|Support type:||Scholarships in Brazil - Master|
|Effective date (Start):||October 01, 2016|
|Effective date (End):||February 28, 2018|
|Field of knowledge:||Interdisciplinary Subjects|
|Principal Investigator:||Douglas Galante|
|Grantee:||Maria Fernanda Cerini|
|Home Institution:||Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil|
In this project, laboratory tests will be performed to investigate the photostability and resilience of biomolecules in simulated extraterrestrial environments using spectroscopic methods. The results will then be used to best define the detectability conditions of spectroscopic biosignatures, with applications for the development of astrobiology experiments in small and low cost space missions. Those missions are in progress by the research group in which this project is inserted, and include stratospheric balloons and Cubesats. Astrobiologically important biomolecules will be selected among several classes - such as amino acids, biological pigments, nucleotide bases, porphyrins, PAH's, and others - and will be submitted to different simulated environments - especially the surface of Mars and the space environment. These experiments will be carried out at the premises of the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS), in particular at the TGM (Toroidal Grating Monochromator) beamline. This experimental station works in the soft X-rays and vacuum-ultraviolet region (3 to 330 eV), and will be used to simulate the space environment conditions, measuring the physical and chemical changes in the exposed biomolecules by UV-Vis reflectance in-situ and as a function of time. The Space and Planetary Simulation Chamber (AstroCam), of the Brazilian Research Unity in Astrobiology (NAP-Astrobio) - IAG/USP, will also be used. With this multiparametric chamber it is possible to control other environment parameters, such as radiation, pressure, gas composition and temperature, measuring the changes in the exposed biomolecules in situ by spectroscopic analysis and other conventional laboratory procedures.