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Sample records for curiosity mars rover

  1. The Curiosity Mars Rover's Fault Protection Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benowitz, Ed

    2014-01-01

    The Curiosity Rover, currently operating on Mars, contains flight software onboard to autonomously handle aspects of system fault protection. Over 1000 monitors and 39 responses are present in the flight software. Orchestrating these behaviors is the flight software's fault protection engine. In this paper, we discuss the engine's design, responsibilities, and present some lessons learned for future missions.

  2. NASA Curiosity rover hits organic pay dirt on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voosen, Paul

    2018-06-01

    Since NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, it has sifted samples of soil and ground-up rock for signs of organic molecules—the complex carbon chains that on Earth form the building blocks of life. Past detections have been so faint that they could be just contamination. Now, samples taken from two different drill sites on an ancient lakebed have yielded complex organic macromolecules that look strikingly similar to kerogen, the goopy fossilized building blocks of oil and gas on Earth. At a few dozen parts per million, the detected levels are 100 times higher than previous finds, but scientists still cannot say whether they have origins in biology or geology. The discovery positions scientists to begin searching for direct evidence of past life on Mars and bolsters the case for returning rock samples from the planet, an effort that begins with the Mars 2020 rover.

  3. Mineralogical Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David Frederick.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's CheMin instrument, the first X-ray Diffractometer flown in space, has been operating on Mars for nearly five years. CheMin was first to establish the quantitative mineralogy of the Mars global soil (1). The instrument was next used to determine the mineralogy of a 3.7 billion year old lacustrine mudstone, a result that, together with findings from other instruments on the MSL Curiosity rover, documented the first habitable environment found on another planet (2). The mineralogy of this mudstone from an ancient playa lake was also used to derive the maximum concentration of CO2 in the early Mars atmosphere, a surprisingly low value that calls into question the current theory that CO2 greenhouse warming was responsible for the warm and wet environment of early Mars. CheMin later identified the mineral tridymite, indicative of silica-rich volcanism, in mudstones of the Murray formation on Mt. Sharp. This discovery challenges the paradigm of Mars as a basaltic planet and ushers in a new chapter of comparative terrestrial planetology (3). CheMin is now being used to systematically sample the sedimentary layers that comprise the lower strata of Mt. Sharp, a 5,000 meter sequence of sedimentary rock laid down in what was once a crater lake, characterizing isochemical sediments that through their changing mineralogy, document the oxidation and drying out of the Mars in early Hesperian time.

  4. Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars science laboratory's curiosity rover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hassler, D.M.; Zeitlin, C.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.; Ehresmann, B.; Rafkin, S.; Eigenbrode, J.L.; Brinza, D.E.; Weigle, G.; Böttcher, S.; Böhm, E.; Burmeister, S.; Guo, J.; Köhler, J.; Martin, C.; Reitz, G.; Cucinotta, F.A.; Kim, M.-H.; Grinspoon, D.; Bullock, M.A.; Posner, A.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Vasavada, A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose

  5. Red rover: inside the story of robotic space exploration, from genesis to the mars rover curiosity

    CERN Document Server

    Wiens, Roger

    2013-01-01

    In its eerie likeness to Earth, Mars has long captured our imaginations—both as a destination for humankind and as a possible home to extraterrestrial life. It is our twenty-first century New World; its explorers robots, shipped 350 million miles from Earth to uncover the distant planet’s secrets.Its most recent scout is Curiosity—a one-ton, Jeep-sized nuclear-powered space laboratory—which is now roving the Martian surface to determine whether the red planet has ever been physically capable of supporting life. In Red Rover, geochemist Roger Wiens, the principal investigator for the ChemCam laser instrument on the rover and veteran of numerous robotic NASA missions, tells the unlikely story of his involvement in sending sophisticated hardware into space, culminating in the Curiosity rover's amazing journey to Mars.In so doing, Wiens paints the portrait of one of the most exciting scientific stories of our time: the new era of robotic space exploration. Starting with NASA’s introduction of the Discovery...

  6. Mars' Surface Radiation Environment Measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M.; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Brinza, David E.; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A.; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P.; MSL Science Team; Kemppinen, Osku; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Berger, Thomas; Matthia, Daniel; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Hamilton, Victoria; Peterson, Joseph; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

  7. Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Brinza, David E; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P

    2014-01-24

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

  8. Exploration of Mars with the ChemCam LIBS Instrument and the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August 2012, and has been exploring the planet ever since. Dr. Horton E. Newsom will discuss the MSL's design and main goal, which is to characterize past environments that may have been conducive to the evolution and sustainability of life. He will also discuss Curiosity's science payload, and remote sensing, analytical capabilities, and direct discoveries of the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instrument, which is the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) to operate on another planetary surface and determine the chemistry of the rocks and soils.

  9. What Can the Curiosity Rover Tell Us About the Climate of Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    What Can the Curiosity Rover Tell Us About the Climate of Mars? Assessing the habitability of Gale Crater is the goal of the Curiosity Rover, which has been gathering data since landing on the Red Planet last August. To meet that goal, Curiosity brought with it a suite of instruments to measure the biological potential of the landing site, the geology and chemistry of its surface, and local environmental conditions. Some of these instruments illuminate the nature of the planet fs atmosphere and climate system, both for present day conditions as well as for conditions that existed billions of years ago. For present day conditions, Curiosity has a standard meteorology package that measures pressure, temperature, winds and humidity, plus a sensor the measures the UV flux. These data confirm what we learned from previous missions namely that today Mars is a cold, dry, and barren desert-like planet. For past conditions, however, wetter and probably warmer conditions are indicated. Curiosities cameras reveal gravel beds that must have formed by flowing rivers, and sedimentary deposits of layered sand and mudstones possibly associated with lakes. An ancient aqueous environment is further supported by the presence of sulfate veins coursing through some of the rocks in Yellowknife Bay where Curiosity is planning its first drilling activity. I will discuss these results and their implications in this lecture.

  10. The Preparation for and Execution of Engineering Operations for the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover mission is the most complex and scientifically packed rover that has ever been operated on the surface of Mars. The preparation leading up to the surface mission involved various tests, contingency planning and integration of plans between various teams and scientists for determining how operation of the spacecraft (s/c) would be facilitated. In addition, a focused set of initial set of health checks needed to be defined and created in order to ensure successful operation of rover subsystems before embarking on a two year science journey. This paper will define the role and responsibilities of the Engineering Operations team, the process involved in preparing the team for rover surface operations, the predefined engineering activities performed during the early portion of the mission, and the evaluation process used for initial and day to day spacecraft operational assessment.

  11. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard the Mars rover, Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, K. S.; Ravine, M. A.; Caplinger, M. A.; Ghaemi, F. T.; Schaffner, J. A.; Malin, M. C.; Baker, J. M.; Dibiase, D. R.; Laramee, J.; Maki, J. N.; Willson, R. G.; Bell, J. F., III; Cameron, J. F.; Dietrich, W. E.; Edwards, L. J.; Hallet, B.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Heydari, E.; Kah, L. C.; Lemmon, M. T.; Minitti, M. E.; Olson, T. S.; Parker, T. J.; Rowland, S. K.; Schieber, J.; Sullivan, R. J.; Sumner, D. Y.; Thomas, P. C.; Yingst, R. A.

    2009-08-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, is expected to land on Mars in 2012. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will be used to document martian rocks and regolith with a 2-megapixel RGB color CCD camera with a focusable macro lens mounted on an instrument-bearing turret on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The flight MAHLI can focus on targets at working distances of 20.4 mm to infinity. At 20.4 mm, images have a pixel scale of 13.9 μm/pixel. The pixel scale at 66 mm working distance is about the same (31 μm/pixel) as that of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Microscopic Imager (MI). MAHLI camera head placement is dependent on the capabilities of the MSL robotic arm, the design for which presently has a placement uncertainty of ~20 mm in 3 dimensions; hence, acquisition of images at the minimum working distance may be challenging. The MAHLI consists of 3 parts: a camera head, a Digital Electronics Assembly (DEA), and a calibration target. The camera head and DEA are connected by a JPL-provided cable which transmits data, commands, and power. JPL is also providing a contact sensor. The camera head will be mounted on the rover's robotic arm turret, the DEA will be inside the rover body, and the calibration target will be mounted on the robotic arm azimuth motor housing. Camera Head. MAHLI uses a Kodak KAI-2020CM interline transfer CCD (1600 x 1200 active 7.4 μm square pixels with RGB filtered microlenses arranged in a Bayer pattern). The optics consist of a group of 6 fixed lens elements, a movable group of 3 elements, and a fixed sapphire window front element. Undesired near-infrared radiation is blocked using a coating deposited on the inside surface of the sapphire window. The lens is protected by a dust cover with a Lexan window through which imaging can be ac-complished if necessary, and targets can be illuminated by sunlight or two banks of two white light LEDs. Two 365 nm UV LEDs are included to search for fluores-cent materials at night. DEA

  12. The design and engineering of curiosity how the Mars Rover performs its job

    CERN Document Server

    Lakdawalla, Emily

    2018-01-01

    This book describes the most complex machine ever sent to another planet: Curiosity. It is a one-ton robot with two brains, seventeen cameras, six wheels, nuclear power, and a laser beam on its head. No one human understands how all of its systems and instruments work. This essential reference to the Curiosity mission explains the engineering behind every system on the rover, from its rocket-powered jetpack to its radioisotope thermoelectric generator to its fiendishly complex sample handling system. Its lavishly illustrated text explains how all the instruments work -- its cameras, spectrometers, sample-cooking oven, and weather station -- and describes the instruments' abilities and limitations. It tells you how the systems have functioned on Mars, and how scientists and engineers have worked around problems developed on a faraway planet: holey wheels and broken focus lasers. And it explains the grueling mission operations schedule that keeps the rover working day in and day out.   .

  13. The Development of the Chemin Mineralogy Instrument and Its Deployment on Mars (and Latest Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2014-01-01

    The CheMin instrument (short for "Chemistry and Mineralogy") on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity is one of two "laboratory quality" instruments on board the Curiosity rover that is exploring Gale crater, Mars. CheMin is an X-ray diffractometer that has for the first time returned definitive and fully quantitative mineral identifications of Mars soil and drilled rock. I will describe CheMin's 23-year development from an idea to a spacecraft qualified instrument, and report on some of the discoveries that Curiosity has made since its entry, descent and landing on Aug. 6, 2012, including the discovery and characterization of the first habitable environment on Mars.

  14. Biogenic iron mineralization at Iron Mountain, CA with implications for detection with the Mars Curiosity rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Amy J.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Alpers, Charles N.; Campbell, Kate M.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk

    2014-01-01

    (Introduction) Microbe-mineral interactions and biosignature preservation in oxidized sulfidic ore bodies (gossans) are prime candidates for astrobiological study. Such oxidized iron systems have been proposed as analogs for some Martian environments. Recent studies identified microbial fossils preserved as mineral-coated filaments. This study documents microbially-mediated mineral biosignatures in hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) and ferric oxyhydroxysulfates (FOHS) in three environments at Iron Mountain, CA. We investigated microbial community preservation via HFO and FOHS precipitation and the formation of filamentous mineral biosignatures. These environments included 1) actively precipitating (1000's yrs), naturally weathered HFO from in situ gossan, and 3) remobilized iron deposits, which contained lithified clastics and zones of HFO precipitate. We used published biogenicity criteria as guidelines to characterize the biogenicity of mineral filaments. These criteria included A) an actively precipitating environment where microbes are known to be coated in minerals, B) presence of extant microbial communities with carbon signatures, C) structures observable as a part of the host rock, and D) biological morphology, including cellular lumina, multiple member population, numerous taxa, variable and 3-D preservation, biological size ranges, uniform diameter, and evidence of flexibility. This study explores the relevance and detection of these biosignatures to possible Martian biosignatures. Similar filamentous biosignatures are resolvable by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, and may be identifiable as biogenic if present on Mars.

  15. Non-Detection of Methane in the Mars Atmosphere by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the atmosphere of Mars is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity on the planet. During the last decade, Earth-based telescopic and Mars orbit remote sensing instruments have reported significant abundances of methane in the Martian atmosphere ranging from several to tens of parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv). Observations from Earth showed plumes of methane with variations on timescales much faster than expected and inconsistent with localized patches seen from orbit, prompting speculation of sources from sub-surface methanogen bacteria, geological water-rock reactions or infall from comets, micro-meteorites or interplanetary dust. From measurements on NASAs Curiosity Rover that landed near Gale Crater on 5th August 2012, we here report no definitive detection of methane in the near-surface Martian atmosphere. Our in situ measurements were made using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite6 that made three separate searches on Martian sols 79, 81 and 106 after landing. The measured mean value of 0.39 plus or minus 1.4 ppbv corresponds to an upper limit for methane abundance of 2.7 ppbv at the 95 confidence level. This result is in disagreement with both the remote sensing spacecraft observations taken at lower sensitivity and the telescopic observations that relied on subtraction of a very large contribution from terrestrial methane in the intervening observation path. Since the expected lifetime of methane in the Martian atmosphere is hundreds of years, our results question earlier observations and set a low upper limit on the present day abundance, reducing the probability of significant current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars.

  16. Preliminary Geological Map of the Peace Vallis Fan Integrated with In Situ Mosaics From the Curiosity Rover, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, D. Y.; Palucis, M.; Dietrich, B.; Calef, F.; Stack, K. M.; Ehlmann, B.; Bridges, J.; Dromart, J.; Eigenbrode, J.; Farmer, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

    A geomorphically defined alluvial fan extends from Peace Vallis on the NW wall of Gale Crater, Mars into the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landing ellipse. Prior to landing, the MSL team mapped the ellipse and surrounding areas, including the Peace Vallis fan. Map relationships suggest that bedded rocks east of the landing site are likely associated with the fan, which led to the decision to send Curiosity east. Curiosity's mast camera (Mastcam) color images are being used to refine local map relationships. Results from regional mapping and the first 100 sols of the mission demonstrate that the area has a rich geological history. Understanding this history will be critical for assessing ancient habitability and potential organic matter preservation at Gale Crater.

  17. Chromatographic, Spectroscopic and Mass Spectrometric Approaches for Exploring the Habitability of Mars in 2012 and Beyond with the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments on the Curiosity Rover of Mars Science Laboratory Mission is designed to provide chemical and isotopic analysis of organic and inorganic volatiles for both atmospheric and solid samples. The goals of the science investigation enabled by the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer and tunable laser spectrometer instruments of SAM are to work together with the other MSL investigations is to quantitatively assess habitability through a series of chemical and geological measurements. We describe the multi-column gas chromatograph system employed on SAM and the approach to extraction and analysis of organic compounds that might be preserved in ancient martian rocks.

  18. Compositional Variations in Sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater, Mars, from Visible-Shortwave Infrared Spectroscopy and Comparison to Ground-Truth from the Curiosity Rover

    OpenAIRE

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Minson, S. E.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ayoub, F.; Fraeman, A. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Bridges, N. T.

    2017-01-01

    During its ascent up Mount Sharp, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover traversed the Bagnold Dune Field. We model sand modal mineralogy and grain size at four locations near the rover traverse, using orbital shortwave infrared single-scattering albedo spectra and a Markov chain Monte Carlo implementation of Hapke's radiative transfer theory to fully constrain uncertainties and permitted solutions. These predictions, evaluated against in situ measurements at one site from the Curiosity ...

  19. Paleo-environmental Setting of the Murray Formation of Aeolis Mons, Gale Crater, Mars, as Explored by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, K. W.; Fedo, C.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Stein, N.; Rivera-Hernandez, F.; Watkins, J. A.; Banham, S.; Edgett, K. S.; Minitti, M. E.; Schieber, J.; Edgar, L. A.; Siebach, K. L.; Stack, K.; Newsom, H. E.; House, C. H.; Sumner, D. Y.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2017-12-01

    Since landing, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover climbed 300 meters in elevation from the floor of north Gale crater up the lower northwest flank of Aeolis Mons ("Mount Sharp"). Nearly 200 meters of this ascent was accomplished in the 1.5 years alone, as the rover was driven up-section through the sedimentary rocks of the informally designated "Murray" formation. This unit comprises a large fraction of the lower strata of Mt. Sharp along the rover traverse. Our exploration of the Murray formation reveals a diverse suite of fine-grained facies. Grain sizes range from finer grains than can be resolved by the MAHLI imager (particles bearing Vera Rubin Ridge, continues to reveal the complex and long-lived depositional history of the Gale crater basin.

  20. Bringing a Chemical Laboratory Named Sam to Mars on the 2011 Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Bleacher, L.; Jones, A.; Conrad, P. G.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Atreya, S. A.; Manning, H.

    2010-01-01

    An important goal of upcoming missions to Mars is to understand if life could have developed there. The task of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments [1] and the other Curiosity investigations [2] is to move us steadily toward that goal with an assessment of the habitability of our neighboring planet through a series of chemical and geological measurements. SAM is designed to search for organic compounds and inorganic volatiles and measure isotope ratios. Other instruments on Curiosity will provide elemental analysis and identify minerals. SAM will analyze both atmospheric samples and gases evolved from powdered rocks that may have formed billions of years ago with Curiosity providing access to interesting sites scouted by orbiting cameras and spectrometers.

  1. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere: First Results from the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie, A.; Manning, Heidi; hide

    2013-01-01

    Repeated measurements of the composition of the Mars atmosphere from Curiosity Rover yield a (40)Ar/N2 ratio 1.7 times greater and the (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio 1.6 times smaller than the Viking Lander values in 1976. The unexpected change in (40)Ar/N2 ratio probably results from different instrument characteristics although we cannot yet rule out some unknown atmospheric process. The new (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio is more aligned with Martian meteoritic values. Besides Ar and N2 the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity Rover has measured the other principal components of the atmosphere and the isotopes. The resulting volume mixing ratios are: CO2 0.960(+/- 0.007); (40)Ar 0.0193(+/- 0.0001); N2 0.0189(+/- 0.0003); O2 1.45(+/- 0.09) x 10(exp -3); and CO 5.45(+/- 3.62) x 10(exp 4); and the isotopes (40)Ar/(36)Ar 1.9(+/- 0.3) x 10(exp 3), and delta (13)C and delta (18)O from CO2 that are both several tens of per mil more positive than the terrestrial averages. Heavy isotope enrichments support the hypothesis of large atmospheric loss. Moreover, the data are consistent with values measured in Martian meteorites, providing additional strong support for a Martian origin for these rocks.

  2. Bringing a Chemical Laboratory Named Sam to Mars on the 2011 Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Bleacher, L.; Jones, A.; Atreya, S. K.; Manning, H. L.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Sam Team

    2010-12-01

    Introduction: An important goal of upcoming missions to Mars is to understand if life could have developed there. The task of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments [1] and the other Curiosity investigations [2] is to move us steadily toward that goal with an assessment of the habitability of our neighboring planet through a series of chemical and geological measurements. SAM is designed to search for organic compounds and inorganic volatiles and measure isotope ratios. Other instruments on Curiosity will provide elemental analysis and identify minerals. SAM will analyze both atmospheric samples and gases evolved from powdered rocks that may have formed billions of years ago with Curiosity providing access to interesting sites scouted by orbiting cameras and spectrometers. SAM Instrument Suite: SAM’s instruments are a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), a 6-column Gas Chromatograph (GC), and a 2-channel Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS). SAM can identify organic compounds in Mars rocks to sub-ppb sensitivity and secure precise isotope ratios for C, H, and O in carbon dioxide and water and measure trace levels of methane and its carbon 13 isotope. The SAM gas processing system consists of valves, heaters, pressure sensors, gas scrubbers and getters, traps, and gas tanks used for calibration or combustion experiments [2]. A variety of calibrant compounds interior and exterior to SAM will allow the science and engineering teams to assess SAM’s performance. SAM has been calibrated and tested in a Mars-like environment. Keeping Educators and the Public Informed: The Education and Public Outreach (EPO) goals of the SAM team are to make this complex chemical laboratory and its data widely available to educators, students, and the public. Formal education activities include developing templates for professional development workshops for educators to teach them about SAM and Curiosity, incorporating data into Mars Student Data Teams, and writing articles

  3. Updates from the MSL-RAD Experiment on the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Cary

    2015-01-01

    The MSL-RAD instrument continues to operate flawlessly on Mars. As of this writing, some 1040 sols (Martian days) of data have been successfully acquired. Several improvements have been made to the instrument's configuration, particularly aimed at enabling the analysis of neutral-particle data. The dose rate since MSL's landing in August 2012 has remained remarkably stable, reflecting the unusual and very weak solar maximum of Cycle 24. Only a few small SEP events have been observed by RAD, which is shielded by the Martian atmosphere. Gale Crater, where Curiosity landed, is 4.4 km below the mean surface of Mars, and the column depth of atmosphere above is approximately 20 g/sq cm, which provides significant attenuation of GCR heavy ions and SEPs. Recent analysis results will be presented, including updated estimates of the neutron contributions to dose and dose equivalent in cruise and on the surface of Mars.

  4. Performance of the Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop Rover Heat Rejection System Used for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover on the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Birur, Gajanana; Bame, David; Mastropietro, A. J.; Miller, Jennifer; Karlmann, Paul; Liu, Yuanming; Anderson, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The challenging range of landing sites for which the Mars Science Laboratory Rover was designed, required a rover thermal management system that is capable of keeping temperatures controlled across a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the Martian surface where temperatures can be as cold as -123 C and as warm as 38 C, the Rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) Rover Heat Rejection System (RHRS) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 C to +50 C range. The RHRS harnesses some of the waste heat generated from the Rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), for use as survival heat for the rover during cold conditions. The MMRTG produces 110 Watts of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 Watts. Heat exchanger plates (hot plates) positioned close to the MMRTG pick up this survival heat from it by radiative heat transfer and supply it to the rover. This design is the first instance of use of a RHRS for thermal control of a rover or lander on the surface of a planet. After an extremely successful landing on Mars (August 5), the rover and the RHRS have performed flawlessly for close to an earth year (half the nominal mission life). This paper will share the performance of the RHRS on the Martian surface as well as compare it to its predictions.

  5. Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Jennifer C.; Sutter, Brad; Freissinet, Caroline; Navarro-González, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.; Archer, P. Douglas; Buch, Arnaud; Brunner, Anna E.; Coll, Patrice; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Fairen, Alberto G.; Franz, Heather B.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Kashyap, Srishti; McAdam, Amy C.; Ming, Douglas W.; Steele, Andrew; Szopa, Cyril; Wray, James J.; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Zorzano, Maria-Paz; Conrad, Pamela G.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; - Torres, F. Javier Martín; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d’Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2015-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has detected oxidized nitrogen-bearing compounds during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled sedimentary deposits within Gale crater. Total N concentrations ranged from 20 to 250 nmol N per sample. After subtraction of known N sources in SAM, our results support the equivalent of 110–300 ppm of nitrate in the Rocknest (RN) aeolian samples, and 70–260 and 330–1,100 ppm nitrate in John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) mudstone deposits, respectively. Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and, specifically, for the potential evolution of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The detection of nitrate in both wind-drifted fines (RN) and in mudstone (JK, CB) is likely a result of N2 fixation to nitrate generated by thermal shock from impact or volcanic plume lightning on ancient Mars. Fixed nitrogen could have facilitated the development of a primitive nitrogen cycle on the surface of ancient Mars, potentially providing a biochemically accessible source of nitrogen. PMID:25831544

  6. Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Jennifer C; Sutter, Brad; Freissinet, Caroline; Navarro-González, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P; Archer, P Douglas; Buch, Arnaud; Brunner, Anna E; Coll, Patrice; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Fairen, Alberto G; Franz, Heather B; Glavin, Daniel P; Kashyap, Srishti; McAdam, Amy C; Ming, Douglas W; Steele, Andrew; Szopa, Cyril; Wray, James J; Martín-Torres, F Javier; Zorzano, Maria-Paz; Conrad, Pamela G; Mahaffy, Paul R

    2015-04-07

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has detected oxidized nitrogen-bearing compounds during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled sedimentary deposits within Gale crater. Total N concentrations ranged from 20 to 250 nmol N per sample. After subtraction of known N sources in SAM, our results support the equivalent of 110-300 ppm of nitrate in the Rocknest (RN) aeolian samples, and 70-260 and 330-1,100 ppm nitrate in John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) mudstone deposits, respectively. Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and, specifically, for the potential evolution of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The detection of nitrate in both wind-drifted fines (RN) and in mudstone (JK, CB) is likely a result of N2 fixation to nitrate generated by thermal shock from impact or volcanic plume lightning on ancient Mars. Fixed nitrogen could have facilitated the development of a primitive nitrogen cycle on the surface of ancient Mars, potentially providing a biochemically accessible source of nitrogen.

  7. Chemical variations in Yellowknife Bay formation sedimentary rocks analyzed by ChemCam on board the Curiosity rover on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangold, Nicolas; Forni, Olivier; Dromart, G.; Stack, K.M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Gasnault, Olivier; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Nachon, Marion; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Anderson, Ryan B.; Barraclough, Bruce; Bell, J.F.; Berger, G.; Blaney, D.L.; Bridges, J.C.; Calef, F.; Clark, Brian R.; Clegg, Samuel M.; Cousin, Agnes; Edgar, L.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Fabre, Cecile; Fisk, M.; Grotzinger, John P.; Gupta, S.C.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Johnson, J. R.; Kah, Linda C.; Lanza, Nina L.; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, S.; Lewin, Eric; Malin, Michael; McLennan, Scott M.; Maurice, S.; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Milliken, Ralph E.; Newsome, H.L.; Ollila, A.; Rowland, Scott K.; Sautter, Violaine; Schmidt, M.E.; Schroder, S.; D'Uston, C.; Vaniman, Dave; Williams, R.A.

    2015-01-01

    The Yellowknife Bay formation represents a ~5 m thick stratigraphic section of lithified fluvial and lacustrine sediments analyzed by the Curiosity rover in Gale crater, Mars. Previous works have mainly focused on the mudstones that were drilled by the rover at two locations. The present study focuses on the sedimentary rocks stratigraphically above the mudstones by studying their chemical variations in parallel with rock textures. Results show that differences in composition correlate with textures and both manifest subtle but significant variations through the stratigraphic column. Though the chemistry of the sediments does not vary much in the lower part of the stratigraphy, the variations in alkali elements indicate variations in the source material and/or physical sorting, as shown by the identification of alkali feldspars. The sandstones contain similar relative proportions of hydrogen to the mudstones below, suggesting the presence of hydrous minerals that may have contributed to their cementation. Slight variations in magnesium correlate with changes in textures suggesting that diagenesis through cementation and dissolution modified the initial rock composition and texture simultaneously. The upper part of the stratigraphy (~1 m thick) displays rocks with different compositions suggesting a strong change in the depositional system. The presence of float rocks with similar compositions found along the rover traverse suggests that some of these outcrops extend further away in the nearby hummocky plains.

  8. Simulation of the GCR spectrum in the Mars curiosity rover's RAD detector using MCNP6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratliff, Hunter N.; Smith, Michael B. R.; Heilbronn, Lawrence

    2017-08-01

    The paper presents results from MCNP6 simulations of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) propagation down through the Martian atmosphere to the surface and comparison with RAD measurements made there. This effort is part of a collaborative modeling workshop for space radiation hosted by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). All modeling teams were tasked with simulating the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) spectrum through the Martian atmosphere and the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on-board the Curiosity rover. The detector had two separate particle acceptance angles, 4π and 30 ° off zenith. All ions with Z = 1 through Z = 28 were tracked in both scenarios while some additional secondary particles were only tracked in the 4π cases. The MCNP6 4π absorbed dose rate was 307.3 ± 1.3 μGy/day while RAD measured 233 μGy/day. Using the ICRP-60 dose equivalent conversion factors built into MCNP6, the simulated 4π dose equivalent rate was found to be 473.1 ± 2.4 μSv/day while RAD reported 710 μSv/day.

  9. Simulation of the GCR spectrum in the Mars curiosity rover's RAD detector using MCNP6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratliff, Hunter N; Smith, Michael B R; Heilbronn, Lawrence

    2017-08-01

    The paper presents results from MCNP6 simulations of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) propagation down through the Martian atmosphere to the surface and comparison with RAD measurements made there. This effort is part of a collaborative modeling workshop for space radiation hosted by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). All modeling teams were tasked with simulating the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) spectrum through the Martian atmosphere and the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on-board the Curiosity rover. The detector had two separate particle acceptance angles, 4π and 30 ° off zenith. All ions with Z = 1 through Z = 28 were tracked in both scenarios while some additional secondary particles were only tracked in the 4π cases. The MCNP6 4π absorbed dose rate was 307.3 ± 1.3 µGy/day while RAD measured 233 µGy/day. Using the ICRP-60 dose equivalent conversion factors built into MCNP6, the simulated 4π dose equivalent rate was found to be 473.1 ± 2.4 µSv/day while RAD reported 710 µSv/day. Copyright © 2017 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Determination of foreign broadening coefficients for Methane Lines Targeted by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) on the Mars Curiosity Rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manne, Jagadeeshwari; Bui, Thinh Q.; Webster, Christopher R.

    2017-01-01

    Molecular line parameters of foreign- broadening by air, carbon dioxide, and helium gas have been experimentally determined for infrared ro-vibrational spectral lines of methane isotopologues ("1"2CH_4 and "1"3CH_4) at 3057 cm"−"1 targeted by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover. From multi-spectrum analyses with the speed-dependent Voigt line profile with Rosenkrantz line-mixing, speed-dependence and line-mixing effects were quantified for methane spectra at total pressures up to 200 mbar. The fitted air-broadening coefficients deviated from 8–25% to those reported in the HITRAN-2012 database. - Highlights: • Measurements of foreign broadening coefficients for Mars-TLS specific methane lines. • Spectral parameters were deduced from Speed-dependent Voigt profile with line mixing effects taken into account. • A thorough comparison of different line profile fits for the Mars-TLS methane lines. The fitted broadening coefficients and areas deviated up to 30% and 4%, respectively, when comparing the speed-dependent Voigt profile (with Rosenkrantz line-mixing) with the simplest Voigt profile. • Foreign broadening coefficients were measured within a precision of 2.2%.

  11. Curiosity rover LEGO® version could land soon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

    Now that NASA's Curiosity rover has landed on Mars, a smaller LEGO® plastic brick construction version could be landing in toy stores. Less than 2 weeks after Curiosity set down on 5 August, a LEGO® set concept model designed by a mechanical and aerospace engineer who worked on the real rover garnered its 10,000th supporter on the Web site of CUUSOO, a Japanese partner of the LEGO® group. That milestone triggered a company review that began in September 2012 to test the model's “playability, safety, and ft with the LEGO® brand,” according to a congratulatory statement from the company to designer Stephen Pakbaz. Pakbaz told Eos that he has been an avid LEGO® and space exploration fan for most of his life. “For me, creating a LEGO® model of Curiosity using my firsthand knowledge of the rover was inevitable. What I enjoyed most was being able to faithfully replicate and subsequently demonstrate the rocker-bogie suspension system to friends, family, and coworkers,” he noted, referring to the suspension system that allows the rover to climb over obstacles while keeping its wheels on the ground. Pakbaz, who is currently with Orbital Sciences Corporation, was involved with aspects of the rover while working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 2007 to 2011 as a mechanical engineer.

  12. The Combustion Experiment on the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite on the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Malespin, C. A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Graham, H. V.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Brunner, A. E.; Freissinet, C.; Franz, H. B.; Fuentes, J.; Glavin, D. P.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The combustion experiment on the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite on Curiosity will heat a sample of Mars regolith in the presence of oxygen and measure composition of the evolved gases using quadrupole mass spectrometry (QMS) and tunable laser spectrometry (TLS). QMS will enable detection of combustion products such as CO, CO2, NO, and other oxidized species, while TLS will enable precise measurements of the abundance and carbon isotopic composition (delta(sup 13)C) of the evolved CO2 and hydrogen isotopic composition (deltaD) of H2O. SAM will perform a two-step combustion to isolate combustible materials below approx.550 C and above approx.550 C. The combustion experiment on SAM, if properly designed and executed, has the potential to answer multiple questions regarding the origins of volatiles seen thus far in SAM evolved gas analysis (EGA) on Mars. Constraints imposed by SAM and MSL time and power resources, as well as SAM consumables (oxygen gas), will limit the number of SAM combustion experiments, so it is imperative to design an experiment targeting the most pressing science questions. Low temperature combustion experiments will primarily target the quantification of carbon (and nitrogen) contributed by SAM wet chemistry reagants MTBSTFA (N-Methyl-N-tert-butyldimethylsilyltrifluoroacetamide) and DMF (Dimethylformamide), which have been identified in the background of blank and sample runs and may adsorb to the sample while the cup is in the Sample Manipulation System (SMS). In addition, differences between the sample and "blank" may yield information regarding abundance and delta(sup 13)C of bulk (both organic and inorganic) martian carbon. High temperature combustion experiments primarily aim to detect refractory organic matter, if present in Cumberland fines, as well as address the question of quantification and deltaD value of water evolution associated with hydroxyl hydrogen in clay minerals.

  13. The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover Mastcam instruments: Preflight and in-flight calibration, validation, and data archiving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, James F.; Godber, A.; McNair, S.; Caplinger, M.A.; Maki, J.N.; Lemmon, M.T.; Van Beek, J.; Malin, M.C.; Wellington, D.; Kinch, K.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Hardgrove, C.; Ravine, M.A.; Jensen, E.; Harker, D.; Anderson, Ryan; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Morris, R.V.; Cisneros, E.; Deen, R.G.

    2017-01-01

    The NASA Curiosity rover Mast Camera (Mastcam) system is a pair of fixed-focal length, multispectral, color CCD imagers mounted ~2 m above the surface on the rover's remote sensing mast, along with associated electronics and an onboard calibration target. The left Mastcam (M-34) has a 34 mm focal length, an instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of 0.22 mrad, and a FOV of 20° × 15° over the full 1648 × 1200 pixel span of its Kodak KAI-2020 CCD. The right Mastcam (M-100) has a 100 mm focal length, an IFOV of 0.074 mrad, and a FOV of 6.8° × 5.1° using the same detector. The cameras are separated by 24.2 cm on the mast, allowing stereo images to be obtained at the resolution of the M-34 camera. Each camera has an eight-position filter wheel, enabling it to take Bayer pattern red, green, and blue (RGB) “true color” images, multispectral images in nine additional bands spanning ~400–1100 nm, and images of the Sun in two colors through neutral density-coated filters. An associated Digital Electronics Assembly provides command and data interfaces to the rover, 8 Gb of image storage per camera, 11 bit to 8 bit companding, JPEG compression, and acquisition of high-definition video. Here we describe the preflight and in-flight calibration of Mastcam images, the ways that they are being archived in the NASA Planetary Data System, and the ways that calibration refinements are being developed as the investigation progresses on Mars. We also provide some examples of data sets and analyses that help to validate the accuracy and precision of the calibration

  14. The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover Mastcam instruments: Preflight and in-flight calibration, validation, and data archiving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. F.; Godber, A.; McNair, S.; Caplinger, M. A.; Maki, J. N.; Lemmon, M. T.; Van Beek, J.; Malin, M. C.; Wellington, D.; Kinch, K. M.; Madsen, M. B.; Hardgrove, C.; Ravine, M. A.; Jensen, E.; Harker, D.; Anderson, R. B.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Morris, R. V.; Cisneros, E.; Deen, R. G.

    2017-07-01

    The NASA Curiosity rover Mast Camera (Mastcam) system is a pair of fixed-focal length, multispectral, color CCD imagers mounted 2 m above the surface on the rover's remote sensing mast, along with associated electronics and an onboard calibration target. The left Mastcam (M-34) has a 34 mm focal length, an instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of 0.22 mrad, and a FOV of 20° × 15° over the full 1648 × 1200 pixel span of its Kodak KAI-2020 CCD. The right Mastcam (M-100) has a 100 mm focal length, an IFOV of 0.074 mrad, and a FOV of 6.8° × 5.1° using the same detector. The cameras are separated by 24.2 cm on the mast, allowing stereo images to be obtained at the resolution of the M-34 camera. Each camera has an eight-position filter wheel, enabling it to take Bayer pattern red, green, and blue (RGB) "true color" images, multispectral images in nine additional bands spanning 400-1100 nm, and images of the Sun in two colors through neutral density-coated filters. An associated Digital Electronics Assembly provides command and data interfaces to the rover, 8 Gb of image storage per camera, 11 bit to 8 bit companding, JPEG compression, and acquisition of high-definition video. Here we describe the preflight and in-flight calibration of Mastcam images, the ways that they are being archived in the NASA Planetary Data System, and the ways that calibration refinements are being developed as the investigation progresses on Mars. We also provide some examples of data sets and analyses that help to validate the accuracy and precision of the calibration.

  15. Potential Precursor Compounds for Chlorohydrocarbons Detected in Gale Crater, Mars, by the SAM Instrument Suite on the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Kristen E.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Freissinet, Caroline; Glavin, Daniel P.; Kotrc, Benjamin; Francois, Pascaline; Summons, Roger E.

    2016-01-01

    The detection of chlorinated organic compounds in near-surface sedimentary rocks by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite aboard the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover represents an important step toward characterizing habitable environments on Mars. However, this discovery also raises questions about the identity and source of their precursor compounds and the processes by which they become chlorinated. Here we present the results of analog experiments, conducted under conditions similar to SAM gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses, in which we pyrolyzed potential precursor compounds in the presence of various Cl salts and Fe oxides that have been identified in Martian sediments. While chloromethanes could not be unambiguously identified, 1,2-dichloropropane (1,2-DCP), which is one of the chlorinated compounds identified in SAM data, is formed from the chlorination of aliphatic precursors. Additionally, propanol produced more 1,2-DCP than nonfunctionalized aliphatics such as propane or hexanes. Chlorinated benzenes ranging from chlorobenzene to hexachlorobenzene were identified in experiments with benzene carboxylic acids but not with benzene or toluene. Lastly, the distribution of chlorinated benzenes depended on both the substrate species and the nature and concentration of the Cl salt. Ca and Mg perchlorate, both of which release O2 in addition to Cl2 and HCl upon pyrolysis, formed less chlorobenzene relative to the sum of all chlorinated benzenes than in experiments with ferric chloride. FeCl3, a Lewis acid, catalyzes chlorination but does not aid combustion. Accordingly, both the precursor chemistry and sample mineralogy exert important controls on the distribution of chlorinated organics.

