Mars

Mars Curiosity Detects Organic Molecules

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
Nature Astronomy
November 1, 2021
Filed under
Mars Curiosity Detects Organic Molecules
Mars Curiosity
NASA/HiRISE

Organic molecules revealed in Mars’s Bagnold Dunes by Curiosity’s derivatization experiment, Nature Astronomy

” .. No amino-acid derivatives were detected. However, chemically derivatized benzoic acid and ammonia were detected. Mass spectra matching derivatized phosphoric acid and phenol were present, as were several nitrogen-bearing molecules and as yet unidentified high-molecular-weight compounds. … This derivatization experiment on Mars has expanded the inventory of molecules present in Martian samples and demonstrated a powerful tool to further enable the search for polar organic molecules of biotic or prebiotic relevance.”

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.