magnitude higher than those in uplands just upstream of the terrestrial study areas fig. 1. In concert with

  19. Plume Mitigation for Mars Terminal Landing: Soil Stabilization Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A sustained human presence on the Moon, Mars, or other celestial bodies, will require numerous disciplines to create technologies, solve current known...

  20. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Day, Trevor

    2006-01-01

    Discusses the fundamental facts concerning this mysterious planet, including its mass, size, and atmosphere, as well as the various missions that helped planetary scientists document the geological history of Mars. This volume also describes Mars'' seasons with their surface effects on the planet and how they have changed over time.

  1. Silica in a Mars analog environment: Ka u Desert, Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seelos, K.D.; Arvidson, R. E.; Jolliff, B.L.; Chemtob, S.M.; Morris, R.V.; Ming, D. W.; Swayze, G.A.

    2010-01-01

    Airborne Visible/Near-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data acquired over the Ka u Desert are atmospherically corrected to ground reflectance and used to identify the mineralogic components of relatively young basaltic materials, including 250-700 and 200-400 year old lava flows, 1971 and 1974 flows, ash deposits, and solfatara incrustations. To provide context, a geologic surface units map is constructed, verified with field observations, and supported by laboratory analyses. AVIRIS spectral endmembers are identified in the visible (0.4 to 1.2 ??m) and short wave infrared (2.0 to 2.5 ??m) wavelength ranges. Nearly all the spectral variability is controlled by the presence of ferrous and ferric iron in such minerals as pyroxene, olivine, hematite, goethite, and poorly crystalline iron oxides or glass. A broad, nearly ubiquitous absorption feature centered at 2.25 ??m is attributed to opaline (amorphous, hydrated) silica and is found to correlate spatially with mapped geologic surface units. Laboratory analyses show the silica to be consistently present as a deposited phase, including incrustations downwind from solfatara vents, cementing agent for ash duricrusts, and thin coatings on the youngest lava flow surfaces. A second, Ti-rich upper coating on young flows also influences spectral behavior. This study demonstrates that secondary silica is mobile in the Ka u Desert on a variety of time scales and spatial domains. The investigation from remote, field, and laboratory perspectives also mimics exploration of Mars using orbital and landed missions, with important implications for spectral characterization of coated basalts and formation of opaline silica in arid, acidic alteration environments. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

  2. Effects of Mars Regolith Analogs, UVC radiation, Temperature, Pressure, and pH on the Growth and Survivability of Methanogenic Archaea and Stable Carbon Isotope Fractionation: Implications for Surface and Subsurface Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Navita

    Mars is one of the suitable bodies in our solar system that can accommodate extraterrestrial life. The detection of plumes of methane in the Martian atmosphere, geochemical evidence, indication of flow of intermittent liquid water on the Martian surface, and geomorphologies of Mars have bolstered the plausibility of finding extant or evidence of extinct life on its surface and/or subsurface. However, contemporary Mars has been considered as an inhospitable planet for several reasons, such as low atmospheric surface pressure, low surface temperature, and intense DNA damaging radiation. Despite the hostile conditions of Mars, a few strains of methanogenic archaea have shown survivability in limited surface and subsurface conditions of Mars. Methanogens, which are chemolithoautotrophic non-photosynthetic anaerobic archaea, have been considered ideal models for possible Martian life forms for a long time. The search for biosignatures in the Martian atmosphere and possibility of life on the Martian surface under UVC radiation and deep subsurface under high pressure, temperature, and various pHs are the motivations of this research. Analogous to Earth, Martian atmospheric methane could be biological in origin. Chapter 1 provides relevant information about Mars' habitability, methane on Mars, and different strains of methanogens used in this study. Chapter 2 describes the interpretation of the carbon isotopic data of biogenic methane produced by methanogens grown on various Mars analogs and the results provide clues to determine ambiguous sources of methane on Mars. Chapter 3 illustrates the sensitivity of hydrated and desiccated cultures of halophilic and non-halophilic methanogens to DNA-damaging ultraviolet radiations, and the results imply that UVC radiation may not be an enormous constraint for methanogenic life forms on the surface of Mars. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 discuss the data for the survivability, growth, and morphology of methanogens in presumed deep subsurface

  3. Soil fauna in forest and coffee plantations from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Mar ta, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Camero R, Edgar

    2002-01-01

    Two research stations (M inca, 700 m altitude and Maria Ter esa, 790 m altitude) were established in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Mar ta in places to study the soil fauna associated with forest and coffee plantations. Soil fauna was collected using pitfall and Bailer's traps. Samples were taken from litter as well as from horizons 0, A and B. individuals collected were identified to family level. Diversity, abundance and frequency indexes were used to compare fauna composition at both sites. Significant differences were found between the two research sites as well as with data from other high altitude forest in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Mar ta

  4. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Payment, Simone

    2017-01-01

    This curriculum-based, fun, and approachable book offers everything young readers need to know to begin their study of the Red Planet. They will learn about the fundamental aspects of the Mars, including its size, mass, surface features, interior, orbit, and spin. Further, they will learn about the history of the missions to Mars, including the Viking spacecraft and the Curiosity and MAVEN rovers. Finally, readers will learn about why scientists think there's a chance that Mars is or was suitable for life. With stunning imagery from NASA itself, readers will have a front seat-view of the missi

  5. Potassium ferrate [Fe(VI] does not mediate self-sterilization of a surrogate mars soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paszczynski Andrzej

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Martian soil is thought to be enriched with strong oxidants such as peroxides and/or iron in high oxidation states that might destroy biological materials. There is also a high flux of ultraviolet radiation at the surface of Mars. Thus, Mars may be inhospitable to life as we know it on Earth. We examined the hypothesis that if the soil of Mars contains ferrates [Fe(VI], the strongest of the proposed oxidizing species, and also is exposed to high fluxes of UV radiation, it will be self-sterilizing. Results Under ambient conditions (25°C, oxygen and water present K2FeO4 mixed into sand mineralized some reactive organic molecules to CO2, while less reactive compounds were not degraded. Dried endospores of Bacillus subtilis incubated in a Mars surrogate soil comprised of dry silica sand containing 20% by weight K2FeO4 and under conditions similar to those now on Mars (extreme desiccation, cold, and a CO2-dominated atmosphere were resistant to killing by the ferrate-enriched sand. Similar results were observed with permanganate. Spores in oxidant-enriched sand exposed to high fluxes of UV light were protected from the sporocidal activity of the radiation below about 5 mm depths. Conclusion Based on our data and previously published descriptions of ancient but dormant life forms on Earth, we suggest that if entities resembling bacterial endospores were produced at some point by life forms on Mars, they might still be present and viable, given appropriate germination conditions. Endospores delivered to Mars on spacecraft would possibly survive and potentially compromise life detection experiments.

  6. Mars Analog Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE): A Simulated Mars Drilling Mission to Search for Subsurface Life at the Rio Tinto, Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol; Lemke, Larry; Mandell, Humboldt; McKay, David; George, Jeffrey; Gomez-Alvera, Javier; Amils, Ricardo; Stevens, Todd; Miller, David

    2003-01-01

    The MARTE (Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment) project was selected by the new NASA ASTEP program, which supports field experiments having an equal emphasis on Astrobiology science and technology development relevant to future Astrobiology missions. MARTE will search for a hypothesized subsurface anaerobic chemoautotrophic biosphere in the region of the Tinto River in southwestern Spain while also demonstrating technology needed to search for a subsurface biosphere on Mars. The experiment is informed by the strategy for searching for life on Mars.

  7. Photometric Observations of Soils and Rocks at the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Arvidson, R. A.; Bell, J. F., III; Farrand, W.; Guinness, E.; Johnson, M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Lemmon, M.; Morris, R. V.; Seelos, F., IV

    2005-01-01

    The Panoramic Cameras (Pancam) on the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers have acquired multispectral reflectance observations of rocks and soils at different incidence, emission, and phase angles that will be used for photometric modeling of surface materials. Phase angle coverage at both sites extends from approx. 0 deg. to approx. 155 deg.

  8. Transient Liquid Water as a Mechanism for Induration of Soil Crusts on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, G. A.; Blaney, D.; Cabrol, N.; Clark, B. C.; Farmer, J.; Grotzinger, J.; Greeley, R.; McLennan, S. M.; Richter, L.; Yen, A.

    2004-01-01

    The Viking and the Mars Exploration Rover missions observed that the surface of Mars is encrusted by a thinly cemented layer tagged as "duricrust". A hypothesis to explain the formation of duricrust on Mars should address not only the potential mechanisms by which these materials become cemented, but also the textural and compositional components of cemented Martian soils. Elemental analyzes at five sites on Mars show that these soils have sulfur content of up to 4%, and chlorine content of up to 1%. This is consistent with the presence of sulfates and halides as mineral cements. . For comparison, the rock "Adirondack" at the MER site, after the exterior layer was removed, had nearly five times lower sulfur and chlorine content , and the Martian meteorites have ten times lower sulfur and chlorine content, showing that the soil is highly enriched in the saltforming elements compared with rock.Here we propose two alternative models to account for the origin of these crusts, each requiring the action of transient liquid water films to mediate adhesion and cementation of grains. Two alternative versions of the transient water hypothesis are offered, a top down hypothesis that emphasizes the surface deposition of frost, melting and downward migration of liquid water and a bottom up alternative that proposes the presence of interstitial ice/brine, with the upward capillary migration of liquid water.

  9. Zeolites on Mars: Possible environmental indicators in soils and sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ming, D.W.; Gooding, J.L.

    1988-01-01

    Weathering products should serve as indicators of weathering environments and may provide the best evidence of the nature of climate change on Mars. No direct mineralogical measurements of Martian regolith were performed by the Viking missions, but the biology and X-ray fluorescence experiments provided some information on the physiochemical properties of Martian regolith. Most post-Viking studies of candidate weathering products have emphasized phyllosilicates and Fe-oxides; zeolites are potentially important, but overlooked, candidate Martian minerals. Zeolites would be important on Mars for three different reasons. First, they are major sinks of atmospheric gases and, per unit mass, are stronger and more efficient sorbents than are phyllosilicates. Secondly, they can be virtually unique sorbents and shelters for organic compounds and possible catalysts for organic-based reactions. Finally, their exchangeable ions are good indicators of the chemical properties of solutions with which they have communicated. Accordingly, the search for information on past compositions of the Martian atmosphere and hydrosphere should find zeolites to be rich repositories

  10. Development of an experimental approach to study coupled soil-plant-atmosphere processes using plant analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trautz, Andrew C.; Illangasekare, Tissa H.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Heck, Katharina; Helmig, Rainer

    2017-04-01

    The atmosphere, soils, and vegetation near the land-atmosphere interface are in a state of continuous dynamic interaction via a myriad of complex interrelated feedback processes which collectively, remain poorly understood. Studying the fundamental nature and dynamics of such processes in atmospheric, ecological, and/or hydrological contexts in the field setting presents many challenges; current experimental approaches are an important factor given a general lack of control and high measurement uncertainty. In an effort to address these issues and reduce overall complexity, new experimental design considerations (two-dimensional intermediate-scale coupled wind tunnel-synthetic aquifer testing using synthetic plants) for studying soil-plant-atmosphere continuum soil moisture dynamics are introduced and tested in this study. Validation of these experimental considerations, particularly the adoption of synthetic plants, is required prior to their application in future research. A comparison of three experiments with bare soil surfaces or transplanted with a Stargazer lily/limestone block was used to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed approaches. Results demonstrate that coupled wind tunnel-porous media experimentation, used to simulate field conditions, reduces complexity, and enhances control while allowing fine spatial-temporal resolution measurements to be made using state-of-the-art technologies. Synthetic plants further help reduce system complexity (e.g., airflow) while preserving the basic hydrodynamic functions of plants (e.g., water uptake and transpiration). The trends and distributions of key measured atmospheric and subsurface spatial and temporal variables (e.g., soil moisture, relative humidity, temperature, air velocity) were comparable, showing that synthetic plants can be used as simple, idealized, nonbiological analogs for living vegetation in fundamental hydrodynamic studies.

  11. Mineralogic and compositional properties of Martian soil and dust: results from Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J.F.; McSween, H.Y.; Crisp, J.A.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Bridges, N.T.; Johnson, J. R.; Britt, D.T.; Golombek, M.P.; Moore, H.J.; Ghosh, A.; Bishop, J.L.; Anderson, R.C.; Brückner, J.; Economou, T.; Greenwood, J.P.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hargraves, R.M.; Hviid, S.; Knudsen, J.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Reid, R.; Rieder, R.; Soderblom, L.

    2000-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder obtained multispectral, elemental, magnetic, and physical measurements of soil and dust at the Sagan Memorial Station during the course of its 83 sol mission. We describe initial results from these measurements, concentrating on multispectral and elemental data, and use these data, along with previous Viking, SNC meteorite, and telescopic results, to help constrain the origin and evolution of Martian soil and dust. We find that soils and dust can be divided into at least eight distinct spectral units, based on parameterization of Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) 400 to 1000 nm multispectral images. The most distinctive spectral parameters for soils and dust are the reflectivity in the red, the red/blue reflectivity ratio, the near-IR spectral slope, and the strength of the 800 to 1000 nm absorption feature. Most of the Pathfinder spectra are consistent with the presence of poorly crystalline or nanophase ferric oxide(s), sometimes mixed with small but varying degrees of well-crystalline ferric and ferrous phases. Darker soil units appear to be coarser-grained, compacted, and/or mixed with a larger amount of dark ferrous materials relative to bright soils. Nanophase goethite, akaganeite, schwertmannite, and maghemite are leading candidates for the origin of the absorption centered near 900 nm in IMP spectra. The ferrous component in the soil cannot be well-constrained based on IMP data. Alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) measurements of six soil units show little variability within the landing site and show remarkable overall similarity to the average Viking-derived soil elemental composition. Differences exist between Viking and Pathfinder soils, however, including significantly higher S and Cl abundances and lower Si abundances in Viking soils and the lack of a correlation between Ti and Fe in Pathfinder soils. No significant linear correlations were observed between IMP spectral properties and APXS elemental chemistry. Attempts at constraining

  12. Interaction of Space Suits with Windblown Soil: Preliminary Mars Wind Tunnel Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Bratton, C.; Kosmo, J.; Trevino, R.

    1999-09-01

    Experiments in the Mars Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center show that under Mars conditions, spacesuit materials are highly susceptible to dust contamination when exposed to windblown soil. This effect was suspected from knowledge of the interaction of electrostatically adhesive dust with solid surfaces in general. However, it is important to evaluate the respective roles of materials, meteorological and radiation effects, and the character of the soil. The tunnel permits evaluation of dust contamination and sand abrasion of space suits by simulating both pressure and wind conditions on Mars. The long-term function of space suits on Mars will be primarily threatened by dust contamination. Lunar EVA activities caused heavy contamination of space suits, but the problem was never seriously manifest because of the brief utilization of the suits, and the suits were never reused. Electrostatically adhering dust grains have various detrimental effects: (1) penetration and subsequent wear of suit fabrics, (2) viewing obscuration through visors and scratching/pitting of visor surfaces, (3) penetration, wear, and subsequent seizing-up of mechanical suit joints, (4) changes in albedo and therefore of radiation properties of external heat-exchanger systems, (5) changes in electrical conductivity of suit surfaces which may affect tribocharging of suits and create spurious discharge effects detrimental to suit electronics/radio systems. Additional information is contained in the original.

  13. Oxidation and cyclization of organics in Mars-like soils during evolved gas analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Iñiguez, Enrique; de La Rosa, Jose; McKay, Chris

    Thermal volatilization (TV) of soils has been used as the method of choice in space because of its simplicity and reproducibility. TV was first used by the Viking Landers, which failed to detect organics at ppb levels and subsequently by the Phoenix Lander that did not find organics but instead detected the release of carbon dioxide from 400 to 680° C which was attributed to magnesium or iron carbonate, adsorbed carbon dioxide, or organics present in the soil. Future missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory from NASA and ExoMars from ESA will also use this method to release soil organics to the analytical instruments. The presence of inorganic salts or minerals can strongly modify the release of soil organics leading to their degradation and/or oxidation resulting in loss of sensitivity by several orders of magnitude. The purpose of this work is to study the matrix effects of some minerals and Martian soil analogues in the analysis of organics by TV. Samples were analyzed by TV-MS and/or TV-GC-MS in neutral (He) and reducing (H2 ) atmospheres following the methods reported by Navarro-González eta al., 2006, 2009 and Iñiguez et al., 2009. Our results show that oxidation of organic matter is n promoted by several soil minerals (iron oxides) and inorganic salts (perchlorates, persulphates, sulfates, nitrates) in a neutral atmosphere; however, in a reducing atmosphere the oxidation of organics by the mineral matrix is reduced. Furthermore it was found that the stable organics that were thermally evolved were aromatic in nature (benzene and methyl benzene). Therefore, depending on the mineral matrix there is completion between formation of aromatic compounds versus oxidation. Iñiguez, E., Navarro-González, R., de la Rosa, J., Ureña-Núnez, F., Coll, P., Raulin, F., and McKay, C.P.: 2009, On the oxidation ability of the NASA Mars-1 soil simulant during the thermal volatilization step. Implications for the search of organics on Mars. Geophys Res Lett 36, L21205

  14. A Subsurface Soil Composition and Physical Properties Experiment to Address Mars Regolith Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, L.; Sims, M.; Economou, T.; Stoker, C.; Wright, I.; Tokano, T.

    2004-01-01

    Previous in-situ measurements of soil-like materials on the surface of Mars, in particular during the on-going Mars Exploration Rover missions, have shown complex relationships between composition, exposure to the surface environment, texture, and local rocks. In particular, a diversity in both compositional and physical properties could be established that is interpreted to be diagnostic of the complex geologic history of the martian surface layer. Physical and chemical properties vary laterally and vertically, providing insight into the composition of rocks from which soils derive, and environmental conditions that led to soil formation. They are central to understanding whether habitable environments existed on Mars in the distant past. An instrument the Mole for Soil Compositional Studies and Sampling (MOCSS) - is proposed to allow repeated access to subsurface regolith on Mars to depths of up to 1.5 meters for in-situ measurements of elemental composition and of physical and thermophysical properties, as well as for subsurface sample acquisition. MOCSS is based on the compact PLUTO (PLanetary Underground TOol) Mole system developed for the Beagle 2 lander and incorporates a small X-ray fluorescence spectrometer within the Mole which is a new development. Overall MOCSS mass is approximately 1.4 kilograms. Taken together, the MOCSS science data support to decipher the geologic history at the landing site as compositional and textural stratigraphy if they exist - can be detected at a number of places if the MOCSS were accommodated on a rover such as MSL. Based on uncovered stratigraphy, the regional sequence of depositional and erosional styles can be constrained which has an impact on understanding the ancient history of the Martian near-surface layer, considering estimates of Mars soil production rates of 0.5... 1.0 meters per billion years on the one hand and Mole subsurface access capability of approximately 1.5 meters. An overview of the MOCSS, XRS

  15. A Coupled Soil-Atmosphere Model of H2O2 on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullock, Mark A.; Stoker, Carol R.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Zent, Aaron P.

    1994-01-01

    The Viking Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer failed to detect organic compounds on Mars, and both the Viking Labeled Release and the Viking Gas Exchange experiments indicated a reactive soil surface. These results have led to the widespread belief that there are oxidants in the martian soil. Since H2O2 is produced by photochemical processes in the atmosphere of Mars, and has been shown in the laboratory to reproduce closely the Viking LR results, it is a likely candidate for a martian soil oxidant. Here, we report on the results of a coupled soil/atmosphere transport model for H202 on Mars. Upon diffusing into the soil, its concentration is determined by the extent to which it is adsorbed and by the rate at which it is catalytically destroyed. An analytical model for calculating the distribution of H202 in the martian atmosphere and soil is developed. The concentration of H202 in the soil is shown to go to zero at a finite depth, a consequence of the nonlinear soil diffusion equation. The model is parameterized in terms of an unknown quantity, the lifetime of H202 against heterogeneous catalytic destruction in the soil. Calculated concentrations are compared with a H202 concentration of 30 nmoles/cu cm, inferred from the Viking Labeled Release experiment. A significant result of this model is that for a wide range of H202 lifetimes (up to 105 years), the extinction depth was found to be less than 3 m. The maximum possible concentration in the top 4 cm is calculated to be approx. 240 nmoles/cu cm, achieved with lifetimes of greater than 1000 years. Concentrations higher than 30 nmoles/cu cm require lifetimes of greater than 4.3 terrestrial years. For a wide range of H202 lifetimes, it was found that the atmospheric concentration is only weakly coupled with soil loss processes. Losses to the soil become significant only when lifetimes are less than a few hours. If there are depths below which H202 is not transported, it is plausible that organic compounds

  16. Chemistry and Mineralogy of Antarctica Dry Valley Soils: Implications for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, J. E.; Golden, D. C.; Graff, T. G.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Douglas, S.; Kounaves, S. P.; McKay, C. P.; Tamppari, L, K.; Smith, P. H.; hide

    2011-01-01

    The Antarctic Dry Valleys (ADV) comprise the largest ice-free region of Antarctica. Precipitation almost always occurs as snow, relative humidity is frequently low, and mean annual temperatures are about -20 C. The ADV soils have previously been categorized into three soil moisture regimes: subxerous, xerous and ultraxerous, based on elevation and climate influences. The subxerous regime is predominately a coastal zone soil, and has the highest average temperature and precipitation, while the ultraxerous regime occurs at high elevation (>1000 m) and have very low temperature and precipitation. The amounts and types of salts present in the soils vary between regions. The nature, origin and significance of salts in the ADV have been previously investigated. Substantial work has focused on soil formation in the ADVs, however, little work has focused on the mineralogy of secondary alteration phases. The dominant weathering process in the ADV region is physical weathering, however, chemical weathering has been well documented. The objective of this study was to characterize the chemistry and mineralogy, including the alteration mineralogy, of soils from two sites, a subxerous soil in Taylor Valley, and an ultraxerous soil in University Valley. The style of aqueous alteration in the ADVs may have implications for pedogenic processes on Mars.

  17. Mineralogical, chemical, organic and microbial properties of subsurface soil cores from Mars Desert Research Station (Utah, USA): Phyllosilicate and sulfate analogues to Mars mission landing sites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoker, C.R.; Clarke, J.; Oliveira Lebre Direito, M.S.; Martin, K.; Zavaleta, J.; Blake, D.; Foing, B.H.

    2011-01-01

    We collected and analysed soil cores from four geologic units surrounding Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Utah, USA, including Mancos Shale, Dakota Sandstone, Morrison formation (Brushy Basin member) and Summerville formation. The area is an important geochemical and morphological analogue to

  18. A Search for Life in the Subsurface At Rio Tinto Spain, An Analog To Searching For Life On Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.

    2003-12-01

    Most familiar life forms on Earth live in the surface biosphere where liquid water, sunlight, and the essential chemical elements for life are abundant. However, such environments are not found on Mars or anywhere else in the solar system. On Mars, the surface environmental conditions of pressure and temperature prevent formation of liquid water. Furthermore, conditions at the Martian surface are unfavorable to life due to intense ultraviolet radiation and strong oxidizing compounds that destroy organic compounds. However, subsurface liquid water on Mars has been predicted on theoretical grounds. The recent discovery of near surface ground ice by the Mars Odyssey mission, and the abundant evidence for recent Gully features observed by the Mars Global Surveyor mission strengthen the case for subsurface liquid water on Mars. Thus, the strategy for searching for life on Mars points to drilling to the depth of liquid water, bringing samples to the surface and analyzing them with instrumentation to detect in situ organisms and biomarker compounds. The MARTE (Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment) project is a field experiment focused on searching for a hypothesized subsurface anaerobic chemoautotrophic biosphere in the region of the Rio Tinto, a river in southwestern Spain while also demonstrating technology relevant to searching for a subsurface biosphere on Mars. The Tinto river is located in the Iberian Pyrite belt, one of the largest deposits of sulfide minerals in the world. The surface (river) system is an acidic extreme environment produced and maintained by microbes that metabolize sulfide minerals and produce sulfuric acid as a byproduct. Evidence suggests that the river is a surface manifestation of an underground biochemical reactor. Organisms found in the river are capable of chemoautotrophic metabolism using sulfide and ferric iron mineral substrates, suggesting these organisms could thrive in groundwater which is the source of the Rio Tinto

  19. Mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) on Earth: A review of the characteristics, processes, and spatial distributions of analogs for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burr, D.M.; Bruno, B.C.; Lanagan, P.D.; Glaze, L.S.; Jaeger, W.L.; Soare, R.J.; Wan, Bun Tseung J.-M.; Skinner, J.A.; Baloga, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    Fields of mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) of various origins are found on Earth and Mars. Examples include rootless cones, mud volcanoes, collapsed pingos, rimmed kettle holes, and basaltic ring structures. Correct identification of MRRDs on Mars is valuable because different MRRD types have different geologic and/or climatic implications and are often associated with volcanism and/or water, which may provide locales for biotic or prebiotic activity. In order to facilitate correct identification of fields of MRRDs on Mars and their implications, this work provides a review of common terrestrial MRRD types that occur in fields. In this review, MRRDs by formation mechanism, including hydrovolcanic (phreatomagmatic cones, basaltic ring structures), sedimentological (mud volcanoes), and ice-related (pingos, volatile ice-block forms) mechanisms. For each broad mechanism, we present a comparative synopsis of (i) morphology and observations, (ii) physical formation processes, and (iii) published hypothesized locations on Mars. Because the morphology for MRRDs may be ambiguous, an additional tool is provided for distinguishing fields of MRRDs by origin on Mars, namely, spatial distribution analyses for MRRDs within fields on Earth. We find that MRRDs have both distinguishing and similar characteristics, and observation that applies both to their mesoscale morphology and to their spatial distribution statistics. Thus, this review provides tools for distinguishing between various MRRDs, while highlighting the utility of the multiple working hypotheses approach. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  20. How to prevent mind-wandering during an EVA ? Presentation of a mind-wandering detection method using ECG technology in a Mars-analog environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gontier, Camille

    2017-11-01

    The purpose of this study is to detect mind-wandering in an Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) context during a long supervision task. Detection is realized using an electro-cardiogram and measures of heart rate variability. Experienced by everyone, mind-wandering depicts the state of mind where thoughts are not related to the current action. Its deleterious aspect regarding performance suggests a need to take mind-wandering seriously as an impediment to manned space missions' safety. Previous research confirmed the hypothesis according to which several physiological responses can be used to track down mind-wandering. ECG recordings are both easy to obtain and analyze, statistically related to mind-wandering, and easy to record during extra-vehicular activities. Data analyzed in this paper have been recorded during a Mars-analog mission (MDRS 164), from February 20 to March 6, 2016 at the Mars Desert Research Station (Utah). During various cognitive tasks, the subject had his ECG and awareness levels monitored at the same time to see if a correlation between these two measures can be used in a Mars-mission environment. At different time intervals, the subject was interrupted using the thought probe method to inquire about his thoughts. Heart Rate Variability (HRV, which power in high frequencies is related to the parasympathetic system and is expected to vary with mind-wandering) was then computed from recorded data, and its statistical changes during on-task and off-task thoughts were assessed. Although data revealed no significant differences nor coherent trends in HRV-related metrics between the two conditions, results are paving the way towards a better understanding of ECG-recordings and their use during space-analog missions.

  1. Methane as a biomarker in the search for extraterrestrial life: Lessons learned from Mars analog hypersaline environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, B.; Tazaz, A.; Kelley, C. A.; Poole, J. A.; Davila, A.; Chanton, J.

    2010-12-01

    Methane released from discrete regions on Mars, together with previous reports of methane determined with ground-based telescopes, has revived the possibility of past or even extant life near the surface on Mars, since 90% of the methane on Earth has a biological origin. This intriguing possibility is supported by the abundant evidence of large bodies of liquid water, and therefore of conditions conducive to the origin of life, early in the planet's history. The detection and analysis of methane is at the core of NASA’s strategies to search for life in the solar system, and on extrasolar planets. Because methane is also produced abiotically, it is important to generate criteria to unambiguously assess biogenicity. The stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signature of methane, as well as its ratio to other low molecular weight hydrocarbons (the methane/(ethane + propane) ratio: C1/(C2 + C3)), has been suggested to be diagnostic for biogenic methane. We report measurements of the concentrations and stable isotopic signature of methane from hypersaline environments. We focus on hypersaline environments because spectrometers orbiting Mars have detected widespread chloride bearing deposits resembling salt flats. Other evaporitic minerals, e.g., sulfates, are also abundant in several regions, including those studied by the Mars Exploration Rovers. The presence of evaporitic minerals, together with the known evolution of the Martian climate, from warmer and wetter to cold and hyper-arid, suggest that evaporitic and hypersaline environments were common in the past. Hypersaline environments examined to date include salt ponds located in Baja California, the San Francisco Bay, and the Atacama Desert. Methane was found in gas produced both in the sediments, and in gypsum- and halite-hosted (endolithic) microbial communities. Maximum methane concentrations were as high as 40% by volume. The methane carbon isotopic (δ13C) composition showed a wide range of values, from about

  2. Analogy between electrochemical behaviour of thick silicon granular electrodes for lithium batteries and fine soils micromechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen, B.P.N.; Gaubicher, J.; Lestriez, B.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we study the influence of the distribution and the shape of the carbon conductive additives on the cyclability of thick silicon based composite electrodes. Results pinpoint the influence of carbon additives is not only to play on the electronic conductivity but also to play on the micromechanics (stress distribution) of the composite films. The lack of correlation between electrochemical performance and the macroscopic electronic conductivity of the pristine electrodes and the observation of repeated drops and jumps in capacity during cycling brought us to make an analogy between the silicon composite electrodes and cohesive granular materials such as fine soils media. Considering the collective mechanical behavior of a stack of silicon particles upon repeated volume variations shed a novel understanding to the electrochemical behavior of composite electrodes based on silicon and alloying materials and tells us how critically important is the design at the different scales (the particle, a few particles, the composite electrode, the cell) to engineer the mechanical stress and strain and improve cycle life

  3. Mars Surveyor Program '01 Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment wet chemistry lab: a sensor array for chemical analysis of the Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kounaves, Samuel P.; Lukow, Stefan R.; Comeau, Brian P.; Hecht, Michael H.; Grannan-Feldman, Sabrina M.; Manatt, Ken; West, Steven J.; Wen, Xiaowen; Frant, Martin; Gillette, Tim

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) instrument was designed, built, and flight qualified for the now canceled MSP (Mars Surveyor Program) '01 Lander. The MECA package consisted of a microscope, electrometer, material patch plates, and a wet chemistry laboratory (WCL). The primary goal of MECA was to analyze the Martian soil (regolith) for possible hazards to future astronauts and to provide a better understanding of Martian regolith geochemistry. The purpose of the WCL was to analyze for a range of soluble ionic chemical species and electrochemical parameters. The heart of the WCL was a sensor array of electrochemically based ion-selective electrodes (ISE). After 20 months storage at -23 degrees C and subsequent extended freeze/thawing cycles, WCL sensors were evaluated to determine both their physical durability and analytical responses. A fractional factorial calibration of the sensors was used to obtain slope, intercept, and all necessary selectivity coefficients simultaneously for selected ISEs. This calibration was used to model five cation and three anion sensors. These data were subsequently used to determine concentrations of several ions in two soil leachate simulants (based on terrestrial seawater and hypothesized Mars brine) and four actual soil samples. The WCL results were compared to simulant and soil samples using ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. The results showed that flight qualification and prolonged low-temperature storage conditions had minimal effects on the sensors. In addition, the analytical optimization method provided quantitative and qualitative data that could be used to accurately identify the chemical composition of the simulants and soils. The WCL has the ability to provide data that can be used to "read" the chemical, geological, and climatic history of Mars, as well as the potential habitability of its regolith.

  4. Size-Frequency Distributions of Rocks on Mars and Earth Analog Sites: Implications for Future Landed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombeck, M.; Rapp, D.

    1996-01-01

    The size-frequency distribution of rocks and the Vicking landing sites and a variety of rocky locations on the Earth that formed from a number of geologic processes all have the general shape of simple exponential curves, which have been combined with remote sensing data and models on rock abundance to predict the frequency of boulders potentially hazardous to future Mars landers and rovers.

  5. Basalt Weathering in a Cold and Icy Climate: Three Sisters, Oregon as an Analog for Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampe, E. B.; Horgan, B.; Smith, R. J.; Scudder, N. A.; Rutledge, A. M.; Bamber, E.; Morris, R. V.

    2017-01-01

    There is abundant evidence for liquid water on early Mars, but the debate remains whether early Mars was warm and wet or cold and icy with punctuated periods of melting. To further investigate the hypothesis of a cold and icy early Mars, we collected rocks and sediments from the Collier and Diller glacial valleys in the Three Sisters volcanic complex in Oregon. We analyzed rocks and sediments with X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning and transmission electron microscopies with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM, TEM, EDS), and visible, short-wave infrared (VSWIR) and thermal-IR (TIR) spectroscopies to characterize chemical weathering and sediment transport through the valleys. Here, we focus on the composition and mineralogy of the weathering products and how they compare to those identified on the martian surface. Phyllosilicates (smectite), zeolites, and poorly crystalline phases were discovered in pro- and supra-glacial sediments, whereas Si-rich regelation films were found on hand samples and boulders in the proglacial valleys. Most phyllosilicates and zeolites are likely detrital, originating from hydrothermally altered units on North Sister. TEM-EDS analyses of the flour samples demonstrate a variety of poorly crystalline (i.e., no long-range crystallographic order) phases: iron oxides, devitrified volcanic glass, and Fe-Si-Al phases. The CheMin XRD on the Curiosity rover in Gale crater has identified significant amounts of X-ray amorphous materials in all samples measured to date. The amorphous component is likely a combination of silicates, iron oxides, and sulfates. Although we have not yet observed amorphous sulfate in the samples from Three Sisters, the variety of poorly crystalline weathering products found at this site is consistent with the variable composition of the X-ray amorphous component identified by CheMin. We suggest that these amorphous phases on Mars could have formed in a similarly cold and icy environment.

  6. Detection of trace organics in Mars analog samples containing perchlorate by laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiang; Danell, Ryan M; Brinckerhoff, William B; Pinnick, Veronica T; van Amerom, Friso; Arevalo, Ricardo D; Getty, Stephanie A; Mahaffy, Paul R; Steininger, Harald; Goesmann, Fred

    2015-02-01

    Evidence from recent Mars missions indicates the presence of perchlorate salts up to 1 wt % level in the near-surface materials. Mixed perchlorates and other oxychlorine species may complicate the detection of organic molecules in bulk martian samples when using pyrolysis techniques. To address this analytical challenge, we report here results of laboratory measurements with laser desorption mass spectrometry, including analyses performed on both commercial and Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) breadboard instruments. We demonstrate that the detection of nonvolatile organics in selected spiked mineral-matrix materials by laser desorption/ionization (LDI) mass spectrometry is not inhibited by the presence of up to 1 wt % perchlorate salt. The organics in the sample are not significantly degraded or combusted in the LDI process, and the parent molecular ion is retained in the mass spectrum. The LDI technique provides distinct potential benefits for the detection of organics in situ on the martian surface and has the potential to aid in the search for signs of life on Mars.

  7. Use of Biomass Ash as a stabilization agent for expansive marly soils (SE Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ureña, C.; Azañón, J. M.; Caro, J. M.; Irigaray, C.; Corpas, F.; Ramirez, A.; Rivas, F.; Salazar, L. M.; Mochón, I.

    2012-04-01

    In recent years, several biomass power plants have been installed in Southeastern Spain to reuse olive oil industry residues. This energy production tries to reduce the high costs associated with fossil fuels, but without entering into direct competition to traditional food crops. The waste management in these biomass energy plants is still an issue since there are non-flammable materials which remains after incineration in the form of ashes. In Southeastern Spain there is also a great amount of clayey and marly soils whose volume is very sensitive to changes in climate conditions, making them unsuitable for civil engineering. We propose the use of biomass ash (both fly ash and bottom ash) as a stabilization agent for expansive soils in order to improve the efficiency of construction processes by using locally available materials. In this work biomass ashes from a biomass power plant in Southeastern Spain have been used to stabilize 6 samples of local marly soil. Those 6 samples of expansive soil were mixed with different dosages of biomass ash (2%, 4% and 7%) to create 18 specimens of treated soil, which were submitted to Proctor, Atterberg Limits, pH and Free Swell Index tests, following Spanish Standards UNE by AENOR. X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) tests by powder method were also carried out, using a diffractometer Philips X'Pert-MPD. The results obtained for the original untreated marly soil were: PI = 34.6; Free Swell = 12.5; pH = 8. By adding biomass ash the value of the plasticity index (PI) became slightly lower although it was not low enough as to obtain a non-plastic soil (PI under 25). However, there were dramatical decreases of free swell index (FSI) after the stabilization treatment: FSI < 8.18 (2% biomass); FSI < 6.15 (4% biomass); FSI < 4.18 (7% biomass); These results suggest that treated soil is quite less susceptible than the original soil to moisture changes. The pH of the mixes after adding biomass ash rose from 8 to 11±1 leading to an alkaline

  8. Extraction of Volatiles from Regolith or Soil on Mars, the Moon, and Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane; Kleinhenz, Julie; Trunek, Andrew; Hoffman, Stephen; Collins, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems ISRU Technology Project is evaluating concepts to extract water from all resource types Near-term objectives: Produce high-fidelity mass, power, and volume estimates for mining and processing systems Identify critical challenges for development focus Begin demonstration of component and subsystem technologies in relevant environment Several processor types: Closed processors either partially or completely sealed during processing Open air processors operates at Mars ambient conditions In-situ processors Extract product directly without excavation of raw resource Design features Elimination of sweep gas reduces dust particles in water condensate Pressure maintained by height of soil in hopper Model developed to evaluate key design parameters Geometry: conveyor diameter, screw diameter, shaft diameter, flight spacing and pitch Operational: screw speed vs. screw length (residence time) Thermal: Heat flux, heat transfer to soil Testing to demonstrate feasibility and performance Agglomeration, clogging Pressure rise forced flow to condenser.

  9. Dynamic Modeling and Soil Mechanics for Path Planning of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trease, Brian; Arvidson, Raymond; Lindemann, Randel; Bennett, Keith; Zhou, Feng; Iagnemma, Karl; Senatore, Carmine; Van Dyke, Lauren

    2011-01-01

    To help minimize risk of high sinkage and slippage during drives and to better understand soil properties and rover terramechanics from drive data, a multidisciplinary team was formed under the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project to develop and utilize dynamic computer-based models for rover drives over realistic terrains. The resulting tool, named ARTEMIS (Adams-based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction Simulator), consists of the dynamic model, a library of terramechanics subroutines, and the high-resolution digital elevation maps of the Mars surface. A 200-element model of the rovers was developed and validated for drop tests before launch, using MSC-Adams dynamic modeling software. Newly modeled terrain-rover interactions include the rut-formation effect of deformable soils, using the classical Bekker-Wong implementation of compaction resistances and bull-dozing effects. The paper presents the details and implementation of the model with two case studies based on actual MER telemetry data. In its final form, ARTEMIS will be used in a predictive manner to assess terrain navigability and will become part of the overall effort in path planning and navigation for both Martian and lunar rovers.

  10. Spatial distribution of damage around faults in the Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah: A mechanical analog for faulting in pyroclastic deposits on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okubo, Chris H.

    2012-01-01

    Volcanic ash is thought to comprise a large fraction of the Martian equatorial layered deposits and much new insight into the process of faulting and related fluid flow in these deposits can be gained through the study of analogous terrestrial tuffs. This study identifies a set of fault-related processes that are pertinent to understanding the evolution of fault systems in fine-grained, poorly indurated volcanic ash by investigating exposures of faults in the Miocene-aged Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah. The porosity and granularity of the host rock are found to control the style of localized strain that occurs prior to and contemporaneous with faulting. Deformation bands occur in tuff that was porous and granular at the time of deformation, while fractures formed where the tuff lost its porous and granular nature due to silicic alteration. Non-localized deformation of the host rock is also prominent and occurs through compaction of void space, including crushing of pumice clasts. Significant off-fault damage of the host rock, resembling fault pulverization, is recognized adjacent to one analog fault and may reflect the strain rate dependence of the resulting fault zone architecture. These findings provide important new guidelines for future structural analyses and numerical modeling of faulting and subsurface fluid flow through volcanic ash deposits on Mars.

  11. Working hours, sleep, salivary cortisol, fatigue and neuro-behavior during Mars analog mission: five crews study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Balwant; Foing, Bernard H; Kaur, Jasdeep

    2012-05-16

    The buoyancy of humans in exploring extreme space environments has been established during missions to the moon. Long duration missions like mission to Mars however, requires humans to adapt to systemic and complex environments beyond the human body's capacity. Astronauts will encounter both physiological and psychological extremes during this trip. Very few studies are conducted on effect of long duration work and sleepiness on cognitive performance. So, this study was planned to find out effects of leadership responsibility, sleepiness and long duration working hours on cognitive performance. The 30 members (leadership: normal; 10:20) were selected from MDRS crews (Mars Desert Research Station, USA). Neurobehavioral test performance, self-ratings of fatigue and sleepiness, and salivary cortisol levels were evaluated during first day, mid and end day of mission. The leadership group did not show any signs of reduced test performance, even in elevated fatigue and sleepiness. The leadership group had faster reaction times on end of mission as compared to first and after 7 day of mission. Salivary cortisol levels were significantly higher in leadership group as compared to normal group. The results suggest that long duration work and sleepiness does not affect the cognitive performance of crew member. Further study is required while taking into account all factors and large sample size to prove this fact. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Modeling and Mapping of Soil Salinity with Reflectance Spectroscopy and Landsat Data Using Two Quantitative Methods (PLSR and MARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Said Nawar

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The monitoring of soil salinity levels is necessary for the prevention and mitigation of land degradation in arid environments. To assess the potential of remote sensing in estimating and mapping soil salinity in the El-Tina Plain, Sinai, Egypt, two predictive models were constructed based on the measured soil electrical conductivity (ECe and laboratory soil reflectance spectra resampled to Landsat sensor’s resolution. The models used were partial least squares regression (PLSR and multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS. The results indicated that a good prediction of the soil salinity can be made based on the MARS model (R2 = 0.73, RMSE = 6.53, and ratio of performance to deviation (RPD = 1.96, which performed better than the PLSR model (R2 = 0.70, RMSE = 6.95, and RPD = 1.82. The models were subsequently applied on a pixel-by-pixel basis to the reflectance values derived from two Landsat images (2006 and 2012 to generate quantitative maps of the soil salinity. The resulting maps were validated successfully for 37 and 26 sampling points for 2006 and 2012, respectively, with R2 = 0.72 and 0.74 for 2006 and 2012, respectively, for the MARS model, and R2 = 0.71 and 0.73 for 2006 and 2012, respectively, for the PLSR model. The results indicated that MARS is a more suitable technique than PLSR for the estimation and mapping of soil salinity, especially in areas with high levels of salinity. The method developed in this paper can be used for other satellite data, like those provided by Landsat 8, and can be applied in other arid and semi-arid environments.

  13. Isolation of Radiation-Resistant Bacteria from Mars Analog Antarctic Dry Valleys by Preselection, and the Correlation between Radiation and Desiccation Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musilova, Michaela; Wright, Gary; Ward, John M; Dartnell, Lewis R

    2015-12-01

    Extreme radiation-resistant microorganisms can survive doses of ionizing radiation far greater than are present in the natural environment. Radiation resistance is believed to be an incidental adaptation to desiccation resistance, as both hazards cause similar cellular damage. Desert soils are, therefore, promising targets to prospect for new radiation-resistant strains. This is the first study to isolate radiation-resistant microbes by using gamma-ray exposure preselection from the extreme cold desert of the Antarctic Dry Valleys (a martian surface analogue). Halomonads, identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, were the most numerous survivors of the highest irradiation exposures. They were studied here for the first time for both their desiccation and irradiation survival characteristics. In addition, the association between desiccation and radiation resistance has not been investigated quantitatively before for a broad diversity of microorganisms. Thus, a meta-analysis of scientific literature was conducted to gather a larger data set. A strong correlation was found between desiccation and radiation resistance, indicating that an increase in the desiccation resistance of 5 days corresponds to an increase in the room-temperature irradiation survival of 1 kGy. Irradiation at -79°C (representative of average martian surface temperatures) increases the microbial radiation resistance 9-fold. Consequently, the survival of the cold-, desiccation-, and radiation-resistant organisms isolated here has implications for the potential habitability of dormant or cryopreserved life on Mars. Extremophiles-Halomonas sp.-Antarctica-Mars-Ionizing radiation-Cosmic rays.

  14. Thermal volatilization (TV) of different hyperarid Mars like-soils from the Atacama Desert: Implications for the analysis of the Phoenix Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia-Silva, J. E.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2008-09-01

    The Phoenix spacecraft will search for organics in the soil and ice in the Martian north polar regions using thermal volatilization (TV) followed by mass spectrometry (MS). This experiment is a combination of a high-temperature furnace and a mass spectrometer that will be use to analyze samples delivered to instrument via a robotic arm. The samples will be heated from ambient to 1000ºC while evolved gases, including organic molecules and fragments, if they are present, will be simultaneously measured by a magnetic sector mass spectrometer (1). Our laboratory has developed a sample characterization method using a pyrolizer integrated to a quadrupole mass spectrometer to support the interpretations of TV data. The Atacama Desert, on northern Chile and southern Peru, has been considered the most arid region over the world (2) and an excellent Mars-like soil analogous (3). These soils contain very low levels to organic matter (10-40 ppm of organic C), and exotic mineralogical composition including iron oxides, which are common characteristics expected on Mars. A previous paper that examined the release of organics from samples soils by flash TV (pyrolisis) coupled to GC-MS (4). This work showed low efficiency of flash TV in soils with low organics or high contents of iron minerals. In addition, other study of agricultural soils showed low correlation between organics concentration and TV response, when levels of total organic matter were below 50000 ppm C or high presence of iron oxides (5). However, the efficiency of gradual heating by TV analysis from hyperarid soils has not been investigated. Here we examine the thermal and evolved gas properties of six types of soils from the two hyperarid core regions from the Atacama Desert: Yungay (northern Chile) and Pampas de La Joya (southern Peru), in order to investigate the effect of soil matrix and low organics contents over TV response. Between 20 to 40 mg of soil was loaded in a capillary quartz tube and it was mounted

  15. Interactions Between Snow-Adapted Organisms, Minerals and Snow in a Mars-Analog Environment, and Implications for the Possible Formation of Mineral Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausrath, E.; Bartlett, C. L.; Garcia, A. H.; Tschauner, O. D.; Murray, A. E.; Raymond, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that icy environments on bodies such as Mars, Europa, and Enceladus may be important potential habitats in our solar system. Life in icy environments faces many challenges, including water limitation, temperature extremes, and nutrient limitation. Understanding how life has adapted to withstand these challenges on Earth may help understand potential life on other icy worlds, and understanding the interactions of such life with minerals may help shed light on the detection of possible mineral biosignatures. Snow environments, being particularly nutrient limited, may require specific adaptations by the microbiota living there. Previous observations have suggested that associated minerals and microorganisms play an important role in snow algae micronutrient acquisition. Here, in order to interpret micronutrient uptake by snow algae, and potential formation of mineral biosignatures, we present observations of interactions between snow algae and associated microorganisms and minerals in both natural, Mars-analog environments, and laboratory experiments. Samples of snow, dust, snow algae, and microorganisms were collected from Mount Anderson Ridge, CA. Some samples were DAPI-stained and analyzed by epifluorescent microscopy, and others were freeze-dried and examined by scanning electron microscopy, synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD) and synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (XRF). Xenic cultures of the snow alga Chloromonas brevispina were also grown under Fe-limiting conditions with and without the Fe-containing mineral nontronite to determine impacts of the mineral on algal growth. Observations from epifluorescent microscopy show bacteria closely associated with the snow algae, consistent with a potential role in micronutrient acquisition. Particles are also present on the algal cell walls, and synchrotron-XRD and XRF observations indicate that they are Fe-rich, and may therefore be a micronutrient source. Laboratory experiments indicated

  16. Sol-Gel Precursors for Ceramics from Minerals Simulating Soils from the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, Laurent; Gavira-Gallardo, Jose-Antonio; Hourlier-Bahloul, Djamila

    2003-01-01

    Recent NASA mission plans for the human exploration of our Solar System has set new priorities for research and development of technologies necessary to enable a long-term human presence on the Moon and Mars. The recovery and processing of metals and oxides from mineral sources on other planets is under study to enable use of ceramics, glasses and metals by explorer outposts. We report some preliminary results on the production of sol-gel precursors for ceramic products using mineral resources available in Martian or Lunar soil. The presence of SiO2, TiO2, and A12O3 in both Martian (44 wt.% SiO2, 1 wt.% TiO2, 7 wt.% Al2O3) and Lunar (48 wt.% SiO2, 1.5 wt.% TiO2, 16 wt.% Al2O3) soils and the recent developments in chemical processes to solubilize silicates using organic reagents and relatively little energy indicate that such an endeavor is possible. In order to eliminate the risks involved in the use of hydrofluoric acid to dissolve silicates, two distinct chemical routes are investigated to obtain soluble silicon oxide precursors from Lunar and Martian simulant soils. Clear sol-gel precursors have been obtained by dissolution of silica from Lunar simulant soil in basic ethylene glycol (C2H4(OH)2) solutions to form silicon glycolates. Thermogravimetric Analysis and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy were used to characterize the elemental composition and structure of the precursor molecules. Further concentration and hydrolysis of the products was performed to obtain gel materials for evaluation as ceramic precursors. In the second set of experiments, we used the same starting materials to synthesize silicate esters in acidified alcohol mixtures. Preliminary results indicate the presence of silicon alkoxides in the product of distillation.

