Two surface samples collected from the Chryse Planitia region of Mars were heated to temperatures up to 500??C, and the volatiles that they evolved were analyzed with a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. Only water and carbon dioxide were detected. This implies that organic compounds have not accumulated to the extent that individual components could be detected at levels of a few parts in 109 by weight in our samples. Proposed mechanisms for the accumulation and destruction of organic compounds are discussed in the light of this limit.
Additional publication details
Search for organic and volatile inorganic compounds in two surface samples from the chryse planitia region of Mars