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Exploring the Shallow Subsurface of Mars with the Ma_MISS Spectrometer on the ExoMars Rover Rosalind Franklin

Abstract : An essential part of the Exomars 2022 payload is the Mars Multispectral Imager for Subsurface Studies (Ma_MISS) experiment hosted by the drill system. Ma_MISS is a visible and near-infrared (0.4-2.3 μm) miniaturized spectrometer with an optical head inside the drill tip capable of observing the drill borehole with a spatial resolution of 120 μm. Here we report on how the Ma_MISS hyperspectral information provides in situ investigation of the subsurface at very fine resolution, prior to the collection of the samples that will be manipulated and crushed for further analysis by the analytical laboratory on the rover. Ma_MISS is the instrument that will closely investigate the subsurface mineralogical characteristics in its original geologic context at depths never reached before in Mars exploration. Ma_MISS recognizes all the major spectral features of the clays, basaltic, and minor phases expected at the ExoMars landing site, Oxia Planum. The high spatial resolution on the borehole wall is such that single grains of about 100 μm can be distinguishable in the assemblage of minerals observed by Ma_MISS. The spatial distribution of the mineralogies within the borehole walls is associated with the rocks and the processes that put these materials in place and possibly altered them with time, characterizing the habitats found in the stratigraphic record, indicating which ones are the most suitable to have held or to be holding nowadays traces of life.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03700781
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 2:13:36 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 3:32:15 AM

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M. C. de Sanctis, F. Altieri, E. Ammannito, S. de Angelis, B. Ehlmann, et al.. Exploring the Shallow Subsurface of Mars with the Ma_MISS Spectrometer on the ExoMars Rover Rosalind Franklin. The Planetary Science Journal, IOP Science, 2022, 3, 142 (15pp). ⟨10.3847/psj/ac694f⟩. ⟨insu-03700781⟩

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