- Press Release
- February 2, 2023
Science Priorities For The Extraction Of The Solid MSR Samples From Their Sample Tubes
Preservation of the chemical and structural integrity of samples that will be brought back from Mars is paramount to achieving the scientific objectives of MSR.
Given our knowledge of the nature of the samples retrieved at Jezero by Perseverance, at least two options need to be tested for opening the sample tubes: (1) One or two radial cuts at the end of the tube to slide the sample out. (2) Two radial cuts at the ends of the tube and two longitudinal cuts to lift the upper half of the tube and access the sample.
Strategy 1 will likely minimize contamination but incurs the risk of affecting the physical integrity of weakly consolidated samples.
Strategy 2 will be optimal for preserving the physical integrity of the samples but increases the risk of contamination and mishandling of the sample as more manipulations and additional equipment will be needed.
A flexible approach to opening the sample tubes is therefore required, and several options need to be available, depending on the nature of the rock samples returned. Both opening strategies 1 and 2 may need to be available when the samples are returned to handle different sample types (e.g., loosely bound sediments vs. indurated magmatic rocks).
This question should be revisited after engineering tests are performed on analogue samples. The MSR sample tubes will have to be opened under stringent BSL4 conditions and this aspect needs to be integrated into the planning.
N. Dauphas, S.S. Russell, D. Beaty, F. Thiessen, J. Barnes, L. Bonal, J. Bridges, T. Bristow, J. Eiler, L. Ferriere, T. Fornaro, J. Gattacceca, B. Hoffman, E.J. Javaux, T. Kleine, H.Y. McSween, M. Prasad, L. Rampe, M. Schmidt, B. Schoene, K.L. Siebach, J. Stern, N. Tosca
Comments: 8 pages, 3 figures, 1 table, report NASA-ESA Mars Rock Team Report
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Geophysics (physics.geo-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:2301.04694 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2301.04694v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
From: Nicolas Dauphas
[v1] Wed, 11 Jan 2023 20:00:15 UTC (745 KB)