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Subsurface scientific exploration of extraterrestrial environments (MINAR 5):: analogue science, technology and education inthe Boulby Mine, UK
UK Centre for Astrobiology, SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Midlothian, UK.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. UK Centre for Astrobiology, SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Midlothian, UK; Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (UGR-CSIC), Granada, Spain .ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6479-2236
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Torrejon de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid, Spain.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4492-9650
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2502-6384
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Number of Authors: 492018 (English)In: International Journal of Astrobiology, ISSN 1473-5504, E-ISSN 1475-3006Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The deep subsurface of other planetary bodies is of special interest for robotic and human exploration. The subsurface provides access to planetary interior processes, thus yielding insights into planetary formation and evolution. On Mars, the subsurface might harbour the most habitable conditions. In the context of human exploration, the subsurface can provide refugia for habitation from extreme surface conditions. We describe the fifth Mine Analogue Research (MINAR 5) programme at 1 km depth in the Boulby Mine, UK in collaboration with Spaceward Bound NASA and the Kalam Centre, India, to test instruments and methods for the robotic and human exploration of deep environments on the Moon and Mars. The geological context in Permian evaporites provides an analogue to evaporitic materials on other planetary bodies such as Mars. A wide range of sample acquisition instruments (NASA drills, Small Planetary Impulse Tool (SPLIT) robotic hammer, universal sampling bags), analytical instruments (Raman spectroscopy, Close-Up Imager, Minion DNA sequencing technology, methane stable isotope analysis, biomolecule and metabolic life detection instruments) and environmental monitoring equipment (passive air particle sampler, particle detectors and environmental monitoring equipment) was deployed in an integrated campaign. Investigations included studying the geochemical signatures of chloride and sulphate evaporitic minerals, testing methods for life detection and planetary protection around human-tended operations, and investigations on the radiation environment of the deep subsurface. The MINAR analogue activity occurs in an active mine, showing how the development of space exploration technology can be used to contribute to addressing immediate Earth-based challenges. During the campaign, in collaboration with European Space Agency (ESA), MINAR was used for astronaut familiarization with future exploration tools and techniques. The campaign was used to develop primary and secondary school and primary to secondary transition curriculum materials on-site during the campaign which was focused on a classroom extra vehicular activity simulation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridges Institutes Press, 2018.
National Category
Geochemistry Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-70069DOI: 10.1017/S1473550418000186OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-70069DiVA, id: diva2:1230747
Available from: 2018-07-04 Created: 2018-07-04 Last updated: 2018-08-02

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-journal-of-astrobiology/article/subsurface-scientific-exploration-of-extraterrestrial-environments-minar-5-analogue-science-technology-and-education-in-the-boulby-mine-uk/2D9AB3B9D5CE6BD9738F6AA6C5C13C69

Authority records BETA

Martin-Torres, JavierZorzano, Maria-PazBhardwaj, AnshumanSoria-Salinas, ÁlvaroMathanla, ThasshwinIsrael Nazarious, MiracleVakkada Ramachandran, Abhilash

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Martin-Torres, JavierZorzano, Maria-PazBhardwaj, AnshumanSoria-Salinas, ÁlvaroMathanla, ThasshwinIsrael Nazarious, MiracleVakkada Ramachandran, Abhilash
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