Planning Considerations Related to the Organic Contamination of Martian Samples and Implications for the Mars 2020 Rover
Author(s)Sessions, A. L.; Allwood, Abigail C.; Barton, H. A.; Beaty, D. W.; Blakkolb, B.; Canham, J.; Clark, B. C.; Dworkin, J. P.; Lin, Y.; Mathies, R.; Milkovich, S. M.; Steele, A.; Summons, Roger Everett; ... Show more Show less
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Data gathered during recent NASA missions to Mars, particularly by the Rovers Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity, have provided important insights into the past history and habitability of the Red Planet. The Mars science community, via input through the National Research Council (NRC) Planetary Science Decadal Survey Committee, also identified the prime importance of a Mars sample return (MSR) mission to further exploration of the Red Planet. In response, the Mars 2020 Mission (Mars 2020) Science Definition Team (SDT) (Mustard et al., 2013) was chartered by the NASA Mars Exploration Program to formulate a new rover mission that would take concrete steps toward an eventual sample return. The SDT recommended that the 2020 rover should select and cache scientifically compelling samples for possible return to Earth. They also noted that organic contamination of the samples was a significant and complex issue that should be independently investigated by a future committee. Accordingly, NASA chartered the Mars 2020 Organic Contamination Panel (OCP).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Mary Ann Liebert
Summons, R.E., A.L. Sessions, A.C. Allwood, H.A. Barton, D.W. Beaty, B. Blakkolb, J. Canham, et al. “Planning Considerations Related to the Organic Contamination of Martian Samples and Implications for the Mars 2020 Rover.” Astrobiology 14, no. 12 (December 2014): 969–1027. © 2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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