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The Biological Oxidant and Life Detection (BOLD) mission: A proposal for a mission to Mars

Schulze-Makuch, Dirk and Head, James N. and Houtkooper, Joop M. and Knoblauch, Michael and Furfaro, Roberto and Fink, Wolfgang and Fairén, Alberto G. and Vali, Hojatollah and Sears, S. Kelly and Daly, Mike and Deamer, David and Schmidt, Holger and Hawkins, Aaron R. and Sun, Henry J. and Lim, Darlene S. S. and Dohm, James and Irwin, Louis N. and Davila, Alfonso F. and Mendez, Abel and Andersen, Dale (2012) The Biological Oxidant and Life Detection (BOLD) mission: A proposal for a mission to Mars. Planetary and Space Science, 67 (1). pp. 57-69. ISSN 0032-0633. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.03.008.

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The next step in the exploration of Mars should include a strong and comprehensive life detection component. We propose a mission called BOLD: Biological Oxidant and Life Detection mission. The scientific objectives of the BOLD mission are to characterize habitability of the martian surface and to search for evidence of extinct or extant life. In contrast to the Viking mission, which was designed to detect heterotrophic life on Mars, the BOLD mission incorporates a more comprehensive search for autotrophic microorganisms, as well as detecting a variety of biomarkers and understanding their environment. Six miniature landers are envisioned for BOLD that utilize either an orbital (e.g. Viking) or direct entry (e.g., MER, Phoenix) mission architecture. The number of landers will provide mission redundancy, and each will incorporate a Mars Soil Analyzer, a Multispectral Microscopic Imager, a Nanopore-ARROW that detects biopolymers with single molecule resolution, an Atmospheric Structure and Surface Environment Instrument, a Fluorescent Stain experiment, and a Chirality experiment. A terrain navigation system, coupled with robust propulsion, permits a landing accuracy on the order of meters if required to meet the science objectives. The probes will use existing orbiters for communication relay if the orbiter architecture proves too ambitious.

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Additional Information:© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Received 20 October 2011; Received in revised form 12 March 2012; Accepted 13 March 2012; Available online 29 March 2012.
Subject Keywords:Mars mission; Viking; Life detection; Oxidant; Microbial life; Instrumentation
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120710-160814193
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Official Citation:Dirk Schulze-Makuch, James N. Head, Joop M. Houtkooper, Michael Knoblauch, Roberto Furfaro, Wolfgang Fink, Alberto G. Fairén, Hojatollah Vali, S. Kelly Sears, Mike Daly, David Deamer, Holger Schmidt, Aaron R. Hawkins, Henry J. Sun, Darlene S.S. Lim, James Dohm, Louis N. Irwin, Alfonso F. Davila, Abel Mendez, Dale Andersen, The Biological Oxidant and Life Detection (BOLD) mission: A proposal for a mission to Mars, Planetary and Space Science, Volume 67, Issue 1, July 2012, Pages 57-69, ISSN 0032-0633, 10.1016/j.pss.2012.03.008.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:32340
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:11 Jul 2012 14:26
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 21:26

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