  16. Onboard calibration igneous targets for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Chemistry Camera laser induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fabre, C., E-mail: cecile.fabre@g2r.uhp-nancy.fr [G2R, Nancy Universite (France); Maurice, S.; Cousin, A. [IRAP, Toulouse (France); Wiens, R.C. [LANL, Los Alamos, NM (United States); Forni, O. [IRAP, Toulouse (France); Sautter, V. [MNHN, Paris (France); Guillaume, D. [GET, Toulouse (France)

    2011-03-15

    Accurate characterization of the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on-board composition targets is of prime importance for the ChemCam instrument. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science and operations teams expect ChemCam to provide the first compositional results at remote distances (1.5-7 m) during the in situ analyses of the Martian surface starting in 2012. Thus, establishing LIBS reference spectra from appropriate calibration standards must be undertaken diligently. Considering the global mineralogy of the Martian surface, and the possible landing sites, three specific compositions of igneous targets have been determined. Picritic, noritic, and shergottic glasses have been produced, along with a Macusanite natural glass. A sample of each target will fly on the MSL Curiosity rover deck, 1.56 m from the ChemCam instrument, and duplicates are available on the ground. Duplicates are considered to be identical, as the relative standard deviation (RSD) of the composition dispersion is around 8%. Electronic microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS) analyses give evidence that the chemical composition of the four silicate targets is very homogeneous at microscopic scales larger than the instrument spot size, with RSD < 5% for concentration variations > 0.1 wt.% using electronic microprobe, and < 10% for concentration variations > 0.01 wt.% using LA ICP-MS. The LIBS campaign on the igneous targets performed under flight-like Mars conditions establishes reference spectra for the entire mission. The LIBS spectra between 240 and 900 nm are extremely rich, hundreds of lines with high signal-to-noise, and a dynamical range sufficient to identify unambiguously major, minor and trace elements. For instance, a first LIBS calibration curve has been established for strontium from [Sr] = 284 ppm to [Sr] = 1480 ppm, showing the potential for the future calibrations for other major or minor

  17. Onboard calibration igneous targets for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Chemistry Camera laser induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fabre, C.; Maurice, S.; Cousin, A.; Wiens, R.C.; Forni, O.; Sautter, V.; Guillaume, D.

    2011-01-01

    Accurate characterization of the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on-board composition targets is of prime importance for the ChemCam instrument. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science and operations teams expect ChemCam to provide the first compositional results at remote distances (1.5-7 m) during the in situ analyses of the Martian surface starting in 2012. Thus, establishing LIBS reference spectra from appropriate calibration standards must be undertaken diligently. Considering the global mineralogy of the Martian surface, and the possible landing sites, three specific compositions of igneous targets have been determined. Picritic, noritic, and shergottic glasses have been produced, along with a Macusanite natural glass. A sample of each target will fly on the MSL Curiosity rover deck, 1.56 m from the ChemCam instrument, and duplicates are available on the ground. Duplicates are considered to be identical, as the relative standard deviation (RSD) of the composition dispersion is around 8%. Electronic microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS) analyses give evidence that the chemical composition of the four silicate targets is very homogeneous at microscopic scales larger than the instrument spot size, with RSD 0.1 wt.% using electronic microprobe, and 0.01 wt.% using LA ICP-MS. The LIBS campaign on the igneous targets performed under flight-like Mars conditions establishes reference spectra for the entire mission. The LIBS spectra between 240 and 900 nm are extremely rich, hundreds of lines with high signal-to-noise, and a dynamical range sufficient to identify unambiguously major, minor and trace elements. For instance, a first LIBS calibration curve has been established for strontium from [Sr] = 284 ppm to [Sr] = 1480 ppm, showing the potential for the future calibrations for other major or minor elements.

  18. The Challenges in Applying Magnetroesistive Sensors on the 'Curiosity' Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Magnetoresistive Sensors were selected for use on the motor encoders throughout the Curiosity Rover for motor position feedback devices. The Rover contains 28 acuators with a corresponding number of encoder assemblies. The environment on Mars provides opportunities for challenges to any hardware design. The encoder assemblies presented several barriers that had to be vaulted in order to say the rover was ready to fly. The environment and encoder specific design features provided challenges that had to be solved in time to fly.

  19. Volatile, isotope, and organic analysis of martian fines with the Mars curiosity rover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leshin, L.A.; Mahaffy, P.R.; Webster, C.R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Conrad, P.G.; Archer Jr., P.D.; Atreya, S.K.; Brunner, A.E.; Buch, A.; Eigenbrode, J.L.; Flesch, G.J.; Franz, H.B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D.P.; McAdam, A.C.; Miller, K.E.; Ming, D.W.; Morris, R.V.; Navarro-González, R.; Niles, P.B.; Owen, T.; Pepin, R.O.; Squyres, S.; Steele, A.; Stern, J.C.; Summons, R.E.; Sumner, D.Y.; Sutter, B.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M.G.; Wray, J.J.; Grotzinger, J.P.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2013-01-01

    Samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit were heated to ~835°C under helium flow and evolved gases analyzed by Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite. H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 were the major gases released. Water abundance (1.5 to 3 weight percent) and release temperature suggest that

  20. The CheMin XRD on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity: Construction, Operation, and Quantitative Mineralogical Results from the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Nov. 26, 2011 and landed in Gale crater, Mars on Aug. 6, 2012. MSL's mission is to identify and characterize ancient "habitable" environments on Mars. MSL's precision landing system placed the Curiosity rover within 2 km of the center of its 20 X 6 km landing ellipse, next to Gale's central mound, a 5,000 meter high pile of laminated sediment which may contain 1 billion years of Mars history. Curiosity carries with it a full suite of analytical instruments, including the CheMin X-ray diffractometer, the first XRD flown in space. CheMin is essentially a transmission X-ray pinhole camera. A fine-focus Co source and collimator transmits a 50µm beam through a powdered sample held between X-ray transparent plastic windows. The sample holder is shaken by a piezoelectric actuator such that the powder flows like a liquid, each grain passing in random orientation through the beam over time. Forward-diffracted and fluoresced X-ray photons from the sample are detected by an X-ray sensitive Charge Coupled Device (CCD) operated in single photon counting mode. When operated in this way, both the x,y position and the energy of each photon are detected. The resulting energy-selected Co Kalpha Debye-Scherrer pattern is used to determine the identities and amounts of minerals present via Rietveld refinement, and a histogram of all X-ray events constitutes an X-ray fluorescence analysis of the sample.The key role that definitive mineralogy plays in understanding the Martian surface is a consequence of the fact that minerals are thermodynamic phases, having known and specific ranges of temperature, pressure and composition within which they are stable. More than simple compositional analysis, definitive mineralogical analysis can provide information about pressure/temperature conditions of formation, past climate, water activity and the like. Definitive mineralogical analyses are necessary to establish

  1. Volatile, Isotope, and Organic Analysis of Martian Fines with the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshin, L. A.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Webster, C. R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Conrad, P. G.; Archer, P. D.; Atreya, S. K.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Flesch, G. J.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; McAdam, A. C.; Miller, K. E.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Niles, P. B.; Owen, T.; Pepin, R. O.; Squyres, S.; Steele, A.; Stern, J. C.; Summons, R. E.; Sumner, D. Y.; Sutter, B.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M. G.; Wray, J. J.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Stalport, Fabien; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Garvin, James; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Tan, Florence; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Yen, Albert; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Bower, Hannah; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-09-01

    Samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit were heated to ~835°C under helium flow and evolved gases analyzed by Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite. H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 were the major gases released. Water abundance (1.5 to 3 weight percent) and release temperature suggest that H2O is bound within an amorphous component of the sample. Decomposition of fine-grained Fe or Mg carbonate is the likely source of much of the evolved CO2. Evolved O2 is coincident with the release of Cl, suggesting that oxygen is produced from thermal decomposition of an oxychloride compound. Elevated δD values are consistent with recent atmospheric exchange. Carbon isotopes indicate multiple carbon sources in the fines. Several simple organic compounds were detected, but they are not definitively martian in origin.

  2. CFD Analysis for Assessing the Effect of Wind on the Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Anderson, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The challenging range of landing sites for which the Mars Science Laboratory Rover was designed, requires a rover thermal management system that is capable of keeping temperatures controlled across a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the Martian surface where temperatures can be as cold as -123 C and as warm as 38 C, the rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) Rover Heat Rejection System (RHRS) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 C to 50 C range. The RHRS harnesses some of the waste heat generated from the rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), for use as survival heat for the rover during cold conditions. The MMRTG produces 110 W of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 W. Heat exchanger plates (hot plates) positioned close to the MMRTG pick up this survival heat from it by radiative heat transfer. Winds on Mars can be as fast as 15 m/s for extended periods. They can lead to significant heat loss from the MMRTG and the hot plates due to convective heat pick up from these surfaces. Estimation of this convective heat loss cannot be accurately and adequately achieved by simple textbook based calculations because of the very complicated flow fields around these surfaces, which are a function of wind direction and speed. Accurate calculations necessitated the employment of sophisticated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) computer codes. This paper describes the methodology and results of these CFD calculations. Additionally, these results are compared to simple textbook based calculations that served as benchmarks and sanity checks for them. And finally, the overall RHRS system performance predictions will be shared to show how these results affected the overall rover thermal performance.

  3. Martian Surface Mineralogy from Rovers with Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2016-01-01

    Beginning in 2004, NASA has landed three well-instrumented rovers on the equatorial martian surface. The Spirit rover landed in Gusev crater in early January, 2004, and the Opportunity rover landed on the opposite side of Mars at Meridian Planum 21 days later. The Curiosity rover landed in Gale crater to the west of Gusev crater in August, 2012. Both Opportunity and Curiosity are currently operational. The twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity carried Mossbauer spectrometers to determine the oxidation state of iron and its mineralogical composition. The Curiosity rover has an X-ray diffraction instrument for identification and quantification of crystalline materials including clay minerals. Instrument suites on all three rovers are capable of distinguishing primary rock-forming minerals like olivine, pyroxene and magnetite and products of aqueous alteration in including amorphous iron oxides, hematite, goethite, sulfates, and clay minerals. The oxidation state of iron ranges from that typical for unweathered rocks and soils to nearly completely oxidized (weathered) rocks and soils as products of aqueous and acid-sulfate alteration. The in situ rover mineralogy also serves as ground-truth for orbital observations, and orbital mineralogical inferences are used for evaluating and planning rover exploration.

  4. Compositional variations in sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater, Mars, from visible-shortwave infrared spectroscopy and comparison with ground truth from the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, Mathieu G.A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Minson, Sarah E.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ayoub, F.; Fraeman, A. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Bridges, N. T.

    2017-01-01

    During its ascent up Mount Sharp, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover traversed the Bagnold Dune Field. We model sand modal mineralogy and grain size at four locations near the rover traverse, using orbital shortwave infrared single scattering albedo spectra and a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo implementation of Hapke's radiative transfer theory to fully constrain uncertainties and permitted solutions. These predictions, evaluated against in situ measurements at one site from the Curiosity rover, show that XRD-measured mineralogy of the basaltic sands is within the 95% confidence interval of model predictions. However, predictions are relatively insensitive to grain size and are non-unique, especially when modeling the composition of minerals with solid solutions. We find an overall basaltic mineralogy and show subtle spatial variations in composition in and around the Bagnold dunes, consistent with a mafic enrichment of sands with cumulative transport distance by sorting of olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase grains during aeolian saltation. Furthermore, the large variations in Fe and Mg abundances (~20 wt%) at the Bagnold Dunes suggest that compositional variability induced by wind sorting may be enhanced by local mixing with proximal sand sources. Our estimates demonstrate a method for orbital quantification of composition with rigorous uncertainty determination and provide key constraints for interpreting in situ measurements of compositional variability within martian aeolian sandstones.

  5. Compositional variations in sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale crater, Mars, from visible-shortwave infrared spectroscopy and comparison with ground truth from the Curiosity rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Minson, S. E.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ayoub, F.; Fraeman, A. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Bridges, N. T.

    2017-12-01

    During its ascent up Mount Sharp, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover traversed the Bagnold Dune Field. We model sand modal mineralogy and grain size at four locations near the rover traverse, using orbital shortwave infrared single-scattering albedo spectra and a Markov chain Monte Carlo implementation of Hapke's radiative transfer theory to fully constrain uncertainties and permitted solutions. These predictions, evaluated against in situ measurements at one site from the Curiosity rover, show that X-ray diffraction-measured mineralogy of the basaltic sands is within the 95% confidence interval of model predictions. However, predictions are relatively insensitive to grain size and are nonunique, especially when modeling the composition of minerals with solid solutions. We find an overall basaltic mineralogy and show subtle spatial variations in composition in and around the Bagnold Dunes, consistent with a mafic enrichment of sands with cumulative aeolian-transport distance by sorting of olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase grains. Furthermore, the large variations in Fe and Mg abundances ( 20 wt %) at the Bagnold Dunes suggest that compositional variability may be enhanced by local mixing of well-sorted sand with proximal sand sources. Our estimates demonstrate a method for orbital quantification of composition with rigorous uncertainty determination and provide key constraints for interpreting in situ measurements of compositional variability within Martian aeolian sandstones.

  6. Mars Atmospheric Escape Recorded by H, C and O Isotope Ratios in Carbon Dioxide and Water Measured by the Sam Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Leshin, L. A.; Atreya, S. K.; Flesch, G. J.; Stern, J.; Christensen, L. E.; Vasavada, A. R.; Owen, T.; Niles, P. B.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Stable isotope ratios in C, H, N, O and S are powerful indicators of a wide variety of planetary geophysical processes that can identify origin, transport, temperature history, radiation exposure, atmospheric escape, environmental habitability and biological activity [2]. For Mars, measurements to date have indicated enrichment in all the heavier isotopes consistent with atmospheric escape processes, but with uncertainty too high to tie the results with the more precise isotopic ratios achieved from SNC meteoritic analyses. We will present results to date of H, C and O isotope ratios in CO2 and H2O made to high precision (few per mil) using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) that is part of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL s Curiosity Rover.

  7. Nitrogen on Mars: Insights from Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Jackson, W. A.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Chrisopher P.; Ming, W.; Archer, P. Douglas; Glavin, D. P.; Fairen, A. G.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2017-01-01

    Recent detection of nitrate on Mars indicates that nitrogen fixation processes occurred in early martian history. Data collected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity Rover can be integrated with Mars analog work in order to better understand the fixation and mobility of nitrogen on Mars, and thus its availability to putative biology. In particular, the relationship between nitrate and other soluble salts may help reveal the timing of nitrogen fixation and post-depositional behavior of nitrate on Mars. In addition, in situ measurements of nitrogen abundance and isotopic composition may be used to model atmospheric conditions on early Mars.

  8. Extraction of compositional and hydration information of sulfates from laser-induced plasma spectra recorded under Mars atmospheric conditions - Implications for ChemCam investigations on Curiosity rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobron, Pablo, E-mail: pablo.sobron@asc-csa.gc.ca [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Wang, Alian [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Sobron, Francisco [Unidad Asociada UVa-CSIC a traves del Centro de Astrobiologia, Parque Tecnologico de Boecillo, Parcela 203, Boecillo (Valladolid), 47151 (Spain)

    2012-02-15

    Given the volume of spectral data required for providing accurate compositional information and thereby insight in mineralogy and petrology from laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements, fast data processing tools are a must. This is particularly true during the tactical operations of rover-based planetary exploration missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which will carry a remote LIBS spectrometer in its science payload. We have developed: an automated fast pre-processing sequence of algorithms for converting a series of LIBS spectra (typically 125) recorded from a single target into a reliable SNR-enhanced spectrum; a dedicated routine to quantify its spectral features; and a set of calibration curves using standard hydrous and multi-cation sulfates. These calibration curves allow deriving the elemental compositions and the degrees of hydration of various hydrous sulfates, one of the two major types of secondary minerals found on Mars. Our quantitative tools are built upon calibration-curve modeling, through the correlation of the elemental concentrations and the peak areas of the atomic emission lines observed in the LIBS spectra of standard samples. At present, we can derive the elemental concentrations of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Al, S, O, and H in sulfates, as well as the hydration degrees of Ca- and Mg-sulfates, from LIBS spectra obtained in both Earth atmosphere and Mars atmospheric conditions in a Planetary Environment and Analysis Chamber (PEACh). In addition, structural information can be potentially obtained for various Fe-sulfates. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Routines for LIBS spectral data fast automated processing. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Identification of elements and determination of the elemental composition. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Calibration curves for sulfate samples in Earth and Mars atmospheric conditions. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Fe curves probably related to the crystalline

  9. PDS4 vs PDS3 - A Comparison of PDS Data for Two Mars Rovers - Existing Mars Curiosity Mission Mass Spectrometer (SAM) PDS3 Data vs Future ExoMars Rover Mass Spectrometer (MOMA) PDS4 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyness, E.; Franz, H. B.; Prats, B.

    2017-12-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument is a suite of instruments on Mars aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover. Centered on a mass spectrometer, SAM delivers its data to the PDS Atmosphere's node in PDS3 format. Over five years on Mars the process of operating SAM has evolved and extended significantly from the plan in place at the time the PDS3 delivery specification was written. For instance, SAM commonly receives double or even triple sample aliquots from the rover's drill. SAM also stores samples in spare cups for long periods of time for future analysis. These unanticipated operational changes mean that the PDS data deliveries are absent some valuable metadata without which the data can be confusing. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) instrument is another suite of instruments centered on a mass spectrometer bound for Mars. MOMA is part of the European ExoMars rover mission schedule to arrive on Mars in 2021. While SAM and MOMA differ in some important scientific ways - MOMA uses an linear ion trap compared to the SAM quadropole mass spectrometer and MOMA has a laser desorption experiment that SAM lacks - the data content from the PDS point of view is comparable. Both instruments produce data containing mass spectra acquired from solid samples collected on the surface of Mars. The MOMA PDS delivery will make use of PDS4 improvements to provide a metadata context to the data. The MOMA PDS4 specification makes few assumptions of the operational processes. Instead it provides a means for the MOMA operators to provide the important contextual metadata that was unanticipated during specification development. Further, the software tools being developed for instrument operators will provide a means for the operators to add this crucial metadata at the time it is best know - during operations.

  10. Overview of Initial Results From Studies of the Bagnold Dune Field on Mars by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Nathan; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ewing, Ryan; Newman, Claire; Sullivan, Robert; Conrad, Pamela; Cousin, Agnes; Edgett, Kenneth; Fisk, Martin; Fraeman, Abigail; Johnson, Jeffrey; Lamb, Michael; Lapotre, Mathieu; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Martinez, German; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Thompson, Lucy; van Beek, Jason; Vasavada, Ashwin; Wiens, Roger

    2016-04-01

    The Curiosity Rover is currently studying the Bagnold Dunes in Gale Crater. Here we provide a general overview of results and note that other EGU presentations will focus on specific aspects. The in situ activities have not yet occurred as of this writing, but other analyses have been performed approaching and within the dunefield. ChemCam passive spectra of Bagnold Dune sands are consistent with the presence of olivine. Two APXS spots on the High Dune stoss slope margin, and two others in an engineering test sand patch, show less inferred dust, greater Si, and higher Fe/Mn than other "soils" in Gale Crater. ChemCam analyses of more than 300 soils along the Curiosity traverse show that both fine and coarse soils have increasing iron and alkali content as the Bagnold Dunes are approached, a trend that may reflect admixtures of local rocks (alkalis + iron) to the fines, but also a contribution of Bagnold-like sand (iron) that increases toward the dunefield. MAHLI images of sands on the lower east stoss slope of High Dune show medium and coarse sand in ripple forms, and very fine and fine sand in ripple troughs. Most grains are dark gray, but some are also brick-red/brown, white, green translucent, yellow, brown" colorless translucent, or vitreous spheres HiRISE orbital images show that the Bagnold Dunes migrate on the order of decimeters or more per Earth year. Prior to entering the dune field, wind disruption of dump piles and grain movement was observed over multi-sol time spans, demonstrating that winds are of sufficient strength to mobilize unconsolidated material, either through direct aerodynamic force or via the action of smaller impacting grains. Within the dune field, we are, as of this writing, engaged in change detection experiments with Mastcam and ChemCam's RMI camera. Data we have so far, spanning 8 sols from the same location, shows no changes. Mastcam and RMI images of the stoss sides of Namib, Noctivaga, and High Dune show that the "ripples" seen

  11. Evolved Gas Analyses of the Murray Formation in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity Rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; McAdam, A. C.; Rampe, E. B.; Thompson, L. M.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Stern, J. C.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Archer, P. D.

    2017-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover has analyzed 13 samples from Gale Crater. All SAM-evolved gas analyses have yielded a multitude of volatiles (e.g., H2O, SO2, H2S, CO2, CO, NO, O2, HCl) [1- 6]. The objectives of this work are to 1) Characterize recent evolved SO2, CO2, O2, and NO gas traces of the Murray formation mudstone, 2) Constrain sediment mineralogy/composition based on SAM evolved gas analysis (SAM-EGA), and 3) Discuss the implications of these results relative to understanding the geological history of Gale Crater.

  12. Evolved Gas Analyses of Sedimentary Materials in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity Rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Stimson Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; McAdam, A. C.; Rampe, E. B.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Stern, J. C.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Archer, P. D.

    2016-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover has analyzed 10 samples from Gale Crater. All SAM evolved gas analyses have yielded a multitude of volatiles (e.g, H2O, SO2, H2S, CO2, CO, NO, O2, HC1). The objectives of this work are to 1) Characterize the evolved H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 gas traces of sediments analyzed by SAM through sol 1178, 2) Constrain sediment mineralogy/composition based on SAM evolved gas analysis (SAM-EGA), and 3) Discuss the implications of these results releative to understanding the geochemical history of Gale Crater.

  13. Chemistry, mineralogy, and grain properties at Namib and High dunes, Bagnold dune field, Gale crater, Mars: A synthesis of Curiosity rover observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, B L; Edgett, K S; Sutter, B; Achilles, C N; Litvak, M L; Lapotre, M G A; Sullivan, R; Fraeman, A A; Arvidson, R E; Blake, D F; Bridges, N T; Conrad, P G; Cousin, A; Downs, R T; Gabriel, T S J; Gellert, R; Hamilton, V E; Hardgrove, C; Johnson, J R; Kuhn, S; Mahaffy, P R; Maurice, S; McHenry, M; Meslin, P-Y; Ming, D W; Minitti, M E; Morookian, J M; Morris, R V; O'Connell-Cooper, C D; Pinet, P C; Rowland, S K; Schröder, S; Siebach, K L; Stein, N T; Thompson, L M; Vaniman, D T; Vasavada, A R; Wellington, D F; Wiens, R C; Yen, A S

    2017-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover performed coordinated measurements to examine the textures and compositions of aeolian sands in the active Bagnold dune field. The Bagnold sands are rounded to subrounded, very fine to medium sized (~45-500 μm) with ≥6 distinct grain colors. In contrast to sands examined by Curiosity in a dust-covered, inactive bedform called Rocknest and soils at other landing sites, Bagnold sands are darker, less red, better sorted, have fewer silt-sized or smaller grains, and show no evidence for cohesion. Nevertheless, Bagnold mineralogy and Rocknest mineralogy are similar with plagioclase, olivine, and pyroxenes in similar proportions comprising >90% of crystalline phases, along with a substantial amorphous component (35% ± 15%). Yet Bagnold and Rocknest bulk chemistry differ. Bagnold sands are Si enriched relative to other soils at Gale crater, and H 2 O, S, and Cl are lower relative to all previously measured Martian soils and most Gale crater rocks. Mg, Ni, Fe, and Mn are enriched in the coarse-sieved fraction of Bagnold sands, corroborated by visible/near-infrared spectra that suggest enrichment of olivine. Collectively, patterns in major element chemistry and volatile release data indicate two distinctive volatile reservoirs in Martian soils: (1) amorphous components in the sand-sized fraction (represented by Bagnold) that are Si-enriched, hydroxylated alteration products and/or H 2 O- or OH-bearing impact or volcanic glasses and (2) amorphous components in the fine fraction (<40 μm; represented by Rocknest and other bright soils) that are Fe, S, and Cl enriched with low Si and adsorbed and structural H 2 O.

  14. Curiosity: the Mars Science Laboratory Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard A.

    2012-01-01

    The Curiosity rover landed successfully in Gale Crater, Mars on August 5, 2012. This event was a dramatic high point in the decade long effort to design, build, test and fly the most sophisticated scientific vehicle ever sent to Mars. The real achievements of the mission have only just begun, however, as Curiosity is now searching for signs that Mars once possessed habitable environments. The Mars Science Laboratory Project has been one of the most ambitious and challenging planetary projects that NASA has undertaken. It started in the successful aftermath of the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover project and was designed to take significant steps forward in both engineering and scientific capabilities. This included a new landing system capable of emplacing a large mobile vehicle over a wide range of potential landing sites, advanced sample acquisition and handling capabilities that can retrieve samples from both rocks and soil, and a high reliability avionics suite that is designed to permit long duration surface operations. It also includes a set of ten sophisticated scientific instruments that will investigate both the geological context of the landing site plus analyze samples to understand the chemical & organic composition of rocks & soil found there. The Gale Crater site has been specifically selected as a promising location where ancient habitable environments may have existed and for which evidence may be preserved. Curiosity will spend a minimum of one Mars year (about two Earth years) looking for this evidence. This paper will report on the progress of the mission over the first few months of surface operations, plus look retrospectively at lessons learned during both the development and cruise operations phase of the mission..

  15. The Geologic Exploration of the Bagnold Dune Field at Gale Crater by the Curiosity Rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Fenton, Lori K

    2017-11-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity engaged in a monthlong campaign investigating the Bagnold dune field in Gale crater. What represents the first in situ investigation of a dune field on another planet has resulted in a number of discoveries. Collectively, the Curiosity rover team has compiled the most comprehensive survey of any extraterrestrial aeolian system visited to date with results that yield important insights into a number of processes, including sediment transport, bed form morphology and structure, chemical and physical composition of aeolian sand, and wind regime characteristics. These findings and more are provided in detail by the JGR-Planets Special Issue Curiosity's Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I.

  16. Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.; Yingst, R. Aileen; Ravine, Michael A.; Caplinger, Michael A.; Maki, Justin N.; Ghaemi, F. Tony; Schaffner, Jacob A.; Bell, James F.; Edwards, Laurence J.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Heydari, Ezat; Kah, Linda C.; Lemmon, Mark T.; Minitti, Michelle E.; Olson, Timothy S.; Parker, Timothy J.; Rowland, Scott K.; Schieber, Juergen; Sullivan, Robert J.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Thomas, Peter C.; Jensen, Elsa H.; Simmonds, John J.; Sengstacken, Aaron J.; Wilson, Reg G.; Goetz, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) investigation will use a 2-megapixel color camera with a focusable macro lens aboard the rover, Curiosity, to investigate the stratigraphy and grain-scale texture, structure, mineralogy, and morphology of geologic materials in northwestern Gale crater. Of particular interest is the stratigraphic record of a ?5 km thick layered rock sequence exposed on the slopes of Aeolis Mons (also known as Mount Sharp). The instrument consists of three parts, a camera head mounted on the turret at the end of a robotic arm, an electronics and data storage assembly located inside the rover body, and a calibration target mounted on the robotic arm shoulder azimuth actuator housing. MAHLI can acquire in-focus images at working distances from ?2.1 cm to infinity. At the minimum working distance, image pixel scale is ?14 μm per pixel and very coarse silt grains can be resolved. At the working distance of the Mars Exploration Rover Microscopic Imager cameras aboard Spirit and Opportunity, MAHLI?s resolution is comparable at ?30 μm per pixel. Onboard capabilities include autofocus, auto-exposure, sub-framing, video imaging, Bayer pattern color interpolation, lossy and lossless compression, focus merging of up to 8 focus stack images, white light and longwave ultraviolet (365 nm) illumination of nearby subjects, and 8 gigabytes of non-volatile memory data storage.

  17. Volatiles and Isotopes and the Exploration of Ancient and Modern Martian Habitability with the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mhaffy, P. R.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Mission was designed to pave the way for the study of life beyond Earth through a search for a habitable environment in a carefully selected landing site on Mars. Its ongoing exploration of Gale Crater with the Curiosity Rover has provided a rich data set that revealed such an environment in an ancient lakebed [1]. Volatile and isotope measurements of both the atmosphere and solids contribute to our growing understanding of both modern and ancient environments.

  18. Influence of Oxychlorine Phases During the Pyrolysis of Organic Molecules: Implications for the Quest of Organics on Mars with the SAM Experiment Onboard the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, M.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Belmahdi, I.; Glavin, D. P.; Freissinet, C.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Archer, P. D., Jr,; Sutter, B.; Mahaffy, P.

    2017-01-01

    One among the main objectives of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment is the in situ molecular analysis of gases evolving from solid samples heated up to approximately 850 degrees Centigrade, and collected by Curiosity on Mars surface/sub-surface in Gale crater. With this aim, SAM uses a gas-chromatograph coupled to a quadrupole mass spectrometer (GC-QMS) devoted to separate, detect and identify both volatile inorganic and organic compounds. SAM detected chlorinated organic molecules produced in evolved gas analysis (EGA) experiments. Several of these were also detected by the Viking experiments in 1976. SAM also detected oxychlorine compounds that were present at the Phoenix landing site. The oxychlorines may be prevelant over much of the martian surface. The C1 to C3 aliphatic chlorohydrocarbons (chloromethane and di- and trichloromethane) detected by SAM were attributed to reaction products occurring between the oxychlorines phases and the organic compounds coming from SAM instrument background. But SAM also showed the presence of a large excess of chlorobenzene and C2 to C4 dichloroalkanes among the volatile species released by the Cumberland sample of the Sheepbed mudstone. For the first time in the history of the Mars exploration, this proved the presence of Mars indigenous organic material at the Mars' surface. However, the identification of the precursor organic compounds of these chlorohydrocarbons is difficult due to the complexity of the reactions occurring during the sample pyrolysis. Laboratory pyrolysis experiments have demonstrated that oxychlorines phases such as perchlorates and chlorates, decomposed into dioxygen and volatile chlorine bearing molecules (HCl and/or Cl2) during the pyrolysis. These chemical species can then react with the organic molecules present in the martian solid samples through oxidation, chlorination and oxychlorination processes.

  19. Extraction of compositional and hydration information of sulfates from laser-induced plasma spectra recorded under Mars atmospheric conditions — Implications for ChemCam investigations on Curiosity rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobron, Pablo; Wang, Alian; Sobron, Francisco

    2012-01-01

    Given the volume of spectral data required for providing accurate compositional information and thereby insight in mineralogy and petrology from laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements, fast data processing tools are a must. This is particularly true during the tactical operations of rover-based planetary exploration missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which will carry a remote LIBS spectrometer in its science payload. We have developed: an automated fast pre-processing sequence of algorithms for converting a series of LIBS spectra (typically 125) recorded from a single target into a reliable SNR-enhanced spectrum; a dedicated routine to quantify its spectral features; and a set of calibration curves using standard hydrous and multi-cation sulfates. These calibration curves allow deriving the elemental compositions and the degrees of hydration of various hydrous sulfates, one of the two major types of secondary minerals found on Mars. Our quantitative tools are built upon calibration-curve modeling, through the correlation of the elemental concentrations and the peak areas of the atomic emission lines observed in the LIBS spectra of standard samples. At present, we can derive the elemental concentrations of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Al, S, O, and H in sulfates, as well as the hydration degrees of Ca- and Mg-sulfates, from LIBS spectra obtained in both Earth atmosphere and Mars atmospheric conditions in a Planetary Environment and Analysis Chamber (PEACh). In addition, structural information can be potentially obtained for various Fe-sulfates. - Highlights: ► Routines for LIBS spectral data fast automated processing. ► Identification of elements and determination of the elemental composition. ► Calibration curves for sulfate samples in Earth and Mars atmospheric conditions. ► Fe curves probably related to the crystalline structure of Fe-sulfates. ► Extraction of degree of hydration in hydrous Mg-, Ca-, and Fe-sulfates.

  20. Integrated Results from Analysis of the Rocknest Aeolian Deposit by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshin, L. A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Blake, D. F.; Edgett, K. S.; Gellert, R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Malin, M. C.; Wiens, R. C.; Treiman, A. H.; Ming, D. W.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover spent 45 sols (from sol 56-101) at an area called Rocknest (Fig. 1), characterizing local geology and ingesting its aeolian fines into the analytical instruments CheMin and SAM for mineralogical and chemical analysis. Many abstracts at this meeting present the contextual information and detailed data on these first solid samples analyzed in detail by Curiosity at Rocknest. Here, we present an integrated view of the results from Rocknest - the general agreement from discussions among the entire MSL Science Team.

  1. NASA Mars 2020 Rover Mission: New Frontiers in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is the next step in NASAs robotic exploration of the red planet. The rover, based on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover now on Mars, will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission would also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.Like the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012, the Mars 2020 spacecraft will use a guided entry, descent, and landing system which includes a parachute, descent vehicle, and, during the provides the ability to land a very large, heavy rover on the surface of Mars in a more precise landing area. The Mars 2020 mission is designed to accomplish several high-priority planetary science goals and will be an important step toward meeting NASAs challenge to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. The mission will conduct geological assessments of the rover's landing site, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess natural resources and hazards for future human explorers. The science instruments aboard the rover also will enable scientists to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth in the future. The rover also may help designers of a human expedition understand the hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate how to collect carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which could be a valuable resource for producing oxygen and rocket fuel.

  2. Frost on Mars Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Frost can form on surfaces if enough water is present and the temperature is sufficiently low. On each of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, the calibration target for the panoramic camera provides a good place to look for such events. A thin frost was observed by Opportunity's panoramic camera on the rover's 257th sol (Oct. 13, 2004) 11 minutes after sunrise (left image). The presence of the frost is most clearly seen on the post in the center of the target, particularly when compared with the unsegmented outer ring of the target, which is white. The post is normally black. For comparison, note the difference in appearance in the image on the right, taken about three hours later, after the frost had dissipated. Frost has not been observed at Spirit, where the amount of atmospheric water vapor is observed to be appreciably lower. Both images were taken through a filter centered at a wavelength of 440 nanometers (blue).

  3. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Keith S.; Kempenaar, Joshua E.; Liu, Yuanming; Bhandari, Pradeep; Dudik, Brenda A.

    2012-01-01

    On November 26, 2011, NASA launched a large (900 kg) rover as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to Mars. The MSL rover is scheduled to land on Mars on August 5, 2012. Prior to launch, the Rover was successfully operated in simulated mission extreme environments during a 16-day long Rover System Thermal Test (STT). This paper describes the MSL Rover STT, test planning, test execution, test results, thermal model correlation and flight predictions. The rover was tested in the JPL 25-Foot Diameter Space Simulator Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Rover operated in simulated Cruise (vacuum) and Mars Surface environments (8 Torr nitrogen gas) with mission extreme hot and cold boundary conditions. A Xenon lamp solar simulator was used to impose simulated solar loads on the rover during a bounding hot case and during a simulated Mars diurnal test case. All thermal hardware was exercised and performed nominally. The Rover Heat Rejection System, a liquid-phase fluid loop used to transport heat in and out of the electronics boxes inside the rover chassis, performed better than predicted. Steady state and transient data were collected to allow correlation of analytical thermal models. These thermal models were subsequently used to predict rover thermal performance for the MSL Gale Crater landing site. Models predict that critical hardware temperatures will be maintained within allowable flight limits over the entire 669 Sol surface mission.

  4. Wide Range Vacuum Pumps for the SAM Instrument on the MSL Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorensen, Paul; Kline-Schoder, Robert; Farley, Rodger

    2014-01-01

    Creare Incorporated and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center developed and space qualified two wide range pumps (WRPs) that were included in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. This instrument was subsequently integrated into the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity Rover," launched aboard an Atlas V rocket in 2011, and landed on August 6, 2012, in the Gale Crater on Mars. The pumps have now operated for more than 18 months in the Gale Crater and have been evacuating the key components of the SAM instrument: a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a tunable laser spectrometer, and six gas chromatograph columns. In this paper, we describe the main design challenges and the ways in which they were solved. This includes the custom design of a miniaturized, high-speed motor to drive the turbo drag pump rotor, analysis of rotor dynamics for super critical operation, and bearing/lubricant design/selection.

  5. International testing of a Mars rover prototype

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemurjian, Alexsandr Leonovich; Linkin, V.; Friedman, L.

    1993-03-01

    Tests on a prototype engineering model of the Russian Mars 96 Rover were conducted by an international team in and near Death Valley in the United States in late May, 1992. These tests were part of a comprehensive design and testing program initiated by the three Russian groups responsible for the rover development. The specific objectives of the May tests were: (1) evaluate rover performance over different Mars-like terrains; (2) evaluate state-of-the-art teleoperation and autonomy development for Mars rover command, control and navigation; and (3) organize an international team to contribute expertise and capability on the rover development for the flight project. The range and performance that can be planned for the Mars mission is dependent on the degree of autonomy that will be possible to implement on the mission. Current plans are for limited autonomy, with Earth-based teleoperation for the nominal navigation system. Several types of television systems are being investigated for inclusion in the navigation system including panoramic camera, stereo, and framing cameras. The tests used each of these in teleoperation experiments. Experiments were included to consider use of such TV data in autonomy algorithms. Image processing and some aspects of closed-loop control software were also tested. A micro-rover was tested to help consider the value of such a device as a payload supplement to the main rover. The concept is for the micro-rover to serve like a mobile hand, with its own sensors including a television camera.

  6. Electrostatic Spectrometer for Mars Rover Wheel

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop a simple electrostatic spectrometer that can be mounted on the wheels of a Mars rover to continuously and unobtrusively determine the mineral composition and...

  7. Recent Accomplishments in Mars Exploration: The Rover Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.

    2018-04-01

    Mobile rovers have revolutionized our understanding of Mars geology by identifying habitable environments and addressing critical questions related to Mars science. Both the advances and limitations of rovers set the scene for Mars Sample Return.

