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In-Situ SEM Morphological Analysis of Possible Ocean Life From Ice Grains

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0329
Agency Tracking Number: 194367
Amount: $124,731.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S4
Solicitation Number: SBIR_19_P1
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-02-18
Small Business Information
696 Amity Road
Bethany, CT 06524-3006
United States
DUNS: 783630189
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Bango
 (203) 393-9666
 jbango@ctanalytical.com
Business Contact
 Joseph Bango
Phone: (203) 393-9666
Email: jbango@ctanalytical.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

The search for extraterrestrial life has improved since the discovery of water fountain plumes emanating from icy moons such as Enceladus and Europa. These water jets produce micron and sub-micron ice grains that, according to the Cassini probe contain possible elements indicative of life.nbsp;Under prior NASA support, we have discovered that hypervelocity ice grain impacts into aerogel create a rearward ejecta of water vapor through the impact cone into the surrounding vacuum. Ice seeded with organic molecules survives this impact and can be detected in-situ mass spectrometrically. Unpublished work at the Ames vertical gun range has shown that oblique angle impacts with bacteria can allow the bacteria to survive morphologically. The ability to image with a light microscope and/or SEM in-situ aboard a spacecraft passing through an ice plume would complement any molecular indication of life.
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* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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