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Sample records for mars rocks sojourner

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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

  4. '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.

  5. First Grinding of a Rock on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The round, shallow depression in this image resulted from history's first grinding of a rock on Mars. The rock abrasion tool on NASA's Spirit rover ground off the surface of a patch 45.5 millimeters (1.8 inches) in diameter on a rock called Adirondack during Spirit's 34th sol on Mars, Feb. 6, 2004. The hole is 2.65 millimeters (0.1 inch) deep, exposing fresh interior material of the rock for close inspection with the rover's microscopic imager and two spectrometers on the robotic arm. This image was taken by Spirit's panoramic camera, providing a quick visual check of the success of the grinding. The rock abrasion tools on both Mars Exploration Rovers were supplied by Honeybee Robotics, New York, N.Y.

  6. Finding the right rocks on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargraves, R. B.; Knudsen, J. M.; Madsen, M. B.; Bertelsen, P.

    Locating a rock on the surface of Mars that bears unambiguous evidence of the existence—prior or present—of life on that planet is, understandably, the “Holy Grail” of NASAs sample return missions. Remote recognition of such a rock on Mars will not be easy. We do know, however, that present in the Martian crust—especially in the “Southern highlands”—is rock carrying strong natural remanent magnetization (NRM). Characterization of such magnetized rock has profound implications for adding to our knowledge about the origin and early evolution of the Martian interior, lithosphere, atmosphere, and possibly even Martian life forms [Ward and Brownlee, 2000]. Moreover, it should be possible to recognize such rocks by use of a simple magnetic compass mounted on a Rover.

  7. Soft Rock Yields Clues to Mars' Past

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1 This image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rock outcrop dubbed 'Clovis.' The rock was discovered to be softer than other rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater after the rover easily ground a hole into it with its rock abrasion tool. Spirit's solar panels can be seen in the foreground. This image was taken by the rover's navigation camera on sol 205 (July 31, 2004). Elemental Trio Found in 'Clovis' Figure 1 above shows that the interior of the rock dubbed 'Clovis' contains higher concentrations of sulfur, bromine and chlorine than basaltic, or volcanic, rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater. The data were taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer after the rover dug into Clovis with its rock abrasion tool. The findings might indicate that this rock was chemically altered, and that fluids once flowed through the rock depositing these elements.

  8. Conducting Rock Mass Rating for tunnel construction on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beemer, Heidi D.; Worrells, D. Scott

    2017-10-01

    Mars analogue missions provide researchers, scientists, and engineers the opportunity to establish protocols prior to sending human explorers to another planet. This paper investigated the complexity of a team of simulation astronauts conducting a Rock Mass Rating task during Analogue Mars missions. This study was conducted at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, UT, during field season 2015/2016 and with crews 167,168, and 169. During the experiment, three-person teams completed a Rock Mass Rating task during a three hour Extra Vehicular Activity on day six of their two-week simulation mission. This geological test is used during design and construction of excavations in rock on Earth. On Mars, this test could be conducted by astronauts to determine suitable rock layers for tunnel construction which would provide explorers a permanent habitat and radiation shielding while living for long periods of time on the surface. The Rock Mass Rating system derives quantitative data for engineering designs that can easily be communicated between engineers and geologists. Conclusions from this research demonstrated that it is feasible for astronauts to conduct the Rock Mass Rating task in a Mars simulated environment. However, it was also concluded that Rock Mass Rating task orientation and training will be required to ensure that accurate results are obtained.

  9. Rock pushing and sampling under rocks on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, H.J.; Liebes, S.; Crouch, D.S.; Clark, L.V.

    1978-01-01

    Viking Lander 2 acquired samples on Mars from beneath two rocks, where living organisms and organic molecules would be protected from ultraviolet radiation. Selection of rocks to be moved was based on scientific and engineering considerations, including rock size, rock shape, burial depth, and location in a sample field. Rock locations and topography were established using the computerized interactive video-stereophotogrammetric system and plotted on vertical profiles and in plan view. Sampler commands were developed and tested on Earth using a full-size lander and surface mock-up. The use of power by the sampler motor correlates with rock movements, which were by plowing, skidding, and rolling. Provenance of the samples was determined by measurements and interpretation of pictures and positions of the sampler arm. Analytical results demonstrate that the samples were, in fact, from beneath the rocks. Results from the Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer of the Molecular Analysis experiment and the Gas Exchange instrument of the Biology experiment indicate that more adsorbed(?) water occurs in samples under rocks than in samples exposed to the sun. This is consistent with terrestrial arid environments, where more moisture occurs in near-surface soil un- der rocks than in surrounding soil because the net heat flow is toward the soil beneath the rock and the rock cap inhibits evaporation. Inorganic analyses show that samples of soil from under the rocks have significantly less iron than soil exposed to the sun. The scientific significance of analyses of samples under the rocks is only partly evaluated, but some facts are clear. Detectable quantities of martian organic molecules were not found in the sample from under a rock by the Molecular Analysis experiment. The Biology experiments did not find definitive evidence for Earth-like living organisms in their sample. Significant amounts of adsorbed water may be present in the martian regolith. The response of the soil

  10. Rock Moved by Mars Lander Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The robotic arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander slid a rock out of the way during the mission's 117th Martian day (Sept. 22, 2008) to gain access to soil that had been underneath the rock.The lander's Surface Stereo Imager took the two images for this stereo view later the same day, showing the rock, called 'Headless,' after the arm pushed it about 40 centimeters (16 inches) from its previous location. 'The rock ended up exactly where we intended it to,' said Matt Robinson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, robotic arm flight software lead for the Phoenix team. The arm had enlarged the trench near Headless two days earlier in preparation for sliding the rock into the trench. The trench was dug to about 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) deep. The ground surface between the rock's prior position and the lip of the trench had a slope of about 3 degrees downward toward the trench. Headless is about the size and shape of a VHS videotape. The Phoenix science team sought to move the rock in order to study the soil and the depth to subsurface ice underneath where the rock had been. This image was taken at about 12:30 p.m., local solar time on Mars. The view is to the north northeast of the lander. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by JPL, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development was by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  11. Classification and Distribution of Mars Pathfinder Rocks Using Quantitative Morphologic Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yingst, R. A.; Biederman, K. L.; Monhead, A. M.; Haldemann, A. F. C.; Kowalczyk, M. R.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder (MPF) landing site was predicted to contain a broad sampling of rock types varying in mineralogical, physical, mechanical and geochemical characteristics. Although rocks have been divided into several spectral categories based on Imager for Mars Pathfinder visible/near-infrared spectra, it has not been fully determined which of these stem from intrinsic mineralogical differences between rocks or rock surfaces, and which result from factors such as physical or chemical weathering. This has made isolation of unique mineralogy's difficult. Efforts in isolating and classifying spectral units among MPF rocks and soils have met with varying degrees of success, and the current understanding is such that many factors influencing spectral signatures cannot be quantified to a sufficient level so they may be removed. The result is that fundamental questions regarding information needed to reveal the present and past interactions between the rocks and rock surfaces and the Martian environment remain unanswered. But it is possible to approach the issue of identifying distinct rock and rock surface types from a different angle.

  12. Rock Moved by Mars Lander Arm, Stereo View

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The robotic arm on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander slid a rock out of the way during the mission's 117th Martian day (Sept. 22, 2008) to gain access to soil that had been underneath the rock.The lander's Surface Stereo Imager took the two images for this stereo view later the same day, showing the rock, called 'Headless,' after the arm pushed it about 40 centimeters (16 inches) from its previous location. 'The rock ended up exactly where we intended it to,' said Matt Robinson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, robotic arm flight software lead for the Phoenix team. The arm had enlarged the trench near Headless two days earlier in preparation for sliding the rock into the trench. The trench was dug to about 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) deep. The ground surface between the rock's prior position and the lip of the trench had a slope of about 3 degrees downward toward the trench. Headless is about the size and shape of a VHS videotape. The Phoenix science team sought to move the rock in order to study the soil and the depth to subsurface ice underneath where the rock had been. This left-eye and right-eye images for this stereo view were taken at about 12:30 p.m., local solar time on Mars. The scene appears three-dimensional when seen through blue-red glasses.The view is to the north northeast of the lander. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by JPL, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development was by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  13. Nuclear interactions of cosmic rays with the Mars atmosphere and rocks according to data of the Mars-5 space vehicle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Surkov, Yu A; Moskaleva, L P; Kharyukova, V P; Borodin, A M [AN SSSR, Moscow. Inst. Geokhimii i Analiticheskoj Khimii

    1976-03-01

    Gamma-spectra of Mars have been analyzed measured by the ''Mars-5'' interplanetary station at the altitude of approximately 200 km over the planet. A model spectrum of the Mars atmosphere gamma-radiation obtained earlier has been employed for obtaining cosmo-chemical information of the Mars rocks. In the energy range of gamma radiation Esub(..gamma..)(>=)2.6 MeV, in which no contribution of gamma radiation of natural radioisotopes is present, the best agreement has been obtained for the spectrum of gamma-radiation induced by cosmic rays in rocks of the type of earthly basalts.

  14. Uniaxial Compressive Strengths of Rocks Drilled at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, G. H.; Carey, E. M.; Anderson, R. C.; Abbey, W. J.; Kinnett, R.; Watkins, J. A.; Schemel, M.; Lashore, M. O.; Chasek, M. D.; Green, W.; Beegle, L. W.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2018-01-01

    Measuring the physical properties of geological materials is important for understanding geologic history. Yet there has never been an instrument with the purpose of measuring mechanical properties of rocks sent to another planet. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover employs the Powder Acquisition Drill System (PADS), which provides direct mechanical interaction with Martian outcrops. While the objective of the drill system is not to make scientific measurements, the drill's performance is directly influenced by the mechanical properties of the rocks it drills into. We have developed a methodology that uses the drill to indicate the uniaxial compressive strengths of rocks through comparison with performance of an identically assembled drill system in terrestrial samples of comparable sedimentary class. During this investigation, we utilize engineering data collected on Mars to calculate the percussive energy needed to maintain a prescribed rate of penetration and correlate that to rock strength.

  15. Alteration of immature sedimentary rocks on Earth and Mars. Recording Aqueous and Surface-atmosphere Processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cannon, Kenneth M. [Brown Univ., Providence, RI (United States); Mustard, John F. [Brown Univ., Providence, RI (United States); Salvatore, Mark R. [Arizona State Univ., Mesa, AZ (United States)

    2015-03-05

    The rock alteration and rind formation in analog environments like Antarctica may provide clues to rock alteration and therefore paleoclimates on Mars. Clastic sedimentary rocks derived from basaltic sources have been studied in situ by martian rovers and are likely abundant on the surface of Mars. Moreover, how such rock types undergo alteration when exposed to different environmental conditions is poorly understood compared with alteration of intact basaltic flows. Here we characterize alteration in the chemically immature Carapace Sandstone from Antarctica, a terrestrial analog for martian sedimentary rocks. We employ a variety of measurements similar to those used on previous and current Mars missions. Laboratory techniques included bulk chemistry, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), hyperspectral imaging and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Through these methods we find that primary basaltic material in the Carapace Sandstone is pervasively altered to hydrated clay minerals and palagonite as a result of water–rock interaction. A thick orange rind is forming in current Antarctic conditions, superimposing this previous aqueous alteration signature. The rind exhibits a higher reflectance at visible-near infrared wavelengths than the rock interior, with an enhanced ferric absorption edge likely due to an increase in Fe3+ of existing phases or the formation of minor iron (oxy)hydroxides. This alteration sequence in the Carapace Sandstone results from decreased water–rock interaction over time, and weathering in a cold, dry environment, mimicking a similar transition early in martian history. This transition may be recorded in sedimentary rocks on Mars through a similar superimposition mechanism, capturing past climate changes at the hand sample scale. These results also suggest that basalt-derived sediments could have sourced significant volumes of hydrated minerals on early Mars due to their greater permeability compared with intact igneous rocks.

  16. Elemental Geochemistry of Sedimentary Rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S. M.; Anderson, R. B.; Bell, J. F.; Bridges, J. C.; Calef, F.; Campbell, J. L.; Clark, B. C.; Clegg, S.; Conrad, P.; Cousin, A.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M. D.; Edgar, L. A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Fabre, C.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Gellert, R.; Gordon, S.; Grant, J. A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J. A.; King, P. L.; Le Mouélic, S.; Leshin, L. A.; Léveillé, R.; Lewis, K. W.; Mangold, N.; Maurice, S.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Nachon, M.; Newsom, H. E.; Ollila, A. M.; Perrett, G. M.; Rice, M. S.; Schmidt, M. E.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Stack, K.; Stolper, E. M.; Sumner, D. Y.; Treiman, A. H.; VanBommel, S.; Vaniman, D. T.; Vasavada, A.; Wiens, R. C.; Yingst, R. A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Siebach, Kirsten; 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; 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; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; 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; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; 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; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; 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; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; 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; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; 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; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; 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; 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; Pradler, Irina; 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; 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; 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.

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion and deposition. The absence of predicted geochemical variations indicates that magnetite and phyllosilicates formed by diagenesis under low-temperature, circumneutral pH, rock-dominated aqueous conditions. Analyses of diagenetic features (including concretions, raised ridges, and fractures) at high spatial resolution indicate that they are composed of iron- and halogen-rich components, magnesium-iron-chlorine-rich components, and hydrated calcium sulfates, respectively. Composition of a cross-cutting dike-like feature is consistent with sedimentary intrusion. The geochemistry of these sedimentary rocks provides further evidence for diverse depositional and diagenetic sedimentary environments during the early history of Mars.

  17. Elemental geochemistry of sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S M; Anderson, R B; Bell, J F; Bridges, J C; Calef, F; Campbell, J L; Clark, B C; Clegg, S; Conrad, P; Cousin, A; Des Marais, D J; Dromart, G; Dyar, M D; Edgar, L A; Ehlmann, B L; Fabre, C; Forni, O; Gasnault, O; Gellert, R; Gordon, S; Grant, J A; Grotzinger, J P; Gupta, S; Herkenhoff, K E; Hurowitz, J A; King, P L; Le Mouélic, S; Leshin, L A; Léveillé, R; Lewis, K W; Mangold, N; Maurice, S; Ming, D W; Morris, R V; Nachon, M; Newsom, H E; Ollila, A M; Perrett, G M; Rice, M S; Schmidt, M E; Schwenzer, S P; Stack, K; Stolper, E M; Sumner, D Y; Treiman, A H; VanBommel, S; Vaniman, D T; Vasavada, A; Wiens, R C; Yingst, R A

    2014-01-24

    Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion and deposition. The absence of predicted geochemical variations indicates that magnetite and phyllosilicates formed by diagenesis under low-temperature, circumneutral pH, rock-dominated aqueous conditions. Analyses of diagenetic features (including concretions, raised ridges, and fractures) at high spatial resolution indicate that they are composed of iron- and halogen-rich components, magnesium-iron-chlorine-rich components, and hydrated calcium sulfates, respectively. Composition of a cross-cutting dike-like feature is consistent with sedimentary intrusion. The geochemistry of these sedimentary rocks provides further evidence for diverse depositional and diagenetic sedimentary environments during the early history of Mars.

  18. Quantifying Cyclic Thermal Stresses Due to Solar Exposure in Rock Fragments in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallet, B.; Mackenzie-Helnwein, P.; Sletten, R. S.

    2017-12-01

    Curiosity and earlier rovers on Mars have revealed in detail rocky landscapes with decaying outcrops, rubble, stone-littered regolith, and bedrock exposures that reflect the weathering processes operating on rock exposed to Mars' cold and hyperarid environment. Evidence from diverse sources points to the importance of thermal stresses driven by cyclic solar exposure in contributing to the mechanical weathering of exposed rock and generation of regolith in various settings on Earth [1,2,3], and even more so on extraterrestrial bodies where large, rapid cyclic temperature variations are frequent (e.g. Mars [4], as well as comets [5], asteroids [6] and other airless bodies [7]). To study these thermal stresses, we use a 3d finite element (FE) model constrained by ground-based surface temperature measurements from Curiosity's Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS). The numerical model couples radiation and conduction with elastic response to determine the temperature and stress fields in individual rocks on the surface of Mars based on rock size and thermo-mechanical properties. We provide specific quantitative results for boulder-size basalt rocks resting on the ground using a realistic thermal forcing that closely matches the REMS temperature observations, and related thermal inertia data. Moreover, we introduce analytical studies showing that these numerical results can readily be generalized. They are quite universal, informing us about thermal stresses due to cyclic solar exposure in general, for rock fragments of different sizes, lithologies, and fracture- thermal- and mechanical-properties. Using Earth-analogue studies to gain insight, we also consider how the shapes, fractures, and surface details of rock fragments imaged by Curiosity likely reflect the importance of rock breakdown due to thermal stresses relative to wind-driven rock erosion and other surface processes on Mars. References:[1] McFadden L et al. (2005) Geol. Soc.Am. Bull. 117(1-2): 161-173 [2

  19. 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.

  20. Hydrothermal Alteration Products as Key to Formation of Duricrust and Rock Coatings on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    1999-03-01

    A model is presented for the formation of duricrust and rock coatings on Mars. Hydrothermal alteration of volcanic tephra may produce a corrosive agent that attacks rock surfaces and binds dust particles to form duricrust.

  1. Mechanical design of the Mars Pathfinder mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Howard Jay; Buck, Carl W.; Gillis-Smith, Greg R.; Umland, Jeffrey W.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder mission and the Sojourner rover is reported on, with emphasis on the various mission steps and the performance of the technologies involved. The mechanical design of mission hardware was critical to the success of the entry sequence and the landing operations. The various mechanisms employed are considered.

  2. Sojourner Truth as an Essential Part of Rhetorical Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romans, Bevin A.

    To affirm Sojourner Truth as a powerful rhetor who advanced the equality and empowerment of women, a study examined several of her speeches on women's suffrage. Although the value of using such role models as Sojourner Truth has been demonstrated in various grade levels, and in the study of history and English, the approach is too seldom employed…

  3. Elemental geochemistry of sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLennan, S.M.; Anderson, R.B.; Bell III, J.F.; Bridges, J.C.; Calef III, F.; Campbell, J.L.; Clark, B.C.; Clegg, S.; Conrad, P.; Cousin, A.; Des Marais, D.J.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M.D.; Edgar, L.A.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Fabre, C.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Gellert, R.; Gordon, S.; Grant, J.A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K.E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; King, P.L.; Mouélic, S.L.; Leshin, L.A.; Léveillé, R.; Lewis, K.W.; Mangold, N.; Maurice, S.; Ming, D.W.; Morris, R.V.; Nachon, M.; Newsom, H.E.; Ollila, A.M.; Perrett, G.M.; Rice, M.S.; Schmidt, M.E.; Schwenzer, S.P.; Stack, K.; Stolper, E.M.; Sumner, D.Y.; Treiman, A.H.; VanBommel, S.; Vaniman, D.T.; Vasavada, A.; Wiens, R.C.; Yingst, R.A.; ten Kate, Inge Loes|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold,

  4. Sojourn time asymptotics in Processor Sharing queues with varying service rate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Egorova, R.; Mandjes, M.R.H.; Zwart, B.

    2007-01-01

    Abstract This paper addresses the sojourn time asymptotics for a GI/GI/⋅ queue operating under the Processor Sharing (PS) discipline with stochastically varying service rate. Our focus is on the logarithmic estimates of the tail of sojourn-time distribution, under the assumption that the job-size

  5. Food consumption when travelling abroad: Young Chinese sojourners' food consumption in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, Dorothy Ai-Wan; Cappellini, Benedetta; Wang, Cheng Lu; Nguyen, Bang

    2018-02-01

    This qualitative study investigates the everyday food choices of 21 Chinese sojourners living in two different localities in the UK. Findings from a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews reveal how participants adopt a food consumption pattern, negotiating between ordinary and extraordinary food choices, including home-made Chinese food, Chinese restaurant food, global brands, British food, to "foods of the world". Their zooming in and out of different food consumption choices reflects the transformative identity of the sojourners, between their student role during the week and becoming tourists at the weekends, meshing work and tourism during their sojourning in the UK. Theoretically this paper extends the limited understanding of sojourners, showing how their complex food choices reflect their swift transformative identity. Findings also illustrate how consumption patterns adopted by sojourners living in rural areas differ from the ones living in an urban setting. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Weathering Profiles in Phosphorus-Rich Rocks at Gusev Crater, Mars, Suggest Dissolution of Phosphate Minerals into Potentially Habitable Near-Neutral Waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adcock, Christopher T; Hausrath, Elisabeth M

    2015-12-01

    Abundant evidence indicates that significant surface and near-surface liquid water has existed on Mars in the past. Evaluating the potential for habitable environments on Mars requires an understanding of the chemical and physical conditions that prevailed in such aqueous environments. Among the geological features that may hold evidence of past environmental conditions on Mars are weathering profiles, such as those in the phosphorus-rich Wishstone-class rocks in Gusev Crater. The weathering profiles in these rocks indicate that a Ca-phosphate mineral has been lost during past aqueous interactions. The high phosphorus content of these rocks and potential release of phosphorus during aqueous interactions also make them of astrobiological interest, as phosphorus is among the elements required for all known life. In this work, we used Mars mission data, laboratory-derived kinetic and thermodynamic data, and data from terrestrial analogues, including phosphorus-rich basalts from Idaho, to model a conceptualized Wishstone-class rock using the reactive transport code CrunchFlow. Modeling results most consistent with the weathering profiles in Wishstone-class rocks suggest a combination of chemical and physical erosion and past aqueous interactions with near-neutral waters. The modeling results also indicate that multiple Ca-phosphate minerals are likely in Wishstone-class rocks, consistent with observations of martian meteorites. These findings suggest that Gusev Crater experienced a near-neutral phosphate-bearing aqueous environment that may have been conducive to life on Mars in the past. Mars-Gusev Crater-Wishstone-Reactive transport modeling-CrunchFlow-Aqueous interactions-Neutral pH-Habitability.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

    -bearing strata, separated by an unconformity from overlying likely anhydrous strata; the landing ellipse is characterized by a mixture of alluvial fan and high thermal inertia/high albedo stratified deposits; and a number of stratigraphically/geomorphically distinct fluvial features. Samples of the crater wall and rim rock, and more recent to currently active surface materials also may be studied. Gale has a well-defined regional context and strong evidence for a progression through multiple potentially habitable environments. These environments are represented by a stratigraphic record of extraordinary extent, and insure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars. The interior mountain of Gale Crater has been informally designated at Mount Sharp, in honor of the pioneering planetary scientist Robert Sharp. The major subsystems of the MSL Project consist of a single rover (with science payload), a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, an Earth-Mars cruise stage, an entry, descent, and landing system, a launch vehicle, and the mission operations and ground data systems. The primary communication path for downlink is relay through the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The primary path for uplink to the rover is Direct-from-Earth. The secondary paths for downlink are Direct-to-Earth and relay through the Mars Odyssey orbiter. Curiosity is a scaled version of the 6-wheel drive, 4-wheel steering, rocker bogie system from the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity and the Mars Pathfinder Sojourner. Like Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity offers three primary modes of navigation: blind-drive, visual odometry, and visual odometry with hazard avoidance. Creation of terrain maps based on HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and other remote sensing data were used to conduct simulated driving with Curiosity in these various modes, and allowed selection of the Gale crater landing site which requires climbing the base of a

  10. Characterization of Rock Types at Meridiani Planum, Mars using MER 13-Filter Pancam Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuding, D. L.; Cohen, B. A.

    2009-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has traversed more than 13 km across Meridiani Planum, finding evidence of ancient aqueous environments that, in the past, may have been suitable for life. Meridiani bedrock along the rover traverse is a mixture in composition and bulk mineralogy between a sulfate-rich sedimentary rock and hematite spherules ("blueberries"). On top of the bedrock, numerous loose rocks exist. These rocks consist of both local bedrock and "cobbles" of foreign origin. The cobbles provide a window into lithologic diversity and a chance to understand other types of martian rocks and meteorites. This study was also an attempt to establish a method to expand upon those of Mini-TES to remotely identify rocks of interest to make efficient use of the rover s current resources.

  11. Sojourn time tails in the single server queue with heavy-tailed service times

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boxma, O.J.; Denisov, D.E.

    2009-01-01

    We consider the GI/GI/1 queue with regularly varying service requirement distribution of index -a. It is well known that, in the M/G/1 FCFS queue, the sojourn time distribution is also regularly varying, of index 1 - a, whereas in the case of LCFS or Processor Sharing, the sojourn time distribution

  12. Sojourn time tails in the single server queue with heavy-tailed service times

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boxma, O.J.; Denisov, D.E.

    2011-01-01

    We consider the GI/GI/1 queue with regularly varying service requirement distribution of index -a. It is well known that, in the M/G/1 FCFS queue, the sojourn time distribution is also regularly varying, of index 1-a, whereas in the case of LCFS or Processor Sharing, the sojourn time distribution is

  13. Mineralogy of Rocks and Sediments at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achilles, Cherie; Downs, Robert; Blake, David; Vaniman, David; Ming, Doug; Rampe, Elizabeth; Morris, Dick; Morrison, Shaunna; Treiman, Allan; Chipera, Steve; Yen, Albert; Bristow, Thomas; Craig, Patricia; Hazen, Robert; Crisp, Joy; Grotzinger, John; Des Marias, David; Farmer, Jack; Sarrazin, Philippe; Morookian, John Michael

    2017-04-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is providing in situ mineralogical, geochemical, and sedimentological assessments of rocks and soils in Gale crater. Since landing in 2012, Curiosity has traveled over 15 km, providing analyses of mudstones and sandstones to build a stratigraphic history of the region. The CheMin X-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument is the first instrument on Mars to provide quantitative mineralogical analyses of drilled powders and scooped sediment based on X-ray crystallography. CheMin identifies and determines mineral abundances and unit-cell parameters of major crystalline phases, and identifies minor phases at abundances >1 wt%. In conjunction with elemental analyses, CheMin-derived crystal chemistry allows for the first calculations of crystalline and amorphous material compositions. These mineralogy, crystal chemistry, and amorphous chemistry datasets are playing central roles in the characterization of Gale crater paleoenvironments. CheMin has analyzed 17 rock and sediment samples. In the first phase of the mission, Curiosity explored the sedimentary units of Aeolis Palus (Bradbury group), including two mudstones from Yellowknife Bay. CheMin analyses of the Yellowknife Bay mudstones identified clay minerals among an overall basaltic mineral assemblage. These mineralogical results, along with imaging and geochemical analyses, were used to characterize an ancient lacustrine setting that is thought to have once been a habitable environment. Following the investigations of the Bradbury group, Curiosity arrived at the lower reaches of Aeolis Mons, commonly called Mt. Sharp. A strategic sample campaign was initiated, drilling bedrock at X-ray amorphous phases. Adjacent to fractures, light-toned, halo-like zones are thought to result from significant aqueous alteration of the primary sandstone and show decreased abundances of feldspar and pyroxene, and an increase in the amorphous component, specifically high-silica phases. The Murray

  14. 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.

  15. Do we become a different person when hitting the road? Personality development of sojourners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Julia; Neyer, Franz J

    2013-09-01

    International mobility is a prevalent life event that particularly affects university students. The aim of this longitudinal study was twofold: First, we examined the impact of international mobility on personality (Big Five) change, separating self-selection effects from socialization processes. Second, we extended prior analyses on the association between life events and personality development by investigating the mechanisms that account for socialization processes. In particular, we assessed whether individual differences in the fluctuation of support relationships serve as an explanatory link. We used a prospective control group design with 3 measurement occasions. A sample of university students, containing both short-term (i.e., 1 semester) and long-term (i.e., 1 academic year) sojourners (N = 527) along with control students (N = 607), was tracked over the course of an academic year. Multivariate latent models revealed 3 main findings: First, initial (pre-departure) levels of Extraversion and Conscientiousness predicted short-term sojourning, and Extraversion and Openness predicted long-term sojourning. Second, both forms of sojourning were associated with increases in Openness and Agreeableness and a decrease in Neuroticism above and beyond the observed self-selection. Third, the acquisition of new international support relationships largely accounted for the sojourn effects on personality change. These findings help to fill the missing link between life events and personality development by establishing social relationship fluctuation as an important mediating mechanism.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Eating Iguana: A Qualitative Analysis of Faculty Expectations and Assessments of a Mexican Sojourn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuss-Reineck, Marilyn

    As part of a thrust to increase multiculturalism in the curriculum, Concordia-St. Paul faculty applied for summer sojourn grants, provided by the Bush Foundation. The rationale for the sojourn was that "change in faculty will affect change in the curriculum and in students" (Wentzel 1990). Sixteen faculty members who participated in a…

  19. Potential Cement Phases in Sedimentary Rocks Drilled by Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Ming, D. W.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Bristow, T. F.; Cavanagh, P.; Farmer, J. D.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has encountered a variety of sedimentary rocks in Gale crater with different grain sizes, diagenetic features, sedimentary structures, and varying degrees of resistance to erosion. Curiosity has drilled three rocks to date and has analyzed the mineralogy, chemical composition, and textures of the samples with the science payload. The drilled rocks are the Sheepbed mudstone at Yellowknife Bay on the plains of Gale crater (John Klein and Cumberland targets), the Dillinger sandstone at the Kimberley on the plains of Gale crater (Windjana target), and a sedimentary unit in the Pahrump Hills in the lowermost rocks at the base of Mt. Sharp (Confidence Hills target). CheMin is the Xray diffractometer on Curiosity, and its data are used to identify and determine the abundance of mineral phases. Secondary phases can tell us about aqueous alteration processes and, thus, can help to elucidate past aqueous environments. Here, we present the secondary mineralogy of the rocks drilled to date as seen by CheMin and discuss past aqueous environments in Gale crater, the potential cementing agents in each rock, and how amorphous materials may play a role in cementing the sediments.

  20. Acculturation Attitudes and Sociocultural Adaptation of Chinese Mainland Sojourners in Hong Kong

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanyi Ma

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Within these years, there has been a significant increase in the number of Chinese Mainland sojourners studying in Hong Kong. Due to the huge differences in various aspects like language, culture, cultural value, it would be considerably difficult for the Chinese Mainland students to adapt to the Hong Kong environment. This article investigates the ways for a group of doctoral students from Chinese Mainland to acculturate in Hong Kong. With the help of questionnaires, the difficulties that the sojourners have encountered in social situations are measured. It is found out that age and gender may have influenced the participants’ acculturation strategies, and interpersonal relationship is that which the subjects have the most difficulties with, while academic domain is the area with the least difficulties. Meanwhile, the results have shown that competence of local language is not a determinant factor of the sociocultural adaptation, and female subjects seem to adapt better than male subjects. Keywords: sojourner, acculturation, sociocultural adaptation, acculturation strategy

  1. Sojourn times in finite-capacity processor-sharing queues

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borst, S.C.; Boxma, O.J.; Hegde, N.

    2005-01-01

    Motivated by the need to develop simple parsimonious models for evaluating the performance of wireless data systems, we consider finite-capacity processor-sharing systems. For such systems, we analyze the sojourn time distribution, which presents a useful measure for the transfer delay of documents

  2. VNIR spectral modeling of Mars analogue rocks: first results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pompilio, L.; Roush, T.; Pedrazzi, G.; Sgavetti, M.

    Knowledge regarding the surface composition of Mars and other bodies of the inner solar system is fundamental to understanding of their origin, evolution, and internal structures. Technological improvements of remote sensors and associated implications for planetary studies have encouraged increased laboratory and field spectroscopy research to model the spectral behavior of terrestrial analogues for planetary surfaces. This approach has proven useful during Martian surface and orbital missions, and petrologic studies of Martian SNC meteorites. Thermal emission data were used to suggest two lithologies occurring on Mars surface: basalt with abundant plagioclase and clinopyroxene and andesite, dominated by plagioclase and volcanic glass [1,2]. Weathered basalt has been suggested as an alternative to the andesite interpretation [3,4]. Orbital VNIR spectral imaging data also suggest the crust is dominantly basaltic, chiefly feldspar and pyroxene [5,6]. A few outcrops of ancient crust have higher concentrations of olivine and low-Ca pyroxene, and have been interpreted as cumulates [6]. Based upon these orbital observations future lander/rover missions can be expected to encounter particulate soils, rocks, and rock outcrops. Approaches to qualitative and quantitative analysis of remotely-acquired spectra have been successfully used to infer the presence and abundance of minerals and to discover compositionally associated spectral trends [7-9]. Both empirical [10] and mathematical [e.g. 11-13] methods have been applied, typically with full compositional knowledge, to chiefly particulate samples and as a result cannot be considered as objective techniques for predicting the compositional information, especially for understanding the spectral behavior of rocks. Extending the compositional modeling efforts to include more rocks and developing objective criteria in the modeling are the next required steps. This is the focus of the present investigation. We present results of

  3. Thermal Inertia of Rocks and Rock Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M. P.; Jakosky, B. M.; Mellon, M. T.

    2001-01-01

    The effective thermal inertia of rock populations on Mars and Earth is derived from a model of effective inertia versus rock diameter. Results allow a parameterization of the effective rock inertia versus rock abundance and bulk and fine component inertia. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  4. High spectral resolution image of Barnacle Bill

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The rover Sojourner's first target for measurement by the Alpha-Proton-Xray Spectrometer (APXS) was the rock named Barnacle Bill, located close to the ramp down which the rover made its egress from the lander. The full spectral capability of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP), consisting of 13 wavelength filters, was used to characterize the rock's surface. The measured area is relatively dark, and is shown in blue. Nearby on the rock surface, soil material is trapped in pits (shown in red).Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  5. Sojourn-time approximations in queueing networks with feedback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gijsen, B.M.M.; van der Mei, R.D.; Engelberts, P.; van den Berg, J.L.; van Wingerden, K.M.C.

    2006-01-01

    This paper is motivated by the response-time analysis of distributed information systems, where transactions are handled by a sequence of front-end server and back-end server actions. We study sojourn times in an open queueing network with a single Processor Sharing (PS) node and an arbitrary number

  6. Sojourn time approximations in queueing networks with feedback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gijsen, B.M.M.; Mei, R.D. van der; Engelberts, P.; Berg, J.L. van den; Wingerden, K.M.C. van

    2006-01-01

    This paper is motivated by the response-time analysis of distributed information systems, where transactions are handled by a sequence of front-end server and back-end server actions. We study sojourn times in an open queueing network with a single Processor Sharing (PS) node and an arbitrary number

  7. Sojourn-time approximations in queueing networks with feedback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gijsen, B.M.M.; van der Mei, R.D.; van den Berg, Hans Leo; van Wingerden, K.M.C.

    This paper is motivated by the response-time analysis of distributed information systems, where transactions are handled by a sequence of front-end server and back-end server actions. We study sojourn times in an open queueing network with a single Processor Sharing (PS) node and an arbitrary number

  8. A Sojourn Experience in the Land of Fire and Ice: Examining Cultural Competence and Employee Well-Being through an Autoethnographic Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grenier, Robin S.

    2016-01-01

    This article is an autoethnographic study of my sojourner experiences as a visiting professor in Iceland. In sharing how the Fulbright sojourner-experience has influenced my professional practice and sense of self I hope to provide some insight into existing research of the sojourner experience and help others as they consider living and teaching…

  9. Grinding into Soft, Powdery Rock

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This hole in a rock dubbed 'Clovis' is the deepest hole drilled so far in any rock on Mars. NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this view with its microscopic imager on martian sol 217 (Aug. 12, 2004) after drilling 8.9 millimeters (0.35 inch) into the rock with its rock abrasion tool. The view is a mosaic of four frames taken by the microscopic imager. The hole is 4.5 centimeters (1.8 inches) in diameter. Clovis is key to a developing story about environmental change on Mars, not only because it is among the softest rocks encountered so far in Gusev Crater, but also because it contains mineral alterations that extend relatively deep beneath its surface. In fact, as evidenced by its fairly crumbly texture, it is possibly the most highly altered volcanic rock ever studied on Mars. Scientific analysis shows that the rock contains higher levels of the elements sulfur, chlorine, and bromine than are normally encountered in basaltic rocks, such as a rock dubbed 'Humphrey' that Spirit encountered two months after arriving on Mars. Humphrey showed elevated levels of sulfur, chlorine, and bromine only in the outermost 2 millimeters (less than 0.1 inch) of its surface. Clovis shows elevated levels of the same elements along with the associated softness of the rock within a borehole that is 4 times as deep. Scientists hope to compare Clovis to other, less-altered rocks in the vicinity to assess what sort of water-based processes altered the rock. Hypotheses include transport of sulfur, chlorine, and bromine in water vapor in volcanic gases; hydrothermal circulation (flow of volcanically heated water through rock); or saturation in a briny soup containing the same elements. In this image, very fine-grained material from the rock has clumped together by electrostatic attraction and fallen into the borehole. NASA/JPL/Cornell/USGS

  10. The potassic sedimentary rocks in Gale Crater, Mars, as seen by ChemCam Onboard Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Deit, Laetitia; Mangold, Nicolas; Forni, Olivier; Cousin, Agnes; Lasue, Jeremie; Schröder, Susanne; Wiens, Roger C.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Fabre, Cecile; Stack, Katherine M.; Anderson, Ryan; Blaney, Diana L.; Clegg, Samuel M.; Dromart, Gilles; Fisk, Martin; Gasnault, Olivier; Grotzinger, John P.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Lanza, Nina; Le Mouélic, Stephane; Maurice, Sylvestre; McLennan, Scott M.; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Nachon, Marion; Newsom, Horton E.; Payre, Valerie; Rapin, William; Rice, Melissa; Sautter, Violaine; Treiman, Alan H.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity encountered potassium-rich clastic sedimentary rocks at two sites in Gale Crater, the waypoints Cooperstown and Kimberley. These rocks include several distinct meters thick sedimentary outcrops ranging from fine sandstone to conglomerate, interpreted to record an ancient fluvial or fluvio-deltaic depositional system. From ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) chemical analyses, this suite of sedimentary rocks has an overall mean K2O abundance that is more than 5 times higher than that of the average Martian crust. The combined analysis of ChemCam data with stratigraphic and geographic locations reveals that the mean K2O abundance increases upward through the stratigraphic section. Chemical analyses across each unit can be represented as mixtures of several distinct chemical components, i.e., mineral phases, including K-bearing minerals, mafic silicates, Fe-oxides, and Fe-hydroxide/oxyhydroxides. Possible K-bearing minerals include alkali feldspar (including anorthoclase and sanidine) and K-bearing phyllosilicate such as illite. Mixtures of different source rocks, including a potassium-rich rock located on the rim and walls of Gale Crater, are the likely origin of observed chemical variations within each unit. Physical sorting may have also played a role in the enrichment in K in the Kimberley formation. The occurrence of these potassic sedimentary rocks provides additional evidence for the chemical diversity of the crust exposed at Gale Crater.

  11. Eos Chaos Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    11 January 2006 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows light-toned, layered rock outcrops in Eos Chaos, located near the east end of the Valles Marineris trough system. The outcrops occur in the form of a distinct, circular butte (upper half of image) and a high slope (lower half of image). The rocks might be sedimentary rocks, similar to those found elsewhere exposed in the Valles Marineris system and the chaotic terrain to the east of the region. Location near: 12.9oS, 49.5oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: lower left Season: Southern Summer

  12. Rollerjaw Rock Crusher

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Gregory; Brown, Kyle; Fuerstenau, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The rollerjaw rock crusher melds the concepts of jaw crushing and roll crushing long employed in the mining and rock-crushing industries. Rollerjaw rock crushers have been proposed for inclusion in geological exploration missions on Mars, where they would be used to pulverize rock samples into powders in the tens of micrometer particle size range required for analysis by scientific instruments.

  13. Change in risk factors for eating disorder symptomatology in Malay students sojourning in the United Kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swami, Viren

    2016-07-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to examine change in risk for eating disorders in higher education students sojourning in the United Kingdom (UK), as well as associations between such risk and experiences in the host culture. Participants were 98 female students from Malaysia, who completed a measure of risk factors for eating disorder symptomatology (the Eating Disorder Inventory-3 subscales of drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, and bulimia symptoms) at two time points: two months prior to beginning their sojourn in the UK (Time 1) and four months after the sojourn began (Time 2). At Time 2, participants also completed measures of sociocultural adjustment, cultural distance between home and host cultures, and perceived discrimination in the host culture. Analyses indicated that, compared to scores at Time 1, participants had significantly higher drive for thinness (d = 0.64), body dissatisfaction (d = 0.54), and bulimia symptoms (d = 0.29) at Time 2. Poorer sociocultural adjustment and greater perceived discrimination significantly predicted greater risk of eating disorders at Time 2. The stress associated with culture change may place sojourning students at risk for disordered eating. Further research is needed to determine the extent to which this risk is related to culture-change specifically, as opposed to a general set of factors associated with transition-related psychopathology more broadly. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2016; 49:695-700). © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Beagle I and II Voyages: Charles Darwin's rocks and the quest for Mars rock; the Open University's virtual microscope has both

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwenzer, S. P.; Tindle, A. G.; Anand, M.; Gibson, E. K.; Pearson, V. K.; Pemberton, D.; Pillinger, C.; Smith, C. L.; Whalley, P.; Kelley, S. P.

    2011-12-01

    Exploration is in itself a fascinating subject, and a strong draw to engaging the public in understanding science. Nearly two hundred years ago Charles Darwin took part in an exploration of the Earth, and more recently we have begun to explore the solar system and in particular the surface of Mars. The engagement is made easier if an element of exploration is involved in the public engagement, using modern internet and even mobile technologies. The Open University combines all those aspects in a series of virtual microscopes for Earth science that are freely available on the web, installed in museums, or built into its teaching material. The basis of the virtual microscope is a mosaic of several hundred microscopic images of each thin section taken in plane polarised light, between crossed polars and in reflected light, which are then assembled into three high resolution images. Rotation movies for selected points in the thin section illustrate changing optical properties such as birefringence. The user is able to pan and zoom around to explore the section, studying the mineralogy and rock texture, and view the rotation movies linked to points in the section to see the changing birefringence colours. We have created several collections of terrestrial rocks, mainly for teaching purposes, and outreach directly linked to exploration: Charles Darwin returned from the Voyage of the Beagle with a large variety of rock samples, and although thin sections were not being made at that time, they were created from his rocks in the late 19th century. The historic material is part of the "Darwin the Geologist" exhibition at the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge. Our Darwin virtual microscope includes hand specimen illustrations and thin sections together with documentation and an interactive map allow internet users and museum visitors alike to have a close look at Darwin's rocks and study the petrology of them. Charles Darwin explored distant horizons on Earth in the 19th century

  15. Search for Chemical Biomarkers on Mars Using the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Conrad, P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Eigenbrode, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    One key goal for the future exploration of Mars is the search for chemical biomarkers including complex organic compounds important in life on Earth. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will provide the most sensitive measurements of the organic composition of rocks and regolith samples ever carried out in situ on Mars. SAM consists of a gas chromatograph (GC), quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), and tunable laser spectrometer to measure volatiles in the atmosphere and released from rock powders heated up to 1000 C. The measurement of organics in solid samples will be accomplished by three experiments: (1) pyrolysis QMS to identify alkane fragments and simple aromatic compounds; pyrolysis GCMS to separate and identify complex mixtures of larger hydrocarbons; and (3) chemical derivatization and GCMS extract less volatile compounds including amino and carboxylic acids that are not detectable by the other two experiments.

  16. Sojourn time asymptotics in the M/G/1 processor sharing queue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.P. Zwart (Bert); O.J. Boxma (Onno)

    1998-01-01

    textabstractWe show for the M/G/1 processor sharing queue that the service time distribution is regularly varying of index $-nu$, $nu$ non-integer, iff the sojourn time distribution is regularly varying of index $-nu $. This result is derived from a new expression for the Laplace-Stieltjes transform

  17. Mechanical Aqueous Alteration Dominates Textures of Gale Crater Rocks: Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aileen Yingst, R.; Minitti, Michelle; Edgett, Kenneth; McBride, Marie; Stack, Kathryn

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) acquired sub-mm/pixel scale color images of over 70 individual rocks and outcrops during Curiosity's first year on Mars, permitting the study of textures down to the distinction between silt and very fine sand. We group imaged rock textures into classes based on their grain size, sorting, matrix characteristics, and abundance of pores. Because the recent campaign at Pahrump Hills acquired many more MAHLI images than elsewhere along the rover traverse [6], textural analysis there is more detailed and thus types observed there are sub-divided. Mudstones: These rocks contain framework grains smaller than the highest resolution MAHLI images (16 μm/pixel), and thus are interpreted to consist of grains that are silt-sized or smaller. Some rocks contain nodules, sulfate veins, and Mg-enriched erosionally-resistant ridges. The Pahrump Hills region contains mudstones of at least four different sub-textures: recessive massive, recessive parallel-laminated, resistant laminated-to-massive, and resistant cross-stratified. Recessive mudstones are slope-forming; parallel-laminated recessive mudstones display mm-scale parallel (and in some cases rhythmic) lamination that extends laterally for many meters, and are interbedded with recessive massive mudstones. Coarse cm- to mm-scale laminae appear within resistant mudstones though some portions are more massive; laminae tend to be traceable for cm to meters. Well-sorted sandstones: Rocks in this class are made of gray, fine-to-medium sand and exhibit little to no porosity. Two examples of this class show fine lineations with sub-mm spacing. Aillik, a target in the Shaler outcrop, shows abundant cross-lamination. The Pahrump Hills region contains a sub-texture of well-sorted, very fine to fine-grained cross-stratified sandstone at the dune and ripple-scale. Poorly-sorted sandstones. This class is subdivided into two sub-classes: rounded, coarse-to-very coarse sand grains of variable colors and

  18. Dust coatings on basaltic rocks and implications for thermal infrared spectroscopy of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Christensen, P.R.; Lucey, P.G.

    2002-01-01

    Thin coatings of atmospherically deposited dust can mask the spectral characteristics of underlying surfaces on Mars from the visible to thermal infrared wavelengths, making identification of substrate and coating mineralogy difficult from lander and orbiter spectrometer data. To study the spectral effects of dust coatings, we acquired thermal emission and hemispherical reflectance spectra (5-25 μm; 2000-400 cm-1) of basaltic andesite coated with different thicknesses of air fall-deposited palagonitic soils, fine-grained ceramic clay powders, and terrestrial loess. The results show that thin coatings (10-20 μm) reduce the spectral contrast of the rock substrate substantially, consistent with previous work. This contrast reduction continues linearly with increasing coating thickness until a "saturation thickness" is reached, after which little further change is observed. The saturation thickness of the spectrally flat palagonite coatings is ~100-120 μm, whereas that for coatings with higher spectral contrast is only ~50-75 μm. Spectral differences among coated and uncoated samples correlate with measured coating thicknesses in a quadratic manner, whereas correlations with estimated surface area coverage are better fit by linear functions. Linear mixture modeling of coated samples using the rock substrate and coating materials as end-members is also consistent with their measured coating thicknesses and areal coverage. A comparison of ratios of Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) spectra of dark and bright intracrater and windstreak deposits associated with Radau crater suggests that the dark windstreak material may be coated with as much as 90% areal coverage of palagonitic dust. The data presented here also will help improve interpretations of upcoming mini-TES and Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) observations of coated Mars surface materials.

  19. 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

  20. Rapid degradation of the complex organic molecules in Martian surface rocks due to exposure to cosmic rays. Implications to the search of 'extinct' life on Mars by MSL and ExoMars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Glavin, D. P.; Floyd, M.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    Until recently, long-term exposure to cosmic rays has not been recognized as a major environmental factor, which can alter and destroy organic molecules in the Martian surface rocks. Recent modeling studies (e.g. Pavlov et al., 2012) suggested that organic molecules with masses >100 amu would be degraded in less than 1 billion years in the top 5 cm of the Martian rocks. That poses a serious challenge to the search of ancient molecules in the shallow subsurface of Mars. However, Pavlov et al. calculated the fraction of the survived organic molecules using conservative radiolysis constants derived from the gamma irradiation experiments on pure dry amino acid mixtures (Kminek and Bada, 2006). In this study we conducted a series of gamma irradiations of amino acids and carboxylic acids mixed with silica powder. We report that the addition of silicates dramatically increased the rate of organic degradation under gamma radiation. Using the newly derived radiolysis constants for amino acids and carboxylic acids in mineral mixtures, we recalculated the rate of organic degradation in the Martian rocks as a function of rocks' depth, chemical composition and weathering rates. Our results suggest that isolated organic molecules (acids) are likely to be altered or fully degraded in the surface rocks on Mars by cosmic rays in less than 10 million years unless some additional protective mechanisms are in place. We will discuss possible strategies for the MSL's search of the elusive ancient organic molecules to overcome the adverse effects of cosmic rays in the surface Martian rocks. References. Pavlov et al., 2012 GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, doi:10.1029/2012GL052166 Kminek, G., and J. Bada (2006), Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 245, 1-5, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2006.03.008.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2017-12-01

    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 present on all dune slopes and had a size and shape similar to their terrestrial counterpart. Grainfall and grainflow occurred on dune and large-ripple lee slopes. Lee slopes were 29° where grainflows were present and 33° where grainfall was present. These slopes are interpreted as the dynamic and static angles of repose, respectively. Grain size measured on an undisturbed impact ripple ranges between 50 μm and 350 μm with an intermediate axis mean size of 113 μm (median: 103 μm). Dissimilar to dune eolian processes on Earth, large, meter-scale ripples were present on all dune slopes. Large ripples had nearly symmetric to strongly asymmetric topographic profiles and heights ranging between 12 cm and 28 cm. The composite observations of the modern sedimentary processes highlight that the Martian eolian rock record is likely different from its terrestrial counterpart because of the large ripples, which are expected to engender a unique scale of cross stratification. More broadly, however, in the Bagnold Dune Field as on Earth, dune-field pattern dynamics and basin-scale boundary conditions will dictate the style and distribution of sedimentary processes.

  2. 'Escher' Rock

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Chemical Changes in 'Endurance' Rocks [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1 This false-color image taken by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows a rock dubbed 'Escher' on the southwestern slopes of 'Endurance Crater.' Scientists believe the rock's fractures, which divide the surface into polygons, may have been formed by one of several processes. They may have been caused by the impact that created Endurance Crater, or they might have arisen when water leftover from the rock's formation dried up. A third possibility is that much later, after the rock was formed, and after the crater was created, the rock became wet once again, then dried up and developed cracks. Opportunity has spent the last 14 sols investigating Escher, specifically the target dubbed 'Kirchner,' and other similar rocks with its scientific instruments. This image was taken on sol 208 (Aug. 24, 2004) by the rover's panoramic camera, using the 750-, 530- and 430-nanometer filters. The graph above shows that rocks located deeper into 'Endurance Crater' are chemically altered to a greater degree than rocks located higher up. This chemical alteration is believed to result from exposure to water. Specifically, the graph compares ratios of chemicals between the deep rock dubbed 'Escher,' and the more shallow rock called 'Virginia,' before (red and blue lines) and after (green line) the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drilled into the rocks. As the red and blue lines indicate, Escher's levels of chlorine relative to Virginia's went up, and sulfur down, before the rover dug a hole into the rocks. This implies that the surface of Escher has been chemically altered to a greater extent than the surface of Virginia. Scientists are still investigating the role water played in influencing this trend. These data were taken by the rover's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.

