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Deposited In A Safe Location

NASAHigh Purity Titanium Tubes manufacturers Mars 2020 rover, which will look for signs of past life on the red planet, will use smart X-ray techniques originally developed to find the oldest life on Earth, according to a mission scientist. These techniques, known as “spatially resolved bio- signature analysis” derive from geochemical analysis of early life on Earth. The two other sites are located close together on the edge of Isidis Planitia, one of the largest and oldest impact craters in the solar system.Rather than using “bulk” geochemistry techniques that measure the average composition of a rock, Mars 2020 is developing new capabilities including X-ray fluorescence and Raman # spectroscopy to map the elemental, mineral, and organic composition of rocks at high spatial resolution, with analytical spot sizes about the width of a human hair, said Williford.

He said that new scientific methods for searching for the most ancient evidence for life on Earth have led to a leap forward in capabilities for bio-signature detection. “Beyond astrobiology, these new techniques enable exploration of the planet Mars at telescopic to microscopic scales – from a mountain to a grain of sand,” said Williford. Thirty to forty rock and sediment core samples, each about 15 grammes, will be sealed in titanium tubes and deposited in a safe location on the surface of Mars for possible retrieval by a future mission, said Williford. When these methods have been applied on Earth they have enabled scientists to lower limits of detection or to better understand formerly ambiguous observations.

One site at Columbia Hills in Gusev crater, was visited previously by the Spirit rover and features silica deposits interpreted by some as analogous to hydrothermal springs known to be inhabited on Earth.”Mars 2020 takes the next natural step in its direct search for evidence of ancient microbial life, focusing measurements to the microbial scale and producing high- resolution maps over similarly postage stamp-sized analytical areas,” said Williford, while speaking at the Goldschmidt conference in Paris.

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