  8. Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, B. H.; Gennery, D. B.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1989-01-01

    A Mars rover sample return mission has been proposed for the late 1990's. Due to the long speed-of-light delays between earth and Mars, some autonomy on the rover is highly desirable. JPL has been conducting research in two possible modes of rover operation, Computer-Aided Remote Driving and Semiautonomous Navigation. A recently-completed research program used a half-scale testbed vehicle to explore several of the concepts in semiautonomous navigation. A new, full-scale vehicle with all computational and power resources on-board will be used in the coming year to demonstrate relatively fast semiautonomous navigation. The computational and power requirements for Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance are discussed.

  9. Mars 2020 Rover SHERLOC Calibration Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graff, Trevor; Fries, Marc; Burton, Aaron; Ross, Amy; Larson, Kristine; Garrison, Dan; Calaway, Mike; Tran, Vinh; Bhartia, Roh; Beegle, Luther

    2016-01-01

    The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman Fluorescence instrument selected as part of the Mars 2020 rover instrument suite. SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover arm and its primary role is to identify carbonaceous species in martian samples. The SHERLOC instrument requires a calibration target which is being designed and fabricated at JSC as part of our continued science participation in Mars robotic missions. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

  10. Calcium Sulfate Characterized by ChemCam/Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachon, M.; Clegg, S. N.; Mangold, N.; Schroeder, S.; Kah, L. C.; Dromart, G.; Ollila, A.; Johnson, J. R.; Oehler, D. Z.; Bridges, J. C.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover, the ChemCam instrument consists of :(1) a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) for elemental analysis of the targets [1;2] and (2) a Remote Micro Imager (RMI), for the imaging context of laser analysis [3]. Within the Gale crater, Curiosity traveled from Bradbury Landing through the Rocknest region and into Yellowknife Bay (YB). In the latter, abundant light-toned fracture-fill material were seen [4;5]. ChemCam analysis demonstrate that those fracture fills consist of calcium sulfates [6].

  11. Mars Exploration Rover Heat Shield Recontact Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Desai, Prasun N.; Michelltree, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rover missions landed successfully on Mars surface in January of 2004. Both missions used a parachute system to slow the rover s descent rate from supersonic to subsonic speeds. Shortly after parachute deployment, the heat shield, which protected the rover during the hypersonic entry phase of the mission, was jettisoned using push-off springs. Mission designers were concerned about the heat shield recontacting the lander after separation, so a separation analysis was conducted to quantify risks. This analysis was used to choose a proper heat shield ballast mass to ensure successful separation with low probability of recontact. This paper presents the details of such an analysis, its assumptions, and the results. During both landings, the radar was able to lock on to the heat shield, measuring its distance, as it descended away from the lander. This data is presented and is used to validate the heat shield separation/recontact analysis.

  12. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Bornstein, B.; Castano, R.; Merrill, M.; Greenwood, J.

    2005-12-01

    Mars rovers and orbiters currently collect far more data than can be downlinked to Earth, which reduces mission science return; this problem will be exacerbated by future rovers of enhanced capabilities and lifetimes. We are developing onboard intelligence sufficient to extract geologically meaningful data from spectrometer measurements of soil and rock samples, and thus to guide the selection, measurement and return of these data from significant targets at Mars. Here we report on techniques to construct mineral detectors capable of running on current and future rover and orbital hardware. We focus on carbonate and sulfate minerals which are of particular geologic importance because they can signal the presence of water and possibly life. Sulfates have also been discovered at the Eagle and Endurance craters in Meridiani Planum by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and at other regions on Mars by the OMEGA instrument aboard Mars Express. We have developed highly accurate artificial neural network (ANN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) based detectors capable of identifying calcite (CaCO3) and jarosite (KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6) in the visible/NIR (350-2500 nm) spectra of both laboratory specimens and rocks in Mars analogue field environments. To train the detectors, we used a generative model to create 1000s of linear mixtures of library end-member spectra in geologically realistic percentages. We have also augmented the model to include nonlinear mixing based on Hapke's models of bidirectional reflectance spectroscopy. Both detectors perform well on the spectra of real rocks that contain intimate mixtures of minerals, rocks in natural field environments, calcite covered by Mars analogue dust, and AVIRIS hyperspectral cubes. We will discuss the comparison of ANN and SVM classifiers for this task, technical challenges (weathering rinds, atmospheric compositions, and computational complexity), and plans for integration of these detectors into both the Coupled Layer

  13. Diagenetic Features Analyzed by ChemCam/Curiosity at Pahrump Hills, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachon, M.; Mangold, N.; Cousin, A.; Forni, O.; Anderson, R. B.; Blank, J. G.; Calef, F.; Clegg, S.; Fabre, C.; Fisk, M.; hide

    2015-01-01

    Onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover, the ChemCam instrument consists of : (1) a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) for elemental analysis of targets and (2) a Remote Micro Imager (RMI), which provides imaging context for the LIBS. The LIBS/ChemCam performs analysis typically of spot sizes 350-550 micrometers in diameter, up to 7 meters from the rover. Within Gale crater, Curiosity traveled from Bradbury Landing toward the base of Mount Sharp, reaching Pahrump Hills outcrop circa sol 750. This region, as seen from orbit, represents the first exposures of lower Mount Sharp. In this abstract we focus on two types of features present within the Pahrump Hills outcrop: concretion features and light-toned veins.

  14. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred; Shirbacheh, M; Sankarankandath, V

    2012-01-19

    The current-generation RTGs (both GPHS and MOD) are designed for operation in a vacuum environment. The multifoil thermal insulation used in those RTGs only functions well in a good vacuum. Current RTGs are designed to operate with an inert cover gas before launch, and to be vented to space vacuum after launch. Both RTGs are sealed with a large number of metallic C-rings. Those seals are adequate for retaining the inert-gas overpressure during short-term launch operations, but would not be adequate to prevent intrusion of the Martian atmospheric gases during long-term operations there. Therefore, for the Mars Rover application, those RTGs just be modified to prevent the buildup of significant pressures of Mars atmosphere or of helium (from alpha decay of the fuel). In addition, a Mars Rover RTG needs to withstand a long-term dynamic environment that is much more severe than that seen by an RTG on an orbiting spacecraft or on a stationary planetary lander. This paper describes a typical Rover mission, its requirements, the environment it imposes on the RTG, and a design approach for making the RTG operable in such an environment. Specific RTG designs for various thermoelectric element alternatives are presented.; Reference CID #9268 and CID #9276.

  15. Mission Operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bass, Deborah; Lauback, Sharon; Mishkin, Andrew; Limonadi, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    A document describes a system of processes involved in planning, commanding, and monitoring operations of the rovers Spirit and Opportunity of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. The system is designed to minimize command turnaround time, given that inherent uncertainties in terrain conditions and in successful completion of planned landed spacecraft motions preclude planning of some spacecraft activities until the results of prior activities are known by the ground-based operations team. The processes are partitioned into those (designated as tactical) that must be tied to the Martian clock and those (designated strategic) that can, without loss, be completed in a more leisurely fashion. The tactical processes include assessment of downlinked data, refinement and validation of activity plans, sequencing of commands, and integration and validation of sequences. Strategic processes include communications planning and generation of long-term activity plans. The primary benefit of this partition is to enable the tactical portion of the team to focus solely on tasks that contribute directly to meeting the deadlines for commanding the rover s each sol (1 sol = 1 Martian day) - achieving a turnaround time of 18 hours or less, while facilitating strategic team interactions with other organizations that do not work on a Mars time schedule.

  16. Using Planning, Scheduling and Execution for Autonomous Mars Rover Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estlin, Tara A.; Gaines, Daniel M.; Chouinard, Caroline M.; Fisher, Forest W.; Castano, Rebecca; Judd, Michele J.; Nesnas, Issa A.

    2006-01-01

    With each new rover mission to Mars, rovers are traveling significantly longer distances. This distance increase raises not only the opportunities for science data collection, but also amplifies the amount of environment and rover state uncertainty that must be handled in rover operations. This paper describes how planning, scheduling and execution techniques can be used onboard a rover to autonomously generate and execute rover activities and in particular to handle new science opportunities that have been identified dynamically. We also discuss some of the particular challenges we face in supporting autonomous rover decision-making. These include interaction with rover navigation and path-planning software and handling large amounts of uncertainty in state and resource estimations. Finally, we describe our experiences in testing this work using several Mars rover prototypes in a realistic environment.

  17. A vision system for a Mars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Brian H.; Gennery, Donald B.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Cooper, Brian K.; Lawton, Teri B.; Lay, N. Keith; Katzmann, Steven P.

    1988-01-01

    A Mars rover must be able to sense its local environment with sufficient resolution and accuracy to avoid local obstacles and hazards while moving a significant distance each day. Power efficiency and reliability are extremely important considerations, making stereo correlation an attractive method of range sensing compared to laser scanning, if the computational load and correspondence errors can be handled. Techniques for treatment of these problems, including the use of more than two cameras to reduce correspondence errors and possibly to limit the computational burden of stereo processing, have been tested at JPL. Once a reliable range map is obtained, it must be transformed to a plan view and compared to a stored terrain database, in order to refine the estimated position of the rover and to improve the database. The slope and roughness of each terrain region are computed, which form the basis for a traversability map allowing local path planning. Ongoing research and field testing of such a system is described.

  18. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Manning, Heidi; Owen, Tobias; Pepin, Robert O.; Squyres, Steven; Trainer, Melissa; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-07-01

    Volume mixing and isotope ratios secured with repeated atmospheric measurements taken with the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity rover are: carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.960(±0.007); argon-40 (40Ar), 0.0193(±0.0001); nitrogen (N2), 0.0189(±0.0003); oxygen, 1.45(±0.09) × 10-3; carbon monoxide, < 1.0 × 10-3; and 40Ar/36Ar, 1.9(±0.3) × 103. The 40Ar/N2 ratio is 1.7 times greater and the 40Ar/36Ar ratio 1.6 times lower than values reported by the Viking Lander mass spectrometer in 1976, whereas other values are generally consistent with Viking and remote sensing observations. The 40Ar/36Ar ratio is consistent with martian meteoritic values, which provides additional strong support for a martian origin of these rocks. The isotopic signature δ13C from CO2 of ~45 per mil is independently measured with two instruments. This heavy isotope enrichment in carbon supports the hypothesis of substantial atmospheric loss.

  19. Dune and ripple migration along Curiosity's traverse in Gale Crater on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestro, S.; Vaz, D.; Ewing, R. C.; Fenton, L. K.; Michaels, T. I.; Ayoub, F.; Bridges, N. T.

    2013-12-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, has safely landed near a 35-km-long dark dune field in Gale Crater on Mars. This dune field lies along Curiosity's traverse to Aeolis Mons (Mt. Sharp). Here we present new evidence of aeolian activity and further estimate wind directions within the dune field through analysis of ripple migration with the COSI-Corr technique, which provides precise measurements of ripple displacement at the sub-pixel scale.The area analyzed is located ~10 km southwest of rover Curiosity's current position and ~4 km SW of its selected path through Aeolis Mons (Mt. Sharp) (Fig. 1a). Here barchan dunes with elongated horns and seif dunes coexist with more typical barchan and dome dunes (Fig. 1a, b), with slopes sculpted by two intersecting ripple crestline orientations trending at 45° and 330°. The range of dune types and ripple orientations indicate the dune field morphology is influenced by at least two winds from the NW and the NE. The direction of migration is toward the SW, suggesting the most recent sand transporting winds were from the NE (Fig. 1c). These results match previous predictions and can be used to forecast the wind conditions close to the entry point to Mt. Sharp. Fig. 1: a-b) Study area c) Ripple migration direction computed using the COSI-Corr technique

  20. Microbiological cleanliness of the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newlin, L.; Barengoltz, J.; Chung, S.; Kirschner, L.; Koukol, R.; Morales, F.

    2002-01-01

    Planetary protection for Mars missions is described, and the approach being taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Project is discussed. Specific topics include alcohol wiping, dry heat microbial reduction, microbiological assays, and the Kennedy Space center's PHSF clean room.

  1. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyes, S. W.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Haskin, L.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor missions that will be launched in April of 2001 will include a highly capable rover that is a successor to the Mars Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover. The design goals for this rover are a total traverse distance of at least 10 km and a total lifetime of at least one Earth year. The rover's job will be to explore a site in Mars' ancient terrain, searching for materials likely to preserve a record of ancient martian water, climate, and possibly biology. The rover will collect rock and soil samples, and will store them for return to Earth by a subsequent Mars Surveyor mission in 2005. The Athena Mars rover science payload is the suite of scientific instruments and sample collection tools that will be used to perform this job. The specific science objectives that NASA has identified for the '01 rover payload are to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. (4) Collect and store samples. The Athena payload has been designed to meet these objectives. The focus of the design is on field operations: making sure the rover can locate, characterize, and collect scientifically important samples in a dusty, dirty, real-world environment. The topography, morphology, and mineralogy of the scene around the rover will be revealed by Pancam/Mini-TES, an integrated imager and IR spectrometer. Pancam views the surface around the rover in stereo and color. It uses two high-resolution cameras that are identical in most respects to the rover's navigation cameras. The detectors are low-power, low-mass active pixel sensors with on-chip 12-bit analog-to-digital conversion. Filters provide 8-12 color spectral bandpasses over the spectral region from 0.4 to 1.1 micron Narrow-angle optics provide an angular resolution of 0

  2. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobrado, J. M.; Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A.

    2015-01-01

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration

  3. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobrado, J. M., E-mail: sobradovj@inta.es; Martín-Soler, J. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Martín-Gago, J. A. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM–CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

    2015-10-15

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration.

  4. Mars Exploration Rovers Propulsive Maneuver Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Christopher L.; Raofi, Behzad; Kangas, Julie A.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity successfully landed respectively at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum in January 2004. The rovers are essentially robotic geologists, sent on a mission to search for evidence in the rocks and soil pertaining to the historical presence of water and the ability to possibly sustain life. In order to conduct NASA's 'follow the water' strategy on opposite sides of the planet Mars, an interplanetary journey of over 300 million miles culminated with historic navigation precision. Rigorous trajectory targeting and control was necessary to achieve the atmospheric entry requirements for the selected landing sites. The propulsive maneuver design challenge was to meet or exceed these requirements while preserving the necessary design margin to accommodate additional project concerns. Landing site flexibility was maintained for both missions after launch, and even after the first trajectory correction maneuver for Spirit. The final targeting strategy was modified to improve delivery performance and reduce risk after revealing constraining trajectory control characteristics. Flight results are examined and summarized for the six trajectory correction maneuvers that were planned for each mission.

  5. (abstract) Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesarone, Robert J.; Hastrup, Rolf C.; Horne, William; McOmber, Robert

    1997-01-01

    Telecommunications plays a key role in all rover and robotic missions to Mars both as a conduit for command information to the mission and for scientific data from the mission. Telecommunications to the Earth may be accomplished using direct-to-Earth links via the Deep Space Network (DSN) or by relay links supported by other missions at Mars. This paper reviews current plans for missions to Mars through the 2005 launch opportunity and their capabilities in support of rover and robotic telecommunications.

  6. Origin of Chlorobenzene Detected by the Curiosity Rover in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for Martian Organics in the Sheepbed Mudstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D.; Freissnet, C.; Eigenbrode, J.; Miller, K.; Martin, M.; Summons, R. E.; Steele, A.; Archer, D.; Brunner, A.; Buch, A.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources.

  7. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Joseph F.; Smyth, David E.

    2004-01-01

    Data Management for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) project is a comprehensive system addressing the needs of development, test, and operations phases of the mission. During development of flight software, including the science software, the data management system can be simulated using any POSIX file system. During testing, the on-board file system can be bit compared with files on the ground to verify proper behavior and end-to-end data flows. During mission operations, end-to-end accountability of data products is supported, from science observation concept to data products within the permanent ground repository. Automated and human-in-the-loop ground tools allow decisions regarding retransmitting, re-prioritizing, and deleting data products to be made using higher level information than is available to a protocol-stack approach such as the CCSDS File Delivery Protocol (CFDP).

  8. Mars Exploration Rovers Landing Dispersion Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knocke, Philip C.; Wawrzyniak, Geoffrey G.; Kennedy, Brian M.; Desai, Prasun N.; Parker, TImothy J.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Duxbury, Thomas C.; Kass, David M.

    2004-01-01

    Landing dispersion estimates for the Mars Exploration Rover missions were key elements in the site targeting process and in the evaluation of landing risk. This paper addresses the process and results of the landing dispersion analyses performed for both Spirit and Opportunity. The several contributors to landing dispersions (navigation and atmospheric uncertainties, spacecraft modeling, winds, and margins) are discussed, as are the analysis tools used. JPL's MarsLS program, a MATLAB-based landing dispersion visualization and statistical analysis tool, was used to calculate the probability of landing within hazardous areas. By convolving this with the probability of landing within flight system limits (in-spec landing) for each hazard area, a single overall measure of landing risk was calculated for each landing ellipse. In-spec probability contours were also generated, allowing a more synoptic view of site risks, illustrating the sensitivity to changes in landing location, and quantifying the possible consequences of anomalies such as incomplete maneuvers. Data and products required to support these analyses are described, including the landing footprints calculated by NASA Langley's POST program and JPL's AEPL program, cartographically registered base maps and hazard maps, and flight system estimates of in-spec landing probabilities for each hazard terrain type. Various factors encountered during operations, including evolving navigation estimates and changing atmospheric models, are discussed and final landing points are compared with approach estimates.

  9. Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI): Inital Observations and Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, K. S.; Yingst, R. A.; Minitti, M. E.; Robinson, M. L.; Kennedy, M. R.; Lipkaman, L. J.; Jensen, E. H.; Anderson, R. C.; Bean, K. M.; Beegle, L. W.; hide

    2013-01-01

    MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager) is a 2-megapixel focusable macro lens color camera on the turret on Curiosity's robotic arm. The investigation centers on stratigraphy, grain-scale texture, structure, mineralogy, and morphology of geologic materials at Curiosity's Gale robotic field site. MAHLI acquires focused images at working distances of 2.1 cm to infinity; for reference, at 2.1 cm the scale is 14 microns/pixel; at 6.9 cm it is 31 microns/pixel, like the Spirit and Opportunity Microscopic Imager (MI) cameras.

  10. Pressure and Relative Humidity Measurement Devices for Mars 2020 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hieta, M.; Genzer, M.; Nikkanen, T.; Haukka, H.; Harri, A.-M.; Polkko, J.; Rodriguez-Manfredi, J. A.

    2017-09-01

    One of the scientific payloads onboard the NASA Mars 2020 rover mission is Mars Environmental Dynamic Analyzer (MEDA): a set of environmental sensors for Mars surface weather measurements. Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) provides a pressure measurement device (MEDA PS) and a relative humidity measurement device (MEDA HS) for MEDA.

  11. Sulfur Geochemical Analysis and Interpretation with ChemCam on the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, S. M.; Anderson, R. B.; Frydenvang, J.; Forni, O.; Newsom, H. E.; Blaney, D. L.; Maurice, S.; Wiens, R. C.

    2017-12-01

    The Curiosity rover has encountered many forms of sulfur including calcium sulfate veins [1], hydrated Mg sulfates, and Fe sulfates along the traverse through Gale crater. A new SO3 calibration model for the remote Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique used by the ChemCam instrument enables improved quantitative analysis of SO3, which has not been previously reported by ChemCam on a routine or quantitative basis. In this paper, the details of this new LIBS calibration model will be described and applied to many disparate Mars targets. Among them, Mavor contains a calcium sulfate vein surrounded by bedrock. In contrast, Jake M. is a float rock, Wernecke is a bedrock, Cumberland and Windjana are drill targets. In 2015 the ChemCam instrument team completed a re-calibration of major elements based on a significantly expanded set of >500 geochemical standards using the ChemCam testbed at Los Alamos National Laboratory [2]. In addition to these standards, the SO3 compositional range was recently extended with a series of doped samples containing various mixtures of Ca- and Mg-sulfate with basalt BHVO2. Spectra from these standards were processed per [4]. Calibration and Mars spectra were converted to peak-area-summed LIBS spectra that enables the SO3 calibration. These peak-area spectra were used to generate three overlapping partial least squares (PLS1) calibration sub-models as described by Anderson et al. [3, 5]. ChemCam analysis of Mavor involved a 3x3 raster in which locations 5 and 6 primarily probed Ca-sulfate material. The new ChemCam SO3 compositions for Mavor 5 and Mavor 6 are 48.6±1.2 and 50.3±1.2 wt% SO3, respectively. The LIBS spectra also recorded the presence of other elements that are likely responsible for the departure from pure Ca-sulfate chemistry. On the low-abundance side, the remaining 7 Mavor locations, Jake M., Cumberland, Windjana, and Wernecke all contain much lower SO3, between 1.4±0.5 wt% and 2.3±0.3 wt% SO3. [1] Nachon et

  12. Slip Validation and Prediction for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeng Yen

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a novel technique to validate and predict the rover slips on Martian surface for NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission (MER. Different from the traditional approach, the proposed method uses the actual velocity profile of the wheels and the digital elevation map (DEM from the stereo images of the terrain to formulate the equations of motion. The six wheel speed from the empirical encoder data comprises the vehicle's velocity, and the rover motion can be estimated using mixed differential and algebraic equations. Applying the discretization operator to these equations, the full kinematics state of the rover is then resolved by the configuration kinematics solution in the Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP. This method, with the proper wheel slip and sliding factors, produces accurate simulation of the Mars Exploration rovers, which have been validated with the earth-testing vehicle. This computational technique has been deployed to the operation of the MER rovers in the extended mission period. Particularly, it yields high quality prediction of the rover motion on high slope areas. The simulated path of the rovers has been validated using the telemetry from the onboard Visual Odometry (VisOdom. Preliminary results indicate that the proposed simulation is very effective in planning the path of the rovers on the high-slope areas.

  13. Comparing orbiter and rover image-based mapping of an ancient sedimentary environment, Aeolis Palus, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stack, Kathryn M.; Edwards, Christopher; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Sumner, D.; Edgar, Lauren; Fraeman, A.; Jacob, S.; LeDeit, L.; Lewis, K.W.; Rice, M.S.; Rubin, D.; Calef, F.; Edgett, K.; Williams, R.M.E.; Williford, K.H.

    2016-01-01

    This study provides the first systematic comparison of orbital facies maps with detailed ground-based geology observations from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover to examine the validity of geologic interpretations derived from orbital image data. Orbital facies maps were constructed for the Darwin, Cooperstown, and Kimberley waypoints visited by the Curiosity rover using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images. These maps, which represent the most detailed orbital analysis of these areas to date, were compared with rover image-based geologic maps and stratigraphic columns derived from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). Results show that bedrock outcrops can generally be distinguished from unconsolidated surficial deposits in high-resolution orbital images and that orbital facies mapping can be used to recognize geologic contacts between well-exposed bedrock units. However, process-based interpretations derived from orbital image mapping are difficult to infer without known regional context or observable paleogeomorphic indicators, and layer-cake models of stratigraphy derived from orbital maps oversimplify depositional relationships as revealed from a rover perspective. This study also shows that fine-scale orbital image-based mapping of current and future Mars landing sites is essential for optimizing the efficiency and science return of rover surface operations.

  14. An Overview of a Regenerative Fuel Cell Concept for a Mars Surface Mobile Element (Mars Rover)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, T.

    2018-04-01

    This paper outlines an overview of a regenerative fuel cell concept for a Mars rover. The objectives of the system are to provide electrical and thermal power during the Mars night and to provide electrical power for the operational cycles.

  15. Potential Cement Phases in Sedimentary Rocks Drilled by Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Ming, D. W.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Bristow, T. F.; Cavanagh, P.; Farmer, J. D.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has encountered a variety of sedimentary rocks in Gale crater with different grain sizes, diagenetic features, sedimentary structures, and varying degrees of resistance to erosion. Curiosity has drilled three rocks to date and has analyzed the mineralogy, chemical composition, and textures of the samples with the science payload. The drilled rocks are the Sheepbed mudstone at Yellowknife Bay on the plains of Gale crater (John Klein and Cumberland targets), the Dillinger sandstone at the Kimberley on the plains of Gale crater (Windjana target), and a sedimentary unit in the Pahrump Hills in the lowermost rocks at the base of Mt. Sharp (Confidence Hills target). CheMin is the Xray diffractometer on Curiosity, and its data are used to identify and determine the abundance of mineral phases. Secondary phases can tell us about aqueous alteration processes and, thus, can help to elucidate past aqueous environments. Here, we present the secondary mineralogy of the rocks drilled to date as seen by CheMin and discuss past aqueous environments in Gale crater, the potential cementing agents in each rock, and how amorphous materials may play a role in cementing the sediments.

  16. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy; Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has conducted its first analysis of Martian soil samples using multiple instruments, the agency announced at a 3 December news briefing at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. "These results are an unprecedented look at the chemical diversity in the area," said NASA's Michael Meyer, program scientist for Curiosity.

  17. Effect of the Presence of Chlorates and Perchlorates on the Pyrolysis of Organic Compounds: Implications for Measurements Done with the SAM Experiment Onboard the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, M.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Belmahdi, I.; Coll, P.; Glavin, D. P.; Freissinet, C.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Sutter, B.; Summons, R. E.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover carries a suite of instruments, one of which is the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment. SAM is devoted to the in situ molecular analysis of gases evolving from solid samples collected by Curiosity on Mars surface/sub-surface. Among its three analytical devices, SAM has a gaschromatograph coupled to a quadrupole mass spectrometer (GC-QMS). The GC-QMS is devoted to the separation and identification of organic and inorganic material. Before proceeding to the GC-QMS analysis, the solid sample collected by Curiosity is subjected to a thermal treatment thanks to the pyrolysis oven to release the volatiles into the gas processing system. Depending on the sample, a derivatization method by wet chemistry: MTBSTFA of TMAH can also be applied to analyze the most refractory compounds. The GC is able to separate the organic molecules which are then detected and identified by the QMS (Figure 1). For the second time after the Viking landers in 1976, SAM detected chlorinated organic compounds with the pyrolysis GC-QMS experiment. The detection of perchlorates salts (ClO4-) in soil at the Phoenix Landing site suggests that the chlorohydrocarbons detected could come from the reaction of organics with oxychlorines. Indeed, laboratory pyrolysis experiments have demonstrated that oxychlorines decomposed into molecular oxygen and volatile chlorine (HCl and/or Cl2) when heated which then react with the organic matter in the solid samples by oxidation and/or chlorination processes.

  18. Autonomous navigation and control of a Mars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, D. P.; Atkinson, D. J.; Wilcox, B. H.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1990-01-01

    A Mars rover will need to be able to navigate autonomously kilometers at a time. This paper outlines the sensing, perception, planning, and execution monitoring systems that are currently being designed for the rover. The sensing is based around stereo vision. The interpretation of the images use a registration of the depth map with a global height map provided by an orbiting spacecraft. Safe, low energy paths are then planned through the map, and expectations of what the rover's articulation sensors should sense are generated. These expectations are then used to ensure that the planned path is correctly being executed.

  19. Pervasive aeolian activity along Curiosity's traverse in Gale Crater on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestro, S.; Vaz, D.; Ewing, R. C.; Rossi, A.; Flahaut, J.; Fenton, L. K.; Geissler, P. E.; Michaels, T. I.

    2012-12-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has safely landed in Gale Crater (Mars). This crater has been severely modified by the action of the wind which has led to the development of several dark dune fields. One of these fields crosses the landing ellipse from the NE to the SW, and despite its fresh appearance, no evidence of sand movement has been detected until recently. Here we present evidence of current aeolian activity in the form of ripple and dune migration close to the expected traverse of the MSL rover, Curiosity. We calculate a minimum ripple displacement of 1.16 m and a dune migration rate of 0.4 meters/Earth year. Both ripples and dunes migrated toward the SW, suggesting winds above the saltation threshold from the NE. Such winds are predicted by the MRAMS atmospheric model (Fig. 1). The dunes are undergoing changes on a timescale of weeks to a few years that should be detectable by rover instruments. Using theoretical and experimental considerations, we calculate a wind gust velocity of 35 m/s at 1.5 m of height. In addition, we estimate that saltating grains would reach a distance of ~27 m and extend a maximum height of 2 m above the surface. Our constraints on the wind regime provide a unique opportunity to use ground measurements from MSL to test the accuracy of winds predicted from orbital data.RAMS modeled winds in the MSL landing site

  20. Mars Exploration Rover Spirit End of Mission Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callas, John L.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed in Gusev crater on Mars on January 4, 2004, for a prime mission designed to last three months (90 sols). After more than six years operating on the surface of Mars, the last communication received from Spirit occurred on Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010). Following the loss of signal, the Mars Exploration Rover Project radiated over 1400 commands to Mars in an attempt to elicit a response from the rover. Attempts were made utilizing Deep Space Network X-Band and UHF relay via both Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Search and recovery efforts concluded on July 13, 2011. It is the MER project's assessment that Spirit succumbed to the extreme environmental conditions experienced during its fourth winter on Mars. Focusing on the time period from the end of the third Martian winter through the fourth winter and end of recovery activities, this report describes possible explanations for the loss of the vehicle and the extent of recovery efforts that were performed. It offers lessons learned and provides an overall mission summary.

  1. A Rover Mobility Platform with Autonomous Capability to Enable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulford, P.; Langley, C.; Shaw, A.

    2018-04-01

    The next step in understanding Mars is sample return. In Fall 2016, the CSA conducted an analogue deployment using the Mars Exploration Science Rover. An objective was to demonstrate the maturity of the rover's guidance, navigation, and control.

  2. Origin of Chlorobenzene Detected by the Curiosity Rover in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for Martian Organics in the Sheepbed Mudstone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Eigenbrode, J.; Miller, K.; Martin, M.; Summons, R.; Steele, A.; Franz, H.; Archer, D.; Brinkerhoff, W.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. The first solid samples analyzed by SAM, a scoop of windblown dust and sand at Rocknest (RN), revealed chlorinated hydrocarbons derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background. Chlorobenzene (CBZ) was also identified by SAM GCMS at RN at trace levels (approx.0.007 nmol) and was attributed to the reaction of chlorine with the Tenax polymers used in the hydrocarbon traps. After the RN analyses, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two separate holes designated John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB). Analyses of JK and CB by both SAM and the CheMin x-ray diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone consisting of approx.20 wt% smectite clays, which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. In addition, higher abundances and a more diverse suite of chlorinated hydrocarbons in CB compared to RN suggests that martian or meteoritic organic sources may be preserved in the mudstone. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources.

  3. Thermophysical Properties Along Curiosity's Traverse in Gale Crater, Mars, Derived from the REMS Ground Temperature Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Lewis, Kevin W.; Lemmon, Mark T.; Smith, Michael Doyle

    2016-01-01

    The REMS instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, has measured ground temperature nearly continuously at hourly intervals for two Mars years. Coverage of the entire diurnal cycle at 1 Hz is available every few martian days. We compare these measurements with predictions of surface atmosphere thermal models to derive the apparent thermal inertia and thermally derived albedo along the rovers traverse after accounting for the radiative effects of atmospheric water ice during fall and winter, as is necessary to match the measured seasonal trend. The REMS measurements can distinguish between active sand, other loose materials, mudstone, and sandstone based on their thermophysical properties. However, the apparent thermal inertias of bedrock dominated surfaces [approx. 350-550 J m(exp. -2) K(exp. -1 s(exp. -1/2 )] are lower than expected. We use rover imagery and the detailed shape of the diurnal ground temperature curve to explore whether lateral or vertical heterogeneity in the surface materials within the sensor footprint might explain the low inertias. We find that the bedrock component of the surface can have a thermal inertia as high as 650-1700 J m(exp. -2) K(exp. -1) s(exp. -1/2) for mudstone sites and approx. 700 J m(exp. -2) K(exp. -1) s(exp. - 1/2) for sandstone sites in models runs that include lateral and vertical mixing. Although the results of our forward modeling approach may be non-unique, they demonstrate the potential to extract information about lateral and vertical variations in thermophysical properties from temporally resolved measurements of ground temperature.

  4. Simulations of the magnetic properties experiment on Mars Exploration Rovers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Worm, E. S.; Bertelsen, P.; Goetz, W.; Kinch, K.; Madsen, M. B.; Merrison, J. P.; Nornberg, P.

    2005-01-01

    We present some of the main findings from simulation studies of the Magnetic Properties Experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers. The results suggest that the dust has formed via mechanical breakdown of surface rocks through the geological history of the planet, and that liquid water need not have played any significant role in the dust formation processes.

  5. Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Efforts and Observations at the Rocknest Eolian Sand Shadow in Curiosity's Gale Crater Field Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, K. S.; Yingst, R. A.; Minitti, M. E.; Goetz, W.; Kah, L. C.; Kennedy, M. R.; Lipkaman, L. J.; Jensen, E. H.; Anderson, R. C.; Beegle, L. W.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is focused on assessing the past or present habitability of Mars, through interrogation of environment and environmental records at the Curiosity rover field site in Gale crater. The MSL team has two methods available to collect, process and deliver samples to onboard analytical laboratories, the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. One approach obtains samples by drilling into a rock, the other uses a scoop to collect loose regolith fines. Scooping was planned to be first method performed on Mars because materials could be readily scooped multiple times and used to remove any remaining, minute terrestrial contaminants from the sample processing system, the Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA). Because of this cleaning effort, the ideal first material to be scooped would consist of fine to very fine sand, like the interior of the Serpent Dune studied by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit team in 2004 [1]. The MSL team selected a linear eolian deposit in the lee of a group of cobbles they named Rocknest (Fig. 1) as likely to be similar to Serpent Dune. Following the definitions in Chapter 13 of Bagnold [2], the deposit is termed a sand shadow. The scooping campaign occurred over approximately 6 weeks in October and November 2012. To support these activities, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) acquired images for engineering support/assessment and scientific inquiry.

  6. Curiosity: How to Boldly Go...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyrzak, Guy

    2013-01-01

    Operating a one-ton rover on the surface of Mars requires more than just a joystick and an experiment. With 10 science instruments, 17 cameras, a radioisotope thermoelectric generator and lasers, Curiosity is the largest and most complex rover NASA has sent to Mars. Combined with a 1 way light time of 4 to 20 minutes and a distributed international science and engineering team, it takes a lot of work to operate this mega-rover. The Mars Science Lab's operations team has developed an organization and process that maximizes science return and safety of the spacecraft. These are the voyages of the rover Curiosity, its 2 year mission, to determine the habitability of Gale Crater, to understand the role of water, to study the climate and geology of Mars.

  7. Curiosity and the Four Seasons: In Situ Measurements of the Atmospheric Composition over Three Mars Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trainer, M. G.; Franz, H. B.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Malespin, C.; Wong, M. H.; Atreya, S. K.; Becker, R. H.; Conrad, P. G.; Lefèvre, F.; Manning, H. L. K.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; McConnochie, T.; McKay, C.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Pepin, R. O.; Webster, C. R.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2017-12-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover measures the chemical composition of major atmospheric species in the vicinity of the rover through a dedicated atmospheric inlet. We report here on measurements of atmospheric volume mixing ratios in Gale Crater using the SAM quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), over a period of nearly three Mars years (5 Earth years) from landing. The observation period spans the southern winter of MY 31, solar longitude (Ls) of 175° through southern fall of MY 34, Ls = 12°. The initial mixing ratios measured by the SAM QMS were reported for the first 105 sols of the mission [1], and were updated to account for newly developed calibration factors [2]. The SAM QMS atmospheric measurements were continued, periodically interspersed between solid sample measurements and other rover activities, with a cumulative coverage of 4 or 5 experiments per season. The three major volatiles - CO2, N2, and 40Ar - are compatible with the annual pressure cycle but with a repeatable lag that indicates incomplete mixing and the influences of seasonal circulation patterns. The mixing ratios for the two inert, non-condensable species are qualitatively consistent with what is predicted from annual cycle of CO2 deposition and sublimation at the poles, which is manifested in a large enhancement of Ar mixing ratio at the winter poles (and assumed for N2) [3]. The mixing ratio for the minor species O2 appears to follow a distinct seasonal trend and may be indicative of possible deviations from known atmospheric chemistry or a surface flux of oxygen from an unknown source, or both. This unprecedented seasonal coverage and precision in mixing ratio determination provides valuable data for understanding the seasonal chemical and dynamics cycles. Further, this measurement campaign supplies useful ground-truth data for global climate model simulations, which can study atmospheric effects for other locations on Mars

  8. A Raman Spectrometer for the ExoMars 2020 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moral, A. G.; Rull, F.; Maurice, S.; Hutchinson, I.; Canora, C. P.; Seoane, L.; Rodríguez, P.; Canchal, R.; Gallego, P.; Ramos, G.; López, G.; Prieto, J. A. R.; Santiago, A.; Santamaría, P.; Colombo, M.; Belenguer, T.; Forni, O.

    2017-09-01

    The Raman project is devoted to the development of a Raman spectrometer and the support science associated for the rover EXOMARS mission to be launched in 2020. ExoMars is a double mission with two different launch opportunities, first one launched in March 2016 allowed to put in orbit the TGO with the communication system for the next mission. And the second one in 2020, deploying a rover which includes for the first time in the robotic exploration of Mars, a drill capable to obtain samples from the subsurface up to 2 meters depth. These samples will be crushed into a fine powder and delivered to the analytical instruments suite inside the rover by means of a dosing station. The EQM has been already qualified under a very demanding thermo mechanical environment, and under EMC tests, finally achieving required scientific performances. The RLS Engineering and Qualification Model has been manufactured and is expected to be delivered by May 2017, after a full qualification testing campaign developed during 2016 Q4, and 2017 Q1. It will finally delivered to ESA, by July 2017. December 2017 at TAS-I premises will do RLS FM delivery to ESA, for its final integration on the ExoMars 2020 Rover.

  9. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, W. D.; Hastrup, R.; Cesarone, R.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars exploration program of NASA and the international community will evolve from an early emphasis on orbital remote sensing toward in-situ science activity on, or just above, the Martian surface.

  10. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, W. D.; Hastrup, R.; Cesarone, R.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars exploration program of NASA and the international community will evolve from an early emphasis on orbital remote sensing toward in situ science activity on, or just above, the Martian surface.

