A new study by Southwest Research Institute scientists describes how they have expanded the capabilities of the prototype spaceflight instrument Chemistry Organic and Dating Experiment (CODEX), designed for field-based dating of extraterrestrial materials. CODEX now uses two different dating approaches based on rubidium-strontium and lead-lead geochronology methods. The instrument uses laser ablation resonance ionization mass spectrometry (LARIMS) to obtain dates using these methods.
“The central aim of CODEX is to better understand some of the outstanding questions of solar system chronology, such as the duration of heavy meteoroid bombardment or how long Mars was potentially habitable,” said SwRI Staff Scientist F. Scott Anderson, who is leading development of the instrument.
“In a way, we’ve given CODEX binocular vision in dating,” said Jonathan Levine, associate professor of physics at Colgate University and Anderson’s collaborator on CODEX. “When you can look at something from two different perspectives, you get a deeper view