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Exploring the Shallow Subsurface of Mars with the Ma_MISS Spectrometer on the ExoMars Rover Rosalind Franklin

De Sanctis, M. C. and Altieri, F. and Ammannito, E. and De Angelis, S. and Ehlmann, B. and Ferrari, M. and Frigeri, A. and Fonte, S. and Formisano, M. and Giardino, M. and Apuzzo, A. and Brossier, J. and Costa, N. and Rossi, L. and Vizzini, G. and Ciarletti, G. V. and Westall, F. (2022) Exploring the Shallow Subsurface of Mars with the Ma_MISS Spectrometer on the ExoMars Rover Rosalind Franklin. Planetary Science Journal, 3 (6). Art. No. 142. ISSN 2632-3338. doi:10.3847/psj/ac694f.

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An essential part of the Exomars 2022 payload is the Mars Multispectral Imager for Subsurface Studies (Ma_MISS) experiment hosted by the drill system. Ma_MISS is a visible and near-infrared (0.4–2.3 μm) miniaturized spectrometer with an optical head inside the drill tip capable of observing the drill borehole with a spatial resolution of 120 μm. Here we report on how the Ma_MISS hyperspectral information provides in situ investigation of the subsurface at very fine resolution, prior to the collection of the samples that will be manipulated and crushed for further analysis by the analytical laboratory on the rover. Ma_MISS is the instrument that will closely investigate the subsurface mineralogical characteristics in its original geologic context at depths never reached before in Mars exploration. Ma_MISS recognizes all the major spectral features of the clays, basaltic, and minor phases expected at the ExoMars landing site, Oxia Planum. The high spatial resolution on the borehole wall is such that single grains of about 100 μm can be distinguishable in the assemblage of minerals observed by Ma_MISS. The spatial distribution of the mineralogies within the borehole walls is associated with the rocks and the processes that put these materials in place and possibly altered them with time, characterizing the habitats found in the stratigraphic record, indicating which ones are the most suitable to have held or to be holding nowadays traces of life.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
De Sanctis, M. C.0000-0002-3463-4437
Altieri, F.0000-0002-6338-8300
Ammannito, E.0000-0001-6671-2690
Ehlmann, B.0000-0002-2745-3240
Formisano, M.0000-0003-3236-1604
Additional Information:© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2022 January 24; revised 2022 April 15; accepted 2022 April 20; published 2022 June 16. We thank the European Space Agency (ESA) for the ExoMars Project, ROSCOSMOS and Thales Alenia Space for rover development, and Italian Space Agency (ASI) for funding and fully supporting Ma_MISS experiment (grant ASI-INAF No. 2017-48-H.0). We thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments on the manuscript.
Group:Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)2017-48-H.0
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mars
Issue or Number:6
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Mars (1007)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220722-768964000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:M. C. De Sanctis et al 2022 Planet. Sci. J. 3 142
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:115782
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:25 Jul 2022 20:11
Last Modified:22 Nov 2022 20:15

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