NASA developing ‘chemical laptop’

PTI Washington | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 18, 2015

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In a bid to find concrete evidence of life outside Earth, NASA is developing a ‘chemical laptop’ — the first portable, miniaturised laboratory built to detect both amino acids and fatty acids on other worlds.

The device being developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California analyses samples for materials associated with life. “If this instrument were to be sent to space, it would be the most sensitive device of its kind to leave Earth, and the first to be able to look for both amino acids and fatty acids,” said Jessica Creamer, a NASA postdoctoral fellow based at JPL.

The Chemical Laptop is a miniaturised on-the-go laboratory, which researchers hope to send one day to another planetary body such as Mars or Europa.

Published on November 18, 2015
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