A roadmap for a European extraterrestrial sample curation facility – the EURO CARES project

Smith, Caroline L.; Russell, Sara S.; Hutzler, Aurore; Meneghin, Andrea; Brucato, John Robert; Rettberg, Petra; Leuko, Stefano; Longobardo, Andrea; Dirri, Fabrizio; Palomba, Ernesto; Rotundi, Alessandra; Ferrière, Ludovic; Bennett, Allan; Pottage, Thomas; Folco, Luigi; Debaille, Vinciane; Aléon, Jérôme; Gounelle, Matthieu; Marrocchi, Yves; Franchi, Ian A.; Westall, Frances; Zipfel, Jutta; Foucher, Frédéric; Berthoud, Lucy; Vrublevskis, John; Bridges, John C.; Holt, John and Grady, Monica M. (2021). A roadmap for a European extraterrestrial sample curation facility – the EURO CARES project. In: Longobardo, Andrea ed. Sample Return Missions. Elsevier, pp. 249–268.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-818330-4.00013-6


Sample return missions are among the most exciting space missions, providing both scientifically unique information and an unparalleled mechanism for the inspiring the public. Returned samples allow us to make critical ground truth measurements that can calibrate remote sensing measurements from spacecraft. Some scientific studies can only be done in laboratories rather than remotely or with landed spacecraft. Currently Europe does not have a facility suitable for the curation of returned extra-terrestrial samples. This not only hinders European Space Agency (ESA) missions, but also renders European institutions and Principal Investigators unable to fully participate as equal participants in missions implemented by other countries. The EUROsingle bondCARES project was the first European attempt to review and evaluate the current state-of-the-art in curatorial practice for sample return missions, and determine the different and necessary steps in order to create a fully functional European Extra-terrestrial Sample Curation Facility to match the ESA requirements.

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