  11. Dreaming on Mars: How Curiosity Performs Actuator Warm-Up While Sleeping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Gene Y.; Donaldson, James A.

    2013-01-01

    Before the Curiosity rover can perform its science activities for the day, such as driving, moving its robotic arm, or drilling, it first has to ensure that its actuators are within their allowable flight temperatures (AFTs). When the rover is awake, flight software uses heaters to warm up and maintain thermal zones at operational temperatures. However, Curiosity spends about 70% of its time sleeping, with the flight computer off, in order to conserve energy. Dream Mode is a special behavior that allows the rover to execute warm-up activities while sleeping. Using Dream Mode, actuators can be warmed up to their AFTs before the flight computer wakes up and uses them - saving power and improving operational efficiency. This paper describes the motivation behind Dream Mode, how it was implemented and tested on Curiosity, and the challenges and lessons learned along the way.

  12. Archiving Data From the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.

    2002-12-01

    The two Mars Exploration Rovers will touch down on the red planet in January 2004 and each will operate for at least 90 sols, traversing hundreds of meters across the surface and acquiring data from the Athena Science Payload (mast-based multi-spectral, stereo-imaging data and emission spectra; arm-based in-situ Alpha Particle X-Ray (APXS) and Mössbauer Spectroscopy, microscopic imaging, coupled with use of a rock abrasion tool) at a number of locations. In addition, the rovers will acquire science and engineering data along traverses to characterize terrain properties and perhaps be used to dig trenches. An "Analyst's Notebook" concept has been developed to capture, organize, archive and distribute raw and derived data sets and documentation (http://wufs.wustl.edu/rover). The Notebooks will be implemented in ways that will allow users to "playback" the mission, using executed commands to drive animated views of rover activities, and pop-up windows to show why particular observations were acquired, along with displays of raw and derived data products. In addition, the archive will include standard Planetary Data System files and software for processing to higher-level products. The Notebooks will exist both as an online system and as a set of distributable Digital Video Discs or other appropriate media. The Notebooks will be made available through the Planetary Data System within six months after the end of observations for the relevant rovers.

  13. The Athena Science Payload for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Haskin, L.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2001-01-01

    The Athena Mars rover payload is a suite of scientific instruments and tools for geologic exploration of the martian surface. It is designed to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials, including soils, rock surfaces, and rock interiors. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. Two identical copies of the Athena payload will be flown in 2003 on the two Mars Exploration Rovers. The payload is at a high state of maturity, and first copies of several of the instruments have already been built and tested for flight.

  14. Mars Exploration Rovers Launch Performance and TCM-1 Maneuver Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kangas, Julie A.; Potts, Christopher L.; Raofi, Behzad

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project successfully landed two identical rovers on Mars in order to remotely conduct geologic investigations, including characterization of rocks and soils that may hold clues to past water activity. Two landing sites, Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum, were selected out of nearly 200 candidate sites after balancing science returns and flight system engineering and safety. Precise trajectory targeting and control was necessary to achieve the atmospheric entry requirements for the selected landing sites within the flight system constraints. This paper discusses the expected and achieved launch vehicle performance and the impacts of that performance on the first Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-1) while maintaining targeting flexibility in accommodating additional project concerns about landing site safety and possible in-flight retargeting to alternate landing sites.

  15. Scientific Results of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.

    2006-08-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project launched two robotic geologists, Spirit and Opportunity, toward Mars in June and July of 2003, reaching Mars the following January. The science objectives for this mission are focused on delineating the geologic history for two locations on Mars, with an emphasis on the history of water. Although they were designed for a 90-day mission, both rovers have lasted more than two years on the surface and each has covered more than four miles while investigating Martian geology. Spirit was targeted to Gusev Crater, a 300-km diameter impact basin that was suspected to be the site of an ancient lake. Initial investigations of the plains in the vicinity of the landing site found no evidence of such a lake, but were instead consistent with unaltered (by water) basaltic plains. But after a 3-km trek to an adjacent range of hills it found a quite different situation, with abundant chemical and morphological evidence for a complex geological history. Opportunity has been exploring Meridiani Planum, which was known from orbital data to contain the mineral hematite, which generally forms in the presence of water. The rocks exposed in Meridiani are highly chemically altered, and appear to have been exposed to significant amounts of water. By descending into the 130-m diameter Endurance Crater, Opportunity was able to analyze a 10-m vertical section of this rock unit, which showed significant gradations in chemistry and morphology.

  16. The Detection of Evolved Oxygen from the Rocknest Eolian Bedform Material by the Sample Analysis at Mars(SAM) instrument at the Mars Curiosity Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Archer, D.; Ming, D.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H.; Glavin, D. P.; McAdam, A.; Mahaffy, P.; Stern, J.; Navarro-Gonzalex, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the Curiosity rover detected an O2 gas release from the Rocknest eolain bedform (Fig. 1). The detection of perchlorate (ClO4-) by the Mars Phoenix Lander s Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) [1] suggests that perchlorate is a possible candidate for evolved O2 release detected by SAM. The perchlorate would also serve as a source of chlorine in the chlorinated hydrocarbons detected by the SAM quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GCMS) [2,3]. Chlorates (ClO3-) [4,5] and/or superoxides [6] may also be sources of evolved O2 from the Rocknest materials. The work objectives are to 1) evaluate the O2 release temperatures from Rocknest materials, 2) compare these O2 release temperatures with a series of perchlorates and chlorates, and 3) evaluate superoxide O2- sources and possible perchlorate interactions with other Rocknest phases during QMS analysis.

  17. Mars Rover Sample Return aerocapture configuration design and packaging constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Shelby J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper discusses the aerodynamics requirements, volume and mass constraints that lead to a biconic aeroshell vehicle design that protects the Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) mission elements from launch to Mars landing. The aerodynamic requirements for Mars aerocapture and entry and packaging constraints for the MRSR elements result in a symmetric biconic aeroshell that develops a L/D of 1.0 at 27.0 deg angle of attack. A significant problem in the study is obtaining a cg that provides adequate aerodynamic stability and performance within the mission imposed constraints. Packaging methods that relieve the cg problems include forward placement of aeroshell propellant tanks and incorporating aeroshell structure as lander structure. The MRSR missions developed during the pre-phase A study are discussed with dimensional and mass data included. Further study is needed for some missions to minimize MRSR element volume so that launch mass constraints can be met.

  18. The potassic sedimentary rocks in Gale Crater, Mars, as seen by ChemCam Onboard Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Deit, Laetitia; Mangold, Nicolas; Forni, Olivier; Cousin, Agnes; Lasue, Jeremie; Schröder, Susanne; Wiens, Roger C.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Fabre, Cecile; Stack, Katherine M.; Anderson, Ryan; Blaney, Diana L.; Clegg, Samuel M.; Dromart, Gilles; Fisk, Martin; Gasnault, Olivier; Grotzinger, John P.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Lanza, Nina; Le Mouélic, Stephane; Maurice, Sylvestre; McLennan, Scott M.; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Nachon, Marion; Newsom, Horton E.; Payre, Valerie; Rapin, William; Rice, Melissa; Sautter, Violaine; Treiman, Alan H.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity encountered potassium-rich clastic sedimentary rocks at two sites in Gale Crater, the waypoints Cooperstown and Kimberley. These rocks include several distinct meters thick sedimentary outcrops ranging from fine sandstone to conglomerate, interpreted to record an ancient fluvial or fluvio-deltaic depositional system. From ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) chemical analyses, this suite of sedimentary rocks has an overall mean K2O abundance that is more than 5 times higher than that of the average Martian crust. The combined analysis of ChemCam data with stratigraphic and geographic locations reveals that the mean K2O abundance increases upward through the stratigraphic section. Chemical analyses across each unit can be represented as mixtures of several distinct chemical components, i.e., mineral phases, including K-bearing minerals, mafic silicates, Fe-oxides, and Fe-hydroxide/oxyhydroxides. Possible K-bearing minerals include alkali feldspar (including anorthoclase and sanidine) and K-bearing phyllosilicate such as illite. Mixtures of different source rocks, including a potassium-rich rock located on the rim and walls of Gale Crater, are the likely origin of observed chemical variations within each unit. Physical sorting may have also played a role in the enrichment in K in the Kimberley formation. The occurrence of these potassic sedimentary rocks provides additional evidence for the chemical diversity of the crust exposed at Gale Crater.

  19. Accessing Information on the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, J. D.; Schreiner, J. A.

    2005-12-01

    In January 2004, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission successfully deployed two robotic geologists - Spirit and Opportunity - to opposite sides of the red planet. Onboard each rover is an array of cameras and scientific instruments that send data back to Earth, where ground-based systems process and store the information. During the height of the mission, a team of about 250 scientists and engineers worked around the clock to analyze the collected data, determine a strategy and activities for the next day and then carefully compose the command sequences that would instruct the rovers in how to perform their tasks. The scientists and engineers had to work closely together to balance the science objectives with the engineering constraints so that the mission achieved its goals safely and quickly. To accomplish this coordinated effort, they adhered to a tightly orchestrated schedule of meetings and processes. To keep on time, it was critical that all team members were aware of what was happening, knew how much time they had to complete their tasks, and could easily access the information they need to do their jobs. Computer scientists and software engineers at NASA Ames Research Center worked closely with the mission managers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to create applications that support the mission. One such application, the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP), helps mission personnel perform their daily tasks, whether they work inside mission control or the science areas at JPL, or in their homes, schools, or offices. With a three-tiered, service-oriented architecture (SOA) - client, middleware, and data repository - built using Java and commercial software, CIP provides secure access to mission schedules and to data and images transmitted from the Mars rovers. This services-based approach proved highly effective for building distributed, flexible applications, and is forming the basis for the design of future mission software systems. Almost two

  20. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Payment, Simone

    2017-01-01

    This curriculum-based, fun, and approachable book offers everything young readers need to know to begin their study of the Red Planet. They will learn about the fundamental aspects of the Mars, including its size, mass, surface features, interior, orbit, and spin. Further, they will learn about the history of the missions to Mars, including the Viking spacecraft and the Curiosity and MAVEN rovers. Finally, readers will learn about why scientists think there's a chance that Mars is or was suitable for life. With stunning imagery from NASA itself, readers will have a front seat-view of the missi

  1. AIAA Educator Academy - Mars Rover Curriculum: A 6 week multidisciplinary space science based curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriquez, E.; Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.; Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Kapral, A.

    2013-12-01

    The Curiosity mission has captured the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The AIAA and the University of Houston have developed a flexible curriculum program that offers children in-depth science and language arts learning culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students learn to research Mars in order to pick a science question about Mars that is of interest to them. They learn principles of spacecraft design in order to build a model of a Mars rover to carry out their mission on the surface of Mars. The model is a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The project's unique strength lies in engaging students in the process of spacecraft design and interesting them in aerospace engineering careers. The project is aimed at elementary and secondary education. Not only will these students learn about scientific fields relevant to the mission (space science, physics, geology, robotics, and more), they will gain an appreciation for how this knowledge is used to tackle complex problems. The low cost of the event makes it an ideal enrichment vehicle for low income schools. It provides activities that provide professional development to educators, curricular support resources using NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) content, and provides family opportunities for involvement in K-12 student learning. This paper will describe the structure and organization of the 6 week curriculum. A set of 30 new 5E lesson plans have been written to support this project as a classroom activity. The challenge of developing interactive

  2. Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, Frances; Coates, Andrew J.; Jaumann, Ralf; Korablev, Oleg; Ciarletti, Valérie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Josset, Jean-Luc; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Goesmann, Fred; Steininger, Harald; Brinckerhoff, William; Szopa, Cyril; Raulin, François; Westall, Frances; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bridges, John; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Werner, Stephanie; Loizeau, Damien; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Flahaut, Jessica; Forget, François; Rodionov, Daniel; Korablev, Oleg; Svedhem, Håkan; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Kminek, Gerhard; Lorenzoni, Leila; Joudrier, Luc; Mikhailov, Viktor; Zashchirinskiy, Alexander; Alexashkin, Sergei; Calantropio, Fabio; Merlo, Andrea; Poulakis, Pantelis; Witasse, Olivier; Bayle, Olivier; Bayón, Silvia; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Carter, John; García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Baglioni, Pietro; Haldemann, Albert; Ball, Andrew J.; Debus, André; Lindner, Robert; Haessig, Frédéric; Monteiro, David; Trautner, Roland; Voland, Christoph; Rebeyre, Pierre; Goulty, Duncan; Didot, Frédéric; Durrant, Stephen; Zekri, Eric; Koschny, Detlef; Toni, Andrea; Visentin, Gianfranco; Zwick, Martin; van Winnendael, Michel; Azkarate, Martín; Carreau, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information. Key Words: Biosignatures—ExoMars—Landing sites—Mars rover—Search for life. Astrobiology 17, 471–510.

  3. Radiation shield analysis for a manned Mars rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morley, N.J.; ElGenk, M.S.

    1991-01-01

    Radiation shielding for unmanned space missions has been extensively studied; however, designs of man-rated shields are minimal. Engle et al.'s analysis of a man-rated, multilayered shield composed of two and three cycles (a cycle consists of a tungsten and a lithium hydride layer) is the basis for the work reported in this paper. The authors present the results of a recent study of shield designs for a manned Mars rover powered by a 500-kW(thermal) nuclear reactor. A train-type rover vehicle was developed, which consists of four cars and is powered by an SP-100-type nuclear reactor heat source. The maximum permissible dose rate (MPD) from all sources is given by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements as 500 mSv/yr (50 rem/yr) A 3-yr Mars mission (2-yr round trip and 1-yr stay) will deliver a 1-Sv natural radiation dose without a solar particle event, 450 mSv/yr in flight, and an additional 100 mSv on the planet surface. An anomalously large solar particle event could increase the natural radiation dose for unshielded astronauts on the Martian surface to 200 mSv. This limits the MPD to crew members from the nuclear reactor to 300 mSv

  4. RAT magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity beyond sol 500

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leer, Kristoffer; Goetz, Walter; Chan, Marjorie A.

    2011-01-01

    The Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers was designed to collect dust from rocks ground by the RAT of the two rovers on the surface of Mars. The dust collected on the magnets is now a mixture of dust from many grindings. Here the new data from the experiment...

  5. Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vago, Jorge L.; Westall, Frances; Pasteur Instrument Team; Pasteur Landing Team; Coates, Andrew J.; Jaumann, Ralf; Korablev, Oleg; Ciarletti, Valérie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Josset, Jean-Luc; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Rull, Fernando; Goesmann, Fred; Steininger, Harald; Goetz, Walter; Brinckerhoff, William; Szopa, Cyril; Raulin, François; Westall, Frances; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bridges, John; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Werner, Stephanie; Loizeau, Damien; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Flahaut, Jessica; Forget, François; Vago, Jorge L.; Rodionov, Daniel; Korablev, Oleg; Svedhem, Håkan; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Kminek, Gerhard; Lorenzoni, Leila; Joudrier, Luc; Mikhailov, Viktor; Zashchirinskiy, Alexander; Alexashkin, Sergei; Calantropio, Fabio; Merlo, Andrea; Poulakis, Pantelis; Witasse, Olivier; Bayle, Olivier; Bayón, Silvia; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Carter, John; García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Baglioni, Pietro; Haldemann, Albert; Ball, Andrew J.; Debus, André; Lindner, Robert; Haessig, Frédéric; Monteiro, David; Trautner, Roland; Voland, Christoph; Rebeyre, Pierre; Goulty, Duncan; Didot, Frédéric; Durrant, Stephen; Zekri, Eric; Koschny, Detlef; Toni, Andrea; Visentin, Gianfranco; Zwick, Martin; van Winnendael, Michel; Azkarate, Martín; Carreau, Christophe; ExoMars Project Team

    2017-07-01

    The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information.

  6. Mars Methane at Gale Crater Shows Strong Seasonal Cycle: Updated Results from TLS-SAM on Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Atreya, S. K.; Flesch, G.; Malespin, C.; McKay, C.; Martinez, G.; Moores, J.; Smith, C. L.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Zorzano, M. P.; Wong, M. H.; Trainer, M. G.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Glavin, D. P.; Steele, A.; Archer, D., Jr.; Sutter, B.; Coll, P. J.; Freissinet, C.; Meslin, P. Y.; Pavlov, A.; Keymeulen, D.; Christensen, L. E.; Gough, R. V.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Pla-García, J.; Rafkin, S. C.; Vicente-Retortillo, Á.; Kahanpää, H.; Viudez-Moreiras, D.; Smith, M. D.; Harri, A. M.; Genzer, M.; Hassler, D.; Lemmon, M. T.; Crisp, J. A.; Zurek, R. W.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2017-12-01

    In situ measurements of atmospheric methane have been made over a 5-year period at Gale Crater on Mars using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) instrument in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite on the Curiosity rover. We report two important observations: (i) a background level of mean value of 0.41 ±0.11 (2sem) that is about 5 times lower than some model predictions based on generation from UV degradation of micro-meteorites or interplanetary dust delivered to the martian surface; (ii) "spikes" of elevated levels of 7 ppbv attributed to episodic releases from small local sources, probably to the north of Gale crater1. Reports of plumes, patches or episodic releases of methane in the Martian atmosphere have to date eluded explanation in part because of their lack of repeatability in time or location. Our in situ measurements of the background methane levels exhibit a strong, repeatable seasonal variability. The amplitude of the observed seasonal cycle is 3 times greater than both that expected from the annual sublimation and freezing of polar carbon dioxide and that expected from methane production from ultraviolet (UV) degradation of exogenously-delivered surface material. The observed large seasonal variation in the background, and sporadic observations of higher pulses of 7 ppbv appear consistent with localized small sources of methane release from Martian surface reservoirs that may be occurring throughout the planet. We will present our updated data set, correlations of Mars methane with various other measurements from SAM, REMS, RAD and ChemCam instruments on Curiosity, as well as empirical models of UV surface insolation, and provide preliminary interpretation of results. 1 "Mars Methane Detection and Variability at Gale Crater", C. R. Webster et al., Science, 347, 415-417 (2015) and references therein. The research described here was carried out in part at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the

  7. Panoramic 3d Vision on the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paar, G.; Griffiths, A. D.; Barnes, D. P.; Coates, A. J.; Jaumann, R.; Oberst, J.; Gao, Y.; Ellery, A.; Li, R.

    The Pasteur payload on the ESA ExoMars Rover 2011/2013 is designed to search for evidence of extant or extinct life either on or up to ˜2 m below the surface of Mars. The rover will be equipped by a panoramic imaging system to be developed by a UK, German, Austrian, Swiss, Italian and French team for visual characterization of the rover's surroundings and (in conjunction with an infrared imaging spectrometer) remote detection of potential sample sites. The Panoramic Camera system consists of a wide angle multispectral stereo pair with 65° field-of-view (WAC; 1.1 mrad/pixel) and a high resolution monoscopic camera (HRC; current design having 59.7 µrad/pixel with 3.5° field-of-view) . Its scientific goals and operational requirements can be summarized as follows: • Determination of objects to be investigated in situ by other instruments for operations planning • Backup and Support for the rover visual navigation system (path planning, determination of subsequent rover positions and orientation/tilt within the 3d environment), and localization of the landing site (by stellar navigation or by combination of orbiter and ground panoramic images) • Geological characterization (using narrow band geology filters) and cartography of the local environments (local Digital Terrain Model or DTM). • Study of atmospheric properties and variable phenomena near the Martian surface (e.g. aerosol opacity, water vapour column density, clouds, dust devils, meteors, surface frosts,) 1 • Geodetic studies (observations of Sun, bright stars, Phobos/Deimos). The performance of 3d data processing is a key element of mission planning and scientific data analysis. The 3d Vision Team within the Panoramic Camera development Consortium reports on the current status of development, consisting of the following items: • Hardware Layout & Engineering: The geometric setup of the system (location on the mast & viewing angles, mutual mounting between WAC and HRC) needs to be optimized w

  8. xLuna - D emonstrator on ESA Mars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, P.; Henriques, L.; Carvalho, B.; Chevalley, P.; Zulianello, M.

    2008-08-01

    There is a significant gap between the services offered by existing space qualified Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS) and those required by the most demanding future space applications. New requirements for autonomy, terrain mapping and navigation, Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM), improvement of the throughput of science tasks, all demand high level services such as file systems or POSIX compliant interfaces. xLuna is an operating system that aims fulfilling these new requirements. Besides providing the typical services that of an RTOS (tasks and interrupts management, timers, message queues, etc), it also includes most of the features available in modern general-purpose operating systems, such as Linux. This paper describes a case study that proposes to demonstrate the usage of xLuna on board a rover currently in use for the development of algorithms in preparation of a mission to Mars.

  9. Assessment of Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M. P.

    2005-05-01

    Comprehensive analyses of remote sensing data during the 3-year effort to select the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites at Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum correctly predicted the safe and trafficable surfaces explored by the two rovers. Gusev crater was predicted to be a relatively low relief surface that was comparably dusty, but less rocky than the Viking landing sites. Available data for Meridiani Planum indicated a very flat plain composed of basaltic sand to granules and hematite that would look completely unlike any of the existing landing sites with a dark, low albedo surface, little dust and very few rocks. Orbital thermal inertia measurements of 315 J m-2 s-0.5 K-1 at Gusev suggested surfaces dominated by duricrust to cemented soil-like materials or cohesionless sand or granules, which is consistent with observed soil characteristics and measured thermal inertias from the surface. THEMIS thermal inertias along the traverse at Gusev vary from 285 at the landing site to 330 around Bonneville rim and show systematic variations that can be related to the observed increase in rock abundance (5-30%). Meridiani has an orbital bulk inertia of ~200, similar to measured surface inertias that correspond to observed surfaces dominated by 0.2 mm sand size particles. Rock abundance derived from orbital thermal differencing techniques suggested that Meridiani Planum would have very low rock abundance, consistent with the rock free plain traversed by Opportunity. Spirit landed in an 8% orbital rock abundance pixel, consistent with the measured 7% of the surface covered by rocks >0.04 m diameter at the landing site, which is representative of the plains away from craters. The orbital albedo of the Spirit traverse varies from 0.19 to 0.30, consistent with surface measurements in and out of dust devil tracks. Opportunity is the first landing in a low albedo portion of Mars as seen from orbit, which is consistent with the dark, dust-free surface and measured albedos. The

  10. Conceptual Design and Architecture of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) for Seismic Experiments Over Martian Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Akshay; Singh, Amit

    2012-07-01

    Keywords: MER, Mars, Rover, Seismometer Mars has been a subject of human interest for exploration missions for quite some time now. Both rover as well as orbiter missions have been employed to suit mission objectives. Rovers have been preferentially deployed for close range reconnaissance and detailed experimentation with highest accuracy. However, it is essential to strike a balance between the chosen science objectives and the rover operations as a whole. The objective of this proposed mechanism is to design a vehicle (MER) to carry out seismic studies over Martian surface. The conceptual design consists of three units i.e. Mother Rover as a Surrogate (Carrier) and Baby Rovers (two) as seeders for several MEMS-based accelerometer / seismometer units (Nodes). Mother Rover can carry these Baby Rovers, having individual power supply with solar cells and with individual data transmission capabilities, to suitable sites such as Chasma associated with Valles Marineris, Craters or Sand Dunes. Mother rover deploys these rovers in two opposite direction and these rovers follow a triangulation pattern to study shock waves generated through firing tungsten carbide shells into the ground. Till the time of active experiments Mother Rover would act as a guiding unit to control spatial spread of detection instruments. After active shock experimentation, the babies can still act as passive seismometer units to study and record passive shocks from thermal quakes, impact cratering & landslides. Further other experiments / payloads (XPS / GAP / APXS) can also be carried by Mother Rover. Secondary power system consisting of batteries can also be utilized for carrying out further experiments over shallow valley surfaces. The whole arrangement is conceptually expected to increase the accuracy of measurements (through concurrent readings) and prolong life cycle of overall experimentation. The proposed rover can be customised according to the associated scientific objectives and further

  11. Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars: Characterization and Analysis of the Rocknest Sand Shadow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, D. F.; Morris, R. V.; Kocurek, G.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Bish, D.; Ming, D. W.; Edgett, K. S.; Rubin, D.; Goetz, W.; Madsen, M. B.; Sullivan, R.; Gellert, R.; Campbell, I.; Treiman, A. H.; McLennan, S. M.; Yen, A. S.; Grotzinger, J.; Vaniman, D. T.; Chipera, S. J.; Achilles, C. N.; Rampe, E. B.; Sumner, D.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Maurice, S.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Fisk, M.; Schmidt, M.; Mahaffy, P.; Leshin, L. A.; Glavin, D.; Steele, A.; Freissinet, C.; Navarro-González, R.; Yingst, R. A.; Kah, L. C.; Bridges, N.; Lewis, K. W.; Bristow, T. F.; Farmer, J. D.; Crisp, J. A.; Stolper, E. M.; Des Marais, D. J.; Sarrazin, P.; Agard, Christophe; Alves Verdasca, José Alexandre; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Atreya, Sushil; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Blanco Avalos, Juan Jose; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Carmosino, Marco; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Charpentier, Antoine; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M. Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Flesch, Greg; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Franz, Heather; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Geffroy, Claude; Genzer, Maria; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Jones, John; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Lepinette Malvitte, Alain; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Marín Jiménez, Mercedes; Martín García, César; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina Jurado, Antonio; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Navarro López, Sara; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Niles, Paul; Nixon, Brian; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; Owen, Tobias; Pablo, Hernández; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pepin, Robert; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J.; Rowland, Scott; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Sebastian Martinez, Eduardo; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sobrón Sánchez, Pablo; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Stein, Thomas; Stern, Jennifer; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Sucharski, Bob; Summons, Roger; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Trainer, Melissa; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Webster, Chris; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B.; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2013-09-01

    The Rocknest aeolian deposit is similar to aeolian features analyzed by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) Spirit and Opportunity. The fraction of sand Mars instrument and of the fine-grained nanophase oxide component first described from basaltic soils analyzed by MERs. The similarity between soils and aeolian materials analyzed at Gusev Crater, Meridiani Planum, and Gale Crater implies locally sourced, globally similar basaltic materials or globally and regionally sourced basaltic components deposited locally at all three locations.

  12. Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars: Characterization and analysis of the rocknest sand shadow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blake, D.F.; Morris, R.V.; Kocurek, G.; Morrison, S.M.; Downs, R.T.; Bish, D.; Ming, D.W.; Edgett, K.S.; Rubin, D.; Goetz, W.; Madsen, M.B.; Sullivan, R.; Gellert, R.; Campbell, I.; Treiman, A.H.; McLennan, S.M.; Yen, A.S.; Grotzinger, J.; Vaniman, D.T.; Chipera, S.J.; Achilles, C.N.; Rampe, E.B.; Sumner, D.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Maurice, S.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Fisk, M.; Schmidt, M.; Mahaffy, P.; Leshin, L.A.; Glavin, D.; Steele, A.; Freissinet, C.; Navarro-González, R.; Yingst, R.A.; Kah, L.C.; Bridges, N.; Lewis, K.W.; Bristow, T.F.; Farmer, J.D.; Crisp, J.A.; Stolper, E.M.; Des Marais, D.J.; Sarrazin, P.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2013-01-01

    The Rocknest aeolian deposit is similar to aeolian features analyzed by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) Spirit and Opportunity. The fraction of sand <150 micrometers in size contains ~55% crystalline material consistent with a basaltic heritage and ~45% x-ray amorphous material. The amorphous

  13. The Raman Laser Spectrometer for the ExoMars Rover Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rull, Fernando; Maurice, Sylvestre; Hutchinson, Ian; Moral, Andoni; Perez, Carlos; Diaz, Carlos; Colombo, Maria; Belenguer, Tomas; Lopez-Reyes, Guillermo; Sansano, Antonio; Forni, Olivier; Parot, Yann; Striebig, Nicolas; Woodward, Simon; Howe, Chris; Tarcea, Nicolau; Rodriguez, Pablo; Seoane, Laura; Santiago, Amaia; Rodriguez-Prieto, Jose A.; Medina, Jesús; Gallego, Paloma; Canchal, Rosario; Santamaría, Pilar; Ramos, Gonzalo; Vago, Jorge L.; RLS Team

    2017-07-01

    The Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) on board the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 mission will provide precise identification of the mineral phases and the possibility to detect organics on the Red Planet. The RLS will work on the powdered samples prepared inside the Pasteur analytical suite and collected on the surface and subsurface by a drill system. Raman spectroscopy is a well-known analytical technique based on the inelastic scattering by matter of incident monochromatic light (the Raman effect) that has many applications in laboratory and industry, yet to be used in space applications. Raman spectrometers will be included in two Mars rovers scheduled to be launched in 2020. The Raman instrument for ExoMars 2020 consists of three main units: (1) a transmission spectrograph coupled to a CCD detector; (2) an electronics box, including the excitation laser that controls the instrument functions; and (3) an optical head with an autofocus mechanism illuminating and collecting the scattered light from the spot under investigation. The optical head is connected to the excitation laser and the spectrometer by optical fibers. The instrument also has two targets positioned inside the rover analytical laboratory for onboard Raman spectral calibration. The aim of this article was to present a detailed description of the RLS instrument, including its operation on Mars. To verify RLS operation before launch and to prepare science scenarios for the mission, a simulator of the sample analysis chain has been developed by the team. The results obtained are also discussed. Finally, the potential of the Raman instrument for use in field conditions is addressed. By using a ruggedized prototype, also developed by our team, a wide range of terrestrial analog sites across the world have been studied. These investigations allowed preparing a large collection of real, in situ spectra of samples from different geological processes and periods of Earth evolution. On this basis, we are working

  14. Feeding People's Curiosity: Leveraging the Cloud for Automatic Dissemination of Mars Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, David; Powell, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Smartphones and tablets have made wireless computing ubiquitous, and users expect instant, on-demand access to information. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) operations software suite, MSL InterfaCE (MSLICE), employs a different back-end image processing architecture compared to that of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) in order to better satisfy modern consumer-driven usage patterns and to offer greater server-side flexibility. Cloud services are a centerpiece of the server-side architecture that allows new image data to be delivered automatically to both scientists using MSLICE and the general public through the MSL website (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/).

  15. The ChemCam Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Body Unit and Combined System Tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiens, Roger C.; Barraclough, Bruce; Barkley, Walter C.; Bender, Steve; Bernardin, John; Bultman, Nathan; Clanton, Robert C.; Clegg, Samuel; Delapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Enemark, Don; Flores, Mike; Hale, Thomas; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Latino, Joseph; Little, Cynthia; Morrison, Leland; Nelson, Tony; Romero, Frank; Salazar, Steven; Stiglich, Ralph; Storms, Steven; Trujillo, Tanner; Ulibarri, Mike; Vaniman, David; Whitaker, Robert; Witt, James; Maurice, Sylvestre; Bouye, Marc; Cousin, Agnes; Cros, Alain; D'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Kouach, Driss; Lasue, Jeremie; Pares, Laurent; Poitrasson, Franck; Striebig, Nicolas; Thocaven, Jean-Jacques; Saccoccio, Muriel; Perez, Rene; Bell, James F. III; Hays, Charles; Blaney, Diana; DeFlores, Lauren; Elliott, Tom; Kan, Ed; Limonadi, Daniel; Lindensmith, Chris; Miller, Ed; Reiter, Joseph W.; Roberts, Tom; Simmonds, John J.; Warner, Noah; Blank, Jennifer; Bridges, Nathan; Cais, Phillippe; Clark, Benton; Cremers, David; Dyar, M. Darby; Fabre, Cecile; Herkenhoff, Ken; Kirkland, Laurel; Landis, David; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; LaRocca, Frank; Ott, Melanie; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gerard; Mauchien, Patrick; Blank, Jennifer; McKay, Christopher; Mooney, Joe; Provost, Cheryl; Morris, Richard V.; Sautter, Violaine; Sautter, Violaine; Waterbury, Rob; Wong-Swanson, Belinda; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Vaniman, David

    2012-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity provides remote compositional information using the first laser-induced breakdown spectrometer (LIBS) on a planetary mission, and provides sample texture and morphology data using a remote micro-imager (RMI). Overall, ChemCam supports MSL with five capabilities: remote classification of rock and soil characteristics; quantitative elemental compositions including light elements like hydrogen and some elements to which LIBS is uniquely sensitive (e.g., Li, Be, Rb, Sr, Ba); remote removal of surface dust and depth profiling through surface coatings; context imaging; and passive spectroscopy over the 240-905 nm range. ChemCam is built in two sections: The mast unit, consisting of a laser, telescope, RMI, and associated electronics, resides on the rover's mast, and is described in a companion paper. ChemCam's body unit, which is mounted in the body of the rover, comprises an optical de-multiplexer, three spectrometers, detectors, their coolers, and associated electronics and data handling logic. Additional instrument components include a 6 m optical fiber which transfers the LIBS light from the telescope to the body unit, and a set of onboard calibration targets. ChemCam was integrated and tested at Los Alamos National Laboratory where it also underwent LIBS calibration with 69 geological standards prior to integration with the rover. Post-integration testing used coordinated mast and instrument commands, including LIBS line scans on rock targets during system-level thermal-vacuum tests. In this paper we describe the body unit, optical fiber, and calibration targets, and the assembly, testing, and verification of the instrument prior to launch. (authors)

  16. Martian Chlorobenzene Identified by Curiosity in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for the Preservation of Organics in a Mudstone on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Mahaffy, P.; Miller, K.; Eigenbrode, J.; Summons, R.; Martin, M.; Franz, H.; Steele, A.; Archer, D.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. The first sample analyzed by SAM at the Rocknest (RN) aeolian deposit revealed chlorohydrocarbons derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background. No conclusive evidence for martian chlorohydrocarbons in the RN sand was found. After RN, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two holes separated by 2.75 m designated John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB). Analyses of JK and CB by both SAM and the CheMin x-ray diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone (called Sheepbed) consisting of approx.20 wt% smectite clays, which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. Last year at LPSC we reported elevated abundances of chlorobenzene (CBZ) and a more diverse suite of chlorinated hydrocarbons including dichloroalkanes in CB compared to RN, suggesting that martian or meteoritic organic compounds may be preserved in the mudstone. Here we present SAM data from additional analyses of the CB sample and of Confidence Hills (CH), another drill sample collected at the base of Mt. Sharp. This new SAM data along with supporting laboratory analog experiments indicate that most of the chlorobenzene detected in CB is derived from martian organic matter preserved in the mudstone.

  17. Dynamic Modeling and Soil Mechanics for Path Planning of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trease, Brian; Arvidson, Raymond; Lindemann, Randel; Bennett, Keith; Zhou, Feng; Iagnemma, Karl; Senatore, Carmine; Van Dyke, Lauren

    2011-01-01

    To help minimize risk of high sinkage and slippage during drives and to better understand soil properties and rover terramechanics from drive data, a multidisciplinary team was formed under the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project to develop and utilize dynamic computer-based models for rover drives over realistic terrains. The resulting tool, named ARTEMIS (Adams-based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction Simulator), consists of the dynamic model, a library of terramechanics subroutines, and the high-resolution digital elevation maps of the Mars surface. A 200-element model of the rovers was developed and validated for drop tests before launch, using MSC-Adams dynamic modeling software. Newly modeled terrain-rover interactions include the rut-formation effect of deformable soils, using the classical Bekker-Wong implementation of compaction resistances and bull-dozing effects. The paper presents the details and implementation of the model with two case studies based on actual MER telemetry data. In its final form, ARTEMIS will be used in a predictive manner to assess terrain navigability and will become part of the overall effort in path planning and navigation for both Martian and lunar rovers.

  18. Propulsive maneuver design for the Mars Exploration Rover mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Christopher L.; Kangas, Julie A.; Raofi, Behzad

    2006-01-01

    Starting from approximately 150 candidate Martian landing sites, two distinct sites have been selected for further investigation by sophisticated rovers. The two rovers, named 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity', begin the surface mission respectively to Gusec Crater and Meridiani Planum in January 2004. the rovers are essentially robotic geologists, sent on a mission to research for evidence in the rocks and soil pertaining to the historical presence of water and the ability to possibly sustain life. Before this scientific search can commence, precise trajectory targeting and control is necessary to achieve the entry requirements for the selected landing sites within the constraints of the flight system. The maneuver design challenge is to meet or exceed these requirements while maintaining the necessary design flexibility to accommodate additional project concerns. Opportunities to improve performance and reduce risk based on trajectory control characteristics are also evaluated.

  19. Mineralogy of an Active Eolian Sediment from the Namib Dune, Gale Crater, Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Achilles, C. N.; Downs, R. T.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Treiman, A. H.; Morrison, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Ewing, R. C.; Chipera, S. J.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Gellert, R.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses of the

  20. Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Investigation: Overview of Results from the First 120 Sols on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Archer, P. D.; Atreya, S. K.; Benna, M.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Coll, P.; hide

    2013-01-01

    During the first 120 sols of Curiosity s landed mission on Mars (8/6/2012 to 12/7/2012) SAM sampled the atmosphere 9 times and an eolian bedform named Rocknest 4 times. The atmospheric experiments utilized SAM s quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) and tunable laser spectrometer (TLS) while the solid sample experiments also utilized the gas chromatograph (GC). Although a number of core experiments were pre-programmed and stored in EEProm, a high level SAM scripting language enabled the team to optimize experiments based on prior runs.

  1. Photometric Observations of Soils and Rocks at the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Arvidson, R. A.; Bell, J. F., III; Farrand, W.; Guinness, E.; Johnson, M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Lemmon, M.; Morris, R. V.; Seelos, F., IV

    2005-01-01

    The Panoramic Cameras (Pancam) on the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers have acquired multispectral reflectance observations of rocks and soils at different incidence, emission, and phase angles that will be used for photometric modeling of surface materials. Phase angle coverage at both sites extends from approx. 0 deg. to approx. 155 deg.

