Validair Supplies Airborne Particle Counter for the Study of Soil Samples from Mars

Posted on 8 September, 2021 by Advance 

Was there life on Mars? Amongst the excitement of space missions to the Red Planet, successful landings and the deployment of the Mars Rover, it’s easy to forget that the vital analysis of samples retrieved from the surface will take place here, on our Blue Planet.
Image courtesy Validair

In preparation for the return of soil samples, the University of Leicester has designed a new doublewalled 
isolator to provide a super‐sterile research and analysis environment, protecting the 
invaluable Martian material from earthly contaminants. That protection will be constantly 
monitored by a TSI AeroTrak 9110‐01 Airborne Particle Counter supplied by Validair Monitoring 
Solutions Ltd.

The entire Mars project looks to the future, in more ways than one. With these extra‐terrestrial 
exploration projects spanning many years, planning is crucial. Even though soil samples from the 
surface of Mars are not expected back on Earth for 10 years, the new isolator, its instruments 
including the Validair APC, and the research facilities will be ready and validated. Some of the 
students at the University’s Space Park working on project preparations today will be fully qualified 
research scientists by the time the analysis process begins. At that point, we can expect to be closer 
to answering the question: was there life on Mars?