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EURO-CARES

European Curation of Astromaterials Returned from the Exploration of Space

Abstract: Sample return missions (SRMs) are a critical next step in our exploration of the Solar System and are identified as strategic missions by international space agencies. Europe has a very strong legacy in the curation and research of precious extraterrestrial materials. To maintain European leadership and ensure high-level involvement in future SRMs, a dedicated European Sample Curation Facility (ESCF) to receive and curate returned samples from the Moon, asteroids and Mars, is of critical importance. Euro-CARES will focus on 5 key themes for developing a ESCF:

- Planetary Protection- protocols and methods for future SRMs;
- Instrumentation and Analytical Methods in the fields of cosmo/geochemistry and biosciences;
- Facilities and Infrastructures- to curate sensitive extraterrestrial or biological materials;
- Analogue Materials- that are most appropriate and can be used in ‘end to end’ SRM planning
- Portable Receiving Technologies used to move samples whilst retaining scientific integrity and bio-containment (for Mars samples)
Using the 5 key themes Euro-CARES will:
1) Evaluate and critically assess the state of the art within Europe and internationally to identify critical requirements for the ESCF;
2) Determine and verify European readiness levels to identify where investment is required and opportunities for European leadership in scientific and engineering fields related to curating extraterrestrial samples;
3) Engage with scientific, industrial, governmental and public stakeholders through community workshops, conferences, publications and educational opportunities;
4) Deliver recommendations and roadmaps defining the steps necessary to deliver a ESCF to ensure high-level involvement in future ESA and international SRMsEuro-CARES comprises a team of scientists and engineers from across Europe with internationally recognised expertise in astrobiology, biosciences, cosmo/geochemistry, extraterrestrial sample curation, planetary protection and space exploration.

Dettagli tecnici

Struttura INAF: OA Arcetri (FI)
Bando: H2020-COMPET-2014
Riferimento contratto n. 640190
Inizio: 01/01/2015
Durata: 36 mesi
Coordinamento: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM (UK)
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