Volatile, Isotope, and Organic Analysis of Martian Fines with the Mars Curiosity Rover

L. A. Leshin 1 P. R. Mahaffy 2 C. R. Webster 3 Michel Cabane 4 Patrice Coll 5 P. G. Conrad 2 P. D. Archer Jr. 6 S. K. Atreya 7 A. E. Brunner 2, 8 A. Buch 9 J. L. Eigenbrode 2 G. J. Flesch 3 H. B. Franz 2, 10 C. Freissinet 2 D. P. Glavin 2 A. C. Mcadam 2 K. E. Miller 11 D. W. Ming 6 R. V. Morris 6 R. Navarro-González 12 P. B. Niles 6 T. Owen 13 R. O. Pepin 14 S. Squyres 15 A. Steele 16 J. C. Stern 2 R. E. Summons 11 D. Y. Sumner 17 B. Sutter 6, 18 Cyril Szopa 4 Samuel Teinturier 19, 20 M. G. Trainer 2 J. J. Wray 21 J. P. Grotzinger 22
Abstract : Samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit were heated to ~835°C under helium flow and evolved gases analyzed by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite. H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 were the major gases released. Water abundance (1.5 to 3 weight percent) and release temperature suggest that H2O is bound within an amorphous component of the sample. Decomposition of fine-grained Fe or Mg carbonate is the likely source of much of the evolved CO2. Evolved O2 is coincident with the release of Cl, suggesting that oxygen is produced from thermal decomposition of an oxychloride compound. Elevated δD values are consistent with recent atmospheric exchange. Carbon isotopes indicate multiple carbon sources in the fines. Several simple organic compounds were detected, but they are not definitively martian in origin.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 3:44:11 PM
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L. A. Leshin, P. R. Mahaffy, C. R. Webster, Michel Cabane, Patrice Coll, et al.. Volatile, Isotope, and Organic Analysis of Martian Fines with the Mars Curiosity Rover. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2013, 341 (6153), pp.1238937. ⟨10.1126/science.1238937⟩. ⟨hal-00922263⟩

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