  3. 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

  4. Weathering of rock 'Ginger'

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    One of the more unusual rocks at the site is Ginger, located southeast of the lander. Parts of it have the reddest color of any material in view, whereas its rounded lobes are gray and relatively unweathered. These color differences are brought out in the inset, enhanced at the upper right. In the false color image at the lower right, the shape of the visible-wavelength spectrum (related to the abundance of weathered ferric iron minerals) is indicated by the hue of the rocks. Blue indicates relatively unweathered rocks. Typical soils and drift, which are heavily weathered, are shown in green and flesh tones. The very red color in the creases in the rock surface correspond to a crust of ferric minerals. The origin of the rock is uncertain; the ferric crust may have grown underneath the rock, or it may cement pebbles together into a conglomerate. Ginger will be a target of future super-resolution studies to better constrain its origin.Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  5. Sojourners' second language learning and integration. The moderating effect of multicultural personality traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Niejenhuis, Coby; Otten, Sabine; Flache, Andreas

    This study examines the role of trainable intercultural personality traits in the widely assumed link between immigrants' second language (L2) learning and their cultural integration in the host country. The research was based on data of temporary immigrants (sojourners), being international

  6. Hydrogeology of Basins on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, Raymond E.

    2001-01-01

    This document summarizes the work accomplished under NASA Grant NAG5-3870. Emphasis was put on the development of the FIDO rover, a prototype for the twin-Mers which will be operating on the surface of Mars in 2004, specifically the primary work was the analysis of FIDO field trials. The grantees also analyzed VIKING Lander 1 XRFS and Pathfinder APXS data. Results show that the Viking site chemistry is consistent with an andesite, and the Pathfinder site is consistent with a basaltic andesite. The grantees also worked to demonstrate the capability to simulate annealing methods to apply to the inversion of remote sensing data. They performed an initial analyses of Sojourner engineering telemetry and imaging data. They performed initial analyses of Viking Lander Stereo Images, and of Hematite deposits in Terra Meridiani. They also acquired and analyzed the New Goldstone radar data.

  7. Acculturation Attitudes and Sociocultural Adaptation of Chinese Mainland Sojourners in Hong Kong

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yuanyi; Wang, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Within these years, there has been a significant increase in the number of Chinese Mainland sojourners studying in Hong Kong. Due to the huge differences in various aspects like language, culture, cultural value, it would be considerably difficult for the Chinese Mainland students to adapt to the Hong Kong environment. This article investigates…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2017-12-01

    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 present on all dune slopes and had a size and shape similar to their terrestrial counterpart. Grainfall and grainflow occurred on dune and large-ripple lee slopes. Lee slopes were ~29° where grainflows were present and ~33° where grainfall was present. These slopes are interpreted as the dynamic and static angles of repose, respectively. Grain size measured on an undisturbed impact ripple ranges between 50 μm and 350 μm with an intermediate axis mean size of 113 μm (median: 103 μm). Dissimilar to dune eolian processes on Earth, large, meter-scale ripples were present on all dune slopes. Large ripples had nearly symmetric to strongly asymmetric topographic profiles and heights ranging between 12 cm and 28 cm. The composite observations of the modern sedimentary processes highlight that the Martian eolian rock record is likely different from its terrestrial counterpart because of the large ripples, which are expected to engender a unique scale of cross stratification. More broadly, however, in the Bagnold Dune Field as on Earth, dune-field pattern dynamics and basin-scale boundary conditions will dictate the style and distribution of sedimentary processes.

  9. Mineral Fractionation during Sediment Comminution and Transport in Fluvio-Deltaic and Lacustrine Rocks of the Bradbury Group, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siebach, K. L.; Baker, M. B.; Grotzinger, J. P.; McLennan, S. M.; Gellert, R.; Thompson, L. M.; Hurowitz, J.

    2017-12-01

    Mineral distribution patterns in sediments of the Bradbury group in Gale crater, interpreted from observations by the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, show the importance of transport mechanics in source-to-sink processes on Mars. The Bradbury group is comprised of basalt-derived mudstones to conglomerates exposed along the modern floor of Gale crater and analyzed along a 9-km traverse of the Curiosity rover. Over 110 bulk chemistry analyses of the rocks were acquired, along with two XRD mineralogical analyses of the mudstone. These rocks are uniquely suited for analysis of source-to-sink processes because they exhibit a wide range of compositions, but (based on multiple chemical weathering proxies) they appear to have experienced negligible cation-loss during weathering and erosion. Chemical variations between analyses correlate with sediment grain sizes, with coarser-grained rocks enriched in plagioclase components SiO2, Al2O3, and Na2O, and finer-grained rocks enriched in components of mafic minerals, consistent with grain-size sorting of mineral fractions during sediment transport. Further geochemical and mineralogical modeling supports the importance of mineral fractionation: even though the limited XRD data suggests that some fraction (if not all) of the rocks contain clays and an amorphous component, models show that 90% of the compositions measured are consistent with sorting of primary igneous minerals from a plagioclase-phyric subalkaline basalt (i.e., no corrections for cation-loss are required). The distribution of K2O, modeled as a potassium feldspar component, is an exception to the major-element trends because it does not correlate with grain size, but has an elevation-dependent signal likely correlated with the introduction of a second source material. However, the dominant compositional trends within the Bradbury group sedimentary rocks are correlated with grain size and consistent with mineral fractionation of minimally

  10. The academic adjustment scale : Measuring the adjustment of permanent resident or sojourner students

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anderson, Joel R.; Guan, Yao; Koc, Yasin

    In this paper we developed and validated the Academic Adjustment Scale (AAS) - a new scale for measuring academic adjustment, which was developed with a focus on student sojourners who temporarily relocate to a new culture for the purpose of tertiary education, but also is validated for use with

  11. The Highs and Lows of a Cultural Transition: A Longitudinal Analysis of Sojourner Stress and Adaptation Across 50 Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    The impact of living abroad is a topic that has intrigued researchers for almost a century, if not longer. While many acculturation phenomena have been studied over this time, the development of new research methods and statistical software in recent years means that these can be revisited and examined in a more rigorous manner. In the present study we were able to follow approximately 2,500 intercultural exchange students situated in over 50 different countries worldwide, over time both before and during their travel using online surveys. Advanced statistical analyses were employed to examine the course of sojourners stress and adjustment over time, its antecedents and consequences. By comparing a sojourner sample with a control group of nonsojourning peers we were able to highlight the uniqueness of the sojourn experience in terms of stress variability over time. Using Latent Class Growth Analysis to examine the nature of this variability revealed 5 distinct patterns of change in stress experienced by sojourners over the course of their exchange: a reverse J-curve, inverse U-curve, mild stress, minor relief, and resilience pattern. Antecedent explanatory variables for stress variability were examined using both variable-centered and person-centered analyses and evidence for the role of personality, empathy, cultural adaptation, and coping strategies was found in each case. Lastly, we examined the relationship between stress abroad with behavioral indicators of (mal)adjustment: number of family changes and early termination of the exchange program. PMID:26191963

  12. The Cambia Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program: Conversations with Emerging Leaders in Palliative Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Oliver, Dulce M; Bernacki, Rachelle; Cooper, Zara; Grudzen, Corita; Izumi, Seiko; Lafond, Deborah; Lam, Daniel; LeBlanc, Thomas W; Tjia, Jennifer; Walter, Jennifer

    2017-08-01

    There is a pressing workforce shortage and leadership scarcity in palliative care to adequately meet the demands of individuals with serious illness and their families. To address this gap, the Cambia Health Foundation launched its Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program in 2014, an initiative designed to identify, cultivate, and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders. This report intends to summarize the second cohort of Sojourns Scholars' projects and their reflection on their leadership needs. This report summarizes the second cohort of sojourns scholars' project and their reflection on leadership needs. After providing a written reflection on their own projects, the second cohort participated in a group interview (fireside chat) to elicit their perspectives on barriers and facilitators in providing palliative care, issues facing leadership in palliative care in the United States, and lessons from personal and professional growth as leaders in palliative care. They analyzed the transcript of the group interview using qualitative content analysis methodology. Three themes emerged from descriptions of the scholars' project experience: challenges in palliative care practice, leadership strategies in palliative care, and three lessons learned to be a leader were identified. Challenges included perceptions of palliative care, payment and policy, and workforce development. Educating and collaborating with other clinicians and influencing policy change are important strategies used to advance palliative care. Time management, leading team effort, and inspiring others are important skills that promote effectiveness as a leader. Emerging leaders have a unique view of conceptualizing contemporary palliative care and shaping the future. Providing comprehensive, coordinated care that is high quality, patient and family centered, and readily available depends on strong leadership in palliative care. The Cambia Scholars Program represents a unique opportunity.

  13. Aram Chaos Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    8 September 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows outcrops of light-toned, sedimentary rock among darker-toned mesas in Aram Chaos. Dark, windblown megaripples -- large ripples -- are also present at this location. Location near: 3.0oN, 21.6oW Image width: width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: lower left Season: Northern Autumn

  14. The alkaline volcanic rocks of Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho and the Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neakrase, L. D.; Lim, D. S. S.; Haberle, C. W.; Hughes, S. S.; Kobs-Nawotniak, S. E.; Christensen, P. R.

    2016-12-01

    Idaho's Eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) is host to extensive expressions of basaltic volcanism dominated by non evolved olivine tholeiites (NEOT) with localized occurrences of evolved lavas. Craters of the Moon National Monument (COTM) is a polygenetic lava field comprised of more than 60 lava flows emplaced during 8 eruptive periods spanning the last 15 kyrs. The most recent eruptive period (period A; 2500-2000 yr B.P.) produced flows with total alkali vs. silica classifications spanning basalt to trachyte. Coeval with the emplacement of the COTM period A volcanic pile was the emplacement of the Wapi and King's Bowl NEOT 70 km SSE of COTM along the Great Rift. Previous investigations have determined a genetic link between these two compositionally distinct volcanic centers where COTM compositions can be generated from NEOT melts through complex ascent paths and variable degrees of fractionation and assimilation of lower-middle crustal materials. The Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, conducted a robotic investigation of Gusev crater from 2004-2010. Spirit was equipped with the Athena science payload enabling the determination of mineralogy (mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer, Pancam multispectral camera, and Mössbauer spectrometer), bulk chemistry (Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer) and context (Pancam and Microscopic Imager). During sol 32 Spirit investigated an olivine basalt named Adirondack, the type specimen for a class of rock that composes much of the plains material within Gusev Crater and embays the Columbia Hills. Following the characterization of the plains material, Spirit departed the plains targeting the Columbia Hills and ascending at Husband Hill. During Spirit's ascent of Husband Hill three additional classes of volcanic rock were identified as distinct by their mini-TES spectra; Wishstone, Backstay and Irvine. These rocks are classified as tephrite, trachy-basalt and basalt, respectively, and are the first alkaline rocks observed on Mars. These

  15. Preacclimatization in hypoxic chambers for high altitude sojourns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küpper, Thomas E A H; Schöffl, Volker

    2010-09-01

    Since hypoxic chambers are more and more available, they are used for preacclimatization to prepare for sojourns at high altitude. Since there are different protocols and the data differ, there is no general consensus about the standard how to perform preacclimatization by simulated altitude. The paper reviews the different types of exposure and focuses on the target groups which may benefit from preacclimatization. Since data about intermittent hypoxia for some hours per day to reduce the incidence of acute mountain sickness differ, it is suggested to perform preacclimatization by sleeping some nights at a simulated altitude which follows the altitude profile of the "gold standard" for high altitude acclimatization.

  16. 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).

  17. White Rock

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    (Released 19 April 2002) The Science 'White Rock' is the unofficial name for this unusual landform which was first observed during the Mariner 9 mission in the early 1970's. As later analysis of additional data sets would show, White Rock is neither white nor dense rock. Its apparent brightness arises from the fact that the material surrounding it is so dark. Images from the Mars Global Surveyor MOC camera revealed dark sand dunes surrounding White Rock and on the floor of the troughs within it. Some of these dunes are just apparent in the THEMIS image. Although there was speculation that the material composing White Rock could be salts from an ancient dry lakebed, spectral data from the MGS TES instrument did not support this claim. Instead, the White Rock deposit may be the erosional remnant of a previously more continuous occurrence of air fall sediments, either volcanic ash or windblown dust. The THEMIS image offers new evidence for the idea that the original deposit covered a larger area. Approximately 10 kilometers to the southeast of the main deposit are some tiny knobs of similarly bright material preserved on the floor of a small crater. Given that the eolian erosion of the main White Rock deposit has produced isolated knobs at its edges, it is reasonable to suspect that the more distant outliers are the remnants of a once continuous deposit that stretched at least to this location. The fact that so little remains of the larger deposit suggests that the material is very easily eroded and simply blows away. The Story Fingers of hard, white rock seem to jut out like icy daggers across a moody Martian surface, but appearances can be deceiving. These bright, jagged features are neither white, nor icy, nor even hard and rocky! So what are they, and why are they so different from the surrounding terrain? Scientists know that you can't always trust what your eyes see alone. You have to use other kinds of science instruments to measure things that our eyes can

  18. Tafoni - A Llink Between Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacob, R. H.; Iacob, C. E.

    2013-12-01

    Remarkable rock erosion structures on the planetary surface, tafoni represent an important instrument for investigating the specific environmental conditions causing such rock formations. From simple cavities to refined honeycomb or other intricate patterns, tafoni are a reflection of the complex interaction between the rock structure and the environmental factors. On the genesis of tafoni, there is no unique breakdown mechanism at work, but a multitude of physical and chemical processes developing over time. However, some of these formation mechanisms are typically predominant. Tafoni can be found on a variety of rock substrates, from sandstone and vesicular lava rocks to granite and basalt, and in a variety of environments, from wet coastal areas to the extreme dry zones of hot deserts, high plateaus or frozen lands of Antarctica. During various NASA missions, tafoni were also identified on rock formations on Mars. Comparative study of the environmental conditions leading to the formation of tafoni on Earth and Mars can help explain past and present surface erosion mechanisms on the Red Planet. The mechanisms responsible for tafoni formation on Earth include wind erosion, exfoliation, frost shattering, and, in the majority of cases, salt weathering. Microclimate variations of temperature, evaporation of salt water, disaggregation of mineral grains, as well as sandblasting, are among most common contributors that initiate the pitting of the rock surface, giving way to further development of tafoni alveoli, cavities and other erosion patterns. Dissolution of calcium carbonates and siliceous cements, or hydration of feldspars, are representative examples of tafoni erosion involving rain water, sea water or air moisture. Live organisms and biochemical processes are significant contributors to the formation and evolution of tafoni, especially in humid or water reach environments. In many instances, tafoni reflect erosion mechanism specific to environmental conditions

  19. 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

  20. A note on the optimal pricing strategy in the discrete-time Geo/Geo/1 queuing system with sojourn time-dependent reward

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doo Ho Lee

    Full Text Available This work studies the optimal pricing strategy in a discrete-time Geo/Geo/1 queuing system under the sojourn time-dependent reward. We consider two types of pricing schemes. The first one is called the ex-post payment scheme where the server charges a price that is proportional to the time a customer spends in the system, and the second one is called ex-ante payment scheme where the server charges a flat price for all services. In each pricing scheme, a departing customer receives the reward that is inversely proportional to his/her sojourn time. The server should make the optimal pricing decisions in order to maximize its expected profits per time unit in each pricing scheme. This work also investigates customer's equilibrium joining or balking behavior under server's optimal pricing strategy. Numerical experiments are also conducted to validate our analysis. Keywords: Optimal pricing, Equilibrium behavior, Geo/Geo/1 queue, Sojourn time-dependent reward

  1. Sojourn times in the M/G/1 FB queue with light-tailed service times

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.R.H. Mandjes (Michel); M. Nuyens

    2004-01-01

    textabstractThe asymptotic decay rate of the sojourn time of a customer in the stationary M/G/1 queue under the Foreground-Background (FB) service discipline is studied. The FB discipline gives service to those customers that have received the least service so far. We prove that for light-tailed

  2. Sojourn times in the M/G/1 FB queue with light-tailed service times.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandjes, M.R.H.; Nuijens, M.F.M.

    2005-01-01

    ABSTRACT The asymptotic decay rate of the sojourn time of a customer in the stationary M/G/1 queue under the Foreground-Background (FB) service discipline is studied. The FB discipline gives service to those customers that have received the least service so far. We prove that for lighttailed service

  3. MarsSedEx I and II: Experimental investigation of gravity effects on sedimentation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, N. J.; Kuhn, B.; Gartmann, A.

    2014-12-01

    Sorting of sedimentary rocks is a proxy for the environmental conditions at the time of deposition, in particular the runoff that moved and deposited the material forming the rocks. Settling of sediment is strongly influenced by the gravity of a planetary body. As a consequence, sorting of a sedimentary rock varies with gravity for a given depth and velocity of surface runoff. Theoretical considerations for spheres indicate that sorting is less uniform on Mars than on Earth for runoff of identical depth. The effects of gravity on flow hydraulics limit the use of common, semi-empirical models developed to simulate particle settling in terrestrial environments, on Mars. Assessing sedimentation patterns on Mars, aimed at identifying strata potentially hosting traces of life, is potentially affected by such uncertainties. Using first-principle approaches, e.g. through Computational Fluid Dynamics, for calculating settling velocities on other planetary bodies requires a large effort and is limited by the values of boundary conditions, e.g. the shape of the particle. The degree of uncertainty resulting from the differences in gravity on Earth and Mars was therefore tested during three reduced-gravity flights, the MarsSedEx I and II missions, conducted in November 2012 and 2013. Nine types of sediment, ranging in size, shape and density were tested in custom-designed settling tubes during parabolas of Martian gravity lasting 20 to 25 seconds. Based on the observed settling velocities, the uncertainties of empirical relationships developed on Earth to assess particle settling on Mars are discussed. In addition, the potential effects of reduced gravity on patterns of erosion, transport and sorting of sediment, including the implications for identifying strata bearing traces of past life on are examined.

  4. 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

  5. Chemical, multispectral, and textural constraints on the composition and origin of rocks at the Mars Pathfinder landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    McSween, H.Y.; Murchie, S.L.; Crisp, J.A.; Bridges, N.T.; Anderson, R.C.; Bell, J.F.; Britt, D.T.; Brückner, J.; Dreibus, G.; Economou, T.; Ghosh, A.; Golombek, M.P.; Greenwood, J.P.; Johnson, J. R.; Moore, H.J.; Morris, R.V.; Parker, T.J.; Rieder, R.; Singer, R.; Wänke, H.

    1999-01-01

    Rocks at the Mars Pathfinder site are probably locally derived. Textures on rock surfaces may indicate volcanic, sedimentary, or impact-generated rocks, but aeolian abration and dust coatings prevent unambiguous interpretation. Multispectral imaging has resolved four spectral classes of rocks: gray and red, which occur on different surfaces of the same rocks; pink, which is probably soil crusts; and maroon, which occurs as large boulders, mostly in the far field. Rocks are assigned to two spectral trends based on the position of peak reflectance: the primary spectral trend contains gray, red, and pink rocks; maroon rocks constitute the secondary spectral trend. The spatial pattern of spectral variations observed is oriented along the prevailing wind direction. The primary spectral trend arises from thin ferric coatings of aeolian dust on darker rocks. The secondary spectral trend is apparently due to coating by a different mineral, probably maghemite or ferrihydrite. A chronology based on rock spectra suggests that rounded maroon boulders constitute the oldest petrologic unit (a flood deposit), succeeded by smaller cobbles possibly deposited by impact, and followed by aeolian erosion and deposition. Nearly linear chemical trends in alpha proton X-ray spectrometer rock compositions are interpreted as mixing lines between rock and adhering dust, a conclusion supported by a correlation between sulfur abundance and red/blue spectral ratio. Extrapolations of regression lines to zero sulfur give the composition of a presumed igneous rock. The chemistry and normative mineralogy of the sulfur-free rock resemble common terrestrial volcanic rocks, and its classification corresponds to andesite. Igneous rocks of this composition may occur with clastic sedimentary rocks or impact melts and breccias. However, the spectral mottling expected on conglomerates or breccias is not observed in any APXS-analyzed rocks. Interpretation of the rocks as andesites is complicated by absence

  6. Sockets and Pebbles

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    This close-up Sojourner rover image of a small rock shows that weathering has etched-out pebbles to produce sockets. In the image, sunlight is coming from the upper left. Sockets (with shadows on top) are visible at the lower left and pebbles (with bright tops and shadowed bases) are seen at the lower center and lower right. Two pebbles (about 0.5 cm across) are visible at the lower center.Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  7. Chemical variations in Yellowknife Bay formation sedimentary rocks analyzed by ChemCam on board the Curiosity rover on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangold, Nicolas; Forni, Olivier; Dromart, G.; Stack, K.M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Gasnault, Olivier; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Nachon, Marion; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Anderson, Ryan B.; Barraclough, Bruce; Bell, J.F.; Berger, G.; Blaney, D.L.; Bridges, J.C.; Calef, F.; Clark, Brian R.; Clegg, Samuel M.; Cousin, Agnes; Edgar, L.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Fabre, Cecile; Fisk, M.; Grotzinger, John P.; Gupta, S.C.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Johnson, J. R.; Kah, Linda C.; Lanza, Nina L.; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, S.; Lewin, Eric; Malin, Michael; McLennan, Scott M.; Maurice, S.; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Milliken, Ralph E.; Newsome, H.L.; Ollila, A.; Rowland, Scott K.; Sautter, Violaine; Schmidt, M.E.; Schroder, S.; D'Uston, C.; Vaniman, Dave; Williams, R.A.

    2015-01-01

    The Yellowknife Bay formation represents a ~5 m thick stratigraphic section of lithified fluvial and lacustrine sediments analyzed by the Curiosity rover in Gale crater, Mars. Previous works have mainly focused on the mudstones that were drilled by the rover at two locations. The present study focuses on the sedimentary rocks stratigraphically above the mudstones by studying their chemical variations in parallel with rock textures. Results show that differences in composition correlate with textures and both manifest subtle but significant variations through the stratigraphic column. Though the chemistry of the sediments does not vary much in the lower part of the stratigraphy, the variations in alkali elements indicate variations in the source material and/or physical sorting, as shown by the identification of alkali feldspars. The sandstones contain similar relative proportions of hydrogen to the mudstones below, suggesting the presence of hydrous minerals that may have contributed to their cementation. Slight variations in magnesium correlate with changes in textures suggesting that diagenesis through cementation and dissolution modified the initial rock composition and texture simultaneously. The upper part of the stratigraphy (~1 m thick) displays rocks with different compositions suggesting a strong change in the depositional system. The presence of float rocks with similar compositions found along the rover traverse suggests that some of these outcrops extend further away in the nearby hummocky plains.

  8. Organic molecules in the Sheepbed Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Miller, K. E.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Summons, R. E.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Szopa, C.; Archer, P. D.; Franz, H. B.; Atreya, S. K.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Conrad, P. G.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dworkin, J. P.; Fairén, A. G.; François, P.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Kashyap, S.; ten Kate, I. L.; Leshin, L. A.; Malespin, C. A.; Martin, M. G.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Mcadam, A. C.; Ming, D. W.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Prats, B. D.; Squyres, S. W.; Steele, A.; Stern, J. C.; Sumner, D. Y.; Sutter, B.; Zorzano, M. P.

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover is designed to conduct inorganic and organic chemical analyses of the atmosphere and the surface regolith and rocks to help evaluate the past and present habitability potential of Mars at Gale Crater.

  9. The Exploration of Mars and the Improvement of Living Conditions in Western Asian Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Space is the new frontier. The exploration of a new world, Mars, has been giving people on Earth valuable comparative information about climatic and geological processes occurring here on our home planet. With the Viking 1 and 2, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, etc., spacecrafts, which explored the Red Planet we obtained a great deal information about the extremely arid soil and dry air of Mars in the present, and its watery condition in the distant past. Now there is a decade-long, program of robotic exploration of the martian atmosphere and soil - the 'Mars Surveyor Program', which is a series of small, cheap and fast spacecrafts, carrying very few scientific instruments, to be launched about every two years. Here in this paper, under the principles in the United Nations' Agenda 21, we comment on this new phase of Mars exploration under development, which began in 1996, and its benefits to living conditions in developing countries with desert regions. A peaceful regular research of the arid Mars, will help us to understand much better the dynamics of formation of dry regions here on Earth. We suggest that, if the developing countries participate in that program, they will achieve the scientific understanding to create a practical technology, with which they will acquire ways to future transform their arid areas into a more humid places, and to slow the process of desertification of other regions. This, using their own natural resources and own scientific personnel. That would strongly benefit the living conditions in Western Asian countries, which have many desert regions.

  10. 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.

  11. The Fate of Lipid Biosignatures in a Mars-Analogue Sulfur Stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Jonathan; Lewis, James M T; Sephton, Mark A

    2018-05-15

    Past life on Mars will have generated organic remains that may be preserved in present day Mars rocks. The most recent period in the history of Mars that retained widespread surface waters was the late Noachian and early Hesperian and thus possessed the potential to sustain the most evolved and widely distributed martian life. Guidance for investigating late Noachian and early Hesperian rocks is provided by studies of analogous acidic and sulfur-rich environments on Earth. Here we report organic responses for an acid stream containing acidophilic organisms whose post-mortem remains are entombed in iron sulphates and iron oxides. We find that, if life was present in the Hesperian, martian organic records will comprise microbial lipids. Lipids are a potential sizeable reservoir of fossil carbon on Mars, and can be used to distinguish between different domains of life. Concentrations of lipids, and particularly alkanoic or "fatty" acids, are highest in goethite layers that reflect high water-to-rock ratios and thus a greater potential for habitability. Goethite can dehydrate to hematite, which is widespread on Mars. Mars missions should seek to detect fatty acids or their diagenetic products in the oxides and hydroxides of iron associated with sulphur-rich environments.

  12. Robotics Algorithms Provide Nutritional Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    On July 5, 1997, a small robot emerged from its lander like an insect from an egg, crawling out onto the rocky surface of Mars. About the size of a child s wagon, NASA s Sojourner robot was the first successful rover mission to the Red Planet. For 83 sols (Martian days, typically about 40 minutes longer than Earth days), Sojourner - largely remote controlled by NASA operators on Earth - transmitted photos and data unlike any previously collected. Sojourner was perhaps the crowning achievement of the NASA Space Telerobotics Program, an Agency initiative designed to push the limits of robotics in space. Telerobotics - devices that merge the autonomy of robotics with the direct human control of teleoperators - was already a part of NASA s efforts; probes like the Viking landers that preceded Sojourner on Mars, for example, were telerobotic applications. The Space Telerobotics Program, a collaboration between Ames Research Center, Johnson Space Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and multiple universities, focused on developing remote-controlled robotics for three main purposes: on-orbit assembly and servicing, science payload tending, and planetary surface robotics. The overarching goal was to create robots that could be guided to build structures in space, monitor scientific experiments, and, like Sojourner, scout distant planets in advance of human explorers. While telerobotics remains a significant aspect of NASA s efforts, as evidenced by the currently operating Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers, the Hubble Space Telescope, and many others - the Space Telerobotics Program was dissolved and redistributed within the Agency the same year as Sojourner s success. The program produced a host of remarkable technologies and surprising inspirations, including one that is changing the way people eat

  13. Hardened Lava Meets Wind on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit used its microscopic imager to capture this spectacular, jagged mini-landscape on a rock called 'GongGong.' Measuring only 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) across, this surface records two of the most important and violent forces in the history of Mars -- volcanoes and wind. GongGong formed billions of years ago in a seething, stirring mass of molten rock. It captured bubbles of gases that were trapped at great depth but had separated from the main body of lava as it rose to the surface. Like taffy being stretched and tumbled, the molten rock was deformed as it moved across an ancient Martian landscape. The tiny bubbles of gas were deformed as well, becoming elongated. When the molten lava solidified, the rock looked like a frozen sponge. Far from finished with its life, the rock then withstood billions of years of pelting by small sand grains carried by Martian dust storms that sometimes blanketed the planet. The sand wore away the surface until, little by little, the delicate strands that enclosed the bubbles of gas were breached and the spiny texture we see today emerged. Even now, wind continues to deposit sand and dust in the holes and crevices of the rock. Similar rocks can be found on Earth where the same complex interplay of volcanoes and weathering occur, whether it be the pelting of rocks by sand grains in the Mojave desert or by ice crystals in the frigid Antarctic. GongGong is one of a group of rocks studied by Spirit and informally named by the Athena Science Team to honor the Chinese New Year (the Year of the Dog). In Chinese mythology, GongGong was the god-king of water in the North Land. When he sacrificed his life to knock down Mount BuZhou, he defeated the bad Emperor in Heaven, freed the sun, moon and stars to go from east to west, and caused all the rivers in China to flow from west to east. Spirit's microscopic imager took this image during on the rover's 736th day, or sol, of exploring Mars (Jan. 28, 2006). The

  14. Natural radioactivity of the rocks from the Moon and planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Surkov, Yu.A. (AN SSSR, Moscow. Inst. Geokhimii i Analiticheskoj Khimii)

    1982-01-01

    Tha data on natural radioactivity of rocks (U, Th and K contents) from the Moon, Venus and Mars obtained by means of cosmic means are analyzed. The Moon rock radioactivity has been measured in situ (from orbital vehicles) as well as in the samples of lunar material delivered to the Earth and as for Venus and Mars rocks - by landing vehicles. It has been found that the main specific feature of the Moon and the Earth group planets is the presence of two geomorphological types of the structure of their surface composed by two different types of the matter. The ancient continent regions are made up by feldspar rock - gabbroanorthosite at the Moon (and possibly at the Mars) and granite-metamorphic at the Earth (and possibly at the Venus). The younger ''marine'' regions are composed by basalt rock. The presence at the Moon of two types of crust (marine and continental ones) having a different nature is clearly reflected on the Moon radioactivity map where marine regions (15% of the total surface) which have high radioactivity and continental regions with a relatively low radioactivity can be seen. The discovery of rocks on the Venus surface highly enriched by U, Th and K speaks of their melting from the primary matter in the depth of the Earth. The Marsian rock by the natural radioelement content is close to igneous rocks of the Earth crust of the basic composition and lunar marine basalts.

  15. Natural radioactivity of the rocks from the Moon and planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Surkov, Yu.A.

    1982-01-01

    Tha data on natural radioactivity of rocks (U, Th and K contents) from the Moon, Venus and Mars obtained by means of cosmic means are analyzed. The Moon rock radioactivity has been measured in situ (from orbital vehicles) as well as in the samples of lunar material delivered to the Earth and as for Venus and Mars rocks - by landing vehicles. It has been found that the main specific feature of the Moon and the Earth group planets is the presence of two geomorphological types of the structure of their surface composed by two different types of the matter. The ancient contineent regions are made up by feldspar rock - gabbroanorthosite at the Moon (and possibly at the Mars) and granite-metamorphic at the Earth (and possibly at the Venus). The younger ''marine'' regions are composed by basalt rock. The presence at the Moon of two types of crust (marine and continental ones) having a different nature is clearly reflected on the Moon radioactivity map where marine regions (15% of the total surface) which have high radioactivity and continental regions with a relatively low radioactivity can be seen. The discovery of rocks on the Venus surface highly enriched by U, Th and K speaks of their melting from the primary matter in the depth of the Earth. The Marsian rock by the natural radioelement content is close to igneous rocks of the Earth crust of the basic composition and lunar marine basalts

  16. RAT magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity beyond sol 500

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leer, Kristoffer; Goetz, Walter; Chan, Marjorie A.

    2011-01-01

    The Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers was designed to collect dust from rocks ground by the RAT of the two rovers on the surface of Mars. The dust collected on the magnets is now a mixture of dust from many grindings. Here the new data from the experiment...

  17. Insensitive bounds for the moments of the sojourn time distribution in the M/G/1 processor-sharing queue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheung, S.K.; Berg, J.L. van den; Boucherie, R.J.

    2006-01-01

    This paper studies the M/G/1 processor-sharing (PS) queue, in particular the sojourn time distribution conditioned on the initial job size. Although several expressions for the Laplace-Stieltjes transform (LST) are known, these expressions are not suitable for computational purposes. This paper

  18. Insensitive bounds for the moments of the sojourn time distribution in the M/G/1 processor-sharing queue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheung, S.K.; van den Berg, Hans Leo; Boucherie, Richardus J.

    2005-01-01

    This paper studies the M/G/1 processor-sharing (PS) queue and the sojourn time distribution conditioned on the initial job size. Although several expressions for the Laplace-Stieltjes transform (LST) are known, these expressions are not applicable for computational purposes. This paper derives

  19. Insensitive bounds for the moments of the sojourn time distribution in the M/G/1 processor-sharing queue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheung, S.K.; Cheung, S.K.; van den Berg, Hans Leo; Boucherie, Richardus J.

    This paper studies the M/G/1 processor-sharing (PS) queue, in particular the sojourn time distribution conditioned on the initial job size. Although several expressions for the Laplace-Stieltjes transform (LST) are known, these expressions are not suitable for computational purposes. This paper

  20. A note on the catch-up time method for estimating lead or sojourn time in prostate cancer screening

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G. Draisma (Gerrit); J.M. van Rosmalen (Joost)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractModels of cancer screening assume that cancers are detectable by screening before being diagnosed clinically through symptoms. The duration of this preclinical phase is called sojourn time, and it determines how much diagnosis might be advanced in time by the screening test (lead time).

  1. Rock Formation and Cosmic Radiation Exposure Ages in Gale Crater Mudstones from the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Farley, Ken; Malespin, Charles; Gellert, Ralph; Grotzinger, John

    2014-05-01

    The quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has been utilized to secure abundances of 3He, 21Ne, 36Ar, and 40Ar thermally evolved from the mudstone in the stratified Yellowknife Bay formation in Gale Crater. As reported by Farley et al. [1] these measurements of cosmogenic and radiogenic noble gases together with Cl and K abundances measured by MSL's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer enable a K-Ar rock formation age of 4.21+0.35 Ga to be established as well as a surface exposure age to cosmic radiation of 78+30 Ma. Understanding surface exposures to cosmic radiation is relevant to the MSL search for organic compounds since even the limited set of studies carried out, to date, indicate that even 10's to 100's of millions of years of near surface (1-3 meter) exposure may transform a significant fraction of the organic compounds exposed to this radiation [2,3,4]. Transformation of potential biosignatures and even loss of molecular structural information in compounds that could point to exogenous or endogenous sources suggests a new paradigm in the search for near surface organics that incorporates a search for the most recently exposed outcrops through erosional processes. The K-Ar rock formation age determination shows promise for more precise in situ measurements that may help calibrate the martian cratering record that currently relies on extrapolation from the lunar record with its ground truth chronology with returned samples. We will discuss the protocol for the in situ noble gas measurements secured with SAM and ongoing studies to optimize these measurements using the SAM testbed. References: [1] Farley, K.A.M Science Magazine, 342, (2013). [2] G. Kminek et al., Earth Planet Sc Lett 245, 1 (2006). [3] Dartnell, L.R., Biogeosciences 4, 545 (2007). [4] Pavlov, A. A., et al. Geophys Res Lett 39, 13202 (2012).

  2. 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.

  3. Areal and time distributions of volcanic formations on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katterfeld, G.N.; Vityaz, V.I.

    1987-01-01

    The analysis of igneous rock distribution has been fulfilled on the basis of the geomorphological map of Mars at scale 1:5,000,000, according to data obtained from interpretation of 1:2,000,000 scale pictures of Mariner 9, Mars 4, Mars 5, Viking 1 and 2. Areological areas are listed as having been distinguished as the stratigraphic basis for a martian time scale. The area of volcanic eruptions and the number of eruptive centers are calculated on 10 x 10 deg cells and for each areological eras. The largest area of eruptive happening at different times is related with Tharsis tectonic uplift. The study of distribution of igneous rock area and volcanic centers number on 10 deg sectors and zones revealed the concentration belts of volcanic formations

  4. Areal and time distributions of volcanic formations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katterfeld, G. N.; Vityaz, V. I.

    1987-01-01

    The analysis of igneous rock distribution has been fulfilled on the basis of the geomorphological map of Mars at scale 1:5,000,000, according to data obtained from interpretation of 1:2,000,000 scale pictures of Mariner 9, Mars 4, Mars 5, Viking 1 and 2. Areological areas are listed as having been distinguished as the stratigraphic basis for a martian time scale. The area of volcanic eruptions and the number of eruptive centers are calculated on 10 x 10 deg cells and for each areological eras. The largest area of eruptive happening at different times is related with Tharsis tectonic uplift. The study of distribution of igneous rock area and volcanic centers number on 10 deg sectors and zones revealed the concentration belts of volcanic formations.

  5. Overdiagnosis, sojourn time, and sensitivity in the Copenhagen mammography screening program

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Anne Helene; Agbaje, Olorunsola F; Myles, Jonathan P

    2006-01-01

    models to the screening data, including preclinical incidence of progressive cancers and nonprogressive (i.e., overdiagnosed) cancers. We estimated mean sojourn time as 2.7 years (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.2-3.1) and screening test sensitivity as 100% (95% CI 99.8-100). Overdiagnosis was estimated...... to be 7.8% (95% CI 0.3-26.5) at the first screen and 0.5% (95% CI 0.02-2.1) at the second screen. This corresponds to 4.8% of all cancers diagnosed among participants during the first two invitation rounds and following intervals. A modest overdiagnosis was estimated for the Copenhagen screening program...

  6. Evidence for a Large Natural Nuclear Reactor in Mars Past

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, J. E.

    2006-05-01

    It has long been known that The isotopic ratios 129 Xe/132Xe and 40Ar/36Ar are very high in Mars atmosphere relative to Earth or meteoritic backgrounds. This fact has allowed the SNC meteorites to be identified as Martian based on their trapped gases (1). However, while the isotopic anomalies explained one mystery, the origin of the SNC meteorites, they created a new mystery: the rock samples from Mars show no evidence of the large amounts of Iodine or Potassium that would give naturally give rise to the Xenon and Argon isotopic anomalies (2). In fact, the Martian meteorites are depleted in Potassium relative to earth rocks. This is added to the fact that for other isotopic systems such as 80Kr, Mars rock samples must be irradiated by neutrons at fluences of 1015 /cm2 to explain observed abundances (1) . Compounding the mystery is the fact that Mars surface layer has elevated levels of Uranium and Thorium relative to Earth and even its own rocks, as determined from SNCs (3). These anomalies can be explained if some large nuclear energy release, such as by natural nuclear reactors known to have operated on Earth (4) in in some concentrated ore body, occurred with perhaps a large volcano like explosion that spread residues over the planets surface. Based on gamma ray observations from orbit (3), and the correlations of normally uncorrelated Th and K deposits , the approximate location of this event would appear to have been in the north of Mars in a region in Acidalia Planitia centered at 45N Latitude and 15W Longitude (5). The possibility of such a large radiological event in Mars past adds impetus to Mars exploration efforts and particularly to a human mission to Mars to learn more about this possible occurrence. (1) Swindle, T. D. , Caffee, M. W., and Hohenberg, C. M., (1986) "Xenon and other Noble Gases in Shergottites" Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 50, pp 1001-1015. (2) Banin, A., Clark, B.C., and Wanke, H. "Surface Chemistry and Mineralogy" (1992) in "Mars

  7. Search for magnetic minerals in Martian rocks: Overview of the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) magnet investigation on Spirit and Opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goetz, W.; Leer, K.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.

    2008-01-01

    The Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on board the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) is a grinding tool designed to remove dust coatings and/or weathering rinds from rocks and expose fresh rock material. Four magnets of different strengths that are built into the structure of the RAT have been attracting...... is interpreted as magnetite. The amount of abraded rock material adhering to the magnets varied strongly during the mission and is correlated in a consistent way to the amount of magnetite inferred from Mossbauer spectra for the corresponding rock. The RAT magnet experiment as performed on Opportunity also...

  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. Biodiversity of Rock Varnish at Yungay, Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlman, K.; Venkat, P.; La Duc, M.; Kuhlman, G.; McKay, C.

    2007-12-01

    Rock varnish is a very slow-growing nanostratigraphic coating consisting of approximately 70% clay and 30% iron and manganese oxides of fine-grained clay minerals rich in manganese and iron oxides, which forms on the surfaces of rocks in most semi-arid to hyper-arid climates. Rock varnish has even been postulated to exist on Mars based on surface imagery from several landed missions, and is considered a potential biomarker. However, the mechanism of varnish nucleation and growth remains unknown. Whether or not microbes are involved in the nucleation and growth of rock varnish, the detection of microbes using cultivation or cultivation- independent techniques has demonstrated that varnish provides a microhabitat for microbes. We hypothesized that rock varnish in the Mars-like Yungay region of the Atacama Desert may provide such a microhabitat for microbial life where none has been found to date in the surface soil (< 1 cm). The presence of microbes was investigated using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assay techniques and culture-independent biomolecular methods. High levels of both total and intracellular ATP were associated with the rock varnish while negligible ATP was found in the surrounding surface soil, suggesting that viable organisms were present. Total DNA was extracted from ground varnish and surrounding surface soil and subjected to trifurcate polymerase chain reactions (PCR). No DNA was recovered from the soil. Amplicons were used to generate ribosomal DNA (rDNA) clone libraries, which suggest the presence of numerous phylogenetically distinct microorganisms in eight Eubacterial clades, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Cytophaga-Flavobacterium- Bacteroides (CFB), Chloroflexi (green non-sulfur bacteria (GNS)), Gemmatimonadetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria. The diversity of bacteria found and presence of cyanobacteria suggests that rock varnish provides a niche environment for a cryptoendolithic microbial community where

  10. Subsurface characterization by the ground penetrating radar WISDOM/ExoMars 2020

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hervé, Y.; Ciarletti, V.; Le Gall, A. A.; Oudart, N.; Loizeau, D.; Guiffaut, C.; Dorizon, S.

    2017-12-01

    The main objective of the ExoMars 2020 mission is to search for signs of past and/or present life on Mars. Toward this goal, a rover was designed to investigate the shallow subsurface which is the most likely place where signs of life may be preserved, beneath the hostile surface of Mars. The rover of the ExoMars 2020 mission has on board a polarimetric ground penetrating radar called WISDOM (Water Ice Subsurface Deposits Observation on Mars). Thanks to its large frequency bandwidth of 2.5 GHz, WISDOM is able to probe down to a depth of approximately 3 m on sedimentary rock with a vertical resolution of a few centimeters.The main scientific objectives of WISDOM are to characterize the shallow subsurface of Mars, to help understand the local geological context and to identify the most promising location for drilling. The WISDOM team is currently working on the preparation of the scientific return of the ExoMars 2020 mission. In particular, tools are developed to interpret WISDOM experimental data and, more specifically, to extract information from the radar signatures of expected buried reflectors. Insights into the composition of the ground (through the retrieval of its permittivity) and the geological context of the site can be inferred from the radar signature of buried rocks since the shape and the density of rocks in the subsurface is related to the geological processes that have shaped and placed them there (impact, fluvial processes, volcanism). This paper presents results obtained by automatic detection of structures of interest on a radargram, especially radar signature of buried rocks. The algorithm we developed uses a neural network to identify the position of buried rocks/blocs and then a Hough transform to characterize each signature and to estimate the local permittivity of the medium. Firstly, we will test the performances of the algorithm on simulated data constructed with a 3D FDTD code. This code allows us to simulate radar operation in realistic

  11. UV, visible, and near-IR reflectivity data for magnetic soils/rocks from Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vempati, R. K.; Morris, R. V.; Lauer, H. V., Jr.; Coey, J. M. D.

    1991-01-01

    The objective is to obtain UV, visible, and near-IR reflectivity spectra for several magnetic Brazilian soils/rocks and compare them to corresponding data for Mars to see if these materials satisfy both magnetic and spectral constraints for Mars. Selected physical properties of the magnetic Brazilian soils/rocks are presented. In general, the spectral features resulting from ferric crystal-field transitions are much better defined in the spectra of the magnetic Brazilian soils/rocks than in Martian spectral data. Presumably, this results from a relatively higher proportion of crystalline ferric oxides for the former. The apparent masking of the spectral signature of maghemite by hematite or goethite for the Brazilian samples implies the magnetic and spectral constraints for Mars can be decoupled. That is, maghemite may be present in magnetically-significant but optically-insignificant amounts compared to crystalline hematite.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. An ultrasonic corer for planetary rock sample retrieval

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harkness, P; Cardoni, A; Lucas, M

    2009-01-01

    Several recent and planned space projects have been focussed on surface rovers for planetary missions, such as the U.S. Mars Exploration Rovers and the European ExoMars. The main functions of similar extraterrestrial vehicles in the future will be moving across planetary surfaces and retrieving rock samples. This paper presents a novel ultrasonic rock sampling tool tuned in a longitudinal-torsional mode along with the conceptual design of a full coring apparatus for preload delivery and core removal. Drilling and coring bits have been designed so that a portion of the longitudinal motion supplied by the ultrasonic transducer is converted into torsional motion. Results of drilling/coring trials are also presented.

  15. Nontronite and Montmorillonite as Nutrient Sources for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, P. I.; Mickol, R. L.; Archer, P. D.; Kral, T. A.

    2017-01-01

    Clay minerals have been identified on Mars' oldest (Noachian) terrain and their presence suggests long-term water-rock interactions. The most commonly identified clay minerals on Mars to date are nontronite (Fe-smectite) and montmorillonite (Al-smectite) [1], both of which contain variable amounts of water both adsorbed on their surface and within their structural layers. Over Mars' history, these clay miner-al-water assemblages may have served as nutrient sources for microbial life.

  16. Sojourn time distributions in a Markovian G-queue with batch arrival and batch removal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Woo Shin

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available We consider a single server Markovian queue with two types of customers; positive and negative, where positive customers arrive in batches and arrivals of negative customers remove positive customers in batches. Only positive customers form a queue and negative customers just reduce the system congestion by removing positive ones upon their arrivals. We derive the LSTs of sojourn time distributions for a single server Markovian queue with positive customers and negative customers by using the first passage time arguments for Markov chains.

  17. Rock Around the World: International Outreach for Scientific Education Using Infrared Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, L. D.; Klug, S. L.; Christensen, P. R.; Rogers, T. A.; Daub, G.

    2005-12-01

    Since the creation of the Rock Around the World (RATW) program in January 2004, we have received 6,861 (to date) rocks from children and adults alike from around the world. RATW is an educational outreach device to inspire and teach children about science. In addition, the accumulation of almost 7,000 rock samples has exponentially expanded the Arizona State University earth-based rock library into a large collection of samples useful for scientific investigation of Earth and Mars. This library currently supports research that is being conducted by the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and the two Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) instruments that are onboard the Mars Exploration Rovers. Currently, we have 3 undergraduate students working on the RATW project. As each rock sample arrives, appropriate information that was received with the sample is entered into our web-based RATW database. The information received with the rock sample is directly input into the RATW website. The information is publicly available for each sample at http://ratw.asu.edu. The sample is photographed, and then sent to the spectrometer for analysis. Once the spectrum is taken, calibration is performed. Then the sample is filed away in our rock archive room. Our website has several interactive tools which enhance the learning process. These tools include an interactive world map where the visitor can click on a rock location and preview all of the rocks sent from that geographical area of the world. In addition RATW has also put four virtual mineral libraries online. This enables any visitor to the RATW website to deconvolve or "unmix" their spectrum to see the mineral composition, using the same techniques that scientists use on the TES, THEMIS, and mini-TES data. The 6,861 rock samples we have received have been very geographically widespread. Participants have sent rocks from such places as

  18. Surface clay formation during short-term warmer and wetter conditions on a largely cold ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Janice L.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Michalski, Joseph R.; Gago-Duport, Luis; Baker, Leslie L.; Velbel, Michael A.; Gross, Christoph; Rampe, Elizabeth B.

    2018-03-01

    The ancient rock record for Mars has long been at odds with climate modelling. The presence of valley networks, dendritic channels and deltas on ancient terrains points towards running water and fluvial erosion on early Mars1, but climate modelling indicates that long-term warm conditions were not sustainable2. Widespread phyllosilicates and other aqueous minerals on the Martian surface3-6 provide additional evidence that an early wet Martian climate resulted in surface weathering. Some of these phyllosilicates formed in subsurface crustal environments5, with no association with the Martian climate, while other phyllosilicate-rich outcrops exhibit layered morphologies and broad stratigraphies7 consistent with surface formation. Here, we develop a new geochemical model for early Mars to explain the formation of these clay-bearing rocks in warm and wet surface locations. We propose that sporadic, short-term warm and wet environments during a generally cold early Mars enabled phyllosilicate formation without requiring long-term warm and wet conditions. We conclude that Mg-rich clay-bearing rocks with lateral variations in mixed Fe/Mg smectite, chlorite, talc, serpentine and zeolite occurrences formed in subsurface hydrothermal environments, whereas dioctahedral (Al/Fe3+-rich) smectite and widespread vertical horizonation of Fe/Mg smectites, clay assemblages and sulphates formed in variable aqueous environments on the surface of Mars. Our model for aluminosilicate formation on Mars is consistent with the observed geological features, diversity of aqueous mineralogies in ancient surface rocks and state-of-the-art palaeoclimate scenarios.

  19. Estimation of sojourn time in chronic disease screening without data on interval cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, T H; Kuo, H S; Yen, M F; Lai, M S; Tabar, L; Duffy, S W

    2000-03-01

    Estimation of the sojourn time on the preclinical detectable period in disease screening or transition rates for the natural history of chronic disease usually rely on interval cases (diagnosed between screens). However, to ascertain such cases might be difficult in developing countries due to incomplete registration systems and difficulties in follow-up. To overcome this problem, we propose three Markov models to estimate parameters without using interval cases. A three-state Markov model, a five-state Markov model related to regional lymph node spread, and a five-state Markov model pertaining to tumor size are applied to data on breast cancer screening in female relatives of breast cancer cases in Taiwan. Results based on a three-state Markov model give mean sojourn time (MST) 1.90 (95% CI: 1.18-4.86) years for this high-risk group. Validation of these models on the basis of data on breast cancer screening in the age groups 50-59 and 60-69 years from the Swedish Two-County Trial shows the estimates from a three-state Markov model that does not use interval cases are very close to those from previous Markov models taking interval cancers into account. For the five-state Markov model, a reparameterized procedure using auxiliary information on clinically detected cancers is performed to estimate relevant parameters. A good fit of internal and external validation demonstrates the feasibility of using these models to estimate parameters that have previously required interval cancers. This method can be applied to other screening data in which there are no data on interval cases.

  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. 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

  2. Subsurface water and clay mineral formation during the early history of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, Bethany L; Mustard, John F; Murchie, Scott L; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Meunier, Alain; Fraeman, Abigail A; Langevin, Yves

    2011-11-02

    Clay minerals, recently discovered to be widespread in Mars's Noachian terrains, indicate long-duration interaction between water and rock over 3.7 billion years ago. Analysis of how they formed should indicate what environmental conditions prevailed on early Mars. If clays formed near the surface by weathering, as is common on Earth, their presence would indicate past surface conditions warmer and wetter than at present. However, available data instead indicate substantial Martian clay formation by hydrothermal groundwater circulation and a Noachian rock record dominated by evidence of subsurface waters. Cold, arid conditions with only transient surface water may have characterized Mars's surface for over 4 billion years, since the early-Noachian period, and the longest-duration aqueous, potentially habitable environments may have been in the subsurface.

