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Spotting Spores
Topic: Missions
Chemists have developed a technology to rapidly assess the presence of microbial life on spacecraft. The method will help in decontaminating spacecraft before launch, and could have medical and pharmaceutical uses on Earth.

Building an Astrobiology Tool Kit
Topic: Missions
In this blog entry, Juan Diego Rodriguez Blanco from the AMASE 2009 team discusses how instruments for future Mars missions are tested on Earth. This year, equipment for ESA's ExoMars mission and NASA's Mars Science Laboratory were put through the ropes on the arctic island of Svalbard.

Migrating Microbes
Topic: Missions
With every spacecraft that leaves Earth, millions of microbes hitch a ride into space. As astrobiologists search for life in other worlds, preventing forward and back contamination remains a key priority.

Green Rocket Fuel
Topic: Missions
Researchers are developing a new type of rocket fuel made from a frozen mixture of water and 'nanoscale aluminum' powder. The fuel would be more environmentally friendly, and could be manufactured on the moon, Mars or other water-bearing bodies. Such fuels could play an important role in future missions beyond our planet.

AMASE 2009 Expedition Finishes
Topic: Missions
Adrienne Kish reports from the field during the closing days of the AMASE 2009 Expedition to Norway's Svalbard island in the arctic. As the mission completed, the research team simulated a week in the life of a Mars rover science team in preparation for a future Mars sample return mission.

Space Hand-Me-Downs
Topic: Missions
Much of the biology on Earth involves molecules that are oriented in a left-handed direction. A proposed nano-satellite would carry up some of these bio-molecules to see if something in space might be responsible for this left-handed excess.

Arctic Preparations for Mars
Topic: Missions
Previous missions to Mars have been searching for signs that Mars once had liquid water, and potentially habitats for life. The next generation of martian rovers will search for signs of past or present life on Mars more directly. Technologies for such missions are now being tested in the remote arctic.

Goddess of the Arctic
Topic: Missions
Members of the 2009 AMASE Expedition describe their work in the 'scientific playground' of Bockfjorden on the arctic island of Svalbard. The team collected samples of rock and ice that will be examined for signs of life. In doing so, they are testing technologies that will one day be used on Mars.

Amase-ing Life on the Ice
Topic: Missions
Far north in the arctic, the AMASE 2009 expedition team is collecting samples of unique life that inhabits the glacial ice of Svalbard, Norway. The expedition is a test for technology that could one day be used in the search for life on Mars.

The AMASEing Adventure Continues
Topic: Missions
Coverage of the 2009 AMASE Expedition to Norway's Svalbard island continues. In this installment, Adrienne Kish discusses the steps that were taken to prepare the FIDO rover for its first appearance on Svalbard, where it is collecting samples and looking for signs of life in preparation for Mars.

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