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Chemical and Textural characterisation of two Phobos regolith simulants

Morland, Zoe; Pearson, Victoria; Patel, Manish and Green, Simon (2019). Chemical and Textural characterisation of two Phobos regolith simulants. In: 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, article no. 1274.

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Abstract

Phobos, the larger of Mars’ moons, is scientifically important because it holds clues to Mars system planetary formation processes, and its regolith may hold a detectable fraction, up to 250 ppm, of material ejected from the surface of Mars. This material, delivered to Phobos throughout its history is representative of Mars’ surface over geological time, and may preserve martian crust, potentially containing biosignatures, that have otherwise been altered by changing geological processes on Mars. Future missions, such as JAXA’s Martian Moons eXploration mission (MMX), aim to test these hypotheses and provide further understanding of Phobos’ viability for in-situ resource utilization and its effectiveness as a record keeper of martian biosignatures.

However, in the absence of direct sampling or analysis of Phobos’ surface, regolith simulants are required. Physical simulants can be used to aid mission engineering capability testing and the identification of potential contaminants. Compositional simulants support investigations into planetary protection and biosignature preservation, and assessment of the accuracy and reliability of analytical techniques to be used on future samples from Phobos.

As a part of ESA-funded concept studies, physical and compositional simulants were designed and produced. Achieving the desired physical and compositional characteristics were balanced against material availability, cost and safety

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Authors
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Space
Item ID: 61758
Depositing User: Zoe Morland
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 17:07
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/61758
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