Was there life on Mars?

Amongst all the excitement of the space missions to Mars and the successful deployment of the Mars Rover, it’s easy to forget that most of the work to analyse samples retrieved from the Red Planet will take place back here, on our Blue Planet.

That’s why we are delighted to have won the order to supply a TSI AeroTrak 9110-01 Airborne particle Counter for use in a newly designed isolator at the University of Leicester.

The double-walled isolator will be used as the super-sterile environment for soil samples returned from Mars, providing vital protection from earthly contaminants that could wreck the results of intricate scientific research into the big question: was there once life on the Red Planet?

Planning is everything, but we really are looking to the future here: the Mars samples are not expected to make it back to earth for 10 years. Nonetheless, the isolator, its instruments (including our APC) and research facilities will be ready and validated, while some of the students working on the project today will be fully qualified research scientists.