  3. Robotics and automation in Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, Roger D.; Sturms, Francis M., Jr.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Gamber, R. T.

    1992-01-01

    A new approach to the exploration of Mars is examined which relies on the use of smaller and simpler vehicles. The new strategy involves the following principles: limiting science objectives to retrieval of rock samples from several different but geologically homogeneous areas; making use of emerging microspacecraft technologies to significantly reduce the mass of hardware elements; simplifying missions to the absolutely essential elements; and managing risk through the employment of many identical independent pieces some of which may fail. The emerging technologies and their applications to robotic Mars missions are discussed.

  4. 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.

  5. Abraded Target on Rock 'Champagne' in Gusev Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this microscopic image of a target called 'Bubbles' on a rock called 'Champagne' after using its rock abrasion tool to grind a hole through the rock's outer surface. The circular area where the rock's interior is exposed is about 5 centimeters (2 inches) across. This rock is different from rocks out on the plains of Gusev Crater but is similar to other rocks in this area of the 'Columbia Hills' in that it rich in phosphorus. Plagioclase, a mineral commonly found in igneous rocks, is also present in these rocks, according to analysis with Spirit's miniature thermal emission spectrometer. By using the rover's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to collect data for multiple martian days, or sols, scientists are also beginning to get measurements of trace elements in the rocks. Spirit took the images that are combined into this mosaic on sol 358 (Jan. 3, 2005).

  6. The subsurface geology of Río Tinto: material examined during a simulated Mars drilling mission for the Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Schutt, John; Sutter, Brad; Heldmann, Jennifer L; Bell, Mary Sue; Battler, Melissa; Cannon, Howard; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    The 2005 Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) project conducted a simulated 1-month Mars drilling mission in the Río Tinto district, Spain. Dry robotic drilling, core sampling, and biological and geological analytical technologies were collectively tested for the first time for potential use on Mars. Drilling and subsurface sampling and analytical technologies are being explored for Mars because the subsurface is the most likely place to find life on Mars. The objectives of this work are to describe drilling, sampling, and analytical procedures; present the geological analysis of core and borehole material; and examine lessons learned from the drilling simulation. Drilling occurred at an undisclosed location, causing the science team to rely only on mission data for geological and biological interpretations. Core and borehole imaging was used for micromorphological analysis of rock, targeting rock for biological analysis, and making decisions regarding the next day's drilling operations. Drilling reached 606 cm depth into poorly consolidated gossan that allowed only 35% of core recovery and contributed to borehole wall failure during drilling. Core material containing any indication of biology was sampled and analyzed in more detail for its confirmation. Despite the poorly consolidated nature of the subsurface gossan, dry drilling was able to retrieve useful core material for geological and biological analysis. Lessons learned from this drilling simulation can guide the development of dry drilling and subsurface geological and biological analytical technologies for future Mars drilling missions.

  7. Mars Science Laboratory: Mission, Landing Site, and Initial Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, John; Blake, D.; Crisp, J.; Edgett, K.; Gellert, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Hassler, D.; Mahaffy, P.; Malin, M.; Meyer, M.; Mitrofanov, I.; Vasavada, A.; Wiens, R.

    2012-10-01

    Scheduled to land on August 5, 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, will conduct an investigation of modern and ancient environments. Recent mission results will be discussed. Curiosity has a lifetime of at least one Mars year ( 23 months), and drive capability of at least 20 km. The MSL 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; an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity; focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color; an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry; a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals; an active neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith; a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables; and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of background solar and cosmic radiation. The 155-km diameter Gale Crater was chosen as Curiosity’s field site based on several attributes: an interior mound of ancient flat-lying strata extending almost 5 km above the elevation of the landing site; the lower few hundred meters of the mound show a progression with relative age from clay-bearing to sulfate-bearing strata, separated by an unconformity from overlying likely anhydrous strata; the landing ellipse is characterized by a mixture of alluvial fan and high thermal inertia/high albedo stratified deposits; and a number of stratigraphically/geomorphically distinct fluvial features. Gale’s regional context and strong evidence for a progression through multiple potentially habitable environments, represented by a stratigraphic record of extraordinary extent, insure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars.

  8. Potential High Priority Subaerial Environments for Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; Bishop, J. L.; Horgan, B.; Benning, L. G.; Carrier, B. L.; Hausrath, E. M.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Beaty, D. W.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Czaja, A. D.; Debaille, V.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Hallis, L. J.; Harrington, A. D.; Herd, C. D. K.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mangold, N.; Mackelprang, R.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCubbin, F. M.; Mccoy, J. T.; McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Ori, G. G.; Raulin, F.; Rettberg, P.; Rucker, M. A.; Schmitz, N.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Smith, C. L.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Tosca, N. J.; Usui, T.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    The highest priority subaerial environments for Mars Sample Return include subaerial weathering (paleosols, periglacial/glacial, and rock coatings/rinds), wetlands (mineral precipitates, redox environments, and salt ponds), or cold spring settings.

  9. The Athena Science Payload for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Haskin, L.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2001-01-01

    The Athena Mars rover payload is a suite of scientific instruments and tools for geologic exploration of the martian surface. It is designed 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, including soils, rock surfaces, and rock interiors. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. Two identical copies of the Athena payload will be flown in 2003 on the two Mars Exploration Rovers. The payload is at a high state of maturity, and first copies of several of the instruments have already been built and tested for flight.

  10. Brushed Target on Rock 'Champagne' in Gusev Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this microscopic image of a target called 'Bubbles' on a rock called 'Champagne' after using its rock abrasion tool to brush away a coating of dust. The circular brushed area is about 5 centimeters (2 inches) across. This rock is different from rocks out on the plains of Gusev Crater but is similar to other rocks in this area of the 'Columbia Hills' in that it has higher levels of phosphorus. Plagioclase, a mineral commonly found in igneous rocks, is also present in these rocks, according to analysis with the minature thermal emission spectrometer. By using the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to collect data over multiple martian days, or sols, scientists are also beginning to get measurements of trace elements in these rocks. Spirit took the images that are combined into this mosaic on sol 354 (Dec. 30, 2004).

  11. In-Situ Operations and Planning for the Mars Science Laboratory Robotic Arm: The First 200 Sols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, M.; Collins, C.; Leger, P.; Carsten, J.; Tompkins, V.; Hartman, F.; Yen, J.

    2013-01-01

    The Robotic Arm (RA) has operated for more than 200 Martian solar days (or sols) since the Mars Science Laboratory rover touched down in Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. During the first seven months on Mars the robotic arm has performed multiple contact science sols including the positioning of the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and/or Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) with respect to rocks or loose regolith targets. The RA has supported sample acquisition using both the scoop and drill, sample processing with CHIMRA (Collection and Handling for In- Situ Martian Rock Analysis), and delivery of sample portions to the observation tray, and the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) and CHEMIN (Chemistry and Mineralogy) science instruments. This paper describes the planning and execution of robotic arm activities during surface operations, and reviews robotic arm performance results from Mars to date.

  12. 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

  13. Calibrating the ChemCam LIBS for Carbonate Minerals on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, Roger C.; Clegg, Samuel M.; Ollila, Ann M.; Barefield, James E.; Lanza, Nina; Newsom, Horton E.

    2009-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument suite on board the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover includes the first LIBS instrument for extraterrestrial applications. Here we examine carbonate minerals in a simulated martian environment using the LIDS technique in order to better understand the in situ signature of these materials on Mars. Both chemical composition and rock type are determined using multivariate analysis (MVA) techniques. Composition is confirmed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Our initial results suggest that ChemCam can recognize and differentiate between carbonate materials on Mars.

  14. Reminiscing the Blank Spaces of Sojourn: Sublimating Emotional Flights in Taban Lo Liyong’s “Words That Melt A Mountain”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niyi Akingbe

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Taban Lo Liyong's profoundity as a foremost writer from East Africa is often showcased by his wilful eccentricity and dogged iconoclasm, which exuberantly dot the lines of his poetry collections. For much of his writing career, Liyong has sustained a cultivated equanimity towards the paradox of being widely accepted by the budding African literary critics, and being deliberately neglected by the established critics. His maverick disposition to literary craftsmanship is stridently exhibited in the thematics of Words That Melt A Mountain: an unabashed treatment of controversial subject matters; intrusive and digressive narrative technique; confident assertive ego; an effervescent erudition in his writing and a disturbing frankness in the treatment of sex. This paper is preoccupied with the examination of how the Poetics of Words That Melt A Mountain are grounded in the boons and mementoes garnered from the experiences borne out of Liyong's sojourn in Japan. It will further look into how the reminiscence of Liyong's sojourn in Japan ferments an interplay of themes which oscillate between audacious narrative of erotic explorations and a penetrating introspection into the African mythopoesis.

  15. Basaltic rocks analyzed by the Spirit rover in Gusev crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    McSween, H.Y.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.F.; Blaney, D.; Cabrol, N.A.; Christensen, P.R.; Clark, B. C.; Crisp, J.A.; Crumpler, L.S.; Des Marias, D.J.; Farmer, J.D.; Gellert, Ralf; Ghosh, A.; Gorevan, S.; Graff, T.; Grant, J.; Haskin, L.A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Jolliff, B.L.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Knudson, A.T.; McLennan, S.; Milam, K.A.; Moersch, J.E.; Morris, R.V.; Rieder, R.; Ruff, S.W.; De Souza, P.A.; Squyres, S. W.; Wanke, H.; Wang, A.; Wyatt, M.B.; Yen, A.; Zipfel, J.

    2004-01-01

    The Spirit landing site in Gusev Crater on Mars contains dark, fine-grained, vesicular rocks interpreted as lavas. Pancam and Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) spectra suggest that all of these rocks are similar but have variable coatings and dust mantles. Magnified images of brushed and abraded rock surfaces show alteration rinds and veins. Rock interiors contain ???25% megacrysts. Chemical analyses of rocks by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer are consistent with picritic basalts, containing normative olivine, pyroxenes, plagioclase, and accessory FeTi oxides. Mo??ssbauer, Pancam, and Mini-TES spectra confirm the presence of olivine, magnetite, and probably pyroxene. These basalts extend the known range of rock compositions composing the martian crust.

  16. Unsupervised feature learning for autonomous rock image classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Lei; McIsaac, Kenneth; Osinski, Gordon R.; Francis, Raymond

    2017-09-01

    Autonomous rock image classification can enhance the capability of robots for geological detection and enlarge the scientific returns, both in investigation on Earth and planetary surface exploration on Mars. Since rock textural images are usually inhomogeneous and manually hand-crafting features is not always reliable, we propose an unsupervised feature learning method to autonomously learn the feature representation for rock images. In our tests, rock image classification using the learned features shows that the learned features can outperform manually selected features. Self-taught learning is also proposed to learn the feature representation from a large database of unlabelled rock images of mixed class. The learned features can then be used repeatedly for classification of any subclass. This takes advantage of the large dataset of unlabelled rock images and learns a general feature representation for many kinds of rocks. We show experimental results supporting the feasibility of self-taught learning on rock images.

  17. The Mars Simulation Laboratory, University of Aarhus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrison, J. P.; Field, D.; Finster, K.; Lomstein, B. Aa.; Nørnberg, P.; Ramsing, N. B.; Uggerhøj, E.

    2001-08-01

    Present day Mars presents an extremely hostile environment to organic material. The average temperature is low (-50C), the atmospheric pressure is also low (7mbar) and there is little water over most of the planet. Chemically the surface is extremely oxidising and no signs of organic material have been detected. There is also a strong component of ultra violet radiation in the Martian sun light, lethal to most organisms. At Aarhus University we have constructed a Mars simulation environment which reproduces the physical, chemical and mineralogical conditions on Mars. It is hoped to set limits on where organic matter (or even life) might exist on Mars, for example at some depth under the surface, beneath the polar ice or within rocks. It is also possible to adjust the conditions in the simulation to investigate the most extreme environments in which organisms can be preserved or still function.

  18. State-age-dependent maintenance policies for deteriorating systems with Erlang sojourn time distributions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yeh, R.H.

    1997-01-01

    This paper investigates state-age-dependent maintenance policies for multistate deteriorating systems with Erlang sojourn time distributions. Since Erlang distributions are serial combinations of exponential phases, the deteriorating process can be modeled by a multi-phase Markovian model and hence easily analyzed. Based on the Markovian model, the optimal phase-dependent inspection and replacement policy can be obtained by using a policy improvement algorithm. However, since phases are fictitious and can not be identified by inspections, two procedures are developed to construct state-age-dependent policies based on the optimal phase-dependent policy. The properties of the constructed state-age-dependent policies are further investigated and the performance of the policy is evaluated through a numerical example

  19. The Mars Science Laboratory Organic Check Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Von der Heydt, Max O.; Mogensen, Claus T.; Canham, John; Harpold, Dan N.; Johnson, Joel; Errigo, Therese; Glavin, Daniel P.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-09-01

    Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover carries a set of five external verification standards in hermetically sealed containers that can be sampled as would be a Martian rock, by drilling and then portioning into the solid sample inlet of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite. Each organic check material (OCM) canister contains a porous ceramic solid, which has been doped with a fluorinated hydrocarbon marker that can be detected by SAM. The purpose of the OCM is to serve as a verification tool for the organic cleanliness of those parts of the sample chain that cannot be cleaned other than by dilution, i.e., repeated sampling of Martian rock. SAM possesses internal calibrants for verification of both its performance and its internal cleanliness, and the OCM is not used for that purpose. Each OCM unit is designed for one use only, and the choice to do so will be made by the project science group (PSG).

  20. 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.

  1. Assessment of Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M. P.

    2005-05-01

    Comprehensive analyses of remote sensing data during the 3-year effort to select the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites at Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum correctly predicted the safe and trafficable surfaces explored by the two rovers. Gusev crater was predicted to be a relatively low relief surface that was comparably dusty, but less rocky than the Viking landing sites. Available data for Meridiani Planum indicated a very flat plain composed of basaltic sand to granules and hematite that would look completely unlike any of the existing landing sites with a dark, low albedo surface, little dust and very few rocks. Orbital thermal inertia measurements of 315 J m-2 s-0.5 K-1 at Gusev suggested surfaces dominated by duricrust to cemented soil-like materials or cohesionless sand or granules, which is consistent with observed soil characteristics and measured thermal inertias from the surface. THEMIS thermal inertias along the traverse at Gusev vary from 285 at the landing site to 330 around Bonneville rim and show systematic variations that can be related to the observed increase in rock abundance (5-30%). Meridiani has an orbital bulk inertia of ~200, similar to measured surface inertias that correspond to observed surfaces dominated by 0.2 mm sand size particles. Rock abundance derived from orbital thermal differencing techniques suggested that Meridiani Planum would have very low rock abundance, consistent with the rock free plain traversed by Opportunity. Spirit landed in an 8% orbital rock abundance pixel, consistent with the measured 7% of the surface covered by rocks >0.04 m diameter at the landing site, which is representative of the plains away from craters. The orbital albedo of the Spirit traverse varies from 0.19 to 0.30, consistent with surface measurements in and out of dust devil tracks. Opportunity is the first landing in a low albedo portion of Mars as seen from orbit, which is consistent with the dark, dust-free surface and measured albedos. The

  2. Surface Properties and Characteristics of Mars Landing Sites from Remote Sensing Data and Ground Truth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M. P.; Haldemann, A. F.; Simpson, R. A.; Furgason, R. L.; Putzig, N. E.; Huertas, A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Heet, T.; Bell, J. F.; Mellon, M. T.; McEwen, A. S.

    2008-12-01

    Surface characteristics at the six sites where spacecraft have successfully landed on Mars can be related favorably to their signatures in remotely sensed data from orbit and from the Earth. Comparisons of the rock abundance, types and coverage of soils (and their physical properties), thermal inertia, albedo, and topographic slope all agree with orbital remote sensing estimates and show that the materials at the landing sites can be used as ground truth for the materials that make up most of the equatorial and mid- to moderately high-latitude regions of Mars. The six landing sites sample two of the three dominant global thermal inertia and albedo units that cover ~80% of the surface of Mars. The Viking, Spirit, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix landing sites are representative of the moderate to high thermal inertia and intermediate to high albedo unit that is dominated by crusty, cloddy, blocky or frozen soils (duricrust that may be layered) with various abundances of rocks and bright dust. The Opportunity landing site is representative of the moderate to high thermal inertia and low albedo surface unit that is relatively dust free and composed of dark eolian sand and/or increased abundance of rocks. Rock abundance derived from orbital thermal differencing techniques in the equatorial regions agrees with that determined from rock counts at the surface and varies from ~3-20% at the landing sites. The size-frequency distributions of rocks >1.5 m diameter fully resolvable in HiRISE images of the landing sites follow exponential models developed from lander measurements of smaller rocks and are continuous with these rock distributions indicating both are part of the same population. Interpretation of radar data confirms the presence of load bearing, relatively dense surfaces controlled by the soil type at the landing sites, regional rock populations from diffuse scattering similar to those observed directly at the sites, and root-mean-squared slopes that compare favorably

  3. The Lost City Hydrothermal Field: A Spectroscopic and Astrobiological Analogue for Nili Fossae, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador, Elena S; Bandfield, Joshua L; Brazelton, William J; Kelley, Deborah

    2017-11-01

    Low-temperature serpentinization is a critical process with respect to Earth's habitability and the Solar System. Exothermic serpentinization reactions commonly produce hydrogen as a direct by-product and typically produce short-chained organic compounds indirectly. Here, we present the spectral and mineralogical variability in rocks from the serpentine-driven Lost City Hydrothermal Field on Earth and the olivine-rich region of Nili Fossae on Mars. Near- and thermal-infrared spectral measurements were made from a suite of Lost City rocks at wavelengths similar to those for instruments collecting measurements of the martian surface. Results from Lost City show a spectrally distinguishable suite of Mg-rich serpentine, Ca carbonates, talc, and amphibole minerals. Aggregated detections of low-grade metamorphic minerals in rocks from Nili Fossae were mapped and yielded a previously undetected serpentine exposure in the region. Direct comparison of the two spectral suites indicates similar mineralogy at both Lost City and in the Noachian (4-3.7 Ga) bedrock of Nili Fossae, Mars. Based on mapping of these spectral phases, the implied mineralogical suite appears to be extensive across the region. These results suggest that serpentinization was once an active process, indicating that water and energy sources were available, as well as a means for prebiotic chemistry during a time period when life was first emerging on Earth. Although the mineralogical assemblages identified on Mars are unlikely to be directly analogous to rocks that underlie the Lost City Hydrothermal Field, related geochemical processes (and associated sources of biologically accessible energy) were once present in the subsurface, making Nili Fossae a compelling candidate for a once-habitable environment on Mars. Key Words: Mars-Habitability-Serpentinization-Analogue. Astrobiology 17, 1138-1160.

  4. Alteration of the Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopic Composition in the Martian Surface Rocks Due to Cosmic Ray Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A. A.; Pavlov, A. K.; Ostryakov, V. M.; Vasilyev, G. I.; Mahaffy, P.; Steele, A.

    2014-01-01

    C-13/C-12 and N-15/N-14 isotopic ratios are pivotal for our understanding of the Martian carbon cycle, history of the Martian atmospheric escape, and origin of the organic compounds on Mars. Here we demonstrate that the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of the surface rocks on Mars can be significantly altered by the continuous exposure of Martian surface to cosmic rays. Cosmic rays can effectively produce C-13 and N-15 isotopes via spallation nuclear reactions on oxygen atoms in various Martian rocks. We calculate that in the top meter of the Martian rocks, the rates of production of both C-13 and N-15 due to galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) exposure can vary within 1.5-6 atoms/cm3/s depending on rocks' depth and chemical composition. We also find that the average solar cosmic rays can produce carbon and nitrogen isotopes at a rate comparable to GCRs in the top 5-10 cm of the Martian rocks. We demonstrate that if the total carbon content in a surface Martian rock is <10 ppm, then the "light," potentially "biological" C-13/C-12 ratio would be effectively erased by cosmic rays over 3.5 billion years of exposure. We found that for the rocks with relatively short exposure ages (e.g., 100 million years), cosmogenic changes in N-15/N-14 ratio are still very significant. We also show that a short exposure to cosmic rays of Allan Hills 84001 while on Mars can explain its high-temperature heavy nitrogen isotopic composition (N-15/N-14). Applications to Martian meteorites and the current Mars Science Laboratory mission are discussed.

  5. X-Ray Diffraction on Mars: Scientific Discoveries Made by the CheMin Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampe, E. B.; Blake, D. F.; Ming, D. W.; Bristow, T. F.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity landed in Gale crater in August 2012 with the goal to identify and characterize habitable environments on Mars. Curiosity has been studying a series of sedimentary rocks primarily deposited in fluviolacustrine environments approximately 3.5 Ga. Minerals in the rocks and soils on Mars can help place further constraints on these ancient aqueous environments, including pH, salinity, and relative duration of liquid water. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence instrument on Curiosity uses a Co X-ray source and charge-coupled device detector in transmission geometry to collect 2D Debye-Scherrer ring patterns of the less than 150 micron size fraction of drilled rock powders or scooped sediments. With an angular range of approximately 2.52deg 20 and a 20 resolution of approximately 0.3deg, mineral abundances can be quantified with a detection limit of approximately 1-2 wt. %. CheMin has returned quantitative mineral abundances from 16 mudstone, sandstone, and aeolian sand samples so far. The mineralogy of these samples is incredibly diverse, suggesting a variety of depositional and diagenetic environments and different source regions for the sediments. Results from CheMin have been essential for reconstructing the geologic history of Gale crater and addressing the question of habitability on ancient Mars.

  6. Mars Science Laboratory Using Laser Instrument, Artist's Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    This artist's conception of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory portrays use of the rover's ChemCam instrument to identify the chemical composition of a rock sample on the surface of Mars. ChemCam is innovative for planetary exploration in using a technique referred to as laser breakdown spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of samples from distances of up to about 8 meters (25 feet) away. ChemCam is led by a team at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in Toulouse, France. Mars Science Laboratory, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life, is in development at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a launch opportunity in 2009. The mission is managed by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

  7. Conceptualizing Transnational Community Formation: Migrants, Sojourners and Diasporas in a Globalized Era

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Andy Knight

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Transnational communities have flourished in the globalized era, creating a Diaspora and sojourners that are unlike earlier waves of migrants. This paper first examines the main theories currently used to describe and explain international migration and find them wanting. Through an examination of two case studies of ethnic Japanese migrants (the Brazilian Nikkeijin and Peruvian Nikkei who return to their homeland after living abroad for one or two generations, the paper goes on to demonstrate that the concept of international migrant’ needs further theorizing to account for the impact of globalization and globalism. To this end, the author calls for the development of new theoretical understandings of the evolution of transnational community formation that would be multi-variate and robust enough to guide future public policy and research.

  8. Using CTX Image Features to Predict HiRISE-Equivalent Rock Density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Navid; Huertas, Andres; McGuire, Patrick; Mayer, David; Ardvidson, Raymond

    2010-01-01

    Methods have been developed to quantitatively assess rock hazards at candidate landing sites with the aid of images from the HiRISE camera onboard NASA s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. HiRISE is able to resolve rocks as small as 1-m in diameter. Some sites of interest do not have adequate coverage with the highest resolution sensors and there is a need to infer relevant information (like site safety or underlying geomorphology). The proposed approach would make it possible to obtain rock density estimates at a level close to or equal to those obtained from high-resolution sensors where individual rocks are discernable.

  9. Multiple Smaller Missions as a Direct Pathway to Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niles, P. B.; Draper, D. S.; Evans, C. A.; Gibson, E. K.; Graham, L. D.; Jones, J. H.; Lederer, S. M.; Ming, D.; Seaman, C. H.; Archer, P. D.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Recent discoveries by the Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Express, Mars Odyssey, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft include multiple, tantalizing astrobiological targets representing both past and present environments on Mars. The most desirable path to Mars Sample Return (MSR) would be to collect and return samples from that site which provides the clearest examples of the variety of rock types considered a high priority for sample return (pristine igneous, sedimentary, and hydrothermal). Here we propose an MSR architecture in which the next steps (potentially launched in 2018) would entail a series of smaller missions, including caching, to multiple landing sites to verify the presence of high priority sample return targets through in situ analyses. This alternative architecture to one flagship-class sample caching mission to a single site would preserve a direct path to MSR as stipulated by the Planetary Decadal Survey, while permitting investigation of diverse deposit types and providing comparison of the site of returned samples to other aqueous environments on early Mars

  10. 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

    Life as we know it requires water with a chemical activity (alpha) >or approx.0.6 and sources of nutrients and useful energy. Some biota can survive even if favorable conditions occur only intermittently, but the minimum required frequency of occurrences is poorly understood. Recent discoveries have vindicated the Mars exploration strategy to follow the water. Mars Global Surveyor s Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) found coarse-grained hematite at Meridiani Planum. Opportunity rover confirmed this and also found evidence of ancient sulfate-rich playa lakes and near-surface groundwater. Elsewhere, TES found evidence of evaporitic halides in topographic depressions. But alpha might not have approached 0.6 in these evaporitic sulfate- and halide-bearing waters. Mars Express (MEX) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) found extensive sulfate evaporites in Meridiani and Valles Marineris. MEX found phyllosilicates at several sites, most notably Mawrth Valles and Nili Fossae. MRO's CRISM near-IR mapper extended the known diversity and geographic distribution of phyllosilicates to include numerous Noachian craters. Phyllosilicates typically occur at the base of exposed ancient rock sections or in sediments in early Hesperian craters. It is uncertain whether the phyllosilicates developed in surface or subsurface aqueous environments and how long aqueous conditions persisted. Spirit rover found remarkably pure ferric sulfate, indicating oxidation and transport of Fe and S, perhaps in fumaroles or hot springs. Spirit also found opaline silica, consistent with hydrothermal activity. CRISM mapped extensive silica deposits in the Valles Marineris region, consistent with aqueous weathering and deposition. CRISM also found ultramafic rocks and magnesite at Nili Fossae, consistent with serpentinization, a process that can sustain habitable environments on Earth. The report of atmospheric methane implies subsurface aqueous conditions. A working hypothesis is that aqueous

  11. 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.

  12. Preliminary GRS Measurement of Chlorine Distribution on Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, J. M.; Boynton, W. V.; Taylor, G. J.; Hamara, D.; Janes, D. M.; Kerry, K.

    2003-12-01

    Ongoing measurements with the Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) aboard Mars Odyssey provide preliminary detection of chlorine at the surface of Mars. Summing all data since boom deployment and using a forward calculation model, we estimate values for chlorine concentration at 5° resolution. Rebinning this data and smoothing with a 15-degree-radius boxcar filter reveal regions of noticeable chlorine enrichment at scales larger than the original 5° resolution and allow for preliminary comparison with previous Mars datasets. Analyzing chlorine concentrations within 30 degrees of the equator, we find a negative correlation with thermal inertia (R2=0.55) and positive correlation with albedo (R2=0.52), indicating that chlorine is associated with fine, non-rock surface materials. Although possibly a smoothing artifact, the spatial correlation is more noticeable in the region covering Tharsis and Amazonis than around Arabia and Elysium. Additionally, a noticeable region of chlorine enrichment appears west of Tharsis Montes ( ˜0 to 20N, ˜110 to 150W) and chlorine concentration is estimated to vary in the equatorial region by over a factor of two. A simplified two-component model involving chlorine-poor rocks and a homogenous chlorine-rich fine material requires rock abundance to vary from zero to over 50%, a result inconsistent with previous measurements and models. In addition to variations in rock composition and distribution, substantial variations in chlorine content of various types of fine materials including dust, sand, and duricrust appear important in explaining this preliminary observation. Surprisingly, visual comparison of surface units mapped by Christensen and Moore (1992) does not show enrichment in chlorine associated with regions of indurated surfaces, where cementation has been proposed. Rather, Tharsis, a region of active deposition with proposed mantling of 0.1 to 2 meters of recent dust (Christensen 1986), shows the greatest chlorine signal. In light of

  13. In Situ Dating Experiments of Igneous Rocks Using the KArLE Instrument: A Case Study for Approximately 380 Ma Basaltic Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yuichiro; Cohen, Barbara A.

    2018-01-01

    We report new K-Ar isochron data for two approximately 380 Ma basaltic rocks, using an updated version of the Potassium-Argon Laser Experiment (KArLE). These basalts have K contents comparable to lunar KREEP basalts or igneous lithologies found by Mars rovers, whereas previous proof-of-concept studies focused primarily on more K-rich rocks. We continue to measure these analogue samples to show the advancing capability of in situ K-Ar geochronology. KArLE is applicable to other bodies including the Moon or asteroids.

  14. Beagle 2: Seeking the signatures of life on Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Gibson Jr., E. K.; Pillinger, Colin T.; Wright, Ian P.; Morse, Andy; Stewart, Jenny; Morgan, G.; Praine, Ian; Leigh, Dennis; Sims, Mark R.; Pullan, Derek

    2003-01-01

    ESA's Beagle 2 lander will land on Mars to search for signatures of present and past life. A Gas Analysis Package (GAP) with a mass spectrometer, XRF, Mossbauer, stereo cameras, microscope, environmental sensors, rock corer/grinder, and a Mole attachment are on the lander.

  15. 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.

  16. Mineralogy of a mudstone at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vaniman, D.T.; Bish, D.L.; Ming, D.W.; Bristow, T.F.; Morris, R.V.; Blake, D.F.; Chipera, S.J.; Morrison, S.M.; Treiman, A.H.; Rampe, E.B.; Rice, M.; Achilles, C.N.; Grotzinger, J.P.; McLennan, S.M.; Williams, J.; Bell III, J.F.; Newsom, H.E.; Downs, R.T.; Maurice, S.; Sarrazin, P.; Yen, A.S.; Morookian, J.M.; Farmer, J.D.; Stack, K.; Milliken, R.E.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Sumner, D.Y.; Berger, G.; Crisp, J.A.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Anderson, R.; Des Marais, D.J.; Stolper, E.M.; Edgett, K.S.; Gupta, S.; Spanovich, N.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay (Gale crater) on Mars include mudstone sampled by the Curiosity rover. The samples, John Klein and Cumberland, contain detrital basaltic minerals, calcium sulfates, iron oxide or hydroxides, iron sulfides, amorphous material, and trioctahedral smectites. The John

  17. Areally Extensive Surface Bedrock Exposures on Mars: Many Are Clastic Rocks, Not Lavas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, A. Deanne; Warner, Nicholas H.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Head, James W.; Cowart, Justin C.

    2018-02-01

    Areally extensive exposures of intact olivine/pyroxene-enriched rock, as well as feldspar-enriched rock, are found in isolated locations throughout the Martian highlands. The petrogenetic origin(s) of these rock units are not well understood, but some previous studies favored an effusive volcanic origin partly on the basis of distinctive composition and relatively high thermal inertia. Here we show that the regolith development, crater retention, and morphological characteristics for many of these "bedrock plains" are not consistent with competent lavas and reinterpret the high thermal inertia orbital signatures to represent friable materials that are more easily kept free of comminution products through eolian activity. Candidate origins include pyroclastic rocks, impact-generated materials, or detrital sedimentary rocks. Olivine/pyroxene enrichments in bedrock plains relative to surrounding materials could have potentially formed through deflation and preferential removal of plagioclase.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. HiRISE Characterization of Thermophysical Units at Acidalia Planitia, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Alonso, S.; Mellon, M. T.; Rafkin, S. C. R.; Zurek, R. W.; McEwen, A. S.; Putzig, N. E.; Searls, M. L.; HiRISE Team

    2008-03-01

    As part of an ongoing effort to characterize with HiRISE data the global thermophysical units in Mars, we report results regarding a region of Acidalia Planitia, which includes the largest outcrop of thermophysical unit F (rocks, bedrock, duricrust) on the planet.

  1. The MarsOrganiX experiment: Understanding the influence of the secondary X-Rays on the organic matter at Mars' near-surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, A.; Szopa, C.; Freissinet, C.; Stalport, F.; Coscia, D.; Pavlov, A.; Gilbert, P.; Bonnet, J. Y.; Guerrini, V.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.

    2017-12-01

    Mars may have harbored a prebiotic chemistry that could have led to the emergence of life. If such, traces of these could be preserved in the oldest (3.5 billion years and more) rocks at the surface of the planet. Because of the thin atmosphere of Mars and the absence of an active magnetic field, the harsh radiative environment at the near-surface consists of UV and X-ray radiation, galactic and solar cosmic rays (GCRs and SCRs), as well as secondary particles produced by the interaction of GCRs and SCRs with the atmosphere and soil (secondary X-rays). The majority of the X-rays at the martian surface are generated in the rocks by the penetrating GCR and SCR particles. The GCRs' secondary X-rays' absorbed dose, at the top centimeters of the surface of Mars, has been estimated at about 0.05 Gy per year. All these radiation (direct and indirect) are prone to induce extended degradation or transformation of organic matter that would be present at Mars' near-surface, down to the 3 m depth of the GCRs/SCRs penetration. The SAM experiment onboard Curiosity rover led to the first in situ detection of organic molecules in martian rocks and soils. Chlorobenzene was detected in Cumberland at a concentration of up to 300 parts per billion in weight. However, chlorobenzene was thought to be formed in the SAM oven, during the pyrolysis of the sample. Nevertheless, Cumberland sample has been exposed to GCRs and SCRs for about 80 million years, and thus, the undergone X-rays radiation may have processed the organic matter and chlorinated the organic molecules in presence of perchlorate. Therefore, this study aims at evaluating the possible precursor(s), that would lead to the formation of chlorobenzene (detected with SAM) when irradiated in presence of perchlorate. Using the PSICHE beam line at SOLEIL, a synchrotron facility in France, we studied the extend of degradation and transformation of two organic molecules of interest, a carboxylic acid (benzoic acid) and an amino acid

  2. 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.

  3. Classification Scheme for Diverse Sedimentary and Igneous Rocks Encountered by MSL in Gale Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, M. E.; Mangold, N.; Fisk, M.; Forni, O.; McLennan, S.; Ming, D. W.; Sumner, D.; Sautter, V.; Williams, A. J.; Gellert, R.

    2015-01-01

    The Curiosity Rover landed in a lithologically and geochemically diverse region of Mars. We present a recommended rock classification framework based on terrestrial schemes, and adapted for the imaging and analytical capabilities of MSL as well as for rock types distinctive to Mars (e.g., high Fe sediments). After interpreting rock origin from textures, i.e., sedimentary (clastic, bedded), igneous (porphyritic, glassy), or unknown, the overall classification procedure (Fig 1) involves: (1) the characterization of rock type according to grain size and texture; (2) the assignment of geochemical modifiers according to Figs 3 and 4; and if applicable, in depth study of (3) mineralogy and (4) geologic/stratigraphic context. Sedimentary rock types are assigned by measuring grains in the best available resolution image (Table 1) and classifying according to the coarsest resolvable grains as conglomerate/breccia, (coarse, medium, or fine) sandstone, silt-stone, or mudstone. If grains are not resolvable in MAHLI images, grains in the rock are assumed to be silt sized or smaller than surface dust particles. Rocks with low color contrast contrast between grains (e.g., Dismal Lakes, sol 304) are classified according to minimum size of apparent grains from surface roughness or shadows outlining apparent grains. Igneous rocks are described as intrusive or extrusive depending on crystal size and fabric. Igneous textures may be described as granular, porphyritic, phaneritic, aphyric, or glassy depending on crystal size. Further descriptors may include terms such as vesicular or cumulate textures.

  4. Fluid-Evaporation Records Preserved in Meridiani Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, M. N.; Nyquist, Laurence E.; Sutton, S. R.

    2009-01-01

    We have shown earlier that the high SO3/Cl ratios found in secondary mineral assemblages in shergottite GRIM glasses (Gas-Rich Impact-Melt) likely resulted from interactions of regolith materials with sulfate-rich (and Cl-poor) solutions. The low SO3/Cl ratios determined in secondary salts in nakhalite fracture-fillings presumably formed by rock interactions with chloride-rich (and SO4-poor) solutions near Mars surface. The SO3 and Cl abundances determined by APXS in abraded rocks (RAT) from Endurance, Fram and Eagle craters indicate that these salt assemblages likely formed by evaporative concentration of brine fluids at Meridiani. The SO3/Cl ratios in the abraded rocks are examined here, instead of their absolute abundances, because the abundance ratios might provide better guide-lines for tracking the evolution of evaporating fluids at Meridiani. The SO3/Cl ratios in these samples, in turn, might provide clues for the mobile element ratios of the altering fluids that infiltrated into the Meridiani rocks.

  5. 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.

  6. Reaching 1 m deep on Mars: the Icebreaker drill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacny, K; Paulsen, G; McKay, C P; Glass, B; Davé, A; Davila, A F; Marinova, M; Mellerowicz, B; Heldmann, J; Stoker, C; Cabrol, N; Hedlund, M; Craft, J

    2013-12-01

    The future exploration of Mars will require access to the subsurface, along with acquisition of samples for scientific analysis and ground-truthing of water ice and mineral reserves for in situ resource utilization. The Icebreaker drill is an integral part of the Icebreaker mission concept to search for life in ice-rich regions on Mars. Since the mission targets Mars Special Regions as defined by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), the drill has to meet the appropriate cleanliness standards as requested by NASA's Planetary Protection Office. In addition, the Icebreaker mission carries life-detection instruments; and in turn, the drill and sample delivery system have to meet stringent contamination requirements to prevent false positives. This paper reports on the development and testing of the Icebreaker drill, a 1 m class rotary-percussive drill and triple redundant sample delivery system. The drill acquires subsurface samples in short, approximately 10 cm bites, which makes the sampling system robust and prevents thawing and phase changes in the target materials. Autonomous drilling, sample acquisition, and sample transfer have been successfully demonstrated in Mars analog environments in the Arctic and the Antarctic Dry Valleys, as well as in a Mars environmental chamber. In all environments, the drill has been shown to perform at the "1-1-100-100" level; that is, it drilled to 1 m depth in approximately 1 hour with less than 100 N weight on bit and approximately 100 W of power. The drilled substrate varied and included pure ice, ice-rich regolith with and without rocks and with and without 2% perchlorate, and whole rocks. The drill is currently at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 5. The next-generation Icebreaker drill weighs 10 kg, which is representative of the flightlike model at TRL 5/6.

  7. Scientific Results of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.

    2006-08-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project launched two robotic geologists, Spirit and Opportunity, toward Mars in June and July of 2003, reaching Mars the following January. The science objectives for this mission are focused on delineating the geologic history for two locations on Mars, with an emphasis on the history of water. Although they were designed for a 90-day mission, both rovers have lasted more than two years on the surface and each has covered more than four miles while investigating Martian geology. Spirit was targeted to Gusev Crater, a 300-km diameter impact basin that was suspected to be the site of an ancient lake. Initial investigations of the plains in the vicinity of the landing site found no evidence of such a lake, but were instead consistent with unaltered (by water) basaltic plains. But after a 3-km trek to an adjacent range of hills it found a quite different situation, with abundant chemical and morphological evidence for a complex geological history. Opportunity has been exploring Meridiani Planum, which was known from orbital data to contain the mineral hematite, which generally forms in the presence of water. The rocks exposed in Meridiani are highly chemically altered, and appear to have been exposed to significant amounts of water. By descending into the 130-m diameter Endurance Crater, Opportunity was able to analyze a 10-m vertical section of this rock unit, which showed significant gradations in chemistry and morphology.

  8. Textures of the soils and rocks at Gusev crater from Spirit's Microscopic Imager

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herkenhoff, K.E.; Squyres, S.W.; Arvidson, R.

    2004-01-01

    The Microscopic Imager on the Spirit rover analyzed the textures of the soil and rocks at Gusev crater on Mars at a resolution of 100 micrometers. Weakly bound agglomerates of dust are present in the soil near the Columbia Memorial Station. Some of the brushed or abraded rock surfaces show igneous...... textures and evidence for alteration rinds, coatings, and veins consistent with secondary mineralization. The rock textures are consistent with a volcanic origin and subsequent alteration and/or weathering by impact events, wind, and possibly water....

  9. Habitability & Astrobiology Research in Mars Terrestrial Analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    We performed a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme Utah desert relevant to Mars environments, and in order to help in the interpretation of Mars missions measurements from orbit (MEX, MRO) or from the surface (MER, MSL), or Moon geochemistry (SMART-1, LRO). We shall give an update on the sample analysis in the context of habitability and astrobiology. Methods & Results: In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station, near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [A, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from remote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geochemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [1-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns [10-12] relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. Keywords: field analogue research, astrobiology, habitability, life detection, Earth-Moon-Mars, organics References [A] Foing, Stoker & Ehrenfreund (Editors, 2011) "Astrobiology field Research in Moon/Mars Analogue Environments", Special Issue of International

  10. The Mawrth Vallis region of Mars: A potential landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Joseph R; Jean-PierreBibring; Poulet, François; Loizeau, Damien; Mangold, Nicolas; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Bishop, Janice L; Wray, James J; McKeown, Nancy K; Parente, Mario; Hauber, Ernst; Altieri, Francesca; Carrozzo, F Giacomo; Niles, Paul B

    2010-09-01

    The primary objective of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, which will launch in 2011, is to characterize the habitability of a site on Mars through detailed analyses of the composition and geological context of surface materials. Within the framework of established mission goals, we have evaluated the value of a possible landing site in the Mawrth Vallis region of Mars that is targeted directly on some of the most geologically and astrobiologically enticing materials in the Solar System. The area around Mawrth Vallis contains a vast (>1 × 10⁶ km²) deposit of phyllosilicate-rich, ancient, layered rocks. A thick (>150 m) stratigraphic section that exhibits spectral evidence for nontronite, montmorillonite, amorphous silica, kaolinite, saponite, other smectite clay minerals, ferrous mica, and sulfate minerals indicates a rich geological history that may have included multiple aqueous environments. Because phyllosilicates are strong indicators of ancient aqueous activity, and the preservation potential of biosignatures within sedimentary clay deposits is high, martian phyllosilicate deposits are desirable astrobiological targets. The proposed MSL landing site at Mawrth Vallis is located directly on the largest and most phyllosilicate-rich deposit on Mars and is therefore an excellent place to explore for evidence of life or habitability.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. High concentrations of manganese and sulfur in deposits on Murray Ridge, Endeavour Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, Raymond E.; Squyres, Steven W.; Morris, Richard V.; Knoll, Andrew H.; Gellert, Ralf; Clark, Benton C.; Catalano, Jeffrey G.; Jolliff, Bradley L.; McLennan, Scott M.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; VanBommel, Scott; Mittelfehldt, David W.; Grotzinger, John P.; Guinness, Edward A.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Bell, James F.; Farrand, William H.; Stein, Nathan; Fox, Valerie K.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Hinkle, Margaret A. G.; Calvin, Wendy M.; de Souza, Paulo A.

    2016-01-01

    Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images and Opportunity rover observations of the ~22 km wide Noachian age Endeavour Crater on Mars show that the rim and surrounding terrains were densely fractured during the impact crater-forming event. Fractures have also propagated upward into the overlying Burns formation sandstones. Opportunity’s observations show that the western crater rim segment, called Murray Ridge, is composed of impact breccias with basaltic compositions, as well as occasional fracture-filling calcium sulfate veins. Cook Haven, a gentle depression on Murray Ridge, and the site where Opportunity spent its sixth winter, exposes highly fractured, recessive outcrops that have relatively high concentrations of S and Cl, consistent with modest aqueous alteration. Opportunity’s rover wheels serendipitously excavated and overturned several small rocks from a Cook Haven fracture zone. Extensive measurement campaigns were conducted on two of them: Pinnacle Island and Stuart Island. These rocks have the highest concentrations of Mn and S measured to date by Opportunity and occur as a relatively bright sulfate-rich coating on basaltic rock, capped by a thin deposit of one or more dark Mn oxide phases intermixed with sulfate minerals. We infer from these unique Pinnacle Island and Stuart Island rock measurements that subsurface precipitation of sulfate-dominated coatings was followed by an interval of partial dissolution and reaction with one or more strong oxidants (e.g., O2) to produce the Mn oxide mineral(s) intermixed with sulfate-rich salt coatings. In contrast to arid regions on Earth, where Mn oxides are widely incorporated into coatings on surface rocks, our results demonstrate that on Mars the most likely place to deposit and preserve Mn oxides was in fracture zones where migrating fluids intersected surface oxidants, forming precipitates shielded from subsequent physical erosion.

  14. Development of the science instrument CLUPI: the close-up imager on board the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, J.-L.; Beauvivre, S.; Cessa, V.; Martin, P.

    2017-11-01

    First mission of the Aurora Exploration Programme of ESA, ExoMars will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies, and will pursue fundamental scientific investigations. Planned for launch in 2013, ExoMars will send a robotic rover to the surface of Mars. The Close-UP Imager (CLUPI) instrument is part of the Pasteur Payload of the rover fixed on the robotic arm. It is a robotic replacement of one of the most useful instruments of the field geologist: the hand lens. Imaging of surfaces of rocks, soils and wind drift deposits at high resolution is crucial for the understanding of the geological context of any site where the Pasteur rover may be active on Mars. At the resolution provided by CLUPI (approx. 15 micrometer/pixel), rocks show a plethora of surface and internal structures, to name just a few: crystals in igneous rocks, sedimentary structures such as bedding, fracture mineralization, secondary minerals, details of the surface morphology, sedimentary bedding, sediment components, surface marks in sediments, soil particles. It is conceivable that even textures resulting from ancient biological activity can be visualized, such as fine lamination due to microbial mats (stromatolites) and textures resulting from colonies of filamentous microbes, potentially present in sediments and in palaeocavitites in any rock type. CLUPI is a complete imaging system, consisting of an APS (Active Pixel Sensor) camera with 27° FOV optics. The sensor is sensitive to light between 400 and 900 nm with 12 bits digitization. The fixed focus optics provides well focused images of 4 cm x 2.4 cm rock area at a distance of about 10 cm. This challenging camera system, less than 200g, is an independent scientific instrument linked to the rover on board computer via a SpaceWire interface. After the science goals and specifications presentation, the development of this complex high performance miniaturized imaging system will be described.

  15. In situ characterization of martian materials and detection of organic compounds with the MOMA investigation onboard the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arevalo, R. D., Jr.; Grubisic, A.; van Amerom, F. H. W.; Danell, R.; Li, X.; Kaplan, D.; Pinnick, V. T.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Getty, S.; Goesmann, F.

    2017-12-01

    Ground-based observations (e.g., via the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility) and in situ investigations, including flybys (e.g., Mariner Program), orbiters (most recently MAVEN and ExoMars TGO), stationary landers (i.e., Viking, Pathfinder and Phoenix), and mobile rovers (i.e., Sojourner, Spirit/Opportunity and Curiosity), have enabled the progressive exploration of the Martian surface. Evidence for liquid water, manifest as hydrated and amorphous materials representative of alteration products of primary minerals/lithologies, and geomorphological features such as recurring slope lineae (RSL), valley networks and open-basin lakes, indicates that Mars may have hosted habitable environments, at least on local scales (temporally and spatially). However, the preservation potential of molecular biosignatures in the upper meter(s) of the surface is limited by destructive cosmic radiation and oxidative chemical reactions. Moreover, the determination of indigenous versus exogenous origins, and biotic versus abiotic formation mechanisms of detected organic material, provide additional challenges for future missions to the red planet. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) onboard the ExoMars rover, set to launch in 2020, provides an unprecedented opportunity to discover unambiguous indicators of life. The MOMA instrument will investigate the compositions of materials collected during multiple vertical surveys, extending as deep as two meters below the surface, via: i) gas chromatography mass spectrometry, a method geared towards the detection of volatile organics and the determination of molecular chirality, mapping to previous in situ Mars investigations; and, ii) laser desorption mass spectrometry, a technique commonly employed in research laboratories to detect larger, more refractory organic materials, but a first for spaceflight applications. Selective ion excitation and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) techniques support the isolation and disambiguation of complex

  16. The origin and evolution of terrestrial and Martian rock labyrinths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, G. A.

    1984-01-01

    The morphological characteristics and evolutionary development of rock labyrinths on Earth (in sandstone, volcanics, and carbonates) are compared with those on Mars. On Earth rock labyrinths originate as parallel, an echelon, or intersecting narrow grabens, or develop where fault and joint networks are selectively eroded. Labyrinths frequently contain both downfaulted and erosional elements. Closed labyrinths contain depressions; open labyrinths do not, they are simple part of a fluvial network generally of low order. As closed labyrinths made up of intersecting grabens or made up of connected erosional depressions are extremely common on Mars, the research focussed on an understanding of these labyrinth types. Field investigations were carried out in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, and in the Chirachahua Mountains of Arizona. Martian labyrinths were investigated using Viking orbiter images. In addition, research was undertaken on apparent thermokarst features in Lunae Planum and Chryse Planitia where closed depressions are numerous and resemble atlas topography.

  17. 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.

  18. How successful are mutants in multiplayer games with fluctuating environments? Sojourn times, fixation and optimal switching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Joseph W.; Galla, Tobias

    2018-03-01

    Using a stochastic model, we investigate the probability of fixation, and the average time taken to achieve fixation, of a mutant in a population of wild-types. We do this in a context where the environment in which the competition takes place is subject to stochastic change. Our model takes into account interactions which can involve multiple participants. That is, the participants take part in multiplayer games. We find that under certain circumstances, there are environmental switching dynamics which minimize the time that it takes for the mutants to fixate. To analyse the dynamics more closely, we develop a method by which to calculate the sojourn times for general birth-death processes in fluctuating environments.

  19. Case for a wet, warm climate on early Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pollack, J.B.; Kasting, J.F.; Richardson, S.M.; Poliakoff, K.

    1987-01-01

    Arguments are presented in support of the idea that Mars possessed a dense CO 2 atmosphere and a wet, warm climate early in its history. The plausibility of a CO 2 greenhouse is tested by formulating a simple model of the CO 2 geochemical cycle on early Mars. By scaling the rate of silicate weathering on Earth, researchers estimated a weathering time constant of the order of several times 10 to the 7th power years for early Mars. Thus, a dense atmosphere could have existed for a geologically significant time period (approx. 10 to the 9th power years) only if atmospheric CO 2 was being continuously resupplied. The most likely mechanism by which this could have been accomplished is the thermal decomposition of carbonate rocks induced directly or indirectly by intense, global scale volcanism

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Mineral remains of early life on Earth? On Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iberall, Robbins E.; Iberall, A.S.

