Search for organic matter at Mars with combined measurements of the SAM and ChemCam instruments onboard the Curiosity rover

Abstract : Since 2012, he Curiosity rover on Mars seeks clues of habitability in Gale crater. One of these clues is the presence of organic matter. For the moment, only a few traces of organic matter was recently found with the SAM experiment. We propose here to evaluate the capabilities for the ChemCam experiment to detect organic molecules from its elemental analysis of the Mars regolith or rocks. The first results obtained in laboratory with the ChemCam spare model and different samples show that it is possible to detect organic signatures with LIBS, focusing on atomic carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen peaks, and on a C-N molecular peak when the samples are enriched in organic molecules (100- 10 wt%). We currently work with Mars representative samples to determine the instrument detection limit for organics, in order to determine if it can be used to guide Curiosity towards interesting outcrops.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-01213354
Contributor : Catherine Cardon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 1:10:42 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 4:26:03 PM

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  • HAL Id : insu-01213354, version 1

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T. Dequaire, P-Y. Meslin, W. Rapin, M. Jaber, S. Maurice, et al.. Search for organic matter at Mars with combined measurements of the SAM and ChemCam instruments onboard the Curiosity rover. European Planetary Science Congress 2015, Sep 2015, Nantes, France. pp.EPSC2015-214. ⟨insu-01213354⟩

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