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Journal Articles Planetary and Space Science Year : 2012

Supporting Mars exploration: BIOMEX in Low Earth Orbit and further astrobiological studies on the Moon using Raman and PanCam technology

1 DLR Institut für Planetenforschung
2 INTA - Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial
3 DLR - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt [Berlin]
4 TUB - Technical University of Berlin / Technische Universität Berlin
5 Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata [Roma, Italia] = University of Rome Tor Vergata [Rome, Italy] = Université de Rome Tor Vergata [Rome, Italie]
6 IBMM - Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron [Pôle Chimie Balard]
7 DLR - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt [Köln]
8 CBM - Centre de biophysique moléculaire
9 TH Wildau - Technische Hochschule Wildau
10 CPTC - Centre Pluridisciplinaire Textes et Cultures
11 Museum für Naturkunde [Berlin]
12 Università degli studi della Tuscia [Viterbo]
13 NASU / НАН України - National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine = Національна академія наук України = Académie nationale des sciences d'Ukraine
14 Fraunhofer IBMT - Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering [Sulzbach]
15 ESTEC - European Space Research and Technology Centre
16 SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy [Edinburgh]
17 GFZ - German Research Centre for Geosciences - Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam
18 JCSG - Joint Center for Structural Genomics
19 AWI - Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung = Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research = Institut Alfred-Wegener pour la recherche polaire et marine
20 University of Sheffield [Sheffield]
21 University of Bradford
22 University of Potsdam = Universität Potsdam
23 Leiden Observatory [Leiden]
24 Space Policy Institute [Washington]
25 Universiteit Leiden = Leiden University
26 Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf = Heinrich Heine University [Düsseldorf]
27 DLR Institute of Planetary Research
28 DLR - German Aerospace Center
Frances Westall
Ralf Jaumann
Tilman Spohn


The Low Earth Orbit (LEO) experiment Biology and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX) is an interdisciplinary and international space research project selected by ESA. The experiment will be accommodated on the space exposure facility EXPOSE-R2 on the International Space Station (ISS) and is foreseen to be launched in 2013. The prime objective of BIOMEX is to measure to what extent biomolecules, such as pigments and cellular components, are resistant to and able to maintain their stability under space and Mars-like conditions. The results of BIOMEX will be relevant for space proven biosignature definition and for building a biosignature data base (e.g. the proposed creation of an international Raman library). The library will be highly relevant for future space missions such as the search for life on Mars. The secondary scientific objective is to analyze to what extent terrestrial extremophiles are able to survive in space and to determine which interactions between biological samples and selected minerals (including terrestrial, Moon- and Mars analogs) can be observed under space and Mars-like conditions. In this context, the Moon will be an additional platform for performing similar experiments with negligible magnetic shielding and higher solar and galactic irradiation compared to LEO. Using the Moon as an additional astrobiological exposure platform to complement ongoing astrobiological LEO investigations could thus enhance the chances of detecting organic traces of life on Mars. We present a lunar lander mission with two related objectives: a lunar lander equipped with Raman and PanCam instruments which can analyze the lunar surface and survey an astrobiological exposure platform. This dual use of testing mission technology together with geo- and astrobiological analyses will significantly increase the science return, and support the human preparation objectives. It will provide knowledge about the Moon′s surface itself and, in addition, monitor the stability of life-markers, such as cells, cell components and pigments, in an extraterrestrial environment with much closer radiation properties to the surface of Mars. The combination of a Raman data base of these data together with data from LEO and space simulation experiments, will lead to further progress on the analysis and interpretation of data that we will obtain from future Moon and Mars exploration missions.
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insu-01337134 , version 1 (06-03-2024)



Jean-Pierre de Vera, Ute Boettger, Rosa de La Torre Noetzel, Francisco J Sánchez, Dana Grunow, et al.. Supporting Mars exploration: BIOMEX in Low Earth Orbit and further astrobiological studies on the Moon using Raman and PanCam technology. Planetary and Space Science, 2012, 74 (1), pp.103-110. ⟨10.1016/j.pss.2012.06.010⟩. ⟨insu-01337134⟩
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