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GeoPrep

     


© D. Jaeger -University of Innsbruck


GeoPrep        

The analysis of rocks allows us to unravel the history of a planet, such as past volcanic activity or the former presence of water. Detailed investigation of geological samples requires specific sample preparation to generate reliable results. GeoPrep will implement a new workflow for sample preparation, adapted to the constraints of a field laboratory setting. The experiment of the University of Innsbruck, Austria will test whether this technique can be performed by analog astronauts who have received limited training for this specific task. Additionally, analog astronauts will perform simple optical microscopy to both assess the samples’ quality as well as their suitability for further, more complex analyses. These insights will be valuable for on-site, real time geoscientific work. Also, transporting rocks from Mars back to Earth consumes a lot of resources, thus the amount of sample material is limited. Identifying the most promising samples for the return flight will therefore help maximize a future Mars-mission’s geoscientific value.



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