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Proceedings Paper

Sterile robotic Mars soil analyzer
Author(s): Gilbert V. Levin; Joseph D. Miller; Patricia A. Straat; Richard B. Hoover
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Paper Abstract

Since the 1976 Viking Mission to Mars, follow-on efforts to resolve its controversial life detection results have been thwarted by two heretofore insurmountable difficulties: the huge expense of sterilizing the entire spacecraft to protect the integrity of life detection experiments; and the lack of a practical robotic life detection package that could produce results acceptable as unambiguous by the scientific community. We here present a method that assures sterility and the complete integrity of robotic life detection experiments, all at a negligible cost. Second, we propose a candidate set of integrated, highly sensitive experiments that we believe could produce results acceptable to the vast majority of scientists. In addition to the biology-chemistry issue, the extensively debated oxidative state of the Martian surface and other chemical and physical characteristics of the Martian soil would be determined. We present our concept for a miniaturized instrument that could carry out a number of candidate experiments to achieve the objective.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4859, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457312
Show Author Affiliations
Gilbert V. Levin, Spherix Inc. (United States)
Joseph D. Miller, Univ. Southern California (United States)
Patricia A. Straat
Richard B. Hoover, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4859:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V
Richard B. Hoover; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Roland R. Paepe, Editor(s)

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