Status Report

Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
August 5, 2006
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Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) 2006

In August, members of the Sample Analysis of Mars (SAM) Lab team will spend two and a half weeks in Svalbard. The objective of the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) is to characterize the geology, geophysical features, biosignatures, and possible life forms of volcanic centers, warm springs, and perennial rivers, settings thought to be analogous to sites on ancient Mars.

AMASE targets the Bockfjorden area of the Norwegian island of Svalbard, in hot-spring-deposited carbonate terraces.

The equipment used in the field is adapted from off-the-shelf instruments to function in the frigid Svalbard temperatures and to detect and characterize low levels of microbiota and organic and mineralogical biomarkers rapidly.

These tools assist in a real-time understanding of the environment and permit the team to gather pertinent samples and test hypotheses with minimal sample disturbance, and the sample acquisition and analysis methods are providing tests of protocols for experiments on future missions to Mars.

SpaceRef staff editor.