  2. Martian methane plume models for defining Mars rover methane source search strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicol, Christopher; Ellery, Alex; Lynch, Brian; Cloutis, Ed

    2018-07-01

    The detection of atmospheric methane on Mars implies an active methane source. This introduces the possibility of a biotic source with the implied need to determine whether the methane is indeed biotic in nature or geologically generated. There is a clear need for robotic algorithms which are capable of manoeuvring a rover through a methane plume on Mars to locate its source. We explore aspects of Mars methane plume modelling to reveal complex dynamics characterized by advection and diffusion. A statistical analysis of the plume model has been performed and compared to analyses of terrestrial plume models. Finally, we consider a robotic search strategy to find a methane plume source. We find that gradient-based techniques are ineffective, but that more sophisticated model-based search strategies are unlikely to be available in near-term rover missions.

  3. Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars: Characterization and Analysis of the Rocknest Sand Shadow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.; Morris, Richard V.; Kocurek, G.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Bish, D.; Ming, D. W.; Edgett, K. S.; Rubin, D.; Goetz, W.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Rocknest aeolian deposit is similar to aeolian features analyzed by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity. The fraction of sand <150 micron in size contains approx. 55% crystalline material consistent with a basaltic heritage, and approx. 45% X-ray amorphous material. The amorphous component of Rocknest is Fe-rich and Si-poor, and is the host of the volatiles (H2O, O2, SO2, CO2, and Cl) detected by the Surface Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument and of the fine-grained nanophase oxide (npOx) component first described from basaltic soils analyzed by MER. The similarity between soils and aeolian materials analyzed at Gusev crater, Meridiani Planum and Gale crater implies locally sourced, globally similar basaltic materials, or globally and regionally sourced basaltic components deposited locally at all three locations.

  4. In situ characterization of martian materials and detection of organic compounds with the MOMA investigation onboard the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arevalo, R. D., Jr.; Grubisic, A.; van Amerom, F. H. W.; Danell, R.; Li, X.; Kaplan, D.; Pinnick, V. T.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Getty, S.; Goesmann, F.

    2017-12-01

    Ground-based observations (e.g., via the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility) and in situ investigations, including flybys (e.g., Mariner Program), orbiters (most recently MAVEN and ExoMars TGO), stationary landers (i.e., Viking, Pathfinder and Phoenix), and mobile rovers (i.e., Sojourner, Spirit/Opportunity and Curiosity), have enabled the progressive exploration of the Martian surface. Evidence for liquid water, manifest as hydrated and amorphous materials representative of alteration products of primary minerals/lithologies, and geomorphological features such as recurring slope lineae (RSL), valley networks and open-basin lakes, indicates that Mars may have hosted habitable environments, at least on local scales (temporally and spatially). However, the preservation potential of molecular biosignatures in the upper meter(s) of the surface is limited by destructive cosmic radiation and oxidative chemical reactions. Moreover, the determination of indigenous versus exogenous origins, and biotic versus abiotic formation mechanisms of detected organic material, provide additional challenges for future missions to the red planet. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) onboard the ExoMars rover, set to launch in 2020, provides an unprecedented opportunity to discover unambiguous indicators of life. The MOMA instrument will investigate the compositions of materials collected during multiple vertical surveys, extending as deep as two meters below the surface, via: i) gas chromatography mass spectrometry, a method geared towards the detection of volatile organics and the determination of molecular chirality, mapping to previous in situ Mars investigations; and, ii) laser desorption mass spectrometry, a technique commonly employed in research laboratories to detect larger, more refractory organic materials, but a first for spaceflight applications. Selective ion excitation and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) techniques support the isolation and disambiguation of complex

  5. Conceptual Design and Dynamics Testing and Modeling of a Mars Tumbleweed Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun Philip C.; Harris, Steven B.; Raiszadeh, Behzad; Zaleski, Kristina D.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center has been developing a novel concept for a Mars planetary rover called the Mars Tumbleweed. This concept utilizes the wind to propel the rover along the Mars surface, bringing it the potential to cover vast distances not possible with current Mars rover technology. This vehicle, in its deployed configuration, must be large and lightweight to provide the ratio of drag force to rolling resistance necessary to initiate motion from rest on the Mars surface. One Tumbleweed design concept that satisfies these considerations is called the Eggbeater-Dandelion. This paper describes the basic design considerations and a proposed dynamics model of the concept for use in simulation studies. It includes a summary of rolling/bouncing dynamics tests that used videogrammetry to better understand, characterize, and validate the dynamics model assumptions, especially the effective rolling resistance in bouncing/rolling dynamic conditions. The dynamics test used cameras to capture the motion of 32 targets affixed to a test article s outer structure. Proper placement of the cameras and alignment of their respective fields of view provided adequate image resolution of multiple targets along the trajectory as the test article proceeded down the ramp. Image processing of the frames from multiple cameras was used to determine the target positions. Position data from a set of these test runs was compared with results of a three dimensional, flexible dynamics model. Model input parameters were adjusted to match the test data for runs conducted. This process presented herein provided the means to characterize the dynamics and validate the simulation of the Eggbeater-Dandelion concept. The simulation model was used to demonstrate full scale Tumbleweed motion from a stationary condition on a flat-sloped terrain using representative Mars environment parameters.

  6. The Mars 2020 Rover Mission: EISD Participation in Mission Science and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L.; Burton, A. S.; Ross, A.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 Rover mission will search for potential biosignatures on the martian surface, use new techniques to search for and identify tracelevel organics, and prepare a cache of samples for potential return to Earth. Identifying trace organic compounds is an important tenet of searching for potential biosignatures. Previous landed missions have experienced difficulty identifying unambiguously martian, unaltered organic compounds, possibly because any organic species have been destroyed on heating in the presence of martian perchlorates and/or other oxidants. The SHERLOC instrument on Mars 2020 will use ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy to identify trace organic compounds without heating the samples.

  7. A compact led lidar system fitted for a mars rover - design and ground experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Prane Mariel B.; Shiina, Tatsuo; Manago, Naohiro; Kuze, Hiroaki; Senshu, Hiroki; Otobe, Naohito; Hashimoto, George; Kawabata, Yasuhiro

    2018-04-01

    A compact LED lidar was constructed and fieldtested with the aim to observe the Mars' dust devils. To be able to fit it on the Mars rover, a specialized Cassegrain telescope was designed to be within a 10 cm-cube, with a field of view of 3mrad. The transmitter has 385 nm LED light source with 3 cmϕ opening, 70mrad divergence, 0.75W (7.5nJ/10ns) pulse power, and 500 kHz repetition frequency. The configuration of the optical system is biaxial to easily configure the overlap between their optical axes.

  8. The Search for Organic Compounds of Martian Origin in Gale Crater by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument on Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel; Freissinet, Caroline; Mahaffy, Paul; Miller, Kristen; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Summons, Roger; Archer, Douglas, Jr.; Brunner, Anna; Martin, Mildred; Buch, Arrnaud; hide

    2014-01-01

    One of the key objectives of the Mars Science Laboratory rover and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite is to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles in the atmosphere and surface regolith and rocks to help assess the habitability potential of Gale Crater. The SAM instrument on the Curiosity rover can detect volatile organic compounds thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) (Mahaffy et al. 2012). The first solid samples analyzed by SAM, a scoop of windblown dust and sand at Rocknest, revealed several chloromethanes and a C4-chlorinated hydrocarbon derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tertbutyldimethylsilyl)- trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background (Glavin et al. 2013). After the analyses at Rocknest, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two separate holes in a fluvio-lacustrine sediment (the Sheepbed unit) designated John Klein and Cumberland. Analyses of the drilled materials by both SAM and the CheMin X-Ray Diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone consisting of 20 wt% smectite clays (Ming et al. 2013; Vaniman et al. 2013), which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. Oxychlorine compounds were also detected in the Sheepbed mudstone during pyrolysis; however, in contrast to Rocknest, much higher levels of chloromethanes were released from the Sheepbed materials, suggesting an additional, possibly martian source of organic carbon (Ming et al. 2013). In addition, elevated abundances of chlorobenzene and a more diverse suite of chlorinated alkanes including dichloropropane and dichlorobutane detected in Cumberland compared to Rocknest suggest that martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the mudstone (Freissinet et al. 2013

  9. Maps of the Martian Landing Sites and Rover Traverses: Viking 1 and 2, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix Landers, and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Calef, F. J., III; Deen, R. G.; Gengl, H.

    2016-12-01

    The traverse maps produced tactically for the MER and MSL rover missions are the first step in placing the observations made by each vehicle into a local and regional geologic context. For the MER, Phoenix and MSL missions, 25cm/pixel HiRISE data is available for accurately localizing the vehicles. Viking and Mars Pathfinder, however, relied on Viking Orbiter images of several tens of m/pixel to triangulate to horizon features visible both from the ground and from orbit. After Pathfinder, MGS MOC images became available for these landing sites, enabling much better correlations to horizon features and localization predictions to be made, that were then corroborated with HiRISE images beginning 9 years ago. By combining topography data from MGS, Mars Express, and stereo processing of MRO CTX and HiRISE images into orthomosaics (ORRs) and digital elevation models (DEMs), it is possible to localize all the landers and rover positions to an accuracy of a few tens of meters with respect to the Mars global control net, and to better than half a meter with respect to other features within a HiRISE orthomosaic. JPL's MIPL produces point clouds of the MER Navcam stereo images that can be processed into 1cm/pixel ORR/DEMs that are then georeferenced to a HiRISE/CTX base map and DEM. This allows compilation of seamless mosaics of the lander and rover camera-based ORR/DEMs with the HiRISE ORR/DEM that can be viewed in 3 dimensions with GIS programs with that capability. We are re-processing the Viking Lander, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix lander data to allow similar ORR/DEM products to be made for those missions. For the fixed landers and Spirit, we will compile merged surface/CTX/HiRISE ORR/DEMs, that will enable accurate local and regional mapping of these landing sites, and allow comparisons of the results from these missions to be made with current and future surface missions.

  10. (Nearly) Seven Years on Mars: Adventure, Adversity, and Achievements with the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. F.; Mars Exploration Rover Science; Engineering Teams

    2010-12-01

    NASA successfully landed twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on Mars in January 2004, in the most ambitious mission of robotic exploration attempted to that time. Each rover is outfitted as a robot field geologist with an impressive array of scientific instruments--cameras, spectrometers, other sensors--designed to investigate the composition and geologic history of two distinctly-different landing sites. The sites were chosen because of their potential to reveal clues about the past history of water and climate on Mars, and thus to provide tests of the hypothesis that the planet may once have been an abode for life. In this presentation I will review the images, spectra, and chemical/mineralogic information that the rover team has been acquiring from the landing sites and along the rovers' 7.7 and 22.7 km traverse paths, respectively. The data and interpretations have been widely shared with the public and the scientific community through web sites, frequent press releases, and scientific publications, and they provide quantitative evidence that liquid water has played a role in the modification of the Martian surface during the earliest part of the planet's history. At the Spirit site in Gusev Crater, the role of water appears to have been relatively minor in general, although the recent discovery of enigmatic hydrated sulfate salt and amorphous silica deposits suggests that locally there may have been significant water-rock interactions, and perhaps even sustained hydrothermal activity. At the Opportunity site in Meridiani Planum, geologic and mineralogic evidence suggests that liquid water was stable at the surface and shallow subsurface for significant periods of early Martian geologic history. An exciting implication from both missions is that localized environments on early Mars may have been "habitable" by some terrestrial standards. As of early September 2010, the rovers had operated for 2210 and 2347 Martian days (sols), respectively, with the Spirit

  11. Brake Failure from Residual Magnetism in the Mars Exploration Rover Lander Petal Actuator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandura, Louise

    2004-01-01

    In January 2004, two Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft arrived at Mars. Each safely delivered an identical rover to the Martian surface in a tetrahedral lander encased in airbags. Upon landing, the airbags deflated and three Lander Petal Actuators opened the three deployable Lander side petals enabling the rover to exit the Lander. Approximately nine weeks prior to the scheduled launch of the first spacecraft, one of these mission-critical Lander Petal Actuators exhibited a brake stuck-open failure during its final flight stow at Kennedy Space Center. Residual magnetism was the definitive conclusion from the failure investigation. Although residual magnetism was recognized as an issue in the design, the lack of an appropriately specified lower bound on brake drop-out voltage inhibited the discovery of this problem earlier in the program. In addition, the brakes had more unit-to-unit variation in drop-out voltage than expected, likely due to a larger than expected variation in the magnetic properties of the 15-5 PH stainless steel brake plates. Failure analysis and subsequent rework of two other Lander Petal Actuators with marginal brakes was completed in three weeks, causing no impact to the launch date.

  12. Middleware and Web Services for the Collaborative Information Portal of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinderson, Elias; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    We describe the design and deployment of the middleware for the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP), a mission critical J2EE application developed for NASA's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission. CIP enabled mission personnel to access data and images sent back from Mars, staff and event schedules, broadcast messages and clocks displaying various Earth and Mars time zones. We developed the CIP middleware in less than two years time usins cutting-edge technologies, including EJBs, servlets, JDBC, JNDI and JMS. The middleware was designed as a collection of independent, hot-deployable web services, providing secure access to back end file systems and databases. Throughout the middleware we enabled crosscutting capabilities such as runtime service configuration, security, logging and remote monitoring. This paper presents our approach to mitigating the challenges we faced, concluding with a review of the lessons we learned from this project and noting what we'd do differently and why.

  13. Infrared Spectrometer for ExoMars: A Mast-Mounted Instrument for the Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, Oleg I.; Dobrolensky, Yurii; Evdokimova, Nadezhda; Fedorova, Anna A.; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Mantsevich, Sergei N.; Cloutis, Edward A.; Carter, John; Poulet, Francois; Flahaut, Jessica; Griffiths, Andrew; Gunn, Matthew; Schmitz, Nicole; Martín-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, Maria-Paz; Rodionov, Daniil S.; Vago, Jorge L.; Stepanov, Alexander V.; Titov, Andrei Yu.; Vyazovetsky, Nikita A.; Trokhimovskiy, Alexander Yu.; Sapgir, Alexander G.; Kalinnikov, Yurii K.; Ivanov, Yurii S.; Shapkin, Alexei A.; Ivanov, Andrei Yu.

    2017-07-01

    ISEM (Infrared Spectrometer for ExoMars) is a pencil-beam infrared spectrometer that will measure reflected solar radiation in the near infrared range for context assessment of the surface mineralogy in the vicinity of the ExoMars rover. The instrument will be accommodated on the mast of the rover and will be operated together with the panoramic camera (PanCam), high-resolution camera (HRC). ISEM will study the mineralogical and petrographic composition of the martian surface in the vicinity of the rover, and in combination with the other remote sensing instruments, it will aid in the selection of potential targets for close-up investigations and drilling sites. Of particular scientific interest are water-bearing minerals, such as phyllosilicates, sulfates, carbonates, and minerals indicative of astrobiological potential, such as borates, nitrates, and ammonium-bearing minerals. The instrument has an ˜1° field of view and covers the spectral range between 1.15 and 3.30 μm with a spectral resolution varying from 3.3 nm at 1.15 μm to 28 nm at 3.30 μm. The ISEM optical head is mounted on the mast, and its electronics box is located inside the rover's body. The spectrometer uses an acousto-optic tunable filter and a Peltier-cooled InAs detector. The mass of ISEM is 1.74 kg, including the electronics and harness. The science objectives of the experiment, the instrument design, and operational scenarios are described.

  14. Mars Rover Model Celebration: Using Planetary Exploration To Enrich STEM Teaching In Elementary And Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Ramsey, J.; Dominey, W.; Kapral, A.; Carlson, C.; Konstantinidis, I.; James, J.; Sweaney, S.; Mendez, R.

    2011-12-01

    The present aerospace engineering and science workforce is ageing. It is not clear that the US education system will produce enough qualified replacements to meet the need in the near future. Unfortunately, by the time many students get to high school, it is often too late to get them pointed toward an engineering or science career. Since some college programs require 6 units of high school mathematics for admission, students need to begin consciously preparing for a science or engineering curriculum as early as 6th or 7th grade. The challenge for educators is to convince elementary school students that science and engineering are both exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. The recent NASA Mars Rover missions capture the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The University of Houston is in the process of developing a prototype of a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The existing prototype program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students will design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. The model will be a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. The students will build the models as part of a project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover and will do basic research on Mars that will determine the objectives and features of their rover. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The program culminates in a capstone event held at the University of Houston (or other central location in the other communities that will be involved

  15. ChemCam passive reflectance spectroscopy of surface materials at the Curiosity landing site, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Bell, J. F.; Bender, S.; Blaney, D.; Cloutis, E.; DeFlores, L.; Ehlmann, B.; Gasnault, O.; Gondet, B.; Kinch, K.; Lemmon, M.; Le Mouélic, S.; Maurice, S.; Rice, M.; Wiens, R. C.

    2015-03-01

    The spectrometers on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) ChemCam instrument were used in passive mode to record visible/near-infrared (400-840 nm) radiance from the martian surface. Using the onboard ChemCam calibration targets' housing as a reflectance standard, we developed methods to collect, calibrate, and reduce radiance observations to relative reflectance. Such measurements accurately reproduce the known reflectance spectra of other calibration targets on the rover, and represent the highest spatial resolution (0.65 mrad) and spectral sampling (rocks and soils match those from orbital observations and multispectral data from the MSL Mastcam camera. Preliminary analyses of the band depths, spectral slopes, and reflectance ratios of the more than 2000 spectra taken during the first year of MSL operations demonstrate at least six spectral classes of materials distinguished by variations in ferrous and ferric components. Initial comparisons of ChemCam spectra to laboratory spectra of minerals and Mars analog materials demonstrate similarities with palagonitic soils and indications of orthopyroxene in some dark rocks. Magnesium-rich "raised ridges" tend to exhibit distinct near-infrared slopes. The ferric absorption downturn typically found for martian materials at rocks and drill tailings, consistent with their more ferrous nature. Calcium-sulfate veins exhibit the highest relative reflectances observed, but are still relatively red owing to the effects of residual dust. Such dust is overall less prominent on rocks sampled within the "blast zone" immediately surrounding the landing site. These samples were likely affected by the landing thrusters, which partially removed the ubiquitous dust coatings. Increased dust coatings on the calibration targets during the first year of the mission were documented by the ChemCam passive measurements as well. Ongoing efforts to model and correct for this dust component should improve calibration of the relative reflectance

  16. Organic molecules in the Sheepbed Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Miller, K. E.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Summons, R. E.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Szopa, C.; Archer, P. D.; Franz, H. B.; Atreya, S. K.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Conrad, P. G.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dworkin, J. P.; Fairén, A. G.; François, P.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Kashyap, S.; ten Kate, I. L.; Leshin, L. A.; Malespin, C. A.; Martin, M. G.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Mcadam, A. C.; Ming, D. W.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Prats, B. D.; Squyres, S. W.; Steele, A.; Stern, J. C.; Sumner, D. Y.; Sutter, B.; Zorzano, M. P.

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover is designed to conduct inorganic and organic chemical analyses of the atmosphere and the surface regolith and rocks to help evaluate the past and present habitability potential of Mars at Gale Crater.

  17. A compact led lidar system fitted for a mars rover – design and ground experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ong Prane Mariel B.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A compact LED lidar was constructed and fieldtested with the aim to observe the Mars’ dust devils. To be able to fit it on the Mars rover, a specialized Cassegrain telescope was designed to be within a 10 cm-cube, with a field of view of 3mrad. The transmitter has 385 nm LED light source with 3 cmϕ opening, 70mrad divergence, 0.75W (7.5nJ/10ns pulse power, and 500 kHz repetition frequency. The configuration of the optical system is biaxial to easily configure the overlap between their optical axes.

  18. A Mars orbiter/rover/penetrator mission for the 1984 opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastrup, R.; Driver, J.; Nagorski, R.

    1977-01-01

    A point design mission is described that utilizes the 1984 opportunity to extend the exploration of Mars after the successful Viking operations and provide the additional scientific information needed before conducting a sample return mission. Two identical multi-element spacecraft are employed, each consisting of (1) an orbiter, (2) a Viking-derived landing system that delivers a heavily instrumented, semi-autonomous rover, and (3) three penetrators deployed from the approach trajectory. Selection of the orbit profiles requires consideration of several important factors in order to satisfy all of the mission goals.

  19. The Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C): a potential rover mission for 2018. Final report of the Mars Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) October 14, 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    This report documents the work of the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG), which was assigned to formulate a concept for a potential rover mission that could be launched to Mars in 2018. Based on programmatic and engineering considerations as of April 2009, our deliberations assumed that the potential mission would use the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) sky-crane landing system and include a single solar-powered rover. The mission would also have a targeting accuracy of approximately 7 km (semimajor axis landing ellipse), a mobility range of at least 10 km, and a lifetime on the martian surface of at least 1 Earth year. An additional key consideration, given recently declining budgets and cost growth issues with MSL, is that the proposed rover must have lower cost and cost risk than those of MSL--this is an essential consideration for the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG). The MRR-SAG was asked to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps toward the potential return of samples to Earth. The proposed means of achieving these two goals while balancing the trade-offs between them are described here in detail. We propose the name Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher(MAX-C) to reflect the dual purpose of this potential 2018 rover mission.

  20. Processing of Mars Exploration Rover Imagery for Science and Operations Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Douglass A.; Deen, Robert G.; Andres, Paul M.; Zamani, Payam; Mortensen, Helen B.; Chen, Amy C.; Cayanan, Michael K.; Hall, Jeffrey R.; Klochko, Vadim S.; Pariser, Oleg; hide

    2006-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) delivered an unprecedented array of image sensors to the Mars surface. These cameras were essential for operations, science, and public engagement. The Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was responsible for the first-order processing of all of the images returned by these cameras. This processing included reconstruction of the original images, systematic and ad hoc generation of a wide variety of products derived from those images, and delivery of the data to a variety of customers, within tight time constraints. A combination of automated and manual processes was developed to meet these requirements, with significant inheritance from prior missions. This paper describes the image products generated by MIPL for MER and the processes used to produce and deliver them.

  1. Ground Truthing Orbital Clay Mineral Observations with the APXS Onboard Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, C.; Gellert, R.; VanBommel, S.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. S.; Yen, A. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been exploring approximately 22 km diameter Endeavour crater since 2011. Its rim segments predate the Hesperian-age Burns formation and expose Noachian-age material, which is associated with orbital Fe3+-Mg-rich clay mineral observations [1,2]. Moving to an orders of magnitude smaller instrumental field of view on the ground, the clay minerals were challenging to pinpoint on the basis of geochemical data because they appear to be the result of near-isochemical weathering of the local bedrock [3,4]. However, the APXS revealed a more complex mineral story as fracture fills and so-called red zones appear to contain more Al-rich clay minerals [5,6], which had not been observed from orbit. These observations are important to constrain clay mineral formation processes. More detail will be added as Opportunity is heading into her 10th extended mission, during which she will investigate Noachian bedrock that predates Endeavour crater, study sedimentary rocks inside Endeavour crater, and explore a fluid-carved gully. ESA's ExoMars rover will land on Noachian-age Oxia Planum where abundant Fe3+-Mg-rich clay minerals have been observed from orbit, but the story will undoubtedly become more complex once seen from the ground.

  2. Learning from the Mars Rover Mission: Scientific Discovery, Learning and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Knowledge management for space exploration is part of a multi-generational effort. Each mission builds on knowledge from prior missions, and learning is the first step in knowledge production. This paper uses the Mars Exploration Rover mission as a site to explore this process. Approach: Observational study and analysis of the work of the MER science and engineering team during rover operations, to investigate how learning occurs, how it is recorded, and how these representations might be made available for subsequent missions. Findings: Learning occurred in many areas: planning science strategy, using instrumen?s within the constraints of the martian environment, the Deep Space Network, and the mission requirements; using software tools effectively; and running two teams on Mars time for three months. This learning is preserved in many ways. Primarily it resides in individual s memories. It is also encoded in stories, procedures, programming sequences, published reports, and lessons learned databases. Research implications: Shows the earliest stages of knowledge creation in a scientific mission, and demonstrates that knowledge management must begin with an understanding of knowledge creation. Practical implications: Shows that studying learning and knowledge creation suggests proactive ways to capture and use knowledge across multiple missions and generations. Value: This paper provides a unique analysis of the learning process of a scientific space mission, relevant for knowledge management researchers and designers, as well as demonstrating in detail how new learning occurs in a learning organization.

  3. Dust Accumulation and Solar Panel Array Performance on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

    One of the most fundamental design considerations for any space vehicle is its power supply system. Many options exist, including batteries, fuel cells, nuclear reactors, radioisotopic thermal generators (RTGs), and solar panel arrays. Solar arrays have many advantages over other types of power generation. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, allowing more mass and funding to be allocated for other important devices, such as scientific instruments. For Mars applications, solar power is an excellent option, especially for long missions. One might think that dust storms would be a problem; however, while dust blocks some solar energy, it also scatters it, making it diffuse rather than beamed. Solar cells are still able to capture this diffuse energy and convert it into substantial electrical power. For these reasons, solar power was chosen to be used on the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The success of this mission set a precedent, as NASA engineers have selected solar power as the energy system of choice for all future Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project. Solar sells have their drawbacks, however. They are difficult to manufacture and are relatively fragile. In addition, solar cells are highly sensitive to different parts of the solar spectrum, and finding the correct balance is crucial to the success of space missions. Another drawback is that the power generated is not a constant with respect to time, but rather changes with the relative angle to the sun. On Mars, dust accumulation also becomes a factor. Over time, dust settles out of the atmosphere and onto solar panels. This dust blocks and shifts the frequency of the incoming light, degrading solar cell performance. My goal is to analyze solar panel telemetry data from the two MERs (Spirit and Opportunity) in an effort to accurately model the effect of dust accumulation on solar panels. This is no easy process due to the large number of factors involved. Changing solar

  4. Wind-Driven Erosion and Exposure Potential at Mars 2020 Rover Candidate-Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Banks, Maria; Urso, Anna

    2018-02-01

    Aeolian processes have likely been the predominant geomorphic agent for most of Mars' history and have the potential to produce relatively young exposure ages for geologic units. Thus, identifying local evidence for aeolian erosion is highly relevant to the selection of landing sites for future missions, such as the Mars 2020 Rover mission that aims to explore astrobiologically relevant ancient environments. Here we investigate wind-driven activity at eight Mars 2020 candidate-landing sites to constrain erosion potential at these locations. To demonstrate our methods, we found that contemporary dune-derived abrasion rates were in agreement with rover-derived exhumation rates at Gale crater and could be employed elsewhere. The Holden crater candidate site was interpreted to have low contemporary erosion rates, based on the presence of a thick sand coverage of static ripples. Active ripples at the Eberswalde and southwest Melas sites may account for local erosion and the dearth of small craters. Moderate-flux regional dunes near Mawrth Vallis were deemed unrepresentative of the candidate site, which is interpreted to currently be experiencing low levels of erosion. The Nili Fossae site displayed the most unambiguous evidence for local sand transport and erosion, likely yielding relatively young exposure ages. The downselected Jezero crater and northeast Syrtis sites had high-flux neighboring dunes and exhibited substantial evidence for sediment pathways across their ellipses. Both sites had relatively high estimated abrasion rates, which would yield young exposure ages. The downselected Columbia Hills site lacked evidence for sand movement, and contemporary local erosion rates are estimated to be relatively low.

  5. In Situ Analysis of Mars Soil and Rocks Sample with the Sam Gcms Instrumentation Onboard Curiosity : Interpretation and Comparison of Measurements Done during the First Martian Year of Curiosity on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szopa, C.; Coll, P. J.; Cabane, M.; Buch, A.; Coscia, D.; Millan, M.; Francois, P.; Belmahadi, I.; Teinturier, S.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Glavin, D. P.; Freissinet, C.; Steele, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2014-12-01

    The characterisation of the chemical and mineralogical composition of solid surface samples collected with the Curiosity rover is a primary objective of the SAM experiment. These data should provide essential clues on the past habitability of Gale crater. Amongst the SAM suite of instruments [1], SAM-GC (Gas Chromatograph) is devoted to identify and quantify volatiles evolved from the thermal (heating up to about 900°C)/chemical (derivatization procedure) treatment of any soil sample collected by the Curiosity rover. With the aim to search for potential organic molecules outgassed from the samples, SAM-GC analytical channels composed of thermal-desorption injector, and a MXT-CLP or a MXT-Q chromatographic column was chosen to achieve all the measurements done up today, with the aim to separate of a wide range of volatile inorganic and organic molecules. Four solid samples have been analyzed with GCMS, one sand sample collected at the Rocknest site, two rock samples (John Klein and Cumberland respectively) collected at the Yellowknife Bay site using the Curiosity driller, and one rock sample collected at the Kimberly site. All the measurements were successful and they produced complex chromatograms with both detectors used for SAM GC, i.e. a thermal conductivity detector and the SAM quandrupole mass spectrometer. Their interpretation already revealed the presence of an oxychlorine phase present in the sample which is at the origin of chlorohydrocarbons clearly identified [2] but this represents only a fraction of the GCMS signal recorded [3,4]. This work presents a systematic comparison of the GCMS measurements done for the different samples collected, supported by reference data obtained in laboratory with different spare models of the gas chromatograph, with the aim to bring new elements of interpretation of the SAM measurements. References: [1] Mahaffy, P. et al. (2012) Space Sci Rev, 170, 401-478. [2] Glavin, D. et al. (2013), JGR. [3] Leshin L. et al. (2013

  6. Methods and decision making on a Mars rover for identification of fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberlein, Susan; Yates, Gigi

    1989-01-01

    A system for automated fusion and interpretation of image data from multiple sensors, including multispectral data from an imaging spectrometer is being developed. Classical artificial intelligence techniques and artificial neural networks are employed to make real time decision based on current input and known scientific goals. Emphasis is placed on identifying minerals which could indicate past life activity or an environment supportive of life. Multispectral data can be used for geological analysis because different minerals have characteristic spectral reflectance in the visible and near infrared range. Classification of each spectrum into a broad class, based on overall spectral shape and locations of absorption bands is possible in real time using artificial neural networks. The goal of the system is twofold: multisensor and multispectral data must be interpreted in real time so that potentially interesting sites can be flagged and investigated in more detail while the rover is near those sites; and the sensed data must be reduced to the most compact form possible without loss of crucial information. Autonomous decision making will allow a rover to achieve maximum scientific benefit from a mission. Both a classical rule based approach and a decision neural network for making real time choices are being considered. Neural nets may work well for adaptive decision making. A neural net can be trained to work in two steps. First, the actual input state is mapped to the closest of a number of memorized states. After weighing the importance of various input parameters, the net produces an output decision based on the matched memory state. Real time, autonomous image data analysis and decision making capabilities are required for achieving maximum scientific benefit from a rover mission. The system under development will enhance the chances of identifying fossils or environments capable of supporting life on Mars

  7. Surface-based 3D measurements of small aeolian bedforms on Mars and implications for estimating ExoMars rover traversability hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balme, Matt; Robson, Ellen; Barnes, Rob; Butcher, Frances; Fawdon, Peter; Huber, Ben; Ortner, Thomas; Paar, Gerhard; Traxler, Christoph; Bridges, John; Gupta, Sanjeev; Vago, Jorge L.

    2018-04-01

    Recent aeolian bedforms comprising loose sand are common on the martian surface and provide a mobility hazard to Mars rovers. The ExoMars rover will launch in 2020 to one of two candidate sites: Mawrth Vallis or Oxia Planum. Both sites contain numerous aeolian bedforms with simple ripple-like morphologies. The larger examples are 'Transverse Aeolian Ridges' (TARs), which stereo imaging analyses have shown to be a few metres high and up to a few tens of metres across. Where they occur, TARs therefore present a serious, but recognized and avoidable, rover mobility hazard. There also exists a population of smaller bedforms of similar morphology, but it is unknown whether these bedforms will be traversable by the ExoMars rover. We informally refer to these bedforms as "mini-TARs", as they are about an order of magnitude smaller than most TARs observed to date. They are more abundant than TARs in the Oxia Planum site, and can be pervasive in areas. The aim of this paper is to estimate the heights of these features, which are too small to measured using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), from orbital data alone. Thereby, we aim to increase our knowledge of the hazards in the proposed ExoMars landing sites. We propose a methodology to infer the height of these mini-TARs based on comparisons with similar features observed by previous Mars rovers. We use rover-based stereo imaging from the NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and PRo3D software, a 3D visualisation and analysis tool, to measure the size and height of mini-TARs in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. These are good analogues for the smaller bedforms at the ExoMars rover candidate landing sites. We show that bedform height scales linearly with length (as measured across the bedform, perpendicular to the crest ridge) with a ratio of about 1:15. We also measured the lengths of many of the smaller aeolian bedforms in the ExoMars rover Oxia Planum

  8. Estimates of power requirements for a Manned Mars Rover powered by a nuclear reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, Nicholas J.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Cataldo, Robert; Bloomfield, Harvey

    1991-01-01

    This paper assesses the power requirement for a Manned Mars Rover vehicle. Auxiliary power needs are fulfilled using a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell system, while the primary power needs are meet using an SP-100 type reactor. The primary electric power needs, which include 30-kW(e) net user power, depend on the reactor thermal power and the efficiency of the power conversion system. Results show that an SP-100 type reactor coupled to a Free Piston Stirling Engine yields the lowest total vehicle mass and lowest specific mass for the power system. The second lowest mass was for a SP-100 reactor coupled to a Closed Brayton Cycle using He/Xe as the working fluid. The specific mass of the nuclear reactor power system, including a man-rated radiation shield, ranged from 150-kg/kW(e) to 190-kg/KW(e) and the total mass of the Rover vehicle varied depend upon the cruising speed.

  9. The new Athena alpha particle X-ray spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieder, R.; Gellert, R.; Brückner, J.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Dreibus, G.; Yen, A.; Squyres, S. W.

    2003-11-01

    The new alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) is part of the Athena payload of the two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). The APXS sensor head is attached to the turret of the instrument deployment device (IDD) of the rover. The APXS is a very light-weight instrument for determining the major and minor elemental composition of Martian soils, rocks, and other geological materials at the MER landing sites. The sensor head has simply to be docked by the IDD on the surface of the selected sample. X-ray radiation, excited by alpha particles and X rays of the radioactive sources, is recorded by a high-resolution X-ray detector. The X-ray spectra show elements starting from sodium up to yttrium, depending on their concentrations. The backscattered alpha spectra, measured by a ring of detectors, provide additional data on carbon and oxygen. By means of a proper calibration, the elemental concentrations are derived. Together with data from the two other Athena instruments mounted on the IDD, the samples under investigation can be fully characterized. Key APXS objectives are the determination of the chemistry of crustal rocks and soils and the examination of water-related deposits, sediments, or evaporates. Using the rock abrasion tool attached to the IDD, issues of weathering can be addressed by measuring natural and abraded surfaces of rocks.

  10. Overview of the magnetic properties experiments on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, M. B.; Goetz, W.; Bertelsen, P.

    2009-01-01

    , while the weakly magnetic one is bright red. Images returned by the Microscopic Imager reveal the formation of magnetic chains diagnostic of magnetite-rich grains with substantial magnetization (>8 Am-2 kg(-1)). On the basis of Mossbauer spectra the dust contains magnetite, olivine, pyroxene......The Mars Exploration Rovers have accumulated airborne dust on different types of permanent magnets. Images of these magnets document the dynamics of dust capture and removal over time. The strongly magnetic subset of airborne dust appears dark brown to black in Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images......, and nanophase oxides in varying proportions, depending on wind regime and landing site. The dust contains a larger amount of ferric iron (Fe3+/Fe-tot similar to 0.6) than rocks in the Gusev plains (similar to 0.1-0.2) or average Gusev soil (similar to 0.3). Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer data of the dust...

  11. The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station Ground Temperature Sensor: A Pyrometer for Measuring Ground Temperature on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Ramos

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available We describe the parameters that drive the design and modeling of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS Ground Temperature Sensor (GTS, an instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, and report preliminary test results. REMS GTS is a lightweight, low-power, and low cost pyrometer for measuring the Martian surface kinematic temperature. The sensor’s main feature is its innovative design, based on a simple mechanical structure with no moving parts. It includes an in-flight calibration system that permits sensor recalibration when sensor sensitivity has been degraded by deposition of dust over the optics. This paper provides the first results of a GTS engineering model working in a Martian-like, extreme environment.

  12. The Antarctic permafrost as a testbed for REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station-Mars Science Laboratory)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, B.; Ramos, M.; Sebastián, E.; Armiens, C.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Cabos, W.; de Pablo, M. A.

    2009-04-01

    The present climatic characteristics of Mars favor the presence of extense permafrost areas in this lonely planet. Therefore environmental parameters that are included in Martian Rover missions are also used for monitoring thermal soil surface evolution in order to study the permafrost active layer thickness and the energy balance in the soil-atmosphere boundary limit layer. The REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station) is an environmental station designed by the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB- Spain) with the collaboration of national and international partners (CRISA/EADS, UPC and FMI), which is part of the payload of the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) NASA mission to Mars (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/overview/). This mission is expected to be launched in the final months of 2009, and mainly consists of a Rover, with a complete set of scientific instruments; the Rover will carry the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface. Five sensors compose the REMS instrument: ground (GT-REMS) and air temperatures, wind speed and direction, pressure, humidity and ultraviolet radiation (UV-REMS). A simplified setup of the REMS was deployed on Antarctica in the surroundings of the Spanish Antarctic Stations on Livingston and Deception Islands (Maritime Antarctica), where the permafrost distribution is well-known. The aim of the experiment was to check REMS's sensors response against hard environmental conditions and calibrates their measures with standard Antarctic devices. The experimental apparatuses included some standard meteorological and thermopiles sensors corresponding to the REMS. All the sensors are mounted in a 1.8 m mast and include a Pt100 air temperature sensor with shield solar protection on the mast top, a Kipp and Zonnen CNR1 net radiometer for measuring infrared (5-50 μm) and short wave solar (305-2800 nm) radiation at 1.5 m high, GT-REMS sensor and its amplification box at 0.7 m high and finally

  13. Search for life on Mars in surface samples: Lessons from the 1999 Marsokhod rover field experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.; Bishop, J.L.; Cockell, C.; Roush, T.L.; Johnson, J. R.

