Urey Support Post PCR#2 (Q3 2009 to Q3 2010)

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Earth Science and Engineering


At Payload Confirmation Review #2, the ExoMars Pasteur Rover instrument suite set for launch in 2016 was redefined and ExoMars was transformed to a more collaborative international mission. The Urey instrument was not included in the revised payload for 2016. Instruments deselected at Payload Confirmation Review #2 are expected to fly in one of a series of subsequent international collaboration missions in 2018 and 2020. Maintaining instrument team collaborations and preparing for successful inclusion in payloads for 2018 and 2020 requires a number of international meetings, discussions and presentations. Urey (Figure 1) is a key instrument for any exobiology mission and is a clear contender for 2018. Urey has an ability to search for organic compounds indicative of life and prebiotic chemistry at a sensitivity many orders of magnitude greater than obtained in previous in situ organic detection systems. Urey can perform the first search for key classes of organic molecules using state-of-the-art analytical methods that provide part-per-trillion sensitivity. It can ascertain whether any of these molecules are abiotic or biotic in origin and can evaluate the survival potential of organic compounds in the environment using innovative oxidant sensors. This proposal requests funding for travel, subsistence and collaborative activities that will help prepare Urey for selection in forthcoming mission opportunities. Support will enhance the UK role in any new science team structure. Four weeks travel and 5% investigator time are included in costings for Urey support from Q3 2009 to Q3 2010.


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Chan H. -S. (2012) Amino acid analyses of type 3 chondrites Colony, Ornans, Chainpur, and Bishunpur in Meteoritics and Planetary Science

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Marlow J (2010) Organic host analogues and the search for life on Mars in International Journal of Astrobiology

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Marlow Jeffrey J. (2011) Organic host analogues and the search for life on Mars in International Journal of Astrobiology

Description Extraction protocols for organic molecules using aqueous solvents
Detection capabilities for Mars life detection instruments
Understanding of organic matter preservation and extraction in extreme settings
Exploitation Route Work is published and accessible to others
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Energy
Description Organic compounds are at the centre of the energy industry and our improved methods for extraction, manipulation and detection are being examined by the oil industry.
First Year Of Impact 2006
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Energy
Impact Types Economic