  17. Meteoric water alteration of soil and landscapes at Meridiani Planum, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, Ronald

    2018-04-01

    The geomorphology and geochemistry data gathered by the MER Opportunity at Meridiani Planum is a rich data set relevant to soil research on Mars. Many of the data, particularly with respect to outcrops at Victoria Crater, have been only partially analyzed. Here, the previously published geochemical profile of Endurance Crater is compared to that of Victoria Crater, to understand aspects of the post-depositional aqueous and chemical alteration of the Meridiani land surface. The landsurface bears cracking patterns similar to those produced by multiple episodes of wetting and drying in expansive materials on Earth. The geochemical profiles at both craters are nearly identical, suggesting (using mass balance methods) that a very chemically homogenous sedimentary deposit has been engulfed by the apparent surficial addition of S, Cl, and Br (and associated cations) since exposure to the atmosphere. The chemistry and mineralogy at both locations is one where the most insoluble of the added components resides near the land surface (Ca sulfates), and the more soluble components are concentrated at greater depths in a vertical pattern consistent with their solubility in water. The profiles, when compared to those on Earth (and to physical constraints), are most similar those generated by the downward movement of meteoric water. When this aqueous alteration and soil formation occurred is not well constrained, but the processes occurred between late Noachian (?) to late Amazonian times. The exposure of the Victoria crater walls, which occurred likely less than 107 y ago (late Amazonian), shows the accumulation of dust as well as evidence for aqueous concentration of NaBr and/or CaBr, possibly by deliquescence. By direct comparison to Earth, the regional soil at Meridiani Planum is a Typic Petrogypsid (a sulfate cemented arid soil), bearing similarities to very ancient soils formed in the Atacama Desert of Chile. The amount of water required to produce the soils ranges from a

  18. Chemical Alteration of Soils on Earth as a Function of Precipitation: Insights Into Weathering Processes Relevant to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, R.; Chadwick, O.; Ewing, S.; Sutter, B.; Owen, J.; McKay, C.

    2004-12-01

    Soils lie at the interface of the atmosphere and lithosphere, and the rates of chemical and physical processes that form them hinge on the availability of water. Here we quantify the effect of these processes on soil volume and mass in different rainfall regimes. We then use the results of this synthesis to compare with the growing chemical dataset for soils on Mars in order to identify moisture regimes on Earth that may provide crude analogues for past Martian weathering conditions. In this synthesis, the rates of elemental gains/losses, and corresponding volumetric changes, were compared for soils in nine soil chronosequences (sequences of soils of differing ages) - sequences formed in climates ranging from ~1 to ~4500 mm mean annual precipitation (MAP). Total elemental chemistry of soils and parent materials were determined via XRF, ICP-MS, and/or ICP-OES, and the absolute elemental gains or losses (and volume changes) were determined by normalizing data to an immobile index element. For the chronosequences examined, the initial stages of soil formation (103^ to 104^ yr), regardless of climate, generally show volumetric expansion due to (1) reduction in bulk density by biological/physical turbation, (2) addition of organic matter, (3) accumulation of water during clay mineral synthesis, and/or (4) accumulation of atmospheric salts and dust. Despite large differences in parent materials (basalt, sandstone, granitic alluvium), there was a systematic relationship between long-term (105^ to 106^ yr) volumetric change and rainfall, with an approximate cross-over point between net expansion (and accumulation of atmospheric solutes and dust) and net collapse (net losses of Si, Al, and alkaline earths and alkali metals) between approximately 20 and 100 mm MAP. Recently published geochemical data of soils at Gusev Crater (Gellert et al. 2004. Science 305:829), when normalized to Ti, show apparent net losses of Si and Al that range between 5 and 50% of values relative to

  19. Soil and crop management experiments in the Laboratory Biosphere: An analogue system for the Mars on Earth ® facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstone, S.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.; Allen, J. P.

    During the years 2002 and 2003, three closed system experiments were carried out in the "Laboratory Biosphere" facility located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The program involved experimentation of "Hoyt" Soy Beans, (experiment #1) USU Apogee Wheat (experiment #2) and TU-82-155 sweet potato (experiment #3) using a 5.37 m 2 soil planting bed which was 30 cm deep. The soil texture, 40% clay, 31% sand and 28% silt (a clay loam), was collected from an organic farm in New Mexico to avoid chemical residues. Soil management practices involved minimal tillage, mulching, returning crop residues to the soil after each experiment and increasing soil biota by introducing worms, soil bacteria and mycorrhizae fungi. High soil pH of the original soil appeared to be a factor affecting the first two experiments. Hence, between experiments #2 and #3, the top 15 cm of the soil was amended using a mix of peat moss, green sand, humates and pumice to improve soil texture, lower soil pH and increase nutrient availability. This resulted in lowering the initial pH of 8.0-6.7 at the start of experiment #3. At the end of the experiment, the pH was 7.6. Soil nitrogen and phosphorus has been adequate, but some chlorosis was evident in the first two experiments. Aphid infestation was the only crop pest problem during the three experiments and was handled using an introduction of Hyppodamia convergens. Experimentation showed there were environmental differences even in this 1200 cubic foot ecological system facility, such as temperature and humidity gradients because of ventilation and airflow patterns which resulted in consequent variations in plant growth and yield. Additional humidifiers were added to counteract low humidity and helped optimize conditions for the sweet potato experiment. The experience and information gained from these experiments are being applied to the future design of the Mars On Earth ® facility (Silverstone et al., Development and research program for a soil

  20. X-Ray Amorphous Phases in Antarctica Dry Valley Soils: Insight into Aqueous Alteration Processes on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Rampe, E. B.; Golden, D. C.; Quinn, J. E.

    2015-01-01

    The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument onboard the Mars Curiosity rover has detected abundant amounts (approx. 25-30 weight percentage) of X-ray amorphous materials in a windblown deposit (Rocknest) and in a sedimentary mudstone (Cumberland and John Klein) in Gale crater, Mars. On Earth, X-ray amorphous components are common in soils and sediments, but usually not as abundant as detected in Gale crater. One hypothesis for the abundant X-ray amorphous materials on Mars is limited interaction of liquid water with surface materials, kinetically inhibiting maturation to more crystalline phases. The objective of this study was to characterize the chemistry and mineralogy of soils formed in the Antarctica Dry Valleys, one of the driest locations on Earth. Two soils were characterized from different elevations, including a low elevation, coastal, subxerous soil in Taylor Valley and a high elevation, ultraxerous soil in University Valley. A variety of techniques were used to characterize materials from each soil horizon, including Rietveld analysis of X-ray diffraction data. For Taylor Valley soil, the X-ray amorphous component ranged from about 4 weight percentage in the upper horizon to as high as 15 weight percentage in the lowest horizon just above the permafrost layer. Transmission electron microscopy indicated that the presence of short-range ordered (SRO) smectite was the most likely candidate for the X-ray amorphous materials in the Taylor Valley soils. The SRO smectite is likely an aqueous alteration product of mica inherited from granitic materials during glaciation of Taylor Valley. The drier University Valley soils had lower X-ray amorphous contents of about 5 weight percentage in the lowest horizon. The X-ray amorphous materials in University Valley are attributed to nanoparticles of TiO2 and possibly amorphous SiO2. The high abundance of X-ray amorphous materials in Taylor Valley is surprising for one of the driest places on Earth. These materials

  1. Analysis of Mars Analogue Soil Samples Using Solid-Phase Microextraction, Organic Solvent Extraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orzechowska, G. E.; Kidd, R. D.; Foing, B. H.; Kanik, I.; Stoker, C.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2011-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are robust and abundant molecules in extraterrestrial environments. They are found ubiquitously in the interstellar medium and have been identified in extracts of meteorites collected on Earth. PAHs are important target molecules for planetary exploration missions that investigate the organic inventory of planets, moons and small bodies. This study is part of an interdisciplinary preparation phase to search for organic molecules and life on Mars. We have investigated PAH compounds in desert soils to determine their composition, distribution and stability. Soil samples (Mars analogue soils) were collected at desert areas of Utah in the vicinity of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), in the Arequipa region in Peru and from the Jutland region of Denmark. The aim of this study was to optimize the solid-phase microextraction (SPME) method for fast screening and determination of PAHs in soil samples. This method minimizes sample handling and preserves the chemical integrity of the sample. Complementary liquid extraction was used to obtain information on five- and six-ring PAH compounds. The measured concentrations of PAHs are, in general, very low, ranging from 1 to 60 ng g(sup -1). The texture of soils is mostly sandy loam with few samples being 100% silt. Collected soils are moderately basic with pH values of 8-9 except for the Salten Skov soil, which is slightly acidic. Although the diverse and variable microbial populations of the samples at the sample sites might have affected the levels and variety of PAHs detected, SPME appears to be a rapid, viable field sampling technique with implications for use on planetary missions.

  2. Possible Association of Ferrous Phosphates and Ferric Sulfates in S-rich Soil on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, J.; Schroeder, C.; Haderlein, S.

    2012-12-01

    NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit explored Gusev Crater to look for signs of ancient aqueous activity, assess past environmental conditions and suitability for life. Spirit excavated light-toned, S-rich soils at several locations. These are likely of hydrothermal, possibly fumarolic origin. At a location dubbed Paso Robles the light-toned soil was also rich in P - a signature from surrounding rock. While S is mainly bound in ferric hydrated sulfates [1], the mineralogy of P is ill-constrained [2]. P is a key element for life and its mineralogy constrains its availability. Ferrous phases observed in Paso Robles Mössbauer spectra may represent olivine and pyroxene from surrounding basaltic soil [1] or ferrous phosphate minerals [3]. Phosphate is well-known to complex and stabilize Fe 2+ against oxidation to Fe 3+ . Schröder et al. [3] proposed a formation pathway of ferrous phosphate/ferric sulfate associations: sulfuric acid reacts with basalt containing apatite, forming CaSO4 and phosphoric acid. The phosphoric and/or excess sulfuric acid reacts with olivine, forming Fe2+-phosphate and sulfate. The phosphate is less soluble and precipitates. Ferrous sulfate remains in solution and is oxidized as pH increases. To verify this pathway, we dissolved Fe2+-chloride and Na-phosphate salts in sulfuric acid inside an anoxic glovebox. The solution was titrated to pH 6 by adding NaOH when a first precipitate formed, which was ferrous phosphate according to Mössbauer spectroscopy (MB). At that point the solution was removed from the glovebox and allowed to evaporate in the presence of atmospheric oxygen, leading to the oxidation of Fe2+. The evaporation rate was controlled by keeping the suspensions at different temperatures; pH was monitored during the evaporation process. The final precipitates were analyzed by MB and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), comparable to MER MB and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument datasets, and complementary techniques such as X

  3. Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad as Astrobiological Analogs for Martian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riad Hosein

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i Digity; (ii Piparo and (iii Devil’s Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region.

  4. Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad as Astrobiological Analogs for Martian Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosein, Riad; Haque, Shirin; Beckles, Denise M.

    2014-01-01

    Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i) Digity; (ii) Piparo and (iii) Devil’s Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region. PMID:25370529

  5. Mud volcanoes of trinidad as astrobiological analogs for martian environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosein, Riad; Haque, Shirin; Beckles, Denise M

    2014-10-13

    Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i) Digity; (ii) Piparo and (iii) Devil's Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region.

  6. Soil Structure Interaction for Integral Abutment Bridge Using Spring Analogy Approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thanoon, W A; Abdulrazeg, A A; Jaafar, M S; Kohnehpooshi, O; Noorzaei, J

    2011-01-01

    The reaction of the backfill behind the abutments and adjacent to the piles plays a significant role in the behavior of the Integral bridge. The handling of soil-structure interaction in the analysis and design of integral abutment bridges has always been problematic due to its complexity. This study describes the implementation of a 2-D finite element model of IAB system which explicitly incorporates the soil response. The superstructure members and the pile have been represented by means of three-node isoperimetric beam elements with three degree of freedom per node. The Eight node isoperimetric quadrilateral element has been used to model the abutment. The backfill was idealized by uncoupled 'Winkler' spring. The applic1ability of this model is demonstrated by analyzing a single span IA bridge. The results have shown that the shear forces at the tops of the supported piles were only 12% to 16% of the load which at the top of abutment.

  7. Soil Structure Interaction for Integral Abutment Bridge Using Spring Analogy Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thanoon, W A [Faculty Engineering, Nizwa University (Oman); Abdulrazeg, A A; Jaafar, M S; Kohnehpooshi, O [Department of Civil Engineering, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor (Malaysia); Noorzaei, J, E-mail: jamal@eng.upm.edu.my [Institute of Advance Technology, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor (Malaysia)

    2011-02-15

    The reaction of the backfill behind the abutments and adjacent to the piles plays a significant role in the behavior of the Integral bridge. The handling of soil-structure interaction in the analysis and design of integral abutment bridges has always been problematic due to its complexity. This study describes the implementation of a 2-D finite element model of IAB system which explicitly incorporates the soil response. The superstructure members and the pile have been represented by means of three-node isoperimetric beam elements with three degree of freedom per node. The Eight node isoperimetric quadrilateral element has been used to model the abutment. The backfill was idealized by uncoupled 'Winkler' spring. The applic1ability of this model is demonstrated by analyzing a single span IA bridge. The results have shown that the shear forces at the tops of the supported piles were only 12% to 16% of the load which at the top of abutment.

  8. Investigating Deliquescence of Mars-like Soils from the Atacama Desert and Implications for Liquid Water Near the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Alstyne, A. M.; Tolbert, M. A.; Gough, R. V.; Primm, K.

    2017-12-01

    Recent images obtained from orbiters have shown that the Martian surface is more dynamic than previously thought. These images, showing dark features that resemble flowing water near the surface, have called into question the habitability of the Mars today. Recurring slope lineae (RSL), or the dark features seen in these images, are characterized as narrow, dark streaks that form and grow in the warm season, fade in the cold season, and recur seasonally. It is widely hypothesized that the movement of liquid water near the surface is what causes the appearance of RSL. However, the origin of the water and the potential for water to be stable near the surface is a question of great debate. Here, we investigate the potential for stable or metastable liquid water via deliquescence and efflorescence. The deliquescent properties of salts from the Atacama Desert, a popular terrestrial analog for Martian environments, were investigated using a Raman microscope outfitted with an environmental cell. The salts were put under Mars-relevant conditions and spectra were obtained to determine the presence or absence of liquid phases. The appearance of liquid phases under Mars-relevant conditions would demonstrate that liquid water could be available to cause or play a role in the formations of RSL.

  9. U-Series Disequilibria in Soils, Pena Blanca Natural Analog, Chihuahua, Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D. French; E. Anthony; P. Goodell

    2006-01-01

    The Nopal I uranium deposit located in the Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico. The deposit was mined in the early 1980s, and ore was stockpiled close by. This stockpile area was cleared and is now referred to as the Prior High Grade Stockpile (PHGS). Some of the high-grade boulders from the site rolled downhill when it was cleared in the 1990s. For this study soil samples were collected from the alluvium surrounding and underlying one of these boulders. A bulk sample of the boulder was also collected. Because the Prior High Grade Stockpile had no ore prior to the 1980s a maximum residence time for the boulder is about 25 years, this also means that the soil was at background as well. The purpose of this study is to characterize the transport of uranium series radionuclides from ore to the soil. Transport is characterized by determining the activities of individual radionuclides and daughter to parent ratios. Isotopes of the uranium series decay chain detected include 210 Pb, 234 U, 230 Th, 226 Ra, 214 Pb, and 214 Bi. Peak areas for each isotope are determined using gamma-ray spectroscopy with a Canberra Ge (Li) detector and GENIE 2000 software. The boulder sample is close to secular equilibrium when compared to the standard BL-5 (Beaver Lodge Uraninite from Canada). Results for the soils, however, indicate that some daughter/parent pairs are in secular disequilibrium. These daughter/parent (D/P) ratios include 230 Th/ 234 U, which is greater than unity, 226 Ra/ 230 Th, which is also greater than unity, and 210 Pb/ 214 Bi, which is less than unity. The gamma-ray spectrum for organic material lacks 230 Th peaks, but contains 234 U and 226 Ra, indicating that plants preferentially incorporate 226 Ra. Our results, combined with previous studies require multistage history of mobilization of the uranium series radionuclides. Earlier studies at the ore zone could limit the time span for mobilization only to a few thousand years. The contribution of this study is that the short

  10. U-Sries Disequilibra in Soils, Pena Blanca Natural Analog, Chihuahua, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. French; E. Anthony; P. Goodell

    2006-03-16

    The Nopal I uranium deposit located in the Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico. The deposit was mined in the early 1980s, and ore was stockpiled close by. This stockpile area was cleared and is now referred to as the Prior High Grade Stockpile (PHGS). Some of the high-grade boulders from the site rolled downhill when it was cleared in the 1990s. For this study soil samples were collected from the alluvium surrounding and underlying one of these boulders. A bulk sample of the boulder was also collected. Because the Prior High Grade Stockpile had no ore prior to the 1980s a maximum residence time for the boulder is about 25 years, this also means that the soil was at background as well. The purpose of this study is to characterize the transport of uranium series radionuclides from ore to the soil. Transport is characterized by determining the activities of individual radionuclides and daughter to parent ratios. Isotopes of the uranium series decay chain detected include {sup 210}Pb, {sup 234}U, {sup 230}Th, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 214}Pb, and {sup 214}Bi. Peak areas for each isotope are determined using gamma-ray spectroscopy with a Canberra Ge (Li) detector and GENIE 2000 software. The boulder sample is close to secular equilibrium when compared to the standard BL-5 (Beaver Lodge Uraninite from Canada). Results for the soils, however, indicate that some daughter/parent pairs are in secular disequilibrium. These daughter/parent (D/P) ratios include {sup 230}Th/{sup 234}U, which is greater than unity, {sup 226}Ra/{sup 230}Th, which is also greater than unity, and {sup 210}Pb/{sup 214}Bi, which is less than unity. The gamma-ray spectrum for organic material lacks {sup 230}Th peaks, but contains {sup 234}U and {sup 226}Ra, indicating that plants preferentially incorporate {sup 226}Ra. Our results, combined with previous studies require multistage history of mobilization of the uranium series radionuclides. Earlier studies at the ore zone could limit the time span for mobilization only

  11. Mars Surface Environmental Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John

    2002-01-01

    Planetary exploration by astronauts will require extended periods of habitation on a planet's surface, under the influence of environmental factors that are different from those of Earth and the spacecraft that delivered the crew to the planet. Human exploration of Mars, a possible near-term planetary objective, can be considered a challenging scenario. Mission scenarios currently under consideration call for surface habitation periods of from 1 to 18 months on even the earliest expeditions. Methods: Environmental issues associated with Mars exploration have been investigated by NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) as part of the Bioastronautics Critical Path Roadmap Project (see http ://criticalpath.jsc.nasa.gov). Results: Arrival on Mars will immediately expose the crew to gravity only 38% of that at Earth's surface in possibly the first prolonged exposure to gravity other than the 1G of Earth's surface and the zero G of weightless space flight, with yet unknown effects on crew physiology. The radiation at Mars' surface is not well documented, although the planet's bulk and even its thin atmosphere may moderate the influx of galactic cosmic radiation and energetic protons from solar flares. Secondary radiation from activated components of the soil must also be considered. Ultrafine and larger respirable and nonrespirable particles in Martian dust introduced into the habitat after surface excursions may induce pulmonary inflammation exacerbated by the additive reactive and oxidizing nature of the dust. Stringent decontamination cannot eliminate mechanical and corrosive effects of the dust on pressure suits and exposed machinery. The biohazard potential of putative indigenous Martian microorganisms may be assessed by comparison with analog environments on Earth. Even in their absence, human microorganisms, if not properly controlled, can be a threat to the crew's health. Conclusions: Mars' surface offers a substantial challenge to the

  12. Photometric Properties of Soils at the Mars Phoenix Landing Site: Preliminary Analysis from CRISM EPF Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cull, S. C.; Arvidson, R. E.; Seelos, F.; Wolff, M. J.

    2010-03-01

    Using data from CRISM's Emission Phase Function observations, we attempt to constrain Phoenix soil scattering properties, including soil grain size, single-scattering albedo, and surface phase function.

  13. Soil diversity and hydration as observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Schröder, S.; Cousin, A.; Berger, G.; Clegg, S.M.; Lasue, J.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Le Mouélic, S.; Wiens, R.C.; Fabre, C.; Goetz, W.; Bish, D.; Mangold, N.; Ehlmann, B.; Lanza, N.; Harri, A.-M.; Anderson, R.; Rampe, E.; McConnochie, T.H.; Pinet, P.; Blaney, D.; Léveillé, R.; Archer, D.; Barraclough, B.; Bender, S.; Blake, D.; Blank, J.G.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B.C.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M.D.; Fisk, M.; Gondet, B.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Leshin, L.; Lewin, E.; Madsen, M.B.; Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, A.; Mischna, M.A.; Moores, J.E.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; Perez, R.; Renno, N.; Sirven, J.-B.; Tokar, R.; De La Torre, M.; D'Uston, L.; Vaniman, D.; Yingst, A.; MSL Science Team, the

    2013-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of

  14. Artificial neural networks applied for soil class prediction in mountainous landscape of the Serra do Mar¹

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Braz Calderano Filho

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Soil information is needed for managing the agricultural environment. The aim of this study was to apply artificial neural networks (ANNs for the prediction of soil classes using orbital remote sensing products, terrain attributes derived from a digital elevation model and local geology information as data sources. This approach to digital soil mapping was evaluated in an area with a high degree of lithologic diversity in the Serra do Mar. The neural network simulator used in this study was JavaNNS and the backpropagation learning algorithm. For soil class prediction, different combinations of the selected discriminant variables were tested: elevation, declivity, aspect, curvature, curvature plan, curvature profile, topographic index, solar radiation, LS topographic factor, local geology information, and clay mineral indices, iron oxides and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI derived from an image of a Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+ sensor. With the tested sets, best results were obtained when all discriminant variables were associated with geological information (overall accuracy 93.2 - 95.6 %, Kappa index 0.924 - 0.951, for set 13. Excluding the variable profile curvature (set 12, overall accuracy ranged from 93.9 to 95.4 % and the Kappa index from 0.932 to 0.948. The maps based on the neural network classifier were consistent and similar to conventional soil maps drawn for the study area, although with more spatial details. The results show the potential of ANNs for soil class prediction in mountainous areas with lithological diversity.

  15. Magnetic/isotopic characteristic of the spherule-rich impact ejecta blanket from the Chicxulub crater: analog for robotic exploration of similar deposits on Mars

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kletetschka, Günther

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 39, č. 5 (2007), s. 12-12 ISSN 0016-7592. [Rocky Mountain Section - Annual Meeting /59./. 07.05.2007-09.05.2007, St. George] Keywords : magnetic * isotopes * spherules * impact * Mars Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2007RM/finalprogram/abstract_121718.htm

  16. Formation of Fe/mg Smectite Under Acidic Conditions from Synthetic Adirondack Basaltic Glass: an Analog to Fe/mg Smectite Formation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Peretyazhko, T.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.

    2014-01-01

    Smectite has been detected as layered material hundreds of meters thick, in intracrater depositional fans, in plains sediments, and deposits at depth on Mars. If early Mars hosted a dense CO2 atmosphere, then extensive carbonate should have formed in the neutral/alkaline conditions expected for smectite formation. However, large carbonate deposits on Mars have not been discovered. Instead of neutral to moderately alkaline conditions, early Mars may have experienced mildly acidic conditions that allowed for Fe/Mg smectite formation but prevented widespread carbonate formation. The objective of this work is to demonstrate that Fe(II)/Mg saponite and nontronite can form in mildly acidic solutions (e.g., pH 4). Synthetic basaltic glass (Smectite was confirmed as the phyllosilicate after treatments with glycerol and KCl and heating to 550 C. Trioctahedral saponite was confirmed by the presence of a 4.58 to 4.63 Angstroms (02l) and 1.54Angstroms (060) peaks. Saponite concentration was highest, as indicated by XRD peak intensity, in the 10 mM Mg treatment followed by the 0 mM and then 10 mM Fe(II) treatments. This order of sapontite concentration suggests that Fe(II) additions may have a role in slowing the kinetics of saponite formation relative to the other treatments. Nontronite synthesis was attempted by exposing Adirondack basaltic glass to pH 4 oxic solutions (without N2 purge) at 200 C for 14 days. X-ray diffraction analysis indicated that mixtures of trioctahedral (saponite) and dioctahedral (nontronite) may have formed in these experiments based on the 02l and 060 peaks. Moessbauer analysis coupled with future experiments are planned to verify if nontronite can be formed under mildly acidic and oxic conditions. Results of this work demonstrate that acidic conditions could have occurred on an early Mars, which allowed for smectite formation but inhibited carbonate formation.

  17. Bacterial communities and the nitrogen cycle in the gypsum soils of Cuatro Ciénegas Basin, coahuila: a Mars analogue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Lozano, Nguyen E; Eguiarte, Luis E; Bonilla-Rosso, Germán; García-Oliva, Felipe; Martínez-Piedragil, Celeste; Rooks, Christine; Souza, Valeria

    2012-07-01

    The OMEGA/Mars Express hyperspectral imager identified gypsum at several sites on Mars in 2005. These minerals constitute a direct record of past aqueous activity and are important with regard to the search of extraterrestrial life. Gale Crater was chosen as Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity's landing site because it is rich in gypsum, as are some desert soils of the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) (Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico). The gypsum of the CCB, which is overlain by minimal carbonate deposits, was the product of magmatic activity that occurred under the Tethys Sea. To examine this Mars analogue, we retrieved gypsum-rich soil samples from two contrasting sites with different humidity in the CCB. To characterize the site, we obtained nutrient data and analyzed the genes related to the N cycle (nifH, nirS, and nirK) and the bacterial community composition by using 16S rRNA clone libraries. As expected, the soil content for almost all measured forms of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus were higher at the more humid site than at the drier site. What was unexpected is the presence of a rich and divergent community at both sites, with higher taxonomic diversity at the humid site and almost no taxonomic overlap. Our results suggest that the gypsum-rich soils of the CCB host a unique microbial ecosystem that includes novel microbial assemblies.

  18. Habitability & Astrobiology Research in Mars Terrestrial Analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    Journal of Astrobiology , IJA 2011, 10, vol. 3. 137-305 [1] Foing B. et al. (2011) Field astrobiology research at Moon-Mars analogue site: Instruments and methods, IJA 2011, 10 (3), 141;[2] Clarke, J., Stoker, C. Concretions in exhumed & inverted channels near Hanksville Utah: implications for Mars, (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 162;[3] Thiel et al., (2011) PCR-based analysis of microbial communities during the EuroGeoMars campaign at Mars Desert Research Station, Utah. (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 177;[4] Direito et al. (2011). A wide variety of putative extremophiles and large beta-diversity at the Mars Desert Research Station (Utah). (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 191;[5] Orzechowska, G. et al (20110 analysis of Mars Analog soils using solid Phase Microextraction, Organics solvent extraction and GCMS, (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 209; [6] Kotler et al. (2011). Analysis of mineral matrices of planetary soils analogs from the Utah Desert. (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 221; [7] Martins et al. (2011). Extraction of amino acids from soils close to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), Utah. (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 231; [8] Ehrenfreund et al. (2011) Astrobiology and habitability studies in preparation for future Mars missions: trends from investigating minerals, organics and biota. (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 239; [9] Stoker C. et al (2011) Mineralogical, Chemical, Organic & Microbial Properties of Subsurface Soil Cores from Mars Desert Research Station, a Phyllosilicate and Sulfate Rich Mars Analog Site, IJA 2011, 10 (3), 269; [10] Rodrigues L. et al (2014, in preparation) Preventing biocontamination during sterile sampling; [11] Rodrigues L. et al (2014, in preparation) Microbial diversity in MDRS rocks and soils; [12] ILEWG EuroMoonMars Team, (2014, special issue in preparation) Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaign 2013 **Acknowledgements: B.H.Foing (1, 2, 6), C. Stoker (3), P. Ehrenfreund (4, 5), I. Rammos (2), L. Rodrigues (2), A. Svendsen (2), D. Oltheten (2), K. Nebergall (6), M. Battler (6, 7), H. v't Houd (8), A. Bruneau (6

  19. The Viking X ray fluorescence experiment - Sampling strategies and laboratory simulations. [Mars soil sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, A. K.; Castro, A. J.; Clark, B. C.; Toulmin, P., III; Rose, H., Jr.; Keil, K.; Gooding, J. L.

    1977-01-01

    Ten samples of Mars regolith material (six on Viking Lander 1 and four on Viking Lander 2) have been delivered to the X ray fluorescence spectrometers as of March 31, 1977. An additional six samples at least are planned for acquisition in the remaining Extended Mission (to January 1979) for each lander. All samples acquired are Martian fines from the near surface (less than 6-cm depth) of the landing sites except the latest on Viking Lander 1, which is fine material from the bottom of a trench dug to a depth of 25 cm. Several attempts on each lander to acquire fresh rock material (in pebble sizes) for analysis have yielded only cemented surface crustal material (duricrust). Laboratory simulation and experimentation are required both for mission planning of sampling and for interpretation of data returned from Mars. This paper is concerned with the rationale for sample site selections, surface sampler operations, and the supportive laboratory studies needed to interpret X ray results from Mars.

  20. Soil Diversity and Hydration as Observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Schröder, S.; Cousin, A.; Berger, G.; Clegg, S. M.; Lasue, J.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Le Mouélic, S.; Wiens, R. C.; Fabre, C.; Goetz, W.; Bish, D.; Mangold, N.; Ehlmann, B.; Lanza, N.; Harri, A.-M.; Anderson, R.; Rampe, E.; McConnochie, T. H.; Pinet, P.; Blaney, D.; Léveillé, R.; Archer, D.; Barraclough, B.; Bender, S.; Blake, D.; Blank, J. G.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B. C.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M. D.; Fisk, M.; Gondet, B.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Leshin, L.; Lewin, E.; Madsen, M. B.; Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, A.; Mischna, M. A.; Moores, J. E.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; Perez, R.; Renno, N.; Sirven, J.-B.; Tokar, R.; de la Torre, M.; d'Uston, L.; Vaniman, D.; Yingst, A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Mauchien, Patrick; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Schieber, Juergen; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Cros, Alain; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Toplis, Mike; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Robert, François; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Fassett, Caleb; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Nolan, Thomas; Radziemski, Leon; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey

    2013-09-01

    The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of widespread martian soils and is similar in composition to the martian dust. It possesses a ubiquitous hydrogen signature in ChemCam spectra, corresponding to the hydration of the amorphous phases found in the soil by the CheMin instrument. This hydration likely accounts for an important fraction of the global hydration of the surface seen by previous orbital measurements. ChemCam analyses did not reveal any significant exchange of water vapor between the regolith and the atmosphere. These observations provide constraints on the nature of the amorphous phases and their hydration.

  1. Soil diversity and hydration as observed by ChemCam at Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Schroder, S.; Cousin, A.; Berger, G.; Clegg, S.M.; Lasue, J.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Le Mouélic, S.; Wiens, R.C.; Fabre, C.; Goetz, W.; Bish, D.L.; Mangold, N.; Ehlmann, B.; Lanza, N.; Harri, A.-M.; Anderson, Ryan Bradley; Rampe, E.; McConnochie, T.H.; Pinet, P.; Blaney, D.; ,; Archer, D.; Barraclough, B.; Bender, S.; Blake, D.; Blank, J.G.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B. C.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M.D.; Fisk, M. R.; Gondet, B.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Leshin, L.; Lewin, E.; Madsen, M.B.; Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Mischna, M.A.; Moores, J.E.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; ,; Renno, N.; Sirven, J.B.; Tokar, R.; de la Torre, M.; d'Uston, L.; Vaniman, D.; Yingst, A.

    2013-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of widespread martian soils and is similar in composition to the martian dust. It possesses a ubiquitous hydrogen signature in ChemCam spectra, corresponding to the hydration of the amorphous phases found in the soil by the CheMin instrument. This hydration likely accounts for an important fraction of the global hydration of the surface seen by previous orbital measurements. ChemCam analyses did not reveal any significant exchange of water vapor between the regolith and the atmosphere. These observations provide constraints on the nature of the amorphous phases and their hydration.

  2. Indigenous Fixed Nitrogen on Mars: Implications for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C. P.; Freissinet, C.; Archer, D., Jr.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Conrad, P. G.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrate has been detected in Mars surface sediments and aeolian deposits by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover (Stern et al., 2015). This detection is significant because fixed nitrogen is necessary for life, a requirement that drove the evolution of N-fixing metabolism in life on Earth. The question remains as to the extent to which a primitive N cycle ever developed on Mars, and whether N is currently being deposited on the martian surface at a non-negligible rate. It is also necessary to consider processes that could recycle oxidized N back into the atmosphere, and how these processes may have changed the soil inventory of N over time. The abundance of fixed nitrogen detected as NO from thermal decomposition of nitrate is consistent with both delivery of nitrate via impact generated thermal shock early in martian history and dry deposition from photochemistry of thermospheric NO, occurring in the present. Processes that could recycle N back into the atmosphere may include nitrate reduction by Fe(II) in aqueous environments on early Mars, impact decomposition, and/or UV photolysis. In order to better understand the history of nitrogen fixation on Mars, we look to cycling of N in Mars analog environments on Earth such as the Atacama Desert and the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. In particular, we examine the ratio of nitrate to perchlorate (NO3-/ClO4-) in these areas compared to those calculated from data acquired on Mars.

  3. Development and research program for a soil-based bioregenerative agriculture system to feed a four person crew at a Mars base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstone, S.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.; Allen, J.

    For humans to survive during long-term missions on the Martian surface, bioregenerative life support systems including food production will decrease requirements for launch of Earth supplies, and increase mission safety. It is proposed that the development of ``modular biospheres''- closed system units that can be air-locked together and which contain soil-based bioregenerative agriculture, horticulture, with a wetland wastewater treatment system is an approach for Mars habitation scenarios. Based on previous work done in long-term life support at Biosphere 2 and other closed ecological systems, this consortium proposes a research and development program called Mars On Earth™ which will simulate a life support system designed for a four person crew. The structure will consist of /6 × 110 square meter modular agricultural units designed to produce a nutritionally adequate diet for 4 people, recycling all air, water and waste, while utilizing a soil created by the organic enrichment and modification of Mars simulant soils. Further research needs are discussed, such as determining optimal light levels for growth of the necessary range of crops, energy trade-offs for agriculture (e.g. light intensity vs. required area), capabilities of Martian soils and their need for enrichment and elimination of oxides, strategies for use of human waste products, and maintaining atmospheric balance between people, plants and soils.

  4. Development and research program for a soil-based bioregenerative agriculture system to feed a four person crew at a Mars base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstone, S; Nelson, M; Alling, A; Allen, J

    2003-01-01

    For humans to survive during long-term missions on the Martian surface, bioregenerative life support systems including food production will decrease requirements for launch of Earth supplies, and increase mission safety. It is proposed that the development of "modular biospheres"--closed system units that can be air-locked together and which contain soil-based bioregenerative agriculture, horticulture, with a wetland wastewater treatment system is an approach for Mars habitation scenarios. Based on previous work done in long-term life support at Biosphere 2 and other closed ecological systems, this consortium proposes a research and development program called Mars On Earth(TM) which will simulate a life support system designed for a four person crew. The structure will consist of 6 x 110 square meter modular agricultural units designed to produce a nutritionally adequate diet for 4 people, recycling all air, water and waste, while utilizing a soil created by the organic enrichment and modification of Mars simulant soils. Further research needs are discussed, such as determining optimal light levels for growth of the necessary range of crops, energy trade-offs for agriculture (e.g. light intensity vs. required area), capabilities of Martian soils and their need for enrichment and elimination of oxides, strategies for use of human waste products, and maintaining atmospheric balance between people, plants and soils. c2002 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Visible-NIR Spectroscopic Evidence for the Composition of Low-Albedo Altered Soils on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, S.; Merenyi, E.; Singer, R.; Kirkland, L.

    1996-03-01

    Spectroscopic studies of altered Martian soils at visible and at NIR wavelengths have generally supported the canonical model of the surface layer as consisting mostly of 2 components, bright red hematite-containing dust and dark gray pyroxene-containing sand. However several of the studies have also provided tantalizing evidence for distinct 1 micrometer Fe absorptions in discrete areas, particularly dark red soils which are hypothesized to consist of duricrust. These distinct absorptions have been proposed to originate from one or more non-hematitic ferric phases. We have tested this hypothesis by merging high spatial resolution visible- and NIR-wavelength data to synthesize composite 0.44-3.14 1lm spectra for regions of western Arabia and Margaritifer Terra. The extended wavelength coverage allows more complete assessment of ferric, ferrous, and H2O absorptions in both wavelength ranges. The composite data show that, compared to nearby bright red soil in Arabia, dark red soil in Oxia has a lower albedo, a more negative continuum slope, and a stronger 3 micrometer H2O absorption . However Fe absorptions are closely similar in position and depth. These results suggest that at least some dark red soils may differ from "normal" dust and mafic sand more in texture than in Fe mineralogy, although there appears to be enrichment in a water-containing phase and/or a dark, spectrally neutral phase. In contrast, there is clear evidence for enrichment of a low-albedo ferric mineral in dark gray soils composing Sinus Meridiani. These have visible- and NIR-wavelength absorptions consistent with crystalline hematite with relatively little pyroxene, plus a very weak 3 micrometer H2O absorption. These properties suggest a Ethology richer in crystalline hematite and less hydrated than both dust and mafic-rich sand.

  6. Bright soil units on Mars determined from ISM imaging spectrometer data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, Scott; Mustard, John

    1993-01-01

    The lithology of bright Martian soil provides evidence for chemical and physical processes that have modified the planet's surface. Data from the ISM imaging spectrometer, which observed much of the equatorial region at a spatial resolution of approximately 22 km, cover the NIR wavelength range critical to ascertaining the presence and abundance of Fe-containing phases, hydroxylated silicates, and H2O in the bright soil. ISM data previously have revealed spatial variations in depth of the 3.0-microns H2O absorption suggesting differences in water content, a weak absorption at 2.2 microns indicative of metal-OH in phyllosilicate, and variations in the 1-micron Fe absorption indicative of differences in Fe mineralogy. This paper summarizes first results of a systematic investigation of spectral heterogeneity in bright soils observed by ISM. At least seven 'units' with distinctive properties were discriminated. Comparison of their spatial distributions with Viking data shows that they generally correspond with previously recognized morphologic, color, and thermal features. These correspondences and the units' spectral attributes provide evidence for lithologic differences between the soils in different geologic settings.

  7. Assessment of planetary geologic mapping techniques for Mars using terrestrial analogs: The SP Mountain area of the San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K.L.; Skinner, J.A.; Crumpler, L.S.; Dohm, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    We photogeologically mapped the SP Mountain region of the San Francisco Volcanic Field in northern Arizona, USA to evaluate and improve the fidelity of approaches used in geologic mapping of Mars. This test site, which was previously mapped in the field, is chiefly composed of Late Cenozoic cinder cones, lava flows, and alluvium perched on Permian limestone of the Kaibab Formation. Faulting and folding has deformed the older rocks and some of the volcanic materials, and fluvial erosion has carved drainage systems and deposited alluvium. These geologic materials and their formational and modificational histories are similar to those for regions of the Martian surface. We independently prepared four geologic maps using topographic and image data at resolutions that mimic those that are commonly used to map the geology of Mars (where consideration was included for the fact that Martian features such as lava flows are commonly much larger than their terrestrial counterparts). We primarily based our map units and stratigraphic relations on geomorphology, color contrasts, and cross-cutting relationships. Afterward, we compared our results with previously published field-based mapping results, including detailed analyses of the stratigraphy and of the spatial overlap and proximity of the field-based vs. remote-based (photogeologic) map units, contacts, and structures. Results of these analyses provide insights into how to optimize the photogeologic mapping of Mars (and, by extension, other remotely observed planetary surfaces). We recommend the following: (1) photogeologic mapping as an excellent approach to recovering the general geology of a region, along with examination of local, high-resolution datasets to gain insights into the complexity of the geology at outcrop scales; (2) delineating volcanic vents and lava-flow sequences conservatively and understanding that flow abutment and flow overlap are difficult to distinguish in remote data sets; (3) taking care to

  8. Griffith Saponite as an Analog for Clay Minerals at Yellowknife Bay in Gale Crater, Mars: A Marker for Low-temperature Hydrothermal Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, R.V.; Treiman, A. H.; Agresti, D. G.; Graff, T. G.; Achilles, C. N.; Rampe, E. B.; Bristow, T. F.; Ming, D. W.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The CheMin X-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity in Gale Crater, Mars, discovered smectite in drill fines of the Sheepbed mudstone at Yellowknife Bay (YNB). The mudstone has a basaltic composition, and the XRD powder diffraction pattern shows smectite 02l diffraction bands peaking at 4.59 A for targets John Klein and Cumberland, consistent with tri-octahedral smectites (saponite). From thermal analysis, the saponite abundance is 20 wt. %. Among terrestrial analogues we have studied, ferrian saponite from Griffith Park (Los Angeles, CA) gives the best match to the position of the 02l diffraction band of YNB saponites. Here we describe iron-rich saponites from a terrestrial perspective, with a focus on Griffith saponite, and discuss their implications for the mineralogy of Sheepbed saponite and its formation pathways. Iron-rich saponite: Iron-rich saponite on the Earth is recognized as a low-temperature (oxidize on the timescale of days when removed from their natural environment and not protected from oxidation. The Griffith saponite is Mg-rich ferrian saponite, and sample AMNH 89172 has an 02l spacing of 4.59 A (same as the Sheepbed saponites) and Fe3+/?Fe = 0.64 [3]. This similarity suggests that Sheepbed saponites are ferrian (incompletely oxidized ferrosaponite). More oxidized Griffith saponites (Fe3+/?Fe > 0.90) have somewhat smaller 02l d-spacings and also show Mossbauer evidence for an XRD amorphous Fe-bearing phase (e.g., ferrihydrite, hisingerite, superparamagnetic ferric oxides, etc.). The Griffith saponite occurs as vesicle fills, as replacements of olivine, and as replacements of mesostasis (basaltic glass). Similar occurrence modes are reported elsewhere. Hisingerite has been proposed by [13] as the alteration product of ferrian saponite whose precursor by oxidation was ferrosaponite.

  9. A Comparison and Analog-Based Analysis of Sinuous Channels on the Rift Aprons of Ascraeus Mons and Pavonis Mons Volcanoes, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, A.; de Wet, A.; Bleacher, J.; Schierl, Z.; Schwans, B.

    2012-01-01

    The origin of sinuous channels on the flanks of the Tharsis volcanoes on Mars is debated among planetary scientists. Some argue a volcanic genesis [1] while others have suggested a fluvial basis [2-4]. The majority of the studies thus far have focused on channels on the rift apron of Ascraeus Mons. Here, however, we broadly examine the channels on the rift apron of Pavonis Mons and compare them with those studied channels around Ascraeus. We compare the morphologies of features from both of these volcanoes with similar features of known volcanic origin on the island of Hawai i. We show that the morphologies between these two volcanoes in the Tharsis province are very similar and were likely formed by comparable processes, as previous authors have suggested [5]. We show that, although the morphologies of many of the channels around these volcanoes show some parallels to terrestrial fluvial systems, these morphologies can also be formed by volcanic processes. The context of these features suggests that volcanic processes were the more likely cause of these channels.

  10. Smectite clays in Mars soil - Evidence for their presence and role in Viking biology experimental results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banin, A.; Rishpon, J.

    1979-01-01

    Evidence for the presence of smectite clays in Martian soils is reviewed and results of experiments with certain active clays simulating the Viking biology experiments are reported. Analyses of Martian soil composition by means of X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and dust storm spectroscopy and Martian geological history strongly suggest the presence of a mixture of weathered ferro-silicate minerals, mainly nontronite and montmorillonite, accompanied by soluble sulphate salts, as major constituents. Samples of montmorillonite and nontronite incubated with (C-14)-formate or the radioactive nutrient medium solution used in the Viking Labeled Release experiment, were found to produce patterns of release of radioactive gas very similar to those observed in the Viking experiments, indicating the iron-catalyzed decomposition of formate as the reaction responsible for the Viking results. The experimental results of Hubbard (1979) simulating the results of the Viking Pyrolytic Release experiment using iron montmorillonites are pointed out, and it is concluded that many of the results of the Viking biology experiments can be explained in terms of the surface activity of smectite clays in catalysis and adsorption.

  11. Analog computing

    CERN Document Server

    Ulmann, Bernd

    2013-01-01

    This book is a comprehensive introduction to analog computing. As most textbooks about this powerful computing paradigm date back to the 1960s and 1970s, it fills a void and forges a bridge from the early days of analog computing to future applications. The idea of analog computing is not new. In fact, this computing paradigm is nearly forgotten, although it offers a path to both high-speed and low-power computing, which are in even more demand now than they were back in the heyday of electronic analog computers.

  12. GAMMA-RAY CHARACTERIZATION OF THE U-SERIES INTERMEDIATE DAUGHTERS FROM SOIL SAMPLES AT THE PENA BLANCA NATURAL ANALOG, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.C. French; E.Y. Anthony; P.C. Goodell

    2005-07-18

    The Pena Blanca natural analog is located in the Sierra Pena Blanca, approximately 50 miles north of Chihuahua City, Mexico. The Sierra Pena Blanca is composed mainly of ash-flow tuffs, and the uranium in the region is contained in the brecciated zones of these tuffs. The Pena Blanca site is considered a natural analog to the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository because they share similar characteristics of structure, volcanic lithology, tectonic activity, and hydrologic regime. One of the mineralized zones, the Nopal I deposit, was mined in the early 1980s and the ore was stockpiled close to the mine. This stockpile area has subsequently been cleared and is referred to as the prior high-grade stockpile (PHGS) site. Soil surrounding boulders of high-grade ore associated with the PHGS site have been sampled. The purpose of this study is to characterize the transport of uranium series radioisotopes from the boulder to the soil during the past 25 years. Transport is characterized by determining the activities of individual radionuclides and daughter to parent ratios. The daughter to parent ratios are used to establish whether the samples are in secular equilibrium. Activities are determined using gamma-ray spectroscopy. Isotopes of the uranium series decay chain detected by gamma-ray spectroscopy include {sup 210}Pb, {sup 234}U, {sup 234}Th, {sup 230}Th, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 214}Pb, {sup 214}Bi, and {sup 234}Pa. Preliminary results indicate that some daughter to parent pairs appear to be in secular disequilibrium. Thorium is in excess relative to uranium, and radium is in excess relative to thorium. A deficiency appears to exist for {sup 210}Pb relative to {sup 214}Bi and {sup 214}Pb. If these results are borne out by further analysis, they would suggest transport of nuclides from the high-grade boulder into its surroundings, followed by continued leaching of uranium and lead from the environment.

