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Informing Mars Sample Selection Strategies: Identifying Fossil Biosignatures and Assessing Their Preservation Potential

Abstract The search for life on Mars is a major NASA priority. A Mars Sample Return

(MSR) mission, Mars 2020, will be NASA's next step towards this goal, carrying an instrument suite that can identify samples containing potential biosignatures. Those samples will be later returned to Earth for detailed analysis. This dissertation is intended to inform strategies for fossil biosignature detection in Mars analog samples targeted for their high biosignature preservation potential (BPP) using in situ rover-based instruments. In chapter 2, I assessed the diagenesis and BPP of one relevant analog habitable Martian environment: a playa evaporite sequence within the Verde Formation, Arizona. Coupling outcrop-scale observations with laboratory analyses,... (more)
Created Date 2016
Contributor Shkolyar, Svetlana (Author) / Farmer, Jack (Advisor) / Semken, Steven (Committee member) / Sharp, Thomas (Committee member) / Shim, Sang-Heon Dan (Committee member) / Youngbull, Aaron Cody (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Subject Geology / Engineering / Geobiology / Astrobiology / Biosignature Preservation Potential / Fluorescence / in situ rover-based instrumentation / Mars Sample Return / Raman spectroscopy
Type Doctoral Dissertation
Extent 200 pages
Language English
Reuse Permissions All Rights Reserved
Note Doctoral Dissertation Geological Sciences 2016
Collaborating Institutions Graduate College / ASU Library
Additional Formats MODS / OAI Dublin Core / RIS

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Description Dissertation/Thesis