During last 21st and 22nd January, the first meeting of the SIGUE-Mars Research Network (Science and Instrumentation for the study of (bio) geochemical processes in Mars) took place at the Bizkaia Aretoa in Bilbao, headquarters of the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU), in which INTA actively participates, as responsible for the design and development of the RLS instrument for ExoMars.
In addition to INTA, they participate in this project of 'Networks of Excellence' corresponding to the State Program for the Promotion of Scientific and Technical Research of Excellence, of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, experts of the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU), of the University of Valladolid (UVA), the University of Malaga (UMA-LASERLAB), the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), the IGEO Geosciences Institute (CSIC-UCM) and the Astrobiology Center (CAB).
The objectives set by the NETWORK include:
- Promote the progress of the (bio) geochemical study of Mars, to clarify the processes of alteration, and detect biomolecules or biominerals (biosignatures), including organic molecules.
- Make Spanish teams ready, for being capable of analyzing the information that will arrive from both Exomars2020 and Mars2020 missions.
- Contribute to the positioning of Spanish Science in the international context of studies related to Mars.
- Be attentive to the needs of future optical instrumentation for Mars exploration
Expected outputs from this Network are the establishment of a heterogeneous group of experts that allows the consolidation of planetary science in Spain, where INTA will provide its wide experience in optical instrumentation for future missions; and obtaining as a more relevant result, the strengthening of scientific relations between all members of the Network.