Analogue samples and environmental simulators are used in the framework of space exploration to prepare future missions or to understand extraterrestrial phenomena.
A very large range of scientific domains are concerned:
- Geology, with analogue sites and rocks collections,
- Chemistry, with the study of the physico-chemical processes taking place in the solar system in dust, meteorites, comets or natural satellites, using simulation chambers and sample materials from specific terrestrial environments,
- Astrobiology, with the study of organisms living in extreme environmental conditions similar to those existing on some bodies of the solar system, of their preservation and fossilization, and performing laboratory experiments to understand the limits of life.
The aim of this session is to join together researchers coming from various domains in order to explore the concept of analogues in its entirety and the interest of analogue samples and simulators for space exploration. A similar event was organized in December 2013 in Paris by the CNES and was very fruitful (the report is available via the following link http://isar.cnrs-orleans.fr/isar/content/page/workshop_analogues_report.pdf, in French). The objective of this session is thus to enlarge the discussion to the European and international community.