    2001-01-01

    The Marsokhod 1999 field experiment in the Mojave Desert included a simulation of a rover-based sample selection mission. As part of this mission, a test was made of strategies and analytical techniques for identifying past or present life in environments expected to be present on Mars. A combination of visual clues from high-resolution images and the detection of an important biomolecule (chlorophyll) with visible/near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy led to the successful identification of a rock with evidence of cryptoendolithic organisms. The sample was identified in high-resolution images (3 times the resolution of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder camera) on the basis of a green tinge and textural information suggesting the presence of a thin, partially missing exfoliating layer revealing the organisms. The presence of chlorophyll bands in similar samples was observed in visible/NIR spectra of samples in the field and later confirmed in the laboratory using the same spectrometer. Raman spectroscopy in the laboratory, simulating a remote measurement technique, also detected evidence of carotenoids in samples from the same area. Laboratory analysis confirmed that the subsurface layer of the rock is inhabited by a community of coccoid Chroococcidioposis cyanobacteria. The identification of minerals in the field, including carbonates and serpentine, that are associated with aqueous processes was also demonstrated using the visible/NIR spectrometer. Other lessons learned that are applicable to future rover missions include the benefits of web-based programs for target selection and for daily mission planning and the need for involvement of the science team in optimizing image compression schemes based on the retention of visual signature characteristics. Copyright 2000 by the American Geophysical Union.

  14. Wind-Driven Erosion and Exposure Potential at Mars 2020 Rover Candidate-Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Banks, Maria; Urso, Anna

    2018-01-01

    Aeolian processes have likely been the predominant geomorphic agent for most of Mars’ history and have the potential to produce relatively young exposure ages for geologic units. Thus, identifying local evidence for aeolian erosion is highly relevant to the selection of landing sites for future missions, such as the Mars 2020 Rover mission that aims to explore astrobiologically relevant ancient environments. Here we investigate wind-driven activity at eight Mars 2020 candidate-landing sites to constrain erosion potential at these locations. To demonstrate our methods, we found that contemporary dune-derived abrasion rates were in agreement with rover-derived exhumation rates at Gale crater and could be employed elsewhere. The Holden crater candidate site was interpreted to have low contemporary erosion rates, based on the presence of a thick sand coverage of static ripples. Active ripples at the Eberswalde and southwest Melas sites may account for local erosion and the dearth of small craters. Moderate-flux regional dunes near Mawrth Vallis were deemed unrepresentative of the candidate site, which is interpreted to currently be experiencing low levels of erosion. The Nili Fossae site displayed the most unambiguous evidence for local sand transport and erosion, likely yielding relatively young exposure ages. The downselected Jezero crater and northeast Syrtis sites had high-flux neighboring dunes and exhibited substantial evidence for sediment pathways across their ellipses. Both sites had relatively high estimated abrasion rates, which would yield young exposure ages. The downselected Columbia Hills site lacked evidence for sand movement, and contemporary local erosion rates are estimated to be relatively low. PMID:29568719

  15. The ChemCam Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Science Objectives and Mast Unit Description

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurice, S.; Wiens, R.C.; Saccoccio, M.; Barraclough, B.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Mangold, N.; Baratoux, D.; Bender, S.; Berger, G.; Bernardin, J.; Berthé, M.; Bridges, N.; Blaney, D.; Bouyé, M.; Caïs, P.; Clark, B.; Clegg, S.; Cousin, A.; Cremers, D.; Cros, A.; DeFlores, L.; Derycke, C.; Dingler, B.; Dromart, G.; Dubois, B.; Dupieux, M.; Durand, E.; d'Uston, L.; Fabre, C.; Faure, B.; Gaboriaud, A.; Gharsa, T.; Herkenhoff, K.; Kan, E.; Kirkland, L.; Kouach, D.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Lasue, J.; Le Mouélic, S.; Lescure, M.; Lewin, E.; Limonadi, D.; Manhès, G.; Mauchien, P.; McKay, C.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Michel, Y.; Miller, E.; Newsom, Horton E.; Orttner, G.; Paillet, A.; Parès, L.; Parot, Y.; Pérez, R.; Pinet, P.; Poitrasson, F.; Quertier, B.; Sallé, B.; Sotin, Christophe; Sautter, V.; Séran, H.; Simmonds, J.J.; Sirven, J.-B.; Stiglich, R.; Striebig, N.; Thocaven, J.-J.; Toplis, M.J.; Vaniman, D.

    2012-01-01

    ChemCam is a remote sensing instrument suite on board the "Curiosity" rover (NASA) that uses Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) to provide the elemental composition of soils and rocks at the surface of Mars from a distance of 1.3 to 7 m, and a telescopic imager to return high resolution context and micro-images at distances greater than 1.16 m. We describe five analytical capabilities: rock classification, quantitative composition, depth profiling, context imaging, and passive spectroscopy. They serve as a toolbox to address most of the science questions at Gale crater. ChemCam consists of a Mast-Unit (laser, telescope, camera, and electronics) and a Body-Unit (spectrometers, digital processing unit, and optical demultiplexer), which are connected by an optical fiber and an electrical interface. We then report on the development, integration, and testing of the Mast-Unit, and summarize some key characteristics of ChemCam. This confirmed that nominal or better than nominal performances were achieved for critical parameters, in particular power density (>1 GW/cm2). The analysis spot diameter varies from 350 μm at 2 m to 550 μm at 7 m distance. For remote imaging, the camera field of view is 20 mrad for 1024×1024 pixels. Field tests demonstrated that the resolution (˜90 μrad) made it possible to identify laser shots on a wide variety of images. This is sufficient for visualizing laser shot pits and textures of rocks and soils. An auto-exposure capability optimizes the dynamical range of the images. Dedicated hardware and software focus the telescope, with precision that is appropriate for the LIBS and imaging depths-of-field. The light emitted by the plasma is collected and sent to the Body-Unit via a 6 m optical fiber. The companion to this paper (Wiens et al. this issue) reports on the development of the Body-Unit, on the analysis of the emitted light, and on the good match between instrument performance and science specifications.

  16. Mars Rover Model Celebration: Developing Inquiry Based Lesson Plans to Teach Planetary Science In Elementary And Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.; Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Kapral, A.; Dominey, W.; Ramsey, J.; Konstantinidis, I.; James, J.; Sweaney, S.; Mendez, R.

    2012-12-01

    The recent NASA Mars Rover missions capture the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The University of Houston is in the process of developing a prototype of a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The existing prototype program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students will design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. The model will be a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. The students will build the models as part of a project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover and will do basic research on Mars that will determine the objectives and features of their rover. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The project's unique strength lies in engaging students in the process of spacecraft design and interesting them in aerospace engineering careers. The project is aimed at elementary and secondary education. Not only will these students learn about scientific fields relevant to the mission (space science, physics, geology, robotics, and more), they will gain an appreciation for how this knowledge is used to tackle complex problems. The low cost of the event makes it an ideal enrichment vehicle for low income schools. It provides activities that provide professional development to educators, curricular support resources using NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) content, and provides family opportunities for involvement in K-12 student learning. This paper will describe the development of a detailed set of new 5E lesson plans to

  17. Mineralogy of an active eolian sediment from the Namib dune, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achilles, C. N.; Downs, R. T.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Treiman, A. H.; Morrison, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Ewing, R. C.; Chipera, S. J.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Gellert, R.; Hazen, R. M.; Fendrich, K. V.; Craig, P. I.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Des Marais, D. J.; Farmer, J. D.; Sarrazin, P. C.; Morookian, J. M.

    2017-11-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses of the history of the dune material and offers an important opportunity for ground truth of orbital observations. CheMin's analysis of the mineralogy and phase chemistry of modern and ancient Gale crater dune fields, together with other measurements by Curiosity's science payload, provides new insights into present and past eolian processes on Mars.

  18. Mars Exploration Rover Pancam Photometric Data QUBs: Definition and Example Uses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderblom, J. M.; Bell, J. F.; Arvidson, R. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Johnson, M. J.; Seelos, F. P.

    2004-12-01

    Pancam multi-spectral observations acquired at the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and Opportunity landing sites are being assembled into a multi-layer format know as a QUB. For any given pixel in a Pancam image the QUB will contain values for the radiance factor, incidence (i), emission (e), and phase (g) angles, X, Y, and Z distance in a rover-based coordinate system, disparity in number of pixels between the left and right eye images and range data. Good range data is required for the generation of a Pancam QUB. The radiance factor (I/F, where I is the measured scene radiance on sensor and π F is the incident solar irradiance) is calculated using a combination of preflight calibration data and information obtained from near-simultaneous observations of an onboard reflectance calibration target. The range, X, Y, Z and disparity data, and i, e, and g are calculated using routines developed by JPL's MIPL and Cornell. When possible, these data have been interpolated to maximize parameter coverage; a map of non-interpolated data is also included in each QUB. QUBs should prove very useful in photometric studies (e.g., Johnson et al.; Seelos, et al., this conference), detailed spectral analyses (e.g., Bell et al., this conference), and detailed topographic/DTM studies. Here we present two examples of the utilization of the information contained in Pancam QUBs. In one example we remove the photometric variability from spectra collected from multiple facets of a rock using knowledge of i, e, g and derived photometric functions. This is necessary if one wishes to conduct comparative studies of observations acquired under varying geometries and lighting conditions. In another example we present an analysis using the discrete ordinate multiple scattering radiative transfer code DISORT where we separate the atmosphere and surface contributions of the surface reflectance.

  19. A comparison of energy conversion systems for meeting the power requirements of manned rover for Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Genk, M.S.; Morley, N.; Cataldo, R.; Bloomfield, H.

    1990-01-01

    Minimizing system mass for interplanetary missions is of utmost importance in order to keep launch cost within reasonable bounds. For a manned Mars rover, powered by a nuclear reactor power system, the choice of the energy conversion system can play a significant role in lowering the overall system mass. Not only is the mass of the conversion unit affected by the choice, but also the masses of the reactor core, waste heat rejection system, and the radiation shield which are strongly influenced by the system conversion efficiency and operating condition. Several types of conversion systems are of interest for a nuclear reactor Mars manned application. These conversion systems include: free piston Stirling engines, He/XE closed Brayton cycle (CBC), CO 2 open Brayton, and SiGe/GaP thermoelectric. Optimization studies are conducted to determine the impact of the conversion system on the overall mass of the nuclear power system as well as the mobility power requirement of the Rover vehicle

  20. Development of the science instrument CLUPI: the close-up imager on board the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, J.-L.; Beauvivre, S.; Cessa, V.; Martin, P.

    2017-11-01

    First mission of the Aurora Exploration Programme of ESA, ExoMars will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies, and will pursue fundamental scientific investigations. Planned for launch in 2013, ExoMars will send a robotic rover to the surface of Mars. The Close-UP Imager (CLUPI) instrument is part of the Pasteur Payload of the rover fixed on the robotic arm. It is a robotic replacement of one of the most useful instruments of the field geologist: the hand lens. Imaging of surfaces of rocks, soils and wind drift deposits at high resolution is crucial for the understanding of the geological context of any site where the Pasteur rover may be active on Mars. At the resolution provided by CLUPI (approx. 15 micrometer/pixel), rocks show a plethora of surface and internal structures, to name just a few: crystals in igneous rocks, sedimentary structures such as bedding, fracture mineralization, secondary minerals, details of the surface morphology, sedimentary bedding, sediment components, surface marks in sediments, soil particles. It is conceivable that even textures resulting from ancient biological activity can be visualized, such as fine lamination due to microbial mats (stromatolites) and textures resulting from colonies of filamentous microbes, potentially present in sediments and in palaeocavitites in any rock type. CLUPI is a complete imaging system, consisting of an APS (Active Pixel Sensor) camera with 27° FOV optics. The sensor is sensitive to light between 400 and 900 nm with 12 bits digitization. The fixed focus optics provides well focused images of 4 cm x 2.4 cm rock area at a distance of about 10 cm. This challenging camera system, less than 200g, is an independent scientific instrument linked to the rover on board computer via a SpaceWire interface. After the science goals and specifications presentation, the development of this complex high performance miniaturized imaging system will be described.

  1. Critical Spacecraft-to-Earth Communications for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) entry, descent and landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurd, William J.; Estabrook, Polly; Racho, Caroline S.; Satorius, Edgar H.

    2002-01-01

    For planetary lander missions, the most challenging phase of the spacecraft to ground communications is during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL). As each 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) enters the Martian atmosphere, it slows dramatically. The extreme acceleration and jerk cause extreme Doppler dynamics on the X-band signal received on Earth. When the vehicle slows sufficiently, the parachute is deployed, causing almost a step in deceleration. After parachute deployment, the lander is lowered beneath the parachute on a bridle. The swinging motion of the lander imparts high Doppler dynamics on the signal and causes the received signal strength to vary widely, due to changing antenna pointing angles. All this time, the vehicle transmits important health and status information that is especially critical if the landing is not successful. Even using the largest Deep Space Network antennas, the weak signal and high dynamics render it impossible to conduct reliable phase coherent communications. Therefore, a specialized form of frequency-shift-keying will be used. This paper describes the EDL scenario, the signal conditions, the methods used to detect and frequency-track the carrier and to detect the data modulation, and the resulting performance estimates.

  2. Designing and Implementing a Distributed System Architecture for the Mars Rover Mission Planning Software (Maestro)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldgof, Gregory M.

    2005-01-01

    Distributed systems allow scientists from around the world to plan missions concurrently, while being updated on the revisions of their colleagues in real time. However, permitting multiple clients to simultaneously modify a single data repository can quickly lead to data corruption or inconsistent states between users. Since our message broker, the Java Message Service, does not ensure that messages will be received in the order they were published, we must implement our own numbering scheme to guarantee that changes to mission plans are performed in the correct sequence. Furthermore, distributed architectures must ensure that as new users connect to the system, they synchronize with the database without missing any messages or falling into an inconsistent state. Robust systems must also guarantee that all clients will remain synchronized with the database even in the case of multiple client failure, which can occur at any time due to lost network connections or a user's own system instability. The final design for the distributed system behind the Mars rover mission planning software fulfills all of these requirements and upon completion will be deployed to MER at the end of 2005 as well as Phoenix (2007) and MSL (2009).

  3. Integrating the Teaching of Space Science, Planetary Exploration And Robotics In Elementary And Middle School with Mars Rover Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Ramsey, J.; Smith, H.; Boyko, B. S.; Peck, S.; Arcenaux, W. H.

    2005-05-01

    The present aerospace engineering and science workforce is ageing. It is not clear that the US education system will produce enough qualified replacements to meet the need in the near future. Unfortunately, by the time many students get to high school, it is often too late to get them pointed toward an engineering or science career. Since some college programs require 6 units of high school mathematics for admission, students need to begin consciously preparing for a science or engineering curriculum as early as 6th or 7th grade. The challenge for educators is to convince elementary school students that science and engineering are both exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. This paper describes a program designed to help provide some excitement and relevance. It is based on the task of developing a mobile robot or "Rover" to explore the surface of Mars. There are two components to the program, a curriculum unit and a contest. The curriculum unit is structured as a 6-week planetary science unit for elementary school (grades 3-5). It can also be used as a curriculum unit, enrichment program or extracurricular activity in grades 6-8 by increasing the expected level of scientific sophistication in the mission design. The second component is a citywide competition to select the most outstanding models that is held annually at a local college or University. Primary (Grades 3-5) and middle school (Grades 6-8) students interested in science and engineering will design and build of a model of a Mars Rover to carry out a specific science mission on the surface of Mars. The students will build the models as part of a 6-week Fall semester classroom-learning or homework project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover, and be required to do basic research on Mars that will determine the operational objectives and structural features of their rover. This module may be used as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system

  4. Autonomously Generating Operations Sequences for a Mars Rover Using Artificial Intelligence-Based Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, R.; Mutz, D.; Estlin, T.; Chien, S.; Backes, P.; Norris, J.; Tran, D.; Cooper, B.; Rabideau, G.; Mishkin, A.; Maxwell, S.

    2001-07-01

    This article discusses a proof-of-concept prototype for ground-based automatic generation of validated rover command sequences from high-level science and engineering activities. This prototype is based on ASPEN, the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment. This artificial intelligence (AI)-based planning and scheduling system will automatically generate a command sequence that will execute within resource constraints and satisfy flight rules. An automated planning and scheduling system encodes rover design knowledge and uses search and reasoning techniques to automatically generate low-level command sequences while respecting rover operability constraints, science and engineering preferences, environmental predictions, and also adhering to hard temporal constraints. This prototype planning system has been field-tested using the Rocky 7 rover at JPL and will be field-tested on more complex rovers to prove its effectiveness before transferring the technology to flight operations for an upcoming NASA mission. Enabling goal-driven commanding of planetary rovers greatly reduces the requirements for highly skilled rover engineering personnel. This in turn greatly reduces mission operations costs. In addition, goal-driven commanding permits a faster response to changes in rover state (e.g., faults) or science discoveries by removing the time-consuming manual sequence validation process, allowing rapid "what-if" analyses, and thus reducing overall cycle times.

  5. Sniffing out the Story on the Habitability Potential of Mars: Follow the Volatiles!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela Gales

    2013-01-01

    Curiosity's primary goal is to explore and quantitatively assess a local region on Mars' surface as a potential habitat for life, past or present. This presentation will discuss what makes a habitable environment with some scientific data from the mars rover.

  6. Sedimentary processes of the Bagnold Dunes: Implications for the eolian rock record of Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Ewing, R. C.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Lewis, K. W.; Day, M.; Stein, N.; Rubin, D. M.; Sullivan, R.; Banham, S.; Lamb, M. P.; Bridges, N. T.; Gupta, S.; Fischer, W. W.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity visited two active wind-blown sand dunes within Gale crater, Mars, which provided the first ground-based opportunity to compare Martian and terrestrial eolian dune sedimentary processes and study a modern analog for the Martian eolian rock record. Orbital and rover images of these dunes reveal terrestrial-like and uniquely Martian processes. The presence of grainfall, grainflow, and impact ripples resembled terrestrial dunes. Impact ripples were pre...

  7. Sedimentary processes of the Bagnold Dunes: Implications for the eolian rock record of Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Ewing, R. C.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Lewis, K. W.; Day, M.; Stein, N.; Rubin, D. M.; Sullivan, R.; Banham, S.; Lamb, M. P.; Bridges, N. T.; Gupta, S.; Fischer, W. W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity visited two active wind‐blown sand dunes within Gale crater, Mars, which provided the first ground‐based opportunity to compare Martian and terrestrial eolian dune sedimentary processes and study a modern analog for the Martian eolian rock record. Orbital and rover images of these dunes reveal terrestrial‐like and uniquely Martian processes. The presence of grainfall, grainflow, and impact ripples resembled terrestrial dunes. Impact ripples...

  8. Field trial of a dual-wavelength fluorescent emission (L.I.F.E.) instrument and the Magma White rover during the MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot; Sattler, Birgit; Weisleitner, Klemens; Hunger, Lars; Kohstall, Christoph; Frisch, Albert; Józefowicz, Mateusz; Meszyński, Sebastian; Storrie-Lombardi, Michael; Bothe, Claudia; Boyd, Andrea; Dinkelaker, Aline; Dissertori, Markus; Fasching, David; Fischer, Monika; Föger, Daniel; Foresta, Luca; Frischauf, Norbert; Fritsch, Lukas; Fuchs, Harald; Gautsch, Christoph; Gerard, Stephan; Goetzloff, Linda; Gołebiowska, Izabella; Gorur, Paavan; Groemer, Gerhard; Groll, Petra; Haider, Christian; Haider, Olivia; Hauth, Eva; Hauth, Stefan; Hettrich, Sebastian; Jais, Wolfgang; Jones, Natalie; Taj-Eddine, Kamal; Karl, Alexander; Kauerhoff, Tilo; Khan, Muhammad Shadab; Kjeldsen, Andreas; Klauck, Jan; Losiak, Anna; Luger, Markus; Luger, Thomas; Luger, Ulrich; McArthur, Jane; Moser, Linda; Neuner, Julia; Orgel, Csilla; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Paternesi, Roberta; Peschier, Jarno; Pfeil, Isabella; Prock, Silvia; Radinger, Josef; Ragonig, Christoph; Ramirez, Barbara; Ramo, Wissam; Rampey, Mike; Sams, Arnold; Sams, Elisabeth; Sams, Sebastian; Sandu, Oana; Sans, Alejandra; Sansone, Petra; Scheer, Daniela; Schildhammer, Daniel; Scornet, Quentin; Sejkora, Nina; Soucek, Alexander; Stadler, Andrea; Stummer, Florian; Stumptner, Willibald; Taraba, Michael; Tlustos, Reinhard; Toferer, Ernst; Turetschek, Thomas; Winter, Egon; Zanella-Kux, Katja

    2014-05-01

    Abstract We have developed a portable dual-wavelength laser fluorescence spectrometer as part of a multi-instrument optical probe to characterize mineral, organic, and microbial species in extreme environments. Operating at 405 and 532 nm, the instrument was originally designed for use by human explorers to produce a laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) spectral database of the mineral and organic molecules found in the microbial communities of Earth's cryosphere. Recently, our team had the opportunity to explore the strengths and limitations of the instrument when it was deployed on a remote-controlled Mars analog rover. In February 2013, the instrument was deployed on board the Magma White rover platform during the MARS2013 Mars analog field mission in the Kess Kess formation near Erfoud, Morocco. During these tests, we followed tele-science work flows pertinent to Mars surface missions in a simulated spaceflight environment. We report on the L.I.F.E. instrument setup, data processing, and performance during field trials. A pilot postmission laboratory analysis determined that rock samples acquired during the field mission exhibited a fluorescence signal from the Sun-exposed side characteristic of chlorophyll a following excitation at 405 nm. A weak fluorescence response to excitation at 532 nm may have originated from another microbial photosynthetic pigment, phycoerythrin, but final assignment awaits development of a comprehensive database of mineral and organic fluorescence spectra. No chlorophyll fluorescence signal was detected from the shaded underside of the samples.

  9. Modeling of low-temperature plasmas generated using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy: the ChemCam diagnostic tool on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colgan, James

    2016-05-01

    We report on efforts to model the low-temperature plasmas generated using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). LIBS is a minimally invasive technique that can quickly and efficiently determine the elemental composition of a target and is employed in an extremely wide range of applications due to its ease of use and fast turnaround. In particular, LIBS is the diagnostic tool used by the ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. In this talk, we report on the use of the Los Alamos plasma modeling code ATOMIC to simulate LIBS plasmas, which are typically at temperatures of order 1 eV and electron densities of order 10 16 - 17 cm-3. At such conditions, these plasmas are usually in local-thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) and normally contain neutral and singly ionized species only, which then requires that modeling must use accurate atomic structure data for the element under investigation. Since LIBS devices are often employed in a very wide range of applications, it is therefore desirable to have accurate data for most of the elements in the periodic table, ideally including actinides. Here, we discuss some recent applications of our modeling using ATOMIC that have explored the plasma physics aspects of LIBS generated plasmas, and in particular discuss the modeling of a plasma formed from a basalt sample used as a ChemCam standard1. We also highlight some of the more general atomic physics challenges that are encountered when attempting to model low-temperature plasmas. The Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC5206NA25396. Work performed in conjunction with D. P. Kilcrease, H. M. Johns, E. J. Judge, J. E. Barefield, R. C. Wiens, S. M. Clegg.

  10. Pre-flight calibration and initial data processing for the ChemCam laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, R.C.; Maurice, S.; Lasue, J.; Forni, O.; Anderson, R.B.; Clegg, S.; Bender, S.; Blaney, D.; Barraclough, B.L.; Cousin, A.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dyar, M.D.; Fabre, C.; Gasnault, O.; Lanza, N.; Mazoyer, J.; Melikechi, N.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; Perez, R.; Tokar, R.; Vaniman, D.

    2013-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument package on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is the first planetary science instrument to employ laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to determine the compositions of geological samples on another planet. Pre-processing of the spectra involves subtracting the ambient light background, removing noise, removing the electron continuum, calibrating for the wavelength, correcting for the variable distance to the target, and applying a wavelength-dependent correction for the instrument response. Further processing of the data uses multivariate and univariate comparisons with a LIBS spectral library developed prior to launch as well as comparisons with several on-board standards post-landing. The level-2 data products include semi-quantitative abundances derived from partial least squares regression. A LIBS spectral library was developed using 69 rock standards in the form of pressed powder disks, glasses, and ceramics to minimize heterogeneity on the scale of the observation (350–550 μm dia.). The standards covered typical compositional ranges of igneous materials and also included sulfates, carbonates, and phyllosilicates. The provenance and elemental and mineralogical compositions of these standards are described. Spectral characteristics of this data set are presented, including the size distribution and integrated irradiances of the plasmas, and a proxy for plasma temperature as a function of distance from the instrument. Two laboratory-based clones of ChemCam reside in Los Alamos and Toulouse for the purpose of adding new spectra to the database as the need arises. Sensitivity to differences in wavelength correlation to spectral channels and spectral resolution has been investigated, indicating that spectral registration needs to be within half a pixel and resolution needs to match within 1.5 to 2.6 pixels. Absolute errors are tabulated for derived compositions of each major element in each standard using PLS regression

  11. Correlating multispectral imaging and compositional data from the Mars Exploration Rovers and implications for Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Ryan B.; Bell, James F.

    2013-03-01

    In an effort to infer compositional information about distant targets based on multispectral imaging data, we investigated methods of relating Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Pancam multispectral remote sensing observations to in situ alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS)-derived elemental abundances and Mössbauer (MB)-derived abundances of Fe-bearing phases at the MER field sites in Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum. The majority of the partial correlation coefficients between these data sets were not statistically significant. Restricting the targets to those that were abraded by the rock abrasion tool (RAT) led to improved Pearson’s correlations, most notably between the red-blue ratio (673 nm/434 nm) and Fe3+-bearing phases, but partial correlations were not statistically significant. Partial Least Squares (PLS) calculations relating Pancam 11-color visible to near-IR (VNIR; ∼400-1000 nm) “spectra” to APXS and Mössbauer element or mineral abundances showed generally poor performance, although the presence of compositional outliers led to improved PLS results for data from Meridiani. When the Meridiani PLS model for pyroxene was tested by predicting the pyroxene content of Gusev targets, the results were poor, indicating that the PLS models for Meridiani are not applicable to data from other sites. Soft Independent Modeling of Class Analogy (SIMCA) classification of Gusev crater data showed mixed results. Of the 24 Gusev test regions of interest (ROIs) with known classes, 11 had >30% of the pixels in the ROI classified correctly, while others were mis-classified or unclassified. k-Means clustering of APXS and Mössbauer data was used to assign Meridiani targets to compositional classes. The clustering-derived classes corresponded to meaningful geologic and/or color unit differences, and SIMCA classification using these classes was somewhat successful, with >30% of pixels correctly classified in 9 of the 11 ROIs with known classes. This work shows that

  12. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Rubin, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; Ballard, M. J.; Daybell, M.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S. G.; Bridges, N. T.; Des Marais, D. J.; Fraeman, A. A.; Grant, J. A.

    2016-01-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them ...

  13. The Mysteries and Curiosities of Mars: A Tour of Unusual and Unexplained Terrains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerber, L.

    2017-12-01

    The large amount of data available from orbiting satellites around Mars has provided a wealth of information about the Martian surface and geological history. The published literature tends to focus on regions of Mars for which there are ready explanations; however, many regions of Mars remain mysterious. In this contribution, we present some of the strangest and least explained terrains on Mars: The Taffy Terrain: This complex terrain, consisting of swirling layers with variably sized bands, is present mostly at the bottom of Hellas Basin, but versions of it can also be found on the floor of Melas Chasma and in the Medusae Fossae Formation near Apollinaris Sulci. While little has been written about the taffy terrain, hypotheses include "glacial features" and salt domes. The taffy terrain bears some resemblance to submarine salt domes in the Gulf of Mexico, glacial deposits with mixed ash and ice in Iceland, or chalk formations in Egypt's White Desert. The Fishscale Terrain: At the northern edge of Lucus Planum, the friable Medusae Fossae Formation transitions into a chaos-like terrain with hundreds of mesas forming a pattern like the scales of a fish. While chaos terrains are mysterious in general, this morphologically fresh, near-equatorial chaos is especially unusual. Polygonal Ridges in Gordii Dorsum: Also a part of the Medusae Fossae Formation, the ridges in Gordii Dorsum represent a negative image of the fishscale terrain—a intricate lattice of slender black ridges. These are thought to form via the embayment of the fishscale terrain with lava and the subsequent erosion of the original mesas. Horseshoe Features: These geomorphological features look like inverted barchan dunes, but they are actually pits eroded into the surface of the Medusae Fossae Formation. Channels surrounding Elysium Mons: These channel systems are among the most complex on Mars, but they appear on a young Amazonian lava surface. The channels cut through topography, anastomose, and

  14. Mars Rover Curriculum: Teacher Self Reporting of Increased Frequency and Confidence in their Science and Language Arts Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Carlson, C.; Nieser, K.; Slagle, E.

    2013-12-01

    The University of Houston is in the process of developing a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model Mars rover. The program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration (MRC). It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. A total of 65 Mars Rover teachers from the 2012-2013 cohort were invited to complete the Mars Rover Teacher Evaluation Survey. The survey was administered online and could be taken at the convenience of the participant. In total, 29 teachers participated in the survey. Teachers were asked to rate their current level of confidence in their ability to teach specific topics within the Earth and Life Science realms, as well as their confidence in their ability to implement teaching strategies with their students. In addition, they were asked to rate the degree to which they felt their confidence increased in the past year as a result of their participation in the MRC program. The majority of teachers (81-90%) felt somewhat to very confident in their ability to effectively teach concepts related to earth and life sciences to their students. In addition, many of the teachers felt that their confidence in teaching these concepts increased somewhat to quite a bit as a result of their participation in the MRC program (54-88%). The most striking increase in this area was the reported 48% of teachers who felt their confidence in teaching 'Earth and the solar system and universe' increased 'Quite a bit' as a result of their participation in the MRC program. The vast majority of teachers (86-100%) felt somewhat to very confident in their ability to effectively implement all of the listed teaching strategies. In addition, the vast majority reported believing that their confidence increased somewhat to quite a bit as a result of their

  15. Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.

    2015-01-01

    The science investigations enabled by Curiosity rover's instruments focus on identifying and exploring the habitability of the Martian environment. Measurements of noble gases, organic and inorganic compounds, and the isotopes of light elements permit the study of the physical and chemical processes that have transformed Mars throughout its history. Samples of the atmosphere, volatiles released from soils, and rocks from the floor of Gale Crater have provided a wealth of new data and a window into conditions on ancient Mars.

  16. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C; Lee, Pascal

    2015-06-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20°C to -1°C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle.

  17. A Motor Drive Electronics Assembly for Mars Curiosity Rover: An Example of Assembly Qualification for Extreme Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolawa, Elizabeth; Chen, Yuan; Mojarradi, Mohammad M.; Tudryn Weber, Carissa

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, the technology development and infusion of the motor drive electronics assembly, along with the technology qualification and space qualification, is described and detailed. The process is an example of the qualification methodology for extreme environmen

  18. Mineralogy of a mudstone at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vaniman, D.T.; Bish, D.L.; Ming, D.W.; Bristow, T.F.; Morris, R.V.; Blake, D.F.; Chipera, S.J.; Morrison, S.M.; Treiman, A.H.; Rampe, E.B.; Rice, M.; Achilles, C.N.; Grotzinger, J.P.; McLennan, S.M.; Williams, J.; Bell III, J.F.; Newsom, H.E.; Downs, R.T.; Maurice, S.; Sarrazin, P.; Yen, A.S.; Morookian, J.M.; Farmer, J.D.; Stack, K.; Milliken, R.E.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Sumner, D.Y.; Berger, G.; Crisp, J.A.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Anderson, R.; Des Marais, D.J.; Stolper, E.M.; Edgett, K.S.; Gupta, S.; Spanovich, N.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay (Gale crater) on Mars include mudstone sampled by the Curiosity rover. The samples, John Klein and Cumberland, contain detrital basaltic minerals, calcium sulfates, iron oxide or hydroxides, iron sulfides, amorphous material, and trioctahedral smectites. The John

  19. Pre-flight calibration and initial data processing for the ChemCam laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiens, R.C., E-mail: rwiens@lanl.gov [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Maurice, S.; Lasue, J.; Forni, O. [Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie, Toulouse (France); Anderson, R.B. [United States Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ (United States); Clegg, S. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Bender, S. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States); Blaney, D. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Barraclough, B.L. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States); Cousin, A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie, Toulouse (France); Deflores, L. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Delapp, D. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Dyar, M.D. [Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA (United States); Fabre, C. [Georessources, Nancy (France); Gasnault, O. [Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie, Toulouse (France); Lanza, N. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Mazoyer, J. [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Meudon (France); Melikechi, N. [Delaware State University, Dover, DE (United States); Meslin, P.-Y. [Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie, Toulouse (France); Newsom, H. [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); and others

    2013-04-01

    The ChemCam instrument package on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is the first planetary science instrument to employ laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to determine the compositions of geological samples on another planet. Pre-processing of the spectra involves subtracting the ambient light background, removing noise, removing the electron continuum, calibrating for the wavelength, correcting for the variable distance to the target, and applying a wavelength-dependent correction for the instrument response. Further processing of the data uses multivariate and univariate comparisons with a LIBS spectral library developed prior to launch as well as comparisons with several on-board standards post-landing. The level-2 data products include semi-quantitative abundances derived from partial least squares regression. A LIBS spectral library was developed using 69 rock standards in the form of pressed powder disks, glasses, and ceramics to minimize heterogeneity on the scale of the observation (350–550 μm dia.). The standards covered typical compositional ranges of igneous materials and also included sulfates, carbonates, and phyllosilicates. The provenance and elemental and mineralogical compositions of these standards are described. Spectral characteristics of this data set are presented, including the size distribution and integrated irradiances of the plasmas, and a proxy for plasma temperature as a function of distance from the instrument. Two laboratory-based clones of ChemCam reside in Los Alamos and Toulouse for the purpose of adding new spectra to the database as the need arises. Sensitivity to differences in wavelength correlation to spectral channels and spectral resolution has been investigated, indicating that spectral registration needs to be within half a pixel and resolution needs to match within 1.5 to 2.6 pixels. Absolute errors are tabulated for derived compositions of each major element in each standard using PLS regression

  20. Autonomously generating operations sequences for a Mars Rover using AI-based planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Rob; Mishkin, Andrew; Estlin, Tara; Chien, Steve; Backes, Paul; Cooper, Brian; Maxwell, Scott; Rabideau, Gregg

    2001-01-01

    This paper discusses a proof-of-concept prototype for ground-based automatic generation of validated rover command sequences from highlevel science and engineering activities. This prototype is based on ASPEN, the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment. This Artificial Intelligence (AI) based planning and scheduling system will automatically generate a command sequence that will execute within resource constraints and satisfy flight rules.

  1. Mesoscale modeling of the water vapor cycle at Mawrth Vallis: a Mars2020 and ExoMars exploration rovers high-priority landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge

    2017-04-01

    Introduction: The Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) was used to predict meteorological conditions that are likely to be encountered by the Mars 2020 (NASA) Rover at several of their respective proposed landing sites during entry, descent, and landing at Ls5 [1] and by the ExoMars (ESA) Rover at one of the final landing sites. MRAMS is ideally suited for this type of investigation; the model is explicitly designed to simu-late Mars' atmospheric circulations at the mesoscale and smaller with realistic, high-resolution surface proper-ties [2, 3]. One of the sights studied for both rovers was Mawrth Vallis (MV), an ancient water outflow channel with light colored clay-rich rocks in the mid-latitude north hemisphere (Oxia Palus quadrangle). MV is the northernmost of the Mars2020 and ExoMars landing sites and the closest to the northern polar cap water source. The primary source of water vapor to the atmosphere is the northern polar cap during the northern summer. In order to highlight MV habitability implications, additional numerical experiments at Ls90, 140 and 180, highest column abundance of water vapor is found over MV [4], were performed to study how the atmospheric circulation connects MV with the polar water source. Once the winter CO2 retreats, the underlying polar water ice is exposed and begins to sublimate. The water is transported equatorward where it is manifested in the tropical aphelion cloud belt. If transport is assumed to be the result of the summer Hadley Cell, then the polar water is carried aloft in the northern high latitude rising branch before moving equatorward and eventually toward the southern high latitudes. Thus, the mean meridional summer circulation precludes a direct water vapor connection between MV and the polar source. Around the equinoxes (Ls0 and Ls180), there is a brief transition period where the rising branch quickly crosses from one hemisphere into the other as it migrates to its more typical solstitial location

  2. Use of Geochemistry Data Collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in Gusev Crater to Teach Geomorphic Zonation through Principal Components Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigue, Christine M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a laboratory exercise used to teach principal components analysis (PCA) as a means of surface zonation. The lab was built around abundance data for 16 oxides and elements collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in Gusev Crater between Sol 14 and Sol 470. Students used PCA to reduce 15 of these into 3 components, which,…

  3. Winds Measured by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) During the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover's Bagnold Dunes Campaign and Comparison with Numerical Modeling Using MarsWRF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Claire E.; Gomez-Elvira, Javier; Marin, Mercedes; Navarro, Sara; Torres, Josefina; Richardson, Mark I.; Battalio, J. Michael; Guzewich, Scott D.; Sullivan, Robert; de la Torre, Manuel; hide

    2016-01-01

    A high density of REMS wind measurements were collected in three science investigations during MSL's Bagnold Dunes Campaign, which took place over approx. 80 sols around southern winter solstice (Ls approx. 90deg) and constituted the first in situ analysis of the environmental conditions, morphology, structure, and composition of an active dune field on Mars. The Wind Characterization Investigation was designed to fully characterize the near-surface wind field just outside the dunes and confirmed the primarily upslope/downslope flow expected from theory and modeling of the circulation on the slopes of Aeolis Mons in this season. The basic pattern of winds is 'upslope' (from the northwest, heading up Aeolis Mons) during the daytime (approx. 09:00-17:00 or 18:00) and 'downslope' (from the southeast, heading down Aeolis Mons) at night (approx. 20:00 to some time before 08:00). Between these times the wind rotates largely clockwise, giving generally westerly winds mid-morning and easterly winds in the early evening. The timings of these direction changes are relatively consistent from sol to sol; however, the wind direction and speed at any given time shows considerable intersol variability. This pattern and timing is similar to predictions from the MarsWRF numerical model, run at a resolution of approx. 490 m in this region, although the model predicts the upslope winds to have a stronger component from the E than the W, misses a wind speed peak at approx. 09:00, and under-predicts the strength of daytime wind speeds by approx. 2-4 m/s. The Namib Dune Lee Investigation reveals 'blocking' of northerly winds by the dune, leaving primarily a westerly component to the daytime winds, and also shows a broadening of the 1 Hz wind speed distribution likely associated with lee turbulence. The Namib Dune Side Investigation measured primarily daytime winds at the side of the same dune, in support of aeolian change detection experiments designed to put limits on the saltation

  4. Human Mars Surface Mission Nuclear Power Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle A.

    2018-01-01

    A key decision facing Mars mission designers is how to power a crewed surface field station. Unlike the solar-powered Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) that could retreat to a very low power state during a Martian dust storm, human Mars surface missions are estimated to need at least 15 kilowatts of electrical (kWe) power simply to maintain critical life support and spacecraft functions. 'Hotel' loads alone for a pressurized crew rover approach two kWe; driving requires another five kWe-well beyond what the Curiosity rover’s Radioisotope Power System (RPS) was designed to deliver. Full operation of a four-crew Mars field station is estimated at about 40 kWe. Clearly, a crewed Mars field station will require a substantial and reliable power source, beyond the scale of robotic mission experience. This paper explores the applications for both fission and RPS nuclear options for Mars.

