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Within this Action several laboratories were utilised for hosting scientists and STSMs (Short Term Scientific Missions).

A list is given below:

Hungary, Budapest

Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences

  1. Infrared spectrometer FTIR Vertex 70 + Hyperion 2000 microscope
  2. Shimadzu 3600 UV-VIS-NIR specrometer
  3. JEOL JCXA-733 electron microprobe
  4. Rigaku DMax Rapid II XRD-XRF

Μeteorite analysis * Mars analogue sample analysis

Contact person: Akos Kereszturi (kereszturi.akos [at]

Italy, Firenze

INAF – Astrophysical Observatory of Arcetri (Astrobiology Laboratory)

  1. High Performance Liquid Chromatograph, Shimadzu
  2. Liquid Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer, Shimadzu
  3. FTIR Spectrometer Vertex 70v, Bruker
  4. Thermal Cycler Real Time PCR system 7300, Applied Biosystem
  5. Cryostat, Oxford Instruments
  6. Automated sequencer ABI Prism 310, Applied Biosystem
  7. UV-Vis Spectrometer (200-3200 nm), Perkin-Elmer
  8. UV photo-irradiation system
  9. High Power Sonicator
  10. Centrifuge and sterilization autoclave
  11. Incubator, Desiccator and thermal bath
  12. High temperature oven
  13. Planetary mill and sieving instruments, Retch
  14. Evaporation system for solids with two thermal Joule sources and 1 electron beam.

Cosmic dust analogues * biomolecule-mineral interaction * photostability of molecules * Asteroids spectra analysis * Mars laboratory simulation * Enceladous laboratory simulation  

Contact person: John Robert Brucato (jbrucato [at]

Greece, Athens

National Technical Univeristy of Athens, School of Mining & Metallurgical Engineering

  1. FTIR Thermo Scientific  spectrometer
  2. X-Ray diffraction (Brucker D8)
  3. STEM/EDS (Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy with EDS analytical system) Jeol 2100 HR (200 keV)
  4. Gatan 691PIPS for TEM sample preparation (argon milling)
  5. SEM electron microscope system Jeol6380LV with EDS chemical analysis and EBSD electron backscatter diffraction system for structural analysis, which also operates at low vacuum for wet/biological or uncoated samples
  6. Several high-quality optical petrographic microscopes (Zeiss Axioskop 40), one with phase contrast, with camera attachement for high resolution images
  7. Full microscope system with UV light setup (Leitz MPV Combi attachment microscope with reflectance und fluorescence attachments, visible and UV) for organic petrography
  8. Confocal microRaman spectrometer RM1000 Renishaw with laser at 633nm, attached on a Leica DMLM microscope with magnification up to 1000
  9. Confocal microRaman spectrometer InVia Renishaw, with dual lasers at 532 nm and 785 nm, with mapping capabilities (slow spot mode, and fast line mode)
  10. DTA/DTG system for differential thermal analysis
  11. Home-made, modular LIBS setup, with a Nd:YAG pulsed <10ns laser at 1024, 532, and 266 nm
  12. Geochemical lab with centrifuge (4000 RPM), three fume hoods, high temperature furnaces, and other related equipment.

Meteorite analysis * petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry * Past projects related to astrobiology include: secondary minerals in Martian meteorites for identification of biologically important geochemical environments * studies of fungi morphology after near zero gravity conditions (simulated and ISS) * image processing and pattern recognition for minerals, rocks, and textures * microscopy of medical samples (dentistry)

Contact person: Elias Chatzitheodoridis (eliasch [at]



  • Mars environmental simulator
  • A laboratory facility using analogue materials and control/sensor systems, Aeolian erosion simulator
  • Mineral erosion under Martian conditions

Mars analogue material analysis * Martian surface evolution (erosion, mineralogy/chemistry, material transport, surface-atmosphere interactions) * testing/calibrating equipment and basic science

Contact person: J.P. Merrison (merrison [at] )

Switzerland, Bern

University of Bern

  1. Hyperspectral imager, VIS_NIR spectral range (0.4-2.5µm)

Physical and chemical properties of surface material * Seasonal evolution of high-latitude terrain * Current reservoirs of water and water exchanges * Development of future orbital instrumentation.

Contact person: Pommerol A.


McGill University

  1. Microbiology and molecular ecology facilities
  2. Σtable isotope facilities
  3. Εlectron microscopy facilities
  4. For field work Delta Nu Rockhound Raman instrument
  5. CO2/CH4 detectors/MS
  6. Custom portable LIBS instrument

NASA Mars Science Laboratory science teach member (Participating Scientist) and ChemCam instrument team collaborator * microbial biomineralization * Mars analogs (lava tubes and Arctic deserts).

Contact person: Leveille R. (rich.leveille [at]


One Triton TIMS, One Neptune MC-ICPMS (I just placed an order for two additional Nepture MC-ICPMS that will be delivered this summer), One X-seies II ICPMS

  1. Absolute chronology of Martian meteorites
  2. Coupled 146Sm-142N, 182Hf-182W and 92Nb-92Zr systematics of martian meteorites and the timing of formation of Mars first crust
  3. Isotopic and geochemical investigations of martian meteorites to understand the timing of differentiation of Mars and the evolution of the martian crust-mantle system.

Contact person: Bzarro M. (bizzarro [at]






CSO Approval date: 14/11/2013
Starting date: 15/05/2014
Ending date: 14/05/2018

Action Chair:
Dr. Muriel GARGAUD (FR)

Vice chair:
Prof. Wolf GEPPERT (SE)

STSM Manager:
Prof. Nigel MASON (UK)

Web Manager:



Grant Holder Financial Representative:

Mrs Annick Caperan

Science Officer:
Dr. Mafalda QUINTAS

Administrative Officer:
Ms Ange Marie Ina Uwase



A Trans-Domain Action supported by COST.

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020



Involved countries

View the Interactive Map
of Member Countries

Participating Countries
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

COST International Partner Countries
Canada (UQAM), South Africa (Univ. of Johanesburgh), Russian Federation (Institute of Geology, Petrozavodsk), Australia (University of Sydney), United States of America (University of Hawai)

Specific Organisations
European Space Agency (ESA)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

Aiming at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques, and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. STSMs are intended especially for young PhD researchers, but they are open to senior researchers as well. View the documents at this link.

 It should be explicitely noted that Master students are not eligible for STSMs which are for PhD students and more experienced researchers.

The life-Origins COST Project

Life-ORIGINS (TD1308) is a Trans Domain European COST Action dedicated to the scientific investigation of the origins and evolution of life on Earth and habitability of other planets.

The Action has specifically excluded the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in its portfolio. Creationist theorems are also outside the Action’s remit.

Individuals are not allowed to use the name of the Action, its logo or any corporate identity of COST TD1308 in any communication without prior approval of the Management Committee.

All publications referencing the support of the Action should be sent to the appropriate Working Group chair at the time of submission.