    1991-01-01

    The oldest sedimentary rocks on Earth, the 3.8-Ga Isua Iron-Formation in southwestern Greenland, are metamorphosed past the point where organic-walled fossils would remain. Acid residues and thin sections of these rocks reveal ferric microstructures that have filamentous, hollow rod, and spherical shapes not characteristic of crystalline minerals. Instead, they resemble ferric-coated remains of bacteria. Because there are no earlier sedimentary rocks to study on Earth, it may be necessary to expand the search elsewhere in the solar system for clues to any biotic precursors or other types of early life. A study of morphologies of iron oxide minerals collected in the southern highlands during a Mars sample return mission may therefore help to fill in important gaps in the history of Earth's earliest biosphere. -from Authors

  3. Evaluation of meteorites as habitats for terrestrial microorganisms: Results from the Nullarbor Plain, Australia, a Mars analogue site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tait, Alastair W.; Wilson, Siobhan A.; Tomkins, Andrew G.; Gagen, Emma J.; Fallon, Stewart J.; Southam, Gordon

    2017-10-01

    Unambiguous identification of biosignatures on Mars requires access to well-characterized, long-lasting geochemical standards at the planet's surface that can be modified by theoretical martian life. Ordinary chondrites, which are ancient meteorites that commonly fall to the surface of Mars and Earth, have well-characterized, narrow ranges in trace element and isotope geochemistry compared to martian rocks. Given that their mineralogy is more attractive to known chemolithotrophic life than the basaltic rocks that dominate the martian surface, exogenic rocks (e.g., chondritic meteorites) may be good places to look for signs of prior life endemic to Mars. In this study, we show that ordinary chondrites, collected from the arid Australian Nullarbor Plain, are commonly colonized and inhabited by terrestrial microorganisms that are endemic to this Mars analogue site. These terrestrial endolithic and chasmolithic microbial contaminants are commonly found in close association with hygroscopic veins of gypsum and Mg-calcite, which have formed within cracks penetrating deep into the meteorites. Terrestrial bacteria are observed within corrosion cavities, where troilite (FeS) oxidation has produced jarosite [KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6]. Where terrestrial microorganisms have colonized primary silicate minerals and secondary calcite, these mineral surfaces are heavily etched. Our results show that inhabitation of meteorites by terrestrial microorganisms in arid environments relies upon humidity and pH regulation by minerals. Furthermore, microbial colonization affects the weathering of meteorites and production of sulfate, carbonate, Fe-oxide and smectite minerals that can preserve chemical and isotopic biosignatures for thousands to millions of years on Earth. Meteorites are thus habitable by terrestrial microorganisms, even under highly desiccating environmental conditions of relevance to Mars. They may therefore be useful as chemical and isotopic ;standards; that preserve evidence of

  4. Volcanic lake systems as terrestrial analogue for sulphate-rich terrains on Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodríguez, A.

    2016-01-01

    Remote-sensing observations and rover missions have documented the abundant presence of sulphate-rich mineral associations on the surface of Mars. Together with widespread occurrences of silica and frequent enrichments of chlorine and bromine in soils and rocks, the sulphate associations are

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    a Mars Analog Site: Tohachi Wash/Little Colorado River; and Antarctic Dry Valleys: Modification of Rocks and Soils and Implications for Mars The Arkaroola Mars Analogue Region, South Australia.

  7. Methane Seepage on Mars: Where to Look and Why.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z; Etiope, Giuseppe

    2017-12-01

    Methane on Mars is a topic of special interest because of its potential association with microbial life. The variable detections of methane by the Curiosity rover, orbiters, and terrestrial telescopes, coupled with methane's short lifetime in the martian atmosphere, may imply an active gas source in the planet's subsurface, with migration and surface emission processes similar to those known on Earth as "gas seepage." Here, we review the variety of subsurface processes that could result in methane seepage on Mars. Such methane could originate from abiotic chemical reactions, thermogenic alteration of abiotic or biotic organic matter, and ancient or extant microbial metabolism. These processes can occur over a wide range of temperatures, in both sedimentary and igneous rocks, and together they enhance the possibility that significant amounts of methane could have formed on early Mars. Methane seepage to the surface would occur preferentially along faults and fractures, through focused macro-seeps and/or diffuse microseepage exhalations. Our work highlights the types of features on Mars that could be associated with methane release, including mud-volcano-like mounds in Acidalia or Utopia; proposed ancient springs in Gusev Crater, Arabia Terra, and Valles Marineris; and rims of large impact craters. These could have been locations of past macro-seeps and may still emit methane today. Microseepage could occur through faults along the dichotomy or fractures such as those at Nili Fossae, Cerberus Fossae, the Argyre impact, and those produced in serpentinized rocks. Martian microseepage would be extremely difficult to detect remotely yet could constitute a significant gas source. We emphasize that the most definitive detection of methane seepage from different release candidates would be best provided by measurements performed in the ground or at the ground-atmosphere interface by landers or rovers and that the technology for such detection is currently available. Key

  8. Terrestrial Fe-oxide Concretions and Mars Blueberries: Comparisons of Similar Advective and Diffusive Chemical Infiltration Reaction Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, A. J.; Chan, M. A.

    2006-12-01

    Abundant iron oxide concretions occurring in Navajo Sandstone of southern Utah and those discovered at Meridiani Planum, Mars share many common observable physical traits such as their spheriodal shapes, occurrence, and distribution patterns in sediments. Terrestrial concretions are products of interaction between oxygen-rich aquifer water and basin-derived reducing (iron-rich) water. Water-rock interaction simulations show that diffusion of oxygen and iron supplied by slow-moving water is a reasonable mechanism for producing observed concretion patterns. In short, southern Utah iron oxide concretions are results of Liesegang-type diffusive infiltration reactions in sediments. We propose that the formation of blueberry hematite concretions in Mars sediments followed a similar diagenetic mechanism where iron was derived from the alteration of volcanic substrate and oxygen was provided by the early Martian atmosphere. Although the terrestrial analog differs in the original host rock composition, both the terrestrial and Mars iron-oxide precipitation mechanisms utilize iron and oxygen interactions in sedimentary host rock with diffusive infiltration of solutes from two opposite sources. For the terrestrial model, slow advection of iron-rich water is an important factor that allowed pervasive and in places massive precipitation of iron-oxide concretions. In Mars, evaporative flux of water at the top of the sediment column may have produced a slow advective mass-transfer mechanism that provided a steady source and the right quantity of iron. The similarities of the terrestrial and Martian systems are demonstrated using a water-rock interaction simulator Sym.8, initially in one-dimensional systems. Boundary conditions such as oxygen content of water, partial pressure of oxygen, and supply rate of iron were varied. The results demonstrate the importance of slow advection of water and diffusive processes for producing diagenetic iron oxide concretions.

  9. Gravity-Independent Mobility and Drilling on Natural Rock using Microspines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parness, Aaron; Frost, Matthew; Thatte, Nitish; King, Jonathan P.

    2012-01-01

    To grip rocks on the surfaces of asteroids and comets, and to grip the cliff faces and lava tubes of Mars, a 250 mm diameter omni-directional anchor is presented that utilizes a hierarchical array of claws with suspension flexures, called microspines, to create fast, strong attachment. Prototypes have been demonstrated on vesicular basalt and a'a lava rock supporting forces in all directions away from the rock. Each anchor can support >160 N tangent, >150 N at 45?, and >180 N normal to the surface of the rock. A two-actuator selectively- compliant ankle interfaces these anchors to the Lemur IIB robot for climbing trials. A rotary percussive drill was also integrated into the anchor, demonstrating self-contained rock coring regardless of gravitational orientation. As a harder- than-zero-g proof of concept, 20mm diameter boreholes were drilled 83 mm deep in vesicular basalt samples, retaining a 12 mm diameter rock core in 3-6 pieces while in an inverted configuration, literally drilling into the ceiling.

  10. Strength and deformability of light-toned layered deposits observed by MER Opportunity: Eagle to Erebus craters, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okubo, Chris H.

    2007-10-01

    Quantifying host rock deformation is vital to understanding the geologic evolution and productivity of subsurface fluid reservoirs. In support of on-going characterization of fracture controlled fluid flow through the light-toned layered deposits on Mars, key parameters of strength and deformability are derived from Microscopic Imager and Rock Abrasion Tool data collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in Meridiani Planum. Analysis of 21 targets of light-toned layered deposits yields a median apparent porosity of 0.25. Additional physical parameters for each target are derived from these porosity measurements. The median value of unconfined compressive strength is 11.23 MPa, Young's modulus is 1.86 GPa, and the brittle-ductile transition pressure is 8.77 MPa.

  11. Exploring Mars for Evidence of Habitable Environments and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2014-01-01

    candidates. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity revealed that water once flowed to the surface across the vast Meridiani plains, creating saline lakes whose waters were roiled by ancient winds that also sculptured their salt deposits into sand dunes. Opportunity then drove more than 30 km to explore even older deposits on a crater rim. MER Spirit found evidence that thermal waters (heated by volcanism or by impacts?) altered rocks to create sulfate salts, and siliceous sinters. These discoveries indicate that an early hydrological cycle apparently sustained precipitation, streams and lakes. Liquid water participated in rock weathering reactions, such as iron and sulfur oxidation, that created distinctive weathering regimes. Volcanism, impacts, groundwater and ice interacted at least locally. Redox chemical energy from volcanism, hydrothermal activity and weathering of crustal materials would have been available for any life. Thus conditions might have supported life in the past, at least locally. The main objective of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover is to determine the extent to which Gale crater hosted environments capable of supporting microbial life. The rover has already found stream gravels as well as sediments that might have been deposited in an ancient lake. The rover is now traversing to Mt. Sharp, a 5 km-high mound that is located on the crater floor and that exhibits layered sedimentary rocks having diverse minerals (sulfates and clays) that apparently formed in the presence of liquid water. This rock sequence was deposited over an extended time period in diverse potentially habitable watery environments. Curiosity is poised to characterize a a well-preserved rock record of hundreds of millions of years of diverse environments and profound climate change.

  12. A diffuse radar scattering model from Martian surface rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvin, W. M.; Jakosky, B. M.; Christensen, P. R.

    1987-01-01

    Remote sensing of Mars has been done with a variety of instrumentation at various wavelengths. Many of these data sets can be reconciled with a surface model of bonded fines (or duricrust) which varies widely across the surface and a surface rock distribution which varies less so. A surface rock distribution map from -60 to +60 deg latitude has been generated by Christensen. Our objective is to model the diffuse component of radar reflection based on this surface distribution of rocks. The diffuse, rather than specular, scattering is modeled because the diffuse component arises due to scattering from rocks with sizes on the order of the wavelength of the radar beam. Scattering for radio waves of 12.5 cm is then indicative of the meter scale and smaller structure of the surface. The specular term is indicative of large scale surface undulations and should not be causally related to other surface physical properties. A simplified model of diffuse scattering is described along with two rock distribution models. The results of applying the models to a planet of uniform fractional rock coverage with values ranging from 5 to 20% are discussed.

  13. Demonstrations of Gravity-Independent Mobility and Drilling on Natural Rock using Microspines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parness, Aaron; Frost, Matthew; King, Jonathan P.; Thatte, Nitish

    2012-01-01

    The video presents microspine-based anchors be ing developed for gripping rocks on the surfaces of comets and asteroids, or for use on cliff faces and lava tubes on Mars. Two types of anchor prototypes are shown on supporting forces in all directions away from the rock; >160 N tangent, >150 N at 45?, and >180 N normal to the surface of the rock. A compliant robotic ankle with two active degrees of freedom interfaces these anchors to the Lemur IIB robot for future climbing trials. Finally, a rotary percussive drill is shown coring into rock regardless of gravitational orientation. As a harder- than-zero-g proof of concept, inverted drilling was performed creating 20mm diameter boreholes 83 mm deep in vesicular basalt samples while retaining 12 mm diameter rock cores in 3-6 pieces.

  14. Smectite Formation from Basaltic Glass Under Acidic Conditions on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretyazhko, T. S.; Sutter, B.; Morris, R. V.; Agresti, D. G.; Le, L.; Ming, D. W.

    2015-01-01

    Massive deposits of phyllosilicates of the smectite group, including Mg/Fe-smectite, have been identified in Mars's ancient Noachian terrain. The observed smectite is hypothesized to form through aqueous alteration of basaltic crust under neutral to alkaline pH conditions. These pH conditions and the presence of a CO2-rich atmosphere suggested for ancient Mars were favorable for the formation of large carbonate deposits. However, the detection of large-scale carbonate deposits is limited on Mars. We hypothesized that smectite deposits may have formed under acidic conditions that prevented carbonate precipitation. In this work we investigated formation of saponite at a pH of approximately 4 from Mars-analogue synthetic Adirondack basaltic glass of composition similar to Adirondack class rocks located at Gusev crater. Hydrothermal (200º Centigrade) 14 day experiments were performed with and without 10 millimoles Fe(II) or Mg under anoxic condition [hereafter denoted as anoxic_Fe, anoxic_Mg and anoxic (no addition of Fe(II) or Mg)] and under oxic condition [hereafter denoted as oxic (no addition of Fe(II) or Mg)]. Characterization and formation conditions of the synthesized saponite provided insight into the possible geochemical conditions required for saponite formation on Mars.

  15. Apparent thermal inertia and the surface heterogeneity of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Mellon, Michael T.

    2007-11-01

    Thermal inertia derivation techniques generally assume that surface properties are uniform at horizontal scales below the footprint of the observing instrument and to depths of several decimeters. Consequently, surfaces with horizontal or vertical heterogeneity may yield apparent thermal inertia which varies with time of day and season. To investigate these temporal variations, we processed three Mars years of Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer observations and produced global nightside and dayside seasonal maps of apparent thermal inertia. These maps show broad regions with diurnal and seasonal differences up to 200 J m -2 K -1s -1/2 at mid-latitudes (60° S to 60° N) and 600 J m -2 K -1s -1/2 or greater in the polar regions. We compared the seasonal mapping results with modeled apparent thermal inertia and created new maps of surface heterogeneity at 5° resolution, delineating regions that have thermal characteristics consistent with horizontal mixtures or layers of two materials. The thermal behavior of most regions on Mars appears to be dominated by layering, with upper layers of higher thermal inertia (e.g., duricrusts or desert pavements over fines) prevailing in mid-latitudes and upper layers of lower thermal inertia (e.g., dust-covered rock, soils with an ice table at shallow depths) prevailing in polar regions. Less common are regions dominated by horizontal mixtures, such as those containing differing proportions of rocks, sand, dust, and duricrust or surfaces with divergent local slopes. Other regions show thermal behavior that is more complex and not well-represented by two-component surface models. These results have important implications for Mars surface geology, climate modeling, landing-site selection, and other endeavors that employ thermal inertia as a tool for characterizing surface properties.

  16. Quantitative laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy of potassium for in-situ geochronology on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stipe, Christopher B., E-mail: stipec@seattleu.edu [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Seattle University, Seattle, WA 98122 (United States); Guevara, Edward; Brown, Jonathan [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Seattle University, Seattle, WA 98122 (United States); Rossman, George R. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2012-04-15

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy is explored for the development of an in-situ K-Ar geochronology instrument for Mars. Potassium concentrations in standard basaltic glasses and equivalent rock samples in their natural form are quantified using the potassium doublet at 766.49 and 769.90 nm. Measurement precision varies from 0.5 to 5.5 (% RSD) over the 3.63% to 0.025% potassium by weight for the standard samples, and little additional precision is achieved above 20 laser shots at 5 locations. For the glass standards, the quantification limits are 920 and 66 ppm for non-weighted and weighted calibration methods, respectively. For the basaltic rocks, the quantification limits are 2650 and 328 ppm for the non-weighted and weighted calibration methods, respectively. The heterogeneity of the rock samples leads to larger variations in potassium signal; however, normalizing the potassium peak by base area at 25 locations on the rock improved calibration accuracy. Including only errors in LIBS measurements, estimated age errors for the glasses range from approximately {+-} 30 Ma for 3000 Ma samples to {+-} 2 Ma for 100 Ma samples. For the basaltic rocks, the age errors are approximately {+-} 120 Ma for 3000 Ma samples and {+-} 8 Ma for 100 Ma samples. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Measurement of basaltic glasses and rocks by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Quantification of potassium for K-Ar dating. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Development of an instrument for in-situ geochronology on Mars. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Detection limit is 35 ppm, relative standard deviations range from 0.5% to 5.5%. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Estimated errors for the glass standards range from {+-} 30 Ma for 3000 Ma and {+-} 2 Ma for 100 Ma; estimated errors for the basaltic rocks range from {+-} 120 Ma for 3000 Ma and {+-} 8 Ma for 100 Ma.

  17. 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.

  18. Simulations of the magnetic properties experiment on Mars Exploration Rovers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Worm, E. S.; Bertelsen, P.; Goetz, W.; Kinch, K.; Madsen, M. B.; Merrison, J. P.; Nornberg, P.

    2005-01-01

    We present some of the main findings from simulation studies of the Magnetic Properties Experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers. The results suggest that the dust has formed via mechanical breakdown of surface rocks through the geological history of the planet, and that liquid water need not have played any significant role in the dust formation processes.

  19. 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.

  20. Rock Rb-Sr ages from Bananal region - Sao Paulo State, Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dias Neto, C.M.; Tassinari, C.G.C.; Silva, M.E.

    1996-01-01

    New Rb-Sr whole rock isochron ages have been determined for the main lithological units that occur in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro States. These rocks belong to Serra do Mar domain. The purpose of this work is to characterize the sequence of the geological events as well as the possible relationship between the different rocks. The geochronological data suggest that the paragneisses and the basement rocks, represented by ortho gneisses nuclei, were generated under amphibolite conditions around 700 Ma. At the same time the leucogranites were generated by partial melting processes and injected into both gneiss types. Tarditectonic granitic magmatic activities took place within ductile shear zones. One of the granites, the Getulandia granite, yielded an age of 514 Ma, falling in the range of the late Brasiliano Cycle which extended into the Middle Cambrian. (author). 9 figs., 1 tab

  1. Social Networks and the Maintenance of Conformity: Japanese sojourner women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saint Arnault, Denise; Roles, Deborah J

    2012-08-01

    Asian immigrant women have the lowest utilization of mental health services of any ethnic minority (Garland, Lau, Yeh & McCabe 2005). Because help seeking for distress occurs within social networks, we examined how social networks supported or disabled help seeking for Japanese sojourners living in the US. Unfortunately, most of the literature about Japanese social relationships focuses on men in organizational settings. This study used intensive ethnographic interviewing with 49 Japanese expatriate women to examine how social relationships influenced psychosocial distress and help seeking. We found that the women in these samples engaged in complex, highly regulated, complicated and obligatory relationships through their primary affiliation with other "company wives." Like many immigrant women, increased traditional cultural norms (referred to in Japanese as ryoosai kenbo, or good wives and wise mothers), were expected from these modern women, and the enactment of these roles was enforced through scrutiny, gossip and the possibility of ostracism. Fears of scrutiny was described by the women as a primary barrier to their self-disclosure and ultimate help seeking. Understanding the social organization and support within the Japanese women's community is central to understanding how culturally specific social networks can both give support, as well as create social constraints to help seeking. Health oriented prevention programs must consider these social factors when evaluating the immigration stressors faced by these families.

  2. Serpentinization and its implications for life on the early Earth and Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, Mitch; Blake, David; Hoehler, Tori; McCollom, Thomas

    2006-04-01

    Ophiolites, sections of ocean crust tectonically displaced onto land, offer significant potential to support chemolithoautotrophic life through the provision of energy and reducing power during aqueous alteration of their highly reduced mineralogies. There is substantial chemical disequilibrium between the primary olivine and pyroxene mineralogy of these ophiolites and the fluids circulating through them. This disequilibrium represents a potential source of chemical energy that could sustain life. Moreover, E (h)-pH conditions resulting from rock- water interactions in ultrabasic rocks are conducive to important abiotic processes antecedent to the origin of life. Serpentinization--the reaction of olivine- and pyroxene-rich rocks with water--produces magnetite, hydroxide, and serpentine minerals, and liberates molecular hydrogen, a source of energy and electrons that can be readily utilized by a broad array of chemosynthetic organisms. These systems are viewed as important analogs for potential early ecosystems on both Earth and Mars, where highly reducing mineralogy was likely widespread in an undifferentiated crust. Secondary phases precipitated during serpentinization have the capability to preserve organic or mineral biosignatures. We describe the petrology and mineral chemistry of an ophiolite-hosted cold spring in northern California and propose criteria to aid in the identification of serpentinizing terranes on Mars that have the potential to harbor chemosynthetic life.

  3. Magnetic Properties Experiments on the Mars exploration Rover Spirit at Gusev crater

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bertelsen, Pernille; Goetz, W.; Madsen, M.B.

    2004-01-01

    The magnetic properties experiments are designed to help identify the magnetic minerals in the dust and rocks on Mars-and to determine whether liquid water was involved in the formation and alteration of these magnetic minerals. Almost all of the dust particles suspended in the martian atmosphere...... must contain ferrimagnetic minerals (such as maghemite or magnetite) in an amount of similar to2% by weight. The most magnetic fraction of the dust appears darker than the average dust. Magnetite was detected in the first two rocks ground by Spirit....

  4. Supervolcanoes within an ancient volcanic province in Arabia Terra, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Joseph R; Bleacher, Jacob E

    2013-10-03

    Several irregularly shaped craters located within Arabia Terra, Mars, represent a new type of highland volcanic construct and together constitute a previously unrecognized Martian igneous province. Similar to terrestrial supervolcanoes, these low-relief paterae possess a range of geomorphic features related to structural collapse, effusive volcanism and explosive eruptions. Extruded lavas contributed to the formation of enigmatic highland ridged plains in Arabia Terra. Outgassed sulphur and erupted fine-grained pyroclastics from these calderas probably fed the formation of altered, layered sedimentary rocks and fretted terrain found throughout the equatorial region. The discovery of a new type of volcanic construct in the Arabia volcanic province fundamentally changes the picture of ancient volcanism and climate evolution on Mars. Other eroded topographic basins in the ancient Martian highlands that have been dismissed as degraded impact craters should be reconsidered as possible volcanic constructs formed in an early phase of widespread, disseminated magmatism on Mars.

  5. 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.

  6. Martian soil stratigraphy and rock coatings observed in color-enhanced Viking Lander images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, E. L., III

    1979-01-01

    Subtle color variations of martian surface materials were enhanced in eight Viking Lander (VL) color images. Well-defined soil units recognized at each site (six at VL-1 and four at VL-2), are identified on the basis of color, texture, morphology, and contact relations. The soil units at the Viking 2 site form a well-defined stratigraphic sequence, whereas the sequence at the Viking 1 site is only partially defined. The same relative soil colors occur at the two sites, suggesting that similar soil units are widespread on Mars. Several types of rock surface materials can be recognized at the two sites; dark, relatively 'blue' rock surfaces are probably minimally weathered igneous rock, whereas bright rock surfaces, with a green/(blue + red) ratio higher than that of any other surface material, are interpreted as a weathering product formed in situ on the rock. These rock surface types are common at both sites. Soil adhering to rocks is common at VL-2, but rare at VL-1. The mechanism that produces the weathering coating on rocks probably operates planet-wide.

  7. Visible-near infrared point spectrometry of drill core samples from Río Tinto, Spain: results from the 2005 Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) drilling exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, Brad; Brown, Adrian J; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    Sampling of subsurface rock may be required to detect evidence of past biological activity on Mars. The Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) utilized the Río Tinto region, Spain, as a Mars analog site to test dry drilling technologies specific to Mars that retrieve subsurface rock for biological analysis. This work examines the usefulness of visible-near infrared (VNIR) (450-1000 nm) point spectrometry to characterize ferric iron minerals in core material retrieved during a simulated Mars drilling mission. VNIR spectrometry can indicate the presence of aqueously precipitated ferric iron minerals and, thus, determine whether biological analysis of retrieved rock is warranted. Core spectra obtained during the mission with T1 (893-897 nm) and T2 (644-652 nm) features indicate goethite-dominated samples, while relatively lower wavelength T1 (832-880 nm) features indicate hematite. Hematite/goethite molar ratios varied from 0 to 1.4, and within the 880-898 nm range, T1 features were used to estimate hematite/goethite molar ratios. Post-mission X-ray analysis detected phyllosilicates, which indicates that examining beyond the VNIR (e.g., shortwave infrared, 1000-2500 nm) will enhance the detection of other minerals formed by aqueous processes. Despite the limited spectral range of VNIR point spectrometry utilized in the MARTE Mars drilling simulation project, ferric iron minerals could be identified in retrieved core material, and their distribution served to direct core subsampling for biological analysis.

  8. Immersive environment technologies for planetary exploration with applications for mixed reality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, J.; Hartman, F.; Cooper, B.

    2002-01-01

    Immersive environments are successfully being used to support mission operations at JPL. This technology contributed to the Mars Pathfinder Mission in planning sorties for the Sojourner rover. Results and operational experiences with these tools are being incorporated into the development of the second generation of mission planning tools.

  9. Space Rocks Tell Their Secrets: Space Science Applications of Physics and Chemistry for High School and College Classes: Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.; Tobola, K. W.; Stocco, K.; Henry, M.; Allen, J. S.; McReynolds, Julie; Porter, T. Todd; Veile, Jeri

    2004-01-01

    As the scientific community studies Mars remotely for signs of life and uses Martian meteorites as its only available samples, teachers, students, and the general public continue to ask, How do we know these meteorites are from Mars? This question sets the stage for a six-lesson instructional package Space Rocks Tell Their Secrets. Expanding on the short answer It s the chemistry of the rock , students are introduced to the research that reveals the true identities of the rocks. Since few high school or beginning college students have the opportunity to participate in this level of research, a slide presentation introduces them to the labs, samples, and people involved with the research. As they work through the lessons and interpret authentic data, students realize that the research is an application of two basic science concepts taught in the classroom, the electromagnetic spectrum and isotopes.

  10. Fluorocarbon Contamination from the Drill on the Mars Science Laboratory: Potential Science Impact on Detecting Martian Organics by Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eigenbrode, J. L.; McAdam, A.; Franz, H.; Freissinet, C.; Bower, H.; Floyd, M.; Conrad, P.; Mahaffy, P.; Feldman, J.; Hurowitz, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE or trade name: Teflon by Dupont Co.) has been detected in rocks drilled during terrestrial testing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) drilling hardware. The PTFE in sediments is a wear product of the seals used in the Drill Bit Assemblies (DBAs). It is expected that the drill assembly on the MSL flight model will also shed Teflon particles into drilled samples. One of the primary goals of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL is to test for the presence of martian organics in samples. Complications introduced by the potential presence of PTFE in drilled samples to the SAM evolved gas analysis (EGA or pyrolysisquadrupole mass spectrometry, pyr-QMS) and pyrolysis- gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Pyr- GCMS) experiments was investigated.

  11. 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

  12. Space Rocks Tell Their Secrets: Space Science Applications of Physics and Chemistry for High School and College Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.; Tobola, K. W.; Stocco, K.; Henry, M.; Allen, J. S.

    2003-01-01

    As the scientific community studies Mars remotely for signs of life and uses Martian meteorites as its only available samples, teachers, students, and the general public continue to ask, "How do we know these meteorites are from Mars?" This question sets the stage for a three-lesson instructional package Space Rocks Tell Their Secrets. Expanding on the short answer "It's the chemistry of the rock", students are introduced to the research that reveals the true identities of the rocks. Since few high school or beginning college students have the opportunity to participate in this level of research, a slide presentation introduces them to the labs, samples, and people involved with the research. As they work through the lessons and interpret real data, students realize that the research is an application of basic science concepts they should know, the electromagnetic spectrum and isotopes. They can understand the results without knowing how to do the research or operate the instruments.

  13. 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

  14. The relations of parental autonomy support to cultural internalization and well-being of immigrants and sojourners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downie, Michelle; Chua, Sook Ning; Koestner, Richard; Barrios, Maria-Fernanda; Rip, Blanka; M'Birkou, Sawsan

    2007-07-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that autonomy support is one particularly effective means of promoting internalization and fostering well-being. The present study sought to determine if this would also be the case with regards to culture by testing the relation of perceived parental autonomy support to the cultural internalization and well-being of multicultural students. In Study 1, 105 multicultural participants living in Canada were more likely to have fully internalized their host and heritage cultures and to have higher self-reported well-being when they reported that their parents were autonomy supportive. In Study 2, 125 Chinese-Malaysians sojourners were also more likely to have fully internalized their heritage culture and indicated higher well-being when they perceived their parents as autonomy supportive. In both studies, heritage cultural internalization was also associated with higher well-being. Copyright 2007 APA

  15. Prospecting for Diverse Igneous Rock Types on Mars: PIXL on "Black Beauty" NWA 7533

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Flannery, David T.; Allwood, Abigail; Thompson, David R.; Hodyss, Robert; Clark, Benton C.; Elam, W. Timothy; Hurowitz, Joel A.

    2015-01-01

    Measurements of elemental chemistry are fundamental for exploring geology Almost every mars surface mission has had this capability But previous instruments have not been able to accurately correlate chemistry with texture.

  16. Exploration of Mars with the ChemCam LIBS Instrument and the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August 2012, and has been exploring the planet ever since. Dr. Horton E. Newsom will discuss the MSL's design and main goal, which is to characterize past environments that may have been conducive to the evolution and sustainability of life. He will also discuss Curiosity's science payload, and remote sensing, analytical capabilities, and direct discoveries of the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instrument, which is the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) to operate on another planetary surface and determine the chemistry of the rocks and soils.

  17. Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Efforts and Observations at the Rocknest Eolian Sand Shadow in Curiosity's Gale Crater Field Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, K. S.; Yingst, R. A.; Minitti, M. E.; Goetz, W.; Kah, L. C.; Kennedy, M. R.; Lipkaman, L. J.; Jensen, E. H.; Anderson, R. C.; Beegle, L. W.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is focused on assessing the past or present habitability of Mars, through interrogation of environment and environmental records at the Curiosity rover field site in Gale crater. The MSL team has two methods available to collect, process and deliver samples to onboard analytical laboratories, the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. One approach obtains samples by drilling into a rock, the other uses a scoop to collect loose regolith fines. Scooping was planned to be first method performed on Mars because materials could be readily scooped multiple times and used to remove any remaining, minute terrestrial contaminants from the sample processing system, the Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA). Because of this cleaning effort, the ideal first material to be scooped would consist of fine to very fine sand, like the interior of the Serpent Dune studied by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit team in 2004 [1]. The MSL team selected a linear eolian deposit in the lee of a group of cobbles they named Rocknest (Fig. 1) as likely to be similar to Serpent Dune. Following the definitions in Chapter 13 of Bagnold [2], the deposit is termed a sand shadow. The scooping campaign occurred over approximately 6 weeks in October and November 2012. To support these activities, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) acquired images for engineering support/assessment and scientific inquiry.

  18. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration, announced in 2004, calls on NASA to finish constructing the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed to return to the Moon and go on the Mars. By exploring space, America continues the tradition of great nations who mastered the Earth, air, and sea, and who then enjoyed the benefits of increased commerce and technological advances. The progress being made today is part of the next chapter in America's history of leadership in space. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within the planned timeline and also within the allowable budget, NASA is building upon the best of proven space transportation systems. Journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Lunar Surface Access Module. What America learns in reaching for the Moon will teach astronauts how to prepare for the first human footprints on Mars. While robotic science may reveal information about the nature of hydrogen on the Moon, it will most likely tale a human being with a rock hammer to find the real truth about the presence of water, a precious natural resource that opens many possibilities for explorers. In this way, the combination of astronauts using a variety of tools and machines provides a special synergy that will vastly improve our understanding of Earth's cosmic neighborhood.

  19. Space Rocks Tell Their Secrets: Space Science Applications of Physics and Chemistry for High School and College Classes. Update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.; Tobola, K. W.; Allen, J. S.; Stocco, K.; Henry, M.; Allen, J. S.; McReynolds, Julie; Porter, T. Todd; Veile, Jeri

    2005-01-01

    As the scientific community studies Mars remotely for signs of life and uses Martian meteorites as its only available samples, teachers, students, and the general public continue to ask, "How do we know these meteorites are from Mars?" This question sets the stage for a six-lesson instructional package Space Rocks Tell Their Secrets. Expanding on the short answer "It's the chemistry of the rock", students are introduced to the research that reveals the true identities of the rocks. Since few high school or beginning college students have the opportunity to participate in this level of research, a slide presentation introduces them to the labs, samples, and people involved with the research. As they work through the lessons and interpret authentic data, students realize that the research is an application of two basic science concepts taught in the classroom, the electromagnetic spectrum and isotopes. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract.

  20. Rapid habitability assessment of Mars samples by pyrolysis-FTIR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Peter R.; Sephton, Mark A.

    2016-02-01

    Pyrolysis Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (pyrolysis FTIR) is a potential sample selection method for Mars Sample Return missions. FTIR spectroscopy can be performed on solid and liquid samples but also on gases following preliminary thermal extraction, pyrolysis or gasification steps. The detection of hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon gases can reveal information on sample mineralogy and past habitability of the environment in which the sample was created. The absorption of IR radiation at specific wavenumbers by organic functional groups can indicate the presence and type of any organic matter present. Here we assess the utility of pyrolysis-FTIR to release water, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and organic matter from Mars relevant materials to enable a rapid habitability assessment of target rocks for sample return. For our assessment a range of minerals were analyzed by attenuated total reflectance FTIR. Subsequently, the mineral samples were subjected to single step pyrolysis and multi step pyrolysis and the products characterised by gas phase FTIR. Data from both single step and multi step pyrolysis-FTIR provide the ability to identify minerals that reflect habitable environments through their water and carbon dioxide responses. Multi step pyrolysis-FTIR can be used to gain more detailed information on the sources of the liberated water and carbon dioxide owing to the characteristic decomposition temperatures of different mineral phases. Habitation can be suggested when pyrolysis-FTIR indicates the presence of organic matter within the sample. Pyrolysis-FTIR, therefore, represents an effective method to assess whether Mars Sample Return target rocks represent habitable conditions and potential records of habitation and can play an important role in sample triage operations.

  1. Method for Cleanly and Precisely Breaking Off a Rock Core Using a Radial Compressive Force

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Megan; Lin, Justin

    2011-01-01

    The Mars Sample Return mission has the goal to drill, break off, and retain rock core samples. After some results gained from rock core mechanics testing, the realization that scoring teeth would cleanly break off the core after only a few millimeters of penetration, and noting that rocks are weak in tension, the idea was developed to use symmetric wedging teeth in compression to weaken and then break the core at the contact plane. This concept was developed as a response to the break-off and retention requirements. The wedges wrap around the estimated average diameter of the core to get as many contact locations as possible, and are then pushed inward, radially, through the core towards one another. This starts a crack and begins to apply opposing forces inside the core to propagate the crack across the plane of contact. The advantage is in the simplicity. Only two teeth are needed to break five varieties of Mars-like rock cores with limited penetration and reasonable forces. Its major advantage is that it does not require any length of rock to be attached to the parent in order to break the core at the desired location. Test data shows that some rocks break off on their own into segments or break off into discs. This idea would grab and retain a disc, push some discs upward and others out, or grab a segment, break it at the contact plane, and retain the portion inside of the device. It also does this with few moving parts in a simple, space-efficient design. This discovery could be implemented into a coring drill bit to precisely break off and retain any size rock core.

  2. Terrestrial rock glaciers: a potential analog for Martian lobate flow features (LFF)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Rishitosh K.; Vijayan, Sivaprahasam; Bharti, Rajiv R.

    2016-05-01

    Rock glaciers, regarded as cryospheric ice/water resource in the terrestrial-glacial systems based on their tongue/lobate-shaped flow characteristic and subsurface investigation using ground-penetrating radar. We examined the subsurface, geomorphology, climate-sensitivity and thermophysical properties of a Lobate Flow Feature (LFF) on Mars (30°-60° N and S hemispheres) to compare/assess the potentials of rock glaciers as an analog in suggesting LFFs to be a source of subsurface ice/water. LFFs are generally observed at the foot of impact craters' wall. HiRISE/CTX imageries from MRO spacecraft were used for geomorphological investigation of LFF using ArcMap-10.0 and subsurface investigation was carried out using data from MRO-SHARAD (shallow radar) after integrating with SiesWare-8.0. ENVI-5.0 was used to retrieve thermophysical properties of LFF from nighttime datasets (12.57 μm) acquired by THEMIS instrument-onboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft and derive LFFs morphometry from MOLA altimeter point tracks onboard MGS spacecraft. Integrating crater chronology tool (Craterstats) with Arc Map, we have derived the formation age of LFF. Our investigation and comparison of LFF to rock glaciers revealed: (1) LFFs have preserved ice at depth 50m as revealed from SHARAD radargram and top-layer composed of rocky-debris material with thermal inertia ( 300-350 Jm-2 K-1s-1/2). (2) LFF formation age ( 10-100 Ma) corresponds to moderate scale debris covered glaciation of a shorter-span suggesting high sensitivity to obliquity-driven climatic shifts. (3) Presence of polygon cracks and high linear-arcuate furrow-and-ridges on the surface indicates presence of buried ice. This work is a significant step towards suggesting LFF to be a potential source of present-day stored ice/water on Mars.

  3. Preliminary Characterization of a Microbial Community of Rock Varnish from Death Valley, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlman, K. R.; LaDuc, M. T.; Kuhlman, G. M.; Anderson, R. C.; Newcombe, D. A.; Fusco, W.; Steucker, T.; Allenbach, L.; Ball, C.; Crawford, R. L.

    2003-01-01

    Rock varnish (also referred to as desert varnish in the literature because it is particularly noticeable in desert environments) is a dark, thin (typically 50-500 m thick), layered veneer composed of clay minerals cemented together by oxides and hydroxides of manganese and iron. Some scientists suggest that varnish may provide a historical record of environmental processes such as global warming and long-term climate change. However, despite more than 30 years of study using modern microanalytical and microbial culturing techniques, the nucleation and growth mechanisms of rock varnish remain a mystery. Rock varnish is of interest to the Mars science community because a varnish-like sheen has been reported on the rocks at the Viking Lander sites. It therefore important for us to understand the formation mechanisms of terrestrial varnish abiotic, biotic, or a combination of the two -- as this understanding may give us clues concerning the chemical and physical processes occurring on the surface of Mars. It is strongly believed by some in the biogeochemistry community that microbes have a role in forming rock varnish, and iron- and manganese-oxidation by microbes isolated from varnish has been extensively investigated. Only two of these studies have investigated the microbial genetics of varnish. These studies examined the morphological, physiological and molecular characteristics of microbes that had previously been cultured from various rock varnishes and identified the cultivars using 16S rDNA sequencing techniques. However, it is well known that most of organisms existing in nature are refractory to cultivation, so many important organisms would have been missed. The currently described work investigates the genetics of rock varnish microbial community from a site in the Whipple Mtns., south of Death Valley, CA, near Parker, Arizona. We employed both cultural and molecular techniques to characterize the microorganisms found within the varnish and surrounding soil

  4. 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.

  5. Alumina+Silica+/-Germanium Alteration in Smectite-Bearing Marathon Valley, Endeavour Crater Rim, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Gellert, R.; Van Bommel, S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Schroeder, C.; Yen, A. S.; Fox, V. K.; Farrand, W. H.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been exploring Mars for 12+ years, and is presently investigating the geology of a western rim segment of 22 kilometers diameter, Noachian- aged Endeavour crater. The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer has determined the compositions of a pre-impact lithology, the Matijevic fm., and polymict impact breccias ejected from the crater, the Shoemaker fm. Opportunity is now investigating a region named Marathon Valley that cuts southwest-northeast through the central portion of the rim segment and provides a window into the lower stratigraphic record. (Geographic names used here are informal.) At the head of Marathon Valley, referred to here as Upper Marathon Valley, is a shallow, ovoid depression approximately 25×35 millimeters in size, named Spirit of Saint Louis. Layering inside Spirit of Saint Louis appears continuous with the Upper Marathon Valley rocks outside, indicating they are coeval. Spirit of Saint Louis is partly bounded by approximately 10-20 centimeters wide zone containing reddish altered rocks (red zone). Red zones also form prominent curvilinear features in Marathon Valley. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) spectra provide evidence for a really extensive Fe-Mg smectite in the Marathon Valley region, indicating distinct styles of aqueous alteration. The CRISM detections of smectites are based on metal-OH absorptions at approximately 2.3 and 2.4 micron that are at least two times the background noise level.

  6. APXS of First Rocks Encountered by Curiosity in Gale Crater: Geochemical Diversity and Volatile Element (K and ZN) Enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, M. E.; King, P. L.; Gellert, R.; Elliott, B.; Thompson, L.; Berger, J.; Bridges, J.; Campbell, J. L; Grotzinger, J.; Hurowitz, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Alpha Particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) on the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater [1] is the 4th such instrument to have landed on Mars [2]. Along the rover's traverse down-section toward Glenelg (through sol 102), the APXS has examined four rocks and one soil [3]. Gale rocks are geochemically diverse and expand the range of Martian rock compositions to include high volatile and alkali contents (up to 3.0 wt% K2O) with high Fe and Mn (up to 29.2% FeO*).

  7. Sociocultural adjustment among sojourning Malaysian students in Britain: a replication and path analytic extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swami, Viren; Arteche, Adriane; Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; Furnham, Adrian

    2010-01-01

    The present study examined the sociocultural adjustment of 249 sojourning Malaysian undergraduates in Britain. One-hundred and ten Malay and 139 Chinese students enrolled in various courses answered a self-report questionnaire that examined various aspects of sociocultural adjustment and socio-demographics. Overall, Malay students reported significantly poorer sociocultural adjustment than Chinese students, as well as more negative outcomes on a range of predictors. Path analysis for the total sample showed that higher family income led to greater sociocultural adjustment, but partially because it led to more contact with host and conationals, better language proficiency, lower perceived cultural differences and less perceived discrimination. Moreover, participants with higher English proficiency were better adapted, but partially because they perceived less cultural differences as well as having more contact with host nationals. Additionally, individuals reporting better sociocultural adjustment also reported better health statuses. The same model was equally useful at predicting sociocultural adjustment for both Malay and Chinese participants. These results are discussed in terms of the role played by income in buffering against the negative aspects of sociocultural adjustment.

  8. 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.

  9. Mars Exploration Rovers Propulsive Maneuver Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Christopher L.; Raofi, Behzad; Kangas, Julie A.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity successfully landed respectively at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum in January 2004. The rovers are essentially robotic geologists, sent on a mission to search for evidence in the rocks and soil pertaining to the historical presence of water and the ability to possibly sustain life. In order to conduct NASA's 'follow the water' strategy on opposite sides of the planet Mars, an interplanetary journey of over 300 million miles culminated with historic navigation precision. Rigorous trajectory targeting and control was necessary to achieve the atmospheric entry requirements for the selected landing sites. The propulsive maneuver design challenge was to meet or exceed these requirements while preserving the necessary design margin to accommodate additional project concerns. Landing site flexibility was maintained for both missions after launch, and even after the first trajectory correction maneuver for Spirit. The final targeting strategy was modified to improve delivery performance and reduce risk after revealing constraining trajectory control characteristics. Flight results are examined and summarized for the six trajectory correction maneuvers that were planned for each mission.

  10. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

    trajectory with Mars, on 20 December. It will enter the Martian atmosphere on Christmas day, after five days’ ballistic flight. As it descends, the lander will be protected in the first instance by a heat-shield; two parachutes will then open to provide further deceleration. With its weight down to 30 kg at most, it will land in an equatorial region known as Isidis Planitia. Three airbags will soften the final impact. This crucial phase in the mission will last just ten minutes, from entry into the atmosphere to landing. Meanwhile, the Mars Express probe proper will have performed a series of manœuvres through to a capture orbit. At this point its main motor will fire, providing the deceleration needed to acquire a highly elliptical transition orbit. Attaining the final operational orbit will call for four more firings. This 7.5 hour quasi-polar orbit will take the probe to within 250 km of the planet. Getting to know Mars - inside and out Having landed on Mars, Beagle 2 - named after HMS Beagle, on which Charles Darwin voyaged round the world, developing his evolutionary theory - will deploy its solar panels and the payload adjustable workbench, a set of instruments (two cameras, a microscope and two spectrometers) mounted on the end of a robot arm. It will proceed to explore its new environment, gathering geological and mineralogical data that should, for the first time, allow rock samples to be dated with absolute accuracy. Using a grinder and corer, and the “mole”, a wire-guided mini-robot able to borrow its way under rocks and dig the ground to a depth of 2 m, samples will be collected and then examined in the GAP automated mini-laboratory, equipped with 12 furnaces and a mass spectrometer. The spectrometer will have the job of detecting possible signs of life and dating rock samples. The Mars Express orbiter will carry out a detailed investigation of the planet, pointing its instruments at Mars for between half-an-hour and an hour per orbit and then, for the

  11. Global distribution of bedrock exposures on Mars using THEMIS high-resolution thermal inertia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C.S.; Bandfield, J.L.; Christensen, P.R.; Fergason, R.L.

    2009-01-01

    We investigate high thermal inertia surfaces using the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) nighttime temperature images (100 m/pixel spatial sampling). For this study, we interpret any pixel in a THEMIS image with a thermal inertia over 1200 J m-2 K-1 s-1/2 as "bedrock" which represents either in situ rock exposures or rock-dominated surfaces. Three distinct morphologies, ranked from most to least common, are associated with these high thermal inertia surfaces: (1) valley and crater walls associated with mass wasting and high surface slope angles; (2) floors of craters with diameters >25 km and containing melt or volcanics associated with larger, high-energy impacts; and (3) intercrater surfaces with compositions significantly more mafic than the surrounding regolith. In general, bedrock instances on Mars occur as small exposures (less than several square kilometers) situated in lower-albedo (inertia (>350 J m-2 K-1 s-1/2), and relatively dust-free (dust cover index <0.95) regions; however, there are instances that do not follow these generalizations. Most instances are concentrated in the southern highlands, with very few located at high latitudes (poleward of 45oN and 58oS), suggesting enhanced mechanical breakdown probably associated with permafrost. Overall, Mars has very little exposed bedrock with only 960 instances identified from 75oS to 75oN with likely <3500 km2 exposed, representing???1% of the total surface area. These data indicate that Mars has likely undergone large-scale surface processing and reworking, both chemically and mechanically, either destroying or masking a majority of the bedrock exposures on the planet. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  12. Volatile and organic compositions of sedimentary rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ming, D.W.; Archer Jr., P.D.; Glavin, D.P.; Eigenbrode, J.L.; Franz, H.B.; Sutter, B.; Brunner, A.E.; Stern, J.C.; Freissinet, C.; McAdam, A.C.; Mahaffy, P.R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Campbell, J.L.; Atreya, S.K.; Niles, P.B.; Bell III, J.F.; Bish, D.L.; Brinckerhoff, W.B.; Buch, A.; Conrad, P.G.; Des Marais, D.J.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Fairén, A.G.; Farley, K.; Flesch, G.J.; Francois, P.; Gellert, R.; Grant, J.A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K.E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Leshin, L.A.; Lewis, K.W.; McLennan, S.M.; Miller, K.E.; Moersch, J.; Morris, R.V.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A.A.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I.; Squyres, S.W.; Summons, R.E.; Steele, A.; Stolper, E.M.; Sumner, D.Y.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M.G.; Treiman, A.H.; Vaniman, D.T.; Vasavada, A.R.; Webster, C.R.; Wray, J.J.; Yingst, R.A.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, H2, H2S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO, and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay within Gale crater, Mars. H2O/OH-bearing phases included 2:1 phyllosilicate(s), bassanite, akaganeite, and

  13. Estimating the Grain Size Distribution of Mars based on Fragmentation Theory and Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charalambous, C.; Pike, W. T.; Golombek, M.

    2017-12-01

    We present here a fundamental extension to the fragmentation theory [1] which yields estimates of the distribution of particle sizes of a planetary surface. The model is valid within the size regimes of surfaces whose genesis is best reflected by the evolution of fragmentation phenomena governed by either the process of meteoritic impacts, or by a mixture with aeolian transportation at the smaller sizes. The key parameter of the model, the regolith maturity index, can be estimated as an average of that observed at a local site using cratering size-frequency measurements, orbital and surface image-detected rock counts and observations of sub-mm particles at landing sites. Through validation of ground truth from previous landed missions, the basis of this approach has been used at the InSight landing ellipse on Mars to extrapolate rock size distributions in HiRISE images down to 5 cm rock size, both to determine the landing safety risk and the subsequent probability of obstruction by a rock of the deployed heat flow mole down to 3-5 m depth [2]. Here we focus on a continuous extrapolation down to 600 µm coarse sand particles, the upper size limit that may be present through aeolian processes [3]. The parameters of the model are first derived for the fragmentation process that has produced the observable rocks via meteorite impacts over time, and therefore extrapolation into a size regime that is affected by aeolian processes has limited justification without further refinement. Incorporating thermal inertia estimates, size distributions observed by the Spirit and Opportunity Microscopic Imager [4] and Atomic Force and Optical Microscopy from the Phoenix Lander [5], the model's parameters in combination with synthesis methods are quantitatively refined further to allow transition within the aeolian transportation size regime. In addition, due to the nature of the model emerging in fractional mass abundance, the percentage of material by volume or mass that resides

  14. Prolonged sojourn of developing pyramidal cells in the intermediate zone of the hippocampus and their settling in the stratum pyramidale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altman, J.; Bayer, S.A.

    1990-01-01

    In radiograms of rat embryos that received a single dose of [3H]thymidine between days E16 and E20 and were killed 24 hours after the injection, the heavily labeled cells (those that ceased to multiply soon after the injection) form a horizontal layer in the intermediate zone of the hippocampus, called the inferior band. The fate of these heavily labeled cells was traced in radiograms of the dorsal hippocampus in embryos that received [3H]thymidine on day E18 and were killed at different intervals thereafter. Two hours after injection the labeled proliferative cells are located in the Ammonic neuroepithelium. The heavily labeled cells that leave the neuroepithelium and aggregate in the inferior band 1 day after the injection become progressively displaced toward the stratum pyramidale 2-3 days later, and penetrate the stratum pyramidale of the CA1 region on the 4th day. In the stratum pyramidale of the CA3 region, farther removed from the Ammonic neuroepithelium, the heavily labeled cells are still sojourning in the intermediate zone 4 days after labeling. Observations in methacrylate sections suggest that two morphogenetic features of the developing hippocampus may contribute to the long sojourn of young pyramidal cells in the intermediate zone: the way in which the stratum pyramidale forms and the way in which the alveolar channels develop. The stratum pyramidale of the CA1 region forms before that of the CA3 region, which is the reverse of the neurogenetic gradient in the production of pyramidal cells. We hypothesize that this is so because the pyramidal cells destined to settle in the CA3 region, which will be contacted by granule cells axons (the mossy fibers), have to await the formation of the granular layer on days E21-E22

  15. 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.

  16. Mars Surface Heterogeneity From Variations in Apparent Thermal Inertia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, N. E.; Mellon, M. T.

    2005-12-01

    Current techniques used in the calculation of thermal inertia from observed brightness temperatures typically assume that planetary surface properties are uniform on the scale of the instrument's observational footprint. Mixed or layered surfaces may yield different apparent thermal inertia values at different seasons or times of day due to the nonlinear relationship between temperature and thermal inertia. To obtain sufficient data coverage for investigating temporal changes, we processed three Mars years of observations from the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer and produced seasonal nightside and dayside maps of apparent thermal inertia. These maps show broad regions with seasonal and diurnal differences as large as 200 J m-2 K-1 s-½ at mid-latitudes (60°S to 60°N) and ranging up to 600 J m-2 K-1 s-½ or greater in the polar regions. Comparison of the maps with preliminary results from forward-modeling of heterogeneous surfaces indicates that much of the martian surface may be dominated by (1) horizontally mixed surfaces, such as those containing differing proportions of rocks, sand, dust, duricrust, and localized frosts; (2) higher thermal inertia layers over lower thermal inertia substrates, such as duricrust or desert pavements; and (3) lower thermal inertia layers over higher thermal inertia substrates, such as dust over sand or rocks and soils with an ice table at depth.

