The goal of the Laboratory Analysis of Returned Samples (LARS) program is to maximize the science derived from planetary sample-return missions. Activities supported by LARS fall into two categories: (1) development of laboratory instrumentation and/or advanced techniques required for the analysis of returned samples; (2) direct analysis of samples already returned to Earth. Proposals may fall into either category or contain tasks that do both.
All proposed work must be in support of the overarching goals of the Planetary Science Research Program to help ascertain the content, origin, and evolution of the Solar System and the potential for life elsewhere, consistent with the strategy for Planetary Science Exploration embodied in Science 2020-2024: A Vision for Scientific Excellence (formerly known as the Science Plan), which may be found online at http://science.nasa.gov/about-us/science-strategy/.
Proposals are solicited to develop new analytical instrumentation or combinations of analytical instruments, or new components of analytical instruments, leading to significant improvements in the precision, resolution, or sensitivity of measurements compared to the existing state of the art, and to enable new types of measurements. Also solicited are proposals for the development of new analytical techniques for existing instrumentation that will push the limits of current technology, for example, by the elimination of analytical interferences or contamination problems. In all cases, both the development efforts and the clear relevance to NASA sample-return missions must be documented. Development proposals may seek to develop instrumentation and techniques that will be used by only a small number of investigators, or they may seek to develop them to be shared with a wider community.
This program element does not have a proposal due date. Proposals may be submitted at any time, pending certain eligibility timing issues related to resubmissions and duplicate proposal avoidance (see the program element text and appropriate Division Overview appendix (e.g., Appendix A.1, B.1, C.1, etc.)). The date shown above of 3/29/2024 is the last day that proposals may be submitted.