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11 July 1997 Simple techniques for detection of Martian microorganisms
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Techniques for searching for life on Mars will be explored. Work on earth has shown that permafrost and evaporites contain large amounts of bacteria--when this is combined with knowledge of micro-organism hibernation this leads to obvious places in which to search for both extinct and extant life. Great emphasis has been placed on complicated experiments that can only be used at limited locations and in very limited numbers to search for life on Mars, but simple low volume experiments measuring pH, opacity and impedance/conductance could be developed. These would be used to identify potential areas of interest or samples of interest, as well as elucidate Martian geochemistry. The concepts behind these will be explored and examined. The development challenges and Earth based control experiments required will also be outlined. It should be possible to develop relatively cheap experiments that can be used to obtain and sample subsurface materials from a range of locations on Mars.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Mark R. Sims, Richard E. Cole, W. D. Grant, A. A. Mills, K. Powell, and R. W. Ruffles "Simple techniques for detection of Martian microorganisms", Proc. SPIE 3111, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestrial Microorganisms, (11 July 1997);

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