6 items with the tag “carbonaceous chondrite

  • Research Activities in the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory
    NAI 2009 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Annual Report

    A little over 4.5 billion years ago, our solar system was a disk of gas and dust, newly collapsed from a molecular cloud, surrounding a young and growing protostar. Today most of the gas and dust is in the spectacularly diverse planets and satellites of our solar system, and in the Sun. How did the present state of the planetary system come to be from such undistinguished beginnings? The telling of that story is an exercise in forensic science. The “crime” occurred a long time ago and the “evidence” has been tampered with, as most planets and satellites display a rich variety of geological evolution over solar system history.

    Fortunately, not all material has been heavily processed. Comets and asteroids represent largely unprocessed material remnant from the early solar system and they a represented on Earth by meteorites and interplanetary dust particles (IDPs). Furthermore, telescopic studies of the birth places of other solar systems allow researchers to simulate those environments in the laboratory so that we may characterize the organic material produced.

    We are a laboratory dedicated to the study of organic compounds derived from Stardust and future sample return missions, meteorites, lab simulations of Mars, interstellar, proto-planetary, and cometary ices and grains, and instrument development. Like forensic crime shows, the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory employs commercial analytical instruments. However, ours are configured and optimized for small organics of astrobiological interest instead of blood, clothing, etc.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 3.1 4.3 7.1
  • Habitability of Water-Rich Environments, Task 5: Evaluate the Habitability of Small Icy Satellites and Minor Planets
    NAI 2009 Arizona State University Annual Report

    Small bodies in the outer Solar System may harbor liquid water-ammonia oceans and many of the chemical ingredients of life. In this project, we are assessing how much liquid may be present in the Kuiper Belt and the geochemical evolution of Saturn’s volatile-rich moons Enceladus and Titan.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.2
  • Habitability of Water-Rich Environments, Task 5: Evaluate the Habitability of Small Icy Satellites and Minor Planets
    NAI 2010 Arizona State University Annual Report

    A better understanding of the physical and chemical properties of putative aquatic systems on icy satellites is needed to assess their potential for life. We developed new models to assess the origins of carbon and nitrogen species on Titan, the composition and salinity of an ocean on Enceladus, the chemical energy available for metabolism on Enceladus, and the formation of crystalline ice on the surfaces of icy moon.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.2
  • Research Activities in the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory
    NAI 2010 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Annual Report

    We are a laboratory dedicated to the study of organic compounds derived from Stardust and future sample return missions, meteorites, lab simulations of Mars, interstellar, proto-planetary, and cometary ices and grains, and instrument development. Like forensic crime shows, the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory employs commercial analytical instruments. However, ours are configured and optimized for small organics of astrobiological interest instead of blood, clothing, etc.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.1 3.1 3.2 7.1
  • Research Activities in the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory
    NAI 2011 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Annual Report

    The Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory is a laboratory dedicated to the study of organic compounds derived from Stardust and future sample return missions, meteorites, lab simulations of Mars, interstellar, proto-planetary, and cometary ices and grains, and instrument development. This year, we conclusively demonstrated the presence of indigenous nucleobases and purines in carbonaceous chondrites, resolving a 50-year-old debate. We continued analyses of meteoritic amino acids, which led to both the first detection of these compounds in thermally altered meteorites and a more detailed understanding of their presence in aqueously altered meteorites. We collaborated with researchers at various institutions to bring our analytical expertise to the study of precious and unique samples. We look forward to our increased participation in the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.1 3.1 7.1
  • Research Activities in the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory
    NAI 2012 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Annual Report

    We are a laboratory dedicated to the study of organic compounds derived from past and future sample return missions, meteorites, lab simulations of Mars, interstellar, proto-planetary, and cometary ices and grains, and instrument development. This year, we continued our analyses of amino acids in carbonaceous chondrites, identifying large L-enantiomeric excesses in the Tagish Lake meteorite that may point towards abiotic processes that could lead to homochirality. We made the first detection of amino acids in CH and CB chondrites, and used compound-specific isotopic analysis to understand formation mechanisms for amino acids in CM and CR chondrites. We hosted two graduate students, welcomed a new NAI NPP postdoctoral researcher to our laboratory, and participated in numerous public outreach and education events, including providing a lecturer to the annual NAI Santander Summer School. We continued our participation in the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission and provided support for the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 3.1 3.2 7.1