Popp, J.; Tarcea, N.; Thomas, N.; Cockell, C.; Edwards, H. W. G.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Hilchenbach, M.; Hochleitner, Rupert; Hofer, S.; Hoffmann, Viktor H.; Hofmann, B.; Jessberger, E. K.; Kiefer, W.; Martinez-Frias, J.; Maurice, S.; Pérez, F.R.; Schmitt, M.; Simon, G.; Sobron, F.; Weigand, W.; Whitby, J. A.; Wurz, P.
EXTENDED-MIRAS: The instrumental approach for the search of traces of extinct and extant life on mars, measuring scenario.
In: European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP, No. 545
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Whether there was or is life on Mars is a question of high interest to man. When looking for evidence of present or ancient life on Mars it might not be sufficient to disclose the chemical composition of the surface or subsurface material, Further information concerning for example the morphology of the sample under investigation or the spatial distribution of the observed chemicals or minerals is of similar relevance. Therefore one needs a reliable, automated, robust and miniaturized apparatus capable of resolving all the above mentioned problems in one effort. EXTENDED-MIRAS is an instrumental approach combining optical microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy with additional elementary characterization methods such as LIPS/LIBS (laser induced plasma spectrometry / laser induced breakdown spectrometry) or LMS (laser mass spectrometry). Nevertheless an exhaustive investigation usually requires time/energy which is a limited resource for a planetary mission. The size of the dataset produced might also pose a serious problem since the data link budget is limited (energy constraints). In order to maximize the scientific return, a measuring scenario that will make the most out of the reduced time/energy budget has to be implemented. Such a measuring scenario is described here with exemplification at laboratory scale.