  5. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20C to -1C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle. Key Words: Planetary protection-Contamination-Habitability-Haughton Crater-Mars. Astrobiology

  6. The Proposed Mars Astrobiology Explorer - Cacher [MAX-C] Rover: First Step in a Potential Sample Return Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Beaty, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Sample return from Mars has been advocated by numerous scientific advisory panels for over 30 years, most prominently beginning with the National Research Council s [1] strategy for the exploration of the inner solar system, and most recently by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG s) Next Decade Science Analysis Group [2]. Analysis of samples here on Earth would have enormous advantages over in situ analyses in producing the data quality needed to address many of the complex scientific questions the community has posed about Mars. Instead of a small, predetermined set of analytical techniques, state of the art preparative and instrumental resources of the entire scientific community could be applied to the samples. The analytical emphasis could shift as the meaning of each result becomes better appreciated. These arguments apply both to igneous rocks and to layered sedimentary materials, either of which could contain water and other volatile constituents. In 2009 MEPAG formed the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high-priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps towards the potential return of samples to Earth. This analysis resulted in a mission concept named the Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C), which was envisioned for launch in the 2018 opportunity. After extensive discussion, this group concluded that by far the most definitive contribution to sample return by this mission would be to collect and cache, in an accessible location, a suite of compelling samples that could potentially be recovered and returned by a subsequent mission. This would have the effect of separating two of the essential functions of MSR, the acquisition of the sample collection and its delivery to martian orbit, into two missions.

  7. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions. Final Report, Feb. 1989 - Nov. 1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-genk, M.S.; Morley, N.J.

    1991-07-01

    Multiyear civilian manned missions to explore the surface of Mars are thought by NASA to be possible early in the next century. Expeditions to Mars, as well as permanent bases, are envisioned to require enhanced piloted vehicles to conduct science and exploration activities. Piloted rovers, with 30 kWe user net power (for drilling, sampling and sample analysis, onboard computer and computer instrumentation, vehicle thermal management, and astronaut life support systems) in addition to mobility are being considered. The rover design, for this study, included a four car train type vehicle complete with a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell auxiliary power system (APS). This system was designed to power the primary control vehicle. The APS supplies life support power for four astronauts and a limited degree of mobility allowing the primary control vehicle to limp back to either a permanent base or an accent vehicle. The results showed that the APS described above, with a mass of 667 kg, was sufficient to provide live support power and a top speed of five km/h for 6 hours per day. It was also seen that the factors that had the largest effect on the APS mass were the life support power, the number of astronauts, and the PV cell efficiency. The topics covered include: (1) power system options; (2) rover layout and design; (3) parametric analysis of total mass and power requirements for a manned Mars rover; (4) radiation shield design; and (5) energy conversion systems

  8. In Situ Visible to Short Wavelength Imaging Spectroscopy with the Ultra Compact Imaging Spectrometer (UCIS): Case Studies from the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaney, D.; Mouroulis, P.; Green, R.; Rodriguez, J.; Sellar, G.; Van Gorp, B.; Wilson, D.

    2011-01-01

    In Situ imaging spectroscopy provides a way to address complex questions of geological evolution for both aqueous and igneous processes by mapping mineral composition at the spatial scale of rocks and outcrops. Examination of locations studied by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity can provide examples of the potential utility and define the needed measurement requirements. A compact instrument is needed to be able to adequately address these science questions from a rover platform. The Ultra Compact Imaging Spectrometer (UCIS) is an instrument designed to address the science need and implementation constraints.

  9. In situ analysis of Mars soil sample with the sam gcms instrumentation onboard Curiosity : interpretation and comparison of measurements done at Rocknest and Yelloknife bay sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szopa, Cyril; Coll, Patrice; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Buch, Arnaud; Francois, Pascaline; Millan, Maeva; Teinturier, Sammy; Navarro-Gonzales, Rafael; Glavin, Daniel; Freissinet, Caro; Steele, Andrew; Eigenbrode, Jen; Mahaffy, Paul

    2014-05-01

    The characterisation of the chemical and mineralogical composition of regolith samples collected with the Curiosity rover is a primary objective of the SAM experiment. These data should provide essential clues on the past habitability of Gale crater. Amongst the SAM suite of instruments [1], SAM-GC (Gas Chromatograph) is devoted to identify and quantify volatiles evolved from the thermal (heating up to about 900°C)/chemical (derivatization procedure) treatment of any soil sample collected by the Curiosity rover. With the aim to search for potential organic molecules outgassed from the samples, a SAM-GC analytical channel composed of thermal-desorption injector and a MXT-CLP chromatographic column was chosen to achieve all the measurements done up today, as it was designed for the separation of a wide range of volatile organic molecules. Three solid samples have been analyzed with GCMS, one sand sample collected at the Rocknest site, and two rock samples (John Klein and Cumberland respectively) collected at the Yellowknife Bay site using the Curiosity driller. All the measurements were successful and they produced complex chromatograms with both detectors used for SAM GC, i.e. a thermal conductivity detector and the SAM quandrupole mass spectrometer. Their interpretation already revealed the presence of an oxychlorine phase present in the sample which is at the origin of chlorohydrocarbons clearly identified [2] but this represents only a fraction of the GCMS signal recorded [3,4]. This work presents a systematic comparison of the GCMS measurements done for the different samples collected, supported by reference data obtained in laboratory with different spare models of the gas chromatograph, with the aim to bring new elements of interpretation of the SAM measurements. References: [1] Mahaffy, P. et al. (2012) Space Sci Rev, 170, 401-478. [2] Glavin, D. et al. (2013), JGR. [3] Leshin L. et al. (2013), Science, [4] Ming D. et al. (2013), Science, 32, 64

  10. A fundamental parameters approach to calibration of the Mars Exploration Rover Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, J. L.; Lee, M.; Jones, B. N.; Andrushenko, S. M.; Holmes, N. G.; Maxwell, J. A.; Taylor, S. M.

    2009-04-01

    The detection sensitivities of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rovers for a wide range of elements were experimentally determined in 2002 using spectra of geochemical reference materials. A flight spare instrument was similarly calibrated, and the calibration exercise was then continued for this unit with an extended set of geochemical reference materials together with pure elements and simple chemical compounds. The flight spare instrument data are examined in detail here using a newly developed fundamental parameters approach which takes precise account of all the physics inherent in the two X-ray generation techniques involved, namely, X-ray fluorescence and particle-induced X-ray emission. The objectives are to characterize the instrument as fully as possible, to test this new approach, and to determine the accuracy of calibration for major, minor, and trace elements. For some of the lightest elements the resulting calibration exhibits a dependence upon the mineral assemblage of the geological reference material; explanations are suggested for these observations. The results will assist in designing the overall calibration approach for the APXS on the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

  11. Measurements of energetic particle radiation in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, C; Hassler, D M; Cucinotta, F A; Ehresmann, B; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R F; Brinza, D E; Kang, S; Weigle, G; Böttcher, S; Böhm, E; Burmeister, S; Guo, J; Köhler, J; Martin, C; Posner, A; Rafkin, S; Reitz, G

    2013-05-31

    The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, containing the Curiosity rover, was launched to Mars on 26 November 2011, and for most of the 253-day, 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars, the Radiation Assessment Detector made detailed measurements of the energetic particle radiation environment inside the spacecraft. These data provide insights into the radiation hazards that would be associated with a human mission to Mars. We report measurements of the radiation dose, dose equivalent, and linear energy transfer spectra. The dose equivalent for even the shortest round-trip with current propulsion systems and comparable shielding is found to be 0.66 ± 0.12 sievert.

  12. APXS of First Rocks Encountered by Curiosity in Gale Crater: Geochemical Diversity and Volatile Element (K and ZN) Enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, M. E.; King, P. L.; Gellert, R.; Elliott, B.; Thompson, L.; Berger, J.; Bridges, J.; Campbell, J. L; Grotzinger, J.; Hurowitz, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Alpha Particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) on the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater [1] is the 4th such instrument to have landed on Mars [2]. Along the rover's traverse down-section toward Glenelg (through sol 102), the APXS has examined four rocks and one soil [3]. Gale rocks are geochemically diverse and expand the range of Martian rock compositions to include high volatile and alkali contents (up to 3.0 wt% K2O) with high Fe and Mn (up to 29.2% FeO*).

  13. Volatile and organic compositions of sedimentary rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ming, D.W.; Archer Jr., P.D.; Glavin, D.P.; Eigenbrode, J.L.; Franz, H.B.; Sutter, B.; Brunner, A.E.; Stern, J.C.; Freissinet, C.; McAdam, A.C.; Mahaffy, P.R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Campbell, J.L.; Atreya, S.K.; Niles, P.B.; Bell III, J.F.; Bish, D.L.; Brinckerhoff, W.B.; Buch, A.; Conrad, P.G.; Des Marais, D.J.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Fairén, A.G.; Farley, K.; Flesch, G.J.; Francois, P.; Gellert, R.; Grant, J.A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K.E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Leshin, L.A.; Lewis, K.W.; McLennan, S.M.; Miller, K.E.; Moersch, J.; Morris, R.V.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A.A.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I.; Squyres, S.W.; Summons, R.E.; Steele, A.; Stolper, E.M.; Sumner, D.Y.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M.G.; Treiman, A.H.; Vaniman, D.T.; Vasavada, A.R.; Webster, C.R.; Wray, J.J.; Yingst, R.A.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, H2, H2S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO, and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay within Gale crater, Mars. H2O/OH-bearing phases included 2:1 phyllosilicate(s), bassanite, akaganeite, and

  14. Elemental geochemistry of sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLennan, S.M.; Anderson, R.B.; Bell III, J.F.; Bridges, J.C.; Calef III, F.; Campbell, J.L.; Clark, B.C.; Clegg, S.; Conrad, P.; Cousin, A.; Des Marais, D.J.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M.D.; Edgar, L.A.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Fabre, C.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Gellert, R.; Gordon, S.; Grant, J.A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K.E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; King, P.L.; Mouélic, S.L.; Leshin, L.A.; Léveillé, R.; Lewis, K.W.; Mangold, N.; Maurice, S.; Ming, D.W.; Morris, R.V.; Nachon, M.; Newsom, H.E.; Ollila, A.M.; Perrett, G.M.; Rice, M.S.; Schmidt, M.E.; Schwenzer, S.P.; Stack, K.; Stolper, E.M.; Sumner, D.Y.; Treiman, A.H.; VanBommel, S.; Vaniman, D.T.; Vasavada, A.; Wiens, R.C.; Yingst, R.A.; ten Kate, Inge Loes|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold,

  15. Rover Technologies

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop and mature rover technologies supporting robotic exploration including rover design, controlling rovers over time delay and for exploring . Technology...

  16. What We Might Know About Gusev Crater if the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Mission were Coupled with a Mars Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2008-01-01

    The science instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit have provided an enormous amount of chemical and mineralogical data during more than 1450 sols of exploration at Gusev crater. The Moessbauer (MB) instrument identified 10 Fe-bearing phases at Gusev Crater: olivine, pyroxene, ilmenite, chromite, and magnetite as primary igneous phases and nanophase ferric oxide (npOx), goethite, hematite, a ferric sulfate, and pyrite/marcusite as secondary phases. The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) identified some of these Fe-bearing phases (olivine and pyroxene), non- Fe-bearing phases (e.g., feldspar), and an amorphous high-SiO2 phase near Home Plate. Chemical data from the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) provided the framework for rock classification, chemical weathering/alteration, and mineralogical constraints. APXS-based mineralogical constraints include normative calculations (with Fe(3+)/FeT from MB), elemental associations, and stoichiometry (e.g., 90% SiO2 implicates opalline silica). If Spirit had cached a set of representative samples and if those samples were returned to the Earth for laboratory analysis, what value is added by Mars Sample return (MSR) over and above the mineralogical and chemical data provided by MER?

  17. Real‐Time Measurement of Wheel Performance on a Rover

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Wind-blown sand on Mars produces a high risk of entrapment for Mars rovers. This was evident when the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was immobilized in a wind blown...

  18. RAT magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity beyond sol 500

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Leer, K.; Goetz, W.; Chan, M. A.; Gorevan, S.; Hansen, M. F.; Jensen, Ch. L.; Kletetschka, Günther; Kusack, A.; Madsen, M. B.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 116, č. 4 (2011), E00F18-E00F18 ISSN 0148-0227 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : magnetic mineralogy * hematite * Mars Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.021, year: 2011

  19. Building Virtual Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercrombie, S. P.; Menzies, A.; Goddard, C.

    2017-12-01

    Virtual and augmented reality enable scientists to visualize environments that are very difficult, or even impossible to visit, such as the surface of Mars. A useful immersive visualization begins with a high quality reconstruction of the environment under study. This presentation will discuss a photogrammetry pipeline developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to reconstruct 3D models of the surface of Mars using stereo images sent back to Earth by the Curiosity Mars rover. The resulting models are used to support a virtual reality tool (OnSight) that allows scientists and engineers to visualize the surface of Mars as if they were standing on the red planet. Images of Mars present challenges to existing scene reconstruction solutions. Surface images of Mars are sparse with minimal overlap, and are often taken from extremely different viewpoints. In addition, the specialized cameras used by Mars rovers are significantly different than consumer cameras, and GPS localization data is not available on Mars. This presentation will discuss scene reconstruction with an emphasis on coping with limited input data, and on creating models suitable for rendering in virtual reality at high frame rate.

  20. Characterization of terrestrial hydrothermal alteration products with Mars analog instrumentation: Implications for current and future rover investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Sarah R.; Hynek, Brian M.

    2018-06-01

    Interpretation of Martian geology relies heavily on our understanding of terrestrial analog deposits and our ability to obtain comprehensive and accurate mineralogical compositions. Many previous studies of terrestrial hydrothermal deposits relied on limited datasets and/or did not use instruments analogous to those deployed on Mars. We analyzed 100 hydrothermally altered basalts from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Iceland with Mars analog Visible to Short Wave Infrared (VSWIR) spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction (XRD), and Raman laser spectrometry. Alteration mineralogy consisted of amorphous and crystalline SiO2 (cristobalite, tridymite, quartz), Ca/Al/Fe/Mg-sulfates (gypsum, anhydrite, alunite, jarosite, hexahydrite, alunogen), Fe-, Ti-, and Mg-oxides/hydroxides (hematite, goethite, anatase/brookite, brucite), elemental sulfur, and phyllosilicates (montmorillonite, kaolinite). Results indicate VSWIR is best suited for identification of X-ray amorphous materials such as hydrated SiO2 and phyllosilicates, while XRD is best utilized for highly ordered crystalline materials such as sulfates, crystalline SiO2 polymorphs, elemental sulfur, and Mg-hydroxides identification. Surprisingly, XRD had the lowest identification rates for Fe-oxides/hydroxides (42% compared to 61% and 75% for VNIR and Raman, respectively), and nearly equal identification rates as VSWIR for kaolinite (76% for VSWIR, 71% for XRD). Identification of phyllosilicates in XRD, while possible, is not as effective as VSWIR without extensive sample preparation. Our observed identification rates may be attributed to the relative abundance of materials-Fe-oxides/hydroxides being present as surface coatings, the presence of large amounts of kaolinite in some samples, and an increased particle size for kaolinite relative to other clays. Elemental sulfur and Fe- and Ti-oxides/hydroxides were more readily identified with Raman. With NASA's current focus on habitability, hydrothermally altered areas-which we know to

  1. Preparing to Test Rover Mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Rover engineers prepare a mixture of sandy and powdery materials to simulate some difficult Mars driving conditions inside a facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The tests in early May 2005 were designed to help plan the best way for the rover Opportunity to drive off of a soft-sand dune that the rover dug itself into the previous week.

  2. Searching for Life with Rovers: Exploration Methods & Science Results from the 2004 Field Campaign of the "Life in the Atacama" Project and Applications to Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, N. A.a; Wettergreen, D. S.; Whittaker, R.; Grin, E. A.; Moersch, J.; Diaz, G. Chong; Cockell, C.; Coppin, P.; Dohm, J. M.; Fisher, G.

    2005-01-01

    The Life In The Atacama (LITA) project develops and field tests a long-range, solarpowered, automated rover platform (Zo ) and a science payload assembled to search for microbial life in the Atacama desert. Life is barely detectable over most of the driest desert on Earth. Its unique geological, climatic, and biological evolution have created a unique training site for designing and testing exploration strategies and life detection methods for the robotic search for life on Mars.

  3. Characteristics, distribution, origin, and significance of opaline silica observed by the Spirit rover in Gusev crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, S.W.; Farmer, J.D.; Calvin, W.M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Morris, R.V.; Rice, M.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.F.; Christensen, P.R.; Squyres, S. W.

    2011-01-01

    The presence of outcrops and soil (regolith) rich in opaline silica (???65-92 wt % SiO2) in association with volcanic materials adjacent to the "Home Plate" feature in Gusev crater is evidence for hydrothermal conditions. The Spirit rover has supplied a diverse set of observations that are used here to better understand the formation of silica and the activity, abundance, and fate of water in the first hydrothermal system to be explored in situ on Mars. We apply spectral, chemical, morphological, textural, and stratigraphic observations to assess whether the silica was produced by acid sulfate leaching of precursor rocks, by precipitation from silica-rich solutions, or by some combination. The apparent lack of S enrichment and the relatively low oxidation state of the Home Plate silica-rich materials appear inconsistent with the originally proposed Hawaiian analog for fumarolic acid sulfate leaching. The stratiform distribution of the silica-rich outcrops and their porous and brecciated microtextures are consistent with sinter produced by silica precipitation. There is no evidence for crystalline quartz phases among the silica occurrences, an indication of the lack of diagenetic maturation following the production of the amorphous opaline phase. Copyright ?? 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  4. Magnetic Properties Experiments on the Mars exploration Rover Spirit at Gusev crater

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bertelsen, Pernille; Goetz, W.; Madsen, M.B.

    2004-01-01

    The magnetic properties experiments are designed to help identify the magnetic minerals in the dust and rocks on Mars-and to determine whether liquid water was involved in the formation and alteration of these magnetic minerals. Almost all of the dust particles suspended in the martian atmosphere...... must contain ferrimagnetic minerals (such as maghemite or magnetite) in an amount of similar to2% by weight. The most magnetic fraction of the dust appears darker than the average dust. Magnetite was detected in the first two rocks ground by Spirit....

  5. Astrobiology and the Exploration of Gusev Crater by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, I. David

    2005-01-01

    We assess the availability of nutrient elements, energy and liquid water on the plains surrounding Columbia Memorial Station by evaluating data from Spirit in the context of previous Mars missions, Earth-based studies of martian meteorites and studies of microbial communities on Earth that represent potential analogs of martian biota. The compositions of Gusev basalts resemble those of olivine basalts beneath the seabed on Earth that deep drilling has shown to support life. Of particular relevance to biology, phosphate abundances are much greater in Gusev basalts (0.84 +/- 0.07 wt. % P2O5) than in oceanic basalts (typically 0.06 wt. %).

  6. Quantitative analysis of digital outcrop data obtained from stereo-imagery using an emulator for the PanCam camera system for the ExoMars 2020 rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Robert; Gupta, Sanjeev; Gunn, Matt; Paar, Gerhard; Balme, Matt; Huber, Ben; Bauer, Arnold; Furya, Komyo; Caballo-Perucha, Maria del Pilar; Traxler, Chris; Hesina, Gerd; Ortner, Thomas; Banham, Steven; Harris, Jennifer; Muller, Jan-Peter; Tao, Yu

    2017-04-01

    A key focus of planetary rover missions is to use panoramic camera systems to image outcrops along rover traverses, in order to characterise their geology in search of ancient life. This data can be processed to create 3D point clouds of rock outcrops to be quantitatively analysed. The Mars Utah Rover Field Investigation (MURFI 2016) is a Mars Rover field analogue mission run by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). It took place between 22nd October and 13th November 2016 and consisted of a science team based in Harwell, UK, and a field team including an instrumented Rover platform at the field site near Hanksville (Utah, USA). The Aberystwyth University PanCam Emulator 3 (AUPE3) camera system was used to collect stereo panoramas of the terrain the rover encountered during the field trials. Stereo-imagery processed in PRoViP is rendered as Ordered Point Clouds (OPCs) in PRo3D, enabling the user to zoom, rotate and translate the 3D outcrop model. Interpretations can be digitised directly onto the 3D surface, and simple measurements can be taken of the dimensions of the outcrop and sedimentary features, including grain size. Dip and strike of bedding planes, stratigraphic and sedimentological boundaries and fractures is calculated within PRo3D from mapped bedding contacts and fracture traces. Merging of rover-derived imagery with UAV and orbital datasets, to build semi-regional multi-resolution 3D models of the area of operations for immersive analysis and contextual understanding. In-simulation, AUPE3 was mounted onto the rover mast, collecting 16 stereo panoramas over 9 'sols'. 5 out-of-simulation datasets were collected in the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry. Stereo panoramas were processed using an automated pipeline and data transfer through an ftp server. PRo3D has been used for visualisation and analysis of this stereo data. Features of interest in the area could be annotated, and their distances between to the rover

  7. Initial Results on the Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the Mar Exploration Rover Gusev Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.

    2004-05-01

    The Spirit rover has investigated the geochemistry and mineralogy of the Gusev crater site using in situ Alpha Proton X-Ray, Mossbauer, visible, and infrared spectroscopy. The Gusev site is covered with angular to sub-rounded rocks that are typically less than 1 m in maximum dimension. More than 90 percent of these rocks are dark-toned, with the remainder being lighter-toned rocks that may predominantly be dark rocks with a thin (10's of microns) coating of easily removed fines. APXS analysis has been obtained of a rock (Adirondack) following the removal by grinding of the surface dust and the upper few mm of the rock surface. These data give a modal mineralogy corresponding to olivine basalt. High quality Mini-TES data have not been obtained of a completely dust-free rock surface. The Mini-TES data of Adirondack do show long wavelength (15-25 microns) absorptions due to olivine of composition ~Fo60. All of the rocks observed are very compositionally homogeneous in the Mini-TES spectra. These findings are consistent with the detection of olivine-bearing basalt at this site from orbital TES infrared spectroscopy. Mossbauer spectra of Adirondack show the presence of forsteritic olivine and magnetite, with possible pyroxene. The soils at Gusev are a mixture of reddish fine-grained to sandy materials, granular-sized particles that occur in ripple forms, and minor pebbles. Mini-TES spectra of the soil show an excellent match to the TES spectra of high-albedo, fine-grained material found in regional bright regions that is interpreted to be windblown dust. This agreement suggests at least the uppermost layer of the soil at Gusev has been accumulated from airfall dust. By analogy with prior analysis of TES data these materials contain several percent carbonate, minor bound water, and a framework silicate interpreted to be either feldspar or zeolite. APXS spectra show similar oxide abundances to those determined for the Pathfinder site, except for higher MgO, and lower

  8. Redox stratification of an ancient lake in Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurowitz, J A; Grotzinger, J P; Fischer, W W; McLennan, S M; Milliken, R E; Stein, N; Vasavada, A R; Blake, D F; Dehouck, E; Eigenbrode, J L; Fairén, A G; Frydenvang, J; Gellert, R; Grant, J A; Gupta, S; Herkenhoff, K E; Ming, D W; Rampe, E B; Schmidt, M E; Siebach, K L; Stack-Morgan, K; Sumner, D Y; Wiens, R C

    2017-06-02

    In 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars to assess its potential as a habitat for past life and investigate the paleoclimate record preserved by sedimentary rocks inside the ~150-kilometer-diameter Gale impact crater. Geological reconstructions from Curiosity rover data have revealed an ancient, habitable lake environment fed by rivers draining into the crater. We synthesize geochemical and mineralogical data from lake-bed mudstones collected during the first 1300 martian solar days of rover operations in Gale. We present evidence for lake redox stratification, established by depth-dependent variations in atmospheric oxidant and dissolved-solute concentrations. Paleoclimate proxy data indicate that a transition from colder to warmer climate conditions is preserved in the stratigraphy. Finally, a late phase of geochemical modification by saline fluids is recognized. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Performance of the Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer for the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) Investigation on the 2018 Exomars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arevalo, Ricardo, Jr.; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Pinnick, Veronica T.; van Amerom, Friso H. W.; Danell, Ryan M.; Li, Xiang; Getty, Stephanie; Hovmand, Lars; Atanassova, Martina; Mahaffy, Paul R.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The 2018 ExoMars rover mission includes the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) investigation. MOMA will examine the chemical composition of samples acquired from depths of up to two meters below the martian surface, where organics may be protected from degradation derived from cosmic radiation and/or oxidative chemical reactions. When combined with the complement of instruments in the rover's Pasteur Payload, MOMA has the potential to reveal the presence of a wide range of organics preserved in a variety of mineralogical environments, and to begin to understand the structural character and potential origin of those compounds. The MOMA investigation is led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) with the mass spectrometer subsystem provided by NASA GSFC. MOMA's linear ion trap mass spectrometer (ITMS) is designed to analyze molecular composition of: (i) gas evolved from pyrolyzed powder samples and separated in a gas chromatograph; and, (ii) ions directly desorbed from crushed solid samples at Mars ambient pressure, as enabled by a pulsed UV laser system, fast-actuating aperture valve and capillary ion inlet. Breadboard ITMS and associated electronics have been advanced to high end-to-end fidelity in preparation for flight hardware delivery to Germany in 2015.

  10. Detection of Northern Hemisphere transient eddies at Gale Crater Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Juárez, Manuel de la Torre; Kahre, Melinda A.; Kass, David M.; Barnes, Jeffrey R.; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.; Harri, Ari-Matti; Kahanpää, Henrik

    2018-06-01

    The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) on the Curiosity Rover is operating in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars and is detecting synoptic period oscillations in the pressure data that we attribute to Northern Hemisphere transient eddies. We base this interpretation on the similarity in the periods of the eddies and their seasonal variations with those observed in northern midlatitudes by Viking Lander 2 (VL-2) 18 Mars years earlier. Further support for this interpretation comes from global circulation modeling which shows similar behavior in the transient eddies at the grid points closest to Curiosity and VL-2. These observations provide the first in situ evidence that the frontal systems often associated with "Flushing Dust Storms" do cross the equator and extend into the Southern Hemisphere.

  11. The instrumental blank of the Mars Science Laboratory alpha particle X-ray spectrometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.ca [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2012-10-01

    The alpha particle X-ray spectrometers on the Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity accomplished extensive elemental analysis of the Martian surface through a combination of XRF and PIXE. An advanced APXS is now part of the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover. APXS spectra contain contributions which enhance elemental peak areas but which do not arise from these elements within the sample under study, thereby introducing error into derived concentrations. A detailed examination of these effects in the MSL APXS enables us to test two schemes for making the necessary corrections.

  12. Plans for Selection and In-Situ Investigation of Return Samples by the Supercam Instrument Onboard the Mars 2020 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Mangold, N.; Anderson, R.; Beyssac, O.; Bonal, L.; Clegg, S.; Cousin, A.; DeFlores, L.; Dromart, G.; Fisher, W.; Forni, O.; Fouchet, T.; Gasnault, O.; Grotzinger, J.; Johnson, J.; Martinez-Frias, J.; McLennan, S.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Montmessin, F.; Poulet, F.; Rull, F.; Sharma, S.

    2018-04-01

    The SuperCam instrument onboard Rover 2020 still provides a complementary set of analyses with IR reflectance and Raman spectroscopy for mineralogy, LIBS for chemistry, and a color imager in order to investigate in-situ samples to return.

  13. Slope activity in Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dundas, Colin M.; McEwen, Alfred S.

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution repeat imaging of Aeolis Mons, the central mound in Gale crater, reveals active slope processes within tens of kilometers of the Curiosity rover. At one location near the base of northeastern Aeolis Mons, dozens of transient narrow lineae were observed, resembling features (Recurring Slope Lineae) that are potentially due to liquid water. However, the lineae faded and have not recurred in subsequent Mars years. Other small-scale slope activity is common, but has different spatial and temporal characteristics. We have not identified confirmed RSL, which Rummel et al. (Rummel, J.D. et al. [2014]. Astrobiology 14, 887–968) recommended be treated as potential special regions for planetary protection. Repeat images acquired as Curiosity approaches the base of Aeolis Mons could detect changes due to active slope processes, which could enable the rover to examine recently exposed material.

  14. Curiosity Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelsen, Jane; DeLorenzo, Chip

    2010-01-01

    Have you ever found yourself lecturing a child, with the best of intentions, in an attempt to help him or her learn a lesson or process a situation in a manner that you feel will be productive? Curiosity questions, which the authors also call What and How questions, help children process an experience, event, or natural consequence so that they…

  15. Mars Science Laboratory Heatshield Flight Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahzari, Milad; White, Todd

    2017-01-01

    NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which landed the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on August 5th, 2012, was the largest and heaviest Mars entry vehicle representing a significant advancement in planetary entry, descent and landing capability. Hypersonic flight performance data was collected using MSLs on-board sensors called Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI). This talk will give an overview of MSL entry and a description of MEDLI sensors. Observations from flight data will be examined followed by a discussion of analysis efforts to reconstruct surface heating from heatshields in-depth temperature measurements. Finally, a brief overview of MEDLI2 instrumentation, which will fly on NASAs Mars2020 mission, will be presented with a discussion on how lessons learned from MEDLI data affected the design of MEDLI2 instrumentation.

  16. The Mars Science Laboratory Organic Check Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.; Eigenbrode, J. E.; Mogensen, C. T.; VonderHeydt, M. O.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. M.; Johnson, J. A.

    2011-01-01

    The Organic Check Material (OCM) has been developed for use on the Mars Science Laboratory mission to serve as a sample standard for verification of organic cleanliness and characterization of potential sample alteration as a function of the sample acquisition and portioning process on the Curiosity rover. OCM samples will be acquired using the same procedures for drilling, portioning and delivery as are used to study martian samples with The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite during MSL surface operations. Because the SAM suite is highly sensitive to organic molecules, the mission can better verify the cleanliness of Curiosity's sample acquisition hardware if a known material can be processed through SAM and compared with the results obtained from martian samples.

  17. Detection of Reduced Nitrogen Compounds at Rocknest Using the Sample Analysis At Mars (SAM) Instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Steele, A.; Brunner, A.; Coll, P.; Eigenbrode, J.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D.; Jones, J. H.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover detected nitrogen-bearing compounds during the pyrolysis of Rocknest material at Gale Crater. Hydrogen cyanide and acetonitrile were identified by the quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) both in direct evolved gas analysis (EGA). SAM carried out four separate analyses from Rocknest Scoop 5. A significant low temperature release was present in Rocknest runs 1-4, while a smaller high temperature release was also seen in Rocknest runs 1-3. Here we evaluate whether these compounds are indigenous to Mars or a pyrolysis product resulting from known terrestrial materials that are part of the SAM derivatization.

  18. Temperature dependence of the hyperfine parameters of the iron bearing phases in the Moessbauer spectra collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Cromphaut, Caroline; Resende, Valdirene G. de; De Grave, Eddy; Vandenberghe, Robert E.

    2009-01-01

    This contribution focuses on the Moessbauer spectra acquired by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit which carried a MIMOS II Moessbauer spectrometer. Only those spectra which present a reasonable statistical quality were selected to for this study. Twenty five Moessbauer spectra have been considered. Common phases identified from the temperature dependent hyperfine parameters are olivine, pyroxene, hematite and magnetite. It is believed that the applied analysis method has provided accurate values for the various hyperfine data averaged over single 10 K temperature intervals in the range 210-260 K. The obtained results, to some extent forced to evolve consistently over the various ΔT intervals considered for a given soil/rock target, are in many cases different from previously published data. Possible reasons for these differences will be discussed.

  19. Creating an Immersive Mars Experience Using Unity3D

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    Between the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, NASA has collected over 280,000 images while studying the Martian surface. This number will continue to grow, with Opportunity continuing to send images and with another rover, Curiosity, launching soon. Using data collected by and for these Mars rovers, I am contributing to the creation of virtual experiences that will expose the general public to Mars. These experiences not only work to increase public knowledge, but they attempt to do so in an engaging manner more conducive to knowledge retention by letting others view Mars through the rovers' eyes. My contributions include supporting image viewing (for example, allowing users to click on panoramic images of the Martian surface to access closer range photos) as well as enabling tagging of points of interest. By creating a more interactive way of viewing the information we have about Mars, we are not just educating the public about a neighboring planet. We are showing the importance of doing such research.

  20. Calcium Sulfate Characterized by Chemcam/Curiousity at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachon, M.; Clegg, S. M.; Mangold, N.; Schroeder, S.; Kah, L. C.; Dromart, G.; Ollila, A.; Johnson, J. R; Oehler, D. Z.; Bridges, J. C.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover, the ChemCam instrument consists of : (1) a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) for elemental analysis of the targets and (2) a Remote Micro Imager (RMI), for the imaging context of laser analysis. Within the Gale crater, Curiosity traveled from Bradbury Landing through the Rocknest region and into Yellowknife Bay (YB). In the latter, abundant light-toned fracture-fill material occur. ChemCam analysis demonstrates that those fracture fills consist of calcium sulfates.[

  1. Deposition, exhumation, and paleoclimate of an ancient lake deposit, Gale crater, Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Grotzinger, JP; Gupta, S; Malin, MC; Rubin, DM; Schieber, J; Siebach, K; Sumner, DY; Stack, KM; Vasavada, AR; Arvidson, RE; Calef, F; Edgar, L; Fischer, WF; Grant, JA; Griffes, J

    2015-01-01

    The landforms of northern Gale crater on Mars expose thick sequences of sedimentary rocks. Based on images obtained by the Curiosity rover, we interpret these outcrops as evidence for past fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine environments. Degradation of the crater wall and rim probably supplied these sediments, which advanced inward from the wall, infilling both the crater and an internal lake basin to a thickness of at least 75 meters. This intracrater lake system probably existed intermittentl...

  2. Detection of Evolved Carbon Dioxide in the Rocknest Eolian Bedform by the Sample Analysis at Mars(SAM) Instrument at the Mars Curiosity Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Archer, D.; McAdam, A.; Franz, H.; Ming, D. W.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P.; Stern, J.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.

    2013-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument detected four releases of carbon dioxide (CO2) that ranged from 100 to 700 C from the Rocknest eolian bedform material (Fig. 1). Candidate sources of CO2 include adsorbed CO2, carbonate(s), combusted organics that are either derived from terrestrial contamination and/or of martian origin, occluded or trapped CO2, and other sources that have yet to be determined. The Phoenix Lander s Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) detected two CO2 releases (400-600, 700-840 C) [1,2]. The low temperature release was attributed to Fe- and/or Mg carbonates [1,2], per-chlorate interactions with carbonates [3], nanophase carbonates [4] and/or combusted organics [1]. The high temperature CO2 release was attributed to a calcium bearing carbonate [1,2]. No evidence of a high temperature CO2 release similar to the Phoenix material was detected in the Rocknest materials by SAM. The objectives of this work are to evaluate the temperature and total contribution of each Rocknest CO2 release and their possible sources. Four CO2 releases from the Rocknest material were detected by SAM. Potential sources of CO2 are adsorbed CO2, (peak 1) and Fe/Mg carbonates (peak 4). Only a fraction of peaks 2 and 3 (0.01 C wt.%) may be partially attributed to combustion of organic contamination. Meteoritic organics mixed in the Rocknest bedform could be present, but the peak 2 and 3 C concentration (approx.0.21 C wt. %) is likely too high to be attributed solely to meteoritic organic C. Other inorganic sources of C such as interactions of perchlorates and carbonates and sources yet to be identified will be evaluated to account for CO2 released from the thermal decomposition of Rocknest material.

  3. The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-Situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Newman, C. N.; De Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Fischer, E.; Renno, N. O.; Richardson, M. I.; Fairén, A. G.; Genzer, M.; Guzewich, S. D.; Haberle, R. M.; hide

    2017-01-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to todays Curiosity rover to review our understanding of the modern near-surface climate of Mars, with focus on the dust, CO2 and H2O cycles and their impact on the radiative and thermodynamic conditions near the surface. In particular, we provide values of the highest confidence possible for atmospheric opacity, atmospheric pressure, near-surface air temperature, ground temperature, near-surface wind speed and direction, and near-surface air relative humidity and water vapor content. Then, we study the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of these quantities over a span of more than twenty Martian years. Finally, we propose measurements to improve our understanding of the Martian dust and H2O cycles, and discuss the potential for liquid water formation under Mars present day conditions and its implications for future Mars missions.

