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Definitive Mineralogical Analysis of Mars Analog Rocks Using the CheMin XRD/XRF InstrumentMineral identification is a critical component of Mars Astrobiological missions. Chemical or elemental data alone are not definitive because a single elemental or chemical composition or even a single bonding type can represent a range of substances or mineral assemblages. Minerals are defined as unique structural and compositional phases that occur naturally. There are about 15,000 minerals that have been described on Earth, all uniquely identifiable via diffraction methods. There are likely many minerals yet undiscovered on Earth, and likewise on Mars. If an unknown phase is identified on Mars, it can be fully characterized by structural (X-ray Diffraction, XRD) and elemental analysis (X-ray Fluorescence, XRF) without recourse to other data because XRD relies on the principles of atomic arrangement for its determinations. XRD is the principal means of identification and characterization of minerals on Earth.
Document ID
20040065955
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Blake, D. F. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Sarrazin, P. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Bish, D. L. (Indiana Univ. Bloomington, IN, United States)
Feldman, S. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Chipera, S. J. (Los Alamos National Lab. NM, United States)
Vaniman, D. T. (Los Alamos National Lab. NM, United States)
Collins, S. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: The Future of Mars Surface Exploration
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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