Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lunar Beagle and Lunar Astrobiology

Beagle 2 lander deployed in an idealized position. The Position Adjustable Work Station (PAW) is positioned for analysis of a rock and the Mole is ready to move across the surface.

Gibson, Pillinger & Waugh

The study of the elements and molecules of astrobiological interest on the Moon can be made with the Gas Analysis Package (GAP) and associated instruments developed for the Beagle 2 Mars Express Payload.

The Beagle 2’s analytical instrument package including the sample processing facility and the GAP mass spectrometer can provide vital isotopic information that can distinguish whether the lunar volatiles are indigenous to the moon, solar wind derived, cometary in origin or from meteoroids impacting on the Moon. As future Lunar Landers are being considered, the suite of instruments developed for the Mars Beagle 2 lander can be consider as the baseline for any lunar volatile or resource instrument package.

We suggest a possible package based on the Beagle 2 Mars lander, for delivery to a lunar polar region to conduct definitive studies in situ analysis of molecules of astrobiology importance.

Review the (pdf) proposal and rationale, HERE.

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