Post-doc: ‘Designing an extraterrestrial sample curation facility’ at the Vienna NHM

Posted on Mar 2, 2015 in Jobs, News | 0 comments

Post-doc: ‘Designing an extraterrestrial sample curation facility’ at the Vienna NHM

This via Dr. Ludovic Ferrière at the NHM Vienna:

This 2-year Post-Doctoral position available at the Natural History Museum Vienna is part of the Horizon 2020 European Commission Research and Innovation programme, call COMPET-8-2014: “Science in context: sample curation facility and scientific exploitation of data from Mars missions”.

The plan of EURO-CARES is to create a roadmap for the implementation of a European Extra-terrestrial Sample Curation Facility (ESCF).

Our aim is to improve European competitiveness in this field by road-mapping the required steps and highlighting areas in which new research and innovation are required in order to create a suitable European ESCF.

After a review of the current state of the art in extraterrestrial sample curation, a plan for terrestrial planetary protection will be developed. The current knowledge and the essential requirements for an ESCF to be built, including building infrastructure, procedures and protocols, security, environmental conditions, documentation and databasing, etc., will be studied and synthesized together with the most suitable instrumentation for sample analysis. Finally, we plan to review suitable portable receiving facilities and to determine the technology required in order to be able to transport samples (including those with a potential biohazard) following return to Earth most effectively.

To summarize, we are investigating the steps that need to be taken to ensure that any possible European ESCF will be suitable for the curation of the samples returned from Solar System exploration missions to the Moon, asteroids, comets, and Mars.

The selected candidate will be mainly co-leading a work package called “Facilities and Infrastructure” within this project, with the objective to define the state of the art facilities required to receive, contain and curate extra-terrestrial samples and guarantee terrestrial planetary protection. All the aspects, from the building design (including the construction, operation, security, etc.) to the storage of the samples (sample holder, monitoring, etc.) as well as the curation (sample handling, storage and database) will be considered. An important part of the selected candidate’s role will be to liaise with other members of the consortium and learn about the many different aspects of planning for the curation of samples return from space. This role provides a unique opportunity to work with world-leading experts from a variety of European countries.

Full details here.

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