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In situ geochronology as a mission-enabling technology

Coleman, Max and Hecht, Michael H. and Hurowitz, Joel and Neidholdt, Evan and Polk, James E. and Sinha, Mahadeva P. and Sturhahn, Wolfgang and Zimmermann, Wayne (2012) In situ geochronology as a mission-enabling technology. In: 2012 IEEE Aerospace Conference. IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 1-8. ISBN 978-1-4577-0556-4.

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Although there are excellent estimates of ages of terrains on Mars from crater counting, even a few absolute ages would serve to validate the calibration. Results with uncertainties, although much larger than those that could be achieved in labs on Earth, would be extremely valuable. While there are other possibilities for in situ geochronology instruments, we describe here two alternative technologies, being developed in JPL. There are two common features of both. The first is analysis by means of miniature mass spectrometer. The second is use of laser sampling to reduce or avoid sample handling, preparation and pre-treatment and equally importantly, to allow analysis of individual, texturally resolved minerals in coarse-grained rocks. This textural resolution will aid in selection of grains more or less enriched in the relevant elements and allow construction of isochrons for more precise dating. Either of these instruments could enable missions to Mars and other planetary bodies.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hurowitz, Joel0000-0002-5857-8652
Sturhahn, Wolfgang0000-0002-9606-4740
Additional Information:© 2012 IEEE. This work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), supported in part by both The Keck Institute for Space Studies and the JPL Research and Technology Development programs.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
JPL Research and Technology Development FundUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160301-135518164
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Official Citation:M. Coleman et al., "In situ geochronology as a mission-enabling technology," Aerospace Conference, 2012 IEEE, Big Sky, MT, 2012, pp. 1-8. doi: 10.1109/AERO.2012.6187053
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64922
Deposited By: Colette Connor
Deposited On:02 Mar 2016 23:24
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:37

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