Etude de contrôle (Pau) : spectrométrie de masse par étincelles

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The Laboratoire d'Analyses Physiques (LDP) based in Pau specializes in physico-chemical trace analysis applied to mineral and organic materials. The CNES staff has been familiar with this establishment since the days when it performed lunar soil element analysis on behalf of CNES, working from rock samples provided by NASA. LDP uses a spark mass spectrometer and applied this instrument to fragments of the same soil samples that had been provided to the laboratories mentioned above.

The analysis showed that the sample contained common soil with a limestone-clay base. Little difference was found between the reference sample and the sample which contains a visible foreign deposit. The only detectable elements in this deposit are zinc and phosphate. The laboratory offers the hypothesis that this may be due to the rubbing of black paint based on "Carbon Black."

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