Accueil > Publications > Recherche par années > Années 2000 > 2002

Brack, A ; Baglioni, P ; Borruat, G ; Brandstatter, F ; Demets, R ; Edwards, HGM ; Genge, M ; Kurat, G ; Miller, MF ; Newton, EM ; Pillinger, CT ; Roten, CA ; Wasch, E

Do meteoroids of sedimentary origin survive terrestrial atmospheric entry ? The ESA artificial meteorite experiment STONE

Planetary and Space Science 50 (7-8) 763-772

par Administrateur - publié le

Abstract :

The 18 SNC meteorites identified to date are all igneous rocks, being basalts or basaltic cumulates. The lack of sedimentary rocks in this inventory is therefore surprising, in view of the collisional history of Mars and the likelihood that Mars experienced warmer conditions, possibly with a significant hydrosphere, earlier in its history. To address the possibility that sedimentary rocks ejected by impact from the surface of Mars may have reached the Earth, but did not survive terrestrial atmospheric entry, an experiment was performed in which samples of dolomite, a simulated Martian regolith (consisting of basalt fragments in a gypsum matrix) and a basalt were fixed to the heat shield of a recoverable capsule and flown in low Earth orbit. Temperatures attained during re-entry were high enough to melt basalt and the silica fibres of the heat shield and were therefore comparable to those experienced by meteorites.