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Supporting Mars exploration: BIOMEX in Low Earth Orbit and further astrobiological studies on the Moon using Raman and PanCam technology
Zitatschlüssel Vera2012
Autor Jean-Pierre de Vera and Ute Boettger and Rosa de la Torre Noetzel and Francisco J Sánchez and Dana Grunow and Nicole Schmitz and Caroline Lange and Heinz-Wilhelm Hübers and Daniela Billi and Mickael Baqué and Petra Rettberg and Elke Rabbow and Günther Reitz and Thomas Berger and Ralf Möller and Maria Bohmeier and Gerda Horneck and Frances Westall and Jochen Jänchen and Jörg Fritz and Cornelia Meyer and Silvano Onofri and Laura Selbmann and Laura Zucconi and Natalia Kozyrovska and Thomas Leya and Bernard Foing and René Demets and Charles S. Cockell and Casey Bryce and Dirk Wagner and Paloma Serrano and Howell G.M. Edwards and Jasmin Joshi and Björn Huwe and Pascale Ehrenfreund and Andreas Elsaesser and Sieglinde Ott and Joachim Meessen and Nina Feyh and Ulrich Szewzyk and Ralf Jaumann and Tilman Spohn
Seiten 103–110
Jahr 2012
ISSN 0032-0633
DOI 10.1016/j.pss.2012.06.010
Journal Planetary and Space Science
Jahrgang 74
Nummer 1
Zusammenfassung The Low Earth Orbit (LEO) experiment Biology and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX) is an interdisciplinary and international space research project selected by ESA. The experiment will be accommodated on the space exposure facility EXPOSE-R2 on the International Space Station (ISS) and is foreseen to be launched in 2013. The prime objective of BIOMEX is to measure to what extent biomolecules, such as pigments and cellular components, are resistant to and able to maintain their stability under space and Mars-like conditions. The results of BIOMEX will be relevant for space proven biosignature definition and for building a biosignature data base (e.g. the proposed creation of an international Raman library). The library will be highly relevant for future space missions such as the search for life on Mars. The secondary scientific objective is to analyze to what extent terrestrial extremophiles are able to survive in space and to determine which interactions between biological samples and selected minerals (including terrestrial, Moon- and Mars analogs) can be observed under space and Mars-like conditions. In this context, the Moon will be an additional platform for performing similar experiments with negligible magnetic shielding and higher solar and galactic irradiation compared to LEO. Using the Moon as an additional astrobiological exposure platform to complement ongoing astrobiological LEO investigations could thus enhance the chances of detecting organic traces of life on Mars. We present a lunar lander mission with two related objectives: a lunar lander equipped with Raman and PanCam instruments which can analyze the lunar surface and survey an astrobiological exposure platform. This dual use of testing mission technology together with geo- and astrobiological analyses will significantly increase the science return, and support the human preparation objectives. It will provide knowledge about the Moon's surface itself and, in addition, monitor the stability of life-markers, such as cells, cell components and pigments, in an extraterrestrial environment with much closer radiation properties to the surface of Mars. The combination of a Raman data base of these data together with data from LEO and space simulation experiments, will lead to further progress on the analysis and interpretation of data that we will obtain from future Moon and Mars exploration missions.
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