  17. Aqueous Alteration of Endeavour Crater Rim Apron Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Gellert, R.; Clark, B. C.; Morris, R. V.; Yen, A. S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Crumpler, L. S.; Farrand, W. H.; Grant, J. A., III; Jolliff, B. L.; Parker, T. J.; Peretyazhko, T.

    2014-12-01

    Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is exploring Noachian age rocks of the rim of 22 km diameter Endeavour crater. Overlying the pre-impact lithologies and rim breccias is a thin apron of fine-grained sediments, the Grasberg fm, forming annuli on the lower slopes of rim segments. Hesperian Burns fm sandstones overly the Grasberg fm. Grasberg rocks have major element compositions that are distinct from Burns fm sandstones, especially when comparing interior compositions exposed by the Rock Abrasion Tool. Grasberg rocks are also different from Endeavour rim breccias, but have general compositional similarities to them. Grasberg sediments are plausibly fine-grained materials derived from the impact breccias. Veins of CaSO4 transect Grasberg fm rocks demonstrating post-formation aqueous alteration. Minor/trace elements show variations consistent with mobilization by aqueous fluids. Grasberg fm rocks have low Mn and high Fe/Mn ratios compared to the other lithologies. Manganese likely was mobilized and removed from the Grasberg host rock by redox reactions. We posit that Fe2+ from acidic solutions associated with formation of the Burns sulfate-rich sandstones acted as an electron donor to reduce more oxidized Mn to Mn2+. The Fe contents of Grasberg rocks are slightly higher than in other rocks suggesting precipitation of Fe phases in Grasberg materials. Pancam spectra show that Grasberg rocks have a higher fraction of ferric oxide minerals than other Endeavour rim rocks. Solutions transported Mn2+ into the Endeavour rim materials and oxidized and/or precipitated it in them. Grasberg has higher contents of the mobile elements K, Zn, Cl, and Br compared to the rim materials. Similar enrichments of mobile elements were measured by the Spirit APXS on West Spur and around Home Plate in Gusev crater. Enhancements in these elements are attributed to interactions of hydrothermal acidic fluids with the host rocks. Interactions of fluids with the Grasberg fm postdate the genesis

  18. Mineralogy of a Mudstone at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Ming, D. W.; Bristow, T. F.; Morris, R. V.; Blake, D. F.; Chipera, S. J.; Morrison, S. M.; Treiman, A. H.; Rampe, E. B.; Rice, M.; Achilles, C. N.; Grotzinger, J. P.; McLennan, S. M.; Williams, J.; Bell, J. F.; Newsom, H. E.; Downs, R. T.; Maurice, S.; Sarrazin, P.; Yen, A. S.; Morookian, J. M.; Farmer, J. D.; Stack, K.; Milliken, R. E.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Sumner, D. Y.; Berger, G.; Crisp, J. A.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Anderson, R.; Des Marais, D. J.; Stolper, E. M.; Edgett, K. S.; Gupta, S.; Spanovich, N.; Agard, Christophe; Alves Verdasca, José Alexandre; 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; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Blanco Avalos, Juan J.; 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; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John “Iain”; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Caride Rodríguez, Javier; Carmosino, Marco; Carrasco Blázquez, Isaías; 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 “Kenzie”; de la Torre Juarez, Manuel; 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; 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; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Flesch, Greg; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Franz, Heather; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez Gómez, Felipe; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; 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; 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; Kah, Linda; 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; Kocurek, Gary; 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; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Leshin, Laurie; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; 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; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina Jurado, Antonio; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Navarro López, Sara; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Nikiforov, Sergey; Niles, Paul; Nixon, Brian; Noe Dobrea, Eldar; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; Owen, Tobias; de Pablo Hernández, Miguel Ángel; 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; Posner, Arik; 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; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J.; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel “Dan”; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, 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; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stalport, Fabien; Steele, Andrew; Stein, Thomas; Stern, Jennifer; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; 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, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B. “Mouser”; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay (Gale crater) on Mars include mudstone sampled by the Curiosity rover. The samples, John Klein and Cumberland, contain detrital basaltic minerals, calcium sulfates, iron oxide or hydroxides, iron sulfides, amorphous material, and trioctahedral smectites. The John Klein smectite has basal spacing of ~10 angstroms, indicating little interlayer hydration. The Cumberland smectite has basal spacing at both ~13.2 and ~10 angstroms. The larger spacing suggests a partially chloritized interlayer or interlayer magnesium or calcium facilitating H2O retention. Basaltic minerals in the mudstone are similar to those in nearby eolian deposits. However, the mudstone has far less Fe-forsterite, possibly lost with formation of smectite plus magnetite. Late Noachian/Early Hesperian or younger age indicates that clay mineral formation on Mars extended beyond Noachian time.

  19. Mineralogy of a mudstone at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D T; Bish, D L; Ming, D W; Bristow, T F; Morris, R V; Blake, D F; Chipera, S J; Morrison, S M; Treiman, A H; Rampe, E B; Rice, M; Achilles, C N; Grotzinger, J P; McLennan, S M; Williams, J; Bell, J F; Newsom, H E; Downs, R T; Maurice, S; Sarrazin, P; Yen, A S; Morookian, J M; Farmer, J D; Stack, K; Milliken, R E; Ehlmann, B L; Sumner, D Y; Berger, G; Crisp, J A; Hurowitz, J A; Anderson, R; Des Marais, D J; Stolper, E M; Edgett, K S; Gupta, S; Spanovich, N

    2014-01-24

    Sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay (Gale crater) on Mars include mudstone sampled by the Curiosity rover. The samples, John Klein and Cumberland, contain detrital basaltic minerals, calcium sulfates, iron oxide or hydroxides, iron sulfides, amorphous material, and trioctahedral smectites. The John Klein smectite has basal spacing of ~10 angstroms, indicating little interlayer hydration. The Cumberland smectite has basal spacing at both ~13.2 and ~10 angstroms. The larger spacing suggests a partially chloritized interlayer or interlayer magnesium or calcium facilitating H2O retention. Basaltic minerals in the mudstone are similar to those in nearby eolian deposits. However, the mudstone has far less Fe-forsterite, possibly lost with formation of smectite plus magnetite. Late Noachian/Early Hesperian or younger age indicates that clay mineral formation on Mars extended beyond Noachian time.

  20. Mars Exploration Rovers Launch Performance and TCM-1 Maneuver Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kangas, Julie A.; Potts, Christopher L.; Raofi, Behzad

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project successfully landed two identical rovers on Mars in order to remotely conduct geologic investigations, including characterization of rocks and soils that may hold clues to past water activity. Two landing sites, Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum, were selected out of nearly 200 candidate sites after balancing science returns and flight system engineering and safety. Precise trajectory targeting and control was necessary to achieve the atmospheric entry requirements for the selected landing sites within the flight system constraints. This paper discusses the expected and achieved launch vehicle performance and the impacts of that performance on the first Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-1) while maintaining targeting flexibility in accommodating additional project concerns about landing site safety and possible in-flight retargeting to alternate landing sites.

  1. 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

  2. Scientific results and lessons learned from an integrated crewed Mars exploration simulation at the Rio Tinto Mars analogue site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgel, Csilla; Kereszturi, Ákos; Váczi, Tamás; Groemer, Gernot; Sattler, Birgit

    2014-02-01

    Between 15 and 25 April 2011 in the framework of the PolAres programme of the Austrian Space Forum, a five-day field test of the Aouda.X spacesuit simulator was conducted at the Rio Tinto Mars-analogue site in southern Spain. The field crew was supported by a full-scale Mission Control Center (MCC) in Innsbruck, Austria. The field telemetry data were relayed to the MCC, enabling a Remote Science Support (RSS) team to study field data in near-real-time and adjust the flight planning in a flexible manner. We report on the experiences in the field of robotics, geophysics (Ground Penetrating Radar) and geology as well as life sciences in a simulated spaceflight operational environment. Extravehicular Activity (EVA) maps had been prepared using Google Earth and aerial images. The Rio Tinto mining area offers an excellent location for Mars analogue simulations. It is recognised as a terrestrial Mars analogue site because of the presence of jarosite and related sulphates, which have been identified by the NASA Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" in the El Capitan region of Meridiani Planum on Mars. The acidic, high ferric-sulphate content water of Rio Tinto is also considered as a possible analogue in astrobiology regarding the analysis of ferric sulphate related biochemical pathways and produced biomarkers. During our Mars simulation, 18 different types of soil and rock samples were collected by the spacesuit tester. The Raman results confirm the presence of minerals expected, such as jarosite, different Fe oxides and oxi-hydroxides, pyrite and complex Mg and Ca sulphates. Eight science experiments were conducted in the field. In this contribution first we list the important findings during the management and realisation of tests, and also a first summary of the scientific results. Based on these experiences suggestions for future analogue work are also summarised. We finish with recommendations for future field missions, including the preparation of the experiments

  3. Astrobiological aspects of Mars and human presence: pros and cons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G

    2008-08-01

    After the realization of the International Space Station, human exploratory missions to Moon or Mars, i.e. beyond low Earth orbit, are widely considered as the next logical step of peaceful cooperation in space on a global scale. Besides the human desire to extend the window of habitability, human exploratory missions are driven by several aspects of science, technology, culture and economy. Mars is currently considered as a major target in the search for life beyond the Earth. Understanding the history of water on Mars appears to be one of the clues to the puzzle on the probability of life on Mars. On Earth microorganisms have flourished for more than 3.5 Ga and have developed strategies to cope with so-called extreme conditions (e.g., hot vents, permafrost, subsurface regions, rocks or salt crystals). Therefore, in search for life on Mars, microorganisms are the most likely candidates for a putative biota on Mars and the search for morphological or chemical signatures of life or its relics is one of the primary and most exciting goals of Mars exploration. The presence of humans on the surface of Mars will substantially increase this research potential, e.g., by supporting deep subsurface drilling and by allowing intellectual collection and sophisticated in situ analysis of samples of astrobiological interest. On the other hand, such long-duration missions beyond LEO will add a new dimension to human space flight, concerning the distance of travel, the radiation environment, the gravity levels, the duration of the mission, and the level of confinement and isolation the crew will be exposed to. This will raise the significance of several health issues, above all radiation protection, gravity related effects as well as psychological issues. Furthermore, the import of internal and external microorganisms inevitably accompanying any human mission to Mars, or brought purposely to Mars as part of a bioregenerative life support system needs careful consideration with

  4. Geology and MER target site characteristics along the southern rim of Isidis Planitia, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Tanaka, K.L.

    2003-01-01

    The southern rim of the Isidis basin contains one of the highest densities of valley networks, several restricted paleolake basins, and the stratigraphically lowest (oldest) terrain on Mars. Geologic mapping in Viking, MGS/MOC, and MOLA data, Odyssey/ THEMIS data, and other multispectral data products supports the presence of extensive fans of debris and sediments deposited along the inner rim of the Isidis basin where large valleys enter the lowlands. Additional processes subsequent to the period of intense fluvial activity, including mass flow analogous to some glacial processes, have contributed to the materials accumulated on the margins of the Isidis basin. These have occurred along preexisting channels and valleys at the termini of major channels where they enter the plains along the highland-lowland boundary. If the abundant valley networks in highland terrains are the result of runoff accompanied by saturated groundwater flow, as has been suggested in previous studies of ancient fluvial highland terrains, then the extreme age and abundance of early valley networks in the Libya Montes highland rocks should have resulted in deposition of materials that record evidence for the long-term presence of water in the form of aqueous alteration of polycrystalline constituents. The material deposited along the basin margin is likely to consist of ancient altered highland rocks in several physical states (weathered, rounded, and angular) exposing both weathered and altered surfaces, and exposures of alteration profiles in fractured faces and unweathered material from rock interiors. Debris fans shed off the southern rim of Isidis Planitia should contain materials that have experienced possible saturated groundwater flow, residence within paleolake basins, and derivative materials deposited during the most fluvially intensive part of Martian geologic history. Many of these materials have also been reworked by ice-related processes. In situ measurements of the ancient

  5. Memory-Efficient Onboard Rock Segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burl, Michael C.; Thompson, David R.; Bornstein, Benjamin J.; deGranville, Charles K.

    2013-01-01

    Rockster-MER is an autonomous perception capability that was uploaded to the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in December 2009. This software provides the vision front end for a larger software system known as AEGIS (Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science), which was recently named 2011 NASA Software of the Year. As the first step in AEGIS, Rockster-MER analyzes an image captured by the rover, and detects and automatically identifies the boundary contours of rocks and regions of outcrop present in the scene. This initial segmentation step reduces the data volume from millions of pixels into hundreds (or fewer) of rock contours. Subsequent stages of AEGIS then prioritize the best rocks according to scientist- defined preferences and take high-resolution, follow-up observations. Rockster-MER has performed robustly from the outset on the Mars surface under challenging conditions. Rockster-MER is a specially adapted, embedded version of the original Rockster algorithm ("Rock Segmentation Through Edge Regrouping," (NPO- 44417) Software Tech Briefs, September 2008, p. 25). Although the new version performs the same basic task as the original code, the software has been (1) significantly upgraded to overcome the severe onboard re source limitations (CPU, memory, power, time) and (2) "bulletproofed" through code reviews and extensive testing and profiling to avoid the occurrence of faults. Because of the limited computational power of the RAD6000 flight processor on Opportunity (roughly two orders of magnitude slower than a modern workstation), the algorithm was heavily tuned to improve its speed. Several functional elements of the original algorithm were removed as a result of an extensive cost/benefit analysis conducted on a large set of archived rover images. The algorithm was also required to operate below a stringent 4MB high-water memory ceiling; hence, numerous tricks and strategies were introduced to reduce the memory footprint. Local filtering

  6. 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.

  7. Mars Express - ESA sets ambitious goals for the first European mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

    2’s ‘nose’ is a gas analysis package. This will determine whether carbonate minerals, if they exist on Mars, have been involved in biological processes. Beagle’s nose will also detect gases such as methane, which scientists believe can only be produced by living organisms. Beagle 2 will also be able to collect samples from below the surface, whether under large boulders or within the interiors of rocks - places that the life-killing ultraviolet radiation from the Sun cannot reach. These samples will be collected with a probe called the ‘mole’, which is able to crawl short distances across the surface, at about 1 centimetre every six seconds, and to dig down to 2 metres deep. Mars Express will add substantial information to the international effort to explore Mars. “Mars Express is crucial for providing the framework within which all further Mars observations will be understood,” says Chicarro. The Mars Express spacecraft is now in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, being prepared for its launch in early June 2003.

  8. 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.

  9. Field reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars, based on Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and MRO HiRISE observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; McCoy, T.; Yingst, A.; Ruff, S.; Farrand, W.; McSween, Y.; Powell, M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Bell, J.F.; Grant, J.; Greeley, R.; DesMarais, D.; Schmidt, M.; Cabrol, N.A.; Haldemann, A.; Lewis, K.W.; Wang, A.E.; Schroder, C.; Blaney, D.; Cohen, B.; Yen, A.; Farmer, J.; Gellert, Ralf; Guinness, E.A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhfer, G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.W.; Rice, M.; deSouza, P.; Hurowitz, J.

    2011-01-01

    Chemical, mineralogic, and lithologic ground truth was acquired for the first time on Mars in terrain units mapped using orbital Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (MRO HiRISE) image data. Examination of several dozen outcrops shows that Mars is geologically complex at meter length scales, the record of its geologic history is well exposed, stratigraphic units may be identified and correlated across significant areas on the ground, and outcrops and geologic relationships between materials may be analyzed with techniques commonly employed in terrestrial field geology. Despite their burial during the course of Martian geologic time by widespread epiclastic materials, mobile fines, and fall deposits, the selective exhumation of deep and well-preserved geologic units has exposed undisturbed outcrops, stratigraphic sections, and structural information much as they are preserved and exposed on Earth. A rich geologic record awaits skilled future field investigators on Mars. The correlation of ground observations and orbital images enables construction of a corresponding geologic reconnaissance map. Most of the outcrops visited are interpreted to be pyroclastic, impactite, and epiclastic deposits overlying an unexposed substrate, probably related to a modified Gusev crater central peak. Fluids have altered chemistry and mineralogy of these protoliths in degrees that vary substantially within the same map unit. Examination of the rocks exposed above and below the major unconformity between the plains lavas and the Columbia Hills directly confirms the general conclusion from remote sensing in previous studies over past years that the early history of Mars was a time of more intense deposition and modification of the surface. Although the availability of fluids and the chemical and mineral activity declined from this early period, significant later volcanism and fluid convection enabled additional, if localized, chemical activity

  10. Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.; Yingst, R. Aileen; Ravine, Michael A.; Caplinger, Michael A.; Maki, Justin N.; Ghaemi, F. Tony; Schaffner, Jacob A.; Bell, James F.; Edwards, Laurence J.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Heydari, Ezat; Kah, Linda C.; Lemmon, Mark T.; Minitti, Michelle E.; Olson, Timothy S.; Parker, Timothy J.; Rowland, Scott K.; Schieber, Juergen; Sullivan, Robert J.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Thomas, Peter C.; Jensen, Elsa H.; Simmonds, John J.; Sengstacken, Aaron J.; Wilson, Reg G.; Goetz, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) investigation will use a 2-megapixel color camera with a focusable macro lens aboard the rover, Curiosity, to investigate the stratigraphy and grain-scale texture, structure, mineralogy, and morphology of geologic materials in northwestern Gale crater. Of particular interest is the stratigraphic record of a ?5 km thick layered rock sequence exposed on the slopes of Aeolis Mons (also known as Mount Sharp). The instrument consists of three parts, a camera head mounted on the turret at the end of a robotic arm, an electronics and data storage assembly located inside the rover body, and a calibration target mounted on the robotic arm shoulder azimuth actuator housing. MAHLI can acquire in-focus images at working distances from ?2.1 cm to infinity. At the minimum working distance, image pixel scale is ?14 μm per pixel and very coarse silt grains can be resolved. At the working distance of the Mars Exploration Rover Microscopic Imager cameras aboard Spirit and Opportunity, MAHLI?s resolution is comparable at ?30 μm per pixel. Onboard capabilities include autofocus, auto-exposure, sub-framing, video imaging, Bayer pattern color interpolation, lossy and lossless compression, focus merging of up to 8 focus stack images, white light and longwave ultraviolet (365 nm) illumination of nearby subjects, and 8 gigabytes of non-volatile memory data storage.

  11. RETRIEVAL OF MINERAL ABUNDANCES OF THE DELTA REGION IN EBERSWALDE, MARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Wu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Eberswalde Crater, a hotspot of Mars exploration, possesses an unambiguous hydrological system. However, little research has been performed on the large-scale mineral abundances retrieval in this region. Hence, we employed hyperspectral unmixing technology to quantitatively retrieve mineral abundances of the delta region in Eberswalde. In this paper, the single-scattering albedos were calculated by the Hapke bidirectional reflectance function from Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM data (FRT000060DD and CRISM spectral library respectively, and a sparse unmixing algorithm was adopted to quantitatively retrieve mineral abundances. The abundance maps show that there are six kinds of minerals (pyroxene, olivine, plagioclase, siderite, diaspore, and tremolite. By comparing minerals spectra obtained from images with corresponding spectra in spectral library, we found the similar trend in both curves. Besides, the mineral abundance maps derived in this study agree well spatially with CRISM parameter maps. From the perspective of mineralogy, the instability of pyroxene and olivine indicates the area in which they distribute is close to provenance, and the original provenance is ultrabasic rock (e.g. peridotite and basic rock (e.g. gabbro, respectively. And minerals, existing in the area of alluvial fan, also distribute in the outside of alluvial fan, which might be caused by fluid transportation.

  12. Liquid interfacial water and brines in the upper surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moehlmann, Diedrich

    2013-04-01

    Liquid interfacial water and brines in the upper surface of Mars Diedrich T.F. Möhlmann DLR Institut für Planetenforschung, Rutherfordstr. 2, D - 12489 Berlin, Germany dirk.moehlmann@dlr.de Interfacial water films and numerous brines are known to remain liquid at temperatures far below 0° C. The physical processes behind are described in some detail. Deliquescence, i.e. the liquefaction of hygroscopic salts at the threshold of a specific "Deliquescence Relative Humidity", is shown to be that process, which on present Mars supports the formation of stable interfacial water and bulk liquids in form of temporary brines on and in a salty upper surface of present Mars in a diurnally temporary and repetitive process. Temperature and relative humidity are the governing conditions for deliquescence (and the counterpart "efflorescence") to evolve. The current thermo-dynamical conditions on Mars support these processes to evolve on present Mars. The deliquescence-driven presence of liquid brines in the soil of the upper surface of Mars can expected to be followed by physical and chemical processes like "surface cementation", down-slope flows, and physical and chemical weathering processes. A remarkable and possibly also biologically relevant evolution towards internally interfacial water bearing structures of dendritic capillaries is related to their freezing - thawing driven formation. The internal walls of these network-pores or -tubes can be covered by films of interfacial water, providing that way possibly habitable crack-systems in soil and rock. These evolutionary processes of networks, driven by their tip-growth, can expected to be ongoing also at present.

  13. Development of A Microbalance System For Water and Dust Detection In Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglia, R.; Palomba, E.; Palumbo, P.; Colangeli, L.

    .e. the caps, the regolith and the ice hazes. Ice hazes, in fact, provide a mechanism for scavenging water vapor in the thin Mars atmosphere and may play a key role in the seasonal cycle of water on Mars. A focused investigation, made in different regions, possibly in different seasons, and spanning several days is desirable for solving the question of linkage of water cycle with these sources. The objective of our research program is the development and pro- duction of a microbalance measurement system . It will be able to measure in situ, for the first time, directly and quantitatively, the cumulative dust mass flux and the water vapour abundance in a Martian environment. A preliminary study of this process at Mars average conditions showed that available microbalances can detect water ice condensed on their surface in few seconds, after dew or frost point is reached and similar evaluations have been made with respect to expected dust deposition rate on Mars surface, based on data from MAE experiment onboard the Sojourner rover. The measuring system will be devoted to study the dynamic of the Martian water and dust cycles. In detail, our goals are: - Study of the Martian water and dust cycles (seasonal, diurnal) and their links; - Investigation of the brines formation and evaporation mech- anisms and their interaction with the regolith; - Investigation of mechanism of diurnal water release by the regolith and its weight as water atmospheric reservoir; - Study of the dust settling rates and their possible correlation with environmental conditions at the landing sites (temperature, pressure, winds); - Study of the local dust storm and devils raising mechanisms; - Investigation of the main modes of aeolian transport of grains and dust raising. We discuss the use of microbalances for the scientific applica- tions to Martian environment studies

  14. A New Vehicle for Planetary Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

    The surface of Mars is currently being explored with a combination of orbiting spacecraft, stationary landers and wheeled rovers. However, only a small portion of the Martian surface has undergone in-situ examination. Landing sites must be chosen to insure the safety of the vehicles (and human explorers) and provide the greatest opportunity for mission success. While wheeled rovers provide the ability to move beyond the landing sites, they are also limited in their ability to traverse rough terrain; therefore, many scientifically interesting sites are inaccessible by current vehicles. In order to access these sites, a capability is needed that can transport scientific instruments across varied Martian terrain. A new "rover" concept for exploring the Martian surface, known as the Mars Tumbleweed, will derive mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, much like the Tumbleweed plant does here on Earth. Using the winds on Mars, a Tumbleweed rover could conceivably travel great distances and cover broad areas of the planetary surface. Tumbleweed vehicles would be designed to withstand repeated bouncing and rolling on the rock covered Martian surface and may be durable enough to explore areas on Mars such as gullies and canyons that are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Achieving Mars wind-driven mobility; however, is not a minor task. The density of the atmosphere on Mars is approximately 60-80 times less than that on Earth and wind speeds are typically around 2-5 m/s during the day, with periodic winds of 10 m/s to 20 m/s (in excess of 25 m/s during seasonal dust storms). However, because of the Martian atmosphere#s low density, even the strongest winds on Mars equate to only a gentle breeze on Earth. Tumbleweed rovers therefore need to be relatively large (4-6 m in diameter), very lightweight (10-20 kg), and equipped with lightweight, low-power instruments. This paper provides an overview of the Tumbleweed concept, presents several notional design

  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. Analyses of Rock Size-Frequency Distributions and Morphometry of Modified Hawaiian Lava Flows: Implications for Future Martian Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.; Golombek, Matthew; Howard, Alan D.

    2000-01-01

    Both the size-frequency distribution and morphometry of rock populations emplaced by a variety of geologic processes in Hawaii indicate that such information may be useful in planning future landing sites on Mars and interpreting the surface geology.

  17. Geochronology of La Tinta Upper Proterozoic sedimentary rocks, Argentina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cingolani, C.A.; Bonhomme, M.G.

    1982-01-01

    Olavarria-Sierras Bayas, Barker-San Manuel and Balcarce-Mar del Plata fine-grained sedimentary rocks from La Tinta Formation, the pre-Cenozoic cover of the Tandilia region, were studied using the Rb-Sr and K-Ar geochronology. The mineralogical study of the fine fraction has shown that only the Olavarria-Sierras Bayas area presents suitable material comprising typical sedimentary clays, affected only by diagenetic processes. Two Rb-Sr isochrons were obtained from Olavarria-Sierras Bayas rocks. They show: (1) an age of 769 +- 12 Ma with ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr) 0 = 0.7121 +- 0.0005, for Aust Quarry rocks; and (2) an age of 723 +- 21 Ma with ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr) 0 = 0.7171 +- 0.0012 for Cerro Negro and Losa Quarries rocks. Considering the above-mentioned isochron data and the mineralogy of the clays studied, the conclusion is drawn that the ages obtained reflect the isotopic setting of a late diagenetic process, dated back to nearly 720 Ma. K-Ar data also support the Rb-Sr isochrons and the late diagenetic clay origin. The lower section of La Tinta sequence in the Sierras Bayas area must then be considered as Upper Proterozoic in age. These new data support the recently reported stratigraphical divisions and ages. (Auth.)

  18. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I: Overview and introduction to the special issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Nathan T.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.

    2018-01-01

    The Bagnold dunes in Gale Crater, Mars, are the first active aeolian dune field explored in situ on another planet. The Curiosity rover visited the Bagnold dune field to understand modern winds, aeolian processes, rates, and structures; to determine dune material composition, provenance, and the extent and type of compositional sorting; and to collect knowledge that informs the interpretation of past aeolian processes that are preserved in the Martian sedimentary rock record. The Curiosity rover conducted a coordinated campaign of activities lasting 4 months, interspersed with other rover activities, and employing all of the rover's science instruments and several engineering capabilities. Described in 13 manuscripts and summarized here, the major findings of the Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I, include the following: the characterization of and explanation for a distinctive, meter-scale size of sinuous aeolian bedform formed in the high kinetic viscosity regime of Mars' thin atmosphere; articulation and evaluation of a grain splash model that successfully explains the occurrence of saltation even at wind speeds below the fluid threshold; determination of the dune sands' basaltic mineralogy and crystal chemistry in comparison with other soils and sedimentary rocks; and characterization of chemically distinctive volatile reservoirs in sand-sized versus dust-sized fractions of Mars soil, including two volatile-bearing types of amorphous phases.

  19. 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.

  20. ChemCam activities and discoveries during the nominal mission of the Mars Science Laboratory in Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurice, Sylvestre; Clegg, Samuel M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Gasnault, O.; Rapin, W.; Forni, O.; Cousin, Agnes; Sautter, V.; Mangold, Nicolas; Le Deit, L.; Nachon, Marion; Anderson, Ryan; Lanza, Nina; Fabre, Cecile; Payre, Valerie; Lasue, Jeremie; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; LeVeille, Richard A.; Barraclough, Bruce; Beck, Pierre; Bender, Steven C.; Berger, Gilles; Bridges, John C.; Bridges, Nathan; Dromert, Gilles; Dyar, M. Darby; Francis, Raymond; Frydenvang, Jens; Gondet, B.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Langevin, Yves; Madsen Morten B.,; Melikechi, N.; Lacour, J.-L.; Le Mouelic, Stephane; Lewin, Eric; Newsom, Horton E.; Ollila, Ann M.; Pinet, Patrick; Schroder, S.; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Tokar, Robert L.; Toplis, M.J.; d'Uston, Claude; Vaniman, David; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2016-01-01

    At Gale crater, Mars, ChemCam acquired its first laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) target on Sol 13 of the landed portion of the mission (a Sol is a Mars day). Up to Sol 800, more than 188000 LIBS spectra were acquired on more than 5800 points distributed over about 650 individual targets. We present a comprehensive review of ChemCam scientific accomplishments during that period, together with a focus on the lessons learned from the first use of LIBS in space. For data processing, we describe new tools that had to be developed to account for the uniqueness of Mars data. With regard to chemistry, we present a summary of the composition range measured on Mars for major-element oxides (SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, FeOT, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O) based on various multivariate models, with associated precisions. ChemCam also observed H, and the non-metallic elements C, O, P, and S, which are usually difficult to quantify with LIBS. F and Cl are observed through their molecular lines. We discuss the most relevant LIBS lines for detection of minor and trace elements (Li, Rb, Sr, Ba, Cr, Mn, Ni, and Zn). These results were obtained thanks to comprehensive ground reference datasets, which are set to mimic the expected mineralogy and chemistry on Mars. With regard to the first use of LIBS in space, we analyze and quantify, often for the first time, each of the advantages of using stand-off LIBS in space: no sample preparation, analysis within its petrological context, dust removal, sub-millimeter scale investigation, multi-point analysis, the ability to carry out statistical surveys and whole-rock analyses, and rapid data acquisition. We conclude with a discussion of ChemCam performance to survey the geochemistry of Mars, and its valuable support of decisions about selecting where and whether to make observations with more time and resource-intensive tools in the rover's instrument suite. In the end, we present a bird's-eye view of the many scientific results: discovery of felsic

  1. Nitrate-Dependent Iron Oxidation: A Potential Mars Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Alex; Pearson, Victoria K.; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Miot, Jennyfer; Olsson-Francis, Karen

    2018-01-01

    This work considers the hypothetical viability of microbial nitrate-dependent Fe2+ oxidation (NDFO) for supporting simple life in the context of the early Mars environment. This draws on knowledge built up over several decades of remote and in situ observation, as well as recent discoveries that have shaped current understanding of early Mars. Our current understanding is that certain early martian environments fulfill several of the key requirements for microbes with NDFO metabolism. First, abundant Fe2+ has been identified on Mars and provides evidence of an accessible electron donor; evidence of anoxia suggests that abiotic Fe2+ oxidation by molecular oxygen would not have interfered and competed with microbial iron metabolism in these environments. Second, nitrate, which can be used by some iron oxidizing microorganisms as an electron acceptor, has also been confirmed in modern aeolian and ancient sediment deposits on Mars. In addition to redox substrates, reservoirs of both organic and inorganic carbon are available for biosynthesis, and geochemical evidence suggests that lacustrine systems during the hydrologically active Noachian period (4.1–3.7 Ga) match the circumneutral pH requirements of nitrate-dependent iron-oxidizing microorganisms. As well as potentially acting as a primary producer in early martian lakes and fluvial systems, the light-independent nature of NDFO suggests that such microbes could have persisted in sub-surface aquifers long after the desiccation of the surface, provided that adequate carbon and nitrates sources were prevalent. Traces of NDFO microorganisms may be preserved in the rock record by biomineralization and cellular encrustation in zones of high Fe2+ concentrations. These processes could produce morphological biosignatures, preserve distinctive Fe-isotope variation patterns, and enhance preservation of biological organic compounds. Such biosignatures could be detectable by future missions to Mars with appropriate

  2. Nitrate-Dependent Iron Oxidation: A Potential Mars Metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Price

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available This work considers the hypothetical viability of microbial nitrate-dependent Fe2+ oxidation (NDFO for supporting simple life in the context of the early Mars environment. This draws on knowledge built up over several decades of remote and in situ observation, as well as recent discoveries that have shaped current understanding of early Mars. Our current understanding is that certain early martian environments fulfill several of the key requirements for microbes with NDFO metabolism. First, abundant Fe2+ has been identified on Mars and provides evidence of an accessible electron donor; evidence of anoxia suggests that abiotic Fe2+ oxidation by molecular oxygen would not have interfered and competed with microbial iron metabolism in these environments. Second, nitrate, which can be used by some iron oxidizing microorganisms as an electron acceptor, has also been confirmed in modern aeolian and ancient sediment deposits on Mars. In addition to redox substrates, reservoirs of both organic and inorganic carbon are available for biosynthesis, and geochemical evidence suggests that lacustrine systems during the hydrologically active Noachian period (4.1–3.7 Ga match the circumneutral pH requirements of nitrate-dependent iron-oxidizing microorganisms. As well as potentially acting as a primary producer in early martian lakes and fluvial systems, the light-independent nature of NDFO suggests that such microbes could have persisted in sub-surface aquifers long after the desiccation of the surface, provided that adequate carbon and nitrates sources were prevalent. Traces of NDFO microorganisms may be preserved in the rock record by biomineralization and cellular encrustation in zones of high Fe2+ concentrations. These processes could produce morphological biosignatures, preserve distinctive Fe-isotope variation patterns, and enhance preservation of biological organic compounds. Such biosignatures could be detectable by future missions to Mars with

  3. Nitrate-Dependent Iron Oxidation: A Potential Mars Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Alex; Pearson, Victoria K; Schwenzer, Susanne P; Miot, Jennyfer; Olsson-Francis, Karen

    2018-01-01

    This work considers the hypothetical viability of microbial nitrate-dependent Fe 2+ oxidation (NDFO) for supporting simple life in the context of the early Mars environment. This draws on knowledge built up over several decades of remote and in situ observation, as well as recent discoveries that have shaped current understanding of early Mars. Our current understanding is that certain early martian environments fulfill several of the key requirements for microbes with NDFO metabolism. First, abundant Fe 2+ has been identified on Mars and provides evidence of an accessible electron donor; evidence of anoxia suggests that abiotic Fe 2+ oxidation by molecular oxygen would not have interfered and competed with microbial iron metabolism in these environments. Second, nitrate, which can be used by some iron oxidizing microorganisms as an electron acceptor, has also been confirmed in modern aeolian and ancient sediment deposits on Mars. In addition to redox substrates, reservoirs of both organic and inorganic carbon are available for biosynthesis, and geochemical evidence suggests that lacustrine systems during the hydrologically active Noachian period (4.1-3.7 Ga) match the circumneutral pH requirements of nitrate-dependent iron-oxidizing microorganisms. As well as potentially acting as a primary producer in early martian lakes and fluvial systems, the light-independent nature of NDFO suggests that such microbes could have persisted in sub-surface aquifers long after the desiccation of the surface, provided that adequate carbon and nitrates sources were prevalent. Traces of NDFO microorganisms may be preserved in the rock record by biomineralization and cellular encrustation in zones of high Fe 2+ concentrations. These processes could produce morphological biosignatures, preserve distinctive Fe-isotope variation patterns, and enhance preservation of biological organic compounds. Such biosignatures could be detectable by future missions to Mars with appropriate

  4. Mineralogy of Sediments on a Cold and Icy Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    The water-related minerals discovered in ancient martian terrains suggest liquid water was abundant on the surface and/or near subsurface during Mars' early history. The debate remains, however, whether these minerals are indicative of a warm and wet or cold and icy climate. To characterize mineral assemblages of cold and icy mafic terrains, we analyzed pro- and supraglacial rocks and sediments from the Collier and Diller glacial valleys in Three Sisters, Oregon. We identified primary and secondary phases using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning and transmission electron microscopies with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM, TEM, EDS), and visible/short-wave-infrared (VSWIR) and thermal-infrared (TIR) spectroscopies. Samples from both glacial valleys are dominated by primary igneous minerals (i.e., plagioclase and pyroxene). Sediments in the Collier glacial valley contain minor to trace amounts of phyllosilicates and zeolites, but these phases are likely detrital and sourced from hydrothermally altered units on North Sister. We find that the authigenic phases in cold and icy mafic terrains are poorly crystalline and/or amorphous. TEM-EDS analyses of the materials, including iron oxides, devitrified volcanic glass, and Fe-Si-Al (e.g., proto-clay) phases. A variety of primary and secondary amorphous materials (e.g., volcanic glass, leached glass, allophane) have been suggested from orbital IR data from Mars, and the CheMin XRD on the Curiosity rover has identified X-ray amorphous materials in all rocks and soils measured to date. The compositions of the Gale Crater amorphous components cannot be explained by primary volcanic glass alone and likely include secondary silicates, iron oxides, and sulfates. We suggest that the prevalence of amorphous materials on the martian surface and the variety of amorphous components may be a signature of a cold and icy climate on Early Mars.

  5. ROCK TYPOLOGY IN CHOOSING SPRINGS. ANCIENT METHODS FOR DETERMINING WATER QUALITY IN THE PARMA REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentino Straser

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This study was a scientific validation of some ancient methods used for purifying water and selecting springs based on the nature of the soil and rocks. A historical and scientific analysis of the territory was made, with the aim of trying to identify ancient methods which might be retrieved and used again in a modern way for a comprehensive interpretation of the environment we live in. The investigation was led near Parma in the north of Italy, in mountainous and hilly areas which rise from rocky outcrops consisting of fragments of the ancient oceanic crust composed of argillaceous complexes, ultrabasic rocks from the ophiolite succession as well as flyschoid sedimentary rocks containing arenaceous, carboniferous and marly elements.

  6. Determination of chemical composition of soils and rocks at the MER landing sites Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum using the APXS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brueckner, J.

    2004-05-01

    The new Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is a small, light-weight instrument to obtain x-ray spectra from Martian surface samples. The sensor head contains a high-resolution x-ray detector that is surrounded by a circle of radioactive Cm-244 sources. Alpha and x-ray radiation emitted by the sources is used to induce x-ray excitation in the sample. Elements from sodium to zinc (increasing by atomic weight) are detected and their concentrations determined. The APXS is mounted on each Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) of the two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity. Rover Spirit landed in the large Gusev crater that seems to have been altered by water activities in the past based on evidence of orbital images. Rover Opportunity landed in a very small crater of the Meridiani Planum, where the mineral hematite that points to water-related processes is expected to be found. Inside the little crater, a light-colored outcrop is exposed that shows widespread fine layering. The first APXS high-resolution x-ray spectrum of a Gusev soil indicated many similarities to the composition of the Mars Pathfinder (MPF) and Viking soils. However, differences are also noticeable: Low-Z elements are somewhat higher compared to MPF soils, while high-Z elements are depleted, notably Ti. Potassium in the soils reflects the K concentration of the local rocks at the different landing sites pointing toward a local contribution to the soil's composition. The Rock Abrasion Tool was used to grind the first rock on Mars at Gusev: Adirondack's undisturbed and ground surface was measured by the APXS. The composition of its fresh surface is different from the MPF soilfree rock, noticeably in Mg and Al, and clearly exhibits a basaltic nature related to the composition of basaltic shergottites. The first rock at the Meridiani crater outcrop (dubbed Robert-E) exhibited a very high sulfur concentration, more than a factor of 15 compared to rock Adirondack, indicating it is

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. LIFE experiment: isolation of cryptoendolithic organisms from Antarctic colonized sandstone exposed to space and simulated Mars conditions on the international space station.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalzi, Giuliano; Selbmann, Laura; Zucconi, Laura; Rabbow, Elke; Horneck, Gerda; Albertano, Patrizia; Onofri, Silvano

    2012-06-01

    Desiccated Antarctic rocks colonized by cryptoendolithic communities were exposed on the International Space Station (ISS) to space and simulated Mars conditions (LiFE-Lichens and Fungi Experiment). After 1.5 years in space samples were retrieved, rehydrated and spread on different culture media. Colonies of a green alga and a pink-coloured fungus developed on Malt-Agar medium; they were isolated from a sample exposed to simulated Mars conditions beneath a 0.1 % T Suprasil neutral density filter and from a sample exposed to space vacuum without solar radiation exposure, respectively. None of the other flight samples showed any growth after incubation. The two organisms able to grow were identified at genus level by Small SubUnit (SSU) and Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) rDNA sequencing as Stichococcus sp. (green alga) and Acarospora sp. (lichenized fungal genus) respectively. The data in the present study provide experimental information on the possibility of eukaryotic life transfer from one planet to another by means of rocks and of survival in Mars environment.

  10. The Mars Science Laboratory Mission: Early Results from Gale Crater Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flatow, I.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Blake, D.; Crisp, J. A.; Edgett, K. S.; Gellert, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Hassler, D. M.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Malin, M. C.; Meyer, M. A.; Mitrofanov, I.; Vasavada, A. R.; Wiens, R. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, landed at Gale Crater on August 5th (PDT) and initiated an investigation of modern and ancient environments. The 155-km diameter Gale Crater was chosen as Curiosity's field site based on several attributes: the interior Mount Sharp preserves a succession of flat-lying strata extending almost 5 km above the elevation of the landing site; the lower few hundred meters of the mound show a progression with relative age from clay-bearing to sulfate-bearing strata, separated by an unconformity from overlying likely anhydrous strata; the landing ellipse is characterized by a mixture of alluvial fan and high thermal inertia/high albedo stratified deposits; and a number of stratigraphically/geomorphically distinct fluvial features. Gale's regional context and strong evidence for a progression through multiple potentially habitable environments, represented by a stratigraphic record of extraordinary extent, ensure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars. Curiosity has an expected lifetime of at least one Mars year (~23 months), and drive capability of at least 20 km. The MSL 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); an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity (CheMin); focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color (MAHLI, Mastcam); an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry (APXS); a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals (ChemCam); an active/passive neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith (DAN); a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables (REMS); and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of

  11. Thermophysical properties of the MER and Beagle II landing site regions on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Hynek, Brian M.; Pelkey, Shannon M.; Mellon, Michael T.; Martínez-Alonso, Sara; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Murphy, Nate; Christensen, Philip R.

    2006-08-01

    We analyzed remote-sensing observations of the Isidis Basin, Gusev Crater, and Meridiani Planum landing sites for Beagle II, MER-A Spirit, and MER-B Opportunity spacecraft, respectively. We emphasized the thermophysical properties using daytime and nighttime radiance measurements from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer and Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and thermal inertias derived from nighttime data sets. THEMIS visible images, MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) narrow-angle images, and MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data are incorporated as well. Additionally, the remote-sensing data were compared with ground-truth at the MER sites. The Isidis Basin surface layer has been shaped by aeolian processes and erosion by slope winds coming off of the southern highlands and funneling through notches between massifs. In the Gusev region, surface materials of contrasting thermophysical properties have been interpreted as rocks or bedrock, duricrust, and dust deposits; these are consistent with a complex geological history dominated by volcanic and aeolian processes. At Meridiani Planum the many layers having different thermophysical and erosional properties suggest periodic deposition of differing sedimentological facies possibly related to clast size, grain orientation and packing, or mineralogy.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Martian Chemical and Isotopic Reference Standards in Earth-based Laboratories — An Invitation for Geochemical, Astrobiological, and Engineering Dialog on Considering a Weathered Chondrite for Mars Sample Return.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, J. W.; Tait, A. W.; Velbel, M. A.; Boston, P. J.; Carrier, B. L.; Cohen, B. A.; Schröder, C.; Bland, P.

    2017-12-01

    Exogenic rocks (meteorites) found on Mars 1) have unweathered counterparts on Earth; 2) weather differently than indigenous rocks; and 3) may be ideal habitats for putative microorganisms and subsequent biosignature preservation. These attributes show the potential of meteorites for addressing hypothesis-driven science. They raise the question of whether chondritic meteorites, of sufficient weathering intensity, might be considered as candidates for sample return in a potential future mission. Pursuant to this discussion are the following questions. A) Is there anything to be learned from the laboratory study of a martian chondrite that cannot be learned from indigenous materials; and if so, B) is the science value high enough to justify recovery? If both A and B answer affirmatively, then C) what are the engineering constraints for sample collection for Mars 2020 and potential follow-on missions; and finally D) what is the likelihood of finding a favorable sample? Observations relevant to these questions include: i) Since 2005, 24 candidate and confirmed meteorites have been identified on Mars at three rover landing sites, demonstrating their ubiquity and setting expectations for future finds. All have been heavily altered by a variety of physical and chemical processes. While the majority of these are irons (not suitable for recovery), several are weathered stony meteorites. ii) Exogenic reference materials provide the only chemical/isotope standards on Mars, permitting quantification of alteration rates if residence ages can be attained; and possibly enabling the removal of Late Amazonian weathering overprints from other returned samples. iii) Recent studies have established the habitability of chondritic meteorites with terrestrial microorganisms, recommending their consideration when exploring astrobiological questions. High reactivity, organic content, and permeability show stony meteorites to be more attractive for colonization and subsequent biosignature

  15. Mechanical properties of simulated Mars materials: gypsum-rich sandstones and lapilli tuff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, Carolyn; Lockner, David; Okubo, Chris

    2013-01-01

    Observations by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity, and other recent studies on diagenesis in the extensive equatorial layered deposits on Mars, suggest that the likely lithologies of these deposits are gypsum-rich sandstones and tuffaceous sediments (for example, Murchie and others, 2009; Squyres and others, 2012; Zimbelman and Scheidt, 2012). Of particular interest is how the diagenesis history of these sediments (degree of cementation and composition) influences the strength and brittle behavior of the material. For instance, fractures are more common in lower porosity materials under strain, whereas deformation bands, characterized by distributed strain throughout a broader discontinuity in a material, are common in higher porosity sedimentary materials. Such discontinuities can either enhance or restrict fluid flow; hence, failure mode plays an important role in determining the mechanics of fluid migration through sediments (Antonellini and Aydin, 1994; 1995; Taylor and Pollard, 2000; Ogilvie and Glover, 2001). As part of a larger study to characterize processes of fault-controlled fluid flow in volcaniclastic and gypsum-rich sediments on Mars, we have completed a series of laboratory experiments to focus on how gypsum clast content and degree of authigenic cementation affects the strength behavior of simulated Mars rocks. Both axial deformation and hydrostatic pressure tests were done at room temperature under dry conditions.

  16. Bringing a Chemical Laboratory Named Sam to Mars on the 2011 Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Bleacher, L.; Jones, A.; Conrad, P. G.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Atreya, S. A.; Manning, H.

    2010-01-01

    An important goal of upcoming missions to Mars is to understand if life could have developed there. The task of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments [1] and the other Curiosity investigations [2] is to move us steadily toward that goal with an assessment of the habitability of our neighboring planet through a series of chemical and geological measurements. SAM is designed to search for organic compounds and inorganic volatiles and measure isotope ratios. Other instruments on Curiosity will provide elemental analysis and identify minerals. SAM will analyze both atmospheric samples and gases evolved from powdered rocks that may have formed billions of years ago with Curiosity providing access to interesting sites scouted by orbiting cameras and spectrometers.

  17. Entry, Descent, and Landing Communications for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abilleira, Fernando; Shidner, Jeremy D.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), established as the most advanced rover to land on the surface of Mars to date, launched on November 26th, 2011 and arrived to the Martian Gale Crater during the night of August 5th, 2012 (PDT). MSL will investigate whether the landing region was ever suitable to support carbon-based life, and examine rocks, soil, and the atmosphere with a sophisticated suite of tools. This paper addresses the flight system requirement by which the vehicle transmitted indications of the following events using both X-band tones and UHF telemetry to allow identification of probable root causes should a mission anomaly have occurred: Heat-Rejection System (HRS) venting, completion of the cruise stage separation, turn to entry attitude, atmospheric deceleration, bank angle reversal commanded, parachute deployment, heatshield separation, radar ground acquisition, powered descent initiation, rover separation from the descent stage, and rover release. During Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL), the flight system transmitted a UHF telemetry stream adequate to determine the state of the spacecraft (including the presence of faults) at 8 kbps initiating from cruise stage separation through at least one minute after positive indication of rover release on the surface of Mars. The flight system also transmitted X-band semaphore tones from Entry to Landing plus one minute although since MSL was occulted, as predicted, by Mars as seen from the Earth, Direct-To-Earth (DTE) communications were interrupted at approximately is approx. 5 min after Entry ( approximately 130 prior to Landing). The primary data return paths were through the Deep Space Network (DSN) for DTE and the existing Mars network of orbiting assets for UHF, which included the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and Mars Express (MEX) elements. These orbiters recorded the telemetry data stream and returned it back to Earth via the DSN. The paper also discusses the total power

  18. Test and Delivery of the Chemin Mineralogical Instrument for Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D.; Anderson, R.; Bish, D.; Chipera, S.; Chemtob, S.; Crisp, J.; DesMarais, D. J.; Downs, R.; Feldman, S.; hide

    2010-01-01

    The CheMin mineralogical instrument on MSL will return quantitative powder X-ray diffraction data (XRD) and qualitative X-ray fluorescence data (XRF; 14rock powders collected on the Mars surface. The geometry of the source, sample, and detector is shown. A transmission geometry was chosen so that diffracted intensities in the low-20 region (5-15 deg), important for phyllosilicate identification, could be detected.

  19. What would we miss if we characterized the Moon and Mars with just planetary meteorites, remote mapping, and robotic landers?. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.

    1994-01-01

    Exploration of the Moon and planets began with telescopic studies of their surfaces, continued with orbiting spacecraft and robotic landers, and will culminate with manned exploration and sample return. For the Moon and Mars we also have accidental samples provided by impacts on their surfaces, the lunar and martian meteorites. How much would we know about the lunar surface if we only had lunar meteorites, orbital spacecraft, and robotic exploration, and not the Apollo and Luna returned samples? What does this imply for Mars? With martian meteorites and data from Mariner, Viking, and the future Pathfinder missions, how much could we learn about Mars? The basis of most of our detailed knowledge about the Moon is the Apollo samples. They provide ground truth for the remote mapping, timescales for lunar processes, and samples from the lunar interior. The Moon is the foundation of planetary science and the basis for our interpretation of the other planets. Mars is similar to the Moon in that impact and volcanism are the dominant processes, but Mars' surface has also been affected by wind and water, and hence has much more complex surface geology. Future geochemical or mineralogical mapping of Mars' surface should be able to tell us whether the dominant rock types of the ancient southern highlands are basaltic, anorthositic, granitic, or something else, but will not be able to tell us the detailed mineralogy, geochemistry, or age. Without many more martian meteorites or returned samples we will not know the diversity of martian rocks, and therefore will be limited in our ability to model martian geological evolution.

  20. 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.

  1. Experimental Alteration of Basalt to Support Interpretation of Remote Sensing and In Situ Meausrements from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, M. S.