  13. GAMMA-RAY CHARACTERIZATION OF THE U-SERIES INTERMEDIATE DAUGHTERS FROM SOIL SAMPLES AT THE PENA BLANCA NATURAL ANALOG, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    French, D.C.; Anthony, E.Y.; Goodell, P.C.

    2005-01-01

    The Pena Blanca natural analog is located in the Sierra Pena Blanca, approximately 50 miles north of Chihuahua City, Mexico. The Sierra Pena Blanca is composed mainly of ash-flow tuffs, and the uranium in the region is contained in the brecciated zones of these tuffs. The Pena Blanca site is considered a natural analog to the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository because they share similar characteristics of structure, volcanic lithology, tectonic activity, and hydrologic regime. One of the mineralized zones, the Nopal I deposit, was mined in the early 1980s and the ore was stockpiled close to the mine. This stockpile area has subsequently been cleared and is referred to as the prior high-grade stockpile (PHGS) site. Soil surrounding boulders of high-grade ore associated with the PHGS site have been sampled. The purpose of this study is to characterize the transport of uranium series radioisotopes from the boulder to the soil during the past 25 years. Transport is characterized by determining the activities of individual radionuclides and daughter to parent ratios. The daughter to parent ratios are used to establish whether the samples are in secular equilibrium. Activities are determined using gamma-ray spectroscopy. Isotopes of the uranium series decay chain detected by gamma-ray spectroscopy include 210 Pb, 234 U, 234 Th, 230 Th, 226 Ra, 214 Pb, 214 Bi, and 234 Pa. Preliminary results indicate that some daughter to parent pairs appear to be in secular disequilibrium. Thorium is in excess relative to uranium, and radium is in excess relative to thorium. A deficiency appears to exist for 210 Pb relative to 214 Bi and 214 Pb. If these results are borne out by further analysis, they would suggest transport of nuclides from the high-grade boulder into its surroundings, followed by continued leaching of uranium and lead from the environment

  14. Evaluation of Biological and Enzymatic Activity of Soil in a Tropical Dry Forest: Desierto de la Tatacoa (Colombia) with Potential in Mars Terraforming and Other Similar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno Moreno, A. N.

    2009-12-01

    Desierto de la Tatacoa has been determined to be a tropical dry forest bioma, which is located at 3° 13" N 75° 13" W. It has a hot thermal floor with 440 msnm of altitude; it has a daily average of 28° C, and a maximum of 40° C, Its annual rainfall total can be upwards of 1250 mm. Its solar sheen has a daily average of 5.8 hours and its relative humidity is between 60% and 65%. Therefore, the life forms presents are very scant, and in certain places, almost void. It was realized a completely random sampling of soil from its surface down to 6 inches deep, of zones without vegetation and with soils highly loaded by oxides of iron in order to determine the number of microorganisms per gram and its subsequent identification. It was measured the soil basal respiration. Besides, it was determined enzymatic activity (catalase, dehydrogenase, phosphatase and urease). Starting with the obtained results, it is developes an alternative towards the study of soil genesis in Mars in particular, and recommendations for same process in other planets. Although the information found in the experiments already realized in Martian soil they demonstrate that doesnt exist any enzymatic activity, the knowledge of the same topic in the soil is proposed as an alternative to problems like carbonic fixing of the dense Martian atmosphere of CO2, the degradation of inorganic compounds amongst other in order to prepare the substratum for later colonization by some life form.

  15. Joint US-USSR Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floyd, S. R.; Trombka, J. I.; Evans, L. G.; Starr, R.; Squyres, S. W.; Surkov, Iu. A.; Moskaleva, L. P.; Shcheglov, O.; Mitugov, A. G.; Rester, A. C.

    1991-01-01

    The Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) project has been established at Goddard Space Flight Center for the evaluation and cross calibration of U.S. and USSR remote sensing gamma-ray and neutron detectors. These detectors are analogs of those flown on the Soviet Phobos mission around Mars and those to be flown on the upcoming U.S. Mars Observer mission. Cosmic rays, which are normally filtered out by the atmosphere, and the earth's magnetic field, will induce gamma-ray and neutron emissions from about a half ton of simulated Mars soil aboard the gondola. The cross calibration of these instruments should greatly facilitate the data analysis from both missions and play a role in U.S.-USSR cooperation in space.

  16. Observational evidence of crystalline iron oxides on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, J.F. III; McCord, T.B.; Owensby, P.D.

    1990-01-01

    Visible to near-IR (0.4-1.0 μm) spectral reflectance observations of Mars during the 1988 opposition were performed at Mauna Kea Observatory using a circular variable filter spectrometer at a spectral resolution R = λ/Δλ ∼ 80. On August 13 and 14 1988, UT, 41 regions 500-600 km in diameter were observed on Mars. The data have been reduced both to reflectance relative to solar analog (Mars/16 Cyg B) and to relative reflectance (spot/spot). The spectra show the strong near-UV reflectance dropoff characteristic of Mars as well as absorptions at 0.62-0.72 μm and 0.81-0.94 μm both seen here clearly for the first time. These absorption features are interpreted as Fe 3+ electronic transition bands that indicate the presence of crystalline ferric oxide or hydroxide minerals on the Martian surface. Comparison of these data with laboratory spectra obtained by other workers supports the conclusion that a single iron oxide phase, most likely hematite, could account for all of the observed spectral behavior of the Martian surface soils and airborne dust in the 0.4-1.0 μm region. This possibility must be reconciled with data from other possible spectral analogs and other wavelength regions as well as geochemical and mineral stability considerations to arrive at a more complete understanding of the role of ferric minerals in Martian surface mineralogy and weathering

  17. Advanced Mars Water Acquisition System, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Advanced Mars Water Acquisition System (AMWAS) recovers and purifies water from Mars soils for oxygen and fuel production, life support, food production, and...

  18. Mars Aqueous Processing System, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Aqueous Processing System (MAPS) is a novel technology for recovering oxygen, iron, and other constituents from lunar and Mars soils. The closed-loop...

  19. Zeolite Formation and Weathering Processes in Dry Valleys of Antartica: Martian Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, E. K., Jr.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.; Socki, R. A.

    2004-01-01

    Terrestrial weathering processes in cold-desert climates such as the Dry Valleys of Antarctica may provide an excellent analog to chemical weathering and diagenesis of soils on Mars. Detailed studies of soil development and the chemical and mineralogical alterations occurring within soil columns in Wright Valley, Antarctica show incredible complexity in the upper meter of soil. Previous workers noted the ice-free Dry Valleys are the best terrestrial approximations to contemporary Mars. Images returned from the Pathfinder and Spirit landers show similarities to surfaces observed within the Dry Valleys. Similarities to Mars that exist in these valleys are: mean temperatures always below freezing (-20 C), no rainfall, sparse snowfall-rapidly removed by sublimation, desiccating winds, diurnal freeze-thaw cycles (even during daylight hours), low humidity, oxidative environment, relatively high solar radiation and low magnetic fields . The Dry Valley soils contain irregular distributions and low abundances of soil microorganisms that are somewhat unusual on Earth. Physical processes-such as sand abrasion-are dominant mechanisms of rock weathering in Antarctica. However, chemical weathering is also an important process even in such extreme climates. For example, ionic migration occurs even in frozen soils along liquid films on individual soil particles. It has also been shown that water with liquid-like properties is present in soils at temperatures on the order of approx.-80 C and it has been observed that the percentage of oxidized iron increases with increasing soil age and enrichments in oxidized iron occurs toward the surface. The presence of evaporates is evident and appear similar to "evaporite sites" within the Pathfinder and Spirit sites. Evaporites indicate ionic migration and chemical activity even in the permanently frozen zone. The presence of evaporates indicates that chemical weathering of rocks and possibly soils has been active. Authogenic zeolites have

  20. Nitrogen on Mars: Insights from Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Jackson, W. A.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Chrisopher P.; Ming, W.; Archer, P. Douglas; Glavin, D. P.; Fairen, A. G.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2017-01-01

    Recent detection of nitrate on Mars indicates that nitrogen fixation processes occurred in early martian history. Data collected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity Rover can be integrated with Mars analog work in order to better understand the fixation and mobility of nitrogen on Mars, and thus its availability to putative biology. In particular, the relationship between nitrate and other soluble salts may help reveal the timing of nitrogen fixation and post-depositional behavior of nitrate on Mars. In addition, in situ measurements of nitrogen abundance and isotopic composition may be used to model atmospheric conditions on early Mars.

  1. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillingim, M. O.; Brain, D. A.; Peticolas, L. M.; Yan, D.; Fricke, K. W.; Thrall, L.

    2012-12-01

    The magnetic fields of the large terrestrial planets, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are all vastly different from each other. These differences can tell us a lot about the interior structure, interior history, and even give us clues to the atmospheric history of these planets. This poster highlights the third in a series of presentations that target school-age audiences with the overall goal of helping the audience visualize planetary magnetic field and understand how they can impact the climatic evolution of a planet. Our first presentation, "Goldilocks and the Three Planets," targeted to elementary school age audiences, focuses on the differences in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars and the causes of the differences. The second presentation, "Lost on Mars (and Venus)," geared toward a middle school age audience, highlights the differences in the magnetic fields of these planets and what we can learn from these differences. Finally, in the third presentation, "Wet Mars, Dry Mars," targeted to high school age audiences and the focus of this poster, the emphasis is on the long term climatic affects of the presence or absence of a magnetic field using the contrasts between Earth and Mars. These presentations are given using visually engaging spherical displays in conjunction with hands-on activities and scientifically accurate 3D models of planetary magnetic fields. We will summarize the content of our presentations, discuss our lessons learned from evaluations, and show (pictures of) our hands-on activities and 3D models.

  2. Analog earthquakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hofmann, R.B.

    1995-01-01

    Analogs are used to understand complex or poorly understood phenomena for which little data may be available at the actual repository site. Earthquakes are complex phenomena, and they can have a large number of effects on the natural system, as well as on engineered structures. Instrumental data close to the source of large earthquakes are rarely obtained. The rare events for which measurements are available may be used, with modfications, as analogs for potential large earthquakes at sites where no earthquake data are available. In the following, several examples of nuclear reactor and liquified natural gas facility siting are discussed. A potential use of analog earthquakes is proposed for a high-level nuclear waste (HLW) repository

  3. Lead speciation in 0.1N HCl-extracted residue of analog of Pb-contaminated soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Yuling; Yang, Y.-W.; Lee, J.-F.

    2005-01-01

    The heavy metal in-taken by plants from contaminated soils is usually assessed by extraction with 0.1N HCl. This study characterized the chemical form of lead in the solid residue of 0.1N HCl-extracted Pb-contaminated kaolin. The results indicate that most lead in the 0.1N HCl-extracted residue of the Pb(NO 3 ) 2 -contaminated kaolin dried at 105 deg C is mainly in form of PbCl 2 . For other lead-containing kaolin sample heated at 900 deg C, the XAS analysis also shows that majority of the lead compound was converted into PbCl 2 precipitate that remained in the solid residue during the 0.1N HCl extraction. Because PbCl 2 is only slightly soluble in dilute acids or water, it is suggested that using 0.1N HCl liquid as an extracting reagent to represent the heavy metal uptake by plants might actually underestimate the uptake

  4. Atmospheric weathering and silica-coated feldspar: analogy with zeolite molecular sieves, granite weathering, soil formation, ornamental slabs, and ceramics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J V

    1998-03-31

    Feldspar surfaces respond to chemical, biological, and mechanical weathering. The simplest termination is hydroxyl (OH), which interacts with any adsorption layer. Acid leaching of alkalis and aluminum generated a silica-rich, nanometers-thick skin on certain feldspars. Natural K, Na-feldspars develop fragile surfaces as etch pits expand into micrometer honeycombs, possibly colonized by lichens. Most crystals have various irregular coats. Based on surface-catalytic processes in molecular sieve zeolites, I proposed that some natural feldspars lose weakly bonded Al-OH (aluminol) to yield surfaces terminated by strongly bonded Si-OH (silanol). This might explain why some old feldspar-bearing rocks weather slower than predicted from brief laboratory dissolution. Lack of an Al-OH infrared frequency from a feldspar surface is consistent with such a silanol-dominated surface. Raman spectra of altered patches on acid-leached albite correspond with amorphous silica rather than hydroxylated silica-feldspar, but natural feldspar may respond differently. The crystal structure of H-exchanged feldspar provides atomic positions for computer modeling of complex ideas for silica-terminated feldspar surfaces. Natural weathering also depends on swings of temperature and hydration, plus transport of particles, molecules, and ionic complexes by rain and wind. Soil formation might be enhanced by crushing granitic outcrops to generate new Al-rich surfaces favorable for chemical and biological weathering. Ornamental slabs used by architects and monumental masons might last longer by minimizing mechanical abrasion during sawing and polishing and by silicifying the surface. Silica-terminated feldspar might be a promising ceramic surface.

  5. Microscopy analysis of soils at the Phoenix landing site, Mars : Classification of soil particles and description of their optical and magnetic properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goetz, W.; Pike, W.T.; Hviid, S.F.; Madsen, M.B.; Morris, R.V.; Hecht, M.H.; Staufer, U.; Leer, K.; Sykulska, H.; Hemmig, E.; Marshall, J.; Morookian, J.M.; Parrat, D.; Vijendran, S.; Bos, B.J.; El Maarry, M.R.; Keller, H.U.; Kramm, R.; Markiewicz, W.J.; Drube, L.; Blaney, D.; Arvidson, R.E.; Bell, J.F.; Reynolds, R.; Smith, P.H.; Woida, P.; Woida, R.; Tanner, R.

    2010-01-01

    The optical microscope onboard the Phoenix spacecraft has returned color images (4 ?m pixel?1) of soils that were delivered to and held on various substrates. A preliminary taxonomy of Phoenix soil particles, based on color, size, and shape, identifies the following particle types [generic names in

  6. Acid Sulfate Alteration on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.

    2016-01-01

    A variety of mineralogical and geochemical indicators for aqueous alteration on Mars have been identified by a combination of surface and orbital robotic missions, telescopic observations, characterization of Martian meteorites, and laboratory and terrestrial analog studies. Acid sulfate alteration has been identified at all three landing sites visited by NASA rover missions (Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity). Spirit landed in Gusev crater in 2004 and discovered Fe-sulfates and materials that have been extensively leached by acid sulfate solutions. Opportunity landing on the plains of Meridiani Planum also in 2004 where the rover encountered large abundances of jarosite and hematite in sedimentary rocks. Curiosity landed in Gale crater in 2012 and has characterized fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine sediments. Jarosite and hematite were discovered in some of the lacustrine sediments. The high elemental abundance of sulfur in surface materials is obvious evidence that sulfate has played a major role in aqueous processes at all landing sites on Mars. The sulfate-rich outcrop at Meridiani Planum has an SO3 content of up to 25 wt.%. The interiors of rocks and outcrops on the Columbia Hills within Gusev crater have up to 8 wt.% SO3. Soils at both sites generally have between 5 to 14 wt.% SO3, and several soils in Gusev crater contain around 30 wt.% SO3. After normalization of major element compositions to a SO3-free basis, the bulk compositions of these materials are basaltic, with a few exceptions in Gusev crater and in lacustrine mudstones in Gale crater. These observations suggest that materials encountered by the rovers were derived from basaltic precursors by acid sulfate alteration under nearly isochemical conditions (i.e., minimal leaching). There are several cases, however, where acid sulfate alteration minerals (jarosite and hematite) formed in open hydrologic systems, e.g., in Gale crater lacustrine mudstones. Several hypotheses have been suggested for the

  7. Mars Aqueous Processing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Mark; Wilson, Cherie; Carrera, Stacy; Rose, Heather; Muscatello, Anthony; Kilgore, James; Zubrin, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The goal of the Mars Aqueous Processing System (MAPS) is to establish a flexible process that generates multiple products that are useful for human habitation. Selectively extracting useful components into an aqueous solution, and then sequentially recovering individual constituents, can obtain a suite of refined or semi-refined products. Similarities in the bulk composition (although not necessarily of the mineralogy) of Martian and Lunar soils potentially make MAPS widely applicable. Similar process steps can be conducted on both Mars and Lunar soils while tailoring the reaction extents and recoveries to the specifics of each location. The MAPS closed-loop process selectively extracts, and then recovers, constituents from soils using acids and bases. The emphasis on Mars involves the production of useful materials such as iron, silica, alumina, magnesia, and concrete with recovery of oxygen as a byproduct. On the Moon, similar chemistry is applied with emphasis on oxygen production. This innovation has been demonstrated to produce high-grade materials, such as metallic iron, aluminum oxide, magnesium oxide, and calcium oxide, from lunar and Martian soil simulants. Most of the target products exhibited purities of 80 to 90 percent or more, allowing direct use for many potential applications. Up to one-fourth of the feed soil mass was converted to metal, metal oxide, and oxygen products. The soil residue contained elevated silica content, allowing for potential additional refining and extraction for recovery of materials needed for photovoltaic, semiconductor, and glass applications. A high-grade iron oxide concentrate derived from lunar soil simulant was used to produce a metallic iron component using a novel, combined hydrogen reduction/metal sintering technique. The part was subsequently machined and found to be structurally sound. The behavior of the lunar-simulant-derived iron product was very similar to that produced using the same methods on a Michigan iron

  8. Microorganisms, Organic Carbon, and Their Relationship with Oxidant Activity in Hyper-Arid Mars-Like Soils: Implications for Soil Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia-Silva, Julio E.; Karouia, Fathi; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Soil samples from the hyper-arid region in the Atacama 23 Desert in Southern Peru (La Joya Desert) were analyzed for total and labile organic carbon (TOC & LOC), phospholipid fatty acids analysis (PLFA), quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), 4',6- diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI)-fluorescent microscopy, culturable microorganisms, and oxidant activity, in order to understand the relationship between the presence of organic matter and microorganisms in these types of soils. TOC content levels were similar to the labile pool of carbon suggesting the absence of recalcitrant carbon in these soils. The range of LOC was from 2 to 60 micro-g/g of soil. PLFA analysis indicated a maximum of 2.3 x 10(exp 5) cell equivalents/g. Culturing of soil extracts yielded 1.1 x 10(exp 2)-3.7 x 10(exp 3) CFU/g. qRT-PCR showed between 1.0 x 10(exp 2) and 8 x 10(exp 3) cells/g; and DAPI fluorescent staining indicated bacteria counts up to 5 x 104 cells/g. Arid and semiarid samples (controls) showed values between 10(exp 7) and 10(exp 11) cells/g with all of the methods used. Importantly, the concentration of microorganisms in hyper-arid soils did not show any correlation with the organic carbon content; however, there was a significant dependence on the oxidant activity present in these soil samples evaluated as the capacity to decompose sodium formate in 10 hours. We suggest that the analysis of oxidant activity could be a useful indicator of the microbial habitability in hyper-arid soils, obviating the need to measure water activity over time. This approach could be useful in astrobiological studies on other worlds.

  9. The sample handling system for the Mars Icebreaker Life mission: from dirt to data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davé, Arwen; Thompson, Sarah J; McKay, Christopher P; Stoker, Carol R; Zacny, Kris; Paulsen, Gale; Mellerowicz, Bolek; Glass, Brian J; Willson, David; Bonaccorsi, Rosalba; Rask, Jon

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Icebreaker Life mission will search for subsurface life on Mars. It consists of three payload elements: a drill to retrieve soil samples from approximately 1 m below the surface, a robotic sample handling system to deliver the sample from the drill to the instruments, and the instruments themselves. This paper will discuss the robotic sample handling system. Collecting samples from ice-rich soils on Mars in search of life presents two challenges: protection of that icy soil--considered a "special region" with respect to planetary protection--from contamination from Earth, and delivery of the icy, sticky soil to spacecraft instruments. We present a sampling device that meets these challenges. We built a prototype system and tested it at martian pressure, drilling into ice-cemented soil, collecting cuttings, and transferring them to the inlet port of the SOLID2 life-detection instrument. The tests successfully demonstrated that the Icebreaker drill, sample handling system, and life-detection instrument can collectively operate in these conditions and produce science data that can be delivered via telemetry--from dirt to data. Our results also demonstrate the feasibility of using an air gap to prevent forward contamination. We define a set of six analog soils for testing over a range of soil cohesion, from loose sand to basalt soil, with angles of repose of 27° and 39°, respectively. Particle size is a key determinant of jamming of mechanical parts by soil particles. Jamming occurs when the clearance between moving parts is equal in size to the most common particle size or equal to three of these particles together. Three particles acting together tend to form bridges and lead to clogging. Our experiments show that rotary-hammer action of the Icebreaker drill influences the particle size, typically reducing particle size by ≈ 100 μm.

  10. The Influence of Mineralogy on Recovering Organic Acids from Mars Analogue Materials Using the One-Pot Derivatization Experiment on the Sample Analysis at Mars(SAM) Instrument Suite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stalport, Fabien; Glavin, Daniel P.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Bish, D.; Blake, D.; Coll, P.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; McAdam, A.; Dworkin, J. P.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The search for complex organic molecules on Mars, including important biomolecules such as amino acids and carboxylic acids, will require a chemical extraction and a derivatization step to transform these organic compounds into species that are sufficiently volatile to be detected by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS). We have developed a ''one-pot'' extraction and chemical derivatization protocol using N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) and dimethylformamide (DMF) for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment instrument suite on NASA's the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. The temperature and duration of the derivatization reaction, pre-concentration of chemical derivatives, and gas chromatographic separation parameters have been optimized under SAM instrument design constraints. MTBSTFA/DMF extraction and derivatization at 300 1C for several minutes of a variety of terrestrial Mars analog materials facilitated the detection of amino acids and carboxylic acids in a surface soil sample collected from the Atacama Desert and a carbonate-rich stromatolite sample from Svalbard. However, the rapid reaction of MTBSTFA with water in several analog materials that contained high abundances of hydrated minerals, and the possible deactivation of derivatized compounds by iron oxides, as detected by XRD/XRF using the CheMin field unit Terra, proved to be highly problematic for the direct extraction of organics using MTBSTFA. The combination of pyrolysis and two different wet-chemical derivatization methods employed by SAM should enable a wide range of organic compounds to be detected by GCMS if present on Mars.

  11. Effects of simulated Mars conditions on the survival and growth of Escherichia coli and Serratia liquefaciens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Bonnie J; Jenkins, David G; Schuerger, Andrew C

    2010-04-01

    Escherichia coli and Serratia liquefaciens, two bacterial spacecraft contaminants known to replicate under low atmospheric pressures of 2.5 kPa, were tested for growth and survival under simulated Mars conditions. Environmental stresses of high salinity, low temperature, and low pressure were screened alone and in combination for effects on bacterial survival and replication, and then cells were tested in Mars analog soils under simulated Mars conditions. Survival and replication of E. coli and S. liquefaciens cells in liquid medium were evaluated for 7 days under low temperatures (5, 10, 20, or 30 degrees C) with increasing concentrations (0, 5, 10, or 20%) of three salts (MgCl(2), MgSO(4), NaCl) reported to be present on the surface of Mars. Moderate to high growth rates were observed for E. coli and S. liquefaciens at 30 or 20 degrees C and in solutions with 0 or 5% salts. In contrast, cell densities of both species generally did not increase above initial inoculum levels under the highest salt concentrations (10 and 20%) and the four temperatures tested, with the exception that moderately higher cell densities were observed for both species at 10% MgSO(4) maintained at 20 or 30 degrees C. Growth rates of E. coli and S. liquefaciens in low salt concentrations were robust under all pressures (2.5, 10, or 101.3 kPa), exhibiting a general increase of up to 2.5 orders of magnitude above the initial inoculum levels of the assays. Vegetative E. coli cells were maintained in a Mars analog soil for 7 days under simulated Mars conditions that included temperatures between 20 and -50 degrees C for a day/night diurnal period, UVC irradiation (200 to 280 nm) at 3.6 W m(-2) for daytime operations (8 h), pressures held at a constant 0.71 kPa, and a gas composition that included the top five gases found in the martian atmosphere. Cell densities of E. coli failed to increase under simulated Mars conditions, and survival was reduced 1 to 2 orders of magnitude by the interactive

  12. Pollen deposition in tauber traps and surface soil samples in the Mar Chiquita coastal lagoon area, pampa grasslands (Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Latorre

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Estimations of airborne pollen loadings deposited in Tauber traps were studied in a coastal lagoon from south-eastern Pampa grasslands, Argentina, in order to assess their relationship with surface samples and to interpret the representativeness of local, regional and extraregional vegetation. Three different environments were considered: a coastal dune barrier with a psammophytic community, a salt marsh with a halophytic community in Mar Chiquita lagoon, and a freshwater community at Hinojales freshwater lake. Based on a record of surface samples taken from a previous paper, a parametric model was built to classify Tauber samples gathered from the natural vegetation communities of the study area. Results revealed that just like their surface counterparts, Tauber trap records qualitatively reflect the predominant vegetation types, although ecological groups feature different quantitative representations depending on the record type. Pollen loadings showed that airborne pollen transport was predominantly of local range, in accordance with previous results from the same study area. Airborne - surface samples relationships enrich our knowledge of the present environment that could be useful to improve paleoecological interpretations of the area.Se estimó el depósito polínico atmosférico de trampas Tauber en una laguna costera del sudeste de la estepa pampeana argentina, con el objetivo de analizar su relación con muestras de polen superficial e interpretar la representatividad de la vegetación local, regional y extraregional. Se consideraron tres ambientes diferentes: una barrera costera de dunas con vegetación psamofítica, la marisma de la laguna costera Mar Chiquita, con vegetación halofítica, y la laguna continental Hinojales, con vegetación hidrofítica. En base a las muestras de superficie y análisis de un trabajo previo, se construyó un modelo paramétrico para clasificar las muestras Tauber tomadas en la vegetación natural del

  13. The 1990 MB: The first Mars Trojan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowell, Edward

    1991-01-01

    Asteroid 1990 MB was discovered during the course of the Mars and Earth-crossing Asteroid and Comet Survey. An orbit based on a 9-day arc and the asteroid's location near Mars L5 longitude led to speculation that it might be in 1:1 resonance with Mars, analogous to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. Subsequent observations strengthened the possibility, and later calculations confirmed it. The most recent orbit shows that the asteroid's semimajor axis is very similar to that of Mars.

  14. Mars bevares

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendricks, Vincent Fella; Hendricks, Elbert

    2009-01-01

    2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen......2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen...

  15. Update on the Chemical Composition Of Crystalline, Smectite, and Amorphous Components for Rocknest Soil and John Klein and Cumberland Mudstone Drill Fines at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Gellert, R.; Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Blake, D. F.; Chipera, S. J.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Rampe, E. B.; hide

    2015-01-01

    We have previously calculated the chemical compositions of the X-ray-diffraction (XRD) amorphous component of three solid samples (Rocknest (RN) soil, John Klein (JK) drill fines, and Cumberland (CB) drill fines) using major-element chemistry (APXS), volatile-element chemistry (SAM), and crystalline- phase mineralogy (CheMin) obtained by the Curiosity rover as a part of the ongoing Mars Science Laboratory mission in Gale Crater. According to CheMin analysis, the RN and the JK and CB samples are mineralogically distinct in that RN has no detectable clay minerals and both JK and CB have significant concentrations of high-Fe saponite. The chemical composition of the XRD amorphous component is the composition remaining after mathematical removal of the compositions of crystalline components, including phyllosilicates if present. Subsequent to, we have improved the unit cell parameters for Fe-forsterite, augite, and pigeonite, resulting in revised chemical compositions for the XRD-derived crystalline component (excluding clay minerals). We update here the calculated compositions of amorphous components using these revised mineral compositions.

  16. Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emily Moghaddas; Ken Hubbert

    2014-01-01

    When managing for resilient forests, each soil’s inherent capacity to resist and recover from changes in soil function should be evaluated relative to the anticipated extent and duration of soil disturbance. Application of several key principles will help ensure healthy, resilient soils: (1) minimize physical disturbance using guidelines tailored to specific soil types...

  17. Astrobiology Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars Analogue Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    . v’t Houd (8), A. Bruneau (6,9), M. Cross (6,7), V. Maivald (10), C. Orgel (6), A. Elsaesser (4), S.O.L. Direito (2,4), W.F.M. Röling (2), G.R. Davies (2); EuroGeoMars2009 Team, DOMMEX-ILEWG EuroMoonMars 2010-2013 Teams (1) ESA/ ESTEC, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwik, NL; (2) Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Faculty of Earth & Life Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, NL; (3) NASA Ames Research Centre; US; (4) Leiden Institute of Chemistry, NL; (5) Space Policy Institute, GWU, Washington D.C., USA; (6) ILEWG; (7) CPSX; (8) Cerberus Blackshore, ESIC Noordwijk, NL; (9) ENSC Bordeaux; (10) DLR, Bremen References: Foing, Stoker & Ehrenfreund (Editors, 2011) “Astrobiology field Research in Moon/Mars Analogue Environments”, Special Issue of International Journal of Astrobiology , IJA 2011, 10, vol.3. 137-305; [1] Foing B. et al. (2011) Field astrobiology research at Moon-Mars analogue site: Instruments and methods, IJA 2011, 10 (3), 141; [2] Clarke, J., Stoker, C. Concretions in exhumed & inverte channels near Hanksville Utah: implications for Mars, (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 162; [3] Thiel et al., (2011) PCR-based analysis of microbial communities during the EuroGeoMars campaign at Mars Desert Research Station, Utah. (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 177; [4] Direito et al. (2011). A wide variety of putative extremophiles and large beta-diversity at the Mars Desert Research Station (Utah). (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 191; [5] Orzechowska, G. et al (20110 analysis of Mars Analog soils using solid Phase Microextraction, Organics solvent extraction and GCMS, (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 209; [6] Kotler et al. (2011). Analysis of mineral matrices of planetary soils analogs from the Utah Desert. (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 221; [7] Martins et al. (2011). Extraction of amino acids from soils close to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), Utah. (IJA 2011, 10 (3), 231; [8] Ehrenfreund et al. (2011) Astrobiology and habitability studies in preparation for future Mars missions: trends from investigating minerals

  18. Life on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venkatavaradan, V S [Tata Inst. of Fundamental Research, Bombay (India)

    1976-10-01

    The miniature biological laboratory of the Viking-1 lander had three experiments to determine, whether the micro-organisms of the Martian soil has: (1) photo-synthetic activity (2) metabolic process activity (utilisation of nutrients) and (3) respiration. The Martian soil was warmed in an incubator and exposed to carbon dioxide (containing C/sup 14/) in presence of xenon arc lamp to simulate the Sun. If the Martian organisms of the expected type are present in the soil, the gas released during the heating would be radio-active which can be detected by a radiation counter. The three experiments had given positive signals denoting the presence of micro-organisms on the surface of Mars. The presence of superoxide in the soil would be poisonous to life but it is likely that organisms may survive deeper below the soil, where the chemicals would not be formed. The Viking-2 results also offered similar results. However, the basic question whether there is life on Mars still remains unanswered.

  19. Life on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venkatavaradan, V.S.

    1976-01-01

    The miniature biological laboratory of the Viking-1 lander had three experiments to determine, whether the micro-organisms of the Martian soil has: (1) photo-synthetic activity (2) metabolic process activity (utilisation of nutrients) and (3) respiration. The Martian soil was warmed in an incubator and exposed to carbon dioxide (containing C 14 ) in presence of xenon arc lamp to simulate the Sun. If the Martian organisms of the expected type are present in the soil, the gas released during the heating would be radio-active which can be detected by a radiation counter. The three experiments had given positive signals denoting the presence of micro-organisms on the surface of Mars. The presence of superoxide in the soil would be poisonous to life but it is likely that organisms may survive deeper below the soil, where the chemicals would not be formed. The Viking-2 results also offered similar results. However, the basic question whether there is life on Mars still remains unanswered. (K.M.)

  20. Magnetic Storms at Mars and Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vennerstrøm, Susanne; Falkenberg, Thea Vilstrup

    In analogy with magnetic storms at the Earth, periods of significantly enhanced global magnetic activity also exist at Mars. The extensive database of magnetic measurements from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), covering almost an entire solar cycle, is used in combination with geomagnetic activity...... indices at Earth to compare the occurrence of magnetic storms at Mars and Earth. Based on superposed epochs analysis the time-development of typical magnetic storms at Mars and Earth is described. In contradiction to storms at Earth, most magnetic storms at Mars are found to be associated...... with heliospheric current sheet crossings, where the IMF changes polarity. While most storms at the Earth occur due to significant southward excursions of the IMF associated with CMEs, at Mars most storms seem to be associated with the density enhancement of the heliospheric current sheet. Density enhancements...

  1. Determining the Local Abundance of Martian Methane and its 13-C/l2-C and D/H Isotopic Ratios for Comparison with Related Gas and Soil Analysis on the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the origin of Martian methane will require numerous complementary measurements from both in situ and remote sensing investigations and laboratory work to correlate planetary surface geophysics with atmospheric dynamics and chemistry. Three instruments (Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), Gas Chromatograph (GC) and Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS)) with sophisticated sample handling and processing capability make up the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) analytical chemistry suite on NASA s 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission. Leveraging off the SAM sample and gas processing capability that includes methane enrichment, TLS has unprecedented sensitivity for measuring absolute methane (parts-per-trillion), water, and carbon dioxide abundances in both the Martian atmosphere and evolved from heated soil samples. In concert with a wide variety of associated trace gases (e.g. SO2, H2S, NH3, higher hydrocarbons, organics, etc.) and other isotope ratios measured by SAM, TLS will focus on determining the absolute abundances of methane, water and carbon dioxide, and their isotope ratios: 13C/12C and D/H in methane; 13C/12C and 18O/17O/16O in carbon dioxide; and 18O/17O/16O and D/H in water. Measurements near the MSL landing site will be correlated with satellite (Mars Express, Mars 2016) and ground-based observations.

  2. Characterizing Martian Soils: Correlating Orbital Observations with Chemistry and Mineralogy from Landed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    2010-12-01

    Great advances have been achieved recently in our understanding of the surface of Mars at global scales from orbital missions and at local scales from landed missions. This presentation seeks to provide links between the chemistry and mineralogy observed by landed missions with remote detections of minerals from orbit. Spectral data from CRISM, OMEGA and TES characterize a mostly basaltic planet with some outcrops of hematite, clays, sulfates and carbonates at the surface. Recent alteration of these rocks to form soils has likely been dominated by physical processes; however, martian soils probably also contain relicts of early alteration involving aqueous processes. Clays, hydroxides, sulfates, carbonates and perchlorates are examples of surface components that may have formed early in the planet’s history in the presence of liquid water. Some of these minerals have not been detected in the soil, but all have likely contributed to the current soil composition. The grain size, shape, chemistry, mineralogy, and magnetic properties of Martian soils are similar to altered volcanic ash found at many analog sites on Earth. Reflectance and emission spectra of some of these analog soils are consistent with the basic soil spectral properties observed from orbit. The cemented soil units observed by rovers may have formed through interaction of the soil grains with salts, clays, and hydroxides. Lab experiments have shown that cementing of analog grains darkens the VN reflectance, which could explain the low reflectance of Martian soils compared to analog sites. Reflectance spectra of an analog soil mixture containing altered ash and sulfate are shown in Figure 1. A pellet was made by adding water and allowing the sample to dry in air. Finally, the pellet was crushed and ground again to properties might be.

  3. Science Teachers' Analogical Reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mozzer, Nilmara Braga; Justi, Rosária

    2013-08-01

    Analogies can play a relevant role in students' learning. However, for the effective use of analogies, teachers should not only have a well-prepared repertoire of validated analogies, which could serve as bridges between the students' prior knowledge and the scientific knowledge they desire them to understand, but also know how to introduce analogies in their lessons. Both aspects have been discussed in the literature in the last few decades. However, almost nothing is known about how teachers draw their own analogies for instructional purposes or, in other words, about how they reason analogically when planning and conducting teaching. This is the focus of this paper. Six secondary teachers were individually interviewed; the aim was to characterize how they perform each of the analogical reasoning subprocesses, as well as to identify their views on analogies and their use in science teaching. The results were analyzed by considering elements of both theories about analogical reasoning: the structural mapping proposed by Gentner and the analogical mechanism described by Vosniadou. A comprehensive discussion of our results makes it evident that teachers' content knowledge on scientific topics and on analogies as well as their pedagogical content knowledge on the use of analogies influence all their analogical reasoning subprocesses. Our results also point to the need for improving teachers' knowledge about analogies and their ability to perform analogical reasoning.

  4. Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    First of NASA's Discovery missions. Launched in December 1996 and arrived at Mars on 4 July 1997. Mainly intended as a technology demonstration mission. Used airbags to cushion the landing on Mars. The Carl Sagan Memorial station returned images of an ancient flood plain in Ares Vallis. The 10 kg Sojourner rover used an x-ray spectrometer to study the composition of rocks and travelled about 100 ...

  5. Exploring Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuil, Stéphanie

    2016-04-01

    Mars is our neighbour planet and has always fascinated humans as it has been seen as a potential abode for life. Knowledge about Mars is huge and was constructed step by step through numerous missions. It could be difficult to describe these missions, the associated technology, the results, the questions they raise, that's why an activity is proposed, that directly interests students. Their production is presented in the poster. Step 1: The main Mars feature and the first Mars explorations using telescope are presented to students. It should be really interesting to present "Mars Canals" from Percival Lowell as it should also warn students against flawed interpretation. Moreover, this study has raised the big question about extra-terrestrial life on Mars for the first time. Using Google Mars is then a good way to show the huge knowledge we have on the planet and to introduce modern missions. Step 2: Students have to choose and describe one of the Mars mission from ESA and NASA. They should work in pairs. Web sites from ESA and NASA are available and the teacher makes sure the main missions will be studied. Step 3: Students have to collect different pieces of information about the mission - When? Which technology? What were the main results? What type of questions does it raise? They prepare an oral presentation in the form they want (role play, academic presentation, using a poster, PowerPoint). They also have to produce playing cards about the mission that could be put on a timeline. Step 4: As a conclusion, the different cards concerning different missions are mixed. Groups of students receive cards and they have to put them on a timeline as fast as possible. It is also possible to play the game "timeline".

  6. Human Factor Investigation of Waste Processing System During the HI-SEAS 4-month Mars Analog Mission in Support of NASA's Logistic Reduction and Repurposing Project: Trash to Gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraccio, Anne; Hintze, Paul E.; Miles, John D.

    2014-01-01

    NASA's Logistics Reduction and Repurposing (LRR) project is a collaborative effort in which NASA is tasked with reducing total logistical mass through reduction, reuse and recycling of various wastes and components of long duration space missions and habitats. Trash to Gas (TtG) is a sub task to LRR with efforts focused on development of a technology that converts wastes generated during long duration space missions into high-value products such as methane, water for life support, raw material production feedstocks, and other energy sources. The reuse of discarded materials is a critical component to reducing overall mission mass. The 120 day Hawaii Space Exploration and Analog Simulation provides a unique opportunity to answer questions regarding crew interface and system analysis for designing and developing future flight-like versions of a TtG system. This paper will discuss the human factors that would affect the design of a TtG or other waste processing systems. An overview of the habitat, utility usage, and waste storage and generation is given. Crew time spent preparing trash for TtG processing was recorded. Gas concentrations were measured near the waste storage locations and at other locations in the habitat. In parallel with the analog mission, experimental processing of waste materials in a TtG reactor was performed in order to evaluate performance with realistic waste materials.

  7. Human Factor Investigation of Waste Processing System During the HI-SEAS 4 Month Mars Analog Mission in Support of NASA's Logistic Reduction and Repurposing Project: Trash to Gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraccio, Anne; Hintze, Paul; Miles, John D.

    2014-01-01

    NASAs Logistics Reduction and Repurposing (LRR) project is a collaborative effort in which NASA is tasked with reducing total logistical mass through reduction, reuse and recycling of various wastes and components of long duration space missions and habitats. Trash to Gas (TtG) is a sub task to LRR with efforts focused on development of a technology that converts wastes generated during long duration space missions into high-value products such as methane, water for life support, raw material production feedstocks, and other energy sources. The reuse of discarded materials is a critical component to reducing overall mission mass. The 120 day Hawaii Space Exploration and Analog Simulation provides a unique opportunity to answer questions regarding crew interface and system analysis for designing and developing future flight-like versions of a TtG system. This paper will discuss the human factors that would affect the design of a TtG or other waste processing systems. An overview of the habitat, utility usage, and waste storage and generation is given. Crew time spent preparing trash for TtG processing was recorded. Gas concentrations were measured near the waste storage locations and at other locations in the habitat. In parallel with the analog mission, experimental processing of waste materials in a TtG reactor was performed in order to evaluate performance with realistic waste materials.

  8. Mars Regolith Water Extractor, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Regolith Water Extractor (MRWE) is a system for acquiring water from the Martian soil. In the MRWE, a stream of CO2 is heated by solar energy or waste heat...

  9. Intuitive analog circuit design

    CERN Document Server

    Thompson, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Intuitive Analog Circuit Design outlines ways of thinking about analog circuits and systems that let you develop a feel for what a good, working analog circuit design should be. This book reflects author Marc Thompson's 30 years of experience designing analog and power electronics circuits and teaching graduate-level analog circuit design, and is the ideal reference for anyone who needs a straightforward introduction to the subject. In this book, Dr. Thompson describes intuitive and ""back-of-the-envelope"" techniques for designing and analyzing analog circuits, including transistor amplifi

  10. Officine Galileo for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistelli, E.; Tacconi, M.

    1999-09-01

    The interest for Mars's exploration is continuously increasing. Officine Galileo is engaged in this endeavor with several programmes. The exobiology is, of course, a stimulating field; presently Officine Galileo is leading a team with Dasa and Tecnospazio, under ESA contract, for the definition of a facility for the search of extinct life on Mars through the detection of indicators of life. The system, to be embarked on a Mars lander, is based on a drill to take rock samples underneath the oxidised soil layer, on a sample preparation and distribution system devoted to condition and bring the sample to a set of analytical instruments to carry out in-situ chemical and mineralogical investigations. The facility benefits of the presence of optical microscope, gas chromatograph, several spectrometers (Raman, Mass, Mossbauer, APX-Ray), and further instruments. In the frame of planetology, Officine Galileo is collaborating with several Principal Investigators to the definition of a set of instruments to be integrated on the Mars 2003 Lander (a NASA-ASI cooperation). A drill (by Tecnospazio), with the main task to collect Mars soil samples for the subsequent storage and return to Earth, will have the capability to perform several soil analyses, e.g. temperature and near infrared reflectivity spectra down to 50 cm depth, surface thermal and electrical conductivity, sounding of electromagnetic properties down to a few hundreds meter, radioactivity. Moreover a kit of instruments for in-situ soil samples analyses if foreseen; it is based on a dust analyser, an IR spectrometer, a thermofluorescence sensor, and a radioactivity analyser. The attention to the Red Planet is growing, in parallel with the findings of present and planned missions. In the following years the technology of Officine Galileo will carry a strong contribution to the science of Mars.

  11. Retrospective Analog Year Analyses Using NASA Satellite Precipitation and Soil Moisture Data to Improve USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan; Mladenova, Iliana; Fang, Fan

    2010-01-01

    A primary goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to expand markets for U.S. agricultural products and support global economic development. The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) supports this goal by coordinating monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for the U.S. and major foreign producing countries. Because weather has a significant impact on crop progress, conditions, and production, WAOB prepares frequent agricultural weather assessments, in a GIS-based, Global Agricultural Decision Support Environment (GLADSE). The main goal of this project, thus, is to improve WAOB's estimates by integrating NASA remote sensing soil moisture observations and research results into GLADSE (See diagram below). Soil moisture is currently a primary data gap at WAOB.

  12. Rhetoric and analogies

    OpenAIRE

    Aragonès, Enriqueta; Gilboa, Itzhak; Postlewaite, Andrew; Schmeidler, David; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica

    2013-01-01

    The art of rhetoric may be defined as changing other people's minds (opinions, beliefs) without providing them new information. One tech- nique heavily used by rhetoric employs analogies. Using analogies, one may draw the listener's attention to similarities between cases and to re-organize existing information in a way that highlights certain reg- ularities. In this paper we offer two models of analogies, discuss their theoretical equivalence, and show that finding good analogies is a com- p...

  13. Contribution of archaeological analogs to the estimation of average corrosion rates and long term corrosion mechanisms of low carbon steel in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neff, D.

    2003-11-01

    In the context of the French nuclear waste storage, a multi-barriers disposal is envisaged. Wastes could be put in metallic overpacks disposed in a clay soil. As these overpacks could be made of low carbon steel, it is important to understand the corrosion behaviour of this material in soil during period of several centuries. Indeed, it is necessary to consolidate the empirical data by a phenomenological approach. This includes laboratory experiments and modelling of the phenomenon which have to be validated and completed by the study of archaeological artefacts. This was the aim of this PhD-work. To this purpose, an analytical protocol has been elaborated: about forty archaeological artefacts coming from five dated sites (2. to 16. centuries) have been studied on cross section in order to observe on the same sample all the constituents of the system: metallic substrate/corrosion products/environment. The corrosion products are divided into two zones: the Dense Product Layer (DPL) in contact with the metal, and the Transformed Medium (TM) which are the corrosion products formed around soil minerals (quartz grains). The metallic substrate has been studied by the classical methods of materials science (optical and scanning electron microscope, energy and wavelength dispersive spectroscopies). It has been verified that despite their heterogeneity of structure and composition, they are all hypo-eutectoids steels that can contain phosphorous until 0.5 wt%. The corrosion products have been analysed by local structural analytical methods as micro-diffraction under synchrotron radiation (μXRD) and Raman micro-spectroscopy. These two complementary techniques and also the elemental composition analysis conducted to the characterisation of the corrosion forms. On the majority of the samples coming from four sites, the DPL are constituted by goethite including marbles of magnetite/maghemite. On the artefacts from the fifth site, a particular corrosion form has been identified

  14. The use of Antarctic analogs for the Space Exploration Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Barney; Lynch, John T.

    1991-01-01

    Potential approaches to the use of the Antarctic as an analog to the lunar and Mars planetary surface segments of the SEI are reviewed. It is concluded that a well-planned and sustained program of ground-based research and testing in environments analogous to the moon and Mars is a rational method for reducing the risks associated with human space missions. Antarctica may provide an ideal setting for testing critical technologies (habitat design, life support, and advanced scientific instrumentation), studying human factors and physiology, and conducting basic scientific research similar to and directly relevant to that planned for the SEI.

  15. Soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freudenschuss, A.; Huber, S.; Riss, A.; Schwarz, S.; Tulipan, M.

    2002-01-01

    Environmental soil surveys in each province of Austria have been performed, soils of about 5,000 sites were described and analyzed for nutrients and pollutants, the majority of these data are recorded in the soil information system of Austria (BORIS) soil database, http://www.ubavie.gv.at/umweltsituation/boden/boris), which also contains a soil map of Austria, data from 30 specific investigations mainly in areas with industry and results from the Austria - wide cesium investigation. With respect to the environmental state of soils a short discussion is given, including two geographical charts, one showing which sites have soil data (2001) and the other the cadmium distribution in top soils according land use (forest, grassland, arable land, others). Information related to the soil erosion, Corine land cover (Europe-wide land cover database), evaluation of pollutants in soils (reference values of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mo, Ni, Se, Pb, Tl, Va, Zn, AOX, PAH, PCB, PCDD/pcdf, dioxin), and relevant Austrian and European standards and regulations is provided. Figs. 2, Tables 4. (nevyjel)

  16. CCD-Based XRD/XRF for Determining Environmental Mineralogy on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Blake, D. F.; Chipera, S. J.

