Evaluation of Sample Preservation Methods for Space Missions 2003-01-2671
This study of samples collected from Mars 01 Orbiter was conducted to gain a better understanding and practical experience in methods to process and preserve samples intended for planetary protection analysis. Samples were evaluated for the viable growth of microbes, the molecular biomarker adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and the presence of lipopolysaccharide, a bacterial cell wall component. Losses were observed in the number of viable microbes after freezing as well as in the detectable lipopolysaccharide. Two independent studies of pooled cleanroom samples demonstrate good ATP recovery and consistent values after freezing at −20 °C.