    2014-01-01

    are a function of the original mineral assemblage in the parent rocks, the chemistry of fluids that interacted with the rocks, and physico-chemical conditions (pH, temperatures, and pressure) during the time of mineral formation. Understanding the alteration assemblages produced by a range of conditions is vital for the interpretation of phyllosilicate spectral signatures and to decipher the environment and evolution of early Mars, and especially for identifying habitable niches in which life could be initiated and sustained. No experimentally controlled and well characterized analog materials that simulate martian shock metamorphism and alteration conditions currently exist for calibrating either remote sensing or in situ measurements of Mars. A series of experiments was initiated to assess the effects of systematic changes in the physico-chemical conditions on Mars analog materials thereby providing samples to ground-truth Mars remote sensing observations from CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) and in situ measurements from Opportunity's Mössbauer and Curiosity's CHEMIN (Chemistry and Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/XRay Fluorescence) instruments. Results of initial experimental runs as analysed by SEM-EDS (Secondary Electron Microscopy -Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis are reported here and lay the foundation for comparison with shocked and altered samples that will be characterized in the next phase of this work.

  2. The Calibration Target for the Mars 2020 SHERLOC Instrument: Multiple Science Roles for Future Manned and Unmanned Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L.; Burton, A.; Ross, A.; Shahar, A.

    2014-01-01

    The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman/fluorescence instrument selected as part of the Mars 2020 rover instrument suite. SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover arm and its primary role is to identify carbonaceous species in martian samples, which may be selected for inclusion into a returnable sample cache. The SHERLOC instrument will require the use of a calibration target, and by design, multiple science roles will be addressed in the design of the target. Samples of materials used in NASA Extravehicular Mobility unit (EMU, or "space suit") manufacture have been included in the target to serve as both solid polymer calibration targets for SHERLOC instrument function, as well as for testing the resiliency of those materials under martian ambient conditions. A martian meteorite will also be included in the target to serve as a well-characterized example of a martian rock that contains trace carbonaceous material. This rock will be the first rock that we know of that has completed a round trip between planets and will therefore serve an EPO role to attract public attention to science and planetary exploration. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).

  3. Detection Limit of Smectite by Chemin IV Laboratory Instrument: Preliminary Implications for Chemin on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archilles, Cherie; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Blake, D. F.

    2011-01-01

    The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is an miniature X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument capable of detecting the mineralogical and elemental compositions of rocks, outcrops and soils on the surface of Mars. CheMin uses a microfocus-source Co X-ray tube, a transmission sample cell, and an energy-discriminating X-ray sensitive CCD to produce simultaneous 2-D XRD patterns and energy-dispersive X-ray histograms from powdered samples. CRISM and OMEGA have identified the presence of phyllosilicates at several locations on Mars including the four candidate MSL landing sites. The objective of this study was to conduct preliminary studies to determine the CheMin detection limit of smectite in a smectite/olivine mixed mineral system.

  4. Magnetic Fields of the Earth and Mars a Comparison and Discussion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Patrick T.

    2004-01-01

    In several aspects the magnetic fields of the Earth and Mars are similar but also different. In the past both bodies had planetary magnetic fields but while they Earth's field remains today the Martian ceased to operate, at some unknown time in the past, leaving this planet without a main or core field. This fact resulted in the interaction between the solar and interplanetary magnetic fields with the surfaces of these planets being very different. In addition, Mars has large crustal magnetic anomalies, nearly ten times larger than those on the Earth. Since crustal magnetic anomalies are the product of the thickness of the layer of magnetization, both the magnetizing material and the thickness of the layer of this material must be very different on Mars than Earth. Furthermore, the martian anomalies can only be produced by remanent or fossil magnetization, in contrast with the Earth where both induced and remanent magnetization are producing these anomalies. Crustal magnetic anomalies on the Earth are mainly produced by single-domain, irontitanium oxides, in the form of magnetite being the most common on Mars the main magnetic mineral(s) are unknown. The thickness of the martian magnetized layer in comparison with the Earth remains a major area for research. Determining the paleopole position for the Earth has been done by some of the earliest paleomagnetic researchers. Since we do not have oriented martian rock samples determining the paleopoles for Mars has been done by fitting a magnetization vector to individual magnetic anomalies. Several groups have worked on this problem with somewhat differing results.

  5. 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.

  6. Vibration and Acoustic Testing for Mars Micromission Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Dennis L.; Scharton, Terry D.

    1999-01-01

    spacecraft and the test fixture, alleviates the severe overtest at spacecraft resonances inherent in rigid fixture vibration tests. It has the distinct advantage over response limiting that the method is not dependent on the accuracy of a detailed dynamic model of the spacecraft. Combined loads, vibration, and modal testing were recently performed on the QuikSCAT spacecraft. The combined tests were performed in a single test setup per axis on a vibration shaker, reducing test time by a factor of two or three. Force gages were employed to measure the true c.g. acceleration of the spacecraft for structural loads verification using a sine burst test, to automatically notch random vibration test input accelerations at spacecraft resonances based on predetermined force limits, and to directly measure modal masses in a base drive modal test. In addition to these combined tests on the shaker, the QuikSCAT spacecraft was subjected to a direct field acoustic test by surrounding the spacecraft, still on the vibration shaker, with rock concert type acoustic speakers. Since the spacecraft contractor does not have a reverberant field acoustic test facility, performing a direct field acoustic test -saved the program nearly two weeks schedule time that would have been required for packing / unpacking and shipping of the spacecraft. This paper discusses the rationale behind and advantages of the above test approaches and provides examples of their actual implementation and comparisons to flight data. The applicability of the test approaches to Mars Micromission spacecraft qualification is discussed.

  7. 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.

  8. Deposition, exhumation, and paleoclimate of an ancient lake deposit, Gale crater, Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Grotzinger, JP; Gupta, S; Malin, MC; Rubin, DM; Schieber, J; Siebach, K; Sumner, DY; Stack, KM; Vasavada, AR; Arvidson, RE; Calef, F; Edgar, L; Fischer, WF; Grant, JA; Griffes, J

    2015-01-01

    The landforms of northern Gale crater on Mars expose thick sequences of sedimentary rocks. Based on images obtained by the Curiosity rover, we interpret these outcrops as evidence for past fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine environments. Degradation of the crater wall and rim probably supplied these sediments, which advanced inward from the wall, infilling both the crater and an internal lake basin to a thickness of at least 75 meters. This intracrater lake system probably existed intermittentl...

  9. Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitters (SMARS) - A Non-Explosive Method for Fracturing Planetary Rocklike Materials and Minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benafan, Othmane; Noebe, Ronald D.; Halsmer, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    A static rock splitter device based on high-force, high-temperature shape memory alloys (HTSMAs) was developed for space related applications requiring controlled geologic excavation in planetary bodies such as the Moon, Mars, and near-Earth asteroids. The device, hereafter referred to as the shape memory alloy rock splitter (SMARS), consisted of active (expanding) elements made of Ni50.3Ti29.7Hf20 (at.%) that generate extremely large forces in response to thermal input. The preshaping (training) of these elements was accomplished using isothermal, isobaric and cyclic training methods, which resulted in active components capable of generating stresses in excess of 1.5 GPa. The corresponding strains (or displacements) were also evaluated and were found to be 2 to 3 percent, essential to rock fracturing and/or splitting when placed in a borehole. SMARS performance was evaluated using a test bed consisting of a temperature controller, custom heaters and heater holders, and an enclosure for rock placement and breakage. The SMARS system was evaluated using various rock types including igneous rocks (e.g., basalt, quartz, granite) and sedimentary rocks (e.g., sandstone, limestone).

  10. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Caves and Rock Fracture Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope J.

    2017-01-01

    The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond. We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can fluorish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a Field Guide to Unknown Organisms for developing life detection space missions.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Fourier transform infrared spectral detection of life in polar subsurface environments and its application to Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Louisa J; Johnson, Diane; Cockell, Charles S; Grady, Monica M

    2015-09-01

    Cryptoendolithic lichen communities of the Dry Valleys, Antarctica, survive in an extremely inhospitable environment, finding refuge in microscopic niches where conditions suitable for life exist. Such "within-rock" communities may have evolved on Mars when conditions for life on the surface deteriorated to such an extent that they could no longer survive. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of unprepared whole-rock Antarctic Beacon sandstones was used to vertically profile molecular vibrations of fatty acids, proteins, and carboxylic acids created by endolithic communities. Spectral biosignatures were found localized to lichen-rich areas and were absent in crustal regions and the bulk rock substrate. These cryptoendolithic profiles will aid similar spectroscopic investigations of organic biosignatures during future Martian subsurface studies and will help in the identification of similar communities in other localities across the Earth.

  14. Iron-Manganese Redox Reactions in Endeavour Crater Rim Apron Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Gellert, R.; Peretyazhko, T.; Clark, B. C.; Morris, R. V.; Yen, A. S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Crumpler, L. S.; Farrand, W. H.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been exploring Noachian age rocks and outcrops on the rim of the 22 km diameter Endeavour crater since August 2011. The Cape York area is a low-lying rim of Endeavour that contains 3 distinct lithologies: 1) the stratigraphically lowest Matijevic fm of pre-impact lithology, 2) Shoemaker fm of impact breccias, and 3) the stratigraphically highest rim lithology Grasberg fm of post-impact sediments that drape the lower slopes of the rim. The sulfate-rich sediment of the Burns fm lies unconformably over the Grasberg fm. Ca-sulfate veins were discovered in Grasberg fm sediments; the sulfates precipitated from aqueous fluids flowing upward through these materials. Opportunity investigated the chemistry and morphology of outcrops in the Matijevic fm that have Fe(sup 3+)-rich smectite detected by orbital signatures returned by CRISM on MRO. Matijevic fm also contains "boxwork" fractures with chemistry consistent with an Al-rich smectite and veins that appear to be rich in Ca-sulfate. More recently on Cape Tribulation, Opportunity has characterized two S-, Mg- and Mn-rich rich rocks overturned and fractured by the rover's wheels on Cook Haven. Those rocks have been dubbed "Pinnacle Island" and "Stuart Island" and will be referred to as the "Island" rocks. The objectives of this study are to characterize the Fe and Mn contents in the Cape York materials, including the two Island rocks, and to provide a model for Mn mobilization and precipitation. Detailed geochemistry of Endeavour rim rocks is presented in a companion paper. Geochemical trends and elemental associations were obtained from data returned by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on Opportunity.

  15. 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.

  16. Detecting Organic Compounds Released from Iron Oxidizing Bacteria using Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Like Instrument Protocols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Popa, R.; Martin, M. G.; Freissinet, C.; Fisk, M. R.; Dworkin, J. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2012-01-01

    Mars is a planet of great interest for Astrobiology since its past environmental conditions are thought to have been favourable for the emergence life. At present, the Red Planet is extremely cold and dry and the surface is exposed to intense UV and ionizing radiation, conditions generally considered to be incompatible with life as we know it on Earth. It was proposed that the shallow subsurface of Mars, where temperatures can be above freezing and liquid water can exist on rock surfaces, could harbor chemolithoautotrophic bacteria such as the iron oxidizing microorganism Pseudomonas sp. HerB. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission will provide the next opportunity to carry out in situ measurements for organic compounds of possible biological origin on Mars. One instrument onboard MSL, called the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite, will carry out a broad and sensitive search for organic compounds in surface samples using either high temperature pyrolysis or chemical extraction followed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. We present gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC/MS) data on crushed olivine rock powders that have been inoculated with Pseudomonas sp. HerB at different concentrations ranging from approx 10(exp 2) to 10(exp 7) cells per gram. The inoculated olivine samples were heated under helium carrier gas flow at 500 C and the pyrolysis products concentrated using a SAM-like hydrocarbon trap set at -20 C followed by trap heating and analysis by GC/Ms. In addition, the samples were also extracted using a low temperature "one-pot" chemical extraction technique using N-methyl, N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) as the silylating agent prior to GC/MS analysis. We identified several aldehydes, thiols, and alkene nitriles after pyrolysis GC/MS analysis of the bacteria that were not found in the olivine control samples that had not been inoculated with bacteria. The distribution of pyrolysis products extracted from the

  17. Searching for life on Mars: degradation of surfactant solutions used in organic extraction experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Court, Richard W; Sims, Mark R; Cullen, David C; Sephton, Mark A

    2014-09-01

    Life-detection instruments on future Mars missions may use surfactant solutions to extract organic matter from samples of martian rocks. The thermal and radiation environments of space and Mars are capable of degrading these solutions, thereby reducing their ability to dissolve organic species. Successful extraction and detection of biosignatures on Mars requires an understanding of how degradation in extraterrestrial environments can affect surfactant performance. We exposed solutions of the surfactants polysorbate 80 (PS80), Zonyl FS-300, and poly[dimethylsiloxane-co-[3-(2-(2-hydroxyethoxy)ethoxy)propyl]methylsiloxane] (PDMSHEPMS) to elevated radiation and heat levels, combined with prolonged storage. Degradation was investigated by measuring changes in pH and electrical conductivity and by using the degraded solutions to extract a suite of organic compounds spiked onto grains of the martian soil simulant JSC Mars-1. Results indicate that the proton fluences expected during a mission to Mars do not cause significant degradation of surfactant compounds. Solutions of PS80 or PDMSHEPMS stored at -20 °C are able to extract the spiked standards with acceptable recovery efficiencies. Extraction efficiencies for spiked standards decrease progressively with increasing temperature, and prolonged storage at 60°C renders the surfactant solutions ineffective. Neither the presence of ascorbic acid nor the choice of solvent unequivocally alters the efficiency of extraction of the spiked standards. Since degradation of polysorbates has the potential to produce organic compounds that could be mistaken for indigenous martian organic matter, the polysiloxane PDMSHEPMS may be a superior choice of surfactant for the exploration of Mars.

  18. Blueberries on Earth and Mars: Correlations Between Concretions in Navajo Sandstone and Terra Meridiani on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Milner, M. W.; Netoff, D.; Dohm, J.; Kalm, V.; Krinsley, D.; Sodhi, R. N.; Anderson, R. C.; Boccia, S.; Malloch, D.; Kapran, B.; Havics, A.

    2008-12-01

    Concretionary Fe-Mn-rich nodular authigenic constituents of Jurassic Navajo sandstone (moki marbles) bear a certain relationship to similar concretionary forms ('blueberries') observed on Mars. Their origin on Earth is considered to invoke variable redox conditions with underground fluids penetrating porous quartz-rich sandstone leading to precipitation of hematite and goethite-rich material from solution, generally forming around a central nucleus of fine particles of quartz and orthoclase, recently verified by XRD and SEM-EDS analyses. At the outer rim/inner nucleus boundary, bulbous lobes of fine-grained quartz often invade and fracture the outer rim armored matrix. The bulbous forms are interpreted to result from fluid explusion from the inner concretionary mass, a response to pressure changes accompanying overburden loading. Moki marbles, harder than enclosing rock, often weather out of in situ sandstone outcrops that form a surface lag deposit of varnished marbles that locally resemble desert pavement. The marbles appear morphologically similar to 'blueberries' identified on the martian surface in Terra Meridiani through the MER-1 Opportunity rover. On Earth, redox fluids responsible for the genesis of marbles may have emanated from deep in the crust (often influenced by magmatic processes). These fluids, cooling to ambient temperatures, may have played a role in the genesis of the cemented outer rim of the concretions. The low frequency of fungi filaments in the marbles, contrasts with a high occurrence in Fe-encrusted sands of the Navajo formation [1], indicating that microbial content is of secondary importance in marble genesis relative to the fluctuating influx of ambient groundwater. Nevertheless, the presence of filaments in terrestrial concretions hints at the possibility of discovering fossil/extant life on Mars, and thus should be considered as prime targets for future reconnaissance missions to Mars. 1] Mahaney, W.C., et al. (2004), Icarus, 171, 39-53.

  19. Bringing a Chemical Laboratory Named Sam to Mars on the 2011 Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Bleacher, L.; Jones, A.; Atreya, S. K.; Manning, H. L.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Sam Team

    2010-12-01

    Introduction: An important goal of upcoming missions to Mars is to understand if life could have developed there. The task of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments [1] and the other Curiosity investigations [2] is to move us steadily toward that goal with an assessment of the habitability of our neighboring planet through a series of chemical and geological measurements. SAM is designed to search for organic compounds and inorganic volatiles and measure isotope ratios. Other instruments on Curiosity will provide elemental analysis and identify minerals. SAM will analyze both atmospheric samples and gases evolved from powdered rocks that may have formed billions of years ago with Curiosity providing access to interesting sites scouted by orbiting cameras and spectrometers. SAM Instrument Suite: SAM’s instruments are a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), a 6-column Gas Chromatograph (GC), and a 2-channel Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS). SAM can identify organic compounds in Mars rocks to sub-ppb sensitivity and secure precise isotope ratios for C, H, and O in carbon dioxide and water and measure trace levels of methane and its carbon 13 isotope. The SAM gas processing system consists of valves, heaters, pressure sensors, gas scrubbers and getters, traps, and gas tanks used for calibration or combustion experiments [2]. A variety of calibrant compounds interior and exterior to SAM will allow the science and engineering teams to assess SAM’s performance. SAM has been calibrated and tested in a Mars-like environment. Keeping Educators and the Public Informed: The Education and Public Outreach (EPO) goals of the SAM team are to make this complex chemical laboratory and its data widely available to educators, students, and the public. Formal education activities include developing templates for professional development workshops for educators to teach them about SAM and Curiosity, incorporating data into Mars Student Data Teams, and writing articles

  20. Implications of Martian Phyllosilicate Formation Conditions to the Early Climate on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.; Baker, L.; Fairén, A. G.; Michalski, J. R.; Gago-Duport, L.; Velbel, M. A.; Gross, C.; Rampe, E. B.

    2017-12-01

    We propose that short-term warmer and wetter environments, occurring sporadically in a generally cold early Mars, enabled formation of phyllosilicate-rich outcrops on the surface of Mars without requiring long-term warm and wet conditions. We are investigating phyllosilicate formation mechanisms including CO2 and H2O budgets to provide constraints on the early martian climate. We have evaluated the nature and stratigraphy of phyllosilicate-bearing surface units on Mars based on i) phyllosilicate-forming environments on Earth, ii) phyllosilicate reactions in the lab, and iii) modeling experiments involving phyllosilicates and short-range ordered (SRO) materials. The type of phyllosilicates that form on Mars depends on temperature, water/rock ratio, acidity, salinity and available ions. Mg-rich trioctahedral smectite mixtures are more consistent with subsurface formation environments (crustal, hydrothermal or alkaline lakes) up to 400 °C and are not associated with martian surface environments. In contrast, clay profiles dominated by dioctahedral Al/Fe-smectites are typically formed in subaqueous or subaerial surface environments. We propose models describing formation of smectite-rich outcrops and laterally extensive vertical profiles of Fe/Mg-smectites, sulfates, and Al-rich clay assemblages formed in surface environments. Further, the presence of abundant SRO materials without phyllosilicates could mark the end of the last warm and wet episode on Mars supporting smectite formation. Climate Implications for Early Mars: Clay formation reactions proceed extremely slowly at cool temperatures. The thick smectite outcrops observed on Mars through remote sensing would require standing water on Mars for hundreds of millions of years if they formed in waters 10-15 °C. However, warmer temperatures could have enabled faster production of these smectite-rich beds. Sporadic warming episodes to 30-40 °C could have enabled formation of these smectites over only tens or

  1. Chemical reaction path modeling of hydrothermal processes on Mars: Preliminary results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Ridley, W. Ian

    1992-01-01

    Hydrothermal processes are thought to have had significant roles in the development of surficial mineralogies and morphological features on Mars. For example, a significant proportion of the Martian soil could consist of the erosional products of hydrothermally altered impact melt sheets. In this model, impact-driven, vapor-dominated hydrothermal systems hydrothermally altered the surrounding rocks and transported volatiles such as S and Cl to the surface. Further support for impact-driven hydrothermal alteration on Mars was provided by studies of the Ries crater, Germany, where suevite deposits were extensively altered to montmorillonite clays by inferred low-temperature (100-130 C) hydrothermal fluids. It was also suggested that surface outflow from both impact-driven and volcano-driven hydrothermal systems could generate the valley networks, thereby eliminating the need for an early warm wet climate. We use computer-driven chemical reaction path calculation to model chemical processes which were likely associated with postulated Martian hydrothermal systems.

  2. Two earth years of Moessbauer studies of the surface of Mars with MIMOS II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klingelhoefer, G.; Morris, R. V.; De Souza, P. A.; Rodionov, D.; Schroeder, C.

    2006-01-01

    The element iron plays a crucial role in the study of the evolution of matter from an interstellar cloud to the formation and evolution of the planets. In the Solar System iron is the most abundant metallic element. It occurs in at least three different oxidation states: Fe(0) (metallic iron), Fe(II) and Fe(III). Fe(IV) and Fe(VI) compounds are well known on Earth, and there is a possibility for their occurrence on Mars. In January 2004 the USA space agency NASA landed two rovers on the surface of Mars, both carrying the Mainz Moessbauer spectrometer MIMOS II. They performed for the first time in-situ measurements of the mineralogy of the Martian surface, at two different places on Mars, Meridiani Planum and Gusev crater, respectively, the landing sites of the Mars-Exploration-Rovers (MER) Opportunity and Spirit. After about two Earth years or one Martian year of operation the Moessbauer (MB) spectrometers on both rovers have acquired data from more than 150 targets (and more than thousand MB spectra) at each landing site. The scientific measurement objectives of the Moessbauer investigation are to obtain for rock, soil, and dust (1) the mineralogical identification of iron-bearing phases (e.g., oxides, silicates, sulfides, sulfates, and carbonates), (2) the quantitative measurement of the distribution of iron among these iron-bearing phases (e.g., the relative proportions of iron in olivine, pyroxenes, ilmenite and magnetite in a basalt), (3) the quantitative measurement of the distribution of iron among its oxidation states (e.g., Fe 2+ , Fe 3+ , and Fe 6+ ), and (4) the characterization of the size distribution of magnetic particles. Special geologic targets of the Moessbauer investigation are dust collected by the Athena magnets and interior rock and soil surfaces exposed by the Athena Rock Abrasion Tool and by trenching with rover wheels. The Moessbauer spectrometer on Opportunity at Meridiani Planum, identified eight Fe-bearing phases: jarosite (K,Na,H3O

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Searching for Ancient Lakebeds in Ladon Basin, Mars and Implications for Future Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colón, A. M.; Miranda, C.; Milliken, R.

    2017-12-01

    It is well known from terrestrial studies that clay-rich rocks, and lacustrine mudstones in particular, are efficient at trapping, binding, and preserving organic matter through geologic time. This has also been demonstrated on Mars, where the Curiosity rover has detected organics in ancient mudstones in Gale crater. A number of other potential ancient lake sites have been proposed as landing sties for the Mars 2020 rover, including regions within the Ladon Basin and Valles system. In this study we map of the distribution of clay deposits in the Uzboi-Morava-Ladon (ULM) System, a system thought to have been a series of lakes interconnected by channels, and assess how these hydrous minerals relate to topography, adjacent fluvial networks, and the overall stratigraphy of basin deposits. We use CTX images and near-IR spectral reflectance data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM instrument to independently map morphological and mineralogical features within Ladon. We find a number of occurrences of stratified, light-toned outcrops within the basin, but individual outcrops are small even at the scale of CTX images and are concentrated in several locations in the basin. Some light-toned outcrops are associated with clay minerals, but in general the light-toned appearance appears to be a poor proxy for clay distribution. CRISM data reveal that some clay-bearing regions are visually indistinct from adjacent clay-poor terrains. Some of the best examples of stratified, clay-bearing rocks are found in Ladon Valles, where they occur in terraces. In general, the stratigraphic, topographic, and morphologic evidence do not preclude a lacustrine origin, but there is no diagnostic evidence to support this interpretation either. The clay-bearing and light-toned deposits within Ladon basin may instead reflect deposition in an alluvial/fluvial system that post-dates the peak period of inferred lacustrine activity in the ULM system.

  6. 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

  7. The magnetic field of Mars according to data of Mars-3 and Mars-5 space vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolginov, Sh.Sh.; Eroshenko, E.G.; Zhuzgov, L.N.

    1975-01-01

    Magnitograms obtained by the space probe ''Mars-5'' on the evening and day sides as well as those from the ''Mars-3'' obtained earlier suggest the following: In the vicinity of Mars there exists a shock front and its disposition is tracked at various angles to the direction to the sun. Magnetometers have registered a region in space where magnetic field features the properties of a magnetosphere field in its topology and action on plasma. The magnetic field in the region of the ''magnitosphere'' does not change its sign when the interplanetary field does shile in adjacent boundary regions the regular part of the field changes its sign when that of the interplanetary field does. The configuration and dimensions of the ''magnitosphere'' depend on thesolar wind intensity. On the day side (''Mars-3'') the magnitospheric field ceases to be registered at an altitude of 2200km, whereas on the night side (''Mars-5'') the regular field is traced up to 7500-9500km from the planet surface. All the above unambiguously suggests that the planet Mars has its own magnetic field. Under the influence of the solar wind the field takes the characteristic form: it is limited on the day side and elongated on the night one. The topology oif force lines is explicable if one assumes that the axis of the Mars magnetic dipole is inclined to the rotation axis at an abgle of 15-20deg. The northern magnetic pole of the dipole is licated in the northern hemisphere, i.e. the Mars fields in their regularity are opposite to the geomagnetic field. The magnetic moment of the Mars dipole is equal to M=2.5x10 22 Gauss.cm 3 . (author)

  8. A synthesis of Martian aqueous mineralogy after 1 Mars year of observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, S.L.; Mustard, J.F.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Milliken, R.E.; Bishop, J.L.; McKeown, N.K.; Noe Dobrea, E.Z.; Seelos, F.P.; Buczkowski, D.L.; Wiseman, S.M.; Arvidson, R. E.; Wray, J.J.; Swayze, G.; Clark, R.N.; Des Marais, D.J.; McEwen, A.S.; Bibring, J.-P.

    2009-01-01

    Martian aqueous mineral deposits have been examined and characterized using data acquired during Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's (MRO) primary science phase, including Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral images covering the 0.4-3.9 ??m wavelength range, coordinated with higher-spatial resolution HiRISE and Context Imager images. MRO's new high-resolution measurements, combined with earlier data from Thermal Emission Spectrometer; Thermal Emission Imaging System; and Observatoire pour la Min??ralogie, L'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activiti?? on Mars Express, indicate that aqueous minerals are both diverse and widespread on the Martian surface. The aqueous minerals occur in 9-10 classes of deposits characterized by distinct mineral assemblages, morphologies, and geologic settings. Phyllosilicates occur in several settings: in compositionally layered blankets hundreds of meters thick, superposed on eroded Noachian terrains; in lower layers of intracrater depositional fans; in layers with potential chlorides in sediments on intercrater plains; and as thousands of deep exposures in craters and escarpments. Carbonate-bearing rocks form a thin unit surrounding the Isidis basin. Hydrated silica occurs with hydrated sulfates in thin stratified deposits surrounding Valles Marineris. Hydrated sulfates also occur together with crystalline ferric minerals in thick, layered deposits in Terra Meridiani and in Valles Marineris and together with kaolinite in deposits that partially infill some highland craters. In this paper we describe each of the classes of deposits, review hypotheses for their origins, identify new questions posed by existing measurements, and consider their implications for ancient habitable environments. On the basis of current data, two to five classes of Noachian-aged deposits containing phyllosilicates and carbonates may have formed in aqueous environments with pH and water activities suitable for life. Copyright 2009 by the American

  9. 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

  10. The Sample at Mars Analysis (SAM) Detections of CO2 and CO in Sedimentary Material from Gale Crater, Mars: Implications for the Presence of Organic Carbon and Microbial Habitability on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, Brad; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Steele, Andrew; Ming, Douglas W.

    2016-01-01

    Sedimentary rock samples heated to 860 degrees Centigrade in the SAM (Sample at Mars) instrument evolved CO2 and CO indicating the presence of organic-carbon(C) in Gale Crater materials. Martian or exogenous (meteoritic, interplanetary dust) CO2 and CO could be derived from combustion of simple organics (less than 300 degrees Centigrade), complex refractory organics/amorphous carbon (300-600 degrees Centigrade), and/or magmatic carbon (greater than 600 degrees Centigrade) as result of thermal decomposition of Gale Crater perchlorates, and sulfates present that produce O2. Oxidized organic compounds could also evolve CO2 and CO over broad temperature range (150 to 800 degrees Centigrade) and such organics are expected on Mars via exogenous sources. Alternatively, organic-C could also have been oxidized to carboxylic acids [e.g, mellitic acid (RCOOH), acetate (CH3CO2-), and oxalates (C2O42-)] by oxidative radiolytic weathering, or other oxidation processes. The presence of oxidized organics is consistent with the limited detection of reduced organic-C phases by the SAM-gas chromatography. Organic-C content as determined by CO2 and CO contents could range between 800 and 2400 parts per million C indicating that substantial organic-C component is present in Gale Crater. There are contributions from SAM background however, even in worst-case scenarios, this would only account for as much as half of the detected CO2 and CO. Nevertheless, if organic-C levels were assumed to have existed in a reduced form on ancient Mars and this was bioavailable C, then less than 1 percent of C in Gale Crater sediments could have supported an exclusively heterotrophic microbial population of 1 by 10 (sup 5) cells per gram sediment (assumes 9 by 10 (sup -7) microgram per cell and 0.5 micrograms C per microgram cell). While other essential nutrients (e.g., S and P) could be limiting, organic-C contents, may have been sufficient to support limited heterotrophic microbial populations on

  11. Corrosion on Mars: An Investigation of Corrosion Mechanisms Under Relevant Simulated Martian Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Luz M.; Li, Wenyan; Johansen, Michael R.; Buhrow, Jerry W.; Calle, Carlos I.

    2017-01-01

    This one-year project was selected by NASA's Science Innovation Fund in FY17 to address Corrosion on Mars which is a problem that has not been addressed before. Corrosion resistance is one of the most important properties in selecting materials for landed spacecraft and structures that will support surface operations for the human exploration of Mars. Currently, the selection of materials is done by assuming that the corrosion behavior of a material on Mars will be the same as that on Earth. This is understandable given that there is no data regarding the corrosion resistance of materials in the Mars environment. However, given that corrosion is defined as the degradation of a metal that results from its chemical interaction with the environment, it cannot be assumed that corrosion is going to be the same in both environments since they are significantly different. The goal of this research is to develop a systematic approach to understand corrosion of spacecraft materials on Mars by conducting a literature search of available data, relevant to corrosion in the Mars environment, and by performing preliminary laboratory experiments under relevant simulated Martian conditions. This project was motivated by the newly found evidence for the presence of transient liquid brines on Mars that coincided with the suggestion, by a team of researchers, that some of the structural degradation observed on Curiosity's wheels may be caused by corrosive interactions with the brines, while the most significant damage was attributed to rock scratching. An extensive literature search on data relevant to Mars corrosion confirmed the need for further investigation of the interaction between materials used for spacecraft and structures designed to support long-term surface operations on Mars. Simple preliminary experiments, designed to look at the interaction between an aerospace aluminum alloy (AA7075-T73) and the gases present in the Mars atmosphere, at 20degC and a pressure of 700 Pa

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Water - rock interaction in different rock environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamminen, S.

    1995-01-01

    The study assesses the groundwater geochemistry and geological environment of 44 study sites for radioactive waste disposal. Initially, the study sites were divided by rock type into 5 groups: (1) acid - intermediate rocks, (2) mafic - ultramafic rocks, (3) gabbros, amphibolites and gneisses that contain calc-silicate (skarn) rocks, (4) carbonates and (5) sandstones. Separate assessments are made of acid - intermediate plutonic rocks and of a subgroup that comprises migmatites, granite and mica gneiss. These all belong to the group of acid - intermediate rocks. Within the mafic -ultramafic rock group, a subgroup that comprises mafic - ultramafic plutonic rocks, serpentinites, mafic - ultramafic volcanic rocks and volcanic - sedimentary schists is also evaluated separately. Bedrock groundwaters are classified by their concentration of total dissolved solids as fresh, brackish, saline, strongly saline and brine-class groundwaters. (75 refs., 24 figs., 3 tabs.)

  15. 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.

  16. Experimental investigation of insolation-driven dust ejection from Mars' CO2 ice caps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, E.; Hagermann, A.

    2017-01-01

    Mars' polar caps are - depending on hemisphere and season - partially or totally covered with CO2 ice. Icy surfaces such as the polar caps of Mars behave differently from surfaces covered with rock and soil when they are irradiated by solar light. The latter absorb and reflect incoming solar radiation within a thin layer beneath the surface. In contrast, ices are partially transparent in the visible spectral range and opaque in the infrared. Due to this fact, the solar radiation can penetrate to a certain depth and raise the temperature of the ice or dust below the surface. This may play an important role in the energy balance of icy surfaces in the solar system, as already noted in previous investigations. We investigated the temperature profiles inside CO2 ice samples including a dust layer under Martian conditions. We have been able to trigger dust eruptions, but also demonstrated that these require a very narrow range of temperature and ambient pressure. We discuss possible implications for the understanding of phenomena such as arachneiform patterns or fan shaped deposits as observed in Mars' southern polar region.

  17. Fluoride in weathered rock aquifers of southern India: Managed Aquifer Recharge for mitigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brindha, K; Jagadeshan, G; Kalpana, L; Elango, L

    2016-05-01

    Climatic condition, geology, and geochemical processes in an area play a major role on groundwater quality. Impact of these on the fluoride content of groundwater was studied in three regions-part of Nalgonda district in Telangana, Pambar River basin, and Vaniyar River basin in Tamil Nadu, southern India, which experience semi-arid climate and are predominantly made of Precambrian rocks. High concentration of fluoride in groundwater above 4 mg/l was recorded. Human exposure dose for fluoride through groundwater was higher in Nalgonda than the other areas. With evaporation and rainfall being one of the major contributors for high fluoride apart from the weathering of fluoride rich minerals from rocks, the effect of increase in groundwater level on fluoride concentration was studied. This study reveals that groundwater in shallow environment of all three regions shows dilution effect due to rainfall recharge. Suitable managed aquifer recharge (MAR) methods can be adopted to dilute the fluoride rich groundwater in such regions which is explained with two case studies. However, in deep groundwater, increase in fluoride concentration with increase in groundwater level due to leaching of fluoride rich salts from the unsaturated zone was observed. Occurrence of fluoride above 1.5 mg/l was more in areas with deeper groundwater environment. Hence, practicing MAR in these regions will increase the fluoride content in groundwater and so physical or chemical treatment has to be adopted. This study brought out the fact that MAR cannot be practiced in all regions for dilution of ions in groundwater and that it is essential to analyze the fluctuation in groundwater level and the fluoride content before suggesting it as a suitable solution. Also, this study emphasizes that long-term monitoring of these factors is an important criterion for choosing the recharge areas.

  18. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard the Mars rover, Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, K. S.; Ravine, M. A.; Caplinger, M. A.; Ghaemi, F. T.; Schaffner, J. A.; Malin, M. C.; Baker, J. M.; Dibiase, D. R.; Laramee, J.; Maki, J. N.; Willson, R. G.; Bell, J. F., III; Cameron, J. F.; Dietrich, W. E.; Edwards, L. J.; Hallet, B.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Heydari, E.; Kah, L. C.; Lemmon, M. T.; Minitti, M. E.; Olson, T. S.; Parker, T. J.; Rowland, S. K.; Schieber, J.; Sullivan, R. J.; Sumner, D. Y.; Thomas, P. C.; Yingst, R. A.

    2009-08-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, is expected to land on Mars in 2012. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will be used to document martian rocks and regolith with a 2-megapixel RGB color CCD camera with a focusable macro lens mounted on an instrument-bearing turret on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The flight MAHLI can focus on targets at working distances of 20.4 mm to infinity. At 20.4 mm, images have a pixel scale of 13.9 μm/pixel. The pixel scale at 66 mm working distance is about the same (31 μm/pixel) as that of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Microscopic Imager (MI). MAHLI camera head placement is dependent on the capabilities of the MSL robotic arm, the design for which presently has a placement uncertainty of ~20 mm in 3 dimensions; hence, acquisition of images at the minimum working distance may be challenging. The MAHLI consists of 3 parts: a camera head, a Digital Electronics Assembly (DEA), and a calibration target. The camera head and DEA are connected by a JPL-provided cable which transmits data, commands, and power. JPL is also providing a contact sensor. The camera head will be mounted on the rover's robotic arm turret, the DEA will be inside the rover body, and the calibration target will be mounted on the robotic arm azimuth motor housing. Camera Head. MAHLI uses a Kodak KAI-2020CM interline transfer CCD (1600 x 1200 active 7.4 μm square pixels with RGB filtered microlenses arranged in a Bayer pattern). The optics consist of a group of 6 fixed lens elements, a movable group of 3 elements, and a fixed sapphire window front element. Undesired near-infrared radiation is blocked using a coating deposited on the inside surface of the sapphire window. The lens is protected by a dust cover with a Lexan window through which imaging can be ac-complished if necessary, and targets can be illuminated by sunlight or two banks of two white light LEDs. Two 365 nm UV LEDs are included to search for fluores-cent materials at night. DEA

  19. Oxygen in the Martian atmosphere: Regulation of PO2 by the deposition of iron formations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Roger G.

    1992-01-01

    During Earth's early history, and prior to the evolution of its present day oxygenated atmosphere, extensive iron rich siliceous sedimentary rocks were deposited, consisting of alternating layers of silica (chert) and iron oxide minerals (hematite and magnetite). The banding in iron formations recorded changes of atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions near sea level in the ancient ocean, which induced the oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron, precipitation of insoluble ferric oxides and silica, and regulation of oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere. Similarities between the Archean Earth and the composition of the present day atmosphere on Mars, together with the pervasive presence of ferric oxides in the Martian regolith suggest that iron formation might also have been deposited on Mars and influenced the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere. Such a possibility is discussed here with a view to assessing whether the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere has been regulated by the chemical precipitation of iron formations on Mars.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Dielectric properties of lava flows west of Ascraeus Mons, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, L.M.; Campbell, B.A.; Holt, J.W.; Phillips, R.J.; Putzig, N.E.; Mattei, S.; Seu, R.; Okubo, C.H.; Egan, A.F.

    2009-01-01

    The SHARAD instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detects subsurface interfaces beneath lava flow fields northwest of Ascraeus Mons. The interfaces occur in two locations; a northern flow that originates south of Alba Patera, and a southern flow that originates at the rift zone between Ascraeus and Pavonis Montes. The northern flow has permittivity values, estimated from the time delay of echoes from the basal interface, between 6.2 and 17.3, with an average of 12.2. The southern flow has permittivity values of 7.0 to 14.0, with an average of 9.8. The average permittivity values for the northern and southern flows imply densities of 3.7 and 3.4 g cm-3, respectively. Loss tangent values for both flows range from 0.01 to 0.03. The measured bulk permittivity and loss tangent values are consistent with those of terrestrial and lunar basalts, and represent the first measurement of these properties for dense rock on Mars. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  3. Basalt-trachybasalt samples in Gale Crater, Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, Peter H.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Dyar, Darby

    2017-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, observed numerous igneous float rocks and conglomerate clasts, reported previously. A new statistical analysis of single-laser-shot spectra of igneous targets observed by ChemCam shows a strong peak at ~55 wt% SiO 2 and 6 wt% total alkalis, with a minor secondary maximum at 47–51 wt% SiO 2 and lower alkali content. The centers of these distributions, together with the rock textures, indicate that many of the ChemCam igneous targets are trachybasalts, Mg# = 27 but with a secondary concentration of basaltic material, with a focus of compositions around Mg# = 54. We suggest that all of these igneous rocks resulted from low-pressure, olivine-dominated fractionation of Adirondack (MER) class-type basalt compositions. This magmatism has subalkaline, tholeiitic affinities. The similarity of the basalt endmember to much of the Gale sediment compositions in the first 1000 sols of the MSL mission suggests that this type of Fe-rich, relatively low-Mg#, olivine tholeiite is the dominant constituent of the Gale catchment that is the source material for the fine-grained sediments in Gale. The similarity to many Gusev igneous compositions suggests that it is a major constituent of ancient Martian magmas, and distinct from the shergottite parental melts thought to be associated with Tharsis and the Northern Lowlands. Finally, the Gale Crater catchment sampled a mixture of this tholeiitic basalt along with alkaline igneous material, together giving some analogies to terrestrial intraplate magmatic provinces.

  4. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez, Jorge I; Farmer, Jack D; Sellar, R Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A; Blaney, Diana L

    2014-02-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Mars-Microscopic imager-Multispectral imaging-Spectroscopy-Habitability-Arm instrument.

  5. What We Might Know About Gusev Crater if the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Mission were Coupled with a Mars Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2008-01-01

    The science instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit have provided an enormous amount of chemical and mineralogical data during more than 1450 sols of exploration at Gusev crater. The Moessbauer (MB) instrument identified 10 Fe-bearing phases at Gusev Crater: olivine, pyroxene, ilmenite, chromite, and magnetite as primary igneous phases and nanophase ferric oxide (npOx), goethite, hematite, a ferric sulfate, and pyrite/marcusite as secondary phases. The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) identified some of these Fe-bearing phases (olivine and pyroxene), non- Fe-bearing phases (e.g., feldspar), and an amorphous high-SiO2 phase near Home Plate. Chemical data from the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) provided the framework for rock classification, chemical weathering/alteration, and mineralogical constraints. APXS-based mineralogical constraints include normative calculations (with Fe(3+)/FeT from MB), elemental associations, and stoichiometry (e.g., 90% SiO2 implicates opalline silica). If Spirit had cached a set of representative samples and if those samples were returned to the Earth for laboratory analysis, what value is added by Mars Sample return (MSR) over and above the mineralogical and chemical data provided by MER?

  6. The Regulatory Small RNA MarS Supports Virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappesch, Roberto; Warnke, Philipp; Mikkat, Stefan; Normann, Jana; Wisniewska-Kucper, Aleksandra; Huschka, Franziska; Wittmann, Maja; Khani, Afsaneh; Schwengers, Oliver; Oehmcke-Hecht, Sonja; Hain, Torsten; Kreikemeyer, Bernd; Patenge, Nadja

    2017-09-25

    Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) play a role in the control of bacterial virulence gene expression. In this study, we investigated an sRNA that was identified in Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus, GAS) but is conserved throughout various streptococci. In a deletion strain, expression of mga, the gene encoding the multiple virulence gene regulator, was reduced. Accordingly, transcript and proteome analyses revealed decreased expression of several Mga-activated genes. Therefore, and because the sRNA was shown to interact with the 5' UTR of the mga transcript in a gel-shift assay, we designated it MarS for m ga-activating regulatory sRNA. Down-regulation of important virulence factors, including the antiphagocytic M-protein, led to increased susceptibility of the deletion strain to phagocytosis and reduced adherence to human keratinocytes. In a mouse infection model, the marS deletion mutant showed reduced dissemination to the liver, kidney, and spleen. Additionally, deletion of marS led to increased tolerance towards oxidative stress. Our in vitro and in vivo results indicate a modulating effect of MarS on virulence gene expression and on the pathogenic potential of GAS.

  7. Compositions of Bedrock Containing Craters on Mars as Viewed by TES, THEMIS, and CRISM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C. S.; Rogers, D.; Bandfield, J. L.; Christensen, P. R.

    2009-12-01

    An investigation of Martian high thermal inertia crater surfaces has been made using derived THEMIS thermal inertia data. High thermal inertia surfaces or interpreted bedrock are defined as any pixel in a THEMIS image with a thermal inertia over 1200 J K-1m-2s-1/2 and may refer to in situ rock exposures or rock-dominated surfaces. While three different surface morphologies (valley and crater walls, crater floors, and plains surface) were originally identified [Edwards et al., in press], the focus of this study is to better characterize the compositional, thermophysical, and geological characteristics of the crater floors surface. These surfaces may be related to impact-associated volcanism that often occurs in conjunction with large energetic impacts. These craters are commonly modified, lack a central peak, have shallow sloped walls, and little to no visible ejecta, indicating the relatively old ages of these impacts. They are generally large, ranging in size from 18.5 to 179km in diameter, with an average of ~52km [Edwards et al., in press]. Boulders are also observed in high-resolution imagery (e.g. HiRISE) along with fine scale randomly oriented cracks and fractures. TES spectra for ~60 of the 92 originally identified sites have been examined in detail and can be broken down into two distinctive spectral groups, olivine bearing (~80%, with >10% olivine and often >20%) and non-olivine bearing craters (~20%, with inertia crater floors. In this case, magma is likely derived from decompression melting of the mantle due to the removal of overlying material. This magma reaches the surface through fractures and cracks in the basement rock likely caused by the impact event. This is consistent with the observed compositions, as material derived directly from the Martian mantle is expected to be significantly more mafic than the surrounding country rock. These sites are likely locations where the some of the most primitive material on Mars is observed and can be used to

  8. 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.

  9. Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for Mars surface analysis: capabilities at stand-off distances and detection of chlorine and sulfur elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salle, Beatrice; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Vors, Evelyne; Fichet, Pascal; Maurice, Sylvestre; Cremers, David A.; Wiens, Roger C.

    2004-01-01

    An international consortium is studying the feasibility of performing in situ geochemical analysis of Mars soils and rocks at stand-off distances up to several meters using the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique. Stand-off analysis for Martian exploration imposes particular requirements on instrumentation, and it is necessary to first test the performance of such a system in the laboratory. In this paper, we test the capabilities of two different experimental setups. The first one is dedicated to the qualitative analysis of metals and rocks at distances between 3 and 12 m. With the second one, we have obtained quantitative results for aluminum alloys and developed a spectral database under Martian conditions for sulfur and chlorine, two elements that are geologically interesting but generally difficult to detect by LIBS under standard conditions (atmospheric pressure, close distance). These studies were carried out to determine an optimal instrumental design for in situ Mars analysis. The quality of analytical results affected by the optical elements and spectrometer has been particularly highlighted

  10. Raman-IR vibrational and XRD characterization of ancient and modern mineralogy from volcanic eruption in Tenerife Island: Implication for Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.A. Lalla

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available A detailed vibrational Raman-IR spectroscopic and diffractional analyses have been performed on basalts from two locations from Tenerife Island: (1 the Arenas Negras volcano which belongs to the historical eruption not showing visible alteration and (2 Pillow Lavas zone from Anaga Massif which shows a clearly fluid-rock interaction caused by submarine alteration. These places have been extensively studied due to its similarity with the surface of Mars. The analysis is based on the mineral detection of selected samples by a Micro-Raman study of the materials. The complementary techniques have confirmed the mineralogy detected by the Raman measurement. The results show a volcanic environment behavior with primary phases like olivine, pyroxene, and feldspar/plagioclase. Moreover, the presence of accessory minerals or secondary mineralization like phosphate, iron oxides, zeolite or carbonates shows the alteration processes on each outcrop. The variation in the crystallinity and amorphous phases is related to fluid-rock interaction caused by hydrothermal episodes and external weathering processes, which shows several analogies with the ancient volcanic activity from Mars.

  11. 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".

  12. 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.

  13. X-ray Diffraction Results from Mars Science Laboratory: Mineralogy of Rocknest at Gale Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bish, D. L.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Chipera, S. J.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Treiman, A. H.; Sarrazin, P.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Achilles, C. N.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Crisp, J. A.; Morookian, J. M.; Farmer, J. D.; Rampe, E. B.; Stolper, E. M.; Spanovich, N.; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Verdasca, José Alexandre Alves; 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; Bish, David; Blake, David F.; Avalos, Juan J. Blanco; 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; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John "Iain"; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Carmosino, Marco; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie "Kenzie"; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; DesMarais, David; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Bob; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M. Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Flesch, Greg; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Franz, Heather; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; 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; Kah, Linda; 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; Kocurek, Gary; 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; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Leshin, Laurie; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; García, César Martín; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard; Morrison, Shaunna; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; Nachon, Marion; López, Sara Navarro; Navarro-González, Rafael; 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; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; 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; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J.; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel "Dan"; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Steele, Andrew; Stein, Thomas; Stern, Jennifer; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Ed; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; 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. "Mouser"; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano

    2013-09-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity scooped samples of soil from the Rocknest aeolian bedform in Gale crater. Analysis of the soil with the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) x-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument revealed plagioclase (~An57), forsteritic olivine (~Fo62), augite, and pigeonite, with minor K-feldspar, magnetite, quartz, anhydrite, hematite, and ilmenite. The minor phases are present at, or near, detection limits. The soil also contains 27 ± 14 weight percent x-ray amorphous material, likely containing multiple Fe3+- and volatile-bearing phases, including possibly a substance resembling hisingerite. The crystalline component is similar to the normative mineralogy of certain basaltic rocks from Gusev crater on Mars and of martian basaltic meteorites. The amorphous component is similar to that found on Earth in places such as soils on the Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii.

  14. 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

  15. Ore-forming environment and ore-forming system of carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock type uranium deposit in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qi Fucheng; Zhang Zilong; Li Zhixing; He Zhongbo; Wang Wenquan

    2012-01-01

    It is proposed that there are four types of ore-forming systems about carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock type uranium deposit in China based on systematic study on structural environment and distribution regularity of uraniferous construction of marine carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock in China: continental margin rift valley ore-forming systems, continental margin rifting deep fracture zone ore-forming systems, landmass boundary borderland basin ore-forming systems and epicontinental mobile belt downfaulted aulacogen ore-forming systems. It is propounded definitely that it is controlled by margin rift valley ore-forming systems and continental margin rifting deep fracture zone ore-forming systems for large-scale uranium mineralization of carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock type uranium deposit in China, which is also controlled by uraniferous marine carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock construction made up of silicalite, siliceous phosphorite and carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock, which settled down accompany with submarine backwash and sub marine volcanic eruption in margin rift valley and continental margin rifting mineralizing environment. Continental mar gin rift valley and continental margin rifting thermal sedimentation or exhalation sedimentation is the mechanism of forming large-scale uraniferous marine carbonaceous-siliceous-pelitic rock construction Early Palaeozoic Era in China or large-scale uranium-polymetallic mineralization. (authors)

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Chromatographic, Spectroscopic and Mass Spectrometric Approaches for Exploring the Habitability of Mars in 2012 and Beyond with the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments on the Curiosity Rover of Mars Science Laboratory Mission is designed to provide chemical and isotopic analysis of organic and inorganic volatiles for both atmospheric and solid samples. The goals of the science investigation enabled by the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer and tunable laser spectrometer instruments of SAM are to work together with the other MSL investigations is to quantitatively assess habitability through a series of chemical and geological measurements. We describe the multi-column gas chromatograph system employed on SAM and the approach to extraction and analysis of organic compounds that might be preserved in ancient martian rocks.

  19. Is Mars Sample Return Required Prior to Sending Humans to Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Michael; Abell, Paul; Allwood, Abigail; Baker, John; Barnes, Jeff; Bass, Deborah; Beaty, David; Boston, Penny; Brinkerhoff, Will; Budney, Charles; hide

    2012-01-01

    Prior to potentially sending humans to the surface of Mars, it is fundamentally important to return samples from Mars. Analysis in Earth's extensive scientific laboratories would significantly reduce the risk of human Mars exploration and would also support the science and engineering decisions relating to the Mars human flight architecture. The importance of measurements of any returned Mars samples range from critical to desirable, and in all cases these samples will would enhance our understanding of the Martian environment before potentially sending humans to that alien locale. For example, Mars sample return (MSR) could yield information that would enable human exploration related to 1) enabling forward and back planetary protection, 2) characterizing properties of Martian materials relevant for in situ resource utilization (ISRU), 3) assessing any toxicity of Martian materials with respect to human health and performance, and 4) identifying information related to engineering surface hazards such as the corrosive effect of the Martian environment. In addition, MSR would be engineering 'proof of concept' for a potential round trip human mission to the planet, and a potential model for international Mars exploration.

