Maite Fernández Sampedro

Maite Fernández Sampedro
Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial | INTA · Astrobiology Centre

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41
Publications
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Publications

Publications (41)
Article
Full-text available
In this work, we have analyzed natural samples collected at three hydrothermal areas of Iceland by Raman spectroscopy. The studied high-latitude regions are considered environmentally and mineralogically appropriate Martian analogues since they are rich in weathered basalts that have been altered by hydrothermalism to mineral phases such as silica,...
Article
In this work, we studied the dehydration process of the glycine-MgSO4·5H2O complex under Mars-relevant conditions (99% CO2 and 0.6% H2O under ultra violet (UV) irradiation exposure at 7-mbar pressure and high vacuum conditions: 8 ·10-5 and 5 ·10-5 mbar) by in situ Raman spectroscopy inside a planetary atmosphere and surface chamber (PASC). This wor...
Article
Research interest in NH4-smectites in planetology is increasing after the discovery of their high abundance on the surface of Ceres. This dwarf planet is considered a relic ocean world, showing evidence of extended aqueous alteration and cryovolcanic activity that occurred during the course of its history (De Sanctis et al., 2020). Despite the posi...
Article
Full-text available
Detecting signs of potential extant/extinct life on Mars is challenging because the presence of organics on that planet is expected to be very low and most likely linked to radiation-protected refugia and/or preservative strategies (e.g., organo-mineral complexes). With scarcity of organics, accounting for biomineralization and potential relationsh...
Article
Full-text available
The modern Martian surface is unlikely to be habitable due to its extreme aridity among other environmental factors. This is the reason why the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert has been studied as an analog for the habitability of Mars for more than 50 years. Here we report a layer enriched in smectites located just 30 cm below the surface of t...
Article
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The presence of organic matter in lacustrine mudstone sediments at Gale crater was revealed by the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, which also identified smectite clay minerals. Analogue experiments on phyllosilicates formed under low temperature aqueous conditons have illustrated that these are excellent reservoirs to host organic compound...
Article
This article describes a comprehensive testing method for the radiometric and angular calibration of the Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TIRS) onboard NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. First, details of the TIRS opto-mechanical design, construction aspects of the IR detectors, and an update of the mathematical model used for the calculation of sensor internal IR...
Article
The aim of the European Space Agency's ExoMars rover mission is to search for potential traces of present or past life in the swallow subsurface (2 m depth) of Mars. The ExoMars rover mission relies on a suite of analytical instruments envisioned to identify organic compounds with biological value (biomarkers) associated with a mineralogical matrix...
Article
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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Here we inspect whether microbial life may disperse using dust transported by wind in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, a well-known Mars analog model. By setting a simple experiment across the hyperarid core of the Atacama we found that a number of viable bacteria and fungi are in fact able to traverse the driest and most UV irradiated desert...
Article
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A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has not been fixed in the paper.
Article
Full-text available
The hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, the driest and oldest desert on Earth, has experienced a number of highly unusual rain events over the past three years, resulting in the formation of previously unrecorded hypersaline lagoons, which have lasted several months. We have systematically analyzed the evolution of the lagoons to provide quantita...
Article
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Recent discoveries from planetary missions show that serpentinization process may act significantly on the geological evolution and potential habitability of the icy bodies of the Solar System, like Enceladus or Europa. Here we review the available experimental data so far about methane formation occurring during serpentinization, which is potentia...
Chapter
El TIRS (Thermal InfraRed Sensor) es una de las cargas útiles de la misión de NASA Mars 2020, que se espera que despegue en 2020, y está diseñado para operar durante al menos tres años marcianos en superficie. El TIRS es parte de la estación ambiental Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA), formada por otros sensores ambientales, que se coloca...
Conference Paper
Abstract—The Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TIRS), an infrared (IR) radiometer developed at Centro de Astrobiología, is one the sensors that compose the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) onboard NASA‘s Mars 2020 mission. It will measure the net thermal infrared radiation, reflected solar radiation at the surface, atmosphere temperature and surf...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) is a suite of environmental sensors onboard NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. The Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TIRS), developed at Centro de Astrobiología of Spain, is one of the six sensors comprising MEDA, and it will measure the net thermal infrared radiation and reflected solar radiation at the surface, as we...
Article
