General Mars
  Implications of Life

  Definition of Life
  Martian Meteorite

Data Analysis
  Thin Section Analysis
  Isotope Analysis
  Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer
  Infrared Spectroscopy
  Alpha-Proton X-Ray Spectrometer
  Detection of Carbon Complexes
  Labeled Release
  Gas Exchange
  Pyrolytic Release
  Stimulus Response Experiments

Scientific Research and Design
Data Analysis - Thin Section Analysis

This experiment, or type of sample preparation, gives us a window into a rock sample. We will examine with microscope the tiniest features of the rock in search for fossilized life. 

Positive: Shows one or more of the characteristics outlined in Schopf's 1999 definition of a fossil.

Negative: No interesting or fossil-like features found. Sample tossed aside. 

False-Positive: Minerals or water products giving the illusion of a fossil structure. As any indication will be closely analyzed, any such false-positives would be quickly detected by other experiments and examinations. This is used not as an absolute but as a guidance for further study. THerefore a false-positivie is not as great a concern as ity will be negated through further observation.

mitCopyright © 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Comments and questions to Last updated: 10 December, 2000