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Assessing the habitability of the MASE Mars analogue sites

Monaghan, E. and Ehrenfreund, P. and Cockell, C.S. and Schwendner, P. and Rettberg, Petra and Beblo-Vranesevic, Kristina and Bohmeier, M. and Rabbow, E. and Westall, F. and Gaboyer, F. and Walter, N. and Moissl-Eichinger, C. and Perras, A. and Gomez, F. and Amils, R. and Garcia Descalzo, L. and Marteinsson, V. and Vannier, P. (2016) Assessing the habitability of the MASE Mars analogue sites. 16th EANA Astrobiology Conference, 27. - 30. September 2016, Athens, Greece.

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Abstract

The MASE (Mars Analogues for Space Exploration) [1] project is a four-year collaborative research project supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Contract. The aim of the project is to understand how combined environmental stresses influence the habitability of a number of Mars analogue environments in Europe and beyond. Field sites sampled for MASE include deep subsurface salts at Boulby Mine in the UK, sulfidic springs In Germany and an acidic cold lake in lceland. Samples and isolates have also been provided to the project from acidic deep subsurface environments at the Rio Tinto in Spain as well as permafrost sites in Russian Siberia and northern Canada. Crucial to assessing the habitability of any environmental system to be used as an astrobiological analogue • whether for life in general or, as in this case, for anaerobic microorganisms • is a detailed understanding of their geological and physiochemical context [2, 3]. One of the key outcomes of the MASE project is a comparison and synthesis of just such a set of context data from a varied set of analogue sites, the core of which is presented here, and complemented by an analysis of field samples to detect and quantify amino acids, other organics as well as biologically relevant molecules. We show that anaerobic environments provide some of the best fidelity environments for examining the potential habitability of environments on Mars, which are also anaerobic, but that even these analogue environments show the signatures of Earth's very different geological history, such as high carbon abundance in some environments (from 0.1% in lcelandic lake sediments to 22. 7% in deep .permafrost environments).

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/107930/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Assessing the habitability of the MASE Mars analogue sites
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Monaghan, E.Huygens Laboratory, Leiden University, J.H. Oort Building, Niels Bohrweg 2, NL-2333 CA Leiden, The Netherlands; monaghan (at) strw.leidenuniv.nlUNSPECIFIED
Ehrenfreund, P.Huygens Laboratory, Leiden University, J.H. Oort Building, Niels Bohrweg 2, NL-2333 CA Leiden, The NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Cockell, C.S.University of EdinburghUNSPECIFIED
Schwendner, P.University of EdinburghUNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, Petrainstitute of aerospace medicine, radiation biology division, german aerospace center (dlr e.v.), linder höhe, 51147 cologne, germanyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Beblo-Vranesevic, Kristinainstitute of aerospace medicine, radiation biology division, german aerospace center (dlr e.v.), linder höhe, 51147 cologne, germanyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4834-7121
Bohmeier, M.institute of aerospace medicine, radiation biology division, german aerospace center (dlr e.v.), linder höhe, 51147 cologne, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Rabbow, E.institute of aerospace medicine, radiation biology division, german aerospace center (dlr e.v.), linder höhe, 51147 cologne, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Westall, F.CNRS, OrleansUNSPECIFIED
Gaboyer, F.CNRS, OrleansUNSPECIFIED
Walter, N.ESF, StrasburgUNSPECIFIED
Moissl-Eichinger, C.University of GrazUNSPECIFIED
Perras, A.University of GrazUNSPECIFIED
Gomez, F.INTA/CABUNSPECIFIED
Amils, R.Universidad Autonoma de MadridUNSPECIFIED
Garcia Descalzo, L.INTA/CABUNSPECIFIED
Marteinsson, V.Matis, Reykjavik, IcelandUNSPECIFIED
Vannier, P.Matis, Reykjavik, IcelandUNSPECIFIED
Date:2016
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Astrobiology, Mars, Mars Analogues
Event Title:16th EANA Astrobiology Conference
Event Location:Athens, Greece
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:27. - 30. September 2016
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:25 Nov 2016 13:17
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:05

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