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Uploaded on Jul 22, 2010
What do you do if you have a sample from another planet, and you want to find out if it contains a certain molecule...maybe even one that will reveal that the planet can sustain life? When scientists face a situation like this, they employ an amazing tool: the mass spectrometer. It does the hard work of separating out materials, allowing scientists to look very closely at a sample and see what's inside. Learn more about this tool in the video from NASA Goddard's Solar System Exploration Division.