  20. High-Temperature, Perhaps Silicic, Volcanism on Mars Evidenced by Tridymite Detection in High-SiO2 Sedimentary Rock at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, has been exploring sedimentary rocks within Gale crater since landing in August, 2012. On the lower slopes of Aeolis Mons (a.k.a. Mount Sharp), drill powder was collected from a high-silica (74 wt% SiO2) outcrop named Buckskin (BK). It was a surprise to find that the Buckskin sample contained significant amounts of the relatively rare silica polymorph tridymite. We describe the setting of the Buckskin sample, the detection of tridymite by the MSL Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument, and detection implications. Geologic setting: The Buckskin outcrop is part of the Murray formation exposed in the Marias Pass area. The formation was previously studied by CheMin in the Pahrump Hills member [1] where three samples of drill fines were analyzed (Confidence Hills (CH), Mojave2 (MJ) and Telegraph Peak (TP) [2]). Assuming approximately horizontal bedding, the Buckskin outcrop is approx.15 m stratigraphically above the bottom of the Pahrump Hills member. Mudstone, generally characterized by fine lamination, is the dominant depositional facies [1]. Buckskin Mineralogical and Chemical Composition: The CheMin instrument and XRD pattern analysis procedures have been previously discussed [3-6]. The diffraction pattern used for quantitative XRD analysis (Fig. 1) is the sum of the first 4 of 45 diffraction images. The remaining images are all characterized by both on-ring and off-ring diffraction spots that we attributed to poor grain motion and particle clumping. Coincident with particle clumping was a significant decrease in the intensity of the tridymite diffraction peaks (Fig. 2a). The derived mineralogical composition of the crystalline component (derived from the first 4 diffraction images) is given in Table 1. The tridymite is well-crystalline and its pattern is refined as monoclinic tridymite (Fig 1). Mineral chemical compositions were derived from XRD unit cell parameters or obtained from

  1. Mars Navigator: An Interactive Multimedia Program about Mars, Aerospace Engineering, Astronomy, and the JPL Mars Missions. [CD-ROM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramoll, Kurt

    This CD-ROM introduces basic astronomy and aerospace engineering by examining the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions to Mars. It contains numerous animations and narrations in addition to detailed graphics and text. Six interactive laboratories are included to help understand topics such as the…

  2. The CanMars Analogue Mission: Lessons Learned for Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osinski, G. R.; Beaty, D.; Battler, M.; Caudill, C.; Francis, R.; Haltigin, T.; Hipkin, V.; Pilles, E.

    2018-04-01

    We present an overview and lessons learned for Mars Sample Return from CanMars — an analogue mission that simulated a Mars 2020-like cache mission. Data from 39 sols of operations conducted in the Utah desert in 2015 and 2016 are presented.

  3. Río Tinto: A Geochemical and Mineralogical Terrestrial Analogue of Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Amils

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The geomicrobiological characterization of the water column and sediments of Río Tinto (Huelva, Southwestern Spain have proven the importance of the iron and the sulfur cycles, not only in generating the extreme conditions of the habitat (low pH, high concentration of toxic heavy metals, but also in maintaining the high level of microbial diversity detected in the basin. It has been proven that the extreme acidic conditions of Río Tinto basin are not the product of 5000 years of mining activity in the area, but the consequence of an active underground bioreactor that obtains its energy from the massive sulfidic minerals existing in the Iberian Pyrite Belt. Two drilling projects, MARTE (Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (2003–2006 and IPBSL (Iberian Pyrite Belt Subsurface Life Detection (2011–2015, were developed and carried out to provide evidence of subsurface microbial activity and the potential resources that support these activities. The reduced substrates and the oxidants that drive the system appear to come from the rock matrix. These resources need only groundwater to launch diverse microbial metabolisms. The similarities between the vast sulfate and iron oxide deposits on Mars and the main sulfide bioleaching products found in the Tinto basin have given Río Tinto the status of a geochemical and mineralogical Mars terrestrial analogue.

  4. Derivation of muon range spectrum under rock from the recent primary spectrum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pal, P.; Bhattacharyya, D.P.

    1985-01-01

    The muon range spectra under Mont Blanc Tunnel and Kolar Gold Field rocks have been calculated from the recently measured primary cosmic ray spectrum. The scaling hypothesis of Feynman has been used for the calculation of pion and kaon spectra in the atmosphere. The meson atmospheric diffusion equation has been solved by following the method of Bugaev et al. The derived muon energy spectrum has been found to be in good agreement with the measured data of the Kiel, Durham, DEIS, and Moscow University groups. The calculated muon energy spectra at large polar angles have been compared with the different experimental results. The integral muon spectrum up to 20 TeV supports the MARS burst data favourably. Using the procedure of Kobayakawa, the muon energy loss in rock due to ionization, pair production, and bremsstrahlung and nuclear interactions from Bezrukov and Bugaev, we have constructed the range-energy relation in Mont Blanc and Kolar Gold Field rocks. The estimated range spectra have been corrected for range fluctuations and have been compared with the Mont Blanc Tunnel data of Castagnoli et al., Bergamasco et al., and Sheldon et al. and the Kolar Gold Field data compilation by Krishnaswamy et al

  5. The central uplift of Ritchey crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Ning; Bray, Veronica J.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Mattson, Sarah S.; Okubo, Chris H.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Tornabene, Livio L.

    2015-01-01

    Ritchey crater is a ∼79 km diameter complex crater near the boundary between Hesperian ridged plains and Noachian highland terrain on Mars (28.8°S, 309.0°E) that formed after the Noachian. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of the central peak reveal fractured massive bedrock and megabreccia with large clasts. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) spectral analysis reveals low calcium pyroxene (LCP), olivine (OL), hydrated silicates (phyllosilicates) and a possible identification of plagioclase bedrock. We mapped the Ritchey crater central uplift into ten units, with 4 main groups from oldest and originally deepest to youngest: (1) megabreccia with large clasts rich in LCP and OL, and with alteration to phyllosilicates; (2) massive bedrock with bright and dark regions rich in LCP or OL, respectively; (3) LCP and OL-rich impactites draped over the central uplift; and (4) aeolian deposits. We interpret the primitive martian crust as igneous rocks rich in LCP, OL, and probably plagioclase, as previously observed in eastern Valles Marineris. We do not observe high-calcium pyroxene (HCP) rich bedrock as seen in Argyre or western Valles Marineris. The association of phyllosilicates with deep megabreccia could be from impact-induced alteration, either as a result of the Richey impact, or alteration of pre-existing impactites from Argyre basin and other large impacts that preceded the Ritchey impact, or both.

  6. The central uplift of Ritchey crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Ning; Bray, Veronica J.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Mattson, Sarah S.; Okubo, Chris H.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Tornabene, Livio L.

    2015-05-01

    Ritchey crater is a ∼79 km diameter complex crater near the boundary between Hesperian ridged plains and Noachian highland terrain on Mars (28.8°S, 309.0°E) that formed after the Noachian. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of the central peak reveal fractured massive bedrock and megabreccia with large clasts. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) spectral analysis reveals low calcium pyroxene (LCP), olivine (OL), hydrated silicates (phyllosilicates) and a possible identification of plagioclase bedrock. We mapped the Ritchey crater central uplift into ten units, with 4 main groups from oldest and originally deepest to youngest: (1) megabreccia with large clasts rich in LCP and OL, and with alteration to phyllosilicates; (2) massive bedrock with bright and dark regions rich in LCP or OL, respectively; (3) LCP and OL-rich impactites draped over the central uplift; and (4) aeolian deposits. We interpret the primitive martian crust as igneous rocks rich in LCP, OL, and probably plagioclase, as previously observed in eastern Valles Marineris. We do not observe high-calcium pyroxene (HCP) rich bedrock as seen in Argyre or western Valles Marineris. The association of phyllosilicates with deep megabreccia could be from impact-induced alteration, either as a result of the Richey impact, or alteration of pre-existing impactites from Argyre basin and other large impacts that preceded the Ritchey impact, or both.

  7. My Changing Perception of Mars: A Whipple Award Lecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malin, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    I have been studying Mars for 46+ years. My initial studies of the planet were mentored by Bruce Murray (my Ph.D. advisor) and Bob Sharp. My 4 years as Bruce's student were the most productive and exciting of my early career, during which I wrote or participated in a dozen published works. My early efforts on Mars, based on Mariner 9 images, culminated in my Ph.D. dissertation, the last paragraph of which, written in 1975, read: "In summary, Mars appears to have had a complex early history, complete with significant atmospheric and some fluid erosion. Just as the polar layered deposits are believed to record the recent history of Mars, so may the ancient layered deposits — the intercrater plains — record the most primitive history of Mars. Detailed studies of Martian stratigraphy in the distant future may be as intellectually rewarding as the studies of terrestrial stratigraphy are today."Welcome to the distant future! During my student years with Murray and Sharp, I concluded that images of significantly higher spatial resolution were needed to unravel the geologic story hinted at in the Mariner 9 data. For 10 years I made the case for aerial photo-like high resolution imaging, to highly skeptical science and engineering communities. With Ed Danielson (of JPL and then Caltech) and a group of young engineers he recruited, we succeeded in convincing advisory groups and a NASA selection board to fly the Mars Observer Camera, that included early 1980's innovations such as a 32-bit microprocessor, a 100 MB solid state memory, gate arrays for instrument control, and a 35 cm aperture telescope with an f/2 primary and a secondary mirror with 8-fold magnification to achieve 3.7 µrad/pixel scale (1.4 m/pxl from 378 km altitude). Although MO failed, the MOC was reflown on MGS and my colleague Ken Edgett and I found evidence for: widespread water-lain sedimentary rock, persistent surficial water flow and ponding in bodies of standing water, gullies that may indicate the

  8. 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.

  9. Formation of Box Canyon, Idaho, by megaflood: implications for seepage erosion on Earth and Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Michael P; Dietrich, William E; Aciego, Sarah M; Depaolo, Donald J; Manga, Michael

    2008-05-23

    Amphitheater-headed canyons have been used as diagnostic indicators of erosion by groundwater seepage, which has important implications for landscape evolution on Earth and astrobiology on Mars. Of perhaps any canyon studied, Box Canyon, Idaho, most strongly meets the proposed morphologic criteria for groundwater sapping because it is incised into a basaltic plain with no drainage network upstream, and approximately 10 cubic meters per second of seepage emanates from its vertical headwall. However, sediment transport constraints, 4He and 14C dates, plunge pools, and scoured rock indicate that a megaflood (greater than 220 cubic meters per second) carved the canyon about 45,000 years ago. These results add to a growing recognition of Quaternary catastrophic flooding in the American northwest, and may imply that similar features on Mars also formed by floods rather than seepage erosion.

  10. In Situ Analysis of Martian Phyllosilicates Using the Chemin Minerological Instrument on Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2008-01-01

    The CheMin minerological instrument on Mars Science Laboratory (MSL'09) [1] will return quantitive Xray diffraction data (XRD) and quantative X-ray fluorescence data (XRF;14rock powders collected from the Mars surface. Samples of 45-65 mm 3 from material sieved to less than 150 micrometers will be delivered through a funnel to one of 27 reusable sample cells (five additional cells on the sample wheel contain diffraction of fluorescence standards). Sample cells are 8-mm diamater discs with 7-micrometer thick Mylar or Kapton windows spaced 170 micrometers apart. Within this volume, the sample is shaken by piezoelectric vibration at sonic frequencies, causing the powder to flow past a narrow, collimated -ray beam in random orientation can be obtained even from minnerals exhibiting strong preferred orientation such as phylosilicates.

  11. 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

  12. Astrobiology Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars Analogue Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    We give an update on the astrobiology results from a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme environment of the Utah desert. These are relevant to prepare future lunar landers and polar sample return missions, interpret Moon-Mars data (eg SMART1, LRO, Mars Express, MRO, MER, MSL), study habitability and astrobiology in Moon-Mars environments, or to test human-robotic surface EVA or base operations. In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [0, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from re-mote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geo-chemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Results: Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [0-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. We acknowledge team members and supporting institutes: 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), I. Schlacht (2), K. Nebergall (6), M. Battler (6, 7), H

  13. Determination of trace elements in Mesozoic dykes of the Serra do Mar by neutron activation; Determinacao de elementos tracos em diques mesozoicos da Serra do Mar por meio de ativacao com neutrons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vicentini, Caio M.; Marques, Leila S., E-mail: caio.vicentini@usp.br, E-mail: leila@iag.usp.br [Universidade de Sao Paulo (IAG/USP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Instituto de Astronomia, Geofisica e Ciencias Atmosfericas; Figueiredo, Ana Maria G., E-mail: anamaria@ipen.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2013-07-01

    The analysis of trace elements such as rare earths, Th, U, Ta, Hf, Ba, Rb and Ba, is a very important tool for petrogenetic studies. In order to study these processes in dykes of Enxame Serra do Mar (Coast of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), belonging to the Parana Magmatic Province (PMP), one of the most significant provinces of continental basalts in the world, were perform analyzes by neutron activation in these dikes. The technique, employed in Centro de Reator de Pesquisa of the Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares, provided concentrations of trace elements with accuracy levels of 10% and 9%, which are suitable for petrogenetic studies. Due to the low concentrations of the elements analyzed, the experimental routine sample preparation processes covered very careful to avoid contamination. The samples investigated can be divided into four groups: basic rocks (SiO{sub 2} <55%) with Ti / Y> 500; basic rocks with Ti / Y <500; intermediate rocks (55% rocks (SiO{sub 2}> 63%). Dikes of intermediate and acid composition only occur at the Sao Sebastiao Island and adjacent coastal region. The concentrations of major and minor elements, as well as the abundance patterns of rare earths and other incompatible elements of these more differentiated rocks, show significant similarities with the type of the volcanic Chapeco, suggesting similar genesis, in other worlds, including also processes of crustal contamination.

  14. Transportation-Driven Mars Surface Operations Supporting an Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toups, Larry; Brown, Kendall; Hoffman, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes the results of a study evaluating options for supporting a series of human missions to a single Mars surface destination. In this scenario the infrastructure emplaced during previous visits to this site is leveraged in following missions. The goal of this single site approach to Mars surface infrastructure is to enable "Steady State" operations by at least 4 crew for up to 500 sols at this site. These characteristics, along with the transportation system used to deliver crew and equipment to and from Mars, are collectively known as the Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC). Information in this paper is presented in the sequence in which it was accomplished. First, a logical buildup sequence of surface infrastructure was developed to achieve the desired "Steady State" operations on the Mars surface. This was based on a concept of operations that met objectives of the EMC. Second, infrastructure capabilities were identified to carry out this concept of operations. Third, systems (in the form of conceptual elements) were identified to provide these capabilities. This included top-level mass, power and volume estimates for these elements. Fourth, the results were then used in analyses to evaluate three options (18t, 27t, and 40t landed mass) of Mars Lander delivery capability to the surface. Finally, Mars arrival mass estimates were generated based upon the entry, descent, and landing requirements for inclusion in separate assessments of in-space transportation capabilities for the EMC.

  15. 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.

  16. The new Athena alpha particle X-ray spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieder, R.; Gellert, R.; Brückner, J.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Dreibus, G.; Yen, A.; Squyres, S. W.

    2003-11-01

    The new alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) is part of the Athena payload of the two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). The APXS sensor head is attached to the turret of the instrument deployment device (IDD) of the rover. The APXS is a very light-weight instrument for determining the major and minor elemental composition of Martian soils, rocks, and other geological materials at the MER landing sites. The sensor head has simply to be docked by the IDD on the surface of the selected sample. X-ray radiation, excited by alpha particles and X rays of the radioactive sources, is recorded by a high-resolution X-ray detector. The X-ray spectra show elements starting from sodium up to yttrium, depending on their concentrations. The backscattered alpha spectra, measured by a ring of detectors, provide additional data on carbon and oxygen. By means of a proper calibration, the elemental concentrations are derived. Together with data from the two other Athena instruments mounted on the IDD, the samples under investigation can be fully characterized. Key APXS objectives are the determination of the chemistry of crustal rocks and soils and the examination of water-related deposits, sediments, or evaporates. Using the rock abrasion tool attached to the IDD, issues of weathering can be addressed by measuring natural and abraded surfaces of rocks.

  17. Waves in the middle and upper atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Hinson, D. P.; Peter, K.; Tyler, G. L.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric waves play a crucial role in the Martian atmosphere. They are responsible for the redistribution of momentum, energy and dust and for the coupling of the different atmospheric regions on Mars. Almost all kinds of waves have been observed in the lower atmosphere (e.g. stationary and transient waves, baroclinic waves as well as migrating and non-migrating thermal tides, gravity waves, etc...). Atmospheric waves are also known to exist in the middle atmosphere of Mars ( 70-120 km, e.g. by the SPICAM instrument on Mars Express). In the thermosphere, thermal tides have been observed e.g. by radio occultation or accelerometer measurements on MGS. Recently, the NGIMS instrument on MAVEN reported gravity waves in the thermosphere of Mars. Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science experiment MaRS on Mars Express can analyse the temperature, pressure and neutral number density profiles in the lower atmosphere (from a few hundred metres above the surface up to 40-50 km) and electron density profiles in the ionosphere of Mars. Wavelike structures have been detected below the main ionospheric layers (M1 & M2) and in the topside of the ionosphere. The two coherent frequencies of the MaRS experiment allow to discriminate between plasma density fluctuations in the ionosphere and Doppler related frequency shifts caused by spacecraft movement. A careful analysis of the observed electron density fluctuations in combination with sensitivity studies of the radio occultation technique will be used to classify the observed fluctuations. The MaRS experiment is funded by DLR under grant 50QM1401.

  18. Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) as Critical In Situ Investigation for Targeting Mars Returned Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Goesmann, F.; Goetz, W.; Raulin, F.; SAM Science Team; MOMA Science Team

    2018-04-01

    SAM (Curiosity) and MOMA (ExoMars) Mars instruments, seeking for organics and biosignatures, are essential to establish taphonomic windows of preservation of molecules, in order to target the most interesting samples to return from Mars.

  19. 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

  20. Recalibration of the Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam instrument with an expanded geochemical database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, Samuel M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Anderson, Ryan; Forni, Olivier; Frydenvang, Jens; Lasue, Jeremie; Cousin, Agnes; Payre, Valerie; Boucher, Tommy; Dyar, M. Darby; McLennan, Scott M.; Morris, Richard V.; Graff, Trevor G.; Mertzman, Stanley A; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Belgacem, Ines; Newsom, Horton E.; Clark, Ben C.; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; McInroy, Rhonda E.; Martinez, Ronald; Gasda, Patrick J.; Gasnault, Olivier; Maurice, Sylvestre

    2017-01-01

    The ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity has obtained > 300,000 spectra of rock and soil analysis targets since landing at Gale Crater in 2012, and the spectra represent perhaps the largest publicly-available LIBS datasets. The compositions of the major elements, reported as oxides (SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, FeOT, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O), have been re-calibrated using a laboratory LIBS instrument, Mars-like atmospheric conditions, and a much larger set of standards (408) that span a wider compositional range than previously employed. The new calibration uses a combination of partial least squares (PLS1) and Independent Component Analysis (ICA) algorithms, together with a calibration transfer matrix to minimize differences between the conditions under which the standards were analyzed in the laboratory and the conditions on Mars. While the previous model provided good results in the compositional range near the average Mars surface composition, the new model fits the extreme compositions far better. Examples are given for plagioclase feldspars, where silicon was significantly over-estimated by the previous model, and for calcium-sulfate veins, where silicon compositions near zero were inaccurate. The uncertainties of major element abundances are described as a function of the abundances, and are overall significantly lower than the previous model, enabling important new geochemical interpretations of the data.

  1. A Habitable Fluvio-Lacustrine Environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, J. P.; Sumner, D. Y.; Kah, L. C.; Stack, K.; Gupta, S.; Edgar, L.; Rubin, D.; Lewis, K.; Schieber, J.; Mangold, N.; Milliken, R.; Conrad, P. G.; DesMarais, D.; Farmer, J.; Siebach, K.; Calef, F.; Hurowitz, J.; McLennan, S. M.; Ming, D.; Vaniman, D.; Crisp, J.; Vasavada, A.; Edgett, K. S.; Malin, M.; Blake, D.; Gellert, R.; Mahaffy, P.; Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Grant, J. A.; Wilson, S.; Anderson, R. C.; Beegle, L.; Arvidson, R.; Hallet, B.; Sletten, R. S.; Rice, M.; Bell, J.; Griffes, J.; Ehlmann, B.; Anderson, R. B.; Bristow, T. F.; Dietrich, W. E.; Dromart, G.; Eigenbrode, J.; Fraeman, A.; Hardgrove, C.; Herkenhoff, K.; Jandura, L.; Kocurek, G.; Lee, S.; Leshin, L. A.; Leveille, R.; Limonadi, D.; Maki, J.; McCloskey, S.; Meyer, M.; Minitti, M.; Newsom, H.; Oehler, D.; Okon, A.; Palucis, M.; Parker, T.; Rowland, S.; Schmidt, M.; Squyres, S.; Steele, A.; Stolper, E.; Summons, R.; Treiman, A.; Williams, R.; Yingst, A.; MSL Science Team; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Cremers, David; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Li, Shuai; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Farley, Kenneth; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; 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; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; 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; 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; Bish, David; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Szopa, Cyril; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; 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; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Fay, Donald; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; 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; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Aubrey, Andrew; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Christensen, Lance; DeFlores, Lauren; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Vicenzi, Edward; 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; 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; Kortmann, Onno; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; 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.; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; 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; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    The Curiosity rover discovered fine-grained sedimentary rocks, which are inferred to represent an ancient lake and preserve evidence of an environment that would have been suited to support a martian biosphere founded on chemolithoautotrophy. This aqueous environment was characterized by neutral pH, low salinity, and variable redox states of both iron and sulfur species. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, and phosphorus were measured directly as key biogenic elements; by inference, phosphorus is assumed to have been available. The environment probably had a minimum duration of hundreds to tens of thousands of years. These results highlight the biological viability of fluvial-lacustrine environments in the post-Noachian history of Mars.

  2. Preservation of martian organic and environmental records: final report of the Mars biosignature working group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summons, Roger E; Amend, Jan P; Bish, David; Buick, Roger; Cody, George D; Des Marais, David J; Dromart, Gilles; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Knoll, Andrew H; Sumner, Dawn Y

    2011-03-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has an instrument package capable of making measurements of past and present environmental conditions. The data generated may tell us if Mars is, or ever was, able to support life. However, the knowledge of Mars' past history and the geological processes most likely to preserve a record of that history remain sparse and, in some instances, ambiguous. Physical, chemical, and geological processes relevant to biosignature preservation on Earth, especially under conditions early in its history when microbial life predominated, are also imperfectly known. Here, we present the report of a working group chartered by the Co-Chairs of NASA's MSL Project Science Group, John P. Grotzinger and Michael A. Meyer, to review and evaluate potential for biosignature formation and preservation on Mars. Orbital images confirm that layered rocks achieved kilometer-scale thicknesses in some regions of ancient Mars. Clearly, interplays of sedimentation and erosional processes govern present-day exposures, and our understanding of these processes is incomplete. MSL can document and evaluate patterns of stratigraphic development as well as the sources of layered materials and their subsequent diagenesis. It can also document other potential biosignature repositories such as hydrothermal environments. These capabilities offer an unprecedented opportunity to decipher key aspects of the environmental evolution of Mars' early surface and aspects of the diagenetic processes that have operated since that time. Considering the MSL instrument payload package, we identified the following classes of biosignatures as within the MSL detection window: organism morphologies (cells, body fossils, casts), biofabrics (including microbial mats), diagnostic organic molecules, isotopic signatures, evidence of biomineralization and bioalteration, spatial patterns in chemistry, and biogenic gases. Of these, biogenic organic molecules and biogenic atmospheric gases are

  3. 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

  4. Atmospheric Energy Limits on Subsurface Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, B. P.; Yung, Y. L.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    It has been suggested that the terrestrial biomass of subterranean organisms may equal or exceed that at the surface. Taken as a group, these organisms can live in heavily saline conditions at temperatures from 115 C to as low as -20 C. Such conditions might exist on Mars beneath the surface oxidant in an aquifer or hydrothermal system, where the surrounding rock would also protect against the solar ultraviolet radiation. The way that such systems could obtain energy and carbon is not completely clear, although it is believed that on Earth, energy flows from the interaction of highly reduced basalt with groundwater produce H2, while carbon is derived from CO2 dissolved in the groundwater. Another potential source is the Martian atmosphere, acting as a photochemical conduit of solar insolation.

  5. Science Applications of a Multispectral Microscopic Imager for the Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Key Words: Mars—Microscopic imager—Multispectral imaging

  6. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Jorge; Farmer, Jack; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars.

  7. 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.

  8. Confidence Hills Mineralogy and Chemin Results from Base of Mt. Sharp, Pahrump Hills, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanagh, P. D.; Bish, D. L.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Achilles, C. N.; Chipera, S. J.; Treiman, A. H.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity recently completed its fourth drill sampling of sediments on Mars. The Confidence Hills (CH) sample was drilled from a rock located in the Pahrump Hills region at the base of Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater. The CheMin X-ray diffractometer completed five nights of analysis on the sample, more than previously executed for a drill sample, and the data have been analyzed using Rietveld refinement and full-pattern fitting to determine quantitative mineralogy. Confidence Hills mineralogy has several important characteristics: 1) abundant hematite and lesser magnetite; 2) a 10 angstrom phyllosilicate; 3) multiple feldspars including plagioclase and alkali feldspar; 4) mafic silicates including forsterite, orthopyroxene, and two types of clinopyroxene (Ca-rich and Ca-poor), consistent with a basaltic source; and 5) minor contributions from sulfur-bearing species including jarosite.

  9. 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…

  10. Global duricrust on Mars - Analysis of remote-sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, B. M.; Christensen, P. R.

    1986-01-01

    A study is conducted of the infrared thermal emission, radio thermal emission, and radar reflection data sets with the objective to obtain a simple and self-consistent model for the Mars surface. The results are compared with in situ observations at the Viking Lander sites. Attention is given to thermal inertia values, the abundance of surface rocks, radar/thermal correlations, diurnal temperature deviations, and radio emission data. It is suggested that all of the global remote-sensing data sets considered can be reconciled on the basis of variations in the degree of formation of a case-hardened crust or duricrust. On the other hand, no other model which has been proposed in conjunction with any individual data set can satisfy all of the constraints discussed.

  11. 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

    On multiple solar system missions, radar instruments have been used to probe subsurface geomorphology and to infer chemical composition based on the dielectric signature derived from the reflected signal. One important planetary application is the identification of subsurface water ice at Mars. Low frequency, 15 MHz to 25 MHz, instruments like SHARAD have been used from Mars orbit to investigate subsurface features from 10's to 1000's of meters below the surface of Mars with a vertical resolution of 15m and a horizontal resolution of 300 to 3000 meters. SHARAD has been able to identify vast layers of CO2 and water ice. The ground-penetrating RIMFAX instrument that will ride on the back of the Mars 2020 rover will operate over the 150 MHz to 1200 MHz band and penetrate to a depth of 10 meters with a vertical resolution of 15 to 30 cm. RIMFAX will be able to identify near surface water ice if it exists below the travel path of the Mars 2020 rover. Identification of near surface water ice has science application to current and past Mars hydrologic processes and to the potential for finding remnants of past Mars biologic activity. Identification of near surface water ice also has application to future human missions that would benefit from access to a Mars local water source. Recently, JPL investigators have been pursuing a secondary use of telecom signals to capture bistatic radar signatures from subsurface areas surrounding the rover but away from its travel path. A particularly promising potential source would be the telecom signal from a proposed Mars Helicopter back to the Mars 2020 rover. The Mars 2020 rover will be equipped with up to three telecom subsystems. The Rover Relay telecom subsystem operates at UHF receiving at 435 MHz frequency. Anticipating opportunistic collection of near-surface bistatic radar signatures from telecom signals received at the rover, it is valuable to understand the dielectric properties of the Martian soil in each of these three

  12. Volatile and Organic Compositions of Sedimentary Rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Archer, P. D.; Glavin, D. P.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H. B.; Sutter, B.; Brunner, A. E.; Stern, J. C.; Freissinet, C.; McAdam, A. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Campbell, J. L.; Atreya, S. K.; Niles, P. B.; Bell, J. F.; Bish, D. L.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Buch, A.; Conrad, P. G.; Des Marais, D. J.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Fairén, A. G.; Farley, K.; Flesch, G. J.; Francois, P.; Gellert, R.; Grant, J. A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Leshin, L. A.; Lewis, K. W.; McLennan, S. M.; Miller, K. E.; Moersch, J.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Perrett, G. M.; Pradler, I.; Squyres, S. W.; Summons, R. E.; Steele, A.; Stolper, E. M.; Sumner, D. Y.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M. G.; Treiman, A. H.; Vaniman, D. T.; Vasavada, A. R.; Webster, C. R.; Wray, J. J.; Yingst, R. A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; 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; Griffes, Jennifer; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; 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; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; 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; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; 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; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Stalport, Fabien; Raulin, François; 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; 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; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Garvin, James; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Tan, Florence; 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; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; 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; Yen, Albert; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; 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; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; 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; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; 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; 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; Bower, Hannah; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; 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.; 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.

    2014-01-01

    H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, H2, H2S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO, and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay within Gale crater, Mars. H2O/OH-bearing phases included 2:1 phyllosilicate(s), bassanite, akaganeite, and amorphous materials. Thermal decomposition of carbonates and combustion of organic materials are candidate sources for the CO2. Concurrent evolution of O2 and chlorinated hydrocarbons suggests the presence of oxychlorine phase(s). Sulfides are likely sources for sulfur-bearing species. Higher abundances of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the mudstone compared with Rocknest windblown materials previously analyzed by Curiosity suggest that indigenous martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the mudstone; however, the carbon source for the chlorinated hydrocarbons is not definitively of martian origin.

  13. Volatile and organic compositions of sedimentary rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Archer, P.D.; Glavin, D.P.; Eigenbrode, J.L.; Franz, H.B.; Sutter, B.; Brunner, A.E.; Stern, J.C.; Freissinet, C.; McAdam, A.C.; Mahaffy, P.R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Campbell, J.L.; Atreya, S.K.; Niles, P.B.; Bell, J.F.; Bish, D.L.; Brinckerhoff, W.B.; Buch, A.; Conrad, P.G.; Des Marais, D.J.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Fairén, A.G.; Farley, K.; Flesch, G.J.; Francois, P.; Gellert, Ralf; Grant, J. A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Leshin, L.A.; Lewis, K.W.; McLennan, S.M.; Miller, Karl E.; Moersch, J.; Morris, R.V.; Navarro- González, R.; Pavlov, A.A.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I.; Squyres, S. W.; Summons, Roger E.; Steele, A.; Stolper, E.M.; Sumner, D.Y.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M.G.; Treiman, A.H.; Vaniman, D.T.; Vasavada, A.R.; Webster, C.R.; Wray, J.J.; Yingst, R.A.

    2014-01-01

    H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, H2, H2S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO, and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay within Gale crater, Mars. H2O/OH-bearing phases included 2:1 phyllosilicate(s), bassanite, akaganeite, and amorphous materials. Thermal decomposition of carbonates and combustion of organic materials are candidate sources for the CO2. Concurrent evolution of O2 and chlorinated hydrocarbons suggests the presence of oxychlorine phase(s). Sulfides are likely sources for sulfur-bearing species. Higher abundances of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the mudstone compared with Rocknest windblown materials previously analyzed by Curiosity suggest that indigenous martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the mudstone; however, the carbon source for the chlorinated hydrocarbons is not definitively of martian origin.

  14. Volatile and organic compositions of sedimentary rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D W; Archer, P D; Glavin, D P; Eigenbrode, J L; Franz, H B; Sutter, B; Brunner, A E; Stern, J C; Freissinet, C; McAdam, A C; Mahaffy, P R; Cabane, M; Coll, P; Campbell, J L; Atreya, S K; Niles, P B; Bell, J F; Bish, D L; Brinckerhoff, W B; Buch, A; Conrad, P G; Des Marais, D J; Ehlmann, B L; Fairén, A G; Farley, K; Flesch, G J; Francois, P; Gellert, R; Grant, J A; Grotzinger, J P; Gupta, S; Herkenhoff, K E; Hurowitz, J A; Leshin, L A; Lewis, K W; McLennan, S M; Miller, K E; Moersch, J; Morris, R V; Navarro-González, R; Pavlov, A A; Perrett, G M; Pradler, I; Squyres, S W; Summons, R E; Steele, A; Stolper, E M; Sumner, D Y; Szopa, C; Teinturier, S; Trainer, M G; Treiman, A H; Vaniman, D T; Vasavada, A R; Webster, C R; Wray, J J; Yingst, R A

    2014-01-24

    H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, H2, H2S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO, and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay within Gale crater, Mars. H2O/OH-bearing phases included 2:1 phyllosilicate(s), bassanite, akaganeite, and amorphous materials. Thermal decomposition of carbonates and combustion of organic materials are candidate sources for the CO2. Concurrent evolution of O2 and chlorinated hydrocarbons suggests the presence of oxychlorine phase(s). Sulfides are likely sources for sulfur-bearing species. Higher abundances of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the mudstone compared with Rocknest windblown materials previously analyzed by Curiosity suggest that indigenous martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the mudstone; however, the carbon source for the chlorinated hydrocarbons is not definitively of martian origin.

  15. Clays and Carbonates in a Groundwater-Fed 3.8 Ga Martian Lake: Insights to Subsurface Habitability on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Joseph; Niles, Paul

    2015-01-01

    On Earth, the deep biosphere remains a largely unexplored, but clearly important carbon reservoir. Results from some uplifted central peaks in craters on Mars indicate that substantial carbon was also present at depth and might have helped sustain a deep biosphere. In fact, many factors relevant to deep biosphere habitability are more favorable on Mars than on Earth (e.g. porosity of the crust, geothermal gradient). Future exploration of Mars should include landing sites where materials have been exhumed from depth by meteor impact or basins where subsurface fluids have emerged, carrying clues to subsurface habitability. One of the most astrobiologically interesting sites on Mars McLaughlin Crater, a 93 km-diameter impact crater that formed approximately 4 b.y. ago. On the floor of the crater is a stratigraphic section of subhorizontal, layered sedimentary rocks with strong spectroscopic evidence for Fe-rich clay minerals and Mg-rich carbonates, which we interpret as ancient lacustrine deposits. The fluids that formed these materials likely originated in the subsurface, based on the paucity of channels leading into the crater basin and the fact that this is one of the deepest basins on Mars - a good candidate to have experienced upwelling of subsurface fluids. Therefore, the deposits within McLaughlin crater provide insight into subsurface processes on Mars. In this presentation, we will discuss the habitability of the martian subsurface as well as the geology of McLaughlin Crater and the possibility to detect biomarkers at that site with a future landed mission.

  16. 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

  17. Seismic exploration for water on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Page, T.

    1987-01-01

    It is proposed to soft-land three seismometers in the Utopia-Elysium region and three or more radio controlled explosive charges at nearby sites that can be accurately located by an orbiter. Seismic signatures of timed explosions, to be telemetered to the orbiter, will be used to detect present surface layers, including those saturated by volatiles such as water and/or ice. The Viking Landers included seismometers that showed that at present Mars is seismically quiet, and that the mean crustal thickness at the site is about 14 to 18 km. The new seismic landers must be designed to minimize wind vibration noise, and the landing sites selected so that each is well formed on the regolith, not on rock outcrops or in craters. The explosive charges might be mounted on penetrators aimed at nearby smooth areas. They must be equipped with radio emitters for accurate location and radio receivers for timed detonation

  18. The GEM-Mars general circulation model for Mars: Description and evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neary, L.; Daerden, F.

    2018-01-01

    GEM-Mars is a gridpoint-based three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM) of the Mars atmosphere extending from the surface to approximately 150 km based on the GEM (Global Environmental Multiscale) model, part of the operational weather forecasting and data assimilation system for Canada. After the initial modification for Mars, the model has undergone considerable changes. GEM-Mars is now based on GEM 4.2.0 and many physical parameterizations have been added for Mars-specific atmospheric processes and surface-atmosphere exchange. The model simulates interactive carbon dioxide-, dust-, water- and atmospheric chemistry cycles. Dust and water ice clouds are radiatively active. Size distributed dust is lifted by saltation and dust devils. The model includes 16 chemical species (CO2, Argon, N2, O2, CO, H2O, CH4, O3, O(1D), O, H, H2, OH, HO2, H2O2 and O2(a1Δg)) and has fully interactive photochemistry (15 reactions) and gas-phase chemistry (31 reactions). GEM-Mars provides a good simulation of the water and ozone cycles. A variety of other passive tracers can be included for dedicated studies, such as the emission of methane. The model has both a hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic formulation, and together with a flexible grid definition provides a single platform for simulations on a variety of horizontal scales. The model code is fully parallelized using OMP and MPI. Model results are evaluated by comparison to a selection of observations from instruments on the surface and in orbit, relating to atmosphere and surface temperature and pressure, dust and ice content, polar ice mass, polar argon, and global water and ozone vertical columns. GEM-Mars will play an integral part in the analysis and interpretation of data that is received by the NOMAD spectrometer on the ESA-Roskosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The present paper provides an overview of the current status and capabilities of the GEM-Mars model and lays the foundations for more in-depth studies in support

  19. Non-Detection of Methane in the Mars Atmosphere by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the atmosphere of Mars is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity on the planet. During the last decade, Earth-based telescopic and Mars orbit remote sensing instruments have reported significant abundances of methane in the Martian atmosphere ranging from several to tens of parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv). Observations from Earth showed plumes of methane with variations on timescales much faster than expected and inconsistent with localized patches seen from orbit, prompting speculation of sources from sub-surface methanogen bacteria, geological water-rock reactions or infall from comets, micro-meteorites or interplanetary dust. From measurements on NASAs Curiosity Rover that landed near Gale Crater on 5th August 2012, we here report no definitive detection of methane in the near-surface Martian atmosphere. Our in situ measurements were made using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite6 that made three separate searches on Martian sols 79, 81 and 106 after landing. The measured mean value of 0.39 plus or minus 1.4 ppbv corresponds to an upper limit for methane abundance of 2.7 ppbv at the 95 confidence level. This result is in disagreement with both the remote sensing spacecraft observations taken at lower sensitivity and the telescopic observations that relied on subtraction of a very large contribution from terrestrial methane in the intervening observation path. Since the expected lifetime of methane in the Martian atmosphere is hundreds of years, our results question earlier observations and set a low upper limit on the present day abundance, reducing the probability of significant current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars.

  20. Methane bursts as a trigger for intermittent lake-forming climates on post-Noachian Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kite, Edwin S.; Gao, Peter; Goldblatt, Colin; Mischna, Michael A.; Mayer, David P.; Yung, Yuk L.

    2017-10-01

    Lakes existed on Mars later than 3.6 billion years ago, according to sedimentary evidence for deltaic deposition. The observed fluviolacustrine deposits suggest that individual lake-forming climates persisted for at least several thousand years (assuming dilute flow). But the lake watersheds’ little-weathered soils indicate a largely dry climate history, with intermittent runoff events. Here we show that these observational constraints, although inconsistent with many previously proposed triggers for lake-forming climates, are consistent with a methane burst scenario. In this scenario, chaotic transitions in mean obliquity drive latitudinal shifts in temperature and ice loading that destabilize methane clathrate. Using numerical simulations, we find that outgassed methane can build up to atmospheric levels sufficient for lake-forming climates, if methane clathrate initially occupies more than 4% of the total volume in which it is thermodynamically stable. Such occupancy fractions are consistent with methane production by water-rock reactions due to hydrothermal circulation on early Mars. We further estimate that photochemical destruction of atmospheric methane curtails the duration of individual lake-forming climates to less than a million years, consistent with observations. We conclude that methane bursts represent a potential pathway for intermittent excursions to a warm, wet climate state on early Mars.

  1. 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.

  2. Natural fumarolic alteration of fluorapatite, olivine, and basaltic glass, and implications for habitable environments on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausrath, Elisabeth M; Tschauner, Oliver

    2013-11-01

    Fumaroles represent a very important potential habitat on Mars because they contain water and nutrients. Global deposition of volcanic sulfate aerosols may also have been an important soil-forming process affecting large areas of Mars. Here we identify alteration from the Senator fumarole, northwest Nevada, USA, and in low-temperature environments near the fumarole to help interpret fumarolic and acid vapor alteration of rocks and soils on Mars. We analyzed soil samples and fluorapatite, olivine, and basaltic glass placed at and near the fumarole in in situ mineral alteration experiments designed to measure weathering under natural field conditions. Using synchrotron X-ray diffraction, we clearly observe hydroxyl-carbonate-bearing fluorapatite as a fumarolic alteration product of the original material, fluorapatite. The composition of apatites as well as secondary phosphates has been previously used to infer magmatic conditions as well as fumarolic conditions on Mars. To our knowledge, the observations reported here represent the first documented instance of formation of hydroxyl-carbonate-bearing apatite from fluorapatite in a field experiment. Retreat of olivine surfaces, as well as abundant NH4-containing minerals, was also characteristic of fumarolic alteration. In contrast, alteration in the nearby low-temperature environment resulted in formation of large pits on olivine surfaces, which were clearly distinguishable from the fumarolic alteration. Raman signatures of some fumarolically impacted surfaces are consistent with detection of the biological molecules chlorophyll and scytenomin, potentially useful biosignatures. Observations of altered minerals on Mars may therefore help identify the environment of formation and understand the aqueous history and potential habitability of that planet.

  3. '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

  4. Mars Trek: An Interactive Web Portal for Current and Future Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-09-01

    NASA's Mars Trek (https://marstrek.jpl.nasa.gov) provides a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, lunar scientists, and engineers to access mapped data products from past and current missions to Mars. During the past year, the capabilities and data served by Mars Trek have been significantly expanded beyond its original design as a public outreach tool. At the request of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate, Mars Trek's technology and capabilities are now being extended to support site selection and analysis activities for the first human missions to Mars.

  5. Mars Trek: An Interactive Web Portal for Current and Future Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's Mars Trek (https://marstrek.jpl.nasa.gov) provides a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, lunar scientists, and engineers to access mapped data products from past and current missions to Mars. During the past year, the capabilities and data served by Mars Trek have been significantly expanded beyond its original design as a public outreach tool. At the request of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate, Mars Trek's technology and capabilities are now being extended to support site selection and analysis activities for the first human missions to Mars.

  6. Iterative metal artefact reduction (MAR) in postsurgical chest CT: comparison of three iMAR-algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aissa, Joel; Boos, Johannes; Sawicki, Lino Morris; Heinzler, Niklas; Krzymyk, Karl; Sedlmair, Martin; Kröpil, Patric; Antoch, Gerald; Thomas, Christoph

    2017-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of three novel iterative metal artefact (iMAR) algorithms on image quality and artefact degree in chest CT of patients with a variety of thoracic metallic implants. 27 postsurgical patients with thoracic implants who underwent clinical chest CT between March and May 2015 in clinical routine were retrospectively included. Images were retrospectively reconstructed with standard weighted filtered back projection (WFBP) and with three iMAR algorithms (iMAR-Algo1 = Cardiac algorithm, iMAR-Algo2 = Pacemaker algorithm and iMAR-Algo3 = ThoracicCoils algorithm). The subjective and objective image quality was assessed. Averaged over all artefacts, artefact degree was significantly lower for the iMAR-Algo1 (58.9 ± 48.5 HU), iMAR-Algo2 (52.7 ± 46.8 HU) and the iMAR-Algo3 (51.9 ± 46.1 HU) compared with WFBP (91.6 ± 81.6 HU, p algorithms, respectively. iMAR-Algo2 and iMAR-Algo3 reconstructions decreased mild and moderate artefacts compared with WFBP and iMAR-Algo1 (p algorithms led to a significant reduction of metal artefacts and increase in overall image quality compared with WFBP in chest CT of patients with metallic implants in subjective and objective analysis. The iMARAlgo2 and iMARAlgo3 were best for mild artefacts. IMARAlgo1 was superior for severe artefacts. Advances in knowledge: Iterative MAR led to significant artefact reduction and increase image-quality compared with WFBP in CT after implementation of thoracic devices. Adjusting iMAR-algorithms to patients' metallic implants can help to improve image quality in CT.

  7. Estimating the Wet-Rock P-Wave Velocity from the Dry-Rock P-Wave Velocity for Pyroclastic Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahraman, Sair; Fener, Mustafa; Kilic, Cumhur Ozcan

    2017-07-01

    Seismic methods are widely used for the geotechnical investigations in volcanic areas or for the determination of the engineering properties of pyroclastic rocks in laboratory. Therefore, developing a relation between the wet- and dry-rock P-wave velocities will be helpful for engineers when evaluating the formation characteristics of pyroclastic rocks. To investigate the predictability of the wet-rock P-wave velocity from the dry-rock P-wave velocity for pyroclastic rocks P-wave velocity measurements were conducted on 27 different pyroclastic rocks. In addition, dry-rock S-wave velocity measurements were conducted. The test results were modeled using Gassmann's and Wood's theories and it was seen that estimates for saturated P-wave velocity from the theories fit well measured data. For samples having values of less and greater than 20%, practical equations were derived for reliably estimating wet-rock P-wave velocity as function of dry-rock P-wave velocity.

  8. 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

  9. The Search for Sustainable Subsurface Habitats on Mars, and the Sampling of Impact Ejecta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Lindgren

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available On Earth, the deep subsurface biosphere of both the oceanic and the continental crust is well known for surviving harsh conditions and environments characterized by high temperatures, high pressures, extreme pHs, and the absence of sunlight. The microorganisms of the terrestrial deep biosphere have an excellent capacity for adapting to changing geochemistry, as the alteration of the crust proceeds and the conditions of their habitats slowly change. Despite an almost complete isolation from surface conditions and the surface biosphere, the deep biosphere of the crustal rocks has endured over geologic time. This indicates that the deep biosphere is a self-sufficient system, independent of the global events that occur at the surface, such as impacts, glaciations, sea level fluctuations, and climate changes. With our sustainable terrestrial subsurface biosphere in mind, the subsurface on Mars has often been suggested as the most plausible place to search for fossil Martian life, or even present Martian life. Since the Martian surface is more or less sterile, subsurface settings are the only place on Mars where life could have been sustained over geologic time. To detect a deep biosphere in the Martian basement, drilling is a requirement. However, near future Mars sample return missions are limited by the mission’s payload, which excludes heavy drilling equipment and restrict the missions to only dig the topmost meter of the Martian soil. Therefore, the sampling and analysis of Martian impact ejecta has been suggested as a way of accessing the deeper Martian subsurface without using heavy drilling equipment. Impact cratering is a natural geological process capable of excavating and exposing large amounts of rock material from great depths up to the surface. Several studies of terrestrial impact deposits show the preservation of pre-impact biosignatures, such as fossilized organisms and chemical biological markers. Therefore, if the Martian

  10. Deformation associated with the denudation of mantle-derived rocks at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 13°-15°N: The role of magmatic injections and hydrothermal alteration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picazo, Suzanne; Cannat, Mathilde; Delacour, AdéLie; EscartíN, Javier; RouméJon, StéPhane; Silantyev, Sergei

    2012-09-01

    Outcrops of deeply derived ultramafic rocks and gabbros are widespread along slow spreading ridges where they are exposed in the footwall of detachment faults. We report on the microstructural and petrological characteristics of a large number of samples from ultramafic exposures in the walls of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) axial valley at three distinct locations at lat. 13°N and 14°45'N. One of these locations corresponds to the footwall beneath a corrugated paleo-fault surface. Bearing in mind that dredging and ROV sampling may not preserve the most fragile lithologies (fault gouges), this study allows us to document a sequence of deformation, and the magmatic and hydrothermal history recorded in the footwall within a few hundred meters of the axial detachment fault. At the three sampled locations, we find that tremolitic amphiboles have localized deformation in the ultramafic rocks prior to the onset of serpentinization. We interpret these tremolites as hydrothermal alteration products after evolved gabbroic rocks intruded into the peridotites. We also document two types of brittle deformation in the ultramafic rocks, which we infer could produce the sustained low magnitude seismicity recorded at ridge axis detachment faults. The first type of brittle deformation affects fresh peridotite and is associated with the injection of the evolved gabbroic melts, and the second type affects serpentinized peridotites and is associated with the injection of Si-rich hydrothermal fluids that promote talc crystallization, leading to strain localization in thin talc shear zones. We also observed chlorite + serpentine shear zones but did not identify samples with serpentine-only shear zones. Although the proportion of magmatic injections in the ultramafic rocks is variable, these characteristics are found at each investigated location and are therefore proposed as fundamental components of the deformation in the footwall of the detachment faults associated with denudation of

  11. Mars Science Laboratory Entry Guidance Improvements for Mars 2018 (DRAFT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Llama, Eduardo; Winski, Richard G.; Shidner, Jeremy D.; Ivanov, Mark C.; Grover, Myron R.; Prakash, Ravi

    2011-01-01

    In 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will be launched in a mission to deliver the largest and most capable rover to date to the surface of Mars. A follow on MSL-derived mission, referred to as Mars 2018, is planned for 2018. Mars 2018 goals include performance enhancements of the Entry, Descent and Landing over that of its predecessor MSL mission of 2011. This paper will discuss the main elements of the modified 2018 EDL preliminary design that will increase performance on the entry phase of the mission. In particular, these elements will increase the parachute deploy altitude to allow for more time margin during the subsequent descent and landing phases and reduce the delivery ellipse size at parachute deploy through modifications in the entry reference trajectory design, guidance trigger logic design, and the effect of additional navigation hardware.

  12. Preliminary Geological Map of the Peace Vallis Fan Integrated with In Situ Mosaics From the Curiosity Rover, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, D. Y.; Palucis, M.; Dietrich, B.; Calef, F.; Stack, K. M.; Ehlmann, B.; Bridges, J.; Dromart, J.; Eigenbrode, J.; Farmer, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

    A geomorphically defined alluvial fan extends from Peace Vallis on the NW wall of Gale Crater, Mars into the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landing ellipse. Prior to landing, the MSL team mapped the ellipse and surrounding areas, including the Peace Vallis fan. Map relationships suggest that bedded rocks east of the landing site are likely associated with the fan, which led to the decision to send Curiosity east. Curiosity's mast camera (Mastcam) color images are being used to refine local map relationships. Results from regional mapping and the first 100 sols of the mission demonstrate that the area has a rich geological history. Understanding this history will be critical for assessing ancient habitability and potential organic matter preservation at Gale Crater.

  13. 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

  14. Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Banham, Steven G.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Watkins, Jessica A.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Edgar, Lauren A.; Stack-Morgan, Kathryn M.; Barnes, Robert; Bell, James F., III; Day, Mackenzie D.; Ewing, Ryan C.; Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.

