Introduction and Background Information
Spectroscopy is the most prevalent form of molecular and elemental identification in practice today, and it will be an extremely critical tool and form of analysis for determining whether life exists or existed on Mars.
We have classified our experiments into two overarching categories: the search for past life (geology) and the search for present life (biology/chemistry). Within each category, a series of detailed protocols and a basic timeline have been established to facilitate our search for life on Mars. Spectroscopic analysis will be most useful for the search of present life, yet it will also aid the experiments for the search of past life.
Four principle types of spectroscopy have been determined to be the most useful for our research purposes: Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy, Infrared Spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, and Alpha-Proton X-Ray Spectroscopy. By themselves, these instruments are extremely powerful, yet used in conjunction with one another, they will allow us to hone in on any life that may exist or may have existed on Mars.
Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)
Infrared Spectroscopy (IR)
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy
Alpha-Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APX)
Spectroscopic Analysis will be a critical part of our mission to
Mars. The aforementioned forms of spectroscopy are both going to be used
as a preliminary test for narrowing our search of sample sites on Mars,
but also for determining if certain samples contain the basic ingredients
Links and References