    2000-01-01

    Health effects from Martian dusts will be a concern for any manned Mars missions. Nuisance dusts plagued the Apollo astronauts, but dusts of more hazardous mineralogy, in habitats occupied by Mars astronauts weakened by a long-duration mission, may be more than a nuisance. Chemical hazards in Martian regolith attributable to S, Cl, Br, Cd, and Pb are known or strongly suspected to be present, but terrestrial studies of the health effects of dusts indicate that accurate determination of mineralogy is a critical factor in evaluating inhalation hazards. Mineral inhalation hazards such as the Group-I carcinogenic zeolite erionite, which is demonstrated to cause mesothelioma, cannot be identified by chemical analysis alone. Studies of palagonite analogs raise the possibility that erionite may occur on Mars. In addition to health effects concerns, environmental mineralogy has significant importance in resource extraction, groundwater use, and sustained agriculture. The high sulfur and chlorine content of Martian regolith will affect all of these uses, but the nature of mineralogic reservoirs for S and Cl will determine their uptake and concentration in extracted groundwater and in agricultural applications of regolith. Wet chemistry experiments planned for the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) will define some of the consequences of water/soil interaction, but an understanding of the mineralogic basis for water-rock reactions is needed to understand the mechanisms of reaction and to apply the results of a few experiments to larger scales and different conditions.

  17. Analog and hybrid computing

    CERN Document Server

    Hyndman, D E

    2013-01-01

    Analog and Hybrid Computing focuses on the operations of analog and hybrid computers. The book first outlines the history of computing devices that influenced the creation of analog and digital computers. The types of problems to be solved on computers, computing systems, and digital computers are discussed. The text looks at the theory and operation of electronic analog computers, including linear and non-linear computing units and use of analog computers as operational amplifiers. The monograph examines the preparation of problems to be deciphered on computers. Flow diagrams, methods of ampl

  18. Structured Analog CMOS Design

    CERN Document Server

    Stefanovic, Danica

    2008-01-01

    Structured Analog CMOS Design describes a structured analog design approach that makes it possible to simplify complex analog design problems and develop a design strategy that can be used for the design of large number of analog cells. It intentionally avoids treating the analog design as a mathematical problem, developing a design procedure based on the understanding of device physics and approximations that give insight into parameter interdependences. The proposed transistor-level design procedure is based on the EKV modeling approach and relies on the device inversion level as a fundament

  19. Soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freudenschuss, A.; Huber, S.; Riss, A.; Schwarz, S.; Tulipan, M.

    2001-01-01

    For Austria there exists a comprehensive soil data collection, integrated in a GIS (geographical information system). The content values of pollutants (cadmium, mercury, lead, copper, mercury, radio-cesium) are given in geographical charts and in tables by regions and by type of soil (forests, agriculture, greenland, others) for the whole area of Austria. Erosion effects are studied for the Austrian region. Legal regulations and measures for an effective soil protection, reduction of soil degradation and sustainable development in Austria and the European Union are discussed. (a.n.)

  20. A Global Electric Circuit on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delory, G. T.; Farrell, W. M.; Desch, M. D.

    2001-01-01

    We describe conditions on the surface of Mars conducive to the formation of a martian global electric circuit, in a direct analogy to the terrestrial case where atmospheric currents and electric fields are generated worldwide through the charging in thunderstorms. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  1. Did Viking discover life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, H. P.

    1999-01-01

    A major argument in the claim that life had been discovered during the Viking mission to Mars is that the results obtained in the Labeled Release (LR) experiment are analogous to those observed with terrestrial microorganisms. This assertion is critically examined and found to be implausible.

  2. Detecting analogies unconsciously

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Peter Reber

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Analogies may arise from the conscious detection of similarities between a present and a past situation. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we tested whether young volunteers would detect analogies unconsciously between a current supraliminal (visible and a past subliminal (invisible situation. The subliminal encoding of the past situation precludes awareness of analogy detection in the current situation. First, participants encoded subliminal pairs of unrelated words in either one or nine encoding trials. Later, they judged the semantic fit of supraliminally presented new words that either retained a previously encoded semantic relation (‘analog’ or not (‘broken analog’. Words in analogs versus broken analogs were judged closer semantically, which reflects unconscious analogy detection. Hippocampal activity associated with subliminal encoding correlated with the behavioral measure of unconscious analogy detection. Analogs versus broken analogs were processed with reduced prefrontal but enhanced medial temporal activity. We conclude that analogous episodes can be detected even unconsciously drawing on the episodic memory network.

  3. The Nitrate/(Per)Chlorate Relationship on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Jennifer C.; Sutter, Brad; Jackson, W. Andrew; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.; Ming, Douglas W.; Archer, P. Douglas; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2017-01-01

    Nitrate was recently detected in Gale Crater sediments on Mars at abundances up to approximately 600 mg/kg, confirming predictions of its presence at abundances consistent with models based on impact-generated nitrate and other sources of fixed nitrogen. Terrestrial Mars analogs, Mars meteorites, and other solar system materials help establish a context for interpreting in situ nitrate measurements on Mars, particularly in relation to other cooccuring salts. We compare the relative abundance of nitrates to oxychlorine (chlorate and/or perchlorate, hereafter (per)chlorate) salts on Mars and Earth. The nitrate/(per)chlorate ratio on Mars is greater than 1, significantly lower than on Earth (nitrate/(per)chlorate greater than 10(exp.3)), suggesting not only the absence of biological activity but also different (per)chlorate formation mechanisms on Mars than on Earth.

  4. Mars: Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Murdin, P.

    2001-07-01

    The atmosphere of MARS is much thinner than the terrestrial one. However, even the simplest visual telescopic observations show a set of atmospheric events such as seasonal exchange of material between polar caps, temporal appearance of clouds and changes of visibility of dark regions on the disk of the planet. In 1947 the prominent CO2 bands in the near-infrared part of the Martian spectrum were...

  5. Analog circuit design

    CERN Document Server

    Dobkin, Bob

    2012-01-01

    Analog circuit and system design today is more essential than ever before. With the growth of digital systems, wireless communications, complex industrial and automotive systems, designers are being challenged to develop sophisticated analog solutions. This comprehensive source book of circuit design solutions aids engineers with elegant and practical design techniques that focus on common analog challenges. The book's in-depth application examples provide insight into circuit design and application solutions that you can apply in today's demanding designs. <

  6. Empirical Requirements Analysis for Mars Surface Operations Using the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancey, William J.; Lee, Pascal; Sierhuis, Maarten; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Living and working on Mars will require model-based computer systems for maintaining and controlling complex life support, communication, transportation, and power systems. This technology must work properly on the first three-year mission, augmenting human autonomy, without adding-yet more complexity to be diagnosed and repaired. One design method is to work with scientists in analog (mars-like) setting to understand how they prefer to work, what constrains will be imposed by the Mars environment, and how to ameliorate difficulties. We describe how we are using empirical requirements analysis to prototype model-based tools at a research station in the High Canadian Arctic.

  7. Analog synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarpeshkar, R

    2014-03-28

    We analyse the pros and cons of analog versus digital computation in living cells. Our analysis is based on fundamental laws of noise in gene and protein expression, which set limits on the energy, time, space, molecular count and part-count resources needed to compute at a given level of precision. We conclude that analog computation is significantly more efficient in its use of resources than deterministic digital computation even at relatively high levels of precision in the cell. Based on this analysis, we conclude that synthetic biology must use analog, collective analog, probabilistic and hybrid analog-digital computational approaches; otherwise, even relatively simple synthetic computations in cells such as addition will exceed energy and molecular-count budgets. We present schematics for efficiently representing analog DNA-protein computation in cells. Analog electronic flow in subthreshold transistors and analog molecular flux in chemical reactions obey Boltzmann exponential laws of thermodynamics and are described by astoundingly similar logarithmic electrochemical potentials. Therefore, cytomorphic circuits can help to map circuit designs between electronic and biochemical domains. We review recent work that uses positive-feedback linearization circuits to architect wide-dynamic-range logarithmic analog computation in Escherichia coli using three transcription factors, nearly two orders of magnitude more efficient in parts than prior digital implementations.

  8. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyes, S. W.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Haskin, L.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor missions that will be launched in April of 2001 will include a highly capable rover that is a successor to the Mars Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover. The design goals for this rover are a total traverse distance of at least 10 km and a total lifetime of at least one Earth year. The rover's job will be to explore a site in Mars' ancient terrain, searching for materials likely to preserve a record of ancient martian water, climate, and possibly biology. The rover will collect rock and soil samples, and will store them for return to Earth by a subsequent Mars Surveyor mission in 2005. The Athena Mars rover science payload is the suite of scientific instruments and sample collection tools that will be used to perform this job. The specific science objectives that NASA has identified for the '01 rover payload are to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. (4) Collect and store samples. The Athena payload has been designed to meet these objectives. The focus of the design is on field operations: making sure the rover can locate, characterize, and collect scientifically important samples in a dusty, dirty, real-world environment. The topography, morphology, and mineralogy of the scene around the rover will be revealed by Pancam/Mini-TES, an integrated imager and IR spectrometer. Pancam views the surface around the rover in stereo and color. It uses two high-resolution cameras that are identical in most respects to the rover's navigation cameras. The detectors are low-power, low-mass active pixel sensors with on-chip 12-bit analog-to-digital conversion. Filters provide 8-12 color spectral bandpasses over the spectral region from 0.4 to 1.1 micron Narrow-angle optics provide an angular resolution of 0

  9. Challenges in Using Analogies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha

    2011-01-01

    Learning physics requires understanding the applicability of fundamental principles in a variety of contexts that share deep features. One way to help students learn physics is via analogical reasoning. Students can be taught to make an analogy between situations that are more familiar or easier to understand and another situation where the same…

  10. Hydraulic Capacitor Analogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baser, Mustafa

    2007-01-01

    Students have difficulties in physics because of the abstract nature of concepts and principles. One of the effective methods for overcoming students' difficulties is the use of analogies to visualize abstract concepts to promote conceptual understanding. According to Iding, analogies are consistent with the tenets of constructivist learning…

  11. Optical analogy. Synthesis report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1965-01-01

    The authors report the study of conditions under which light attenuation (reflection, diffusion, absorption) and the attenuation of some radiations (notably thermal neutrons) can be described with analogical calculations. The analogy between light physical properties and neutron properties is not searched for, but the analogy between their attenuation characteristics. After having discussed this possible analogy, they propose a mathematical formulation of neutron and optical phenomena which could theoretically justify the optical analogy. The second part reports a more practical study of optics problems such as the study of simple optics materials and illumination measurements, or more precisely the study of angular distributions of optical reflections, a determination of such angular distributions, and an experimental determination of the albedo

  12. Mars @ ASDC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carraro, Francesco

    "Mars @ ASDC" is a project born with the goal of using the new web technologies to assist researches involved in the study of Mars. This project employs Mars map and javascript APIs provided by Google to visualize data acquired by space missions on the planet. So far, visualization of tracks acquired by MARSIS and regions observed by VIRTIS-Rosetta has been implemented. The main reason for the creation of this kind of tool is the difficulty in handling hundreds or thousands of acquisitions, like the ones from MARSIS, and the consequent difficulty in finding observations related to a particular region. This led to the development of a tool which allows to search for acquisitions either by defining the region of interest through a set of geometrical parameters or by manually selecting the region on the map through a few mouse clicks The system allows the visualization of tracks (acquired by MARSIS) or regions (acquired by VIRTIS-Rosetta) which intersect the user defined region. MARSIS tracks can be visualized both in Mercator and polar projections while the regions observed by VIRTIS can presently be visualized only in Mercator projection. The Mercator projection is the standard map provided by Google. The polar projections are provided by NASA and have been developed to be used in combination with APIs provided by Google The whole project has been developed following the "open source" philosophy: the client-side code which handles the functioning of the web page is written in javascript; the server-side code which executes the searches for tracks or regions is written in PHP and the DB which undergoes the system is MySQL.

  13. Remotely sensed detection of sulfates on Mars: Laboratory measurements and spacecraft observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Christopher David

    Visible, near-infrared, and mid-infrared spectroscopic measurements were made of physically realistic analogs of Martian soil containing silicates and sulfates. These measurements indicate that the physical structure of soil will control its spectroscopic properties. Orbital measurements from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) identified features similar to those seen in the laboratory mixtures. Maps were made of this sulfate-cemented soil which indicated that the presence of this material is not geographically controlled and hints at an origin for duricrust in atmosphere-surface interactions. Further confirmation comes from combining data from TES and the Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (ISM). This data shows a congruence between sulfate spectral features and water features. The likely form of the mappable sulfate in Martian soils is therefore a cemented mixture of hydrated sulfate mixed with silicates and oxides derived from crustal rocks. The combination of ISM and TES spectra in particular and spectra from multiple wavelength regimes in general also is an excellent technique for addressing other problems of interest regarding the geology of Mars. A number of topics including rock coatings in Syrtis Major and the nature of low albedo rock assemblages are addressed. Syrtis Major is found to behave differently in the thermal and near infrared, likely indicating that the spectral features are not related to simple coatings but perhaps processes like penetrative oxidation. TES Type I rocks are found to be high in pyroxene, but TES Type II rocks do not have a correlation with pyroxene. Spectral mixing trends indicate that dust and rock are the dominant two variables in surface composition on a large scale. A smaller mixing trend involves the physical breakup of sulfate-cemented soils into a loose, fine-grained, but still hydrated form. In all, this work provides strong evidence for the global identification and distribution of sulfate minerals in the Martian soil.

  14. The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) Wet Chemistry Experiment on the Mars 2001 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grannan, S. M.; Meloy, T. P.; Hecht, H.; Anderson, M. S.; Buehler, M.; Frant, M.; Kounaves, S. P.; Manatt, K. S.; Pike, W. T.; Schubert, W.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) is an instrument suite that will fly on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander Spacecraft. MECA is sponsored by the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) program and will evaluate potential hazards that the dust and soil of Mars might present to astronauts and their equipment on a future human mission to Mars. Four elements constitute the integrated MECA payload: a microscopy station, patch plates, an electrometer, and the wet chemistry experiment (WCE). The WCE is the first application of electrochemical sensors to study soil chemistry on another planetary body, in addition to being the first measurement of soil/water solution properties on Mars. The chemical composition and properties of the watersoluble materials present in the Martian soil are of considerable interest to the planetary science community because characteristic salts are formed by the water-based weathering of rocks, the action of volcanic gases, and biological activity. Thus the characterization of water-soluble soil materials on Mars can provide information on the geochemical history of the planet surface. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  15. NASA Mars Conference

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reiber, D.B.

    1988-01-01

    Papers about Mars and Mars exploration are presented, covering topics such as Martian history, geology, volcanism, channels, moons, atmosphere, meteorology, water on the planet, and the possibility of life. The unmanned exploration of Mars is discussed, including the Phobos Mission, the Mars Observer, the Mars Aeronomy Observer, the seismic network, Mars sample return missions, and the Mars Ball, an inflatable-sectored-tire rover concept. Issues dealing with manned exploration of Mars are examined, such as the reasons for exploring Mars, mission scenarios, a transportation system for routine visits, technologies for Mars expeditions, the human factors for Mars missions, life support systems, living and working on Mars, and the report of the National Commission on Space

  16. Multi-Scale Particle Size Distributions of Mars, Moon and Itokawa based on a time-maturation dependent fragmentation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charalambous, C. A.; Pike, W. T.

    2013-12-01

    ." Geophysical Research Letters 38.24 (2011). C. A. Charalambous and W. T. Pike (2013). 'Evolution of Particle Size Distributions in Fragmentation Over Time' Abstract Submitted to the AGU 46th Fall Meeting. Charalambous, C., Pike, W. T., Goetz, W., Hecht, M. H., & Staufer, U. (2011, December). 'A Digital Martian Soil based on In-Situ Data.' In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts (Vol. 1, p. 1669). Golombek, M., & Rapp, D. (1997). 'Size-frequency distributions of rocks on Mars and Earth analog sites: Implications for future landed missions.' Journal of Geophysical Research, 102(E2), 4117-4129. Golombek, M., Huertas, A., Kipp, D., & Calef, F. (2012). 'Detection and characterization of rocks and rock size-frequency distributions at the final four Mars Science Laboratory landing sites.' Mars, 7, 1-22.

  17. Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.

    2015-01-01

    The science investigations enabled by Curiosity rover's instruments focus on identifying and exploring the habitability of the Martian environment. Measurements of noble gases, organic and inorganic compounds, and the isotopes of light elements permit the study of the physical and chemical processes that have transformed Mars throughout its history. Samples of the atmosphere, volatiles released from soils, and rocks from the floor of Gale Crater have provided a wealth of new data and a window into conditions on ancient Mars.

  18. Mass Spectrometry on Future Mars Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    Mass spectrometry investigations on the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the 2018 ExoMars missions will address core science objectives related to the potential habitability of their landing site environments and more generally the near-surface organic inventory of Mars. The analysis of complex solid samples by mass spectrometry is a well-known approach that can provide a broad and sensitive survey of organic and inorganic compounds as well as supportive data for mineralogical analysis. The science value of such compositional information is maximized when one appreciates the particular opportunities and limitations of in situ analysis with resource-constrained instrumentation in the context of a complete science payload and applied to materials found in a particular environment. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on MSL and the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) investigation on ExoMars will thus benefit from and inform broad-based analog field site work linked to the Mars environments where such analysis will occur.

  19. Meat analog: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malav, O P; Talukder, S; Gokulakrishnan, P; Chand, S

    2015-01-01

    The health-conscious consumers are in search of nutritious and convenient food item which can be best suited in their busy life. The vegetarianism is the key for the search of such food which resembles the meat in respect of nutrition and sensory characters, but not of animal origin and contains vegetable or its modified form, this is the point when meat analog evolved out and gets shape. The consumers gets full satisfaction by consumption of meat analog due to its typical meaty texture, appearance and the flavor which are being imparted during the skilled production of meat analog. The supplement of protein in vegetarian diet through meat alike food can be fulfilled by incorporating protein-rich vegetative food grade materials in meat analog and by adopting proper technological process which can promote the proper fabrication of meat analog with acceptable meat like texture, appearance, flavor, etc. The easily available vegetables, cereals, and pulses in India have great advantages and prospects to be used in food products and it can improve the nutritional and functional characters of the food items. The various form and functional characters of food items are available world over and attracts the meat technologists and the food processors to bring some innovativeness in meat analog and its presentation and marketability so that the acceptability of meat analog can be overgrown by the consumers.

  20. The resources of Mars for human settlement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Thomas R.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1989-01-01

    Spacecraft exploration of Marshas shown that the essential resources necessary for life support are present on the Martian surface. The key life-support compounds O2, N2, and H2O are available on Mars. The soil could be used as radiation shielding and could provide many useful industrial and construction materials. Compounds with high chemical energy, such as rocket fuels, can be manufactured in-situ on Mars. Solar power, and possibly wind power, are available and practical on Mars. Preliminary engineering studies indicate that fairly autonomous processes can be designed to extract and stockpile Martian consumables.

  1. Troubleshooting analog circuits

    CERN Document Server

    Pease, Robert A

    1991-01-01

    Troubleshooting Analog Circuits is a guidebook for solving product or process related problems in analog circuits. The book also provides advice in selecting equipment, preventing problems, and general tips. The coverage of the book includes the philosophy of troubleshooting; the modes of failure of various components; and preventive measures. The text also deals with the active components of analog circuits, including diodes and rectifiers, optically coupled devices, solar cells, and batteries. The book will be of great use to both students and practitioners of electronics engineering. Other

  2. Analog circuits cookbook

    CERN Document Server

    Hickman, Ian

    2013-01-01

    Analog Circuits Cookbook presents articles about advanced circuit techniques, components and concepts, useful IC for analog signal processing in the audio range, direct digital synthesis, and ingenious video op-amp. The book also includes articles about amplitude measurements on RF signals, linear optical imager, power supplies and devices, and RF circuits and techniques. Professionals and students of electrical engineering will find the book informative and useful.

  3. FGF growth factor analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Paul O [Gaithersburg, MD; Pena, Louis A [Poquott, NY; Lin, Xinhua [Plainview, NY; Takahashi, Kazuyuki [Germantown, MD

    2012-07-24

    The present invention provides a fibroblast growth factor heparin-binding analog of the formula: ##STR00001## where R.sub.1, R.sub.2, R.sub.3, R.sub.4, R.sub.5, X, Y and Z are as defined, pharmaceutical compositions, coating compositions and medical devices including the fibroblast growth factor heparin-binding analog of the foregoing formula, and methods and uses thereof.

  4. Bacterial Presence in Layered Rock Varnish-Possible Mars Analog?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krinsley, D.; Rusk, B. G.

    2000-08-01

    Rock varnish from locations in Death Valley, California; Peru; Antarctica; and Hawaii reveal nanometer scale layering (less than 1 nm to about 75 nm) when studied with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Parallel layers of clay minerals containing evidence of presumed bacteria were present in all samples. Samples range in age from a few thousand years to perhaps a million years. Diagenesis is relatively limited, as chemical composition is variable, both from top to bottom and along layers in these varnish samples. Also, occasional exotic minerals occur randomly in most varnish sections, and vary in size and hardness, again suggesting relative lack of diagenetic alteration. Additional information can be found in the original extended abstract.

  5. Electrical Circuits and Water Analogies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Frederick A.; Wilson, Jerry D.

    1974-01-01

    Briefly describes water analogies for electrical circuits and presents plans for the construction of apparatus to demonstrate these analogies. Demonstrations include series circuits, parallel circuits, and capacitors. (GS)

  6. The interplay of conflict and analogy in multidisciplinary teams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paletz, Susannah B F; Schunn, Christian D; Kim, Kevin H

    2013-01-01

    Creative teamwork in multidisciplinary teams is a topic of interest to cognitive psychologists on the one hand, and to both social and organizational psychologists on the other. However, the interconnections between cognitive and social layers have been rarely explored. Drawing on mental models and dissonance theories, the current study takes a central variable studied by cognitive psychologists-analogy-and examines its relationship to a central variable examined by social psychologists-conflict. In an observational, field study, over 11h of audio-video data from conversations of the Mars Exploration Rover scientists were coded for different types of analogy and micro-conflicts that reveal the character of underlying psychological mechanisms. Two different types of time-lagged logistic models applied to these data revealed asymmetric patterns of associations between analogy and conflict. Within-domain analogies, but not within-discipline or outside-discipline analogies, preceded science and work process conflicts, suggesting that in multidisciplinary teams, representational gaps in very close domains will be more likely to spark conflict. But analogies also occurred in reaction to conflict: Process and negative conflicts, but not task conflicts, preceded within-discipline analogies, but not to within-domain or outside-discipline analogies. This study demonstrates ways in which cognition can be bidirectionally tied to social processes and discourse. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. The Mojave Desert: A Martian Analog Site for Future Astrobiology Themed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, E.; Abbey, W.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L. W.

    2011-01-01

    Astrobiological interest in Mars is highlighted by evidence that Mars was once warm enough to have liquid water present on its surface long enough to create geologic formations that could only exist in the presense of extended fluvial periods. These periods existed at the same time life on Earth arose. If life began on Mars as well during this period, it is reasonable to assume it may have adapted to the subsurface as environments at the surface changed into the inhospitable state we find today. If the next series of Mars missions (Mars Science Laboratory, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter proposed for launch in 2016, and potential near surface sample return) fail to discover either extinct or extant life on Mars, a subsurface mission would be necessary to attempt to "close the book" on the existence of martian life. Mars is much colder and drier than Earth, with a very low pressure CO2 environment and no obvious habitats. Terrestrial regions with limited precipitation, and hence reduced active biota, are some of the best martian low to mid latitude analogs to be found on Earth, be they the Antarctic dry valleys, the Atacama or Mojave Deserts. The Mojave Desert/Death Valley region is considered a Mars analog site by the Terrestrial Analogs Panel of the NSF-sponsored decadal survey; a field guide was even developed and a workshop was held on its applicability as a Mars analog. This region has received a great deal of attention due to its accessibility and the variety of landforms and processes observed relevant to martian studies.

  8. 'Mister Badger' Pushing Mars Rock

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    Viking's soil sampler collector arm successfully pushed a rock on the surface of Mars during the afternoon of Friday, October 8. The irregular-shaped rock was pushed several inches by the Lander's collector arm, which displaced the rock to the left of its original position, leaving it cocked slightly upward. Photographs and other information verified the successful rock push. Photo at left shows the soil sampler's collector head pushing against the rock, named 'Mister Badger' by flight controllers. Photo at right shows the displaced rock and the depression whence it came. Part of the soil displacement was caused by the collector s backhoe. A soil sample will be taken from the site Monday night, October 11. It will then be delivered to Viking s organic chemistry instrument for a series of analyses during the next few weeks. The sample is being sought from beneath a rock because scientists believe that, if there are life forms on Mars, they may seek rocks as shelter from the Sun s intense ultraviolet radiation.

  9. CMOS analog circuit design

    CERN Document Server

    Allen, Phillip E

    1987-01-01

    This text presents the principles and techniques for designing analog circuits to be implemented in a CMOS technology. The level is appropriate for seniors and graduate students familiar with basic electronics, including biasing, modeling, circuit analysis, and some familiarity with frequency response. Students learn the methodology of analog integrated circuit design through a hierarchically-oriented approach to the subject that provides thorough background and practical guidance for designing CMOS analog circuits, including modeling, simulation, and testing. The authors' vast industrial experience and knowledge is reflected in the circuits, techniques, and principles presented. They even identify the many common pitfalls that lie in the path of the beginning designer--expert advice from veteran designers. The text mixes the academic and practical viewpoints in a treatment that is neither superficial nor overly detailed, providing the perfect balance.

  10. Influence of Martian regolith analogs on the activity and growth of methanogenic archaea, with special regard to long-term desiccation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janosch eSchirmack

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Methanogenic archaea have been studied as model organisms for possible life on Mars for several reasons: they can grow lithoautotrophically by using hydrogen and carbon dioxide as energy and carbon sources, respectively; they are anaerobes; and they evolved at a time when conditions on early Earth are believed to have looked similar to those of early Mars. As Mars is currently dry and cold and as water might be available only at certain time intervals, any organism living on this planet would need to cope with desiccation. On Earth there are several regions with low water availability as well, e.g. permafrost environments, desert soils and salt pans. Here, we present the results of a set of experiments investigating the influence of different Martian regolith analogs on the metabolic activity and growth of three methanogenic strains exposed to culture conditions as well as long-term desiccation. In most cases, concentrations below 1 %wt of regolith in the media resulted in an increase of methane production rates, whereas higher concentrations decreased the rates, thus prolonging the lag phase. Further experiments showed that methanogenic archaea are capable of producing methane when incubated on a water-saturated sedimentary matrix of regolith lacking nutrients. Survival of methanogens under these conditions was analyzed with a 400 day desiccation experiment in the presence of regolith analogs. All tested strains of methanogens survived the desiccation period as it was determined through reincubation on fresh medium and via qPCR following propidium monoazide treatment to identify viable cells. The survival of long-term desiccation and the ability of active metabolism on water-saturated MRAs strengthens the possibility of methanogenic archaea or physiologically similar organisms to exist in environmental niches on Mars. The best results were achieved in presence of a phyllosilicate, which provides insights of possible positive effects in habitats

  11. Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllector/PrOcessor for Lander Operations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project was established to build and demonstrate a methane/oxygen propellant production system in a Mars analog environment. Proving a propellant production...

  12. Analogical Reasoning in Geometry Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magdas, Ioana

    2015-01-01

    The analogical reasoning isn't used only in mathematics but also in everyday life. In this article we approach the analogical reasoning in Geometry Education. The novelty of this article is a classification of geometrical analogies by reasoning type and their exemplification. Our classification includes: analogies for understanding and setting a…

  13. Digital and analog communication systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanmugam, K. S.

    1979-01-01

    The book presents an introductory treatment of digital and analog communication systems with emphasis on digital systems. Attention is given to the following topics: systems and signal analysis, random signal theory, information and channel capacity, baseband data transmission, analog signal transmission, noise in analog communication systems, digital carrier modulation schemes, error control coding, and the digital transmission of analog signals.

  14. Analogs for transuranic elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weimer, W.C.; Laul, J.C.; Kutt, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    A combined theoretical and experimental approach is being used to estimate the long-term environmental and biogeochemical behaviors of selected transuranic elements. The objective of this research is to estimate the effect that long-term (hundreds of years) environmental weathering has on the behavior of the transuranic elements americium and curium. This is achieved by investigating the actual behavior of naturally occurring rare earth elements, especially neodymium, that serve as transuranic analogs. Determination of the analog element behavior provides data that can be used to estimate the ultimate availability to man of transuranic materials released into the environment

  15. The humanation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L. W.

    Early developments related to human excursions to Mars are examined, taking into account plans considered by von Braun, and the 'ambitious goal of a manned flight to Mars by the end of the century', proposed at the launch of Apollo 11. In response to public reaction, plans for manned flights to Mars in the immediate future were given up, and unmanned reconnaissance of Mars was continued. An investigation is conducted concerning the advantages of manned exploration of Mars in comparison to a study by unmanned space probes, and arguments regarding a justification for interplanetary flight to Mars are discussed. Attention is given to the possibility to consider Mars as a 'back-up' planet for preserving earth life, an international Mars expedition as a world peace project, the role of Mars in connection with resource utilization considerations, and questions of exploration ethics.

  16. Mars aqueous chemistry experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Benton C.; Mason, Larry W.

    1994-06-01

    Mars Aqueous Chemistry Experiment (MACE) is designed to conduct a variety of measurements on regolith samples, encompassing mineral phase analyses, chemical interactions with H2O, and physical properties determinations. From these data, much can be learned or inferred regarding the past weathering environment, the contemporaneous soil micro-environments, and the general chemical and physical state of the Martian regolith. By analyzing both soil and duricrust samples, the nature of the latter may become more apparent. Sites may be characterized for comparative purposes and criteria could be set for selection of high priority materials on future sample return missions. The second year of the MACE project has shown significant progress in two major areas. MACE Instrument concept definition is a baseline design that has been generated for the complete MACE instrument, including definition of analysis modes, mass estimates and thermal model. The design includes multiple reagent reservoirs, 10 discrete analysis cells, sample manipulation capability, and thermal control. The MACE Measurement subsystems development progress is reported regarding measurement capabilities for aqueous ion sensing, evolved gas sensing, solution conductivity measurement, reagent addition (titration) capabilities, and optical sensing of suspended particles.

  17. Mars aqueous chemistry experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Benton C.; Mason, Larry W.

    1994-01-01

    Mars Aqueous Chemistry Experiment (MACE) is designed to conduct a variety of measurements on regolith samples, encompassing mineral phase analyses, chemical interactions with H2O, and physical properties determinations. From these data, much can be learned or inferred regarding the past weathering environment, the contemporaneous soil micro-environments, and the general chemical and physical state of the Martian regolith. By analyzing both soil and duricrust samples, the nature of the latter may become more apparent. Sites may be characterized for comparative purposes and criteria could be set for selection of high priority materials on future sample return missions. The second year of the MACE project has shown significant progress in two major areas. MACE Instrument concept definition is a baseline design that has been generated for the complete MACE instrument, including definition of analysis modes, mass estimates and thermal model. The design includes multiple reagent reservoirs, 10 discrete analysis cells, sample manipulation capability, and thermal control. The MACE Measurement subsystems development progress is reported regarding measurement capabilities for aqueous ion sensing, evolved gas sensing, solution conductivity measurement, reagent addition (titration) capabilities, and optical sensing of suspended particles.

  18. Mineralogy of an Active Eolian Sediment from the Namib Dune, Gale Crater, Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Achilles, C. N.; Downs, R. T.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Treiman, A. H.; Morrison, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Ewing, R. C.; Chipera, S. J.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Gellert, R.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses of the

  19. Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) 2009 Expedition Crew Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy; Ferrone, Kristine; Garvin, Christy; Kramer, W. Vernon; Palaia, Joseph, IV; Shiro, Brian

    2009-01-01

    The Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), located on the rim of the Haughton Crater on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, is a simulated Mars habitat that provides operational constraints similar to those which will be faced by future human explorers on Mars. In July 2009, a six-member crew inhabited the isolated habitation module and conducted the twelfth FMARS mission. The crew members conducted frequent EVA operations wearing mock space suits to conduct field experiments under realistic Mars-like conditions. Their scientific campaign spanned a wide range of disciplines and included many firsts for Mars analog research. Among these are the first use of a Class IV medical laser during a Mars simulation, helping to relieve crew stress injuries during the mission. Also employed for the first time in a Mars simulation at FMARS, a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) was used by the space-suited explorers, aiding them in their search for mineral resources. Sites identified by the UAV were then visited by geologists who conducted physical geologic sampling. For the first time, explorers in spacesuits deployed passive seismic equipment to monitor earthquake activity and characterize the planet's interior. They also conducted the first geophysical electromagnetic survey as analog Mars pioneers to search for water and characterize geological features under the surface. The crew collected hydrated minerals and attempted to produce drinkable water from the rocks. A variety of equipment was field tested as well, including new cameras that automatically geotag photos, data-recording GPS units, a tele-presence rover (operated from Florida), as well as MIT-developed mission planning software. As plans develop to return to the Moon and go on to Mars, analog facilities like FMARS can provide significant benefit to NASA and other organizations as they prepare for robust human space exploration. The authors will present preliminary results from these studies as well as their

  20. Periglacial and glacial analogs for Martian landforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossbacher, Lisa A.

    1992-01-01

    The list of useful terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms has been expanded to include: features developed by desiccation processes; catastrophic flood features associated with boulder-sized materials; and sorted ground developed at a density boundary. Quantitative analytical techniques developed for physical geography have been adapted and applied to planetary studies, including: quantification of the patterns of polygonally fractured ground to describe pattern randomness independent of pattern size, with possible correlation to the mechanism of origin and quantification of the relative area of a geomorphic feature or region in comparison to planetary scale. Information about Martian geomorphology studied in this project was presented at professional meetings world-wide, at seven colleges and universities, in two interactive televised courses, and as part of two books. Overall, this project has expanded the understanding of the range of terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms, including identifying several new analogs. The processes that created these terrestrial features are characterized by both cold temperatures and low humidity, and therefore both freeze-thaw and desiccation processes are important. All these results support the conclusion that water has played a significant role in the geomorphic history of Mars.

  1. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology: Analogs and Applications to the Search for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Astrobiology: Analogs and Applications to the Search for Life" included the folowing reports:The Search for Life on Mars Using Macroscopically Visible Microbial Mats (Stromatolites) in 3.5/3.3 Ga Cherts from the Pilbara in Australia and Barberton in South Africa as Analogues; Life in a Mars Analog: Microbial Activity Associated with Carbonate Cemented Lava Breccias from NW Spitsbergen; Groundwater-fed Iron-rich Microbial Mats in a Freshwater Creek: Growth Cycles and Fossilization Potential of Microbial Features; Episodic Fossilization of Microorganisms on an Annual Timescale in an Anthropogenically Modified Natural Environment: Geochemical Controls and Implications for Astrobiology; Proterozoic Microfossils and Their Implications for Recognizing Life on Mars; Microbial Alteration of Volcanic Glass in Modern and Ancient Oceanic Crust as a Proxy for Studies of Extraterrestrial Material ; Olivine Alteration on Earth and Mars; Searching for an Acidic Aquifer in the R!o Tinto Basin. First Geobiology Results of MARTE Project; In-Field Testing of Life Detection Instruments and Protocols in a Mars Analogue Arctic Environment; Habitability of the Shallow Subsurface on Mars: Clues from the Meteorites; Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE): 2003 Drilling Campaign to Search for a Subsurface Biosphere at Rio Tinto Spain; Characterization of the Organic Matter in an Archean Chert (Warrawoona, Australia); and The Solfatara Crater, Italy: Characterization of Hydrothermal Deposits, Biosignatures and Their Astrobiological Implication.

  2. Reasoning through Instructional Analogies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapon, Shulamit; diSessa, Andrea A.

    2012-01-01

    This article aims to account for students' assessments of the plausibility and applicability of analogical explanations, and individual differences in these assessments, by analyzing properties of students' underlying knowledge systems. We developed a model of explanation and change in explanation focusing on knowledge elements that provide a…

  3. The Paradox of Analogy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Botting

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available I will show that there is a type of analogical reasoning that instantiates a pattern of reasoning in confirmation theory that is considered at best paradoxical and at worst fatal to the entire syntactical approach to confirmation and explanation. However, I hope to elaborate conditions under which this is a sound (although not necessarily strong method of reasoning.

  4. Analogy, explanation, and proof

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, John E.; Licato, John; Bringsjord, Selmer

    2014-01-01

    People are habitual explanation generators. At its most mundane, our propensity to explain allows us to infer that we should not drink milk that smells sour; at the other extreme, it allows us to establish facts (e.g., theorems in mathematical logic) whose truth was not even known prior to the existence of the explanation (proof). What do the cognitive operations underlying the inference that the milk is sour have in common with the proof that, say, the square root of two is irrational? Our ability to generate explanations bears striking similarities to our ability to make analogies. Both reflect a capacity to generate inferences and generalizations that go beyond the featural similarities between a novel problem and familiar problems in terms of which the novel problem may be understood. However, a notable difference between analogy-making and explanation-generation is that the former is a process in which a single source situation is used to reason about a single target, whereas the latter often requires the reasoner to integrate multiple sources of knowledge. This seemingly small difference poses a challenge to the task of marshaling our understanding of analogical reasoning to understanding explanation. We describe a model of explanation, derived from a model of analogy, adapted to permit systematic violations of this one-to-one mapping constraint. Simulation results demonstrate that the resulting model can generate explanations for novel explananda and that, like the explanations generated by human reasoners, these explanations vary in their coherence. PMID:25414655

  5. How Analogy Drives Physics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hofstadter, Doug

    2004-01-01

    Many new ideas in theoretical physics come from analogies to older ideas in physics. For instance, the abstract notion of 'isospin' (or isotopic spin) originated in the prior concept of 'spin' (quantized angular momentum); likewise, the concept of 'phonon' (quantum of sound, or quantized collective excitation of a crystal) was based on the prior concept of 'photon' (quantum of light, or quantized element of the electromagnetic field). But these two examples, far from being exceptions, in fact represent the bread and butter of inventive thinking in physics. In a nutshell, intraphysics analogy-making -- borrowing by analogy with something already known in another area of physics -- is central to the progress of physics. The aim of this talk is to reveal the pervasiveness -- indeed, the indispensability -- of this kind of semi-irrational, wholly intuitive type of thinking (as opposed to more deductive mathematical inference) in the mental activity known as 'doing physics'. Speculations as to why wild analogical leaps are so crucial to the act of discovery in physics (as opposed to other disciplines) will be offered.

  6. Quantum Analog Computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zak, M.

    1998-01-01

    Quantum analog computing is based upon similarity between mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics and phenomena to be computed. It exploits a dynamical convergence of several competing phenomena to an attractor which can represent an externum of a function, an image, a solution to a system of ODE, or a stochastic process.

  7. In Situ Analysis of Mars Soil and Rocks Sample with the Sam Gcms Instrumentation Onboard Curiosity : Interpretation and Comparison of Measurements Done during the First Martian Year of Curiosity on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szopa, C.; Coll, P. J.; Cabane, M.; Buch, A.; Coscia, D.; Millan, M.; Francois, P.; Belmahadi, I.; Teinturier, S.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Glavin, D. P.; Freissinet, C.; Steele, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2014-12-01

    The characterisation of the chemical and mineralogical composition of solid surface samples collected with the Curiosity rover is a primary objective of the SAM experiment. These data should provide essential clues on the past habitability of Gale crater. Amongst the SAM suite of instruments [1], SAM-GC (Gas Chromatograph) is devoted to identify and quantify volatiles evolved from the thermal (heating up to about 900°C)/chemical (derivatization procedure) treatment of any soil sample collected by the Curiosity rover. With the aim to search for potential organic molecules outgassed from the samples, SAM-GC analytical channels composed of thermal-desorption injector, and a MXT-CLP or a MXT-Q chromatographic column was chosen to achieve all the measurements done up today, with the aim to separate of a wide range of volatile inorganic and organic molecules. Four solid samples have been analyzed with GCMS, one sand sample collected at the Rocknest site, two rock samples (John Klein and Cumberland respectively) collected at the Yellowknife Bay site using the Curiosity driller, and one rock sample collected at the Kimberly site. All the measurements were successful and they produced complex chromatograms with both detectors used for SAM GC, i.e. a thermal conductivity detector and the SAM quandrupole mass spectrometer. Their interpretation already revealed the presence of an oxychlorine phase present in the sample which is at the origin of chlorohydrocarbons clearly identified [2] but this represents only a fraction of the GCMS signal recorded [3,4]. This work presents a systematic comparison of the GCMS measurements done for the different samples collected, supported by reference data obtained in laboratory with different spare models of the gas chromatograph, with the aim to bring new elements of interpretation of the SAM measurements. References: [1] Mahaffy, P. et al. (2012) Space Sci Rev, 170, 401-478. [2] Glavin, D. et al. (2013), JGR. [3] Leshin L. et al. (2013

  8. Where on Mars Should We Search for Life?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    There is persuasive evidence that liquid water has been a significant geological processes on Mars. In particular, evidence suggests that one of the major epochs of liquid water on Mars was during and after the late heavy bombardment. During this time life originated on Earth and may have originated on Mars as well. Liquid water per se, independent of models for the temperature or atmospheric pressure, motivate the question of life. Promising sites for searching for evidence of life on Mars include dry lake beds, the ancient cratered terrain, and the South Polar permafrost. Life on Earth in environments that are analogous to those that might have provided the final refuge for life on Mars provide clues to where and how to search for evidence of past life.

  9. The restructuring of analogical reasoning in planetary science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soare, Richard J.

    Despite its ubiquity in planetary science, analogue-based reasoning largely has geomorphology and posit rules of use that facilitate the evaluation of Q y, I present four hypotheses concerning aeolian, fluvial and periglacial processes on Mars. Each of these hypotheses is evaluated in terms of the analogical rules presented. The fourth hypothesis is original to this thesis and suggests that a periglacial landscape comprising pingos and small-scale polygonal ground exists in an impact crater located in northwest Utopia Planitia.

  10. Geology of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soderblom, L.A.

    1988-01-01

    The geology of Mars and the results of the Mariner 4, 6/7, and 9 missions and the Viking mission are reviewed. The Mars chronology and geologic modification are examined, including chronological models for the inactive planet, the active planet, and crater flux. The importance of surface materials is discussed and a multispectral map of Mars is presented. Suggestions are given for further studies of the geology of Mars using the Viking data. 5 references

  11. Mars: Periglacial Morphology and Implications for Future Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Schurmeier, Lauren; McKay, Christopher; Davila, Alfonso; Stoker, Carol; Marinova, Margarita; Wilhelm, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    At the Mars Phoenix landing site and in much of the Martian northern plains, there is ice-cemented ground beneath a layer of dry permafrost. Unlike most permafrost on Earth, though, this ice is not liquid at any time of year. However, in past epochs at higher obliquity the surface conditions during summer may have resulted in warmer conditions and possible melting. This situation indicates that the ice-cemented ground in the north polar plains is likely to be a candidate for the most recently habitable place on Mars as near-surface ice likely provided adequate water activity approximately 5 Myr ago. The high elevation Dry Valleys of Antarctica provide the best analog on Earth of Martian ground ice. These locations are the only places on Earth where ice-cemented ground is found beneath dry permafrost. The Dry Valleys are a hyper-arid polar desert environment and in locations above 1500 m elevation, such as University Valley, air temperatures do not exceed 0 C. Thus, similarly to Mars, liquid water is largely absent here and instead the hydrologic cycle is dominated by frozen ice and vapor phase processes such as sublimation. These conditions make the high elevation Dry Valleys a key Mars analog location where periglacial processes and geomorphic features can be studied in situ. This talk will focus on studies of University Valley as a Mars analog for periglacial morphology and ice stability. We will review a landing site selection study encompassing this information gleaned from the Antarctic terrestrial analog studies plus Mars spacecraft data analysis to identify candidate landing sites for a future mission to search for life on Mars.

  12. Mars, clays and the origins of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Hyman

    1989-01-01

    To detect life in the Martian soil, tests were designed to look for respiration and photosynthesis. Both tests (labeled release, LR, and pyrolytic release, PR) for life in the Martian soils were positive. However, when the measurement for organic molecules in the soil of Mars was made, none were found. The interpretation given is that the inorganic constituents of the soil of Mars were responsible for these observations. The inorganic analysis of the soil was best fitted by a mixture of minerals: 60 to 80 percent clay, iron oxide, quartz, and soluble salts such as halite (NaCl). The minerals most successful in simulating the PR and LR experiments are iron-rich clays. There is a theory that considers clays as the first organisms capable of replication, mutation, and catalysis, and hence of evolving. Clays are formed when liquid water causes the weathering of rocks. The distribution of ions such as aluminum, magnesium, and iron play the role of bases in the DNA. The information was stored in the distribution of ions in the octahedral and tetrahedral molecules, but that they could, like RNA and DNA, replicate. When the clays replicated, each sheet of clay would be a template for a new sheet. The ion substitutions in one clay sheet would give rise to a complementary or similar pattern on the clay synthesized on its surface. It was theorized that it was on the surface of replicating iron-rich clays that carbon dioxide would be fixed in the light into organic acids such as formic or oxalic acid. If Mars had liquid water during a warm period in its past, clay formation would have been abundant. These clays would have replicated and evolved until the liquid water was removed due to cooling of Mars. It is entirely possible that the Viking mission detected life on Mars, but it was clay life that awaits the return of water to continue its evolution into life based on organic molecules.

  13. Lava Tubes as Martian Analog sites on Hawaii Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Christian; Hamilton, J. C.; Adams, M.

    2013-10-01

    The existence of geologic features similar to skylights seen in Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HIRISE imagery suggest Martian lava tube networks. Along with pit craters, these features are evidence of a past era of vulcanism. If these were contemporary with the wet Mars eras, then it is suggestive that any Martian life may have retreated into these subsurface oases. Hawaii island has numerous lava tubes of differing ages, humidity, lengths and sizes that make ideal analog test environments for future Mars exploration. PISCES has surveyed multiple candidate sites during the past summer with a team of University of Hawaii at Hilo student interns. It should be noted that Lunar features have also been similarly discovered via Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LROC imagery.

  14. Mars: The Viking Discoveries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Bevan M.

    This booklet describes the results of NASA's Viking spacecraft on Mars. It is intended to be useful for the teacher of basic courses in earth science, space science, astronomy, physics, or geology, but is also of interest to the well-informed layman. Topics include why we should study Mars, how the Viking spacecraft works, the winds of Mars, the…

  15. Terrestrial Spaceflight Analogs: Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crucian, Brian

    2013-01-01

    Alterations in immune cell distribution and function, circadian misalignment, stress and latent viral reactivation appear to persist during Antarctic winterover at Concordia Station. Some of these changes are similar to those observed in Astronauts, either during or immediately following spaceflight. Others are unique to the Concordia analog. Based on some initial immune data and environmental conditions, Concordia winterover may be an appropriate analog for some flight-associated immune system changes and mission stress effects. An ongoing smaller control study at Neumayer III will address the influence of the hypoxic variable. Changes were observed in the peripheral blood leukocyte distribution consistent with immune mobilization, and similar to those observed during spaceflight. Alterations in cytokine production profiles were observed during winterover that are distinct from those observed during spaceflight, but potentially consistent with those observed during persistent hypobaric hypoxia. The reactivation of latent herpesviruses was observed during overwinter/isolation, that is consistently associated with dysregulation in immune function.

  16. Drilling on the Moon and Mars: Developing the Science Approach for Subsurface Exploration with Human Crews

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Zavaleta, J.; Bell, M.; Direto, S.; Foing, B.; Blake, D.; Kim, S.

