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Raman characterization of terrestrial analogs from the AMADEE-18 astronaut simulated mission using the ExoMars RLS simulator: Implications for Mars

AuthorsLalla, Emmanuel; Konstantinidis, Menelaos; López-Reyes, G.; Daly, Michael; Veneranda, Marco; Manrique, José Antonio; Groemer, G.; Vago, J. L.; Rull, Fernando
Issue Date2020
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationJournal of Raman Spectroscopy 51: 2525- 2535 (2020)
AbstractBetween February 1 and February 28, 2018, the Austrian Space Forum, in cooperation with research teams from 25 nations, conducted the AMADEE-18 mission—a human-robotic Mars expedition simulation in the Dhofar region in the Sultanate of Oman. As a part of the AMADEE-18 simulated Mars human exploration mission, the Remote Science Support team investigated the Dhofar area (Oman) to qualify it as a potential Mars analog site. The motivation of this research was to study and register selected samples collected by the analog astronauts during the AMADEE-18 mission with the European Space Agency (ESA) ExoMars Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) simulator, compare the results with standard laboratory measurements, and establish the implication of the results to the future ESA ExoMars mission. The Raman measurements identified minerals such as carbonates (calcite and dolomite), feldspar and plagioclase (albite, anorthite, orthoclase, and sanidine), Fe-oxides (goethite, hematite, and magnetite), and Ti-oxide (anatase), each relevant to planetary exploration. As we have presented here, Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for detecting the presence of organic molecules, particularly by analyzing the principal vibration of C-C and C-H bonds. It has also been shown that portable Raman spectroscopy is a relevant tool for in situ field studies such as those conducted during extra-vehicular activities (EVA) in simulated missions like the AMADEE-18 and the future AMADEE-2020 campaign.
DescriptionThis work is funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) under references ESP2014‐56138‐C3‐2‐R and ESP2107‐87690‐C3‐1‐R. We would like to thank The Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) and the AMADEE‐18 Oman National Steering Committee, in particular, Dr. Saleh Al‐Shidhani and the government and people of the Sultanate of Oman. The Planetary Exploration Instrumentation Laboratory (PIL) at York University is especially thankful for the financial support provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE), and the Canadian Space Agency. E. A. Lalla would like to express gratitude to the Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE) for the TalentEdge Postdoctoral Funding during the development of the present manuscript. The authors are grateful to Dr. K. Tait and V. Di Cecco for the opportunity to carry out measurements at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and their excellent support.
Publisher version (URL)
Identifiersdoi: 10.1002/jrs.6023
issn: 1097-4555
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