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Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie


Over the past few years a growing number of IMPMC researchers have developped diversified scientific activity on the planet Mars. The transversal theme MARS provides a forum where researchers from different IMPMC teams (ROCKS, BIOMIN, MinEnv, MIP, COSMO, PHYSIX, PALM) discuss and should generate transversal research activities and proposals.

IMPMC is actively involved in many of the on-going and future missions (MSL, InSight, Mars2020 or ExoMars): V.Sautter is Co-I on ChemCam, the LIBS instrument on MSL Curiosity rover; O. Beyssac is Co-I on Mars2020 SuperCam the LIBS/Raman/IR instrument including 3 more IMPMC scientists (V. Sautter, S. Bernard and K. Benzerara). One of the objectives of the ERC PICKLE (P.I. D. Antonangeli) is to develop laboratory techniques and methodology to be able to determine the physical properties of planetary materials needed to interpret results from space missions (e.g. InSight) and to produce accurate models of the interior of Mars.In addition, B. Zanda regularly classifies new Martian meteorites obtained from meteorite dealers and she is co-PI of FRIPON, a 100-camera network that monitors the French sky in order to detect and recover new meteorite falls, giving us the opportunity to find new Martian meteorites.

Three main topics are currently identified: the Martian interior, surface processes, past habitability and the seeking of putative life activity. These initial topics will likely evolve and focus, and other themes may emerge during the next years. One specificity of our action is our experimental effort for the preparation of (i) the NASA Mars2020 mission through the setting of a unique time-resolved Raman/fluorescence experiment including a Martian chamber and analog to the SuperCam instrument and (ii) the NASA InSight mission with laboratory experiments to determine the physical properties under pressure (P) and temperature (T) of materials relevant to the Mars interior. In that purpose, expertise in experimental physics and the contribution of the Cellule Project are essential.


Our tools (left), our topics (right).

Cécile Duflot - 21/12/17

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