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Supporting future “search-for-life” missions: spectroscopy analysis of biosignatures after space and Mars-like environment exposure

Baque, Mickael and Hanke, Franziska and Böttger, Ute and Leya, T. and Moeller, Ralf and de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul (2018) Supporting future “search-for-life” missions: spectroscopy analysis of biosignatures after space and Mars-like environment exposure. FTIR Spectroscopy in Microbiological and Medical Diagnostics, 10-11 October 2019, Berlin.

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Mars and the Jovian and Saturnian moons (Europa and Enceladus) are the next targets to search for life in our Solar System. New life detection instruments are indeed ready to be sent to Mars in 2020 (onboard ESA/Roscomos’s ExoMars2020 and NASA’s Mars2020 rovers) and possibly further. Among them, spectroscopy methods such as Raman or infrared are promising techniques that can give insights on both the mineralogical context and the identification of biosignatures. However, to support and interpret spectroscopic data correctly, as well as to guide future life detection missions, a better understanding of possibly habitable environments and potentially detectable biosignatures is of paramount importance. During the last years extensive field and laboratory investigations focused on demonstrating the capabilities of such technologies to characterize both mineral and biological samples of relevance to Mars but very few assessed potential biosignatures degradation under Mars-like or space-like conditions. To this end we are using samples from ground-based and space exposure experiments, the STARLIFE [1] and the BIOMEX [2] projects, to characterize their Raman and IR signatures after space and Mars relevant stresses. BIOMEX was part of the EXPOSE-R2 mission of the European Space Agency, which allowed a 15-month exposure on the outer side of the International Space Station and STARLIFE is an international campaign to study the role of galactic cosmic radiation in astrobiological systems. A wide range of extremophilic organisms such as cyanobacteria, permafrost green-algae, iron bacteria or methanogens and selected biomolecules exposed under these conditions will help us to define targets for future missions to Mars (and other bodies) carrying Raman, IR or LIBS spectrometers and give further clues about the potential habitability of Mars. We report, as an example, on the preservation potential of cyanobacterial photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) in the Antarctic cyanobacterium Nostoc cf. punctiforme strain CCCryo 231-06 after high doses of gamma irradiation and after space exposure [3]. [1] R. Moeller, M. Raguse, S. Leuko, T. Berger, C.E. Hellweg, A. Fujimori, R. Okayasu, and G. Horneck, Astrobiology, 17, 101–109 (2017). [2] J.-P. de Vera, M. Alawi, T. Backhaus, M. Baqué, D. Billi, U. Böttger, T. Berger, M. Bohmeier, C. Cockell, R. Demets, R. de la Torre Noetzel, H. Edwards, A. Elsaesser, C. Fagliarone, A. Fiedler, B. Foing, F. Foucher, J. Fritz, F. Hanke, et al., Astrobiology, 19, 145–157 (2019). [3] M. Baqué, F. Hanke, U. Böttger, T. Leya, R. Moeller, and J.-P. de Vera, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 49, 1617–1627 (2018).

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/129963/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Supporting future “search-for-life” missions: spectroscopy analysis of biosignatures after space and Mars-like environment exposure
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Baque, MickaelUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6696-6030UNSPECIFIED
Leya, T.Fraunhofer IZI-BB, Potsdam, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Moeller, RalfUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2371-0676UNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Raman spectroscopy, cyanobacteria, gamma radiation, biosignatures, Mars
Event Title:FTIR Spectroscopy in Microbiological and Medical Diagnostics
Event Location:Berlin
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:10-11 October 2019
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Planetary Evolution and Life (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof , Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems > Terahertz and Laser Spectroscopy
Deposited By: Baqué, Dr. Mickael
Deposited On:29 Oct 2019 08:25
Last Modified:29 Oct 2019 08:25

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