Posted: September 11th, 2015
This is an astrobiology research paper.
Mission: To achieve your mission aims you need to address all aspects when
devising your mission to Mars e.g. Logistics, lander design, landing site, sampling
methods, sample return (or not). However, you may focus in more detail on a
particular aspect of the mission you are interested in, but still include all steps of the
For an example of a mission timeline: http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/mission/timeline/
NASA is a great resource so feel free to browse their missions to Mars to get ideas
about how you might create your own mission timeline!
The report should include four main topics:
1. Literature review – Geology of Mars and why you would search for life there. General geology of your proposed search site. Evidence that supports the environmental interpretation of the chosen site e.g. lake beds, hydrothermal deposits.
2. Aims – Propose your search site and what biosignatures ( i.e. stromatolites, microfossils, chemical/molecular biomarkers) you want to look for?
3. Methods – (a) Sampling e.g. In situ analysis or sample return etc… (b) Analysis techniques/instruments e.g. Raman spectroscopy etc… (c) Logistics e.g. do you use a rover or a base camp – manned, unmanned etc.. You can even design a lander if you want –
4. Discussion – Explain why have you picked this site and these methods. Compare/contrast with previous exploration.
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