    2010-01-01

    DOMEX (Drilling on the Moon and Mars in Human Exploration) is using analog missions to develop the approach for using human crews to perform science activities on the Moon and Mars involving exploration and sampling of the subsurface. Subsurface science is an important activity that may be uniquely enabled by human crews. DOMEX provides an opportunity to plan and execute planetary mission science activities without the expense and overhead of a planetary mission. Objectives: The objective of this first in a series of DOMEX missions were to 1) explore the regional area to understand the geologic context and determine stratigraphy and geologic history of various geologic units in the area. 2) Explore for and characterize sites for deploying a deep (10 m depth) drilling system in a subsequent field season. 3) Perform GPR on candidate drill sites. 4) Select sites that represent different geological units deposited in different epochs and collect soil cores using sterile procedures for mineralogical, organic and biological analysis. 5) Operate the MUM in 3 different sites representing different geological units and soil characteristics. 6) Collect rock and soil samples of sites visited and analyze them at the habitat. Results: At mission start the crew performed a regional survey to identify major geologic units that were correlated to recognized stratigraphy and regional geologic maps. Several candidate drill sites were identified. During the rest of the mission, successful GPR surveys were conducted in four locations. Soil cores were collected in 5 locations representing soils from 4 different geologic units, to depths up to 1m. Soil cores from two locations were analyzed with PCR in the laboratory. The remainder were reserved for subsequent analysis. XRD analysis was performed in the habitat and in the field on 39 samples, to assist with sample characterization, conservation, and archiving. MUM was deployed at 3 field locations and 1 test location (outside the

  17. Photovoltaic Power for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Sheila G.; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1997-01-01

    Mars is a challenging environment for the use of solar power. The implications of the low temperatures and low light intensity, solar spectrum modified by dust and changing with time of day and year, indirect sunlight, dust storms, deposited dust, wind, and corrosive peroxide-rich soil are discussed with respect to potential photovoltaic power systems. The power systems addressed include a solar-powered rover vehicle and a human base. High transportation costs dictate high efficiency solar cells or alternatively, a 'thin film' solar cell deposited on a lightweight plastic or thin metal foil.

  18. Analog storage integrated circuit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, J.T.; Larsen, R.S.; Shapiro, S.L.

    1989-03-07

    A high speed data storage array is defined utilizing a unique cell design for high speed sampling of a rapidly changing signal. Each cell of the array includes two input gates between the signal input and a storage capacitor. The gates are controlled by a high speed row clock and low speed column clock so that the instantaneous analog value of the signal is only sampled and stored by each cell on coincidence of the two clocks. 6 figs.

  19. Analogy, Explanation, and Proof

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John eHummel

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available People are habitual explanation generators. At its most mundane, our propensity to explain allows us to infer that we should not drink milk that smells sour; at the other extreme, it allows us to establish facts (e.g., theorems in mathematical logic whose truth was not even known prior to the existence of the explanation (proof. What do the cognitive operations underlying the (inductive inference that the milk is sour have in common with the (deductive proof that, say, the square root of two is irrational? Our ability to generate explanations bears striking similarities to our ability to make analogies. Both reflect a capacity to generate inferences and generalizations that go beyond the featural similarities between a novel problem and familiar problems in terms of which the novel problem may be understood. However, a notable difference between analogy-making and explanation-generation is that the former is a process in which a single source situation is used to reason about a single target, whereas the latter often requires the reasoner to integrate multiple sources of knowledge. This small-seeming difference poses a challenge to the task of marshaling our understanding of analogical reasoning in the service of understanding explanation. We describe a model of explanation, derived from a model of analogy, adapted to permit systematic violations of this one-to-one mapping constraint. Simulation results demonstrate that the resulting model can generate explanations for novel explananda and that, like the explanations generated by human reasoners, these explanations vary in their coherence.

  20. Impact of Mars sand on dust on the design of space suits and life support equipment: A technology assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonds, Charles H.

    1991-01-01

    Space suits and life support equipment will come in intimate contact with Martian soil as aerosols, wind blown particles and material thrown up by men and equipment on the Martian surface. For purposes of this discussion the soil is assumed to consist of a mixture of cominuted feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, quartz, titanomagnetite and other anhydrous and hydrous iron bearing oxides, clay minerals, scapolite and water soluble chlorides and sulfates. The soil may have photoactivated surfaces that acts as a strong oxidizer with behavior similar to hydrogen peroxide. The existing data about the Mars soil suggests that the dust and sand will require designs analogous to those uses on equipment exposed to salty air and blowing sand and dust. The major design challenges are in developing high performance radiators which can be cleaned after each EVA without degradation, designing seals that are readily cleaned and possibly in selecting materials which will not be degraded by any strong oxidants in the soil. The magnitude of the dust filtration challenge needs careful evaluation in terms of the trade off between fine-particle dust filters with low pressure drop that are either physically large and heavy, like filter baghouses require frequent replacement of filter elements, of low volume high pressure thus power consumption approaches, or washable filters. In the latter, filter elements are cleaned with water, as could the outsides of the space suits in the airlock.

  1. Impact of Mars sand on dust on the design of space suits and life support equipment: A technology assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonds, Charles H.

    1991-05-01

    Space suits and life support equipment will come in intimate contact with Martian soil as aerosols, wind blown particles and material thrown up by men and equipment on the Martian surface. For purposes of this discussion the soil is assumed to consist of a mixture of cominuted feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, quartz, titanomagnetite and other anhydrous and hydrous iron bearing oxides, clay minerals, scapolite and water soluble chlorides and sulfates. The soil may have photoactivated surfaces that acts as a strong oxidizer with behavior similar to hydrogen peroxide. The existing data about the Mars soil suggests that the dust and sand will require designs analogous to those uses on equipment exposed to salty air and blowing sand and dust. The major design challenges are in developing high performance radiators which can be cleaned after each EVA without degradation, designing seals that are readily cleaned and possibly in selecting materials which will not be degraded by any strong oxidants in the soil. The magnitude of the dust filtration challenge needs careful evaluation in terms of the trade off between fine-particle dust filters with low pressure drop that are either physically large and heavy, like filter baghouses require frequent replacement of filter elements, of low volume high pressure thus power consumption approaches, or washable filters. In the latter, filter elements are cleaned with water, as could the outsides of the space suits in the airlock.

  2. The effect of as long-term Mars simulation on a microbial permafrost soil community and macromolecules such as DNA, polypeptides and cell wall components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finster, K.; Hansen, A.; Liengaard, L.; Kristoffersen, T.; Mikkelsen, K.; Merrison, J.; Lomstein, B.

    Ten freeze-dried and homogenized samples of a 2300 years old Spitsbergen permafrost soil containing a complex microbial community were aseptically transferred to inert glass tubes and subjected to a 30 days Martian simulation experiment. During this period the samples received an UV dose equivalent to 80 Martian Sol. Data loggers in 4 out the ten samples monitored the temperature 0-2 mm below the surface of the sample. After removal from the simulation chamber, the samples were sliced in 1.5 to 6 mm thick horizons (H1, 0-1.5 mm; H2, 1.5-3 mm; H3, 3-6 mm; H4, 6-9 mm; H5, 9-15 mm; H6, 15-21 mm; H7, 21-27 mm and H8, 27-33 mm), resulting in 10 subsamples from each soil horizon. The subsamples from each horizon were pooled and used for the following investigations: 1. Determination of the bacterial number after staining with SYBR-gold, 2. Determination of the number of dead and living bacteria using the BacLight kit, 3. Determination of the total amount of extractable DNA, 4. Determination of the number of culturable aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, 5. Determination of the concentration of the total hydrolysable amino acids and D and L enantiomers, 6. Determination of the muramic acid contentration. The results of the experiments will be presented and discussed in our communication

  3. Component Processes in Analogical Reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternberg, Robert J.

    1977-01-01

    Describes alternative theoretical positions regarding (a) the component information processes used in analogical reasoning and (b) strategies for combining these processes. Also presents results from three experiments on analogical reasoning. (Author/RK)

  4. Inductive, Analogical, and Communicative Generalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adri Smaling

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Three forms of inductive generalization - statistical generalization, variation-based generalization and theory-carried generalization - are insufficient concerning case-to-case generalization, which is a form of analogical generalization. The quality of case-to-case generalization needs to be reinforced by setting up explicit analogical argumentation. To evaluate analogical argumentation six criteria are discussed. Good analogical reasoning is an indispensable support to forms of communicative generalization - receptive and responsive (participative generalization — as well as exemplary generalization.

  5. Mars Drilling Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, Humboldt, C., Jr.

    2002-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the current status of work to explore Mars beneath the surface of planet. One of the objective of this work is to enable further exploration of Mars by humans. One of the requirements for this is to find water on Mars. The presences of water is critical for Human Exploration and a permanent presence on Mars. If water is present beneath the surface it is the best chance of finding life on Mars. The presentation includes a timeline showing the robotic missions, those that have already been on Mars, and planned missions, an explanation of why do we want to drill on Mars, and some of the challenges, Also include are reviews of a missions that would drill 200 and 4,000 to 6,000 meters into the Martian bedrock, and a overview description of the drill. There is a view of some places where we have hopes of finding water.

  6. Analogical Reasoning and Computer Programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Catherine A.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    A study of correlations between analogical reasoning and Logo programming mastery among female high school students related the results of pretests of analogical reasoning to posttests of programming mastery. A significant correlation was found between analogical reasoning and the ability to write subprocedures for use in several different…

  7. The Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been regarded as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for the signatures of life began in the 19th century, and continue via telescopic investigations and landed missions. While early work focused on phenomenology and bordered on fantasy, modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and the search for biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Living systems produce more than 90% of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. The discovery of methane on Mars will be described, along with the ongoing extended search for clues to its origins. The possible origins of Mars methane will be discussed in the context of terrestrial analogue sites where geologic and biologic methane production now occurs - ranging from sub-permafrost zones in the arctic to hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. Terrestrial organisms that could prosper on Mars today will be mentioned. I will briefly touch upon experiments conducted by landed spacecraft, ranging from the Viking Life Science Experiments in 1976 to the impending Mars Science laboratory, and the Trace Gas Orbiter and ExoMars missions now being developed for flight in the coming decade.

  8. Analogical scaffolding: Making meaning in physics through representation and analogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podolefsky, Noah Solomon

    This work reviews the literature on analogy, introduces a new model of analogy, and presents a series of experiments that test and confirm the utility of this model to describe and predict student learning in physics with analogy. Pilot studies demonstrate that representations (e.g., diagrams) can play a key role in students' use of analogy. A new model of analogy, Analogical Scaffolding, is developed to explain these initial empirical results. This model will be described in detail, and then applied to describe and predict the outcomes of further experiments. Two large-scale (N>100) studies will demonstrate that: (1) students taught with analogies, according to the Analogical Scaffolding model, outperform students taught without analogies on pre-post assessments focused on electromagnetic waves; (2) the representational forms used to teach with analogy can play a significant role in student learning, with students in one treatment group outperforming students in other treatment groups by factors of two or three. It will be demonstrated that Analogical Scaffolding can be used to predict these results, as well as finer-grained results such as the types of distracters students choose in different treatment groups, and to describe and analyze student reasoning in interviews. Abstraction in physics is reconsidered using Analogical Scaffolding. An operational definition of abstraction is developed within the Analogical Scaffolding framework and employed to explain (a) why physicists consider some ideas more abstract than others in physics, and (b) how students conceptions of these ideas can be modeled. This new approach to abstraction suggests novel approaches to curriculum design in physics using Analogical Scaffolding.

  9. Analogy as a strategy for supporting complex problem solving under uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Joel; Paletz, Susannah B F; Schunn, Christian D

    2012-11-01

    Complex problem solving in naturalistic environments is fraught with uncertainty, which has significant impacts on problem-solving behavior. Thus, theories of human problem solving should include accounts of the cognitive strategies people bring to bear to deal with uncertainty during problem solving. In this article, we present evidence that analogy is one such strategy. Using statistical analyses of the temporal dynamics between analogy and expressed uncertainty in the naturalistic problem-solving conversations among scientists on the Mars Rover Mission, we show that spikes in expressed uncertainty reliably predict analogy use (Study 1) and that expressed uncertainty reduces to baseline levels following analogy use (Study 2). In addition, in Study 3, we show with qualitative analyses that this relationship between uncertainty and analogy is not due to miscommunication-related uncertainty but, rather, is primarily concentrated on substantive problem-solving issues. Finally, we discuss a hypothesis about how analogy might serve as an uncertainty reduction strategy in naturalistic complex problem solving.

  10. Automation &robotics for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, W.; von Richter, A.; Bertrand, R.

    2003-04-01

    Automation and Robotics (A&R) are currently considered as a key technology for Mars exploration. initiatives in this field aim at developing new A&R systems and technologies for planetary surface exploration. Kayser-Threde led the study AROMA (Automation &Robotics for Human Mars Exploration) under ESA contract in order to define a reference architecture of A&R elements in support of a human Mars exploration program. One of the goals was to define new developments and to maintain the competitiveness of European industry within this field. We present a summary of the A&R study in respect to a particular system: The Autonomous Research Island (ARI). In the Mars exploration scenario initially a robotic outpost system lands at pre-selected sites in order to search for life forms and water and to analyze the surface, geology and atmosphere. A&R systems, i.e. rovers and autonomous instrument packages, perform a number of missions with scientific and technology development objectives on the surface of Mars as part of preparations for a human exploration mission. In the Robotic Outpost Phase ARI is conceived as an automated lander which can perform in-situ analysis. It consists of a service module and a micro-rover system for local investigations. Such a system is already under investigation and development in other TRP activities. The micro-rover system provides local mobility for in-situ scientific investigations at a given landing or deployment site. In the long run ARI supports also human Mars missions. An astronaut crew would travel larger distances in a pressurized rover on Mars. Whenever interesting features on the surface are identified, the crew would interrupt the travel and perform local investigations. In order to save crew time ARI could be deployed by the astronauts to perform time-consuming investigations as for example in-situ geochemistry analysis of rocks/soil. Later, the crew could recover the research island for refurbishment and deployment at another

  11. Discrete Calculus by Analogy

    CERN Document Server

    Izadi, F A; Bagirov, G

    2009-01-01

    With its origins stretching back several centuries, discrete calculus is now an increasingly central methodology for many problems related to discrete systems and algorithms. The topics covered here usually arise in many branches of science and technology, especially in discrete mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics and probability theory as well as in electrical engineering, but our viewpoint here is that these topics belong to a much more general realm of mathematics; namely calculus and differential equations because of the remarkable analogy of the subject to this branch of mathemati

  12. ESD analog circuits and design

    CERN Document Server

    Voldman, Steven H

    2014-01-01

    A comprehensive and in-depth review of analog circuit layout, schematic architecture, device, power network and ESD design This book will provide a balanced overview of analog circuit design layout, analog circuit schematic development, architecture of chips, and ESD design.  It will start at an introductory level and will bring the reader right up to the state-of-the-art. Two critical design aspects for analog and power integrated circuits are combined. The first design aspect covers analog circuit design techniques to achieve the desired circuit performance. The second and main aspect pres

  13. Candidate cave entrances on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushing, Glen E.

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents newly discovered candidate cave entrances into Martian near-surface lava tubes, volcano-tectonic fracture systems, and pit craters and describes their characteristics and exploration possibilities. These candidates are all collapse features that occur either intermittently along laterally continuous trench-like depressions or in the floors of sheer-walled atypical pit craters. As viewed from orbit, locations of most candidates are visibly consistent with known terrestrial features such as tube-fed lava flows, volcano-tectonic fractures, and pit craters, each of which forms by mechanisms that can produce caves. Although we cannot determine subsurface extents of the Martian features discussed here, some may continue unimpeded for many kilometers if terrestrial examples are indeed analogous. The features presented here were identified in images acquired by the Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System visible-wavelength camera, and by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Context Camera. Select candidates have since been targeted by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment. Martian caves are promising potential sites for future human habitation and astrobiology investigations; understanding their characteristics is critical for long-term mission planning and for developing the necessary exploration technologies.

  14. Stability of water on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D. W. G.; Moore, S. R.

    2004-11-01

    In order to try to quantify some of the factors determining the evaporation rate of water on Mars, we have been measuring evaporation rates under simulated martian conditions in a large planetary environmental chamber. All of our experiments have been performed at 5.25 Torr (7 mb) total pressure, but we have varied the temperature of the water surface, atmosphere and walls of the chamber (the walls we assume to be somewhat analogous to surrounding surfaces on Mars). We have also monitored the partial pressure of water vapor in the atmosphere to investigate its effect on evaporation rate. Most importantly, we have attempted to model the effect of advection - physical removal of the water vapor by wind or other forms of atmospheric motion - by (1) placing a bag of dry ice in the chamber and (2) by installing a copper cold finger with circulating methanol/dry ice slurry next to the sample and pumping as necessary to maintain 5.25 Torr. As might be expected, the situation is complicated and not readily described theoretically, but several conclusions seem to be emerging. Evaporation rates under nonadvective conditions are 1.2 mm/h and decrease only by about 30% as water vapor builds up in the atmosphere to as much as 40 vol %. Wall temperature and water surface temperature do not appear to affect evaporation rates significantly, but a 20 C increase in atmospheric temperature causes a 40% increase in evaporation rate. The evaporation rate increases by a factor of two in the presence of advection and under advective conditions is not affected significantly by changes in water, air, or wall temperature, or water vapor pressure. These results suggest that atmospheric motion may be the dominant factor in determining water evaporation on Mars.

  15. Mineral Composition and Abundance of the Rocks and Soils at Gusev and Meridiani from the Mars Exploration Rover Mini-TES Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.; Wyatt, M. B.; Glotch, T. D.; Rogers, A. D.; Anwar, S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bandfield, J. L.; Blaney, D. L.; Budney, C.; Calvin, W. M.

    2005-01-01

    The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) has provided remote measurements of mineralogy, thermophysical properties, and atmospheric temperature profile and composition of the outcrops, rocks, spherules, and soils surrounding the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. The mineralogy of volcanic rocks provides insights into the composition of the source regions and the nature of martian igneous processes. Carbonates, sulfates, evaporites, and oxides provide information on the role of water in the surface evolution. Oxides, such as crystalline hematite, provide insight into aqueous weathering processes, as would the occurrence of clay minerals and other weathering products. Diurnal temperature measurements can be used to determine particle size and search for the effects of sub-surface layering, which in turn provide clues to the origin of surficial materials through rock disintegration, aeolian transport, atmospheric fallout, or induration. In addition to studying the surface properties, Mini-TES spectra have also been used to determine the temperature profile in the lower boundary layer, providing evidence for convective activity, and have determined the seasonal trends in atmospheric temperature and dust and cloud opacity.

  16. Albert Einstein, Analogizer Extraordinaire

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2007-01-01

    Where does deep insight in physics come from? It is tempting to think that it comes from the purest and most precise of reasoning, following ironclad laws of thought that compel the clear mind completely rigidly. And yet the truth is quite otherwise. One finds, when one looks closely at any major discovery, that the greatest of physicists are, in some sense, the most crazily daring and irrational of all physicists. Albert Einstein exemplifies this thesis in spades. In this talk I will describe the key role, throughout Albert Einstein's fabulously creative life, played by wild guesses made by analogy lacking any basis whatsoever in pure reasoning. In particular, in this year of 2007, the centenary of 1907, I will describe how over the course of two years (1905 through 1907) of pondering, Einstein slowly came, via analogy, to understand the full, radical consequences of the equation that he had first discovered and published in 1905, arguably the most famous equation of all time: E = mc2.

  17. The AMADEE-15 Mars simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot; Losiak, Anna; Soucek, Alexander; Plank, Clemens; Zanardini, Laura; Sejkora, Nina; Sams, Sebastian

    2016-12-01

    We report on the AMADEE-15 mission, a 12-day Mars analog field test at the Kaunertal Glacier in Austria. Eleven experiments were conducted by a field crew at the test site under simulated martian surface exploration conditions and coordinated by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria. The experiments' research fields encompassed geology, human factors, astrobiology, robotics, tele-science, exploration, and operations research. A Remote Science Support team analyzed field data in near real time, providing planning input for a flight control team to manage a complex system of field assets in a realistic work flow, including: two advanced space suit simulators; and four robotic and aerial vehicles. Field operations were supported by a dedicated flight planning group, an external control center tele-operating the PULI-rover, and a medical team. A 10-min satellite communication delay and other limitations pertinent to human planetary surface activities were introduced. This paper provides an overview of the geological context and environmental conditions of the test site and the mission architecture, with a focus on the mission's communication infrastructure. We report on the operational workflows and the experiments conducted, as well as a novel approach of measuring mission success through the introduction of general analog mission transferrable performance indicators.

  18. On-Going Laboratory Efforts to Quantitatively Address Clay Abundance on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roush, Ted L.; Bishop, Janice L.; Brown, Adrian J.; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas F.

    2012-01-01

    Data obtained at visible and near-infrared wavelengths by OMEGA on MarsExpress and CRISM on MRO provide definitive evidence for the presence of phyllosilicates and other hydrated phases on Mars. A diverse range of both Fe/Mg-OH and Al-OH-bearing phyllosilicates were identified including the smectites, nontronite, saponite, and montmorillonite. In order to constrain the abundances of these phyllosilicates spectral analyses of mixtures are needed. We report on our on-going effort to enable the quantitative evaluation of the abundance of hydrated-hydroxylated silicates when they are contained in mixtures. We include two component mixtures of hydrated/hydroxylated silicates with each other and with two analogs for other martian materials; pyroxene (enstatite) and palagonitic soil (an alteration product of basaltic glass). For the hydrated-hydroxylated silicates we include saponite and montmorillonite (Mg- and Al- rich smectites). We prepared three size separates of each end-member for study: 20-45, 63-90, and 125-150 µm. As the second phase of our effort we used scanning electron microscopy imaging and x-ray diffraction to characterize the grain size distribution, and structural nature, respectively, of the mixtures. Visible and near-infrared reflectance spectra of the 63-90 micrometers grain size of the mixture samples are shown in Figure 1. We discuss the results of our measurements of these mixtures.

  19. Quick trips to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hornung, R.

    1991-01-01

    The design of a Mars Mission Vehicle that would have to be launched by two very heavy lift launch vehicles is described along with plans for a mission to Mars. The vehicle has three nuclear engine for rocket vehicle application (NERVA) boosters with a fourth in the center that acts as a dual mode system. The fourth generates electrical power while in route, but it also helps lift the vehicle out of earth orbit. A Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a Mars transfer vehicle stage, and a Mars Excursion Vehicle (MEV) are located on the front end of this vehicle. Other aspects of this research including aerobraking, heat shielding, nuclear thermal rocket engines, a mars mission summary, closed Brayton cycle with and without regeneration, liquid hydrogen propellant storage, etc. are addressed

  20. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

    Mars is one of the most fascinating planets in the solar system, featuring an atmosphere, water, and enormous volcanoes and canyons. The Mars Pathfinder, Global Surveyor, and Odyssey missions mark the first wave of the Planet Earth's coming invasion of the red planet, changing our views of the past and future of the planet and the possibilities of life. Scientist and science-fiction writer Geoffrey A. Landis will present experiences on the Pathfinder mission, the challenges of using solar power on the surface of Mars, and present future missions to Mars such as the upcoming Mars Twin Rovers, which will launch two highly-capable vehicles in 2003 to explore the surface of Mars.

  1. Mars at Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2010-01-01

    On January 29, Mars will reach opposition, a point along its orbit around the Sun where Mars will be directly opposite from the Sun in a two-planet and Sun line-up with the Earth in between. At this opposition, the Earth and Mars will be separated by nearly 100 million km. An opposition is similar to a full Moon in that the planet at opposition…

  2. The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) Wet Chemistry Experiment on the Mars 2001 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grannan, S. M.; Frant, M.; Hecht, M. H.; Kounaves, S. P.; Manatt, K.; Meloy, T. P.; Pike, W. T.; Schubert, W.; West, S.; Wen, X.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) is an instrument suite that will fly on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander Spacecraft. MECA is sponsored by the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) program and will evaluate potential hazards that the dust and soil of Mars might present to astronauts and their equipment on a future human mission to Mars. Four elements constitute the integrated MECA payload: a microscopy station, patch plates, an electrometer, and the wet chemistry laboratory (WCL). The WCL consists of four identical cells, each of which will evaluate a sample of Martian soil in water to determine conductivity, pH, redox potential, dissolved C02 and 02 levels, and concentrations of many soluble ions including sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and the halides. In addition, cyclic voltammetry will be used to evaluate reversible and irreversible oxidants present in the water/soil solution. Anodic stripping voltammetry will be used to measure concentrations of trace metals including lead, copper, and cadmium at ppb levels. Voltammetry is a general electrochemical technique that involves controlling the potential of an electrode while simultaneously measuring the current flowing at that electrode. The WCL experiments will provide information on the corrosivity and reactivity of the Martian soil, as well as on soluble components of the soil which might be toxic to human explorers. They will also guide HEDS scientists in the development of high fidelity Martian soil simulants. In the process of acquiring information relevant to HEDS, the WCL will assess the chemical composition and properties of the salts present in the Martian soil.

  3. Detecting analogical resemblance without retrieving the source analogy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostic, Bogdan; Cleary, Anne M; Severin, Kaye; Miller, Samuel W

    2010-06-01

    We examined whether people can detect analogical resemblance to an earlier experimental episode without being able to recall the experimental source of the analogical resemblance. We used four-word analogies (e.g., robin-nest/beaver-dam), in a variation of the recognition-without-cued-recall method (Cleary, 2004). Participants studied word pairs (e.g., robin-nest) and were shown new word pairs at test, half of which analogically related to studied word pairs (e.g., beaver-dam) and half of which did not. For each test pair, participants first attempted to recall an analogically similar pair from the study list. Then, regardless of whether successful recall occurred, participants were prompted to rate the familiarity of the test pair, which was said to indicate the likelihood that a pair that was analogically similar to the test pair had been studied. Across three experiments, participants demonstrated an ability to detect analogical resemblance without recalling the source analogy. Findings are discussed in terms of their potential relevance to the study of analogical reasoning and insight, as well as to the study of familiarity and recognition memory.

  4. History of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, J.S.

    1988-01-01

    The origin and early history of Mars and the relationship between Mars and the other planets are reviewed. The solar system formation and planetary differentiation are examined using data from planetary missions. Different views of Mars are presented, showing how ideas about the planet have changed as the amount of available observational data has increased. Viking aerography and surface characterization are discussed, including the nature of specific atmospheric components and the implications of surface phenomena. Models for the planetary formation and accretion processes are considered. The value of future missions to Mars is stressed

  5. Mars Stratigraphy Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budney, C. J.; Miller, S. L.; Cutts, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Stratigraphy Mission lands a rover on the surface of Mars which descends down a cliff in Valles Marineris to study the stratigraphy. The rover carries a unique complement of instruments to analyze and age-date materials encountered during descent past 2 km of strata. The science objective for the Mars Stratigraphy Mission is to identify the geologic history of the layered deposits in the Valles Marineris region of Mars. This includes constraining the time interval for formation of these deposits by measuring the ages of various layers and determining the origin of the deposits (volcanic or sedimentary) by measuring their composition and imaging their morphology.

  6. In situ analysis of Mars soil sample with the sam gcms instrumentation onboard Curiosity : interpretation and comparison of measurements done at Rocknest and Yelloknife bay sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szopa, Cyril; Coll, Patrice; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Buch, Arnaud; Francois, Pascaline; Millan, Maeva; Teinturier, Sammy; Navarro-Gonzales, Rafael; Glavin, Daniel; Freissinet, Caro; Steele, Andrew; Eigenbrode, Jen; Mahaffy, Paul

    2014-05-01

    The characterisation of the chemical and mineralogical composition of regolith samples collected with the Curiosity rover is a primary objective of the SAM experiment. These data should provide essential clues on the past habitability of Gale crater. Amongst the SAM suite of instruments [1], SAM-GC (Gas Chromatograph) is devoted to identify and quantify volatiles evolved from the thermal (heating up to about 900°C)/chemical (derivatization procedure) treatment of any soil sample collected by the Curiosity rover. With the aim to search for potential organic molecules outgassed from the samples, a SAM-GC analytical channel composed of thermal-desorption injector and a MXT-CLP chromatographic column was chosen to achieve all the measurements done up today, as it was designed for the separation of a wide range of volatile organic molecules. Three solid samples have been analyzed with GCMS, one sand sample collected at the Rocknest site, and two rock samples (John Klein and Cumberland respectively) collected at the Yellowknife Bay site using the Curiosity driller. All the measurements were successful and they produced complex chromatograms with both detectors used for SAM GC, i.e. a thermal conductivity detector and the SAM quandrupole mass spectrometer. Their interpretation already revealed the presence of an oxychlorine phase present in the sample which is at the origin of chlorohydrocarbons clearly identified [2] but this represents only a fraction of the GCMS signal recorded [3,4]. This work presents a systematic comparison of the GCMS measurements done for the different samples collected, supported by reference data obtained in laboratory with different spare models of the gas chromatograph, with the aim to bring new elements of interpretation of the SAM measurements. References: [1] Mahaffy, P. et al. (2012) Space Sci Rev, 170, 401-478. [2] Glavin, D. et al. (2013), JGR. [3] Leshin L. et al. (2013), Science, [4] Ming D. et al. (2013), Science, 32, 64

  7. Feedback in analog circuits

    CERN Document Server

    Ochoa, Agustin

    2016-01-01

    This book describes a consistent and direct methodology to the analysis and design of analog circuits with particular application to circuits containing feedback. The analysis and design of circuits containing feedback is generally presented by either following a series of examples where each circuit is simplified through the use of insight or experience (someone else’s), or a complete nodal-matrix analysis generating lots of algebra. Neither of these approaches leads to gaining insight into the design process easily. The author develops a systematic approach to circuit analysis, the Driving Point Impedance and Signal Flow Graphs (DPI/SFG) method that does not require a-priori insight to the circuit being considered and results in factored analysis supporting the design function. This approach enables designers to account fully for loading and the bi-directional nature of elements both in the feedback path and in the amplifier itself, properties many times assumed negligible and ignored. Feedback circuits a...

  8. Curiosity: the Mars Science Laboratory Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard A.

    2012-01-01

    The Curiosity rover landed successfully in Gale Crater, Mars on August 5, 2012. This event was a dramatic high point in the decade long effort to design, build, test and fly the most sophisticated scientific vehicle ever sent to Mars. The real achievements of the mission have only just begun, however, as Curiosity is now searching for signs that Mars once possessed habitable environments. The Mars Science Laboratory Project has been one of the most ambitious and challenging planetary projects that NASA has undertaken. It started in the successful aftermath of the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover project and was designed to take significant steps forward in both engineering and scientific capabilities. This included a new landing system capable of emplacing a large mobile vehicle over a wide range of potential landing sites, advanced sample acquisition and handling capabilities that can retrieve samples from both rocks and soil, and a high reliability avionics suite that is designed to permit long duration surface operations. It also includes a set of ten sophisticated scientific instruments that will investigate both the geological context of the landing site plus analyze samples to understand the chemical & organic composition of rocks & soil found there. The Gale Crater site has been specifically selected as a promising location where ancient habitable environments may have existed and for which evidence may be preserved. Curiosity will spend a minimum of one Mars year (about two Earth years) looking for this evidence. This paper will report on the progress of the mission over the first few months of surface operations, plus look retrospectively at lessons learned during both the development and cruise operations phase of the mission..

  9. SEP Mission Design Space for Mars Orbiters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, Ryan C.; Nicholas, Austin K.

    2015-01-01

    The advancement of solar-electric propulsion (SEP) technologies and larger, light-weight solar arrays offer a tremendous advantage to Mars orbiters in terms of both mass and timeline flexibility. These advantages are multiplied for round-trip orbiters (e.g. potential Mars sample return) where a large total Delta V would be required. In this paper we investigate the mission design characteristics of mission concepts utilizing various combinations and types of SEP thrusters, solar arrays, launch vehicles, launch dates, arrival dates, etc. SEP allows for greater than 50% more mass delivered and launch windows of months to years. We also present the SEP analog to the ballistic Porkchop plot - the "Bacon" plot.

  10. Beginning analog electronics through projects

    CERN Document Server

    Singmin, Andrew

    2001-01-01

    Analog electronics is the simplest way to start a fun, informative, learning program. Beginning Analog Electronics Through Projects, Second Edition was written with the needs of beginning hobbyists and students in mind. This revision of Andrew Singmin's popular Beginning Electronics Through Projects provides practical exercises, building techniques, and ideas for useful electronics projects. Additionally, it features new material on analog and digital electronics, and new projects for troubleshooting test equipment.Published in the tradition of Beginning Electronics Through Projects an

  11. Life at extreme elevations on Atacama volcanoes: the closest thing to Mars on Earth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, S K; Gendron, E M S; Vincent, K; Solon, A J; Sommers, P; Schubert, Z R; Vimercati, L; Porazinska, D L; Darcy, J L; Sowell, P

    2018-03-20

    Here we describe recent breakthroughs in our understanding of microbial life in dry volcanic tephra ("soil") that covers much of the surface area of the highest elevation volcanoes on Earth. Dry tephra above 6000 m.a.s.l. is perhaps the best Earth analog for the surface of Mars because these "soils" are acidic, extremely oligotrophic, exposed to a thin atmosphere, high UV fluxes, and extreme temperature fluctuations across the freezing point. The simple microbial communities found in these extreme sites have among the lowest alpha diversity of any known earthly ecosystem and contain bacteria and eukaryotes that are uniquely adapted to these extreme conditions. The most abundant eukaryotic organism across the highest elevation sites is a Naganishia species that is metabolically versatile, can withstand high levels of UV radiation and can grow at sub-zero temperatures, and during extreme diurnal freeze-thaw cycles (e.g. - 10 to + 30 °C). The most abundant bacterial phylotype at the highest dry sites sampled (6330 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Llullaillaco) belongs to the enigmatic B12-WMSP1 clade which is related to the Ktedonobacter/Thermosporothrix clade that includes versatile organisms with the largest known bacterial genomes. Close relatives of B12-WMSP1 are also found in fumarolic soils on Volcán Socompa and in oligotrophic, fumarolic caves on Mt. Erebus in Antarctica. In contrast to the extremely low diversity of dry tephra, fumaroles found at over 6000 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Socompa support very diverse microbial communities with alpha diversity levels rivalling those of low elevation temperate soils. Overall, the high-elevation biome of the Atacama region provides perhaps the best "natural experiment" in which to study microbial life in both its most extreme setting (dry tephra) and in one of its least extreme settings (fumarolic soils).

  12. Characterization of the acidic cold seep emplaced jarositic Golden Deposit, NWT, Canada, as an analogue for jarosite deposition on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battler, Melissa M.; Osinski, Gordon R.; Lim, Darlene S. S.; Davila, Alfonso F.; Michel, Frederick A.; Craig, Michael A.; Izawa, Matthew R. M.; Leoni, Lisa; Slater, Gregory F.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Preston, Louisa J.; Banerjee, Neil R.

    2013-06-01

    Surficial deposits of the OH-bearing iron sulfate mineral jarosite have been observed in several places on Mars, such as Meridiani Planum and Mawrth Vallis. The specific depositional conditions and mechanisms are not known, but by comparing martian sites to analogous locations on Earth, the conditions of formation and, thus, the martian depositional paleoenvironments may be postulated. Located in a cold semi-arid desert ˜100 km east of Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, Canada, the Golden Deposit (GD) is visible from the air as a brilliant golden-yellow patch of unvegetated soil, approximately 140 m × 50 m. The GD is underlain by permafrost and consists of yellow sediment, which is precipitating from seeps of acidic, iron-bearing groundwater. On the surface, the GD appears as a patchwork of raised polygons, with acidic waters flowing from seeps in troughs between polygonal islands. Although UV-Vis-NIR spectral analysis detects only jarosite, mineralogy, as determined by X-ray diffraction and inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry, is predominantly natrojarosite and jarosite, with hydronium jarosite, goethite, quartz, clays, and small amounts of hematite. Water pH varies significantly over short distances depending on proximity to acid seeps, from 2.3 directly above seeps, to 5.7 several m downstream from seeps within the deposit, and up to 6.5 in ponds proximal to the deposit. Visual observations of microbial filament communities and phospholipid fatty acid analyses confirm that the GD is capable of supporting life for at least part of the year. Jarosite-bearing sediments extend beneath vegetation up to 70 m out from the deposit and are mixed with plant debris and minerals presumably weathered from bedrock and glacial till. This site is of particular interest because mineralogy (natrojarosite, jarosite, hematite, and goethite) and environmental conditions (permafrost and arid conditions) at the time of deposition are conceivably analogous to jarosite

  13. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Bornstein, B.; Castano, R.; Merrill, M.; Greenwood, J.

    2005-12-01

    Mars rovers and orbiters currently collect far more data than can be downlinked to Earth, which reduces mission science return; this problem will be exacerbated by future rovers of enhanced capabilities and lifetimes. We are developing onboard intelligence sufficient to extract geologically meaningful data from spectrometer measurements of soil and rock samples, and thus to guide the selection, measurement and return of these data from significant targets at Mars. Here we report on techniques to construct mineral detectors capable of running on current and future rover and orbital hardware. We focus on carbonate and sulfate minerals which are of particular geologic importance because they can signal the presence of water and possibly life. Sulfates have also been discovered at the Eagle and Endurance craters in Meridiani Planum by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and at other regions on Mars by the OMEGA instrument aboard Mars Express. We have developed highly accurate artificial neural network (ANN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) based detectors capable of identifying calcite (CaCO3) and jarosite (KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6) in the visible/NIR (350-2500 nm) spectra of both laboratory specimens and rocks in Mars analogue field environments. To train the detectors, we used a generative model to create 1000s of linear mixtures of library end-member spectra in geologically realistic percentages. We have also augmented the model to include nonlinear mixing based on Hapke's models of bidirectional reflectance spectroscopy. Both detectors perform well on the spectra of real rocks that contain intimate mixtures of minerals, rocks in natural field environments, calcite covered by Mars analogue dust, and AVIRIS hyperspectral cubes. We will discuss the comparison of ANN and SVM classifiers for this task, technical challenges (weathering rinds, atmospheric compositions, and computational complexity), and plans for integration of these detectors into both the Coupled Layer

  14. Children's Development of Analogical Reasoning: Insights from Scene Analogy Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richland, Lindsey E.; Morrison, Robert G.; Holyoak, Keith J.

    2006-01-01

    We explored how relational complexity and featural distraction, as varied in scene analogy problems, affect children's analogical reasoning performance. Results with 3- and 4-year-olds, 6- and 7-year-olds, 9- to 11-year-olds, and 13- and 14-year-olds indicate that when children can identify the critical structural relations in a scene analogy…

  15. The overprotection of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairén, Alberto G.; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2013-07-01

    Planetary protection policies aim to guard Solar System bodies from biological contamination from spacecraft. Costly efforts to sterilize Mars spacecraft need to be re-evaluated, as they are unnecessarily inhibiting a more ambitious agenda to search for extant life on Mars.

  16. Building Virtual Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercrombie, S. P.; Menzies, A.; Goddard, C.

    2017-12-01

    Virtual and augmented reality enable scientists to visualize environments that are very difficult, or even impossible to visit, such as the surface of Mars. A useful immersive visualization begins with a high quality reconstruction of the environment under study. This presentation will discuss a photogrammetry pipeline developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to reconstruct 3D models of the surface of Mars using stereo images sent back to Earth by the Curiosity Mars rover. The resulting models are used to support a virtual reality tool (OnSight) that allows scientists and engineers to visualize the surface of Mars as if they were standing on the red planet. Images of Mars present challenges to existing scene reconstruction solutions. Surface images of Mars are sparse with minimal overlap, and are often taken from extremely different viewpoints. In addition, the specialized cameras used by Mars rovers are significantly different than consumer cameras, and GPS localization data is not available on Mars. This presentation will discuss scene reconstruction with an emphasis on coping with limited input data, and on creating models suitable for rendering in virtual reality at high frame rate.

  17. Microscope on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This image taken at Meridiani Planum, Mars by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the rover's microscopic imager (circular device in center), located on its instrument deployment device, or 'arm.' The image was acquired on the ninth martian day or sol of the rover's mission.

  18. Mars Sample Handling Functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, M. A.; Mattingly, R. L.

    2018-04-01

    The final leg of a Mars Sample Return campaign would be an entity that we have referred to as Mars Returned Sample Handling (MRSH.) This talk will address our current view of the functional requirements on MRSH, focused on the Sample Receiving Facility (SRF).

  19. IJslandse inzichten op Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vet, S.

    2013-01-01

    Vulkaanuitbarstingen onder gletsjers, zoals de vliegverkeer-verlammende uitbarsting van de vulkaan Eyjafjallajökull in IJsland in 2010, lijken in veel opzichten op vulkaanuitbarstingen die ooit op Mars voorkwamen. Dankzij de landschappelijke gelijkenissen tussen onze aarde en Mars is het mogelijk om

  20. Preservation of Reduced Carbon on Mars: Implications for Understanding Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela; Fogel, Marilyn; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    Upcoming Mars missions (e.g., Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars, Astrobiology Field Laboratory, and Mars Sample Return) will search for evidence of extant and fossil microbial habitats and the potential for future habitation. Understanding the distribution and composition of reduced carbon (or organic carbon) is critical for unraveling the Martian carbon cycle, potential for life, and possible biosignature record. Reduced carbon may be produced from biological, geochemical, or interstellar processes; however, evidence for reduced carbon on Mars is lacking with the exception of parts per billion of atmospheric methane. In contrast, abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide may reflect surface oxidation of reduced carbon and accumulation over geological timescales. This suggests that there is an undetected or lost pool of reduced carbon - a pool that may host molecular biosignatures, a characteristic of extant or extinct habitability. In this presentation, we will evaluate factors influencing the preservation potential for organic molecules in rocks on Earth and Martian. We,draw examples from organic molecules in sulfates, basalts, and ancient shales from Mars-analog settings to show how the distribution of organics and their structural patterns will aid Mars habitability studies.

  1. Mars Habitability, Biosignature Preservation, and Mission Support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2014-01-01

    Our work has elucidated a new analog for the formation of giant polygons on Mars, involving fluid expulsion in a subaqueous environment. That work is based on three-dimensional (3D) seismic data on Earth that illustrate the mud volcanoes and giant polygons that result from sediment compaction in offshore settings. The description of this process has been published in the journal Icarus, where it will be part of a special volume on Martian analogs. These ideas have been carried further to suggest that giant polygons in the Martian lowlands may be the signature of an ancient ocean and, as such, could mark a region of enhanced habitability. A paper describing this hypothesis has been published in the journal Astrobiology.

  2. The Raman Laser Spectrometer for the ExoMars Rover Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rull, Fernando; Maurice, Sylvestre; Hutchinson, Ian; Moral, Andoni; Perez, Carlos; Diaz, Carlos; Colombo, Maria; Belenguer, Tomas; Lopez-Reyes, Guillermo; Sansano, Antonio; Forni, Olivier; Parot, Yann; Striebig, Nicolas; Woodward, Simon; Howe, Chris; Tarcea, Nicolau; Rodriguez, Pablo; Seoane, Laura; Santiago, Amaia; Rodriguez-Prieto, Jose A.; Medina, Jesús; Gallego, Paloma; Canchal, Rosario; Santamaría, Pilar; Ramos, Gonzalo; Vago, Jorge L.; RLS Team

    2017-07-01

    The Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) on board the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 mission will provide precise identification of the mineral phases and the possibility to detect organics on the Red Planet. The RLS will work on the powdered samples prepared inside the Pasteur analytical suite and collected on the surface and subsurface by a drill system. Raman spectroscopy is a well-known analytical technique based on the inelastic scattering by matter of incident monochromatic light (the Raman effect) that has many applications in laboratory and industry, yet to be used in space applications. Raman spectrometers will be included in two Mars rovers scheduled to be launched in 2020. The Raman instrument for ExoMars 2020 consists of three main units: (1) a transmission spectrograph coupled to a CCD detector; (2) an electronics box, including the excitation laser that controls the instrument functions; and (3) an optical head with an autofocus mechanism illuminating and collecting the scattered light from the spot under investigation. The optical head is connected to the excitation laser and the spectrometer by optical fibers. The instrument also has two targets positioned inside the rover analytical laboratory for onboard Raman spectral calibration. The aim of this article was to present a detailed description of the RLS instrument, including its operation on Mars. To verify RLS operation before launch and to prepare science scenarios for the mission, a simulator of the sample analysis chain has been developed by the team. The results obtained are also discussed. Finally, the potential of the Raman instrument for use in field conditions is addressed. By using a ruggedized prototype, also developed by our team, a wide range of terrestrial analog sites across the world have been studied. These investigations allowed preparing a large collection of real, in situ spectra of samples from different geological processes and periods of Earth evolution. On this basis, we are working

  3. Radiation-Driven Formation of Reactive Oxygen Species in Oxychlorine-Containing Mars Surface Analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgiou, Christos D.; Zisimopoulos, Dimitrios; Kalaitzopoulou, Electra; Quinn, Richard C.

    2017-04-01

    The present study demonstrates that γ-radiolyzed perchlorate-containing Mars soil salt analogues (in a CO2 atmosphere) generate upon H2O wetting the reactive oxygen species (ROS) superoxide radical (O2•-), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and hydroxyl radicals (•OH). This study also validates that analogue radiolysis forms oxychlorine species that, in turn, can UV-photolyze to •OH upon UV photolysis. This investigation was made possible by the development of a new assay for inorganic-origin O2•- and H2O2 determination and by the modification of a previous assay for soil •OH. Results show that radiolyzed Mg(ClO4)2 generates H2O2 and •OH; and when included as part of a mixture analogous to the salt composition of samples analyzed at the Mars Phoenix site, the analogue generated O2•-, H2O2, and •OH, with •OH levels 150-fold higher than in the radiolyzed Mg(ClO4)2 samples. Radiolyzed Mars Phoenix site salt analogue that did not contain Mg(ClO4)2 generated only •OH also at 150-fold higher concentration than Mg(ClO4)2 alone. Additionally, UV photolysis of the perchlorate γ radiolysis product chlorite (ClO2-) generated the oxychlorine products trihalide (Cl3-), chlorine dioxide (ClO2•), and hypochlorite (ClO-), with the formation of •OH by UV photolysis of ClO-. While the generation of ROS may have contributed in part to 14CO2 production in the Viking Labeled Release (LR) experiment and O2 (g) release in the Viking Gas Exchange (GEx) experiment, our results indicate that they are not likely to be the major contributor to the LR and GEx results. However, due to their highly reactive nature, they are expected to play a significant role in the alteration of organics on Mars. Additionally, experiments with hypochlorite show that the thermal stability of NaClO is in the range of the thermal stability observed for thermally liable oxidant responsible for the Viking LR results.

  4. Optical analog transmission device

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikawa, Shinji.

    1994-01-01

    The present invention concerns a device such as electro-optical conversion elements, optoelectric-electric elements and optical transmission channel, not undergoing deleterious effects on the efficiency of conversion and transmission due to temperature, and aging change. That is, a sine wave superposing means superposes, on a detector signal to be transmitted, a sine-wave signal having a predetermined amplitude and at a frequency lower than that of the detector signal. An optoelectric conversion means converts the electric signal as the signal of the sine-wave signal superposing means into an optical signal and outputs the same to an optical transmitting channel. The optoelectric conversion means converts the transmitted signal to an electric signal. A discriminating means discriminates the electric signal into a detector signal and a sine-wave signal. A calculating means calculates an optical transmitting efficiency of the transmitting channel based on the amplitude of the discriminated sine-wave signal. A processing means compensates an amplitude value of the detector signals discriminated by the discriminating means based on the optical transmission efficiency. As a result, an optical analog transmission device can be attained, which conducts optical transmission at a high accuracy without undergoing the defective effects of the optical transmission efficiency. (I.S.)

  5. Conjecturing via Reconceived Classical Analogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyeong-Hwa; Sriraman, Bharath

    2011-01-01

    Analogical reasoning is believed to be an efficient means of problem solving and construction of knowledge during the search for and the analysis of new mathematical objects. However, there is growing concern that despite everyday usage, learners are unable to transfer analogical reasoning to learning situations. This study aims at facilitating…

  6. Musik som analogi og metafor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonde, Lars Ole

    2014-01-01

    Indeholder underkapitlerne: 2.5.1 Musik som analogi 2.5.2 Musik som metafor 2.5.3 Musikkens psykologiske funktioner - en taxonomi og metaforisk lytning til fire baroksatser......Indeholder underkapitlerne: 2.5.1 Musik som analogi 2.5.2 Musik som metafor 2.5.3 Musikkens psykologiske funktioner - en taxonomi og metaforisk lytning til fire baroksatser...

