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The AMINO experiment: a laboratory for astrochemistry and astrobiology on the EXPOSE-R facility of the International Space Station

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 November 2014

H. Cottin*
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
K. Saiagh
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
Y.Y. Guan
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
M. Cloix
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
D. Khalaf
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
F. Macari
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
M. Jérome
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
J.-M. Polienor
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
Y. Bénilan
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
P. Coll
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France Institut Universitaire de France, 103 blv St-Michel, 75005 Paris, France
N. Fray
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
M.-C. Gazeau
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
F. Raulin
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
F. Stalport
Affiliation:
LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France
N. Carrasco
Affiliation:
Institut Universitaire de France, 103 blv St-Michel, 75005 Paris, France Université Versailles St-Quentin, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, CNRS, LATMOS, 11 blvd d'Alembert, 78280 Guyancourt, France
C. Szopa
Affiliation:
Institut Universitaire de France, 103 blv St-Michel, 75005 Paris, France
M. Bertrand
Affiliation:
Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, CNRS, rue Charles Sadron, 45071 Orléans Cedex 2, France
A. Chabin
Affiliation:
Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, CNRS, rue Charles Sadron, 45071 Orléans Cedex 2, France
F. Westall
Affiliation:
Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, CNRS, rue Charles Sadron, 45071 Orléans Cedex 2, France
J. Vergne
Affiliation:
UMR 7205- ISyEB, CNRS-MNHN-UPMC Univ Paris 06, 75005, Paris, France
L.A. Da Silva
Affiliation:
UMR 7205- ISyEB, CNRS-MNHN-UPMC Univ Paris 06, 75005, Paris, France
M.-C. Maurel
Affiliation:
UMR 7205- ISyEB, CNRS-MNHN-UPMC Univ Paris 06, 75005, Paris, France
D. Chaput
Affiliation:
Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Toulouse, France
R. Demets
Affiliation:
ESA ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
A. Brack
Affiliation:
Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, CNRS, rue Charles Sadron, 45071 Orléans Cedex 2, France

Abstract

The study of the evolution of organic matter subjected to space conditions, and more specifically to Solar photons in the vacuum ultraviolet range (120–200 nm) has been undertaken in low-Earth orbit since the 1990s, and implemented on various space platforms. This paper describes a photochemistry experiment called AMINO, conducted during 22 months between 2009 and 2011 on the EXPOSE-R ESA facility, outside the International Space Station. Samples with relevance to astrobiology (connected to comets, carbonaceous meteorites and micrometeorites, the atmosphere of Titan and RNA world hypothesis) have been selected and exposed to space environment. They have been analysed after return to the Earth. This paper is not discussing the results of the experiment, but rather gives a general overview of the project, the details of the hardware used, its configuration and recent developments to enable long-duration exposure of gaseous samples in tight closed cells enabling for the first time to derive quantitative results from gaseous phase samples exposed in space.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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