In this study, we report the detection and characterization of the organic minerals weddellite (CaC2O4 · 2H2O) and whewellite (CaC2O4 · H2O) in the hyperarid, Mars-like conditions of the Salar Grande, Atacama Desert, Chile. Weddellite and whewellite are commonly of biological origin on Earth and have great potential for preserving records of carbon...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nuestro equipo de investigación lleva más de una década estudiando el comportamiento térmico de los suelos congelados en las Shetland del Sur (Ramos et al., 2009), especialmente en los alrededores de las instalaciones españolas (Bases Juan Carlos I y Gabriel de Castilla, y Campamento Internacional Byers). Para la mejor comprensión del funcionamient...
Article
Hydrothermal and cold environments constitute two extremes for life and are relevant to evaluate the present or past life on Mars. Deception Island (Antarctica) is an excellent place to study the cold and warm underground habitats and their interfaces. They are extreme environments that have interest as terrestrial analogues to Mars. Cerro Caliente...
Article
Oxidative stress, high radiation doses, low temperature and pressure are parameters which made Mars's surface adverse for life. Those conditions found on Mars surface are harsh conditions for life to deal with. Life, as we know it on Earth, needs several requirements for its establishment but, the only “sine qua nom” element is water. Extremophilic...
Article
The presence of extensive phyllosilicate deposits from the early Noachian of Mars are often interpreted as having formed from neutral to subalkaline solutions. In this paper we examine the Río Tinto fluvial basin, an early Mars analog, that hosts clay production and sedimentation along the entire course of the river. At Río Tinto, phyllosilicate mi...
Article
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Viking missions reported adverse conditions for life in Mars surface. High hydrogen signal obtained by Mars orbiters has increased the interest in subsurface prospection as putative protected Mars environment with life potential. Permafrost has attracted considerable interest from an astrobiological point of view due to the recently reported result...
Article
Carbonate occurrence on Earth is used to characterize the possible potential habitats and its associated microbial life on early Mars.
Article
Full-text available
The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) is one of NASA/MSL's instruments, which has been designed for measuring ambient pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, UV radiation, and air and ground temperature (GT). The GT-sensor is dedicated to measure the real temperature of the Martian surface, integrating the IR energy coming from th...
Article
Full-text available
Certain local atmospheric anomalies, such as the formation of unusually large ice conglomerations (megacryometeors), have been proposed to be a potential natural hazard for people and aviation, as well as geoindicators for fingerprinting larger-scale atmospheric environmental changes. On March 13th 2007, at approximately 10:15 am, an ice chunk weig...
Article
Experiments with different sulfates using conditions of the martian surface (T, P, radiation, atmospheric composition) have been performed to constrain the stability of the hydrated phases and detect any modification from their standard spectra.
Article
OMEGA instrument boarded in the Mars Express planetary probe has provided clear evidence of diverse and extensive phyllosilicate deposits covering the Early Mars basins. As most clay-like terrestrial deposits require an active hydrosphere, the Mars materials have been interpreted as having been produced and sedimented under wet conditions. Moreover...
Article
We are studying the permafrost in the Imuruk lake volcanic area (Alaska) in order to define biosignatures in cold environmens and develop new instrumentation for detecting life that may be used in future space exploration missions.
Article
Since the Galileo NIMS sensor obtained the spectral data of the surface of Europa, several laboratory studies have been performed to ascertain the composition of the dark terrains. Some hydrated salts and acids have been proposed to explain the spectral signatures of these areas, but no single mineral fit is completely suitable. Until now, a flash...
Article
Due to Mars surface environmental conditions (oxidative stress, UV radiation) there are few chances for life on the surface of the red planet. Permafrost on earth is located at circumpolar latitudes. Of special interest is permafrost on volcanic areas due to the similarities with Mars geology.
Article
Several substances besides water ice have been detected on the surface of Europa by spectroscopic sensors, including CO2, SO2, and H2S. These substances might occur as pure crystalline ices, as vitreous mixtures, or as clathrate hydrate phases, depending on the system conditions and the history of the material. Clathrate hydrates are crystalline co...
Article
We have studied the possibility to detect some hydrate clathrates in the Europa satellite using the current available data, such as some spectroscopic signatures and the geomorphology derived from the dissociation of these phases.
Article
Full-text available
The signature of carbonates has been found in both protoplanetary disks of evolved stars and environment of low mass protostars (Kemper et al. 2002, Ceccarelli et al. 2002). Both carbonates and sulphates are present in primitive carbonaceous chondrites. On Earth, the formation of carbonates (CO32-) is usually associated with sulphates (SO42-). Alth...
Article
The stability of the CO_2-clathrates in the crust and the ocean of Europa has been studied for different P-T regimes. Density variations of clathrates as function of P-T have been evaluated to establish their buoyancy in the icy shell and the ocean.

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Projects

Project (1)
Archived project
From Simulation Experiments to the space mission JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer - European Space Agency)