Although a major objective in Mars exploration is the search for life, there are many scenarios that could lead to the recovery of lifeless samples. What could lifeless samples tell us about Mars and its habitability?
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Sample Collection and Return from Mars: Optimising Sample Collection Based on the Microbial Ecology of Terrestrial Volcanic Environments
Space Science Reviews Open Access 09 October 2019
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C.S.C. acknowledges support from Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) grant ST/R000875/1. S.M. acknowledges support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement 747877.
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Cockell, C.S., McMahon, S. Lifeless Martian samples and their significance. Nat Astron 3, 468–470 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-019-0777-0