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Whitepaper #293 submitted to the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. Topics: habitability and water; life and prebiotic organics; ocean worlds
We describe how to optimize the search for organic chemical biosignatures during in situ missions to ocean worlds. This requires sample ingestion, liquid sample handing, separation science, and detection using mass spectrometry and other optimized detectors. Inorganic chemical analysis is also essential to provide sample context information.