After samples have been collected in the fields, the first set of experiments will test for the presence of any living matter. These will be tested for both current metabolism, and for biochemical signatures indicative of life. Spectroscopic analysis will be performed on the samples for a preliminary screening, and will show signs of any organic material that may be present in our samples. Next, a series of biochemical experiments will be conducted on the sample to confirm the presence of organic matter, and to test for more complicated organic compounds. Finally, a set of biological experiments, derived from the Viking mission, will test for the presence of metabolism through several chemical markers.
Three different types of spectroscopy will be used. APX spectroscopy shall be the first method used, both by LMRs and by human geological expeditions in the field, as well as on the drill core sections. Next GC/MS analysis of the products obtained by heating a sample will reveal the presence of organic compounds. If GC/MS turns up organic molecules, IR spectroscopy will be used next to look for complex organic molecules, and characterize them in some cases. If IR spectroscopy shows complex organic molecules in a complicated mixture which cannot be analyzed by that instrument, the sample is analyzed in solution by GC/MS and NMR
Major Experimental Divisions to search for present life
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