  7. Drawing Analogies in Environmental Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Affifi, Ramsey

    2014-01-01

    Reconsidering the origin, process, and outcomes of analogy-making suggests practices for environmental educators who strive to disengage humans from the isolating illusions of dichotomizing frameworks. We can view analogies as outcomes of developmental processes within which human subjectivity is but an element, threading our sense of self back…

  8. Investigation of microbial diversity in a desert Mars-like environment: Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Direito, Maria Susana; Staats, Martijn; Foing, Bernard H.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Roling, Wilfred

    The Utah Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) harbours geo-morphology and geo-processes analogues to the planet Mars. Soil samples were collected during the EuroGeoMars campaign (from 24 January to 1 March 2009) from different locations and depths [1]. Samples were distributed among scientific collaborator institutes for analysis of microbial diversity, amino acid content and degradation, content of PAH or larger organic molecules, and respective soil properties. Our sample analysis had the objective of characterizing the microbial communities in this Mars analogue: DNA isolation, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) using primers for DNA amplification of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene fragments, DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and clone library construction with the final aim of sequencing. Results indicate that life is present in all the three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya), while the most diversity was found in the domain Bacteria. Microorgan-isms are heterogeneously present and their identities are currently investigated. The obtained information will be later related to the other scientific analysis in order to obtain a better understanding of this Mars analogue site, which in turn will provide important information for the search for life on Mars. [1] Foing, B.H. et al . (2009). Exogeolab lander/rover instruments and EuroGeoMars MDRS campaign. LPI, 40, 2567.

  9. SGTR assessment using MARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raines, J.C.; Dawson, S.M.; Deitke, B.; Henry, R.E.

    1996-01-01

    During the course of a plant accident, a consistent understanding of the plant response is vital to support an accident manager's decision making process. One tool that can provide assistance to the plant staff in assessing conditions in the plant during accident conditions is the MAAP Accident Response System (MARS) software. During an accident, MARS utilizes the on-line data from the plant instrumentation to initialize the Modular Accident Analysis Program (MAAP) code. Once initialized, MARS tracks and characterizes the plant behavior through the use of integrated logic modules. These logic modules provide the user with important information about the status of systems and the possible cause of the accident. The MARS logic modules evaluate relevant available plant instrumentation and the observations of the operating staff using fuzzy logic. The fuzzy logic is applied to provide a transition between areas where one is absolutely sure that a situation has not occurred to a condition where one is absolutely certain that a situation has occurred. One example of the use of logic modules in MARS is illustrated by that used to assess if a steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) event has occurred. Each piece of relevant plant data is evaluated to determine if it is consistent with the symptoms of a SGTR. Each of the evaluations for the individual plant instruments and the operating staff observations are assembled to determine an overall confidence which characterizes the likelihood that a SGTR is occurring. Additional MARS logic modules are used to determine confidence levels for other types of accident events. The conclusions arrived at by each individual logic module are expressed as confidence levels. The logic module confidence levels can be graphically displayed using the MARS Graphical Users Interface (GUI), to indicate the confidence level MARS has assessed for each accident type. The GUI shows the identification of the possible accident types, but is not limited

  10. Applications of Surface Penetrating Radar for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.; Li, C.; Ran, S.; Feng, J.; Zuo, W.

    2015-12-01

    Surface Penetrating Radar (SPR) is a geophysical method that uses electromagnetic field probe the interior structure and lithological variations of a lossy dielectric materials, it performs quite well in dry, icy and shallow-soil environments. The first radar sounding of the subsurface of planet was carried out by Apollo Lunar Sounder Experiment (ALSE) of the Apollo 17 in 1972. ALSE provided very precise information about the moon's topography and revealed structures beneath the surface in both Mare Crisium and Mare Serenitatis. Russian Mars'92 was the first Mars exploration mission that tried to use SPR to explore martian surface, subsurface and ionosphere. Although Mars'96 launch failed in 1996, Russia(Mars'98, cancelled in 1998; Phobos-Grunt, launch failed in 2011), ESA(Mars Express, succeeded in 2003; Netlander, cancelled in 2003; ExoMars 2018) and NASA(MRO, succeeded in 2005; MARS 2020) have been making great effects to send SPR to Mars, trying to search for the existence of groundwater and life in the past 20 years. So far, no Ground Penetrating Radar(GPR) has yet provided in situ observations on the surface of Mars. In December 2013, China's CE-3 lunar rover (Yuto) equipped with a GPR made the first direct measurement of the structure and depth of the lunar soil, and investigation of the lunar crust structure along the rover path. China's Mars Exploration Program also plans to carry the orbiting radar sounder and rover GPR to characterize the nature of subsurface water or ices and the layered structure of shallow subsurface of Mars. SPR can provide diversity of applications for Mars exploration , that are: to map the distribution of solid and liquid water in the upper portions of the Mars' crust; to characterize the subsurface geologic environment; to investigate the planet's subsurface to better understand the evolution and habitability of Mars; to perform the martain ionosphere sounding. Based on SPR's history and achievements, combined with the

  11. Searching for Life on Early Mars: Lessons from the Pilbara

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, J. D. A.; Stoker, C. R.

    2016-01-01

    Stromatolites in the Pilbara region of Western Australia constitute the earliest outcrop-scale evidence of life on Earth (Figure 1). The stromatolites in the 3.4 Ga Strelley Pool Formation (SPF) provide an important analog for searching for fossil evidence of early life on Mars, as Noachian aged sediments on Mars were formed under similar environmental conditions. Stromatolites represent possibly the best evidence that could be collected by a rover because they form recognizable macroscopic structures and are often associated with chemical and microscopic evidence.

  12. Anaerobic Nitrogen Fixers on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, B. G.

    2000-07-01

    The conversion of atmospheric nitrogen gas to the protein of living systems is an amazing process of nature. The first step in the process is biological nitrogen fixation, the transformation of N2 to NH3. The phenomenon is crucial for feeding the billions of our species on Earth. On Mars, the same process may allow us to discover how life can adapt to a hostile environment, and render it habitable. Hostile environments also exist on Earth. For example, nothing grows in coal refuse piles due to the oxidation of pyrite and marcasite to sulfuric acid. Yet, when the acidity is neutralized, alfalfa and soybean plants develop root nodules typical of symbiotic nitrogen fixation with Rhizobium species possibly living in the pyritic material. When split open, these nodules exhibited the pinkish color of leghemoglobin, a protein in the nodule protecting the active nitrogen-fixing enzyme nitrogenase against the toxic effects of oxygen. Although we have not yet obtained direct evidence of nitrogenase activity in these nodules (reduction of acetylene to ethylene, for example), these findings suggested the possibility that nitrogen fixation was taking place in this hostile, non-soil material. This immediately raises the possibility that freeliving anaerobic bacteria which fix atmospheric nitrogen on Earth, could do the same on Mars.

  13. NASA Mars 2020 Rover Mission: New Frontiers in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is the next step in NASAs robotic exploration of the red planet. The rover, based on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover now on Mars, will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission would also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.Like the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012, the Mars 2020 spacecraft will use a guided entry, descent, and landing system which includes a parachute, descent vehicle, and, during the provides the ability to land a very large, heavy rover on the surface of Mars in a more precise landing area. The Mars 2020 mission is designed to accomplish several high-priority planetary science goals and will be an important step toward meeting NASAs challenge to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. The mission will conduct geological assessments of the rover's landing site, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess natural resources and hazards for future human explorers. The science instruments aboard the rover also will enable scientists to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth in the future. The rover also may help designers of a human expedition understand the hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate how to collect carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which could be a valuable resource for producing oxygen and rocket fuel.

  14. Experimental simulations of oxidizing conditions and organic decomposition on the surface of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoker, C.R.; Mancinelli, R.L.; Mckay, C.P.

    1988-01-01

    One important scientific objective of a Mars Rover Sample Return mission would be to look for traces of living and extinct life on Mars. An instrument to search for organic carbon may be the simplest instrument that could screen samples which are interesting from a biological point of view. An experimental program is described which would help to understand the nature of the oxidizing soil on Mars and the mechanism responsible for organic degradation on the Martian surface. This is approached by lab simulations of the actual conditions that occur on Mars, particularly the oxidant production by atmospheric photochemistry, and the combined effects of UV light and oxidants in decomposing organic compounds. The results will be used to formulate models of the photochemistry of the atmospheric, the atmosphere-soil interaction, and the diffusion of reactive compounds into the soils. This information will provide insights and constraints on the design of a sampling strategy to search for organic compounds on Mars

  15. Analog-to-digital conversion

    CERN Document Server

    Pelgrom, Marcel J M

    2010-01-01

    The design of an analog-to-digital converter or digital-to-analog converter is one of the most fascinating tasks in micro-electronics. In a converter the analog world with all its intricacies meets the realm of the formal digital abstraction. Both disciplines must be understood for an optimum conversion solution. In a converter also system challenges meet technology opportunities. Modern systems rely on analog-to-digital converters as an essential part of the complex chain to access the physical world. And processors need the ultimate performance of digital-to-analog converters to present the results of their complex algorithms. The same progress in CMOS technology that enables these VLSI digital systems creates new challenges for analog-to-digital converters: lower signal swings, less power and variability issues. Last but not least, the analog-to-digital converter must follow the cost reduction trend. These changing boundary conditions require micro-electronics engineers to consider their design choices for...

  16. Analog fourier transform channelizer and OFDM receiver

    OpenAIRE

    2007-01-01

    An OFDM receiver having an analog multiplier based I-Q channelizing filter, samples and holds consecutive analog I-Q samples of an I-Q baseband, the I-Q basebands having OFDM sub-channels. A lattice of analog I-Q multipliers and analog I-Q summers concurrently receives the held analog I-Q samples, performs analog I-Q multiplications and analog I-Q additions to concurrently generate a plurality of analog I-Q output signals, representing an N-point discrete Fourier transform of the held analog ...

  17. Thermal inertia and surface heterogeneity on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, Nathaniel E.

    Thermal inertia derived from temperature observations is critical for understanding surface geology and assessing potential landing sites on Mars. Derivation methods generally assume uniform surface properties for any given observation. Consequently, horizontal heterogeneity and near-surface layering may yield apparent thermal inertia that varies with time of day and season. To evaluate the effects of horizontal heterogeneity, I modeled the thermal behavior of surfaces containing idealized material mixtures (dust, sand, duricrust, and rocks) and differing slope facets. These surfaces exhibit diurnal and seasonal variability in apparent thermal inertia of several 100 tiu, 1 even for components with moderately contrasting thermal properties. To isolate surface effects on the derived thermal inertia of Mars, I mapped inter- annual and seasonal changes in albedo and atmospheric dust opacity, accounting for their effects in a modified derivation algorithm. Global analysis of three Mars years of MGS-TES 2 data reveals diurnal and seasonal variations of ~200 tiu in the mid-latitudes and 600 tiu or greater in the polar regions. Correlation of TES results and modeled apparent thermal inertia of heterogeneous surfaces indicates pervasive surface heterogeneity on Mars. At TES resolution, the near-surface thermal response is broadly dominated by layering and is consistent with the presence of duricrusts over fines in the mid-latitudes and dry soils over ground ice in the polar regions. Horizontal surface mixtures also play a role and may dominate at higher resolution. In general, thermal inertia obtained from single observations or annually averaged maps may misrepresent surface properties. In lieu of a robust heterogeneous- surface derivation technique, repeat coverage can be used together with forward-modeling results to constrain the near-surface heterogeneity of Mars. 1 tiu == J m -2 K -1 s - 2 Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer

  18. Molecular modeling of fentanyl analogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LJILJANA DOSEN-MICOVIC

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Fentanyl is a highly potent and clinically widely used narcotic analgesic. A large number of its analogs have been synthesized, some of which (sufentanil and alfentanyl are also in clinical use. Theoretical studies, in recent years, afforded a better understanding of the structure-activity relationships of this class of opiates and allowed insight into the molecular mechanism of the interactions of fentanyl analogs with their receptors. An overview of the current computational techniques for modeling fentanyl analogs, their receptors and ligand-receptor interactions is presented in this paper.

  19. Gemini analogs of vitamin D.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pazos, Gonzalo; Rivadulla, Marcos L; Pérez-García, Xenxo; Gandara, Zoila; Pérez, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    The Gemini analogs are the last significant contribution to the family of vitamin D derivatives in medicine, for the treatment of cancer. The first Gemini analog was characterized by two symmetric side chains at C-20. Following numerous modifications, the most active analog bears a C-23-triple bond, C-26, 27- hexafluoro substituents on one side chain and a terminal trideuteromethylhydroxy group on the other side chain. This progression was possible due to improvements in the synthetic methods for the preparation of these derivatives, which allowed for increasing molecular complexity and complete diastereoselective control at C-20 and the substituted sidechains.

  20. The Development of the Chemin Mineralogy Instrument and Its Deployment on Mars (and Latest Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2014-01-01

    The CheMin instrument (short for "Chemistry and Mineralogy") on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity is one of two "laboratory quality" instruments on board the Curiosity rover that is exploring Gale crater, Mars. CheMin is an X-ray diffractometer that has for the first time returned definitive and fully quantitative mineral identifications of Mars soil and drilled rock. I will describe CheMin's 23-year development from an idea to a spacecraft qualified instrument, and report on some of the discoveries that Curiosity has made since its entry, descent and landing on Aug. 6, 2012, including the discovery and characterization of the first habitable environment on Mars.

  1. Mars Technology Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA’s Mars Exploration Program (MEP) calls for a series of highly ambitious missions over the next decade and beyond. The overall goals of the MEP must be...

  2. Mars Electric Reusable Flyer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — One of the main issues with a Mars flight vehicle concept that can be reused and cover long distances for maximum surface data gathering is its ability to take off,...

  3. Environment of Mars, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, D.I.

    1988-10-01

    A compilation of scientific knowledge about the planet Mars is provided. Information is divided into three categories: atmospheric data, surface data, and astrodynamic data. The discussion of atmospheric data includes the presentation of nine different models of the Mars atmosphere. Also discussed are Martian atmospheric constituents, winds, clouds, and solar irradiance. The great dust storms of Mars are presented. The section on Mars surface data provides an in-depth examination of the physical and chemical properties observed at the two Viking landing sites. Bulk densities, dielectric constants, and thermal inertias across the planet are then described and related back to those specific features found at the Viking landing sites. The astrodynamic materials provide the astronomical constants, time scales, and reference coordinate frames necessary to perform flightpath analysis, navigation design, and science observation design

  4. Pedotransfer functions to estimate soil water content at field capacity ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Priyabrata Santra

    2018-03-27

    Mar 27, 2018 ... of the global population (Millennium Ecosystem. Assessment 2005). Likewise, there is a .... Therefore, the main objective of this study was to develop PTFs for arid soils of India to estimate soil water content at FC and PWP.

  5. MARS software package status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azhgirej, I.L.; Talanov, V.V.

    2000-01-01

    The MARS software package is intended for simulating the nuclear-electromagnetic cascades and the secondary neutrons and muons transport in the heterogeneous medium of arbitrary complexity in the magnetic fields presence. The inclusive approach to describing the particle production in the nuclear and electromagnetic interactions and by the unstable particles decay is realized in the package. The MARS software package was actively applied for solving various radiation physical problems [ru

  6. Status of MARS Code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N.V. Mokhov

    2003-04-09

    Status and recent developments of the MARS 14 Monte Carlo code system for simulation of hadronic and electromagnetic cascades in shielding, accelerator and detector components in the energy range from a fraction of an electronvolt up to 100 TeV are described. these include physics models both in strong and electromagnetic interaction sectors, variance reduction techniques, residual dose, geometry, tracking, histograming. MAD-MARS Beam Line Build and Graphical-User Interface.

  7. The Sample Handling System for the Mars Icebreaker Life Mission: from Dirt to Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dave, Arwen; Thompson, Sarah J.; McKay, Christopher P.; Stoker, Carol R.; Zacny, Kris; Paulsen, Gale; Mellerowicz, Bolek; Glass, Brian J.; Wilson, David; Bonaccorsi, Rosalba; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Mars icebreaker life mission will search for subsurface life on mars. It consists of three payload elements: a drill to retrieve soil samples from approx. 1 meter below the surface, a robotic sample handling system to deliver the sample from the drill to the instruments, and the instruments themselves. This paper will discuss the robotic sample handling system.

  8. Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally.

  9. Analog filters in nanometer CMOS

    CERN Document Server

    Uhrmann, Heimo; Zimmermann, Horst

    2014-01-01

    Starting from the basics of analog filters and the poor transistor characteristics in nanometer CMOS 10 high-performance analog filters developed by the authors in 120 nm and 65 nm CMOS are described extensively. Among them are gm-C filters, current-mode filters, and active filters for system-on-chip realization for Bluetooth, WCDMA, UWB, DVB-H, and LTE applications. For the active filters several operational amplifier designs are described. The book, furthermore, contains a review of the newest state of research on low-voltage low-power analog filters. To cover the topic of the book comprehensively, linearization issues and measurement methods for the characterization of advanced analog filters are introduced in addition. Numerous elaborate illustrations promote an easy comprehension. This book will be of value to engineers and researchers in industry as well as scientists and Ph.D students at universities. The book is also recommendable to graduate students specializing on nanoelectronics, microelectronics ...

  10. Testing a Mars science outpost in the Antarctic dry valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D. T.; Mckay, C. P.; Wharton, R. A.; Rummel, J. D.

    1992-01-01

    Field research conducted in the Antarctic has been providing insights about the nature of Mars in the science disciplines of exobiology and geology. Located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of southern Victoria Land (160 deg and 164 deg E longitude and 76 deg 30 min and 78 deg 30 min S latitude), research outposts are inhabited by teams of 4-6 scientists. It is proposed that the design of these outposts be expanded to enable meaningful tests of many of the systems that will be needed for the successful conduct of exploration activities on Mars. Although there are some important differences between the environment in the Antarctic dry valleys and on Mars, the many similarities and particularly the field science activities, make the dry valleys a useful terrestrial analog to conditions on Mars. Three areas have been identified for testing at a small science outpost in the dry valleys: (1) studying human factors and physiology in an isolated environment; (2) testing emerging technologies (e.g. innovative power management systems, advanced life support facilities including partial bioregenerative life support systems for water recycling and food growth, telerobotics, etc.); and (3) conducting basic scientific research that will enhance understanding of Mars while contributing to the planning for human exploration. It is suggested that an important early result of a Mars habitat program will be the experience gained by interfacing humans and their supporting technology in a remote and stressful environment.

  11. Analog elements for transuranic chemistries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weimer, W.C.

    1982-01-01

    The analytical technique for measuring trace concentrations of the analog rare earth elements has been refined for optimal detection. The technique has been used to determine the rare earth concentrations in a series of geological and biological materials, including samples harvested from controlled lysimeter investigations. These studies have demonstrated that any of the trivalent rare earth elements may be used as analog elements for the trivalent transuranics, americium and curium

  12. CMOS Analog IC Design: Fundamentals

    OpenAIRE

    Bruun, Erik

    2018-01-01

    This book is intended for use as the main textbook for an introductory course in CMOS analog integrated circuit design. It is aimed at electronics engineering students who have followed basic courses in mathematics, physics, circuit theory, electronics and signal processing. It takes the students directly from a basic level to a level where they can start working on simple analog IC design projects or continue their studies using more advanced textbooks in the field. A distinct feature of thi...

  13. Sedimentary processes of the Bagnold Dunes: Implications for the eolian rock record of Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Ewing, R. C.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Lewis, K. W.; Day, M.; Stein, N.; Rubin, D. M.; Sullivan, R.; Banham, S.; Lamb, M. P.; Bridges, N. T.; Gupta, S.; Fischer, W. W.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity visited two active wind-blown sand dunes within Gale crater, Mars, which provided the first ground-based opportunity to compare Martian and terrestrial eolian dune sedimentary processes and study a modern analog for the Martian eolian rock record. Orbital and rover images of these dunes reveal terrestrial-like and uniquely Martian processes. The presence of grainfall, grainflow, and impact ripples resembled terrestrial dunes. Impact ripples were pre...

  14. Sedimentary processes of the Bagnold Dunes: Implications for the eolian rock record of Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Ewing, R. C.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Lewis, K. W.; Day, M.; Stein, N.; Rubin, D. M.; Sullivan, R.; Banham, S.; Lamb, M. P.; Bridges, N. T.; Gupta, S.; Fischer, W. W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity visited two active wind‐blown sand dunes within Gale crater, Mars, which provided the first ground‐based opportunity to compare Martian and terrestrial eolian dune sedimentary processes and study a modern analog for the Martian eolian rock record. Orbital and rover images of these dunes reveal terrestrial‐like and uniquely Martian processes. The presence of grainfall, grainflow, and impact ripples resembled terrestrial dunes. Impact ripples...

  15. Stable carbon isotope fractionation in the search for life on early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, L. J.; Desmarais, D.

    1989-01-01

    The utility of measurements of C-13/C-12 ratios in organic vs inorganic deposits for searching for signs of life on early Mars is considered. It is suggested that three assumptions are necessary. First, if there was life on Mars, it caused the fractionation of carbon isotopes in analogy with past biological activity on earth. Second, the fractionation would be detectable. Third, if a fractionation would be observed, there exist no abiotic explanations for the observed fractionation pattern.

  16. Astrobiology in the Field: Studying Mars by Analogue Expeditions on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.

    2011-01-01

    We will present a strategy for how one prepares to engage in fieldwork on another planets by practicing in analogous environments on the Earth, including at Mono Lake. As an example, we will address the problem of how to study the habitability of an environment when you have no idea what kind of life might be there to exploit it. This will all be related to the upcoming launch of the Mars Science Laboratory to Mars in late November this year.

  17. Analogical proportions: another logical view

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prade, Henri; Richard, Gilles

    This paper investigates the logical formalization of a restricted form of analogical reasoning based on analogical proportions, i.e. statements of the form a is to b as c is to d. Starting from a naive set theoretic interpretation, we highlight the existence of two noticeable companion proportions: one states that a is to b the converse of what c is to d (reverse analogy), while the other called paralogical proportion expresses that what a and b have in common, c and d have it also. We identify the characteristic postulates of the three types of proportions and examine their consequences from an abstract viewpoint. We further study the properties of the set theoretic interpretation and of the Boolean logic interpretation, and we provide another light on the understanding of the role of permutations in the modeling of the three types of proportions. Finally, we address the use of these proportions as a basis for inference in a propositional setting, and relate it to more general schemes of analogical reasoning. The differences between analogy, reverse-analogy, and paralogy is still emphasized in a three-valued setting, which is also briefly presented.

  18. The Phoenix Mars Lander Robotic Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonitz, Robert; Shiraishi, Lori; Robinson, Matthew; Carsten, Joseph; Volpe, Richard; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Chu, P. C.; Wilson, J. J.; Davis, K. R.

    2009-01-01

    The Phoenix Mars Lander Robotic Arm (RA) has operated for over 150 sols since the Lander touched down on the north polar region of Mars on May 25, 2008. During its mission it has dug numerous trenches in the Martian regolith, acquired samples of Martian dry and icy soil, and delivered them to the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) and the Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA). The RA inserted the Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP) into the Martian regolith and positioned it at various heights above the surface for relative humidity measurements. The RA was used to point the Robotic Arm Camera to take images of the surface, trenches, samples within the scoop, and other objects of scientific interest within its workspace. Data from the RA sensors during trenching, scraping, and trench cave-in experiments have been used to infer mechanical properties of the Martian soil. This paper describes the design and operations of the RA as a critical component of the Phoenix Mars Lander necessary to achieve the scientific goals of the mission.

  19. Examining Mars with SPICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acton, Charles H.; Bachman, Nathaniel J.; Bytof, Jeff A.; Semenov, Boris V.; Taber, William; Turner, F. Scott; Wright, Edward D.

    1999-01-01

    The International Mars Conference highlights the wealth of scientific data now and soon to be acquired from an international armada of Mars-bound robotic spacecraft. Underlying the planning and interpretation of these scientific observations around and upon Mars are ancillary data and associated software needed to deal with trajectories or locations, instrument pointing, timing and Mars cartographic models. The NASA planetary community has adopted the SPICE system of ancillary data standards and allied tools to fill the need for consistent, reliable access to these basic data and a near limitless range of derived parameters. After substantial rapid growth in its formative years, the SPICE system continues to evolve today to meet new needs and improve ease of use. Adaptations to handle landers and rovers were prototyped on the Mars pathfinder mission and will next be used on Mars '01-'05. Incorporation of new methods to readily handle non-inertial reference frames has vastly extended the capability and simplified many computations. A translation of the SPICE Toolkit software suite to the C language has just been announced. To further support cartographic calculations associated with Mars exploration the SPICE developers at JPL have recently been asked by NASA to work with cartographers to develop standards and allied software for storing and accessing control net and shape model data sets; these will be highly integrated with existing SPICE components. NASA specifically supports the widest possible utilization of SPICE capabilities throughout the international space science community. With NASA backing the Russian Space Agency and Russian Academy of Science adopted the SPICE standards for the Mars 96 mission. The SPICE ephemeris component will shortly become the international standard for agencies using the Deep Space Network. U.S. and European scientists hope that ESA will employ SPICE standards on the Mars Express mission. SPICE is an open set of standards, and

  20. Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars: Characterization and Analysis of the Rocknest Sand Shadow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, D. F.; Morris, R. V.; Kocurek, G.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Bish, D.; Ming, D. W.; Edgett, K. S.; Rubin, D.; Goetz, W.; Madsen, M. B.; Sullivan, R.; Gellert, R.; Campbell, I.; Treiman, A. H.; McLennan, S. M.; Yen, A. S.; Grotzinger, J.; Vaniman, D. T.; Chipera, S. J.; Achilles, C. N.; Rampe, E. B.; Sumner, D.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Maurice, S.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Fisk, M.; Schmidt, M.; Mahaffy, P.; Leshin, L. A.; Glavin, D.; Steele, A.; Freissinet, C.; Navarro-González, R.; Yingst, R. A.; Kah, L. C.; Bridges, N.; Lewis, K. W.; Bristow, T. F.; Farmer, J. D.; Crisp, J. A.; Stolper, E. M.; Des Marais, D. J.; Sarrazin, P.; Agard, Christophe; Alves Verdasca, José Alexandre; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Atreya, Sushil; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Blanco Avalos, Juan Jose; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Carmosino, Marco; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Charpentier, Antoine; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M. Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Flesch, Greg; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Franz, Heather; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Geffroy, Claude; Genzer, Maria; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Jones, John; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Lepinette Malvitte, Alain; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Marín Jiménez, Mercedes; Martín García, César; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina Jurado, Antonio; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Navarro López, Sara; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Niles, Paul; Nixon, Brian; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; Owen, Tobias; Pablo, Hernández; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pepin, Robert; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J.; Rowland, Scott; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Sebastian Martinez, Eduardo; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sobrón Sánchez, Pablo; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Stein, Thomas; Stern, Jennifer; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Sucharski, Bob; Summons, Roger; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Trainer, Melissa; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Webster, Chris; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B.; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2013-09-01

    The Rocknest aeolian deposit is similar to aeolian features analyzed by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) Spirit and Opportunity. The fraction of sand Mars instrument and of the fine-grained nanophase oxide component first described from basaltic soils analyzed by MERs. The similarity between soils and aeolian materials analyzed at Gusev Crater, Meridiani Planum, and Gale Crater implies locally sourced, globally similar basaltic materials or globally and regionally sourced basaltic components deposited locally at all three locations.

  1. Producing and Recognizing Analogical Relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipkens, Regina; Hayes, Steven C

    2009-01-01

    Analogical reasoning is an important component of intelligent behavior, and a key test of any approach to human language and cognition. Only a limited amount of empirical work has been conducted from a behavior analytic point of view, most of that within Relational Frame Theory (RFT), which views analogy as a matter of deriving relations among relations. The present series of four studies expands previous work by exploring the applicability of this model of analogy to topography-based rather than merely selection-based responses and by extending the work into additional relations, including nonsymmetrical ones. In each of the four studies participants pretrained in contextual control over nonarbitrary stimulus relations of sameness and opposition, or of sameness, smaller than, and larger than, learned arbitrary stimulus relations in the presence of these relational cues and derived analogies involving directly trained relations and derived relations of mutual and combinatorial entailment, measured using a variety of productive and selection-based measures. In Experiment 1 participants successfully recognized analogies among stimulus networks containing same and opposite relations; in Experiment 2 analogy was successfully used to extend derived relations to pairs of novel stimuli; in Experiment 3 the procedure used in Experiment 1 was extended to nonsymmetrical comparative relations; in Experiment 4 the procedure used in Experiment 2 was extended to nonsymmetrical comparative relations. Although not every participant showed the effects predicted, overall the procedures occasioned relational responses consistent with an RFT account that have not yet been demonstrated in a behavior-analytic laboratory setting, including productive responding on the basis of analogies. PMID:19230515

  2. Use of antarctic analogs to support the space exploration initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wharton, Robert; Roberts, Barney; Chiang, Erick; Lynch, John; Roberts, Carol; Buoni, Corinne; Andersen, Dale

    1990-01-01

    This report has discussed the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) and the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) in the context of assessing the potential rationale and strategy for conducting a cooperative NASA/NSF (National Science Foundation) effort. Specifically, such an effort would address shared research and data on living and conducting scientific research in isolated, confined, hostile, and remote environments. A review of the respective goals and requirements of NASA and the NSF indicates that numerous opportunities exist to mutually benefit from sharing relevant technologies, data, and systems. Two major conclusions can be drawn: (1) The technologies, experience, and capabilities existing and developing in the aerospace community would enhance scientific research capabilities and the efficiency and effectiveness of operations in Antarctica. The transfer and application of critical technologies (e.g., power, waste management, life support) and collaboration on crew research needs (e.g., human behavior and medical support needs) would streamline the USAP operations and provide the scientific community with advancements in facilities and tools for Antarctic research. (2) Antarctica is the most appropriate earth analog for the environments of the the Moon and Mars. Using Antarctica in this way would contribute substantially to near- and long-term needs and plans for the SEI. Antarctica is one of the few ground-based analogs that would permit comprehensive and integrated studies of three areas deemed critical to productive and safe operations on the Moon and Mars: human health and productivity; innovative scientific research techniques; and reliable, efficient technologies and facilities.

  3. Guidelines for 2008 MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    HR Department

    2008-01-01

    Full details of the Merit Appraisal and Recognition Scheme (MARS) are available via the HR Department’s homepage or directly on the Department’s MARS web page: https://cern.ch/hr-dept/ https://cern.ch/hr-eguide/mars/mars.asp You will find on these pages: MARS procedures including the MARS timetable for proposals and decisions; Regulations with links to the scheme’s statutory basis; Frequently Asked Questions; Useful documents with links to relevant documentation; e.g. mandate of the Senior Staff Advisory Committee (SSAC); Related links and contacts. HR Department Tel. 73566

  4. Mars Global Surveyor Data Analysis Program. Origins of Small Volcanic Cones: Eruption Mechanisms and Implications for Water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagents, Sarah A.; Greeley, Ronald; Thordarson, Thorvaldur

    2002-01-01

    The goal of the proposed work was to determine the origins of small volcanic cones observed in Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) data, and their implications for regolith ice stores and magma volatile contents. For this 1-year study, our approach involved a combination of: Quantitative morphologic analysis and interpretation of Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data; Numerical modeling of eruption processes responsible for producing the observed features; Fieldwork on terrestrial analogs in Iceland. Following this approach, this study succeeded in furthering our understanding of (i) the spatial and temporal distribution of near-surface water ice, as defined by the distribution and sizes of rootless volcanic cones ("pseudocraters"), and (ii) the properties, eruption conditions, and volatile contents of magmas producing primary vent cones.

  5. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper. These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  6. The Surface of Mars: A Post-Viking View.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Michael H.

    1983-01-01

    Highlights current information on the martian surface. Topics include a planetary overview (atmosphere, dust storms, water vapor/ice, soil analysis) and surface features (craters, volcanoes, canyons/channels, polar regions, wind-related features). Similarities/differences between Mars and Earth are also discussed. (JN)

  7. Fast multichannel analog storage system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freytag, D.R.

    1982-11-01

    A Multichannel Analog Storage System based on a commercial 32-channel parallel in/serial out (PISO) analog shift register is described. The basic unit is a single width CAMAC module containing 512 analog cells and the associated logic for data storage and subsequent readout. At sampling rates of up to 30 MHz the signals are strobed directly into the PISO. At higher rates signals are strobed into a fast presampling stage and subsequently transferred in block form into an array of PISO's. Sampling rates of 300 MHz have been achieved with the present device and 1000 MHz are possible with improved signal drivers. The system is well suited for simultaneous handling of many signal channels with moderate numbers of samples in each channel. RMS noise over full scale signal has been measured as 1:3000 (approx. = 11 bit). However, nonlinearities in the response and differences in sensitivity of the analog cells require an elaborate calibration system in order to realize 11 bit accuracy for the analog information

  8. The Use of Water During the Crew 144, Mars Desert Research Station, Utah Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Well. from November 29th to December 14th, 2014, the author conducted astrobiological and geological surveys, as analog astronaut member of the international Crew 144, at the site of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station, located at a remote location in the Utah desert, United States. The use of water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, etc., in the crew was a major issue for consideration for a human expedition to the planet Mars in the future. The author would like to tell about the factors of the rationalized use of water.

  9. Mineralogy of an active eolian sediment from the Namib dune, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achilles, C. N.; Downs, R. T.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Treiman, A. H.; Morrison, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Ewing, R. C.; Chipera, S. J.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Gellert, R.; Hazen, R. M.; Fendrich, K. V.; Craig, P. I.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Des Marais, D. J.; Farmer, J. D.; Sarrazin, P. C.; Morookian, J. M.

    2017-11-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses of the history of the dune material and offers an important opportunity for ground truth of orbital observations. CheMin's analysis of the mineralogy and phase chemistry of modern and ancient Gale crater dune fields, together with other measurements by Curiosity's science payload, provides new insights into present and past eolian processes on Mars.

  10. Laser-Induced Fluorescence Emission (L.I.F.E.): searching for Mars organics with a UV-enhanced PanCam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C; Muller, Jan-Peter; Fisk, Martin R; Cousins, Claire; Sattler, Birgit; Griffiths, Andrew D; Coates, Andrew J

    2009-12-01

    The European Space Agency will launch the ExoMars mission in 2016 with a primary goal of surveying the martian subsurface for evidence of organic material. We have recently investigated the utility of including either a 365 nm light-emitting diode or a 375 nm laser light source in the ExoMars rover panoramic camera (PanCam). Such a modification would make it feasible to monitor rover drill cuttings optically for the fluorescence signatures of aromatic organic molecules and map the distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as a function of depth to the 2 m limit of the ExoMars drill. The technique described requires no sample preparation, does not consume irreplaceable resources, and would allow mission control to prioritize deployment of organic detection experiments that require sample destruction, expenditure of non-replaceable consumables, or both. We report here for the first time laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) imaging detection limits for anthracene, pyrene, and perylene targets doped onto a Mars analog granular peridotite with a 375 nm Nichia laser diode in optically uncorrected wide-angle mode. Data were collected via the Beagle 2 PanCam backup filter wheel fitted with original blue (440 nm), green (530 nm), and red (670 nm) filters. All three PAH species can be detected with the PanCam green (530 nm) filter. Detection limits in the green band for signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) > 10 are 49 parts per million (ppm) for anthracene, 145 ppm for pyrene, and 20 ppm for perylene. The anthracene detection limit improves to 7 ppm with use of the PanCam blue filter. We discuss soil-dependent detection limit constraints; use of UV excitation with other rover cameras, which provides higher spatial resolution; and the advantages of focused and wide-angle laser modes. Finally, we discuss application of L.I.F.E. techniques at multiple wavelengths for exploration of Mars analog extreme environments on Earth, including Icelandic hydrothermally

  11. Mars Technologies Spawn Durable Wind Turbines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubenheim, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Sometimes referred to as regenerative life support systems, the concept includes an enclosed self-sufficient habitat that can independently support life for years on end. Such a system aims not only to produce its own food and water but to purify air and convert waste into useful byproducts. In the early 1990s, NASA was planning for an extended stay on Mars, and Bubenheim and his Ames colleagues were concentrating efforts on creating a complete ecological system to sustain human crewmembers during their time on the Red Planet. The main barrier to developing such a system, he says, is energy. Mars has no power plants, and a regenerative system requires equipment that runs on electricity to do everything from regulating humidity in the atmosphere to monitoring the quality of recycled water. The Ames group started looking at how to best make power on a planet that is millions of miles away from Earth and turned to a hybrid concept combining wind and solar power technologies. The reason was that Mars experiences frequent dust storms that can block nearly all sunlight. When theres a dust storm and the wind is blowing, the wind system could be the dominant power source. When the wind is not blowing and the sun is out, photovoltaics could be the dominant source, says Bubenheim.To develop and test the wind power technology, Ames turned to a remote, harsh environment here on Earth: the South Pole. The South Pole was a really good analog for Mars, says Bubenheim. The technology features for going to Mars were the same technology features needed to make something work at the South Pole.Around the same time that NASA started investigating energy technologies for the Red Planet, the National Science Foundation (NSF) was working on a redesign of their station at the South Pole. To power its operations, NSF used fuel that it flew to the remote location, but the Foundation recognized the benefits of also using onsite renewable energy technologies. In the winter they have small

  12. Remanent magnetism at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, S. A.; Ness, N. F.

    1988-01-01

    It is shown that a strong case can be made for an intrinsic magnetic field of dynamo origin for Mars earlier in its history. The typical equatorial magnetic field intensity would have been equal to about 0.01-0.1 gauss. The earlier dynamo activity is no longer extant, but a significant remanent magnetic field may exist. A highly non-dipole magnetic field could result from the remanent magnetization of the surface. Remanent magnetization may thus play an important role in the Mars solar wind interactions, in contrast to Venus with its surface temperatures above the Curie point. The anomalous characteristics of Mars'solar wind interaction compared to that of Venus may be explicable on this basis.

  13. Spiders from Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-426, 19 July 2003No, this is not a picture of a giant, martian spider web. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a plethora of polygonal features on the floor of a northern hemisphere impact crater near 65.6oN, 327.7oW. The picture was acquired during spring, after the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap had largely migrated through the region. At the time the picture was taken, remnants of seasonal frost remained on the crater rim and on the edges of the troughs that bound each of the polygons. Frost often provides a helpful hint as to where polygons and patterned ground occur. The polygons, if they were on Earth, would indicate the presence of freeze-thaw cycles in ground ice. Although uncertain, the same might be true of Mars. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  14. Analog electronics for radiation detection

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    Analog Electronics for Radiation Detection showcases the latest advances in readout electronics for particle, or radiation, detectors. Featuring chapters written by international experts in their respective fields, this authoritative text: Defines the main design parameters of front-end circuitry developed in microelectronics technologies Explains the basis for the use of complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors for the detection of charged particles and other non-consumer applications Delivers an in-depth review of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), evaluating the pros and cons of ADCs integrated at the pixel, column, and per-chip levels Describes incremental sigma delta ADCs, time-to-digital converter (TDC) architectures, and digital pulse-processing techniques complementary to analog processing Examines the fundamental parameters and front-end types associated with silicon photomultipliers used for single visible-light photon detection Discusses pixel sensors ...

  15. Natural analogs for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, W.M.

    1995-01-01

    High-level radioactive waste in the US, spent fuels from commercial reactors and nuclear materials generated by defense activities, will remain potentially hazardous for thousands of years. Demonstrable long-term stability of certain geologic and geochemical systems motivates and sustains the concept that high-level waste can be safely isolated in geologic repositories for requisite periods of time. Each geologic repository is unique in its properties and performance with reguard to isolation of nuclear wastes. Studies of processes analogous to waste-form alteration and radioelement transport in environments analogous to Yucca Mountain are being conducted at two sites, described in this article to illustrate uses of natural analog data: the Nopal I uranium deposit in the Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico, and the Akrotiri archaeological site on the island of Santorini, Greece

  16. A novel natural analog in situ stabilization agent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaw, P.

    1995-01-01

    This report summarizes the laboratory-scale test results on a synthetic analog of natural hematite cement for potential as an in situ treatment and stabilization agent for buried hazardous and radioactive waste. The concept is based on the principle that the ideal waste isolation materials are synthetic analogs of those natural encapsulating materials (cements), which are in equilibrium with the environment in which they occur. If equilibrium is achieved, then such materials will remain intact as long as the natural environment remains unchanged. The specific waste application is long-term stabilization of transuranic-contaminated waste pits and trenches at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). Six properties of the natural analog agent and resulting wasteforms are discussed to access the agent's effectiveness and implementability: hydraulic conductivity; compressive strength; mineralogy and microstructure; compatibility with possible waste materials, nitrates, machine cutting oil, and metallic iron; leachability of hazardous metals; and field application parameters. Data indicated that the iron waste encapsulation materials tested are appropriate choices for buried waste mixed with INEL soil. Iron oxide/gypsum INEL soil wasteforms have hydraulic conductivity values close to the regulatory limit. Wasteforms with soil and wastes have compressive strength greater than the regulatory minimum. Gypsum/iron oxide removes hazardous metals from solution by adsorption and would pass Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure limits for most toxic metals. It appears to be chemically and physically inert with respect to the bulk of the waste materials likely to be found at INEL, and has properties conducive to jet grouting

  17. Synthetic Analogs of Phospholipid Metabolites as Antimalarials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-07-01

    phosphatidic acid analogs containing ether and phosphonate groups; completely non- hydrolyzable lecithin analogs containing phosphinate and ether groups...substance is a completely non- hydrolyzable analog of lecithin containing ether and phosphonate moieties instead of the normally labile carboxylic and...and also ant-i-phospholipase C (clostridial enzyme) activity. This substance Is a completely non- hydrolyzable analog of lecithin containing ether

  18. Mars Gashopper Airplane, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Gas Hopper Airplane, or "gashopper" is a novel concept for propulsion of a robust Mars flight and surface exploration vehicle that utilizes indigenous CO2...

  19. Frost on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image shows bluish-white frost seen on the Martian surface near NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The image was taken by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 131st Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 7, 2008). Frost is expected to continue to appear in images as fall, then winter approach Mars' northern plains. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  20. The stratigraphy of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.

    1986-01-01

    A global stratigraphy of Mars was developed from a global geologic map series derived from Viking images; the stratigraphy is composed of three maps. A new chronostratigraphic classification system which consists of lower, middle, and upper Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian systems is described. The crater-density boundaries of the chronostratigraphic units and the absolute ages of the Martian epochs aer estimated. The relative ages of major geologic units and featues are calculated and analyzed. The geologic history of Mars is summarized on the maps in terms of epochs.

  1. Lakes on Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2014-01-01

    On Earth, lakes provide favorable environments for the development of life and its preservation as fossils. They are extremely sensitive to climate fluctuations and to conditions within their watersheds. As such, lakes are unique markers of the impact of environmental changes. Past and current missions have now demonstrated that water once flowed at the surface of Mars early in its history. Evidence of ancient ponding has been uncovered at scales ranging from a few kilometers to possibly that of the Arctic ocean. Whether life existed on Mars is still unknown; upcoming missions may find critic

  2. 'Mars-shine'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] 'Mars-shine' Composite NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to take advantage of favorable solar power conditions to conduct occasional nighttime astronomical observations from the summit region of 'Husband Hill.' Spirit has been observing the martian moons Phobos and Deimos to learn more about their orbits and surface properties. This has included observing eclipses. On Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's orbit takes it exactly between the Sun and Earth, casting parts of Earth into shadow. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is exactly between the Sun and the Moon, casting the Moon into shadow and often giving it a ghostly orange-reddish color. This color is created by sunlight reflected through Earth's atmosphere into the shadowed region. The primary difference between terrestrial and martian eclipses is that Mars' moons are too small to completely block the Sun from view during solar eclipses. Recently, Spirit observed a 'lunar' eclipse on Mars. Phobos, the larger of the two martian moons, was photographed while slipping into the shadow of Mars. Jim Bell, the astronomer in charge of the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam), suggested calling it a 'Phobal' eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse as a way of identifying which of the dozens of moons in our solar system was being cast into shadow. With the help of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's navigation team, the Pancam team planned instructions to Spirit for acquiring the views shown here of Phobos as it entered into a lunar eclipse on the evening of the rover's 639th martian day, or sol (Oct. 20, 2005) on Mars. This image is a time-lapse composite of eight Pancam images of Phobos moving across the martian sky. The entire eclipse lasted more than 26 minutes, but Spirit was able to observe only in the first 15 minutes. During the time closest to the shadow crossing, Spirit's cameras were programmed to take images every 10 seconds. In the first three

  3. Creating a conceptual hydrological soil response map for the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2014-03-03

    Mar 3, 2014 ... a digital soil mapping (DSM) approach to soil mapping can speed up the mapping process and thereby extend soil map use in the field of ... This research uses an expert-knowledge DSM approach to create a soil map for Stevenson Hamilton .... the different bands of the Landsat and SPOT 5 images.

  4. Ground truthing for methane hotspots at Railroad Valley, NV - application to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detweiler, A. M.; Kelley, C. A.; Bebout, B.; McKay, C. P.; DeMarines, J.; Yates, E. L.; Iraci, L. T.

    2011-12-01

    .7%. Temperature and relative humidity sensors were placed in the playa at 5, 20, and 30 cm below the surface. Since the relative humidity neared 100% (down to 20 cm below the surface), high enough to support microbial life, the observed absence of methane production in the playa itself is likely due to the low POC content, compared to other methane-producing environments. The spatial distribution of methane in combination with the spectral reflectance at the RRV dry lakebed makes it a good Mars analog. The ground truthing and satellite calibration work accomplished at RRV is a good exercise in preparation to identifying the origins of methane observed in the atmosphere of Mars during the upcoming 2012 Mars Science Laboratory and 2016 ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter missions.

  5. Spice In Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiferlin, K.; Spohn, T.; Spice Team

    The Netlander mission offers a unique opportunity to study the surface and the inte- rior of Mars at four different locations at the same time. In addition to real "network"- science, where the presence of four stations is a 'must' to address global science as- pects, local, landing site-related instruments can more than double our knowledge of the surface of Mars, compared to the three landing sites (Viking 1 and 2, Pathfinder) we are currently familiar with. The SPICE instrument will characterize the soil at the landing sites. Force sensors integrated into the seismometer legs (three per station) will determine the mechanical strength of the soil. Thermal sensors will measure the local soil temperature, the thermal inertia and the thermal diffusivity independently, thus allowing us to determine the thermal conductivity and the volumetric heat capac- ity of the soil. These properties will tell us about (1) soil cementation ("duricrust"), (2) volatile exchange with the atmosphere, (3) grain size, (4) near-surface stratigra- phy, and (5) will finally provide ground truth for remote sensing data such as that from Mars Global Surveyor's thermal emission spectrometer.

  6. A threshold in soil formation at Earth’s arid hyperarid transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Stephanie A.; Sutter, Brad; Owen, Justine; Nishiizumi, Kunihiko; Sharp, Warren; Cliff, Steven S.; Perry, Kevin; Dietrich, William; McKay, Christopher P.; Amundson, Ronald

    2006-11-01

    from arid to hyperarid rainfall levels marks a fundamental geochemical threshold: in wetter soils, the rate and character of chemical weathering results in net mass loss and associated volumetric collapse after 10 5 to 10 6 years, while continuous accumulation of atmospheric solutes in hyperarid soils over similar timescales results in dramatic volumetric expansion. The specific geochemistry of hyperarid soils is a function of atmospheric sources, and is expected to vary accordingly at other hyperarid sites. This work identifies key processes in hyperarid soil formation that are likely to be independent of location, and suggests that analogous processes may occur on Mars.

