Containers, sensors and samples to understand desert weathering

Schwenzer, S. P.; Barnes, J. J.; Charlier, B. L.; Grady, M. M.; Hall, C.; Melwani Daswani, M.; Morse, A.; Olsson-Francis, K.; Patel, M.; Pearson, V.; Pillinger, J. M.; Preston, L. J.; Sheridan, S.; Sherlock, S. C.; Steer, E. D.; Summers, S.; Verchovsky, S.; Dove-Jay, A. S.; Jewell, S. and Musilova, M. (2015). Containers, sensors and samples to understand desert weathering. In: 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 16-20 Mar 2015, The Woodlands, TX, USA.



Our study is motivated by two aspects: i) the scientific motivation is to a) expand on previous studies of heavy noble gases in samples from terrestrial hot and cold deserts, thus to collect surface and subsurface (20 cm depth) samples from wind-blown desert soil and to b) study clay rich soil horizons for their microbiology and potential to serve as Mars analogue; and the ii) technological motivation is to field-test a prototype
sampling container for crew-based sample return missions to Mars, the Moon, or other celestial bodies.

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