TA1 Planetary Field Analogues (PFA)
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TA1 Planetary Field Analogues (PFA)

Europlanet 2024 RI’s TA1 Planetary Field Analogues (PFA) provide the most realistic terrestrial geological-geomorphological analogues for volcanic, dry-and humid-cold, hot, highly saline and metalliferous and impact conditions for studies in support of current and forthcoming missions to Mars, the Moon and the icy moons of Jupiter.

Europlanet 2024 RI offers free ‘transnational access’ to seven* diverse PFA sites around the world to carry out research projects. 

*Please note: Due to the situation in Ethiopia, the Danakil Depression is currently unavailable.

The sites have been comprehensively characterised to enable researchers to undertake multi-disciplinary research programmes in support of planetary missions, such as to:

  • Quantify the complex (bio) geo-chemical feed-back processes that control planetary evolution.
  • Develop quantified models to explain observations of planets in our Solar System from rovers, orbiting instruments, and ground-based observations and (potentially) interpret data from exoplanets.
  • Study the processes that influence the adaption of life to extreme conditions.
  • Test our ability to detect unambiguously records of past or present biological activity.
  • Test new instrumentation and operational systems for future planetary space missions under fully operational conditions.

The Europlanet Transnational Access programme supports visits to the following facilities:

1. Iceland Field Sites, Matis, Iceland.

2. Rio Tinto, CAB-CISC, Spain.

3. Danakil Depression, University of Mekelle, Ethiopia (currently unavailable).

4. AU Kangerlussuaq Field Site, Greenland.

5. Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, BIUST, Botswana.

6. Argentinian Andes, Argentina.

7. Qaidam Basin, China.

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