  7. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

    This videotape is a compilation of the best NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) videos of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions. The mission is described using animation and narration as well as some actual footage of the entire sequence of mission events. Included within these animations are the spacecraft orbit insertion; descent to the Mars surface; deployment of the airbags and instruments; and exploration by Sojourner, the Mars rover. JPL activities at spacecraft control during significant mission events are also included at the end. The spacecraft cameras pan the surrounding Mars terrain and film Sojourner traversing the surface and inspecting rocks. A single, brief, processed image of the Cydonia region (Mars face) at an oblique angle from the Mars Global Surveyor is presented. A description of the Mars Pathfinder mission, instruments, landing and deployment process, Mars approach, spacecraft orbit insertion, rover operation are all described using computer animation. Actual color footage of Sojourner as well as a 360 deg pan of the Mars terrain surrounding the spacecraft is provided. Lower quality black and white photography depicting Sojourner traversing the Mars surface and inspecting Martian rocks also is included.

  8. Multichannel analog temperature sensing system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gribble, R.

    1985-08-01

    A multichannel system that protects the numerous and costly water-cooled magnet coils on the translation section of the FRX-C/T magnetic fusion experiment is described. The system comprises a thermistor for each coil, a constant current circuit for each thermistor, and a multichannel analog-to-digital converter interfaced to the computer

  9. 49205 ANALOGE OG DIGITALE FILTRE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gaunholt, Hans

    1997-01-01

    Theese lecture notes treats the fundamental theory and the most commonly used design methods for passive- active and digital filters with special emphasis on microelectronic realizations. The lecture notes covers 75% of the material taught in the course 49205 Analog and Digital Filters...

  10. Drawing Analogies to Deepen Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fava, Michelle

    2017-01-01

    This article offers examples of how drawing can facilitate thinking skills that promote analogical reasoning to enable deeper learning. The instructional design applies cognitive principles, briefly described here. The workshops were developed iteratively, through feedback from student and teacher participants. Elements of the UK National…

  11. Mars at war

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-04-01

    Whether the climate of early Mars was warm and wet or cold and dry remains unclear, but the debate is overheated. With a growing toolbox and increasing data to tackle the open questions, progress is possible if there is openness to bridging the divide.

  12. Watersporen op Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; Cammeraat, L.H.; Jansen, B.

    2005-01-01

    SAMENVATTING De discussie over het voorkomen van water op Mars, in vaste of vloeibare vorm, nu en in het verleden, is nog steeds in volle gang. Dat geldt ook voor het effect van mogelijk aanwezig water op de landschapsontwikkeling van de Rode Planeet. Met het vrijkomen van steeds meer nieuwe

  13. Ancient aliens on mars

    CERN Document Server

    Bara, Mike

    2013-01-01

    Best-selling author and Secret Space Program researcher Bara brings us this lavishly illustrated volume on alien structures on Mars. Was there once a vast, technologically advanced civilization on Mars, and did it leave evidence of its existence behind for humans to find eons later? Did these advanced extraterrestrial visitors vanish in a solar system wide cataclysm of their own making, only to make their way to Earth and start anew? Was Mars once as lush and green as the Earth, and teeming with life? Did Mars once orbit a missing member of the solar system, a "Super Earth” that vanished in a disaster that devastated life on Earth and Venus and left us only the asteroid belt as evidence of its once grand existence? Did the survivors of this catastrophe leave monuments and temples behind, arranged in a mathematical precision designed to teach us the Secret of a new physics that could lift us back to the stars? Does the planet have an automated defense shield that swallows up robotic probes if they wander int...

  14. Mars Mission Specialist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Bill; Ogden, Kate; Walker, Becky; Bledsoe, Leslie; Hardage, Lauren

    2018-01-01

    For the last several years, the authors have implemented an integrated Mars Colony project for their third-grade classes. Students explored several considerations related to colonizing and inhabiting a new world, including food sources, types of citizens, transportation, and housing design. Nearly everything about the project was open-ended, full…

  15. Bayesian analogy with relational transformations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hongjing; Chen, Dawn; Holyoak, Keith J

    2012-07-01

    How can humans acquire relational representations that enable analogical inference and other forms of high-level reasoning? Using comparative relations as a model domain, we explore the possibility that bottom-up learning mechanisms applied to objects coded as feature vectors can yield representations of relations sufficient to solve analogy problems. We introduce Bayesian analogy with relational transformations (BART) and apply the model to the task of learning first-order comparative relations (e.g., larger, smaller, fiercer, meeker) from a set of animal pairs. Inputs are coded by vectors of continuous-valued features, based either on human magnitude ratings, normed feature ratings (De Deyne et al., 2008), or outputs of the topics model (Griffiths, Steyvers, & Tenenbaum, 2007). Bootstrapping from empirical priors, the model is able to induce first-order relations represented as probabilistic weight distributions, even when given positive examples only. These learned representations allow classification of novel instantiations of the relations and yield a symbolic distance effect of the sort obtained with both humans and other primates. BART then transforms its learned weight distributions by importance-guided mapping, thereby placing distinct dimensions into correspondence. These transformed representations allow BART to reliably solve 4-term analogies (e.g., larger:smaller::fiercer:meeker), a type of reasoning that is arguably specific to humans. Our results provide a proof-of-concept that structured analogies can be solved with representations induced from unstructured feature vectors by mechanisms that operate in a largely bottom-up fashion. We discuss potential implications for algorithmic and neural models of relational thinking, as well as for the evolution of abstract thought. Copyright 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

  16. Crows spontaneously exhibit analogical reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnova, Anna; Zorina, Zoya; Obozova, Tanya; Wasserman, Edward

    2015-01-19

    Analogical reasoning is vital to advanced cognition and behavioral adaptation. Many theorists deem analogical thinking to be uniquely human and to be foundational to categorization, creative problem solving, and scientific discovery. Comparative psychologists have long been interested in the species generality of analogical reasoning, but they initially found it difficult to obtain empirical support for such thinking in nonhuman animals (for pioneering efforts, see [2, 3]). Researchers have since mustered considerable evidence and argument that relational matching-to-sample (RMTS) effectively captures the essence of analogy, in which the relevant logical arguments are presented visually. In RMTS, choice of test pair BB would be correct if the sample pair were AA, whereas choice of test pair EF would be correct if the sample pair were CD. Critically, no items in the correct test pair physically match items in the sample pair, thus demanding that only relational sameness or differentness is available to support accurate choice responding. Initial evidence suggested that only humans and apes can successfully learn RMTS with pairs of sample and test items; however, monkeys have subsequently done so. Here, we report that crows too exhibit relational matching behavior. Even more importantly, crows spontaneously display relational responding without ever having been trained on RMTS; they had only been trained on identity matching-to-sample (IMTS). Such robust and uninstructed relational matching behavior represents the most convincing evidence yet of analogical reasoning in a nonprimate species, as apes alone have spontaneously exhibited RMTS behavior after only IMTS training. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Small Mars System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fantino, E.; Grassi, M.; Pasolini, P.; Causa, F.; Molfese, C.; Aurigemma, R.; Cimminiello, N.; de la Torre, D.; Dell'Aversana, P.; Esposito, F.; Gramiccia, L.; Paudice, F.; Punzo, F.; Roma, I.; Savino, R.; Zuppardi, G.

    2017-08-01

    The Small Mars System is a proposed mission to Mars. Funded by the European Space Agency, the project has successfully completed Phase 0. The contractor is ALI S.c.a.r.l., and the study team includes the University of Naples ;Federico II;, the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte and the Space Studies Institute of Catalonia. The objectives of the mission are both technological and scientific, and will be achieved by delivering a small Mars lander carrying a dust particle analyser and an aerial drone. The former shall perform in situ measurements of the size distribution and abundance of dust particles suspended in the Martian atmosphere, whereas the latter shall demonstrate low-altitude flight in the rarefied planetary environment. The mission-enabling technology is an innovative umbrella-like heat shield, known as IRENE, developed and patented by ALI. The mission is also a technological demonstration of the shield in the upper atmosphere of Mars. The core characteristics of SMS are the low cost (120 M€) and the small size (320 kg of wet mass at launch, 110 kg at landing), features which stand out with respect to previous Mars landers. To comply with them is extremely challenging at all levels, and sets strict requirements on the choice of the materials, the sizing of payloads and subsystems, their arrangement inside the spacecraft and the launcher's selection. In this contribution, the mission and system concept and design are illustrated and discussed. Special emphasis is given to the innovative features and to the challenges faced in the development of the work.

  18. HEAT OF MARS IS LOVE OF LIFE?! TWO WAYS TO LOOK AT MARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Alavipanah

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Earth and Mars travel in neighboring orbits around the sun. Both are rocky planets, but only the earth has the conditions to support life on. Is such a great difference due to their surface temperatures? It is obvious that the surface temperatures of these planets are governed by two factors of: (a the amount of energy they receive from the sun and, (b the composition of their atmospheres. If it is true, we must focus more on the Thermal Remote Sensing on Mars. Since heat is an important factor in any physical, chemical and biological study, it can be said that the heat in the form of love and psychological processes is effective for these studies. In study about life on another planet, not only the thermal characteristics are essential but love or passion in Scientists' efforts that are related to inner heat should also be considered. Therefore, in this paper we review the studies on Mars with the emphasis on the temperature. We consider science, art, literature, and technology as well as any things related to the heat including ice melting, volcanology, soil, morphology, and geothermal. As we believe that it must be bridged between mental and science gaps, shouldn't we make both the art and the science convergent? Therefore, we have used different scientific and art resources to make the role of heat in the Mars clear. We are seeking to answer the question whether the heat can be as a common factor in the researches.

  19. Heat of Mars is Love of LIFE?! Two Ways to Look at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavipanah, S. K.; Van Gasselt, S.; Mulder, N. J.; Nezammahalleh, M. A.

    2013-09-01

    Earth and Mars travel in neighboring orbits around the sun. Both are rocky planets, but only the earth has the conditions to support life on. Is such a great difference due to their surface temperatures? It is obvious that the surface temperatures of these planets are governed by two factors of: (a) the amount of energy they receive from the sun and, (b) the composition of their atmospheres. If it is true, we must focus more on the Thermal Remote Sensing on Mars. Since heat is an important factor in any physical, chemical and biological study, it can be said that the heat in the form of love and psychological processes is effective for these studies. In study about life on another planet, not only the thermal characteristics are essential but love or passion in Scientists' efforts that are related to inner heat should also be considered. Therefore, in this paper we review the studies on Mars with the emphasis on the temperature. We consider science, art, literature, and technology as well as any things related to the heat including ice melting, volcanology, soil, morphology, and geothermal. As we believe that it must be bridged between mental and science gaps, shouldn't we make both the art and the science convergent? Therefore, we have used different scientific and art resources to make the role of heat in the Mars clear. We are seeking to answer the question whether the heat can be as a common factor in the researches.

  20. Exploring the potential of MAR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vanderzalm, Joanne

    2014-01-01

    Despite numerous benefits, the full potential for uptake of MAR for use of treated wastewater and urban stormwater has not been realised. CSIRO is currently leading research to address some of the major impediments to uptake of MAR. These include the clogging of the soil or aquifer matrix, leading to reduced infiltration rates; water quality impacts on the receiving aquifer; and uncertainty regarding the economics of MAR schemes. Field-scale application of MAR through national demonstration projects aims to reduce the uncertainty associated with technical and economic feasibility and facilitate water recycling via the aquifer. Current research in the Managed Aquifer Recharge and Recycling Options (MARRO) project provides two case studies using novel infiltration techniques, soil aquifer treatment (SAT) and infiltration galleries, to recharge treated wastewater for non-potable use. SAT at Alice Springs supplements existing groundwater resources for future irrigation supplies, while an infiltration gallery at Floreat (Western Australia) is evaluating the potential of MAR to sustain groundwater-fed wetlands. These infiltration techniques provide an opportunity to optimise the passive treatment processes and minimise water quality impacts on the receiving groundwater. SAT uses open infiltration basins operated intermittently to create alternate wet and dry cycles and optimise natural treatment processes within the subsurface. Power and Water Corporation's Alice Springs SAT scheme has been in operation since 2008 to prevent overflow of treated wastewater to surface water systems and augment the groundwater resource. Wastewater for recharge to a Quaternary sand and gravel aquifer is treated by stabilisation ponds and dissolved air flotation, with filtration added to the treatment train in late 2013. The scheme commenced as four basins with a total recharge area of 7,640 sq.m, but was increased to allow 600,000 m 3 /year recharge to the current, larger capacity of

  1. Mineralogical Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David Frederick.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's CheMin instrument, the first X-ray Diffractometer flown in space, has been operating on Mars for nearly five years. CheMin was first to establish the quantitative mineralogy of the Mars global soil (1). The instrument was next used to determine the mineralogy of a 3.7 billion year old lacustrine mudstone, a result that, together with findings from other instruments on the MSL Curiosity rover, documented the first habitable environment found on another planet (2). The mineralogy of this mudstone from an ancient playa lake was also used to derive the maximum concentration of CO2 in the early Mars atmosphere, a surprisingly low value that calls into question the current theory that CO2 greenhouse warming was responsible for the warm and wet environment of early Mars. CheMin later identified the mineral tridymite, indicative of silica-rich volcanism, in mudstones of the Murray formation on Mt. Sharp. This discovery challenges the paradigm of Mars as a basaltic planet and ushers in a new chapter of comparative terrestrial planetology (3). CheMin is now being used to systematically sample the sedimentary layers that comprise the lower strata of Mt. Sharp, a 5,000 meter sequence of sedimentary rock laid down in what was once a crater lake, characterizing isochemical sediments that through their changing mineralogy, document the oxidation and drying out of the Mars in early Hesperian time.

  2. Survival of methanogens during desiccation: implications for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendrick, Michael G; Kral, Timothy A

    2006-08-01

    The relatively recent discoveries that liquid water likely existed on the surface of past Mars and that methane currently exists in the martian atmosphere have fueled the possibility of extant or extinct life on Mars. One possible explanation for the existence of the methane would be the presence of methanogens in the subsurface. Methanogens are microorganisms in the domain Archaea that can metabolize molecular hydrogen as an energy source and carbon dioxide as a carbon source and produce methane. One factor of importance is the arid nature of Mars, at least at the surface. If one is to assume that life exists below the surface, then based on the only example of life that we know, liquid water must be present. Realistically, however, that liquid water may be seasonal just as it is at some locations on our home planet. Here we report on research designed to determine how long certain species of methanogens can survive desiccation on a Mars soil simulant, JSC Mars-1. Methanogenic cells were grown on JSC Mars-1, transferred to a desiccator within a Coy anaerobic environmental chamber, and maintained there for varying time periods. Following removal from the desiccator and rehydration, gas chromatographic measurements of methane indicated survival for varying time periods. Methanosarcina barkeri survived desiccation for 10 days, while Methanobacterium formicicum and Methanothermobacter wolfeii were able to survive for 25 days.

  3. Propulsive Maneuver Design for the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raofi, Behzad; Bhat, Ramachandra S.; Helfrich, Cliff

    2008-01-01

    On May 25, 2008, the Mars Phoenix Lander (PHX) successfully landed in the northern planes of Mars in order to continue and complement NASA's "follow the water" theme as its predecessor Mars missions, such as Mars Odyssey (ODY) and Mars Exploration Rovers, have done in recent years. Instruments on the lander, through a robotic arm able to deliver soil samples to the deck, will perform in-situ and remote-sensing investigations to characterize the chemistry of materials at the local surface, subsurface, and atmosphere. Lander instruments will also identify the potential history of key indicator elements of significance to the biological potential of Mars, including potential organics within any accessible water ice. Precise trajectory control and targeting were necessary in order to achieve the accurate atmospheric entry conditions required for arriving at the desired landing site. The challenge for the trajectory control maneuver design was to meet or exceed these requirements in the presence of spacecraft limitations as well as other mission constraints. This paper describes the strategies used, including the specialized targeting specifically developed for PHX, in order to design and successfully execute the propulsive maneuvers that delivered the spacecraft to its targeted landing site while satisfying the planetary protection requirements in the presence of flight system constraints.

  4. Mars Geochemical Instrument (MarGI): An instrument for the analysis of the Martian surface and the search for evidence of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Mancinelli, Rocco; Martin, Joe; Holland, Paul M.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Geochemical Instrument, MarGI, was developed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the rocks and surface material on Mars. The instrument combines Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) with miniature Gas Chromatography-Ion Mobility Spectrometry (GC-IMS) to identify minerals, the presence and state of water, and organic compounds. Miniature pyrolysis ovens are used to both, conduct DTA analysis of soil or crushed rocks samples, and pyrolyze the samples at temperatures up to 1000 degrees C for GC-IMS analysis of the released gases. This combination of analytical processes and techniques, which can characterize the mineralogy of the rocks and soil, and identify and quantify volatiles released during pyrolysis, has applications across a wide range of target sites including comets, planets, asteroids, and moons such as Titan and Europa. The MarGI analytical approach evolved from the Cometary Ice and Dust Experiment (CIDEX) selected to fly on the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby Mission (CRAF).

  5. Analog circuit design art, science and personalities

    CERN Document Server

    Williams, Jim

    1991-01-01

    This book is far more than just another tutorial or reference guide - it's a tour through the world of analog design, combining theory and applications with the philosophies behind the design process. Readers will learn how leading analog circuit designers approach problems and how they think about solutions to those problems. They'll also learn about the `analog way' - a broad, flexible method of thinking about analog design tasks.A comprehensive and useful guide to analog theory and applications. Covers visualizing the operation of analog circuits. Looks at how to rap

  6. Evolved Gas Measurements Planned for the Lower Layers of the Gale Crater Mound with the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Franz, H.; McAdam, A.; Conrad, P. G.; Brunner, A.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.

    2011-12-01

    The lower mound strata of Gale Crater provide a diverse set of chemical environments for exploration by the varied tools of the Curiosity Rover of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission. Orbital imaging and spectroscopy clearly reveal distinct layers of hydrated minerals, sulfates, and clays with abundant evidence of a variety of fluvial processes. The three instruments of the MSL Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation, the Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS), and the Gas Chromatograph (GC) are designed to analyze either atmospheric gases or volatiles thermally evolved or chemically extracted from powdered rock or soil. The presence or absence of organic compounds in these layers is of great interest since such an in situ search for this type of record has not been successfully implemented since the mid-70s Viking GCMS experiments. However, regardless of the outcome of the analysis for organics, the abundance and isotopic composition of thermally evolved inorganic compounds should also provide a rich data set to complement the mineralogical and elemental information provided by other MSL instruments. In addition, these evolved gas analysis (EGA) experiments will help test sedimentary models proposed by Malin and Edgett (2000) and then further developed by Milliken et al (2010) for Gale Crater. In the SAM EGA experiments the evolution temperatures of H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, or other simple compounds as the samples are heated in a helium stream to 1000C provides information on mineral types and their associations. The isotopic composition of O, H, C, and S can be precisely determined in several evolved compounds and compared with the present day atmosphere. Such SAM results might be able to test mineralogical evidence of changing sedimentary and alteration processes over an extended period of time. For example, Bibring et al (2006) have suggested such a major shift from early nonacidic to later acidic alteration. We will

  7. Daily temperature variations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ditteon, R.

    1982-01-01

    It is noted that for approximately 32% of the Martian surface area no values of thermal inertia or albedo can fit the thermal observations. These temperature anomalies do not correlate with elevation, geologic units, morphology, or atmospheric dust content. All regions having a Lambert albedo less than 0.18 can be well fit with the standard thermal model, but all areas with albedo greater than 0.28 are anomalous. A strong inverse correlation is seen between the magnitude of the anomaly and the thermal inertia. This correlation is seen as indicating that some surface property is responsible for the anomaly. In the anomalous region the temperatures are observed to be warmer in the morning and cooler late in the afternoon and to decrease more slowly during the night than the Viking model temperatures. It is believed that of all the physical processes likely to occur on Mars but not included in the Viking thermal model, only a layered soil can explain the observations. A possible explanation of the layering deduced from the infrared thermal mapper observations is a layer of aeolian deposited dust about one thermal skin depth thick (1 to 4 cm), covering a duricrust.

  8. Analog-to-digital conversion

    CERN Document Server

    Pelgrom, Marcel

    2017-01-01

    This textbook is appropriate for use in graduate-level curricula in analog-to-digital conversion, as well as for practicing engineers in need of a state-of-the-art reference on data converters. It discusses various analog-to-digital conversion principles, including sampling, quantization, reference generation, nyquist architectures and sigma-delta modulation. This book presents an overview of the state of the art in this field and focuses on issues of optimizing accuracy and speed, while reducing the power level. This new, third edition emphasizes novel calibration concepts, the specific requirements of new systems, the consequences of 22-nm technology and the need for a more statistical approach to accuracy. Pedagogical enhancements to this edition include additional, new exercises, solved examples to introduce all key, new concepts and warnings, remarks and hints, from a practitioner’s perspective, wherever appropriate. Considerable background information and practical tips, from designing a PCB, to lay-o...

  9. Use of Web 2.0 Technologies for Public Outreach on a Simulated Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrone, Kristine; Shiro, Brian; Palaia, Joseph E., IV

    2009-01-01

    Recent advances in social media and internet communications have revolutionized the ways people interact and disseminate information. Astronauts are already taking advantage of these tools by blogging and tweeting from space, and almost all NASA missions now have presences on the major social networking sites. One priotity for future human explorers on Mars will be communicating their experiences to the people back on Earth. During July 2009, a 6-member crew of volunteers carried out a simulated Mars mission at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS). The Mars Society built the mock Mars habitat in 2000-01 to help develop key knowledge and inspire the public for human Mars exploration. It is located on Devon island about 1600 km from the North Pole within the Arctic Circle. The structure is situated on the rim of Haughton Crater in an environment geologically and biologically analogous to Mars. Living in a habitat, conducting EVAs wearing spacesuits, and observing communication delays with "Earth,"the crew endured restrictions similar to those that will be faced by future human Mars explorers. Throughout the expedition, crewmembers posted daily blog entries, reports, photos, videos, and updates to their website and social media outlets Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Picasa Web Albums. During the sixteen EVAs of thier field science research campaign, FMARS crewmembers collected GPS track information and took geotagged photos using GPS-enabled cameras. They combined their traverse GPS tracks with photo location information into KML/KMZ files that website visitors can view in Google Earth.

  10. Analogies between antiferromagnets and antiferroelectrics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Enz, C.P.; Matthias, B.T.

    1980-01-01

    Ferro- and antiferromagnetism in the Laves phase TiBesub(2-x) Cusub(x) occurs for 0.1 4 H 2 PO 4 and its solid solutions with TlH 2 PO 4 and with the ferroelectric KH 2 PO 4 are discussed as function of deuteration and of pressure. Another analogy as function of pressure is established with the antiferroelectric perovskite PbZrO 3 . (author)

  11. Novel phosphanucleoside analogs of dideoxynucleosides

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Páv, Ondřej; Buděšínský, Miloš; Rosenberg, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 73, č. 34 (2017), s. 5220-5228 ISSN 0040-4020 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA17-12703S; GA ČR GA13-26526S; GA MZd NV15-31604A Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : phosphanucleoside * nucleoside analog * ring-closing metathesis * stereoselective hydroboration * chiral resolution Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry OBOR OECD: Organic chemistry Impact factor: 2.651, year: 2016

  12. EquiMar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johnstone, C. M.; McCombes, T.; Bahaj, A. S.

    2011-01-01

    the performance evaluation of such systems in order to address this deficiency. This paper reports the development of a set of ‘Best Practices’ within the ECFPVII EquiMar project to be adopted for the performance quantification of wave and tidal energy converters as they evolve from an engineering concept......At the present time there are no approved standards or recognised best practices being implemented for the performance appraisal and benchmarking of wave and tidal energy converters. As such, this develops considerable misunderstanding between device developers, testing centres, investors....../ financiers etc when attempting to quantify the performance of a device since it makes it very difficult to reference and benchmark the performance of a marine energy converter. The EC Framework Programme VII EquiMar project has set out to develop a suite of Best Practices to be adopted when undertaking...

  13. The politics of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Harrison H.

    1986-01-01

    A discussion is presented comparing past and present major accomplishments of the U.S. and the Soviet Union in space. It concludes that the Soviets are presently well ahead of the U.S. in several specific aspects of space accomplishment and speculates that the Soviet strategy is directed towards sending a man to the vicinity of Mars by the end of this century. A major successful multinational space endeavor, INTELSAT, is reviewed and it is suggested that the manned exploration of Mars offers a unique opportunity for another such major international cooperative effort. The current attitude of U.S. leadership and the general public is assessed as uniformed or ambivalent about the perceived threat of Soviet dominance in space.

  14. Fossil life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, M. R.

    1989-01-01

    Three major problems beset paleontologists searching for morphological evidence of life on early Earth: selecting a prospective site; finding biogenic structures; and distinguishing biogenic from abiogenic structures. The same problems arise on Mars. Terrestrial experience suggests that, with the techniques that can be employed remotely, ancient springs, including hot springs, are more prospective than lake deposits. If, on the other hand, the search is for chemical evidence, the strategy can be very different, and lake deposits are attractive targets. Lakes and springs frequenly occur in close proximity, and therefore a strategy that combines the two would seem to maximize the chance of success. The strategy for a search for stromatolite on Mars is discussed.

  15. Magnetic storms on Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vennerstrøm, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    and typical time profile of such periods is investigated and compared to solar wind measurements at Earth. Typical durations of the events are 20–40h, and there is a tendency for large events to last longer, but a large spread in duration and intensity are found. The large and medium intensity events at Mars......Based on data from the Mars Global Surveyor magnetometer we examine periods of significantly enhanced magnetic disturbances in the martian space environment. Using almost seven years of observations during the maximum and early declining phase of the previous solar cycle the occurrence pattern...... are found to occur predominantly in association with interplanetary sector boundaries, with solar wind dynamic pressure enhancements being the most likely interplanetary driver. In addition it is found that, on time scales of months to several years, the dominant cause of global variability of the magnetic...

  16. Artificial structures on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Flandern, T.

    2002-05-01

    Approximately 70,000 images of the surface of Mars at a resolution of up to 1.4 meters per pixel, taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, are now in public archives. Approximately 1% of those images show features that can be broadly described as `special shapes', `tracks, trails, and possible vegetation', `spots, stripes, and tubes', `artistic imagery', and `patterns and symbols'. Rather than optical illusions and tricks of light and shadow, most of these have the character that, if photographed on Earth, no one would doubt that they were the products of large biology and intelligence. In a few cases, relationships, context, and fulfillment of a priori predictions provide objective evidence of artificiality that is exempt from the influence of experimenter biases. Only controlled test results can be trusted because biases are strong and operate both for and against artificiality.

  17. Electrostatic analogy for symmetron gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogden, Lillie; Brown, Katherine; Mathur, Harsh; Rovelli, Kevin

    2017-12-01

    The symmetron model is a scalar-tensor theory of gravity with a screening mechanism that suppresses the effect of the symmetron field at high densities characteristic of the Solar System and laboratory scales but allows it to act with gravitational strength at low density on the cosmological scale. We elucidate the screening mechanism by showing that in the quasistatic Newtonian limit there are precise analogies between symmetron gravity and electrostatics for both strong and weak screening. For strong screening we find that large dense bodies behave in a manner analogous to perfect conductors in electrostatics. Based on this analogy we find that the symmetron field exhibits a lightning rod effect wherein the field gradients are enhanced near the ends of pointed or elongated objects. An ellipsoid placed in a uniform symmetron gradient is shown to experience a torque. By symmetry there is no gravitational torque in this case. Hence this effect unmasks the symmetron and might serve as the basis for future laboratory experiments. The symmetron force between a point mass and a large dense body includes a component corresponding to the interaction of the point mass with its image in the larger body. None of these effects have counterparts in the Newtonian limit of Einstein gravity. We discuss the similarities between symmetron gravity and the chameleon model as well as the differences between the two.

  18. Evaluating The Global Inventory of Planetary Analog Environments on Earth: An Ontological Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, P. G.

    2010-12-01

    fundamental attributes may no longer exist and have to be reconstructed. In the case of Earth analogs for Mars, there are important distinctions that cannot be duplicated in contemporary Earth environments—we cannot produce the same surface conditions with respect to thermal fluctuation, ionizing radiation and extremely oxidizing chemistry. Mars analogs on Earth: We have studied the habitability of several desert environments on Earth by measuring their chemical, physical and biological features. These locations, which include Battleship Promontory in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica; several sites in Svalbard, the arctic; the Imperial Dunes in southern California and Amboy Crater in the Mojave Desert, CA, form the basis for a trial ontology of analog environments which have varying degrees of analogy to potential environments of interest on Mars for exploration of its habitability potential. We present a trial taxonomy for Mars analog environments to which we can add the attributes of other environments advocated as Earth analogs for Mars. References: [1] Bunge,M.,Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Ontology I, The Furniture of the World, Reidel, 1977. [2] Gruber, T. R., (1993). Knowledge Acquisition, 5(2):199-220.

  19. Silt-clay aggregates on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greeley, R.

    1979-01-01

    Viking observations suggest abundant silt and clay particles on Mars. It is proposed that some of these particles agglomerate to form sand size aggregates that are redeposited as sandlike features such as drifts and dunes. Although the binding for the aggregates could include salt cementation or other mechanisms, electrostatic bonding is considered to be a primary force holding the aggregates together. Various laboratory experiments conducted since the 19th century, and as reported here for simulated Martian conditions, show that both the magnitude and sign of electrical charges on windblown particles are functions of particle velocity, shape and composition, atmospheric pressure, atmospheric composition, and other factors. Electrical charges have been measured for saltating particles in the wind tunnel and in the field, on the surfaces of sand dunes, and within dust clouds on earth. Similar, and perhaps even greater, charges are proposed to occur on Mars, which could form aggregates of silt and clay size particles. Electrification is proposed to occur within Martian dust clouds, generating silt-clay aggregates which would settle to the surface where they may be deposited in the form of sandlike structures. By analog, silt-clay dunes are known in many parts of the earth where silt-clay aggregated were transported by saltation and deposited as 'sand.' In these structures the binding forces were later destroyed, and the particles reassumed the physical properties of silt and clay, but the sandlike bedding structure within the 'dunes' was preserved. The bedding observed in drifts at the Viking landing site is suggested to result from a similar process involving silt-clay aggregates on Mars

  20. Mars 2024/2026 Pathfinder Mission: Mars Architectures, Systems, and Technologies for Exploration and Resources Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Nancy; Mueller, Robert; Muscatello, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    Integrate In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) sub-systems and examine advanced capabilities and technologies to verify Mars 2024 Forward architecture precursor pathfinder options: Integrated spacecraft/surface infrastructure fluid architecture: propulsion, power, life support center dot Power system feed and propellant scavenging from propulsion system center dot High quality oxygen for life support and EVA Fluid/cryogenic zero-loss transfer and long-term storage center dot Rapid depot-to-rover/spacecraft center dot Slow ISRU plant-to-ascent vehicle Integration of ISRU consumable production center dot Oxygen only from Mars atmosphere carbon dioxide center dot Oxygen, fuel, water, from extraterrestrial soil/regolith Test bed to evaluate long duration life, operations, maintenance on hardware, sensors, and autonomy

  1. Moon-Mars simulation campaign in volcanic Eifel: Remote science support and sample analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offringa, Marloes; Foing, Bernard H.; Kamps, Oscar

    2016-07-01

    Moon-Mars analogue missions using a mock-up lander that is part of the ESA/ILEWG ExoGeoLab project were conducted during Eifel field campaigns in 2009, 2015 and 2016 (Foing et al., 2010). In the last EuroMoonMars2016 campaign the lander was used to conduct reconnaissance experiments and in situ geological scientific analysis of samples, with a payload that mainly consisted of a telescope and a UV-VIS reflectance spectrometer. The aim of the campaign was to exhibit possibilities for the ExoGeoLab lander to perform remotely controlled experiments and test its applicability in the field by simulating the interaction with astronauts. The Eifel region in Germany where the experiments with the ExoGeoLab lander were conducted is a Moon-Mars analogue due to its geological setting and volcanic rock composition. The research conducted by analysis equipment on the lander could function in support of Moon-Mars sample return missions, by providing preliminary insight into characteristics of the analyzed samples. The set-up of the prototype lander was that of a telescope with camera and solar power equipment deployed on the top, the UV-VIS reflectance spectrometer together with computers and a sample webcam were situated in the middle compartment and to the side a sample analysis test bench was attached, attainable by astronauts from outside the lander. An alternative light source that illuminated the samples in case of insufficient daylight was placed on top of the lander and functioned on solar power. The telescope, teleoperated from a nearby stationed pressurized transport vehicle that functioned as a base control center, attained an overview of the sampling area and assisted the astronauts in their initial scouting pursuits. Locations of suitable sampling sites based on these obtained images were communicated to the astronauts, before being acquired during a simulated EVA. Sampled rocks and soils were remotely analyzed by the base control center, while the astronauts

  2. Sustainable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alston, Christie; Hancock, Sean; Laub, Joshua; Perry, Christopher; Ash, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The proposed Mars sample return mission will be completed using natural Martian resources for the majority of its operations. The system uses the following technologies: In-Situ Propellant Production (ISPP), a methane-oxygen propelled Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a carbon dioxide powered hopper, and a hydrogen fueled balloon system (large balloons and small weather balloons). The ISPP system will produce the hydrogen, methane, and oxygen using a Sabatier reactor. a water electrolysis cell, water extracted from the Martian surface, and carbon dioxide extracted from the Martian atmosphere. Indigenous hydrogen will fuel the balloon systems and locally-derived methane and oxygen will fuel the MAV for the return of a 50 kg sample to Earth. The ISPP system will have a production cycle of 800 days and the estimated overall mission length is 1355 days from Earth departure to return to low Earth orbit. Combining these advanced technologies will enable the proposed sample return mission to be executed with reduced initial launch mass and thus be more cost efficient. The successful completion of this mission will serve as the next step in the advancement of Mars exploration technology.

  3. The Development of Analogical Reasoning Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternberg, Robert J.; Rifkin, Bathsheva

    1979-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to test the generalizability to children of a theory of analogical reasoning processes, originally proposed for adults, and to examine the development of analogical reasoning processes in terms of five proposed sources of cognitive development. (MP)

  4. 16-channel analog store and multiplexer unit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brossard, M; Kulka, Z [Clermont-Ferrand-2 Univ., 63 - Aubiere (France). Lab. de Physique Corpusculaire

    1979-03-15

    A 16-channel analog store and multiplexer unit is described. The unit enables storing and selection of analog information which is then digitally encoded by single ADC. This solution becomes economically attractive particularly in multidetector pulse height analysis systems.

  5. Atheism and Analogy: Aquinas Against the Atheists

    OpenAIRE

    Linford, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    In the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas developed two models for how humans may speak of God - either by the analogy of proportion or by the analogy of proportionality. Aquinas's doctrines initiated a theological debate concerning analogy that spanned several centuries. In the 18th century, there appeared two closely related arguments for atheism which both utilized analogy for their own purposes. In this thesis, I show that one argument, articulated by the French materialist Paul-Henri Thiry Bar...

  6. Enhancing programming logic thinking using analogy mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukamto, R. A.; Megasari, R.

    2018-05-01

    Programming logic thinking is the most important competence for computer science students. However, programming is one of the difficult subject in computer science program. This paper reports our work about enhancing students' programming logic thinking using Analogy Mapping for basic programming subject. Analogy Mapping is a computer application which converts source code into analogies images. This research used time series evaluation and the result showed that Analogy Mapping can enhance students' programming logic thinking.

  7. Volcano-ice interactions on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, C.C.

    1979-01-01

    Central volcanic eruptions beneath terrestrial glaciers have built steep-sided, flat-topped mountains composed of pillow lava, glassy tuff, capping flows, and cones of basalt. Subglacial fissure eruptions produced ridges of similar compostion. In some places the products from a number of subglacial vents have combined to form widespread deposits. The morphologies of these subglacial volcanoes are distinctive enough to allow their recognition at the resolutions characteristic of Viking orbiter imagery. Analogs to terrestrial subglacial volcanoes have been identified on the northern plains and near the south polar cap of Mars. The polar feature provides probable evidence of volcanic eruptions beneath polar ice. A mixed unit of rock and ice is postulated to have overlain portions of the northern plains, with eruptions into this ground ice having produced mountains and ridges analogous to those in Iceland. Subsequent breakdown of this unit due to ice melting revealed the volcanic features. Estimated heights of these landforms indicate that the ice-rich unit once ranged from approximately 100 to 1200 m thick

  8. Water on Mars: Evidence from MER Mission Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    The Viking and the Mars Exploration Rover missions observed that the surface of Mars is encrusted by a thinly cemented layer, or "duricrust". Elemental analyzes at five sites on Mars show that these soils have sulfur content and chlorine content consistent with the presence of sulfates and halides as mineral cements. The soil is highly enriched in the salt-forming elements compared with rock. Analysis of the soil cementation indicates some features which may be evidence of liquid water. At both MER sites, duricrust textures revealed by the Microscopic Imager show features including the presence of fine sand-sized grains, some of which may be aggregates of fine silt and clay, surrounded by a pervasive light colored material that is associated with microtubular structures and networks of microfractures. Stereo views of undisturbed duricrust surfaces reveal rugged microrelief between 2-3 mm and minimal loose material. Comparisons of microscopic images of duricrust soils obtain before and after placement of the Mossbauer spectrometer indicate differing degrees of compaction and cementation. Two models of a transient water hypothesis are offered, a "top down" hypothesis that emphasizes the surface deposition of frost, melting and downward migration of liquid water and a "bottom up" alternative that proposes the presence of interstitial ice/brine, with the upward capillary migration of liquid water. The viability of both of these models ultimately hinges on the availability of seasonally transient liquid water for brief periods.

  9. In Situ Strategy of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory to Investigate the Habitability of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    The ten science investigations of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover named "Curiosity" seek to provide a quantitative assessment of habitability through chemical and geological measurements from a highly capable robotic' platform. This mission seeks to understand if the conditions for life on ancient Mars are preserved in the near-surface geochemical record. These substantial payload resources enabled by MSL's new entry descent and landing (EDL) system have allowed the inclusion of instrument types nevv to the Mars surface including those that can accept delivered sample from rocks and soils and perform a wide range of chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical analyses. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) experiment that is located in the interior of the rover is a powder x-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) instrument that provides elemental and mineralogical information. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments complements this experiment by analyzing the volatile component of identically processed samples and by analyzing atmospheric composition. Other MSL payload tools such as the Mast Camera (Mastcam) and the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instruments are utilized to identify targets for interrogation first by the arm tools and subsequent ingestion into SAM and CheMin using the Sample Acquisition, Processing, and Handling (SA/SPaH) subsystem. The arm tools include the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and the Chemistry and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXX). The Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument provides subsurface identification of hydrogen such as that contained in hydrated minerals

  10. Analogies and the 5E Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgill, Mary Kay; Thomas, Megan

    2007-01-01

    Science classes are full of abstract or challenging concepts that are easier to understand if an analogy is used to illustrate the points. Effective analogies motivate students, clarify students' thinking, help students overcome misconceptions, and give students ways to visualize abstract concepts. When they are used appropriately, analogies can…

  11. Science Teachers' Analogical Reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mozzer, Nilmara Braga; Justi, Rosária

    2013-01-01

    Analogies can play a relevant role in students' learning. However, for the effective use of analogies, teachers should not only have a well-prepared repertoire of validated analogies, which could serve as bridges between the students' prior knowledge and the scientific knowledge they desire them to understand, but also know how to…

  12. The Micro-Category Account of Analogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Adam E.; Fugelsang, Jonathan A.; Kraemer, David J. M.; Dunbar, Kevin N.

    2008-01-01

    Here, we investigate how activation of mental representations of categories during analogical reasoning influences subsequent cognitive processing. Specifically, we present and test the central predictions of the "Micro-Category" account of analogy. This account emphasizes the role of categories in aligning terms for analogical mapping. In a…

  13. Electrical power systems for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giudici, Robert J.

    1986-01-01

    Electrical power system options for Mars Manned Modules and Mars Surface Bases were evaluated for both near-term and advanced performance potential. The power system options investigated for the Mission Modules include photovoltaics, solar thermal, nuclear reactor, and isotope power systems. Options discussed for Mars Bases include the above options with the addition of a brief discussion of open loop energy conversion of Mars resources, including utilization of wind, subsurface thermal gradients, and super oxides. Electrical power requirements for Mission Modules were estimated for three basic approaches: as a function of crew size; as a function of electric propulsion; and as a function of transmission of power from an orbiter to the surface of Mars via laser or radio frequency. Mars Base power requirements were assumed to be determined by production facilities that make resources available for follow-on missions leading to the establishment of a permanently manned Base. Requirements include the production of buffer gas and propellant production plants.

  14. Guidelines for 2007 MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    HR Department

    2007-01-01

    Following the introduction of the new Merit Appraisal and Recognition Scheme (MARS), full details of the scheme are now available via the HR Department's homepage or directly on the Department's MARS web page: in English: http://humanresources.web.cern.ch/HumanResources/internal/personnel/pmd/cr/MARS.asp or French: http://humanresources.web.cern.ch/humanresources/internal/personnel/pmd/cr/mars_fr.asp You will find on this page: 'Introduction to MARS' with detailed information presented in Frequently Asked Questions; these include the MARS timetable for proposals and decisions; 'Regulations' with links to the scheme's statutory documents; 'Procedures and Forms' and 'Useful Information' with links to all the relevant documentation; these include the mandates of the Senior Staff Advisory Committee (SSAC) and the Technical Engineers and Administrative Careers Committee (TEACC). HR Department Tel. 73566

  15. The Topography of Mars: Understanding the Surface of Mars Through the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derby, C. A.; Neumann, G. A.; Sakimoto, S. E.

    2001-12-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter has been orbiting Mars since 1997 and has measured the topography of Mars with a meter of vertical accuracy. This new information has improved our understanding of both the surface and the interior of Mars. The topographic globe and the labeled topographic map of Mars illustrate these new data in a format that can be used in a classroom setting. The map is color shaded to show differences in elevation on Mars, presenting Mars with a different perspective than traditional geological and geographic maps. Through the differences in color, students can see Mars as a three-dimensional surface and will be able to recognize features that are invisible in imagery. The accompanying lesson plans are designed for middle school science students and can be used both to teach information about Mars as a planet and Mars in comparison to Earth, fitting both the solar system unit and the Earth science unit in a middle school curriculum. The lessons are referenced to the National Benchmark standards for students in grades 6-8 and cover topics such as Mars exploration, the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, resolution and powers of 10, gravity, craters, seismic waves and the interior structure of a planet, isostasy, and volcanoes. Each lesson is written in the 5 E format and includes a student content activity and an extension showing current applications of Mars and MOLA data. These activities can be found at http://ltpwww.gsfc.nasa.gov/education/resources.html. Funding for this project was provided by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and the MOLA Science Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

  16. NASA Curiosity rover hits organic pay dirt on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voosen, Paul

    2018-06-01

    Since NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, it has sifted samples of soil and ground-up rock for signs of organic molecules—the complex carbon chains that on Earth form the building blocks of life. Past detections have been so faint that they could be just contamination. Now, samples taken from two different drill sites on an ancient lakebed have yielded complex organic macromolecules that look strikingly similar to kerogen, the goopy fossilized building blocks of oil and gas on Earth. At a few dozen parts per million, the detected levels are 100 times higher than previous finds, but scientists still cannot say whether they have origins in biology or geology. The discovery positions scientists to begin searching for direct evidence of past life on Mars and bolsters the case for returning rock samples from the planet, an effort that begins with the Mars 2020 rover.

  17. Numerical investigation of the effect of the configuration of ExoMars landing platform propulsion system on the interaction of supersonic jets with the surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagenov, Anuar; Glazunov, Anatoliy; Kostyushin, Kirill; Eremin, Ivan; Shuvarikov, Vladimir

    2017-10-01

    This paper presents the results of numerical investigations of the interaction with the Mars surface of four supersonic jets of ExoMars landing platform propulsion system. The cases of impingement of supersonic jets on a curved surface are considered depending on the values of propulsion system thrust. According to the results of numerical studies are obtained the values of normal stresses on the surface of Mars at altitudes of 1.0, 0.5 and 0.3 meter to the surface of the landing. To define the occurring shear stresses Mohr-Coulomb theory was used. The maximum values of shear stresses were defined for the following types of soil of Mars: drift material, crusty to cloddy material, blocky material, sand and Mojave Mars simulant. The conducted evaluations showed, regardless of the propulsion system configuration, that when the final stage of the controlled landing of the ExoMars landing platform, the erosion of the Mars regolith would be insignificant. The estimates are consistent with the available data from previous Mars missions.

  18. Relativistic time transfer for a Mars lander: from Areocentric Coordinate Time to Barycentric Coordinate Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wen-Zheng; Xu, De-Wang; Yu, Qing-Shan; Liu, Jie; Xie, Yi

    2017-08-01

    As the second step of relativistic time transfer for a Mars lander, we investigate the transformation between Areocentric Coordinate Time (TCA) and Barycentric Coordinate Time (TCB) in the framework of IAU Resolutions. TCA is a local time scale for Mars, which is analogous to the Geocentric Coordinate Time (TCG) for Earth. This transformation has two parts: contributions associated with gravitational bodies and those depending on the position of the lander. After setting the instability of an onboard clock to 10-13 and considering that the uncertainty in time is about 3.2 microseconds after one Earth year, we find that the contributions of the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in the leading term associated with these bodies can reach a level exceeding the threshold and must be taken into account. Other terms can be safely ignored in this transformation for a Mars lander.

  19. Are all analogies created equal? Prefrontal cortical functioning may predict types of analogical reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrysikou, Evangelia G; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L

    2010-06-01

    Abstract The proposed theory can account for analogies based on learned relationships between elements in the source and target domains. However, its explanatory power regarding the discovery of new relationships during analogical reasoning is limited. We offer an alternative perspective for the role of PFC in analogical thought that may better address different types of analogical mappings.

  20. Magnesium Sulfate as a Key Mineral for the Detection of Organic Molecules on Mars Using Pyrolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francois, P.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Coll, P.; McAdam, A. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Cabane, M.

    2016-01-01

    Pyrolysis of soil or rock samples is the preferred preparation technique used on Mars to search for organic molecules up today. During pyrolysis, oxichlorines present in the soil of Mars release oxidant species that alter the organic molecules potentially contained in the samples collected by the space probes.This process can explain the difficulty experienced by in situ exploration probes to detect organic materials in Mars soil samples until recently. Within a few months, the Curiosity rover should reach and analyze for the first time soils rich in sulfates which could induce a different behavior of the organics during the pyrolysis compared with the types of soils analyzed up today. For this reason, we systematically studied the pyrolysis of organic molecules trapped in magnesium sulfate, in the presence or absence of calcium perchlorate. Our results show that organics trapped in magnesium sulfate can undergo some oxidation and sulfuration during the pyrolysis. But these sulfates are also shown to protect organics trapped inside the crystal lattice and/or present in fluid inclusions from the oxidation induced by the decomposition of calcium perchlorate and probably other oxychlorine phases currently detected on Mars. Trapped organics may also be protected from degradation processes induced by other minerals present in the sample, at least until these organics are released from the pyrolyzed sulfate mineral (700C in our experiment). Hence, we suggest magnesium sulfate as one of the minerals to target in priority for the search of organic molecules by the Curiosity and ExoMars 2018 rovers.

  1. Practical analog electronics for technicians

    CERN Document Server

    Kimber, W A

    2013-01-01

    'Practical Analog Electronics for Technicians' not only provides an accessible introduction to electronics, but also supplies all the problems and practical activities needed to gain hands-on knowledge and experience. This emphasis on practice is surprisingly unusual in electronics texts, and has already gained Will Kimber popularity through the companion volume, 'Practical Digital Electronics for Technicians'. Written to cover the Advanced GNVQ optional unit in electronics, this book is also ideal for BTEC National, A-level electronics and City & Guilds courses. Together with 'Practical Digit

  2. Resistive RAMs as analog trimming elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziza, H.; Perez, A.; Portal, J. M.

