ESA’s (The European Space Agency) ExoMars rover is headed to the red planet in 2020, on a mission to search for signs of past or present life. One of its primary tools in this endeavor is MOMA, the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer. MOMA is a sophisticated suite of technologies that squeezes a lab full of chemistry equipment into a package the size of a toaster oven. Its mass spectrometer subsystem and main electronics were built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md, and mark the first use of a linear ion trap on another planet – a leap forward in the search for life beyond Earth.

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