Surface analysis of Mercury with a mass-spectrometer

Whitby, J. A.; Busemann, H.; Rohner, U.; Benz, W. and Wurz, P. (2002). Surface analysis of Mercury with a mass-spectrometer. In: 65th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting, 21-26 Jul 2002, Los Angeles, California, USA.



Introduction: The European Space Agency BepiColombo mission to Mercury will include a lander, the Mercury Surface Element (MSE). Although the final configuration of instruments is still to be decided, we are developing a mass spectrometer suitable for use on this lander, or in other missions where low mass and low power consumption are a priority. Advantages of a mass-spectrometer over other analytical instruments include sensitivity to almost all elements, high dynamic range, spatially resolved measurements (with an appropriate sampling technique) and the potential to determine isotopic compositions.

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