    2018-04-01

    This work investigates the use of Resistive Random Access Memory (RRAM) as an analog trimming device. The analog storage feature of the RRAM cell is evaluated and the ability of the RRAM to hold several resistance states is exploited to propose analog trim elements. To modulate the memory cell resistance, a series of short programming pulses are applied across the RRAM cell allowing a fine calibration of the RRAM resistance. The RRAM non volatility feature makes the analog device powers up already calibrated for the system in which the analog trimmed structure is embedded. To validate the concept, a test structure consisting of a voltage reference is evaluated.

  3. Analog and mixed-signal electronics

    CERN Document Server

    Stephan, Karl

    2015-01-01

    A practical guide to analog and mixed-signal electronics, with an emphasis on design problems and applications This book provides an in-depth coverage of essential analog and mixed-signal topics such as power amplifiers, active filters, noise and dynamic range, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion techniques, phase-locked loops, and switching power supplies. Readers will learn the basics of linear systems, types of nonlinearities and their effects, op-amp circuits, the high-gain analog filter-amplifier, and signal generation. The author uses system design examples to motivate

  4. Analog circuit design art, science, and personalities

    CERN Document Server

    Williams, Jim

    1991-01-01

    Analog Circuit Design: Art, Science, and Personalities discusses the many approaches and styles in the practice of analog circuit design. The book is written in an informal yet informative manner, making it easily understandable to those new in the field. The selection covers the definition, history, current practice, and future direction of analog design; the practice proper; and the styles in analog circuit design. The book also includes the problems usually encountered in analog circuit design; approach to feedback loop design; and other different techniques and applications. The text is

  5. Measurements in Vacuum of the Complex Permittivity of Planetary Regolith Analog Materials in Support of the OSIRIS-REx Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boivin, A.; Hickson, D. C.; Cunje, A.; Tsai, C. A.; Ghent, R. R.; Daly, M. G.

    2017-12-01

    In preparation for the OSIRIS-REx sample return mission, ground based radar data have been used to help characterize the carbonaceous asteroid (101955) Bennu as well as to produce a 3-D shape model. Radar data have also been used to derive the near-surface bulk density of the asteroid, a key engineering factor for sample acquisition and return. The relationship between radar albedo and bulk density of the nearsurface depends on the relative permittivity of the material, in this case regolith. The relative permittivity is complex such that ɛ r = ɛ r' + i ɛ r'', where ɛ r' is the dielectric constant and ɛ r'' is the loss factor. Laboratory permittivity measurements have been made in the past on a myriad of samples including Earth materials, lunar Apollo and analog samples, Mars soil analog samples, some meteorites, and cometary analog samples in support of the Rosetta mission. These measurements have been made in different frequency bands and in various conditions; however, no measurements to date have systematically explored the effect of changes in mineralogy on the complex permittivity, and particularly the loss tangent (tanδ , the ratio of ɛ r'' to ɛ r'). The loss tangent controls the absorption of the signal by the material. Continuing our investigation of the effects of mineralogy on these properties, we will present for the first time results of complex permittivity measurements of the UCF/DSI-CI-2 CI asteroid regolith simulant produced by Deep Space Industries Inc. The simulant is mineralogically similar to the CI meteorite Orgueil. CI meteorites are the most spectrally similar meteorites to (101955) Bennu. Since the simulant has been provided to us un-mixed, several sub-samples will be created containing different amounts of carbon, thus allowing us to systematically investigate the effects of carbon content on the permittivity. In order to remove moisture from our samples, powders are baked at 250°C for 48hrs prior to being loaded into a coaxial

  6. Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, John P.; Crisp, Joy; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Anderson, Robert C.; Baker, Charles J.; Barry, Robert; Blake, David F.; Conrad, Pamela; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Ferdowski, Bobak; Gellert, Ralf; Gilbert, John B.; Golombek, Matt; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hassler, Donald M.; Jandura, Louise; Litvak, Maxim; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Meyer, Michael; Malin, Michael C.; Mitrofanov, Igor; Simmonds, John J.; Vaniman, David; Welch, Richard V.; Wiens, Roger C.

    2012-09-01

    Scheduled to land in August of 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission was initiated to explore the habitability of Mars. This includes both modern environments as well as ancient environments recorded by the stratigraphic rock record preserved at the Gale crater landing site. The Curiosity rover has a designed lifetime of at least one Mars year (˜23 months), and drive capability of at least 20 km. Curiosity's science payload was specifically assembled to assess habitability and includes a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and gas analyzer that will search for organic carbon in rocks, regolith fines, and the atmosphere (SAM instrument); an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity (CheMin instrument); focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color (MAHLI, MARDI, and Mastcam instruments); an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry (APXS instrument); a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals (ChemCam instrument); an active neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith (DAN instrument); a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables (REMS instrument); and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of background solar and cosmic radiation (RAD instrument). The various payload elements will work together to detect and study potential sampling targets with remote and in situ measurements; to acquire samples of rock, soil, and atmosphere and analyze them in onboard analytical instruments; and to observe the environment around the rover. The 155-km diameter Gale crater was chosen as Curiosity's field site based on several attributes: an interior mountain of ancient flat-lying strata extending almost 5 km above the elevation of the landing site; the lower few hundred meters of the mountain show a progression with relative age from clay-bearing to sulfate

  7. The Ricor K508 cryocooler operational experience on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Dean L.; Lysek, Mark J.; Morookian, John Michael

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) landed successfully on Mars on August 5, 2012, eight months after launch. The chosen landing site of Gale Crater, located at 4.5 degrees south latitude, 137.4 degrees east longitude, has provided a much more benign environment than was originally planned for during the critical design and integration phases of the MSL Project when all possible landing sites were still being considered. The expected near-surface atmospheric temperatures at the Gale Crater landing site during Curiosity's primary mission (1 Martian year or 687 Earth days) are from −90°C to 0°C. However, enclosed within Curiosity's thermal control fluid loops the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument is maintained at approximately +20°C. The CheMin instrument uses X-ray diffraction spectroscopy to make precise measurements of mineral constituents of Mars rocks and soil. The instrument incorporated the commercially available Ricor K508 Stirling cycle cryocooler to cool the CCD detector. After several months of brushing itself off, stretching and testing out its subsystems, Curiosity began the exploration of the Mars surface in October 2012. The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) received its first soil sample from Curiosity on October 24, and successfully analyzed its first soil sample. After a brief review of the rigorous Ricor K508 cooler qualification tests and life tests based on the original MSL environmental requirements this paper presents final pre-launch instrument integration and testing results, and details the operational data of the CheMin cryocooler, providing a snapshot of the resulting CheMin instrument analytical data

  8. The Ricor K508 cryocooler operational experience on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Dean L.; Lysek, Mark J.; Morookian, John Michael [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2014-01-29

    The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) landed successfully on Mars on August 5, 2012, eight months after launch. The chosen landing site of Gale Crater, located at 4.5 degrees south latitude, 137.4 degrees east longitude, has provided a much more benign environment than was originally planned for during the critical design and integration phases of the MSL Project when all possible landing sites were still being considered. The expected near-surface atmospheric temperatures at the Gale Crater landing site during Curiosity's primary mission (1 Martian year or 687 Earth days) are from −90°C to 0°C. However, enclosed within Curiosity's thermal control fluid loops the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument is maintained at approximately +20°C. The CheMin instrument uses X-ray diffraction spectroscopy to make precise measurements of mineral constituents of Mars rocks and soil. The instrument incorporated the commercially available Ricor K508 Stirling cycle cryocooler to cool the CCD detector. After several months of brushing itself off, stretching and testing out its subsystems, Curiosity began the exploration of the Mars surface in October 2012. The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) received its first soil sample from Curiosity on October 24, and successfully analyzed its first soil sample. After a brief review of the rigorous Ricor K508 cooler qualification tests and life tests based on the original MSL environmental requirements this paper presents final pre-launch instrument integration and testing results, and details the operational data of the CheMin cryocooler, providing a snapshot of the resulting CheMin instrument analytical data.

  9. Low Upper Limit to Methane Abundance on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Elvira, Javier Gómez; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Soler, Javier Martín; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-10-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the Martian atmosphere is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity. During the past decade, Earth-based telescopic observations reported “plumes” of methane of tens of parts per billion by volume (ppbv), and those from Mars orbit showed localized patches, prompting speculation of sources from subsurface bacteria or nonbiological sources. From in situ measurements made with the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) on Curiosity using a distinctive spectral pattern specific to methane, we report no detection of atmospheric methane with a measured value of 0.18 ± 0.67 ppbv corresponding to an upper limit of only 1.3 ppbv (95% confidence level), which reduces the probability of current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars and limits the recent contribution from extraplanetary and geologic sources.

  10. Dynamical shake-up and the low mass of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott

    2017-10-01

    The low mass of Mars and the lack of planets in the asteroid belt are important constraints on theories of planet formation. We revisit the idea that sweeping secular resonances involving the gas giants and theSun's dissipating protoplanetary disk can explain these features of our Solar System. To test this "dynamical shake-up" scenario, we perform an extensive suite of simulations to track terrestrial planet formation from planetesimals. We find that if the Sun’s gas disk depletes in roughly a million years, then a sweeping resonance with Jupiter inhibits planet formation in the asteroid belt and substantially limits the mass of Mars. We explore how this phenomenon might lead to asteroid belt analogs around other stars with long-period, massive planets.

  11. Mars At Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-01-01

    These NASA Hubble Space Telescope views provide the most detailed complete global coverage of the red planet Mars ever seen from Earth. The pictures were taken on February 25, 1995, when Mars was at a distance of 65 million miles (103 million km).To the surprise of researchers, Mars is cloudier than seen in previous years. This means the planet is cooler and drier, because water vapor in the atmosphere freezes out to form ice-crystal clouds. Hubble resolves Martian surface features with a level of detail only exceeded by planetary probes, such as impact craters and other features as small as 30 miles (50 kilometers) across.[Tharsis region] - A crescent-shaped cloud just right of center identifies the immense shield volcano Olympus Mons, which is 340 miles (550 km) across at its base. Warm afternoon air pushed up over the summit forms ice-crystal clouds downwind from the volcano. Farther to the east (right) a line of clouds forms over a row of three extinct volcanoes which are from north to south: Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, Arsia Mons. It's part of an unusual, recurring 'W'-shaped cloud formation that once mystified earlier ground-based observers.[Valles Marineris region] - The 16 mile-high volcano Ascraeus Mons pokes through the cloud deck along the western (left) limb of the planet. Other interesting geologic features include (lower left) Valles Marineris, an immense rift valley the length of the continental United States. Near the image center lies the Chryse basin made up of cratered and chaotic terrain. The oval-looking Argyre impact basin (bottom) appears white due to clouds or frost.[Syrtis Major region] - The dark 'shark fin' feature left of center is Syrtis Major. Below it the giant impact basin Hellas. Clouds cover several great volcanos in the Elysium region near the eastern (right) limb. As clearly seen in the Hubble images, past dust storms in Mars' southern hemisphere have scoured the plains of fine light dust and transported the dust northward. This

  12. Mars Thermal Inertia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    This image shows the global thermal inertia of the Martian surface as measured by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor. The data were acquired during the first 5000 orbits of the MGS mapping mission. The pattern of inertia variations observed by TES agrees well with the thermal inertia maps made by the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper experiment, but the TES data shown here are at significantly higher spatial resolution (15 km versus 60 km).The TES instrument was built by Santa Barbara Remote Sensing and is operated by Philip R. Christensen, of Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

  13. Methanogens and Martian natural resources: Investigations regarding the possibility of biogenic methane on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chastain, Brendon Kelly

    Archaeal methanogens were suggested as terrestrial models of possible subsurface martian microbial life prior to the actual detection of methane in Mars' atmosphere. This idea gained even more interest after the methane on Mars was observed. However, the amount of methane detected was very small, and release of methane was localized and episodic. This led some scientists to doubt that an active or ancient biosphere could be the source of the methane. Moreover, even extremophilic methanogens have not been shown to metabolize in conditions exactly analogous to those known to be available on Mars. The following chapters present a realistic and viable mechanism that allows a large or ancient biosphere to be the original source of the observed methane, and they detail experimental work that was done in order to systematically investigate nutritional and conditional variables related to those that might be available in the martian subsurface. The results of the experimental work indicate that some components of Mars' regolith can support methanogenic metabolism without being detrimental to the organisms, and that certain known components of Mars' regolith can promote periods of methanogenic dormancy without being lethal to the methanogens. The results of the experimental studies also show that material known to exist at and near Mars' surface has the potential to supply electrons for biological methanogenesis and that methanogenic metabolism can occur even when artificial media, buffers, and reductants are omitted in order to create more Mars-relevant conditions. These findings may have implications regarding the viability of methanogenic organisms as a source of the observed methane and should assist future efforts to study methanogenic metabolism in conditions exactly analogous to those available in niches on Mars.

  14. Analogical reasoning in schizophrenic delusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Jane; Done, D John

    2004-09-01

    Reasoning ability has often been argued to be impaired in people with schizophrenic delusions, although evidence for this is far from convincing. This experiment examined the analogical reasoning abilities of several groups of patients, including non-deluded and deluded schizophrenics, to test the hypothesis that performance by the deluded schizophrenic group would be impaired. Eleven deluded schizophrenics, 10 depressed subjects, seven non-deluded schizophrenics and 16 matched non-psychiatric controls, who were matched on a number of key variables, were asked to solve an analogical reasoning task. Performance by the deluded schizophrenic group was certainly impaired when compared with the depressed and non-psychiatric control groups though less convincingly so when compared with the non-deluded schizophrenic group. The impairment shown by the deluded schizophrenic group seemed to occur at the initial stage of the reasoning task. The particular type of impairment shown by the deluded subjects was assessed in relation to other cognitive problems already researched and the implications of these problems on reasoning tasks and theories of delusions was discussed.

  15. Reliability of analog quantum simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarovar, Mohan [Sandia National Laboratories, Digital and Quantum Information Systems, Livermore, CA (United States); Zhang, Jun; Zeng, Lishan [Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Joint Institute of UMich-SJTU, Key Laboratory of System Control and Information Processing (MOE), Shanghai (China)

    2017-12-15

    Analog quantum simulators (AQS) will likely be the first nontrivial application of quantum technology for predictive simulation. However, there remain questions regarding the degree of confidence that can be placed in the results of AQS since they do not naturally incorporate error correction. Specifically, how do we know whether an analog simulation of a quantum model will produce predictions that agree with the ideal model in the presence of inevitable imperfections? At the same time there is a widely held expectation that certain quantum simulation questions will be robust to errors and perturbations in the underlying hardware. Resolving these two points of view is a critical step in making the most of this promising technology. In this work we formalize the notion of AQS reliability by determining sensitivity of AQS outputs to underlying parameters, and formulate conditions for robust simulation. Our approach naturally reveals the importance of model symmetries in dictating the robust properties. To demonstrate the approach, we characterize the robust features of a variety of quantum many-body models. (orig.)

  16. Analog-to-digital conversion

    CERN Document Server

    Pelgrom, Marcel J. M

    2013-01-01

    This textbook is appropriate for use in graduate-level curricula in analog to digital conversion, as well as for practicing engineers in need of a state-of-the-art reference on data converters.  It discusses various analog-to-digital conversion principles, including sampling, quantization, reference generation, nyquist architectures and sigma-delta modulation.  This book presents an overview of the state-of-the-art in this field and focuses on issues of optimizing accuracy and speed, while reducing the power level. This new, second edition emphasizes novel calibration concepts, the specific requirements of new systems, the consequences of 45-nm technology and the need for a more statistical approach to accuracy.  Pedagogical enhancements to this edition include more than twice the exercises available in the first edition, solved examples to introduce all key, new concepts and warnings, remarks and hints, from a practitioner’s perspective, wherever appropriate.  Considerable background information and pr...

  17. ChemCam passive reflectance spectroscopy of surface materials at the Curiosity landing site, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Bell, J. F.; Bender, S.; Blaney, D.; Cloutis, E.; DeFlores, L.; Ehlmann, B.; Gasnault, O.; Gondet, B.; Kinch, K.; Lemmon, M.; Le Mouélic, S.; Maurice, S.; Rice, M.; Wiens, R. C.

    2015-03-01

    The spectrometers on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) ChemCam instrument were used in passive mode to record visible/near-infrared (400-840 nm) radiance from the martian surface. Using the onboard ChemCam calibration targets' housing as a reflectance standard, we developed methods to collect, calibrate, and reduce radiance observations to relative reflectance. Such measurements accurately reproduce the known reflectance spectra of other calibration targets on the rover, and represent the highest spatial resolution (0.65 mrad) and spectral sampling (rocks and soils match those from orbital observations and multispectral data from the MSL Mastcam camera. Preliminary analyses of the band depths, spectral slopes, and reflectance ratios of the more than 2000 spectra taken during the first year of MSL operations demonstrate at least six spectral classes of materials distinguished by variations in ferrous and ferric components. Initial comparisons of ChemCam spectra to laboratory spectra of minerals and Mars analog materials demonstrate similarities with palagonitic soils and indications of orthopyroxene in some dark rocks. Magnesium-rich "raised ridges" tend to exhibit distinct near-infrared slopes. The ferric absorption downturn typically found for martian materials at rocks and drill tailings, consistent with their more ferrous nature. Calcium-sulfate veins exhibit the highest relative reflectances observed, but are still relatively red owing to the effects of residual dust. Such dust is overall less prominent on rocks sampled within the "blast zone" immediately surrounding the landing site. These samples were likely affected by the landing thrusters, which partially removed the ubiquitous dust coatings. Increased dust coatings on the calibration targets during the first year of the mission were documented by the ChemCam passive measurements as well. Ongoing efforts to model and correct for this dust component should improve calibration of the relative reflectance

  18. A Model for Generation of Martian Surface Dust, Soil and Rock Coatings: Physical vs. Chemical Interactions, and Palagonitic Plus Hydrothermal Alteration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.; Murchie, S.; Pieters, C.; Zent, A.

    1999-01-01

    This model is one of many possible scenarios to explain the generation of the current surface material on Mars using chemical, magnetic and spectroscopic data from Mars and geologic analogs from terrestrial sites. One basic premise is that there are physical and chemical interactions of the atmospheric dust particles and that these two processes create distinctly different results. Physical processes distribute dust particles on rocks, forming physical rock coatings, and on the surface between rocks forming soil units; these are reversible processes. Chemical reactions of the dust/soil particles create alteration rinds on rock surfaces or duricrust surface units, both of which are relatively permanent materials. According to this model the mineral components of the dust/soil particles are derived from a combination of "typical" palagonitic weathering of volcanic ash and hydrothermally altered components, primarily from steam vents or fumeroles. Both of these altered materials are composed of tiny particles, about 1 micron or smaller, that are aggregates of silicates and iron oxide/oxyhydroxide/sulfate phases. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  19. Astrobiology through the ages of Mars: the study of terrestrial analogues to understand the habitability of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairén, Alberto G; Davila, Alfonso F; Lim, Darlene; Bramall, Nathan; Bonaccorsi, Rosalba; Zavaleta, Jhony; Uceda, Esther R; Stoker, Carol; Wierzchos, Jacek; Dohm, James M; Amils, Ricardo; Andersen, Dale; McKay, Christopher P

    2010-10-01

    Mars has undergone three main climatic stages throughout its geological history, beginning with a water-rich epoch, followed by a cold and semi-arid era, and transitioning into present-day arid and very cold desert conditions. These global climatic eras also represent three different stages of planetary habitability: an early, potentially habitable stage when the basic requisites for life as we know it were present (liquid water and energy); an intermediate extreme stage, when liquid solutions became scarce or very challenging for life; and the most recent stage during which conditions on the surface have been largely uninhabitable, except perhaps in some isolated niches. Our understanding of the evolution of Mars is now sufficient to assign specific terrestrial environments to each of these periods. Through the study of Mars terrestrial analogues, we have assessed and constrained the habitability conditions for each of these stages, the geochemistry of the surface, and the likelihood for the preservation of organic and inorganic biosignatures. The study of these analog environments provides important information to better understand past and current mission results as well as to support the design and selection of instruments and the planning for future exploratory missions to Mars.

  20. MarsVac: Pneumatic Sampling System for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacny, K.; Mungas, G.; Chu, P.; Craft, J.; Davis, K.

    2008-12-01

    We are proposing a Mars Sample Return scheme whereby a sample of regolith is acquired directly into a Mars Ascent Vehicle using a pneumatic system. Unlike prior developments that used suction to collect fines, the proposed system uses positive pressure to move the regolith. We envisage 3 pneumatic tubes to be embedded inside the 3 legs of the lander. Upon landing, the legs will burry themselves into the regolith and the tubes will fill up with regolith. With one puff of gas, the regolith can be lifted into a sampling chamber onboard of the Mars Ascent Vehicle. An additional chamber can be opened to acquire atmospheric gas and dust. The entire MSR will require 1) an actuator to open/close sampling chamber and 2) a valve to open gas cylinder. In the most recent study related to lunar excavation and funded under the NASA SBIR program we have shown that it is possible lift over 3000 grams of soil with only 1 gram of gas at 1atm. Tests conducted under Mars atmospheric pressure conditions (5 torr). In September of 2008, we will be performing tests at 1/6thg (Moon) and 1/3g (Mars) to determine mass lifting efficiencies in reduced gravities.

  1. SAM : an experiment dedicated to the Carbon Quest at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Patrice; Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris; Cabane, Michel; Tan, F.; Coscia, D.; Nolan, T.; Rahen, E.; Teinturier, S.; Goutail, J. P.; Martin, D.; Montaron, C.; Galic, A.

    SAM is a suite of instruments that will be onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The SAM team consist of scientists and engineers at GSFC, U. Paris/CNRS, JPL, and Honeybee Robotics, along with many additional external partners. SAM's five science goals will address three of the most fundamental questions about the ability of Mars to support life -past, present, and future. Question 1: What does the inventory of carbon compounds near the surface of Mars tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 1: Survey carbon compound sources and evaluate their possible mechanism of formation and destruction. 2.Goal 2: Search for organic compounds of biotic and prebiotic importance expecially methane. Question 2: What are the chemical and isotopic states of the lighter elements in the solids and atmosphere of Mars and what do they tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 3: Reveal the chemical and isotopic state of elements (i.e., N, H, O, S and others) that are important for life as we know it. 2.Goal 4: Evaluate the habitability of Mars by studying its atmospheric chemistry and the composition of trace species that are evidence of interactions between the atmosphere and soil. Question 3: Were past habitability conditions different from today's? 1.Goal 5: Understand atmospheric and climatic evolution through measurements of noble gas and light element isotopes.

  2. The atmospheric escape at Mars: complementing the scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilensten, Jean; Simon, Cyril; Barthélémy, Mathieu; Thissen, Roland; Ehrenreich, David; Gronoff, Guillaume; Witasse, Olivier

    2013-04-01

    In the recent years, the presence of dications in the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, Earth and Titan has been modeled and assessed. These studies also suggested that these ions could participate to the escape of the planetary atmospheres because a large fraction of them is unstable and highly ener- getic. When they dissociate, their internal energy is transformed into kinetic energy which may be larger than the escape energy. This study assesses the impact of the doubly-charged ions in the escape of CO2-dominated planetary atmospheres and to compare it to the escape of thermal photo-ions.We solve a Boltzmann transport equation at daytime taking into account the dissociative states of CO++ for a simplified single constituent atmosphere of a 2 case-study planet. We compute the escape of fast ions using a Beer-Lambert approach. We study three test-cases. On a Mars-analog planet in today's conditions, we retrieve the measured electron escape flux. When comparing the two mechanisms (i.e. excluding solar wind effects, sputtering ...), the escape due to the fast ions issuing from the dissociation of dications may account for up to 6% of the total and the escape of thermal ions for the remaining. We show that these two mechanisms cannot explain the escape of the atmosphere since the magnetic field vanished but complement the other processes and allow writing the scenario of the Mars escape. We show that the atmosphere of a Mars analog planet would empty in another giga years and a half. At Venus orbit, the contribution of the dications in the escape rate is negligible.When simulating the hot Jupiter HD209458b, the two processes cannot explain the measured escape flux of C+.

  3. NASA Software Cost Estimation Model: An Analogy Based Estimation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hihn, Jairus; Juster, Leora; Menzies, Tim; Mathew, George; Johnson, James

    2015-01-01

    The cost estimation of software development activities is increasingly critical for large scale integrated projects such as those at DOD and NASA especially as the software systems become larger and more complex. As an example MSL (Mars Scientific Laboratory) developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory launched with over 2 million lines of code making it the largest robotic spacecraft ever flown (Based on the size of the software). Software development activities are also notorious for their cost growth, with NASA flight software averaging over 50% cost growth. All across the agency, estimators and analysts are increasingly being tasked to develop reliable cost estimates in support of program planning and execution. While there has been extensive work on improving parametric methods there is very little focus on the use of models based on analogy and clustering algorithms. In this paper we summarize our findings on effort/cost model estimation and model development based on ten years of software effort estimation research using data mining and machine learning methods to develop estimation models based on analogy and clustering. The NASA Software Cost Model performance is evaluated by comparing it to COCOMO II, linear regression, and K-­ nearest neighbor prediction model performance on the same data set.

  4. Comparisons of Unconsolidated Sediments Analyzed by APXS (MSL-Curiosity) within Gale Crater, Mars: Soils, Sands of the Barchan and Linear Dunes of the Active Bagnold Dune Field, and Ripple-field Sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, L. M.; O'Connell-Cooper, C.; Spray, J. G.; Gellert, R.; Boyd, N. I.; Desouza, E.

    2017-12-01

    The MSL-APXS has analyzed a variety of unconsolidated sediments within the Gale impact crater, including soils, sands from barchan [High, Namib dunes], and linear dunes [Nathan Bridges, Mount Desert dunes], within the active Bagnold dune field, and sands from two smaller ripple fields ("mega-ripples"). The Gale "soils" (unsorted, unconsolidated sediments, ranging from fine-grained particles (including dust) to coarser "pebbly" material [>2 mm]), are, to a large degree, similar to Martian basaltic soils quantified by APXS, at Gusev crater (MER-A_Spirit) and Meridiani Planum (MER-B_Opportunity). Some local contributions are indicated by, for example, the enriched K levels (relative to a martian average basaltic soil [ABS]) within coarser Gale soil samples, and a Cr, Mn, Fe enrichment within finer-grained samples. Sands (grain size 62 µm to 2 mm) of the Bagnold dunes, generally, exhibit elevated Mg and Ni, indicating enrichment from olivine and pyroxene, but depleted S, Cl and Zn, indicating high activity levels and low dust. Compositional differences, related both to position within a dune (i.e., crest versus off-crest sand), and type of dune (linear versus barchan), are identified. Off-crest sands have Na, Al, Si, K, P contents similar to (or slightly depleted, relative to) the ABS, enrichment in Mg, and low dust content, whilst crest sands contain very high Mg and Ni (relative to the ABS), low felsic elemental concentrations and very low dust content. Cr is significantly enriched (and, to a lesser degree, Mn, Fe, Ti) in the off-crest sands of the linear dunes. In contrast, barchan dunes off-crest sands have Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ti abundances similar to those in the Gale soils. Additionally, Ni concentrations in barchan dunes off-crest sands are enriched relative to the linear dunes. Analyses from a small, isolated "mega-ripple" reveal a composition similar to that of the Gale soils, including a high dust content. The second mega-ripple, within a larger ripple field, is

  5. VL1 Digs A Deep Hole On Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-01-01

    VIKING LANDER DIGS A DEEP HOLE ON MARS -- This six-inch-deep, 12- inch-wide, 29-inch-long hole was dug Feb. 12 and 14 by Viking Lander 1 as the first sequence in an attempt to reach a foot beneath the surface of the red planet. The activity is in the same area where Lander 1 acquired its first soil samples last July. The trench was dug by repeatedly backhoeing in a left-right-center pattern. The backhoe teeth produced the small parallel ridges at the far end of the trench (upper left). The larger ridges running the length of the trench are material left behind during the backhoe operation. What appears to be small rocks along the ridges and in the soil at the near end of the trench are really small dirt clods. The clods and the steepness of the trench walls indicate the material is cohesive and behaves something like ordinary flour. After a later sequence, to be performed March 1 and 2, a soil sample will be taken from the bottom of the trench for inorganic soil analysis and later for biology analysis. Information about the soil taken from the bottom of the trench may help explain the weathering process on Mars and may help resolve the dilemma created by Viking findings that first suggest but then cast doubt on the possibility of life in the Martian soil. The trench shown here is a result of one of the most complex command sequences yet performed by the lander. Viking l has been operating at Chryse Planitia on Mars since it landed July 20, 1976.

  6. 'Endurance' Courtesy of Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to capture this false-color image of the interior of 'Endurance Crater' on the rover's 188th martian day (Aug. 4, 2004). The image data were relayed to Earth by the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. The image was generated from separate frames using the cameras 750-, 530- and 480-nanometer filters.

  7. Mars oxygen production system design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Charles E.; Pillow, Linda K.; Perkinson, Robert C.; Brownlie, R. P.; Chwalowski, P.; Carmona, M. F.; Coopersmith, J. P.; Goff, J. C.; Harvey, L. L.; Kovacs, L. A.

    1989-01-01

    The design and construction phase is summarized of the Mars oxygen demonstration project. The basic hardware required to produce oxygen from simulated Mars atmosphere was assembled and tested. Some design problems still remain with the sample collection and storage system. In addition, design and development of computer compatible data acquisition and control instrumentation is ongoing.

  8. Life sciences and Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulzman, Frank M.; Rummel, John D.; Leveton, Lauren B.; Teeter, Ron

    1990-01-01

    The major life science considerations for Mars exploration missions are discussed. Radiation protection and countermeasures for zero gravity are discussed. Considerations of crew psychological health considerations and life support systems are addressed. Scientific opportunities presented by manned Mars missions are examined.

  9. Water and Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils.

  10. Mars Sample Return Architecture Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C. D.; Vijendran, S.

    2018-04-01

    NASA and ESA are exploring potential concepts for a Sample Retrieval Lander and Earth Return Orbiter that could return samples planned to be collected and cached by the Mars 2020 rover mission. We provide an overview of the Mars Sample Return architecture.

  11. Tectonic evolution of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wise, D.U.; Golombek, M.P.; McGill, G.E.

    1979-01-01

    Any model for the tectonic evolution of Mars must account for two major crustal elements: the Tharsis bulge and the topographically low and lightly crated northern third of the planet. Ages determined by crater density indicate that both of these elements came into existence very early in Martian history, a conclusion that holds no matter which of the current crater density versus age curves is used. The size of these two major crustal elements and their sequential development suggest that both may be related to a global-scale internal process. It is proposed that the resurfacing of the northern third of Mars is related to subcrustal erosion and isostatic foundering during the life of a first-order convection cell. With the demise of the cell, denser segregations of metallic materials began to coalesce as a gravitatively unstable layer which finally overturned to form the core. In the overturn, lighter crustal materials was shifted laterally and underplated beneath Tharsis to cause rapid and permanent isostatic rise. This was followed by a long-lived thermal phase produced by the hot underplate and by the gravitative energy of core formation slowly making its way to the surface to produce the Tharsis volcanics

  12. Safety during MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    2015-01-01

    It is MARS(1) time again! All employed members of the CERN personnel are currently undergoing the annual MARS evaluations.   This is also a good occasion for supervisors and their supervisees to fill in or update the OHS-0-0-3 form(2) “Identification of occupational hazards”. Filling in the OHS-0-0-3 form is an opportunity to assess any safety issues related to the supervisee's activities.  Each of us should, together with our supervisor, regularly identify and assess the hazards we may be exposed to in the course of our professional activities and reflect on how to control and mitigate them. When filling in the OHS form for the first time, it is important to determine any potential hazards as well as the corresponding preventive measures, in particular training and protective equipment. When updating the form, please review the available information to ensure that it still corresponds to the current activities. The form should be updated w...

  13. From the Canadian High Arctic to Mars by Analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soare, R. J.; Pollard, W. H.

    2002-12-01

    Planetary scientists are limited in their understanding of physical bodies in the solar system by the lack of primary data or knowledge. Analogue science is science practised in absentia, precisely in those instances when a non-terrestrial physical environment lies beyond one's direct, empirical grasp. Recognising that some environments on Earth may mirror present or past conditions on Mars, planetary scientists have invoked terrestrial analogues with increasing regularity over the last thirty years as fonts of putative understanding. Notwithstanding its ubiquity in planetary science, analogical reasoning has stood, by and large, unconstrained by rules or guidelines of usage. In order to redress this imbalance we propose to take two steps: 1. introduce primary data on newly discovered pingos at Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian High Arctic, and 2. coalesce these and related data on Martian glacial, peri-glacial and fluvio-glacial landforms as a model with which to evaluate the meaningfulness of analogical reasoning in planetary science.

  14. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy; Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has conducted its first analysis of Martian soil samples using multiple instruments, the agency announced at a 3 December news briefing at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. "These results are an unprecedented look at the chemical diversity in the area," said NASA's Michael Meyer, program scientist for Curiosity.

  15. Austere Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Hoppy; Hawkins, Alisa M.; Tadcliffe, Torrey O.

    2009-01-01

    The Design Reference Architecture 5 (DRA 5) is the most recent concept developed by NASA to send humans to Mars in the 2030 time frame using Constellation Program elements. DRA 5 is optimized to meet a specific set of requirements that would provide for a robust exploration program to deliver a new six-person crew at each biennial Mars opportunity and provide for power and infrastructure to maintain a highly capable continuing human presence on Mars. This paper examines an alternate architecture that is scaled back from DRA 5 and might offer lower development cost, lower flight cost, and lower development risk. It is recognized that a mission set using this approach would not meet all the current Constellation Mars mission requirements; however, this 'austere' architecture may represent a minimum mission set that would be acceptable from a science and exploration standpoint. The austere approach is driven by a philosophy of minimizing high risk or high cost technology development and maximizing development and production commonality in order to achieve a program that could be sustained in a flat-funded budget environment. Key features that would enable a lower technology implementation are as follows: using a blunt-body entry vehicle having no deployable decelerators, utilizing aerobraking rather than aerocapture for placing the crewed element into low Mars orbit, avoiding the use of liquid hydrogen with its low temperature and large volume issues, using standard bipropellant propulsion for the landers and ascent vehicle, and using radioisotope surface power systems rather than a nuclear reactor or large area deployable solar arrays. Flat funding within the expected NASA budget for a sustained program could be facilitated by alternating cargo and crew launches for the biennial Mars opportunities. This would result in two assembled vehicles leaving Earth orbit for Mars per Mars opportunity. The first opportunity would send two cargo landers to the Mars surface to

  16. A Powder Delivery System (PoDS) for Mars in situ Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryson, C.; Blake, D.; Saha, C.; Sarrazin, P.

    2004-12-01

    Many instruments proposed for in situ Mars science investigations work best with fine-grained samples of rocks or soils. Such instruments include the mineral analyzer CheMin [1] and any instrument that requires samples having high surface areas (e.g., mass spectrometers, organic analyzers, etc). The Powder Delivery System (PoDS) is designed to deliver powders of selected grain sizes from a sample acquisition device such as an arm-deployed robotic driller or corer to an instrument suite located on the body of a rover/lander. PoDS is capable of size-selective sampling of crushed rocks, soil or drill powder for delivery to instruments that require specific grain sizes (e.g. 5-50 mg of less than150 micron powder for CheMin). Sample material is transported as an aerosol of particles and gas by vacuum advection. In the laboratory a venturi pump driven by compressed air provides the impulse. On Mars, the ambient atmosphere is a source of CO2 that can be captured and compressed by adsorption pumping during diurnal temperature cycling [2]. The lower atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars (7 torr) will affect fundamental parameters of gas-particle interaction such as Reynolds, Stocks and Knudsen numbers [3]. However, calculations show that the PoDS will operate under both Martian and terrestrial atmospheric conditions. Cyclone separators with appropriate particle size selection ranges remove particles from the aerosol stream. The vortex flow inside the cyclone causes grains larger than a specific size to be collected, while smaller grains remain entrained in the gas. Cyclones are very efficient inertial and centrifugal particle separators with cut sizes (d50) as low as 4 microns. Depending on the particle size ranges desired, a series of cyclones with descending cut sizes may be used, the simplest case being a single cyclone for particle deposition without mass separation. Transmission / membrane filters of appropriate pore sizes may also be used to collect powder from

  17. Exploration of the Habitability of Mars with the SAM Suite Investigation on the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.

    2008-01-01

    The 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) with a substantially larger payload capability that any other Mars rover, to date, is designed to quantitatively assess a local region on Mars as a potential habitat for present or past life. Its goals are (1) to assess past or present biological potential of a target environment, (2) to characterize geology and geochemistry at the MSL landing site, and (3) to investigate planetary processes that influence habitability. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Suite, in its final stages of integration and test, enables a sensitive search for organic molecules and chemical and isotopic analysis of martian volatiles. MSL contact and remote surface and subsurface survey Instruments establish context for these measurements and facilitate sample identification and selection. The SAM instruments are a gas chromatograph (GC), a mass spectrometer (MS), and a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). These together with supporting sample manipulation and gas processing devices are designed to analyze either the atmospheric composition or gases extracted from solid phase samples such as rocks and fines. For example, one of the core SAM experiment sequences heats a small powdered sample of a Mars rock or soil from ambient to -1300 K in a controlled manner while continuously monitoring evolved gases. This is followed by GCMS analysis of released organics. The general chemical survey is complemented by a specific search for molecular classes that may be relevant to life including atmospheric methane and its carbon isotope with the TLS and biomarkers with the GCMS.

  18. Ring Resonator for Detection of Melting Brine Under Shallow Subsurface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponchak, George E.; Jordan, Jennifer L.; Scardelletti, Maximilian C.

    2016-01-01

    Laboratory experimental evidence using Raman spectroscopy has shown that liquid brine may form below the shallow subsurface of Mars. A simpler experimental method to verify the presence of liquid brine or liquid water below Mars surface is needed. In this paper, a ring resonator is used to detect the phase change between frozen water and liquid water below a sandy soil that simulates the Mars surface. Experimental data shows that the ring resonator can detect the melting of thin layers of frozen brine or water up to 15 mm below the surface.

  19. An Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer for Mars-96 and Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieder, R.; Wanke, H.; Economou, T.

    1996-09-01

    Mars Pathfinder and the Russian Mars-96 will carry an Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) for the determination of the chemical composition of Martian rocks and soil. The instrument will measure the concentration of all major and many minor elements, including C,N and O, at levels above typically 1%. The method employed consist of bombarding a sample of 50 mm diameter with alpha particles from a radioactive source (50 mCi of Cm-244) and measuring: (i) backscattered alpha particles (alpha mode) (ii) protons from (a,p) reactions with some light elements (proton mode) (iii) characteristic X-rays emitted from the sample (X-ray mode). The APXS has a long standing space heritage, going back to Surveyor V,VI and VII (1967/68) and the Soviet Phobos (1988) missions. The present design is the result of an endeavour to reduce mass and power consumption to 600g/ 300mW. It consist of a sensor head containing the alpha sources, a telescope of a silicon detectors for the detection of the alpha particles and protons and a separate X-ray detector with its preamplifier, and an electronics box (80x70x60 mm) containing a microcontroller based multichannel spectrometer. The paper will describe the APXS flight hardware and present results obtained with the flight instrument that will show the instrument capabili- ties and the expected results to be obtained during surface operations on Mars.

  20. Automatic activation of categorical and abstract analogical relations in analogical reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Adam E; Fugelsang, Jonathan A; Dunbar, Kevin N

    2006-10-01

    We examined activation of concepts during analogical reasoning. Subjects made either analogical judgments or categorical judgments about four-word sets. After each four-word set, they named the ink color of a single word in a modified Stroop task. Words that referred to category relations were primed (as indicated by longer response times on Stroop color naming) subsequent to analogical judgments and categorical judgments. This finding suggests that activation of category concepts plays a fundamental role in analogical thinking. When colored words referred to analogical relations, priming occurred subsequent to analogical judgments, but not to categorical judgments, even though identical four-word stimuli were used for both types of judgments. This finding lends empirical support to the hypothesis that, when people comprehend the analogy between two items, they activate an abstract analogical relation that is distinct from the specific content items that compose the analogy.

  1. The Young Solar Analogs Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Richard O.; Saken, J. M.; Corbally, C. J.; Fuller, V.; Kahvaz, Y.; Lambert, R.; Newsome, I.; Seeds, M.

    2013-01-01

    We are carrying out a long-term project of measuring chromospheric activity and brightness variations in 31 young solar analogs (YSAs) using facilities at the Dark Sky Observatory (DSO - Appalachian State University) and the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT). These YSAs are solar-type (spectral types F8 - K2) stars with ages ranging from 0.3 - 1.5 Gyr. The goal of this project is to gain better understanding of the magnetic activity of the early Sun, and especially how that activity may have impacted the development of life on the Earth. This project will also yield insights into the space environments experienced by young Earth analogs. We are currently in the 6th year of spectroscopic measurements of these stars: these data include Ca II H & K chromospheric flux measurements, and narrow-band measurements in the photospheric G-band, both obtained with the G/M spectrograph on the DSO 32-inch telescope. We will present evidence of activity cycles in a number of our stars, as well as periods determined from rotational modulation of the spectroscopic indices. The relationship between the Ca II activity index and the G-band index will be explored. NSF support for our project has provided funds for the construction of a robotic photometric telescope to monitor the program stars in a 5-passband system (Strömgren-v, Johnson-Cousins B, V, and R, and a 3-nm wide Hα filter). The robotic telescope has been functional since April 2012 and observes the program stars on every clear night; combined with the Piggy-back telescope attached to the DSO 32-inch, we now have photometric observations on over 130 nights stretching over nearly 2 years. We will examine the relationships between variations in the Ca II H & K index, the G-band index and the photometric bands. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation, grant AST-1109158.

  2. The Young Solar Analogs Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Richard O.; Saken, J. M.; Corbally, C. J.; Seeds, M. F.; Morrison, S. S.

    2012-01-01

    We are carrying out a long-term project of measuring chromospheric activity and brightness variations in 31 young solar analogs (YSAs) using the Dark Sky Observatory (DSO -- Appalachian State University) 32-inch telescope and the G/M spectrograph. These YSAs are solar-type (spectral types F8 - K2) stars with ages ranging from 0.3 - 1.5 Gyr. The goal of this project is to gain better understanding of the magnetic activity of the early Sun, and especially how that activity may have impacted the development of life on the Earth. This project will also yield insights into the space environments experienced by young Earth analogs. We are currently in our 5th year of obtaining Ca II K & H chromospheric flux measurements, and are beginning to see signs of long-term activity cycles in a number of our stars. In addition, rotational modulation of the chromospheric fluxes is detectable in our data, and we have determined rotational periods for many of our stars. Short timescale increases in the K & H fluxes have been observed in a number of our stars; these events may be related to stellar flares. VATTSpec, a new moderate-resolution spectrograph on the 1.8-m Vatican Telescope in Arizona, has recently become involved with the project. This spectrograph will increase our ability to detect short-term changes in stellar activity on timescales of hours to minutes. We have been monitoring the program stars for one year in a multi-band photometric system consisting of Stromgren-v, and Johnson B, V, and R filters. We will soon add a narrow-band H-alpha filter to the system. Photometry is being carried out with a small piggy-back telescope on the 32-inch, but a robotic photometric telescope is currently being installed at DSO for this purpose. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation.

  3. Priming analogical reasoning with false memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Mark L; Garner, Sarah R; Threadgold, Emma; Ball, Linden J

    2015-08-01

    Like true memories, false memories are capable of priming answers to insight-based problems. Recent research has attempted to extend this paradigm to more advanced problem-solving tasks, including those involving verbal analogical reasoning. However, these experiments are constrained inasmuch as problem solutions could be generated via spreading activation mechanisms (much like false memories themselves) rather than using complex reasoning processes. In three experiments we examined false memory priming of complex analogical reasoning tasks in the absence of simple semantic associations. In Experiment 1, we demonstrated the robustness of false memory priming in analogical reasoning when backward associative strength among the problem terms was eliminated. In Experiments 2a and 2b, we extended these findings by demonstrating priming on newly created homonym analogies that can only be solved by inhibiting semantic associations within the analogy. Overall, the findings of the present experiments provide evidence that the efficacy of false memory priming extends to complex analogical reasoning problems.

  4. Neural correlates of creativity in analogical reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Adam E; Kraemer, David J M; Fugelsang, Jonathan A; Gray, Jeremy R; Dunbar, Kevin N

    2012-03-01

    Brain-based evidence has implicated the frontal pole of the brain as important for analogical mapping. Separately, cognitive research has identified semantic distance as a key determinant of the creativity of analogical mapping (i.e., more distant analogies are generally more creative). Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess brain activity during an analogy generation task in which we varied the semantic distance of analogical mapping (as derived quantitatively from a latent semantic analysis). Data indicated that activity within an a priori region of interest in left frontopolar cortex covaried parametrically with increasing semantic distance, even after removing effects of task difficulty. Results implicate increased recruitment of frontopolar cortex as a mechanism for integrating semantically distant information to generate solutions in creative analogical reasoning. 2012 APA, all rights reserved

  5. An emergent approach to analogical inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibodeau, Paul H.; Flusberg, Stephen J.; Glick, Jeremy J.; Sternberg, Daniel A.

    2013-03-01

    In recent years, a growing number of researchers have proposed that analogy is a core component of human cognition. According to the dominant theoretical viewpoint, analogical reasoning requires a specific suite of cognitive machinery, including explicitly coded symbolic representations and a mapping or binding mechanism that operates over these representations. Here we offer an alternative approach: we find that analogical inference can emerge naturally and spontaneously from a relatively simple, error-driven learning mechanism without the need to posit any additional analogy-specific machinery. The results also parallel findings from the developmental literature on analogy, demonstrating a shift from an initial reliance on surface feature similarity to the use of relational similarity later in training. Variants of the model allow us to consider and rule out alternative accounts of its performance. We conclude by discussing how these findings can potentially refine our understanding of the processes that are required to perform analogical inference.

  6. Analog techniques in CEBAF's RF control system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hovater, C.; Fugitt, J.

    1989-01-01

    Recent developments in high-speed analog technology have progressed into the areas of traditional RF technology. Diode related devices are being replaced by analog IC's in the CEBAF RF control system. Complex phase modulators and attenuators have been successfully tested at 70 MHz. They have three advantages over existing technology: lower cost, less temperature sensitivity, and more linearity. RF signal conditioning components and how to implement the new analog IC's will be covered in this paper. 4 refs., 5 figs

  7. Analog techniques in CEBAF'S RF control system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hovater, C.; Fugitt, J.

    1989-01-01

    Recent developments in high-speed analog technology have progressed into the areas of traditional rf technology. Diode-related devices are being replaced by analog IC's in the CEBAF rf control system. Complex phase modulators and attenuators have been successfully tested at 70 MHz. They have three advantages over existing technology: lower cost, less temperature sensitivity, and more linearity. Rf signal conditioning components and how to implement the new analog IC's will be covered in this paper. 4 refs., 5 figs

  8. Design and Analysis of Reconfigurable Analog System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-01

    34010010" �" �" �" �" �" �" �±" N3 N2 N± P1 P2 P3 * Current sources $RR = 1; *Ramp Rate (slope of the...2008/12/12/31e83bac-500f-4182- acca -4d360295fd9c.pdf, Analog Devices, Analog Dialogue 39-06, June 2005. [15] D. A. Johns, K. Martin "Analog Integrated

  9. Polygon on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image shows a small-scale polygonal pattern in the ground near NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. This pattern is similar in appearance to polygonal structures in icy ground in the arctic regions of Earth. Phoenix touched down on the Red Planet at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Time (7:53 p.m. Eastern Time), May 25, 2008, in an arctic region called Vastitas Borealis, at 68 degrees north latitude, 234 degrees east longitude. This image was acquired by the Surface Stereo Imager shortly after landing. On the Phoenix mission calendar, landing day is known as Sol 0, the first Martian day of the mission. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet P