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Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars

Stern, Jennifer C. and Sutter, Brad and Freissinet, Caroline and Navarro-González, Rafael and McKay, Christopher P. and Archer, P. Douglas and Buch, Arnaud and Brunner, Anna E. and Coll, Patrice and Eigenbrode, Jennifer L. and Fairen, Alberto G. and Franz, Heather B. and Glavin, Daniel P. and Kashyap, Srishti and McAdam, Amy C. and Ming, Douglas W. and Steele, Andrew and Szopa, Cyril and Wray, James J. and Martín-Torres, F. Javier and Zorzano, Maria-Paz and Conrad, Pamela G. and Mahaffy, Paul R. and the MSL Science Team and DLR Collaborator (MSL Science Team), Reitz G. (2015) Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), 112 (14), pp. 4245-4250. National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420932112 ISSN 0027-8424

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1420932112

Abstract

The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has detected oxidized nitrogen-bearing compounds during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled sedimentary deposits within Gale crater. Total N concentrations ranged from 20 to 250 nmol N per sample. After subtraction of known N sources in SAM, our results support the equivalent of 110–300 ppm of nitrate in the Rocknest (RN) aeolian samples, and 70–260 and 330–1,100 ppm nitrate in John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) mudstone deposits, respectively. Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and, specifically, for the potential evolution of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The detection of nitrate in both wind-drifted fines (RN) and in mudstone (JK, CB) is likely a result of N2 fixation to nitrate generated by thermal shock from impact or volcanic plume lightning on ancient Mars. Fixed nitrogen could have facilitated the development of a primitive nitrogen cycle on the surface of ancient Mars, potentially providing a biochemically accessible source of nitrogen.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/99584/
Document Type:Article
Title:Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Stern, Jennifer C.Solar System Exploration Division, Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt, MD 20771; jennifer.c.stern (at) nasa.gov.UNSPECIFIED
Sutter, BradUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Freissinet, CarolineUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Navarro-González, RafaelUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
McKay, Christopher P.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Archer, P. DouglasUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Buch, ArnaudUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Brunner, Anna E.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Coll, PatriceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fairen, Alberto G.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Franz, Heather B.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Glavin, Daniel P.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kashyap, SrishtiUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
McAdam, Amy C.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ming, Douglas W.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Steele, AndrewUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Szopa, CyrilUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wray, James J.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Martín-Torres, F. JavierUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Zorzano, Maria-PazUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Conrad, Pamela G.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mahaffy, Paul R. and the MSL Science TeamUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
DLR Collaborator (MSL Science Team), Reitz G.Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Date:2015
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS)
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:112
DOI :10.1073/pnas.1420932112
Page Range:pp. 4245-4250
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars, nitrogen, astrobiology, nitrates, Curiosity
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben MSL-Radiation
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:26 Nov 2015 15:29
Last Modified:10 May 2016 23:34

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