Sampling on Mars
John Paterson, Lockheed Martin. email@example.com
In response to the need to develop a device for collecting and isolating soil samples for a landed Mars mission, a preliminary study was performed. This need arises from a new class of experiments in exobiology dealing with the search for organic material and the nature of soil oxidants. This work is intended as a follow on the ill fated MOX Ô94 experiment.
It is thought that organics may be present at some depths and locations on Mars. To analyze organics it is necessary to decompose a sample by heating it within a chamber and testing evolved gasses. The basic instrumentation to perform this analysis can be configured in several ways, but all require collecting soil inside a sealed chamber, and the ability to humidify the sample. It further requires that the sample be of a known volume and from a known depth. the soil required for these experiments may come from just under the surface or depths of several meters. The ability to capture a sample in either case as simply as possible with limited power is the context of the following study which was performed from 1992-1994.