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Scientific value of returning an atmospheric sample from Mars

Whitepaper #159 submitted to the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. Topics: atmospheric/exospheric evolution; life and prebiotic organics; Mars

Published onMar 18, 2021
Scientific value of returning an atmospheric sample from Mars

A returned gas sample is required in order to address key questions about Mars atmospheric origin and evolution and provide necessary context for returned geological samples. An ambient-pressure sample of ~100 cc volume would provide key measurements of noble gases; a sample compressed to ~0.7 bar is necessary to determine C isotopes in methane.


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