    2018-01-01

    Reconstruction of the palaeoenvironmental context of Martian sedimentary rocks is central to studies of ancient Martian habitability and regional palaeoclimate history. This paper reports the analysis of a distinct aeolian deposit preserved in Gale crater, Mars, and evaluates its palaeomorphology, the processes responsible for its deposition, and its implications for Gale crater geological history and regional palaeoclimate. Whilst exploring the sedimentary succession cropping out on the nort...

  15. Europe goes to Mars - preparations are well under way

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

    carefully selected site on Isidis Planitia, a plain just north of the equator near where the ancient, cratered southern highlands meet the younger, smooth northern lowlands. Beagle 2 will complete its mission in about six months. The Mars Express orbiter instruments will: * Image the entire surface at high resolution (10m/pixel) and selected areas at super resolution (2m/pixel) (HRSC instrument) * Produce a map of the mineral composition of the surface at 100m resolution (OMEGA instrument) * Map the composition of the atmosphere and determine its global circulation (PFS instrument) * Determine the structure of the sub-surface to a depth of a few kilometres (MARSIS instrument) * Determine the water vapour and ozone in the atmosphere (SPICAM instrument) * Determine the interaction of the atmosphere with the solar wind (ASPERA instrument and MaRS experiment) (see below for list of full instrument names, acronyms and Principal Investigators) The Beagle 2 lander will: * Determine the geology and the mineral and chemical composition of the landing site * Search for life signatures (exobiology) * Study the weather and climate Mars Express will provide unique investigations that will contribute to an understanding of many of the unknowns about Mars. Here are a few: * If Mars really was warm and wet during its early history, where did the water go? Some may have been lost to space and some may be buried underground. ASPERA will measure water loss to space and MARSIS is the only instrument planned for any mission with the capability of looking for water or ice down to a depth of a few kilometres. The presence of underground water would have a considerable impact on the prospects for future manned missions to the planet. * If there was water could there have been, or still be, life? Beagle 2 will scoop up soil and rock samples and analyse them there and then for some of the key chemical signatures of life. The results will be far more telling than anything yet found in Martian

  16. Dissolution Rates of Allophane, FE-Containing Allophane, and Hisingerite and Implications for Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralston, S. J.; Hausrath, E. M.; Tschauner, O.; Rampe, E. B.; Christoffersen, R.

    2018-01-01

    Investigations with the CheMin Xray Diffractometer (XRD) onboard the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater demonstrate that all rock and soil samples measured to date contain approximately 15-70 weight percentage X-ray amorphous materials. The diffuse scattering hump from the X-ray amorphous materials in CheMin XRD patterns can be fit with a combination of allophane, ferrihydrite, and rhyolitic and basaltic glass. Because of the iron-rich nature of Mars' surface, Fe-rich poorly-crystalline phases, such as hisingerite, may be present in addition to allophane.

  17. Conceptualizing Transnational Community Formation: Migrants, Sojourners and Diasporas in a Globalized Era

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knight, W. Andy

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available EnglishTransnational communities have flourished in the globalized era, creating aDiaspora and sojourners that are unlike earlier waves of migrants. This paper first examines the maintheories currently used to describe and explain international migration and find them wanting. Throughan examination of two case studies of ethnic Japanese migrants (the Brazilian Nikkeijin and PeruvianNikkei who return to their homeland after living abroad for one or two generations, the paper goes onto demonstrate that the concept of 'international migrant' needs further theorizing to account for theimpact of globalization and globalism. To this end, the author calls for the development of newtheoretical understandings of the evolution of transnational community formation that would be multi-variate and robust enough to guide future public policy and research.FrenchA l'heure de la mondialisation, les communautés transnationales ont fleuri et donné naissance à une diaspora et à des personnes de passage qui différent des précédentes vagues de migrants. En premier lieu, cet article examine les principales theories selon lesquelles sont actuellement décrites et expliquées les migrations internationales et considère les failles de ces dernières. A travers deux études de cas de migrants japonais de deux ethnies (les Brésiliens Nikkeijin et les Péruviens Nikkei qui retournent chez eux après avoir vécu à l'étranger pendant une ou deux générations, l'article démontre que le concept de " migrant international " demande une théorisation plus poussée qui tienne compte de l'impact de la mondialisation et du mondialisme. Pour aller dans ce sens, les auteurs appellent au développement de nouveaux moyens théoriques qui permettent de comprendre l'évolution de la formation des communautés transnationales. Des moyens qui devraient être multidiversifiés et suffisamment robustes pour guider la politique publique et la recherche à venir.

  18. 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

  19. Laboratory Equipment for Investigation of Coring Under Mars-like Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacny, K.; Cooper, G.

    2004-12-01

    To develop a suitable drill bit and set of operating conditions for Mars sample coring applications, it is essential to make tests under conditions that match those of the mission. The goal of the laboratory test program was to determine the drilling performance of diamond-impregnated bits under simulated Martian conditions, particularly those of low pressure and low temperature in a carbon dioxide atmosphere. For this purpose, drilling tests were performed in a vacuum chamber kept at a pressure of 5 torr. Prior to drilling, a rock, soil or a clay sample was cooled down to minus 80 degrees Celsius (Zacny et al, 2004). Thus, all Martian conditions, except the low gravity were simulated in the controlled environment. Input drilling parameters of interest included the weight on bit and rotational speed. These two independent variables were controlled from a PC station. The dependent variables included the bit reaction torque, the depth of the bit inside the drilled hole and the temperatures at various positions inside the drilled sample, in the center of the core as it was being cut and at the bit itself. These were acquired every second by a data acquisition system. Additional information such as the rate of penetration and the drill power were calculated after the test was completed. The weight of the rock and the bit prior to and after the test were measured to aid in evaluating the bit performance. In addition, the water saturation of the rock was measured prior to the test. Finally, the bit was viewed under the Scanning Electron Microscope and the Stereo Optical Microscope. The extent of the bit wear and its salient features were captured photographically. The results revealed that drilling or coring under Martian conditions in a water saturated rock is different in many respects from drilling on Earth. This is mainly because the Martian atmospheric pressure is in the vicinity of the pressure at the triple point of water. Thus ice, heated by contact with the

  20. Rock fragmentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, W.S.; Green, S.J.; Hakala, W.W.; Hustrulid, W.A.; Maurer, W.C. (eds.)

    1976-01-01

    Experts in rock mechanics, mining, excavation, drilling, tunneling and use of underground space met to discuss the relative merits of a wide variety of rock fragmentation schemes. Information is presented on novel rock fracturing techniques; tunneling using electron beams, thermocorer, electric spark drills, water jets, and diamond drills; and rock fracturing research needs for mining and underground construction. (LCL)

  1. Clay mineral formation under oxidized conditions and implications for paleoenvironments and organic preservation on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gainey, Seth R; Hausrath, Elisabeth M; Adcock, Christopher T; Tschauner, Oliver; Hurowitz, Joel A; Ehlmann, Bethany L; Xiao, Yuming; Bartlett, Courtney L

    2017-11-01

    Clay mineral-bearing locations have been targeted for martian exploration as potentially habitable environments and as possible repositories for the preservation of organic matter. Although organic matter has been detected at Gale Crater, Mars, its concentrations are lower than expected from meteoritic and indigenous igneous and hydrothermal reduced carbon. We conducted synthesis experiments motivated by the hypothesis that some clay mineral formation may have occurred under oxidized conditions conducive to the destruction of organics. Previous work has suggested that anoxic and/or reducing conditions are needed to synthesize the Fe-rich clay mineral nontronite at low temperatures. In contrast, our experiments demonstrated the rapid formation of Fe-rich clay minerals of variable crystallinity from aqueous Fe 3+ with small amounts of aqueous Mg 2+ . Our results suggest that Fe-rich clay minerals such as nontronite can form rapidly under oxidized conditions, which could help explain low concentrations of organics within some smectite-containing rocks or sediments on Mars.

  2. Clay mineral formation under oxidized conditions and implications for paleoenvironments and organic preservation on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gainey, Seth R.; Hausrath, Elisabeth M.; Adcock, Christopher T.; Tschauner, Oliver; Hurowitz, Joel A.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Xiao, Yuming; Bartlett, Courtney L. (CIW); (UNLV); (CIT); (SBU)

    2017-11-01

    Clay mineral-bearing locations have been targeted for martian exploration as potentially habitable environments and as possible repositories for the preservation of organic matter. Although organic matter has been detected at Gale Crater, Mars, its concentrations are lower than expected from meteoritic and indigenous igneous and hydrothermal reduced carbon. We conducted synthesis experiments motivated by the hypothesis that some clay mineral formation may have occurred under oxidized conditions conducive to the destruction of organics. Previous work has suggested that anoxic and/or reducing conditions are needed to synthesize the Fe-rich clay mineral nontronite at low temperatures. In contrast, our experiments demonstrated the rapid formation of Fe-rich clay minerals of variable crystallinity from aqueous Fe3+ with small amounts of aqueous Mg2+. Our results suggest that Fe-rich clay minerals such as nontronite can form rapidly under oxidized conditions, which could help explain low concentrations of organics within some smectite-containing rocks or sediments on Mars.

  3. Reproducing early Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure by modeling the formation of Mg-Fe-Ca carbonate identified in the Comanche rock outcrops on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berk, Wolfgang; Fu, Yunjiao; Ilger, Jan-Michael

    2012-10-01

    The well defined composition of the Comanche rock's carbonate (Magnesite0.62Siderite0.25Calcite0.11Rhodochrosite0.02) and its host rock's composition, dominated by Mg-rich olivine, enable us to reproduce the atmospheric CO2partial pressure that may have triggered the formation of these carbonates. Hydrogeochemical one-dimensional transport modeling reveals that similar aqueous rock alteration conditions (including CO2partial pressure) may have led to the formation of Mg-Fe-Ca carbonate identified in the Comanche rock outcrops (Gusev Crater) and also in the ultramafic rocks exposed in the Nili Fossae region. Hydrogeochemical conditions enabling the formation of Mg-rich solid solution carbonate result from equilibrium species distributions involving (1) ultramafic rocks (ca. 32 wt% olivine; Fo0.72Fa0.28), (2) pure water, and (3) CO2partial pressures of ca. 0.5 to 2.0 bar at water-to-rock ratios of ca. 500 molH2O mol-1rock and ca. 5°C (278 K). Our modeled carbonate composition (Magnesite0.64Siderite0.28Calcite0.08) matches the measured composition of carbonates preserved in the Comanche rocks. Considerably different carbonate compositions are achieved at (1) higher temperature (85°C), (2) water-to-rock ratios considerably higher and lower than 500 mol mol-1 and (3) CO2partial pressures differing from 1.0 bar in the model set up. The Comanche rocks, hosting the carbonate, may have been subjected to long-lasting (>104 to 105 years) aqueous alteration processes triggered by atmospheric CO2partial pressures of ca. 1.0 bar at low temperature. Their outcrop may represent a fragment of the upper layers of an altered olivine-rich rock column, which is characterized by newly formed Mg-Fe-Ca solid solution carbonate, and phyllosilicate-rich alteration assemblages within deeper (unexposed) units.

  4. Paleohydrology on Mars constrained by mass balance and mineralogy of pre-Amazonian sodium chloride lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melwani Daswani, M.; Kite, E. S.

    2017-09-01

    Chloride-bearing deposits on Mars record high-elevation lakes during the waning stages of Mars' wet era (mid-Noachian to late Hesperian). The water source pathways, seasonality, salinity, depth, lifetime, and paleoclimatic drivers of these widespread lakes are all unknown. Here we combine reaction-transport modeling, orbital spectroscopy, and new volume estimates from high-resolution digital terrain models, in order to constrain the hydrologic boundary conditions for forming the chlorides. Considering a T = 0°C system, we find that (1) individual lakes were >100 m deep and lasted decades or longer; (2) if volcanic degassing was the source of chlorine, then the water-to-rock ratio or the total water volume were probably low, consistent with brief excursions above the melting point and/or arid climate; (3) if the chlorine source was igneous chlorapatite, then Cl-leaching events would require a (cumulative) time of >10 years at the melting point; and (4) Cl masses, divided by catchment area, give column densities 0.1-50 kg Cl/m2, and these column densities bracket the expected chlorapatite-Cl content for a seasonally warm active layer. Deep groundwater was not required. Taken together, our results are consistent with Mars having a usually cold, horizontally segregated hydrosphere by the time chlorides formed.

  5. Canyon formation constraints on the discharge of catastrophic outburst floods of Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.; Lamb, Michael P.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.

    2016-07-01

    Catastrophic outburst floods carved amphitheater-headed canyons on Earth and Mars, and the steep headwalls of these canyons suggest that some formed by upstream headwall propagation through waterfall erosion processes. Because topography evolves in concert with water flow during canyon erosion, we suggest that bedrock canyon morphology preserves hydraulic information about canyon-forming floods. In particular, we propose that for a canyon to form with a roughly uniform width by upstream headwall retreat, erosion must occur around the canyon head, but not along the sidewalls, such that canyon width is related to flood discharge. We develop a new theory for bedrock canyon formation by megafloods based on flow convergence of large outburst floods toward a horseshoe-shaped waterfall. The model is developed for waterfall erosion by rock toppling, a candidate erosion mechanism in well fractured rock, like columnar basalt. We apply the model to 14 terrestrial (Channeled Scablands, Washington; Snake River Plain, Idaho; and Ásbyrgi canyon, Iceland) and nine Martian (near Ares Vallis and Echus Chasma) bedrock canyons and show that predicted flood discharges are nearly 3 orders of magnitude less than previously estimated, and predicted flood durations are longer than previously estimated, from less than a day to a few months. Results also show a positive correlation between flood discharge per unit width and canyon width, which supports our hypothesis that canyon width is set in part by flood discharge. Despite lower discharges than previously estimated, the flood volumes remain large enough for individual outburst floods to have perturbed the global hydrology of Mars.

  6. Rock mechanics for hard rock nuclear waste repositories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heuze, F.E.

    1981-09-01

    The mined geologic burial of high level nuclear waste is now the favored option for disposal. The US National Waste Terminal Storage Program designed to achieve this disposal includes an extensive rock mechanics component related to the design of the wastes repositories. The plan currently considers five candidate rock types. This paper deals with the three hard rocks among them: basalt, granite, and tuff. Their behavior is governed by geological discontinuities. Salt and shale, which exhibit behavior closer to that of a continuum, are not considered here. This paper discusses both the generic rock mechanics R and D, which are required for repository design, as well as examples of projects related to hard rock waste storage. The examples include programs in basalt (Hanford/Washington), in granitic rocks (Climax/Nevada Test Site, Idaho Springs/Colorado, Pinawa/Canada, Oracle/Arizona, and Stripa/Sweden), and in tuff

  7. Elastic Rock Heterogeneity Controls Brittle Rock Failure during Hydraulic Fracturing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langenbruch, C.; Shapiro, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    For interpretation and inversion of microseismic data it is important to understand, which properties of the reservoir rock control the occurrence probability of brittle rock failure and associated seismicity during hydraulic stimulation. This is especially important, when inverting for key properties like permeability and fracture conductivity. Although it became accepted that seismic events are triggered by fluid flow and the resulting perturbation of the stress field in the reservoir rock, the magnitude of stress perturbations, capable of triggering failure in rocks, can be highly variable. The controlling physical mechanism of this variability is still under discussion. We compare the occurrence of microseismic events at the Cotton Valley gas field to elastic rock heterogeneity, obtained from measurements along the treatment wells. The heterogeneity is characterized by scale invariant fluctuations of elastic properties. We observe that the elastic heterogeneity of the rock formation controls the occurrence of brittle failure. In particular, we find that the density of events is increasing with the Brittleness Index (BI) of the rock, which is defined as a combination of Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio. We evaluate the physical meaning of the BI. By applying geomechanical investigations we characterize the influence of fluctuating elastic properties in rocks on the probability of brittle rock failure. Our analysis is based on the computation of stress fluctuations caused by elastic heterogeneity of rocks. We find that elastic rock heterogeneity causes stress fluctuations of significant magnitude. Moreover, the stress changes necessary to open and reactivate fractures in rocks are strongly related to fluctuations of elastic moduli. Our analysis gives a physical explanation to the observed relation between elastic heterogeneity of the rock formation and the occurrence of brittle failure during hydraulic reservoir stimulations. A crucial factor for understanding

  8. Seasonal and Static Gravity Field of Mars from MGS, Mars Odyssey and MRO Radio Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, Antonio; Goossens, Sander; Lemoine, Frank G.; Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2016-01-01

    We present a spherical harmonic solution of the static gravity field of Mars to degree and order 120, GMM-3, that has been calculated using the Deep Space Network tracking data of the NASA Mars missions, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). We have also jointly determined spherical harmonic solutions for the static and time-variable gravity field of Mars, and the Mars k 2 Love numbers, exclusive of the gravity contribution of the atmosphere. Consequently, the retrieved time-varying gravity coefficients and the Love number k 2 solely yield seasonal variations in the mass of the polar caps and the solid tides of Mars, respectively. We obtain a Mars Love number k 2 of 0.1697 +/-0.0027 (3- sigma). The inclusion of MRO tracking data results in improved seasonal gravity field coefficients C 30 and, for the first time, C 50 . Refinements of the atmospheric model in our orbit determination program have allowed us to monitor the odd zonal harmonic C 30 for approx.1.5 solar cycles (16 years). This gravity model shows improved correlations with MOLA topography up to 15% larger at higher harmonics ( l = 60–80) than previous solutions.

  9. Rock.XML - Towards a library of rock physics models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Erling Hugo; Hauge, Ragnar; Ulvmoen, Marit; Johansen, Tor Arne; Drottning, Åsmund

    2016-08-01

    Rock physics modelling provides tools for correlating physical properties of rocks and their constituents to the geophysical observations we measure on a larger scale. Many different theoretical and empirical models exist, to cover the range of different types of rocks. However, upon reviewing these, we see that they are all built around a few main concepts. Based on this observation, we propose a format for digitally storing the specifications for rock physics models which we have named Rock.XML. It does not only contain data about the various constituents, but also the theories and how they are used to combine these building blocks to make a representative model for a particular rock. The format is based on the Extensible Markup Language XML, making it flexible enough to handle complex models as well as scalable towards extending it with new theories and models. This technology has great advantages as far as documenting and exchanging models in an unambiguous way between people and between software. Rock.XML can become a platform for creating a library of rock physics models; making them more accessible to everyone.

  10. MEDA, The New Instrument for Mars Environment Analysis for the Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Alvarez, Jose F.; Pena-Godino, Antonio; Rodriguez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; Cordoba, Elizabeth; MEDA Team

    2016-08-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Designed to advance high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, the mission will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission will also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) is an integrated full suite of sensors designed to address the Mars 2020 mission objectives of characterization of dust size and morphology and surface weather measurements.MEDA system consists of one control unit and 10 separated sensor enclosures distributed in different positions along the Mars 2020 rover. MEDA is composed of an ARM-based control computer with its flight software application, two wind sensors including mixed ASICs inside, five air temperature sensors, one sky pointing camera complemented with 16 photo- detectors looking up and around, one thermal infrared sensor using five measurement bands, one relative humidity sensor, one pressure sensor and the harness that interconnects all of them. It is a complex system intended to operate in one of the harshest environments possible, the Mars surface, for many years to come.This will become a short term reality thanks to the combination of a strong international science team driving the science and system requirements working together with a powerful industrial organization to design and build the instrument. The instrument is being built right now, with its Critical Design Review at the end of 2016, and the flight model to be provided in 2018.This paper summarizes the main scientific objective of the MEDA instrument, the links between the Mission and the MEDA science objectives, and the challenging environmental Mars requirements. It will then focus on the engineered definition of the instrument, showing the overall

  11. 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…

  12. Mars Atmosphere Resource Verification INsitu (MARVIN) - In Situ Resource Demonstration for the Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.; Araghi, Koorosh; Ess, Kim M.; Valencia, Lisa M.; Muscatello, Anthony C.; Calle, Carlos I.; Clark, Larry; Iacomini, Christie

    2014-01-01

    The making of oxygen from resources in the Martian atmosphere, known as In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), has the potential to provide substantial benefits for future robotic and human exploration. In particular, the ability to produce oxygen on Mars for use in propulsion, life support, and power systems can provide significant mission benefits such as a reducing launch mass, lander size, and mission and crew risk. To advance ISRU for possible incorporation into future human missions to Mars, NASA proposed including an ISRU instrument on the Mars 2020 rover mission, through an announcement of opportunity (AO). The purpose of the the Mars Atmosphere Resource Verification INsitu or (MARVIN) instrument is to provide the first demonstration on Mars of oxygen production from acquired and stored Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide, as well as take measurements of atmospheric pressure and temperature, and of suspended dust particle sizes and amounts entrained in collected atmosphere gases at different times of the Mars day and year. The hardware performance and environmental data obtained will be critical for future ISRU systems that will reduce the mass of propellants and other consumables launched from Earth for robotic and human exploration, for better understanding of Mars dust and mitigation techniques to improve crew safety, and to help further define Mars global circulation models and better understand the regional atmospheric dynamics on Mars. The technologies selected for MARVIN are also scalable for future robotic sample return and human missions to Mars using ISRU.

  13. MARS-OZ - A Design for a Simulated Mars Base in the Australian Outback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willson, D.; Clarke, J. D. A.; Murphy, G.

    Mars Society Australia has developed the design of a simulated Mars base, MARS-OZ, for deployment in outback Australia. MARS-OZ will provide a platform for a diverse range of Mars analogue research in Australia. The simulated base consists of two mobile modules whose dimensions and shape approximate those of horizontally landed bent biconic spacecraft described in an earlier paper. The modules are designed to support field engineering, robotics, architectural, geological, biological and human factors research at varying levels of simulation fidelity. Non-Mars related research can also be accommodated, for example general field geology and biology, and engineering research associated with sustainable, low impact architecture. Crews of up to eight can be accommodated. In addition to its research function, the base also will serve as a centre of space education and outreach activities. The prime site for the MARS-OZ simulated base is located in the northern Flinders Ranges near Arkaroola in South Australia. This region contains many features that provide useful scientific analogues to known or possible past and present conditions on Mars from both a geological and biological perspective. The features will provide a wealth of study opportunities for crews. The very diverse terrain and regolith materials will provide ideal opportunities to field trial a range of equipment, sensors and exploration strategies. If needed, the prime site can be secured from casual visitors, allowing research into human interaction in isolation. Despite its relative isolation, the site is readily accessible by road and air from major Australian centres. This paper provides description of the configuration, design and construction of the proposed facility, its interior layout, equipment and systems fitouts, a detailed cost estimate, and its deployment. We estimate that the deployment of MARS-OZ could occur within nine months of securing funding.

  14. The New Mars Synthesis: A New Concept Of Mars Geo-Chemical History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, J. E.

    2005-02-01

    A new concept of Mars climatic and geo-chemical evolution is proposed, called the NMS (New Mars Synthesis) drawing on the full spectrum of available Mars data. The proposed synthesis is that Mars and Earth, having begun with similar surface conditions, did not strongly diverge from their similar paths 4.0 Billion years ago, in the Early Noachian, instead, under the NMS, they diverged much more recently in geologic time, in the Early Amazonian. Under the NMS, biology strongly affected the geo-chemical evolution of Mars, and allowed a stable and persistent greenhouse by producing a large oxygen component in the atmosphere. The NMS assumes Mars held biology form early on, has been geologically active throughout its history, that it had a northern paleo-ocean, that it has high, approximately, 4xLunar, cratering rates and that its climate changed recently in geologic time from being basically terrestrial to its present conditions. The proposed mechanism for the stability of the Mars greenhouse was a large oxygen component in the atmosphere that created acidic and highly oxidized conditions that prevented formation of Carbonates, and the thermal and gas buffering of the paleo-ocean. The greenhouse was thus biologically and hydrologically stabilized. The greenhouse was terminated by a large atmospheric cooling event in the Early Amazonian that killed the biosphere and froze the ocean stabilizing the greenhouse. This cooling event was probably caused by the formation of the Lyot impact basin. Given the long duration of this terrestrial biosphere in this NMS, the possible appearance of fossils in some rover images is not to be unexpected and the colonization of Mars by humanity may be aided extensive fossil biomass to use as raw material.

  15. Mars - The relationship of robotic and human elements in the IAA International Exploration of Mars study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marov, Mikhail YA.; Duke, Michael B.

    1993-01-01

    The roles of human and robotic missions in Mars exploration are defined in the context of the short- and long-term Mars programs. In particular, it is noted that the currently implemented and planned missions to Mars can be regarded as robotic precursor missions to human exploration. Attention is given to factors that must be considered in formulating the rationale for human flights to Mars and future human Mars settlements and justifying costly projects.

  16. 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

  17. The Icebreaker Mission to Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C.; Mckay, C.; Brinckerhoff, W.; Davila, A.; Parro, V.; Quinn, R.

    2015-01-01

    The search for evidence of life on Mars is the ultimate motivation for its scientific exploration. The results from the Phoenix mission indicate that the high N. latitude ice-rich regolith at low elevations is likely to be a recently habitable place on Mars [Stoker et al., 2010]. The near-surface ice likely provided adequate water activity during periods of high obliquity, 3 to 10 Myr ago. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen are present in the atmosphere, and nitrates may be present in the soil. Together with iron in basaltic rocks and perchlorate in the soil they provide carbon and energy sources, and oxidative power to drive metabolism. Furthermore, the presence of organics is possible, as thermally reactive perchlorate would have prevented their detection by Viking and Phoenix. The Mars Icebreaker Life mission [McKay et al., 2013] focuses on the following science goals: (1) Search for biomolecular evidence of life; (2) Search for organic matter from either exogeneous or endogeneous sources using methods that are not effected by the presence of perchlorate; (3) Characterize oxidative species that produced reactivity of soils seen by Viking; and 4) Assess the habitability of the ice bearing soils. The Icebreaker Life payload (Figure 1) includes a 1-m rotary percussive drill that brings cuttings samples to the surface where they are delivered to three instruments (Fig. 1), the Signs of Life Detector (SOLID) [Parro et al., 2011] for biomolecular analysis, Laser Desorption Mass Spectrometer (LDMS) [??? 2015]) for broad spectrum organic analysis, and Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) [Hecht et al., 2009] for detecting soluble species of nutrients and reactive oxidants. The Icebreaker payload fits on the Phoenix spacecraft and can land at the well-characterized Phoe-nix landing site in 2020 in a Discovery-class mission.

  18. Mars Array Technology Experiment Developed to Test Solar Arrays on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    Solar arrays will be the power supply for future missions to the planet Mars, including landers, rovers, and eventually human missions to explore the Martian surface. Until Mars Pathfinder landed in July 1997, no solar array had been used on the surface. The MATE package is intended to measure the solar energy reaching the surface, characterize the Martian environment to gather the baseline information required for designing power systems for long-duration missions, and to quantify the performance and degradation of advanced solar cells on the Martian surface. To measure the properties of sunlight reaching the Martian surface, MATE incorporates two radiometers and a visible/NIR spectrometer. The radiometers consist of multiple thermocouple junctions using thin-film technology. These devices generate a voltage proportional to the solar intensity. One radiometer measures the global broadband solar intensity, including both the direct and scattered sunlight, with a field of view of approximately 130. The second radiometer incorporates a slit to measure the direct (unscattered) intensity radiation. The direct radiometer can only be read once per day, with the Sun passing over the slit. The spectrometer measures the global solar spectrum with two 256-element photodiode arrays, one Si sensitive in the visible range (300 to 1100 nm), and a second InGaAs sensitive to the near infrared (900 to 1700 nm). This range covers 86 percent of the total energy from the Sun, with approximately 5-nm resolution. Each photodiode array has its own fiber-optic feed and grating. Although the purpose of the MATE is to gather data useful in designing solar arrays for Mars surface power systems, the radiometer and spectrometer measurements are expected to also provide important scientific data for characterizing the properties of suspended atmospheric dust. In addition to measuring the solar environment of Mars, MATE will measure the performance of five different individual solar cell types

  19. Rock burst governance of working face under igneous rock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Zhenxing; Yu, Yue

    2017-01-01

    As a typical failure phenomenon, rock burst occurs in many mines. It can not only cause the working face to cease production, but also cause serious damage to production equipment, and even result in casualties. To explore how to govern rock burst of working face under igneous rock, the 10416 working face in some mine is taken as engineering background. The supports damaged extensively and rock burst took place when the working face advanced. This paper establishes the mechanical model and conducts theoretical analysis and calculation to predict the fracture and migration mechanism and energy release of the thick hard igneous rock above the working face, and to obtain the advancing distance of the working face when the igneous rock fractures and critical value of the energy when rock burst occurs. Based on the specific conditions of the mine, this paper put forward three kinds of governance measures, which are borehole pressure relief, coal seam water injection and blasting pressure relief.

  20. Guidelines for the 2011 MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    HR Department

    2011-01-01

    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://admin-eguide.web.cern.ch/admin-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; a list of frequently asked questions; useful documents with links to relevant documentation, e.g. mandate of the Senior Staff Advisory Committee (SSAC); and related links and contacts. Tel. 70674 / 72728  

  1. Possible slow periglacial mass wasting at the Southern Hemisphere on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnsson, Andreas; Reiss, Dennis; Hauber, Ernst; Hiesinger, Harald

    2014-05-01

    Small-scale lobate landforms which are strikingly similar to terrestrial solifluction lobes are cataloged at the Southern Hemisphere on Mars. Terrestrial periglacial solifluction lobes are formed by frost creep, a combination of repeated frost heave and thaw consolidation, and gelifluction (visco-plastic deformation of near saturated soil) in the active layer on top of the permafrost table (e.g., Matsuoka, 2001). All publically available HiRISE images between latitudes 40°S and 80°S on Mars are being used in this study. Compared to previous studies of small-scale lobes in the northern mid and high latitudes (e.g., Gallagher et al., 2011; Johnsson et al., 2012; Barrett et al., 2013), these landforms also occur, in most cases, in close spatial proximity to fluvial gullies and polygonal terrain. This study aims to investigate whether the southern small-scale lobes differ from the northern counterparts in terms of morphology and distribution. Furthermore, spatio-temporal relationships to landforms with ground-ice affinity, such as gullies and polygonal terrain, are investigated. Solifluction-like small-scale lobes have been studied in detail at the northern hemisphere on Mars (Gallagher et al., 2011), where they are widely distributed at high latitudes between 59°N and 80°N (Johnsson et al., 2012). Small-scale lobes are proposed to represent freeze-thaw activity late in Martian climate history (Gallagher et al., 2011; Balme and Gallagher, 2011; Johnsson et al, 2012; Balme et al., 2013). Small-scale lobes differ from permafrost creep (i.e. rock glaciers) in having low fronts, decimeters to less than impact crater slopes fewer lobes have been observed so far in this study. The project is on-going and more work is required to firmly establish their distribution and their association to gullies and polygonal terrain. Though landforms indicative of freeze-thaw activity may be rare on flat terrain on Mars, there is growing evidence that freeze-thaw conditions may have

  2. 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.

  3. The Icebreaker Life Mission to Mars: A Search for Biomolecular Evidence for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Stoker, Carol R.; Glass, Brian J.; Dave, Arwen I.; Davila, Alfonso F.; Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Marinova, Margarita M.; Fairen, Alberto G; Quinn, Richard C; Zacny, Kris A.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The search for evidence of life on Mars is the primary motivation for the exploration of that planet. The results from previous missions, and the Phoenix mission in particular, indicate that the ice-cemented ground in the north polar plains is likely to be the most recently habitable place that is currently known on Mars. The near-surface ice likely provided adequate water activity during periods of high obliquity, 5 Myr ago. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen is present in the atmosphere, and nitrates may be present in the soil. Perchlorate in the soil together with iron in basaltic rock provides a possible energy source for life. Furthermore, the presence of organics must once again be considered, as the results of the Viking GCMS are now suspect given the discovery of the thermally reactive perchlorate. Ground-ice may provide a way to preserve organic molecules for extended periods of time, especially organic biomarkers. The Mars Icebreaker Life mission focuses on the following science goals: 1. Search for specific biomolecules that would be conclusive evidence of life. 2. A general search for organic molecules in the ground ice. 3. Determine the processes of ground ice formation and the role of liquid water. 4. Understand the mechanical properties of the Mars polar ice-cemented soil. 5. Assess the recent habitability of the environment with respect to required elements to support life, energy sources, and possible toxic elements. And 6. Compare the elemental composition of the northern plains with mid-latitude sites. The Icebreaker Life payload has been designed around the Phoenix spacecraft and is targeted to a site near the Phoenix landing site. However, the Icebreaker payload could be supported on other Mars landing systems. Preliminary studies of the SpaceX Dragon lander show that it could support the Icebreaker payload for a landing either at the Phoenix site or at mid-latitudes. Duplicate samples could be cached as a target for possible return by a Mars Sample

  4. Selection of the Mars Science Laboratory landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M.; Grant, J.; Kipp, D.; Vasavada, A.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Fergason, Robin L.; Bellutta, P.; Calef, F.; Larsen, K.; Katayama, Y.; Huertas, A.; Beyer, R.; Chen, A.; Parker, T.; Pollard, B.; Lee, S.; Hoover, R.; Sladek, H.; Grotzinger, J.; Welch, R.; Dobrea, E. Noe; Michalski, J.; Watkins, M.

    2012-01-01

    The selection of Gale crater as the Mars Science Laboratory landing site took over five years, involved broad participation of the science community via five open workshops, and narrowed an initial >50 sites (25 by 20 km) to four finalists (Eberswalde, Gale, Holden and Mawrth) based on science and safety. Engineering constraints important to the selection included: (1) latitude (±30°) for thermal management of the rover and instruments, (2) elevation (surface that is safe for landing and roving and not dominated by fine-grained dust. Science criteria important for the selection include the ability to assess past habitable environments, which include diversity, context, and biosignature (including organics) preservation. Sites were evaluated in detail using targeted data from instruments on all active orbiters, and especially Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. All of the final four sites have layered sedimentary rocks with spectral evidence for phyllosilicates that clearly address the science objectives of the mission. Sophisticated entry, descent and landing simulations that include detailed information on all of the engineering constraints indicate all of the final four sites are safe for landing. Evaluation of the traversabilty of the landing sites and target “go to” areas outside of the ellipse using slope and material properties information indicates that all are trafficable and “go to” sites can be accessed within the lifetime of the mission. In the final selection, Gale crater was favored over Eberswalde based on its greater diversity and potential habitability.

  5. The Search for Life on Mars - Current Knowledge, Earth Analogues, and Principal Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been imagined as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for life's signatures began in the 19th century via ground-based visual astronomy that stimulated a vibrant fantasy literature but little lasting scientific knowledge. Modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and via biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Today, investigations are based on high-resolution spectroscopy at Earth's largest telescopes along with planet orbiting and landed space missions. Methane has assumed central importance in these searches. Living systems produce more than 900/0 of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. Abundant methane is not expected in an oxidizing atmosphere such as Mars', and its presence would imply recent release - whether biological or geochemical. F or that reason, the quest for methane on Mars has been a continuing thread in the fabric of searches conducted since 1969. I will review aspects of the discovery and distribution of methane on Mars, and will mention ongoing extended searches for clues to its origin and destruction. On Earth, hydrogen (generated via serpentinization or radiolysis of water) provides an important 'fuel' for carbonate-reducing and sulphate-reducing biota (CH4 and H2S producers, respectively). Several such communities are known to reside at depth in continental domains (e.g., Lidy Hot Springs, Idaho; Witwatersrand Basin, S. Africa). If similar conditions exist in favourable locations on Mars, organisms similar to these could likely prosper there. Geologic (abiotic) production will also be mentioned, especially abiotic methane production associated with low-temperature serpentinization (e.g., terrestrial ophiolites). It is vitally important to pursue evidence for geochemical and biological production with equal vigour and intellectual weight lest unwanted and unintended bias contaminate the

  6. For Those About to Rock : Naislaulajat rock-genressä

    OpenAIRE

    Herranen, Linda

    2015-01-01

    For those about to rock – naislaulajat rock-genressä antaa lukijalleen kokonaisvaltaisen käsityksen naisista rock-genressä: rockin historiasta, sukupuolittuneisuudesta, seksismistä, suomalaisten naislaulajien menestyksestä. Työn aineisto on koottu aihepiirin kirjallisuudesta ja alalla toimiville naislaulajille teetettyjen kyselyiden tuloksista. Lisäksi avaan omia kokemuksiani ja ajatuksiani, jotta näkökulma naisista rock-genressä tulisi esille mahdollisimman monipuolisesti. Ajatus aihees...

  7. Proceedings of the 3. Canada-US rock mechanics symposium and 20. Canadian rock mechanics symposium : rock engineering 2009 : rock engineering in difficult conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-07-01

    This conference provided a forum for geologists, mining operators and engineers to discuss the application of rock mechanics in engineering designs. Members of the scientific and engineering communities discussed challenges and interdisciplinary elements involved in rock engineering. New geological models and methods of characterizing rock masses and ground conditions in underground engineering projects were discussed along with excavation and mining methods. Papers presented at the conference discussed the role of rock mechanics in forensic engineering. Geophysics, geomechanics, and risk-based approaches to rock engineering designs were reviewed. Issues related to high pressure and high flow water conditions were discussed, and new rock physics models designed to enhance hydrocarbon recovery were presented. The conference featured 84 presentations, of which 9 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. tabs., figs.

  8. Art Rocks with Rock Art!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bickett, Marianne

    2011-01-01

    This article discusses rock art which was the very first "art." Rock art, such as the images created on the stone surfaces of the caves of Lascaux and Altimira, is the true origin of the canvas, paintbrush, and painting media. For there, within caverns deep in the earth, the first artists mixed animal fat, urine, and saliva with powdered minerals…

  9. Low Cost Mars Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Calhoun, Philip; Flick, John; Hajos, Gregory; Kolacinski, Richard; Minton, David; Owens, Rachel; Parker, Jennifer

    2003-01-01

    The "Mars Tumbleweed," a rover concept that would utilize surface winds for mobility, is being examined as a low cost complement to the current Mars exploration efforts. Tumbleweeds carrying microinstruments would be driven across the Martian landscape by wind, searching for areas of scientific interest. These rovers, relatively simple, inexpensive, and deployed in large numbers to maximize coverage of the Martian surface, would provide a broad scouting capability to identify specific sites for exploration by more complex rover and lander missions.

  10. Sulfates on Mars: TES Observations and Thermal Inertia Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, C. D.; Mustard, J. F.

    2001-05-01

    The high resolution thermal emission spectra returned by the TES spectrometer on the MGS spacecraft have allowed the mapping of a variety of minerals and rock types by different sets of researchers. Recently, we have used a linear deconvolution approach to compare sulfate-palagonite soil mixtures created in the laboratory with Martian surface spectra. This approach showed that a number of areas on Mars have spectral properties that match those of sulfate-cemented soils (but neither loose powder mixtures of sulfates and soils nor sand-sized grains of disaggregated crusted soils). These features do not appear to be caused by atmospheric or instrumental effects and are thus believed to be related to surface composition and texture. The distribution and physical state of sulfate are important pieces of information for interpreting surface processes on Mars. A number of different mechanisms could have deposited sulfate in surface layers. Some of these include evaporation of standing bodies of water, aerosol deposition of volcanic gases, hydrothermal alteration from groundwater, and in situ interaction between the atmosphere and soil. The areas on Mars with cemented sulfate signatures are spread across a wide range of elevations and are generally large in spatial scale. Some of the areas are associated with volcanic regions, but many are in dark red plains that have previously been interpreted as duricrust deposits. Our current work compares the distribution of sulfate-cemented soils as mapped by the spectral deconvolution approach with thermal inertia maps produced from both Viking and MGS-TES. Duricrust regions, interpreted from intermediate thermal inertia values, are large regions thought to be sulfate-cemented soils similar to coherent, sulfate-rich materials seen at the Viking lander sites. Our observations of apparent regions of cemented sulfate are also large in spatial extent. This scale information is important for evaluating formation mechanisms for the

  11. La Incidencia de las Normas de Protección Marítima en el Transporte Marítimo

    OpenAIRE

    Elizalde Monteagudo, Pedro Alfonso

    2012-01-01

    Actualmente, los participantes del transporte marítimo deben adoptar e implementar una serie de medidas de protección marítima para suprimir y combatir la piratería, el narcotráfico y el terrorismo marítimo. La presente investigación analiza los programas multilaterales y unilaterales de protección marítima, que deben cumplir los participantes del transporte marítimo internacional. El capítulo I menciona las diferencias entre la seguridad marítima y la protección marítima. Asimismo, este capí...

  12. Ice on Mars Utopia Planitia Again

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-01-01

    This high-resolution color photo of the surface of Mars was taken by Viking Lander 2 at its Utopia Planitia landing site on May 18, 1979, and relayed to Earth by Orbiter 1 on June 7. It shows a thin coating of water ice on the rocks and soil. The time the frost appeared corresponds almost exactly with the buildup of frost one Martian year (23 Earth months) ago. Then it remained on the surface for about 100 days. Scientists believe dust particles in the atmosphere pick up bits of solid water. That combination is not heavy enough to settle to the ground. But carbon dioxide, which makes up 95 percent of the Martian atmosphere, freezes and adheres to the particles and they become heavy enough to sink. Warmed by the Sun, the surface evaporates the carbon dioxide and returns it to the atmosphere, leaving behind the water and dust. The ice seen in this picture, like that which formed one Martian year ago, is extremely thin, perhaps no more than one-thousandth of an inch thick.

  13. Mars Orbiter Camera Views the 'Face on Mars' - Best View from Viking

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Shortly after midnight Sunday morning (5 April 1998 12:39 AM PST), the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft successfully acquired a high resolution image of the 'Face on Mars' feature in the Cydonia region. The image was transmitted to Earth on Sunday, and retrieved from the mission computer data base Monday morning (6 April 1998). The image was processed at the Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) facility 9:15 AM and the raw image immediately transferred to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for release to the Internet. The images shown here were subsequently processed at MSSS.The picture was acquired 375 seconds after the spacecraft's 220th close approach to Mars. At that time, the 'Face', located at approximately 40.8o N, 9.6o W, was 275 miles (444 km) from the spacecraft. The 'morning' sun was 25o above the horizon. The picture has a resolution of 14.1 feet (4.3 meters) per pixel, making it ten times higher resolution than the best previous image of the feature, which was taken by the Viking Mission in the mid-1970's. The full image covers an area 2.7 miles (4.4 km) wide and 25.7 miles (41.5 km) long.This Viking Orbiter image is one of the best Viking pictures of the area Cydonia where the 'Face' is located. Marked on the image are the 'footprint' of the high resolution (narrow angle) Mars Orbiter Camera image and the area seen in enlarged views (dashed box). See PIA01440-1442 for these images in raw and processed form.Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  14. Microbial Habitability in Gale Crater: Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Detection of Microbial Essential Carbon and Nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Ming, D. W.; Eigenbrode, J. E.; Steele, A.; Stern, J. C.; Gonzalez, R. N.; McAdam, A. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2016-01-01

    Chemical analyses of Mars soils and sediments from previous landed missions have demonstrated that Mars surface materials possessed major (e.g., P, K, Ca, Mg, S) and minor (e.g., Fe, Mn, Zn, Ni, Cl) elements essential to support microbial life. However, the detection of microbial essential organic-carbon (C) and nitrate have been more elusive until the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission. Nitrate and organic-C in Gale Crater, Mars have been detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the MSL Curiosity rover. Eolian fines and drilled sedimentary rock samples were heated in the SAM oven from approximately 30 to 860 degrees Centigrade where evolved gases (e.g., nitrous oxide (NO) and CO2) were released and analyzed by SAM’s quadrupole mass spectrometer (MS). The temperatures of evolved NO was assigned to nitrate while evolved CO2 was assigned to organic-C and carbonate. The CO2 releases in several samples occurred below 450 degrees Centigrade suggesting organic-C dominated in those samples. As much as 7 micromoles NO3-N per gram and 200 micromoles CO2-C per gram have been detected in the Gale Crater materials. These N and C levels coupled with assumed microbial biomass (9 x 10 (sup -7) micrograms per cell) C (0.5 micrograms C per micrograms cell) and N (0.14 micrograms N per micrograms cell) requirements, suggests that less than 1 percent and less than 10 percent of Gale Crater C and N, respectively, would be required if available, to accommodate biomass requirements of 1 by 10 (sup 5) cells per gram sediment. While nitrogen is the limiting nutrient, the potential exists that sufficient N and organic-C were present to support limited heterotrophic microbial populations that may have existed on ancient Mars.

  15. Robotic Ankle for Omnidirectional Rock Anchors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parness, Aaron; Frost, Matthew; Thatte, Nitish

    2013-01-01

    Future robotic exploration of near-Earth asteroids and the vertical and inverted rock walls of lava caves and cliff faces on Mars and other planetary bodies would require a method of gripping their rocky surfaces to allow mobility without gravitational assistance. In order to successfully navigate this terrain and drill for samples, the grippers must be able to produce anchoring forces in excess of 100 N. Additionally, the grippers must be able to support the inertial forces of a moving robot, as well gravitational forces for demonstrations on Earth. One possible solution would be to use microspine arrays to anchor to rock surfaces and provide the necessary load-bearing abilities for robotic exploration of asteroids. Microspine arrays comprise dozens of small steel hooks supported on individual suspensions. When these arrays are dragged along a rock surface, the steel hooks engage with asperities and holes on the surface. The suspensions allow for individual hooks to engage with asperities while the remaining hooks continue to drag along the surface. This ensures that the maximum possible number of hooks engage with the surface, thereby increasing the load-bearing abilities of the gripper. Using the microspine array grippers described above as the end-effectors of a robot would allow it to traverse terrain previously unreachable by traditional wheeled robots. Furthermore, microspine-gripping robots that can perch on cliffs or rocky walls could enable a new class of persistent surveillance devices for military applications. In order to interface these microspine grippers with a legged robot, an ankle is needed that can robotically actuate the gripper, as well as allow it to conform to the large-scale irregularities in the rock. The anchor serves three main purposes: deploy and release the anchor, conform to roughness or misalignment with the surface, and cancel out any moments about the anchor that could cause unintentional detachment. The ankle design contains a

  16. 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.

  17. Accretion and primary differentiation of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drake, M.J.

    1988-01-01

    In collecting samples from Mars to address questions such as whether Mars accreted homogeneously or heterogeneously, how Mars segregated into a metallic core and silicate mantle, and whether Mars outgassed catastrophically coincident with accretion or more serenely on a longer timescale, we must be guided by our experience in addressing these questions for the Earth, Moon, and igneous meteorite parent bodies. A key measurement to be made on any sample returned from Mars is its oxygen isotopic composition. A single measurement will suffice to bind the SNC meteorites to Mars or demonstrate that they cannot be samples of that planet. A positive identification of Mars as the SNC parent planet will permit all that has been learned from the SNC meteorites to be applied to Mars with confidence. A negative result will perhaps be more exciting in forcing us to look for another object that has been geologically active in the recent past. If the oxygen isotopic composition of Earth and Mars are established to be distinct, accretion theory must provide for different compositions for two planets now separated by only 0.5 AU

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Hydraulics of outburst floods spilling over a steep-walled canyon: Implications for paleo-discharges on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, Mathieu; Lamb, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Canyons carved by outburst floods are common landforms on Earth and Mars. These canyons are generally found in fractured basalts and jointed sedimentary rocks. Flood-carved canyons commonly have steep headwalls and a roughly constant width, and are often thought to have formed from upstream headwall propagation due to waterfall erosion. Because morphology is readily available from satellite imagery, these canyons offer a unique opportunity to quantify the discharge of rare, catastrophic paleo-floods on Earth and Mars. However, mechanistic relationships that relate canyon size to flood discharge have yet to be developed. We propose that the width of a canyon headwall in fractured rock is set by the spatial distribution of erosion around the rim of the canyon, which is controlled by the distribution of shear stresses induced by the overflowing water as it is focused into the canyon head. We test this hypothesis by performing a series of numerical simulations of flood-water focusing using ANUGA Hydro, a 2D-depth averaged, fully turbulent, hydraulic numerical modeling suite allowing for Froude-number transitions. The numerical simulations were designed to explore five dimensionless variables: the aspect ratio of the canyon (length normalized by width), the canyon width to flood-water width ratio, the canyon width to normal-flow depth ratio, the Froude number, and the topographic gradient upstream of the canyon. Preliminary results show that flow focusing leads to increased shear stresses at the canyon head compared to the sides of the canyon for subcritical floods and higher canyon aspect ratios. This suggests that proto-canyons start growing from a topographic defect in all directions until they reach a critical length for the side walls to dry. Once this critical length is attained, canyons focus most of the flood waters into their heads, and propagate upstream only, maintaining roughly constant widths. Preliminary results suggest that canyon width may be used to

  1. Planning for the Collection and Analysis of Samples of Martian Granular Materials Potentially to be Returned by Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrier, B. L.; Beaty, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    NASA's Mars 2020 rover is scheduled to land on Mars in 2021 and will be equipped with a sampling system capable of collecting rock cores, as well as a specialized drill bit for collecting unconsolidated granular material. A key mission objective is to collect a set of samples that have enough scientific merit to justify returning to Earth. In the case of granular materials, we would like to catalyze community discussion on what we would do with these samples if they arrived in our laboratories, as input to decision-making related to sampling the regolith. Numerous scientific objectives have been identified which could be achieved or significantly advanced via the analysis of martian rocks, "regolith," and gas samples. The term "regolith" has more than one definition, including one that is general and one that is much more specific. For the purpose of this analysis we use the term "granular materials" to encompass the most general meaning and restrict "regolith" to a subset of that. Our working taxonomy includes the following: 1) globally sourced airfall dust (dust); 2) saltation-sized particles (sand); 3) locally sourced decomposed rock (regolith); 4) crater ejecta (ejecta); and, 5) other. Analysis of martian granular materials could serve to advance our understanding areas including habitability and astrobiology, surface-atmosphere interactions, chemistry, mineralogy, geology and environmental processes. Results of these analyses would also provide input into planning for future human exploration of Mars, elucidating possible health and mechanical hazards caused by the martian surface material, as well as providing valuable information regarding available resources for ISRU and civil engineering purposes. Results would also be relevant to matters of planetary protection and ground-truthing orbital observations. We will present a preliminary analysis of the following, in order to generate community discussion and feedback on all issues relating to: What are the

  2. 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.

  3. The Usability of Rock-Like Materials for Numerical Studies on Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zengin, Enes; Abiddin Erguler, Zeynal

    2017-04-01

    The approaches of synthetic rock material and mass are widely used by many researchers for understanding the failure behavior of different rocks. In order to model the failure behavior of rock material, researchers take advantageous of different techniques and software. But, the majority of all these instruments are based on distinct element method (DEM). For modeling the failure behavior of rocks, and so to create a fundamental synthetic rock material model, it is required to perform related laboratory experiments for providing strength parameters. In modelling studies, model calibration processes are performed by using parameters of intact rocks such as porosity, grain size, modulus of elasticity and Poisson ratio. In some cases, it can be difficult or even impossible to acquire representative rock samples for laboratory experiments from heavily jointed