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NASA Goddard lab works at extreme edge of cosmic ice
Date:3/4/2013

ments, he and Hudson calculate how long amino acids could remain intact in icy environments over a range of temperatures.

"We find that some amino acids could survive tens to hundreds of millions of years in ice near the surface of Pluto or Mars and buried at least a centimeter [less than half an inch] deep in places like the comets of the outer solar system," says Gerakines. "For a place that gets heavy radiation, like Europa, they would need to be buried a few feet." (These findings were reported in the journal Icarus in August 2012.)

"The good news for exploration missions," says Hudson, "is it looks as if these amino acids are actually more stable than anybody realized at temperatures typical of places like Pluto, Europa and even Mars."


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Contact: Liz Zubritsky
elizabeth.a.zubritsky@nasa.gov
301-614-5438
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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