  4. Aeolian sedimentary processes at the Bagnold Dunes, Mars: Implications for modern dune dynamics and sedimentary structures in the aeolian stratigraphic record of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Ryan C.; Bridges, Nathan T.; Sullivan, Rob; Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.; Fischer, Woodward W.; Lamb, Mike P.; Rubin, David M.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Gupta, Sanjeev

    2016-04-01

    Wind-blown sand dunes are ubiquitous on the surface of Mars and are a recognized component of the martian stratigraphic record. Our current knowledge of the aeolian sedimentary processes that determine dune morphology, drive dune dynamics, and create aeolian cross-stratification are based upon orbital studies of ripple and dune morphodynamics, rover observations of stratification on Mars, Earth analogs, and experimental and theoretical studies of sand movement under Martian conditions. In-situ observations of sand dunes (informally called the Bagnold Dunes) by Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater, Mars provide the first opportunity to make observations of dunes from the grain-to-dune scale thereby filling the gap in knowledge between theory and orbital observations and refining our understanding of the martian aeolian stratigraphic record. We use the suite of cameras on Curiosity, including Navigation Camera (Navcam), Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), to make observations of the Bagnold Dunes. Measurements of sedimentary structures are made where stereo images are available. Observations indicate that structures generated by gravity-driven processes on the dune lee slopes, such as grainflow and grainfall, are similar to the suite of aeolian sedimentary structures observed on Earth and should be present and recognizable in Mars' aeolian stratigraphic record. Structures formed by traction-driven processes deviate significantly from those found on Earth. The dune hosts centimeter-scale wind ripples and large, meter-scale ripples, which are not found on Earth. The large ripples migrate across the depositional, lee slopes of the dune, which implies that these structures should be present in Mars' stratigraphic record and may appear similar to compound-dune stratification.The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Team is acknowledged for their support of this work.

  5. Microscope on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This image taken at Meridiani Planum, Mars by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the rover's microscopic imager (circular device in center), located on its instrument deployment device, or 'arm.' The image was acquired on the ninth martian day or sol of the rover's mission.

  6. Field reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars, based on Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and MRO HiRISE observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; McCoy, T.; Yingst, A.; Ruff, S.; Farrand, W.; McSween, Y.; Powell, M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Bell, J.F.; Grant, J.; Greeley, R.; DesMarais, D.; Schmidt, M.; Cabrol, N.A.; Haldemann, A.; Lewis, K.W.; Wang, A.E.; Schroder, C.; Blaney, D.; Cohen, B.; Yen, A.; Farmer, J.; Gellert, Ralf; Guinness, E.A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhfer, G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.W.; Rice, M.; deSouza, P.; Hurowitz, J.

    2011-01-01

    Chemical, mineralogic, and lithologic ground truth was acquired for the first time on Mars in terrain units mapped using orbital Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (MRO HiRISE) image data. Examination of several dozen outcrops shows that Mars is geologically complex at meter length scales, the record of its geologic history is well exposed, stratigraphic units may be identified and correlated across significant areas on the ground, and outcrops and geologic relationships between materials may be analyzed with techniques commonly employed in terrestrial field geology. Despite their burial during the course of Martian geologic time by widespread epiclastic materials, mobile fines, and fall deposits, the selective exhumation of deep and well-preserved geologic units has exposed undisturbed outcrops, stratigraphic sections, and structural information much as they are preserved and exposed on Earth. A rich geologic record awaits skilled future field investigators on Mars. The correlation of ground observations and orbital images enables construction of a corresponding geologic reconnaissance map. Most of the outcrops visited are interpreted to be pyroclastic, impactite, and epiclastic deposits overlying an unexposed substrate, probably related to a modified Gusev crater central peak. Fluids have altered chemistry and mineralogy of these protoliths in degrees that vary substantially within the same map unit. Examination of the rocks exposed above and below the major unconformity between the plains lavas and the Columbia Hills directly confirms the general conclusion from remote sensing in previous studies over past years that the early history of Mars was a time of more intense deposition and modification of the surface. Although the availability of fluids and the chemical and mineral activity declined from this early period, significant later volcanism and fluid convection enabled additional, if localized, chemical activity

  7. Influence of Dust Loading on Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Ryan B.; Gronoff, Guillaume; Mertens, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Measuring the radiation environment at the surface of Mars is the primary goal of the Radiation Assessment Detector on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover. One of the conditions that Curiosity will likely encounter is a dust storm. The objective of this paper is to compute the cosmic ray ionization in different conditions, including dust storms, as these various conditions are likely to be encountered by Curiosity at some point. In the present work, the Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety model, recently modified for Mars, was used along with the Badhwar & O'Neill 2010 galactic cosmic ray model. In addition to galactic cosmic rays, five different solar energetic particle event spectra were considered. For all input radiation environments, radiation dose throughout the atmosphere and at the surface was investigated as a function of atmospheric dust loading. It is demonstrated that for galactic cosmic rays, the ionization depends strongly on the atmosphere profile. Moreover, it is shown that solar energetic particle events strongly increase the ionization throughout the atmosphere, including ground level, and can account for the radio blackout conditions observed by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft. These results demonstrate that the cosmic rays' influence on the Martian surface chemistry is strongly dependent on solar and atmospheric conditions that should be taken into account for future studies.

  8. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, Andre; Bacher, M.; Ball, A.; Barcos, O.; Bethge, B.; Gaubert, F.; Haldemann, A.; Lindner, R.; Pacros, A.; Trautner, R.; Vag, J.

    ars programme is a joint ESA-NASA program having exobiology as one of the key science objectives. It is divided into 2 missions: the first mission is ESA-led with an ESA orbiter and an ESA Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) demonstrator, launched in 2016 by NASA, and the second mission is NASA-led, launched in 2018 by NASA carrying an ESA rover and a NASA rover both deployed by a single NASA EDL system. For ESA, the ExoMars programme will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies in support of the European ambitions for future exploration missions, as outlined in the Aurora Declaration. While the ExoMars 2016 mission will accomplish a technological objective (Entry, Descent and Landing of a payload on the surface) and a Scientific objective (investigation of Martian atmospheric trace gases and their sources, focussing particularly on methane), the ExoMars 2018 ESA Rover will carry a comprehensive and coherent suite of analytical instruments dedicated to exobiology and geology research: the Pasteur Payload (PPL). This payload includes a selection of complementary instruments, having the following goals: to search for signs of past and present life on Mars and to investigate the water/geochemical environment as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface. The ExoMars Rover includes a drill for accessing underground materials, and a Sample Preparation and Distribution System. The Rover will travel several kilometres looking for sites warranting further investigation, where it will collect and analyse samples from within outcrops and from the subsurface for traces of complex organic molecules. In addition to further details on this Exomars 2018 rover mission, this presentation will focus on the scientific objectives and the instruments needed to achieve them, including details of how the Pasteur Payload as a whole addresses Mars research objectives.

  9. Landing site rationality scaling for subsurface sampling on Mars—Case study for ExoMars Rover-like missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kereszturi, Akos

    2012-11-01

    Subsurface sampling will be important in the robotic exploration of Mars in the future, and this activity requires a somewhat different approach in landing site selection than earlier, surface analysis focused missions. In this work theoretical argumentation for the selection of ideal sites is summarized, including various parameters that were defined as examples for the earlier four candidate landing sites of Mars Science Laboratory. The aim here was to compare interesting sites; the decision on the final site does not affect this work. Analyzing the theoretical background, to identify ideal locations for subsurface analysis, several factors could be identified by remote sensing, including the dust and dune coverage, the cap layer distribution as well as the location of probable important outcrops. Beyond the fact that image based information on the rock hardness on Mars is lacking, more work would be also useful to put the interesting sites into global context and to understand the role of secondary cratering in age estimation. More laboratory work would be also necessary to improve our knowledge on the extraction and preservation of organic materials under different conditions. Beyond the theoretical argumentation mentioned above, the size and accessibility of possible important shallow subsurface materials were analyzed at the four earlier candidate landing sites of Mars Science Laboratory. At the sample terrains, interesting but inaccessible, interesting and sideward accessible, and interesting and from above accessible outcrops were identified. Surveying these outcrop types at the sample terrains, the currently available datasets showed only 3-9% of exposed strata over the entire analyzed area is present at Eberswalde and Holden crater, and individual outcrops have an average diameter between 100 and 400 m there. For Gale crater and Mawrth Valles region, these parameters were 46-35% of exposed strata, with an average outcrop diameter of ˜300 m. In the case

  10. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I: Overview and introduction to the special issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Nathan T.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.

    2018-01-01

    The Bagnold dunes in Gale Crater, Mars, are the first active aeolian dune field explored in situ on another planet. The Curiosity rover visited the Bagnold dune field to understand modern winds, aeolian processes, rates, and structures; to determine dune material composition, provenance, and the extent and type of compositional sorting; and to collect knowledge that informs the interpretation of past aeolian processes that are preserved in the Martian sedimentary rock record. The Curiosity rover conducted a coordinated campaign of activities lasting 4 months, interspersed with other rover activities, and employing all of the rover's science instruments and several engineering capabilities. Described in 13 manuscripts and summarized here, the major findings of the Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I, include the following: the characterization of and explanation for a distinctive, meter-scale size of sinuous aeolian bedform formed in the high kinetic viscosity regime of Mars' thin atmosphere; articulation and evaluation of a grain splash model that successfully explains the occurrence of saltation even at wind speeds below the fluid threshold; determination of the dune sands' basaltic mineralogy and crystal chemistry in comparison with other soils and sedimentary rocks; and characterization of chemically distinctive volatile reservoirs in sand-sized versus dust-sized fractions of Mars soil, including two volatile-bearing types of amorphous phases.

  11. The Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation and Instrument Suite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Christopher R.; Conrad, Pamela G.; Arvey, Robert; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Chalmers, Robert A.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Errigo, Therese; hide

    2012-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) addresses the chemical and isotopic composition of the atmosphere and volatiles extracted from solid samples. The SAM investigation is designed to contribute substantially to the mission goal of quantitatively assessing the habitability of Mars as an essential step in the search for past or present life on Mars. SAM is a 40 kg instrument suite located in the interior of MSL's Curiosity rover. The SAM instruments are a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a tunable laser spectrometer, and a 6-column gas chromatograph all coupled through solid and gas processing systems to provide complementary information on the same samples. The SAM suite is able to measure a suite of light isotopes and to analyze volatiles directly from the atmosphere or thermally released from solid samples. In addition to measurements of simple inorganic compounds and noble gases SAM will conduct a sensitive search for organic compounds with either thermal or chemical extraction from sieved samples delivered by the sample processing system on the Curiosity rover's robotic arm,

  12. Curiosity and Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tieben, R.; Bekker, M.M.; Schouten, B.A.M.

    2011-01-01

    We explore the concepts of curiosity and interaction: how can we elicit curiosity in public spaces through interactive systems? We have developed a model consisting of five curiosity-evoking principles. In an iterative design research approach, we have explored the design implementations of these

  13. Cerebellum Augmented Rover Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Matthew

    2005-01-01

    Bio-Inspired Technologies and Systems (BITS) are a very natural result of thinking about Nature's way of solving problems. Knowledge of animal behaviors an be used in developing robotic behaviors intended for planetary exploration. This is the expertise of the JFL BITS Group and has served as a philosophical model for NMSU RioRobolab. Navigation is a vital function for any autonomous system. Systems must have the ability to determine a safe path between their current location and some target location. The MER mission, as well as other JPL rover missions, uses a method known as dead-reckoning to determine position information. Dead-reckoning uses wheel encoders to sense the wheel's rotation. In a sandy environment such as Mars, this method is highly inaccurate because the wheels will slip in the sand. Improving positioning error will allow the speed of an autonomous navigating rover to be greatly increased. Therefore, local navigation based upon landmark tracking is desirable in planetary exploration. The BITS Group is developing navigation technology based upon landmark tracking. Integration of the current rover architecture with a cerebellar neural network tracking algorithm will demonstrate that this approach to navigation is feasible and should be implemented in future rover and spacecraft missions.

  14. The Search for Ammonia in Martian Soils with Curiosity's SAM Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wray, James J.; Archer, P. D.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; McKay, C. P.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen is the second or third most abundant constituent of the Martian atmosphere [1,2]. It is a bioessential element, a component of all amino acids and nucleic acids that make up proteins, DNA and RNA, so assessing its availability is a key part of Curiosity's mission to characterize Martian habitability. In oxidizing desert environments it is found in nitrate salts that co-occur with perchlorates [e.g., 3], inferred to be widespread in Mars soils [4-6]. A Mars nitrogen cycle has been proposed [7], yet prior missions have not constrained the state of surface N. Here we explore Curiosity's ability to detect N compounds using data from the rover's first solid sample. Companion abstracts describe evidence for nitrates [8] and for nitriles (C(triple bond)N) [9]; we focus here on nonnitrile, reduced-N compounds as inferred from bonded N-H. The simplest such compound is ammonia (NH3), found in many carbonaceous chondrite meteorites in NH4(+) salts and organic compounds [e.g., 10].

  15. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Rubin, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; Ballard, M. J.; Day, M.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S. G.; Bridges, N. T.; Des Marais, D. J.; Fraeman, A. A.; Grant, J. A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Ming, D. W.; Mischna, M. A.; Rice, M. S.; Sumner, D. A.; Vasavada, A. R.; Yingst, R. A.

    2016-07-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter- to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them unlike terrestrial wind ripples. Rather, these structures resemble fluid-drag ripples, which on Earth include water-worked current ripples, but on Mars instead form by wind because of the higher kinematic viscosity of the low-density atmosphere. A reevaluation of the wind-deposited strata in the Burns formation (about 3.7 billion years old or younger) identifies potential wind-drag ripple stratification formed under a thin atmosphere.

  16. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M G; Ewing, R C; Lamb, M P; Fischer, W W; Grotzinger, J P; Rubin, D M; Lewis, K W; Ballard, M; Day, Mitch D.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S G; Bridges, N T; Des Marais, D J; Fraeman, A A; Grant, J A; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Ming, D W; Mischna, M A; Rice, M S; Sumner, D A; Vasavada, A R; Yingst, R A

    2016-01-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them unlike terrestrial wind ripples. Rather, these structures resemble fluid-drag ripples, which on Earth include water-worked current ripples, but on Mars instead form by wind because of the higher kinematic viscosity of the low-density atmosphere. A reevaluation of the wind-deposited strata in the Burns formation (about 3.7 billion years old or younger) identifies potential wind-drag ripple stratification formed under a thin atmosphere.

  17. Trace element geochemistry (Li, Ba, Sr, and Rb) using Curiosity's ChemCam: early results for Gale crater from Bradbury Landing Site to Rocknest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollila, Ann M.; Newsom, Horton E.; Clark, Benton; Wiens, Roger C.; Cousin, Agnes; Blank, Jen G.; Mangold, Nicolas; Sautter, Violaine; Maurice, Sylvestre; Clegg, Samuel M.; Gasnault, Olivier; Forni, Olivier; Tokar, Robert; Lewin, Eric; Dyar, M. Darby; Lasue, Jeremie; Anderson, Ryan; McLennan, Scott M.; Bridges, John; Vaniman, Dave; Lanza, Nina; Fabre, Cecile; Melikechi, Noureddine; Perett, Glynis M.; Campbell, John L.; King, Penelope L.; Barraclough, Bruce; Delapp, Dorothea; Johnstone, Stephen; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Rosen-Gooding, Anya; Williams, Josh

    2014-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument package on the Mars rover, Curiosity, provides new capabilities to probe the abundances of certain trace elements in the rocks and soils on Mars using the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy technique. We focus on detecting and quantifying Li, Ba, Rb, and Sr in targets analyzed during the first 100 sols, from Bradbury Landing Site to Rocknest. Univariate peak area models and multivariate partial least squares models are presented. Li, detected for the first time directly on Mars, is generally low (100 ppm and >1000 ppm, respectively. These analysis locations tend to have high Si and alkali abundances, consistent with a feldspar composition. Together, these trace element observations provide possible evidence of magma differentiation and aqueous alteration.

  18. OnSight: Multi-platform Visualization of the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercrombie, S. P.; Menzies, A.; Winter, A.; Clausen, M.; Duran, B.; Jorritsma, M.; Goddard, C.; Lidawer, A.

    2017-12-01

    A key challenge of planetary geology is to develop an understanding of an environment that humans cannot (yet) visit. Instead, scientists rely on visualizations created from images sent back by robotic explorers, such as the Curiosity Mars rover. OnSight is a multi-platform visualization tool that helps scientists and engineers to visualize the surface of Mars. Terrain visualization allows scientists to understand the scale and geometric relationships of the environment around the Curiosity rover, both for scientific understanding and for tactical consideration in safely operating the rover. OnSight includes a web-based 2D/3D visualization tool, as well as an immersive mixed reality visualization. In addition, OnSight offers a novel feature for communication among the science team. Using the multiuser feature of OnSight, scientists can meet virtually on Mars, to discuss geology in a shared spatial context. Combining web-based visualization with immersive visualization allows OnSight to leverage strengths of both platforms. This project demonstrates how 3D visualization can be adapted to either an immersive environment or a computer screen, and will discuss advantages and disadvantages of both platforms.

  19. Magnesium Sulfate as a Key Mineral for the Detection of Organic Molecules on Mars Using Pyrolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francois, P.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Coll, P.; McAdam, A. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Cabane, M.

    2016-01-01

    Pyrolysis of soil or rock samples is the preferred preparation technique used on Mars to search for organic molecules up today. During pyrolysis, oxichlorines present in the soil of Mars release oxidant species that alter the organic molecules potentially contained in the samples collected by the space probes.This process can explain the difficulty experienced by in situ exploration probes to detect organic materials in Mars soil samples until recently. Within a few months, the Curiosity rover should reach and analyze for the first time soils rich in sulfates which could induce a different behavior of the organics during the pyrolysis compared with the types of soils analyzed up today. For this reason, we systematically studied the pyrolysis of organic molecules trapped in magnesium sulfate, in the presence or absence of calcium perchlorate. Our results show that organics trapped in magnesium sulfate can undergo some oxidation and sulfuration during the pyrolysis. But these sulfates are also shown to protect organics trapped inside the crystal lattice and/or present in fluid inclusions from the oxidation induced by the decomposition of calcium perchlorate and probably other oxychlorine phases currently detected on Mars. Trapped organics may also be protected from degradation processes induced by other minerals present in the sample, at least until these organics are released from the pyrolyzed sulfate mineral (700C in our experiment). Hence, we suggest magnesium sulfate as one of the minerals to target in priority for the search of organic molecules by the Curiosity and ExoMars 2018 rovers.

  20. Curiosity's Autonomous Surface Safing Behavior Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Tracy A.; Manning, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    The safing routines on all robotic deep-space vehicles are designed to put the vehicle in a power and thermally safe configuration, enabling communication with the mission operators on Earth. Achieving this goal is made a little more difficult on Curiosity because the power requirements for the core avionics and the telecommunication equipment exceed the capability of the single power source, the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator. This drove the system design to create an operational mode, called "sleep mode", where the vehicle turns off most of the loads in order to charge the two Li-ion batteries. The system must keep the vehicle safe from over-heat and under-heat conditions, battery cell failures, under-voltage conditions, and clock failures, both while the computer is running and while the system is sleeping. The other goal of a safing routine is to communicate. On most spacecraft, this simply involves turning on the receiver and transmitter continuously. For Curiosity, Earth is above the horizon only a part of the day for direct communication to the Earth, and the orbiter overpass opportunities only occur a few times a day. The design must robustly place the Rover in a communicable condition at the correct time. This paper discusses Curiosity's autonomous safing behavior and describes how the vehicle remains power and thermally safe while sleeping, as well as a description of how the Rover communicates with the orbiters and Earth at specific times.

  1. Planetary rovers robotic exploration of the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Ellery, Alex

    2016-01-01

    The increasing adoption of terrain mobility – planetary rovers – for the investigation of planetary surfaces emphasises their central importance in space exploration. This imposes a completely new set of technologies and methodologies to the design of such spacecraft – and planetary rovers are indeed, first and foremost, spacecraft. This introduces vehicle engineering, mechatronics, robotics, artificial intelligence and associated technologies to the spacecraft engineer’s repertoire of skills. Planetary Rovers is the only book that comprehensively covers these aspects of planetary rover engineering and more. The book: • discusses relevant planetary environments to rover missions, stressing the Moon and Mars; • includes a brief survey of previous rover missions; • covers rover mobility, traction and control systems; • stresses the importance of robotic vision in rovers for both navigation and science; • comprehensively covers autonomous navigation, path planning and multi-rover formations on ...

  2. The Mars Science Laboratory Organic Check Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Von der Heydt, Max O.; Mogensen, Claus T.; Canham, John; Harpold, Dan N.; Johnson, Joel; Errigo, Therese; Glavin, Daniel P.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-09-01

    Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover carries a set of five external verification standards in hermetically sealed containers that can be sampled as would be a Martian rock, by drilling and then portioning into the solid sample inlet of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite. Each organic check material (OCM) canister contains a porous ceramic solid, which has been doped with a fluorinated hydrocarbon marker that can be detected by SAM. The purpose of the OCM is to serve as a verification tool for the organic cleanliness of those parts of the sample chain that cannot be cleaned other than by dilution, i.e., repeated sampling of Martian rock. SAM possesses internal calibrants for verification of both its performance and its internal cleanliness, and the OCM is not used for that purpose. Each OCM unit is designed for one use only, and the choice to do so will be made by the project science group (PSG).

  3. The Case for Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Susan

    2013-01-01

    When the author and her colleague asked teachers to list which qualities were most important without giving them a list to choose from, almost none mentioned curiosity. Many teachers endorse curiosity when they are asked about it, but it is not uppermost on their minds--or shaping their teaching plans. Why is this disturbing? Because research…

  4. Curiosity and Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, John H. Montagu

    2012-01-01

    Most people have an innate curiosity about things and ideas, people and events. When they read stories, especially those concerning crime, love, or adventure, they not only want to find out what is happening or has happened, but they generally make some kind of guess as to what is likely to happen next. Where there is no such curiosity on the part…

  5. Mars Exploration Rover: surface operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, J. K.; Adler, M.; Crisp, J.; Mishkin, A.; Welch, R.

    2002-01-01

    This paper will provide an overview of the planned mission, and also focus on the different operations challenges inherent in operating these two very off road vehicles, and the solutions adopted to enable the best utilization of their capabilities for high science return and responsiveness to scientific discovery.

  6. Mars Mapping Technology Brings Main Street to Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The Red Planet has long held a particular hold on the human psyche. From the Roman god of war to Orson Welles infamous Halloween broadcast, our nearest planetary neighbor has been viewed with curiosity, suspicion, and awe. Pictures of Mars from 1965 to the present reveal familiar landscapes while also challenging our perceptions and revising our understanding of the processes at work in planets. Frequent discoveries have forced significant revisions to previous theories. Although Mars shares many familiar features with Earth, such as mountains, plains, valleys, and polar ice, the conditions on Mars can vary wildly from those with which we are familiar. The apparently cold, rocky, and dusty wasteland seen through the eyes of spacecraft and Martian probes hints at a dynamic past of volcanic activity, cataclysmic meteors, and raging waters. New discoveries continue to revise our view of our next-door neighbor, and further exploration is now paving the way for a human sortie to the fourth stone from the Sun. NASA s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration, utilizes wide-angle stereo cameras mounted on NASA s twin robot geologists, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs), launched in 2003. The rovers, named "Spirit" and "Opportunity," celebrated 4 Earth years of exploration on January 3, 2008, and have sent back a wealth of information on the terrain and composition of the Martian surface. Their marathon performance has far outlasted the intended 90 days of operation, and the two intrepid explorers promise more images and data.

  7. The Thermal Infrared Sensor onboard NASA's Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G.; Perez-Izquierdo, J.; Sebastian, E.; Ramos, M.; Bravo, A.; Mazo, M.; Rodriguez-Manfredi, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission is scheduled for launch in July/August 2020 and will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) is one of the seven instruments onboard the rover [1] and has been designed to assess the environmental conditions across the rover traverse. MEDA will extend the current record of in-situ meteorological measurements at the surface [2] to other locations on Mars. The Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TIRS) [3] is one of the six sensors comprising MEDA. TIRS will use three downward-looking channels to measure (1) the surface skin temperature (with high heritage from the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station onboard the Mars Science Laboratory mission [4]), (2) the upwelling thermal infrared radiation from the surface and (3) the reflected solar radiation at the surface, and two upward-looking channels to measure the (4) downwelling thermal infrared radiation at the surface and (5) the atmospheric temperature. In combination with other MEDA's sensors, TIRS will allow the quantification of the surface energy budget [5] and the determination of key geophysical properties of the terrain such as the albedo and thermal inertia with an unprecedented spatial resolution. Here we present a general description of the TIRS, with focus on its scientific requirements and results from field campaigns showing the performance of the different channels. References:[1] Rodríguez-Manfredi, J. A. et al. (2014), MEDA: An environmental and meteorological package for Mars 2020, LPSC, 45, 2837. [2] Martínez, G.M. et al. (2017), The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity, Space Science Reviews, 1-44. [3] Pérez-Izquierdo, J. et al. (2017), The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) of the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) Instrument onboard Mars 2020, IEEE. [4] Sebastián, E. et al. (2010), The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station Ground

  8. Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, John P.; Crisp, Joy; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Anderson, Robert C.; Baker, Charles J.; Barry, Robert; Blake, David F.; Conrad, Pamela; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Ferdowski, Bobak; Gellert, Ralf; Gilbert, John B.; Golombek, Matt; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hassler, Donald M.; Jandura, Louise; Litvak, Maxim; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Meyer, Michael; Malin, Michael C.; Mitrofanov, Igor; Simmonds, John J.; Vaniman, David; Welch, Richard V.; Wiens, Roger C.

    2012-09-01

    Scheduled to land in August of 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission was initiated to explore the habitability of Mars. This includes both modern environments as well as ancient environments recorded by the stratigraphic rock record preserved at the Gale crater landing site. The Curiosity rover has a designed lifetime of at least one Mars year (˜23 months), and drive capability of at least 20 km. Curiosity's science payload was specifically assembled to assess habitability and includes a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and gas analyzer that will search for organic carbon in rocks, regolith fines, and the atmosphere (SAM instrument); an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity (CheMin instrument); focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color (MAHLI, MARDI, and Mastcam instruments); an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry (APXS instrument); a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals (ChemCam instrument); an active neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith (DAN instrument); a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables (REMS instrument); and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of background solar and cosmic radiation (RAD instrument). The various payload elements will work together to detect and study potential sampling targets with remote and in situ measurements; to acquire samples of rock, soil, and atmosphere and analyze them in onboard analytical instruments; and to observe the environment around the rover. The 155-km diameter Gale crater was chosen as Curiosity's field site based on several attributes: an interior mountain of ancient flat-lying strata extending almost 5 km above the elevation of the landing site; the lower few hundred meters of the mountain show a progression with relative age from clay-bearing to sulfate

  9. The Nitrate/Perchlorate Ratio on Mars as an Indicator for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; McKay, C. P.; Navarro-Gonzalex, R.; Freissinet, C.; Conrad, P. G.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Ming, D. W.; Niles, P. B.; hide

    2015-01-01

    Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and the potential development of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover detected evolved nitric oxide (NO) gas during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled mudstone acquired in Gale Crater. The detection of NO suggests an indigenous source of fixed N, and may indicate a mineralogical sink for atmospheric N2 in the form of nitrate. The ratio of nitrate to oxychlorine species (e.g. perchlorate) may provide insight into the extent of development of a nitrogen cycle on Mars.

  10. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI): Complete Flight Data Set

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheatwood, F. McNeil; Bose, Deepak; Karlgaard, Christopher D.; Kuhl, Christopher A.; Santos, Jose A.; Wright, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry vehicle (EV) successfully entered the Mars atmosphere and landed the Curiosity rover safely on the surface of the planet in Gale crater on August 6, 2012. MSL carried the MSL Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Instrumentation (MEDLI). MEDLI delivered the first in-depth understanding of the Mars entry environments and the response of the entry vehicle to those environments. MEDLI was comprised of three major subsystems: the Mars Entry Atmospheric Data System (MEADS), the MEDLI Integrated Sensor Plugs (MISP), and the Sensor Support Electronics (SSE). Ultimately, the entire MEDLI sensor suite consisting of both MEADS and MISP provided measurements that were used for trajectory reconstruction and engineering validation of aerodynamic, atmospheric, and thermal protection system (TPS) models in addition to Earth-based systems testing procedures. This report contains in-depth hardware descriptions, performance evaluation, and data information of the three MEDLI subsystems.

  11. Acid Sulfate Alteration on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.

    2016-01-01

    A variety of mineralogical and geochemical indicators for aqueous alteration on Mars have been identified by a combination of surface and orbital robotic missions, telescopic observations, characterization of Martian meteorites, and laboratory and terrestrial analog studies. Acid sulfate alteration has been identified at all three landing sites visited by NASA rover missions (Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity). Spirit landed in Gusev crater in 2004 and discovered Fe-sulfates and materials that have been extensively leached by acid sulfate solutions. Opportunity landing on the plains of Meridiani Planum also in 2004 where the rover encountered large abundances of jarosite and hematite in sedimentary rocks. Curiosity landed in Gale crater in 2012 and has characterized fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine sediments. Jarosite and hematite were discovered in some of the lacustrine sediments. The high elemental abundance of sulfur in surface materials is obvious evidence that sulfate has played a major role in aqueous processes at all landing sites on Mars. The sulfate-rich outcrop at Meridiani Planum has an SO3 content of up to 25 wt.%. The interiors of rocks and outcrops on the Columbia Hills within Gusev crater have up to 8 wt.% SO3. Soils at both sites generally have between 5 to 14 wt.% SO3, and several soils in Gusev crater contain around 30 wt.% SO3. After normalization of major element compositions to a SO3-free basis, the bulk compositions of these materials are basaltic, with a few exceptions in Gusev crater and in lacustrine mudstones in Gale crater. These observations suggest that materials encountered by the rovers were derived from basaltic precursors by acid sulfate alteration under nearly isochemical conditions (i.e., minimal leaching). There are several cases, however, where acid sulfate alteration minerals (jarosite and hematite) formed in open hydrologic systems, e.g., in Gale crater lacustrine mudstones. Several hypotheses have been suggested for the

  12. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload Sample Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, Andre; Bacher, M.; Ball, A.; Barcos, O.; Bethge, B.; Gaubert, F.; Haldemann, A.; Kminek, G.; Lindner, R.; Pacros, A.; Rohr, T.; Trautner, R.; Vago, J.

    The ExoMars programme is a joint ESA-NASA program having exobiology as one of the key science objectives. It is divided into 2 missions: the first mission is ESA-led with an ESA orbiter and an ESA Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) demonstrator, launched in 2016 by NASA, and the second mission is NASA-led, launched in 2018 by NASA including an ESA rover and a NASA rover both deployed by a single NASA EDL system. For ESA, the ExoMars programme will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies in support of the European ambitions for future exploration missions, as outlined in the Aurora Declaration. The ExoMars 2018 ESA Rover will carry a comprehensive and coherent suite of analytical instruments dedicated to exobiology and geology research: the Pasteur Payload (PPL). This payload includes a selection of complementary instruments, having the following goals: to search for signs of past and present life on Mars and to investigate the water/geochemical environment as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface. The ExoMars Rover will travel several kilometres searching for sites warranting further investigation. The Rover includes a drill and a Sample Preparation and Distribution System which will be used to collect and analyse samples from within outcrops and from the subsurface. The Rover systems and instruments, in particular those located inside the Analytical Laboratory Drawer must meet many stringent requirements to be compatible with exobiologic investigations: the samples must be maintained in a cold and uncontaminated environment, requiring sterile and ultraclean preparation of the instruments, to preserve volatile materials and to avoid false positive results. The value of the coordinated observations suggests that a significant return on investment is to be expected from this complex development. We will present the challenges facing the ExoMars PPL, and the plans for sending a robust exobiology laboratory to Mars in 2018.

  13. Nitrogen and Martian Habitability: Insights from Five Years of Curiosity Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Archer, D., Jr.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Jackson, W. A.; Conrad, P. G.; Glavin, D. P.; Trainer, M. G.; Malespin, C.; McAdam, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Teinturier, S.; Manning, C.

    2017-12-01

    The detection of "fixed" N on Mars in the form of nitrate by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover [1] has major implications for martian habitability. "Follow the nitrogen" has been proposed as a strategy in the search for both extant and extinct life on Mars [e.g., 2]. Nitrogen is so crucial to life on Earth that life developed metabolic pathways to break the triple bond of N2 and "fix" atmospheric nitrogen to more biologically available molecules for use in proteins and informational polymers. Sequestration of nitrate in regolith has long been predicted to contribute to the removal of N from the martian atmosphere [e.g., 3], and our detections confirm that nitrogen fixation was occurring on ancient Mars. Detections of fixed nitrogen, particularly within the context of the habitable environment in Yellowknife Bay characterized by the MSL payload, are an important tool to assess whether life ever could have existed on ancient Mars. We present 5 years of analyses and interpretation of nitrate in solid martian drilled and scooped samples by SAM on MSL. Nitrate abundance reported by SAM in situ measurements ranges from non-detection to 681 ± 304 mg/kg [1,4] in the samples examined to date. The measured abundances are consistent with nitrogen fixation via impact generated thermal shock on ancient Mars and/or dry deposition from photochemistry of thermospheric NO. We review the integration of SAM data with terrestrial Mars analog work in order to better understand the timing of nitrogen fixation and mobility of nitrogen on Mars, and thus its availability to putative biology. In particular, the relationship between nitrate and other soluble salts, such as perchlorate, may help reveal the timing of nitrogen fixation and post-depositional behavior of nitrate on Mars [4]. Finally, we present a comparison of isotopic composition (δ15N) of nitrate with δ15N of atmospheric nitrogen (δ15N ≈ 574‰, [5

  14. Indigenous Fixed Nitrogen on Mars: Implications for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C. P.; Freissinet, C.; Archer, D., Jr.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Conrad, P. G.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrate has been detected in Mars surface sediments and aeolian deposits by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover (Stern et al., 2015). This detection is significant because fixed nitrogen is necessary for life, a requirement that drove the evolution of N-fixing metabolism in life on Earth. The question remains as to the extent to which a primitive N cycle ever developed on Mars, and whether N is currently being deposited on the martian surface at a non-negligible rate. It is also necessary to consider processes that could recycle oxidized N back into the atmosphere, and how these processes may have changed the soil inventory of N over time. The abundance of fixed nitrogen detected as NO from thermal decomposition of nitrate is consistent with both delivery of nitrate via impact generated thermal shock early in martian history and dry deposition from photochemistry of thermospheric NO, occurring in the present. Processes that could recycle N back into the atmosphere may include nitrate reduction by Fe(II) in aqueous environments on early Mars, impact decomposition, and/or UV photolysis. In order to better understand the history of nitrogen fixation on Mars, we look to cycling of N in Mars analog environments on Earth such as the Atacama Desert and the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. In particular, we examine the ratio of nitrate to perchlorate (NO3-/ClO4-) in these areas compared to those calculated from data acquired on Mars.

  15. Dissolution Rates of Allophane, FE-Containing Allophane, and Hisingerite and Implications for Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralston, S. J.; Hausrath, E. M.; Tschauner, O.; Rampe, E. B.; Christoffersen, R.

    2018-01-01

    Investigations with the CheMin Xray Diffractometer (XRD) onboard the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater demonstrate that all rock and soil samples measured to date contain approximately 15-70 weight percentage X-ray amorphous materials. The diffuse scattering hump from the X-ray amorphous materials in CheMin XRD patterns can be fit with a combination of allophane, ferrihydrite, and rhyolitic and basaltic glass. Because of the iron-rich nature of Mars' surface, Fe-rich poorly-crystalline phases, such as hisingerite, may be present in addition to allophane.

  16. The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, G. M.; Newman, C. N.; De Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Fischer, E.; Renno, N. O.; Richardson, M. I.; Fairén, A. G.; Genzer, M.; Guzewich, S. D.; Haberle, R. M.; Harri, A.-M.; Kemppinen, O.; Lemmon, M. T.; Smith, M. D.; de la Torre-Juárez, M.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2017-10-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to today's Curiosity rover to review our understanding of the modern near-surface climate of Mars, with focus on the dust, CO2 and H2O cycles and their impact on the radiative and thermodynamic conditions near the surface. In particular, we provide values of the highest confidence possible for atmospheric opacity, atmospheric pressure, near-surface air temperature, ground temperature, near-surface wind speed and direction, and near-surface air relative humidity and water vapor content. Then, we study the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of these quantities over a span of more than twenty Martian years. Finally, we propose measurements to improve our understanding of the Martian dust and H2O cycles, and discuss the potential for liquid water formation under Mars' present day conditions and its implications for future Mars missions. Understanding the modern Martian climate is important to determine if Mars could have the conditions to support life and to prepare for future human exploration.

  17. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Day, Trevor

    2006-01-01

    Discusses the fundamental facts concerning this mysterious planet, including its mass, size, and atmosphere, as well as the various missions that helped planetary scientists document the geological history of Mars. This volume also describes Mars'' seasons with their surface effects on the planet and how they have changed over time.

  18. Mineralogy of a Mudstone at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Ming, D. W.; Bristow, T. F.; Morris, R. V.; Blake, D. F.; Chipera, S. J.; Morrison, S. M.; Treiman, A. H.; Rampe, E. B.; Rice, M.; Achilles, C. N.; Grotzinger, J. P.; McLennan, S. M.; Williams, J.; Bell, J. F.; Newsom, H. E.; Downs, R. T.; Maurice, S.; Sarrazin, P.; Yen, A. S.; Morookian, J. M.; Farmer, J. D.; Stack, K.; Milliken, R. E.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Sumner, D. Y.; Berger, G.; Crisp, J. A.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Anderson, R.; Des Marais, D. J.; Stolper, E. M.; Edgett, K. S.; Gupta, S.; Spanovich, N.; Agard, Christophe; Alves Verdasca, José Alexandre; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Atreya, Sushil; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Blanco Avalos, Juan J.; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John “Iain”; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Caride Rodríguez, Javier; Carmosino, Marco; Carrasco Blázquez, Isaías; Charpentier, Antoine; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie “Kenzie”; de la Torre Juarez, Manuel; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M. Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Flesch, Greg; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Franz, Heather; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez Gómez, Felipe; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Jones, John; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Leshin, Laurie; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Marín Jiménez, Mercedes; Martín García, César; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina Jurado, Antonio; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Navarro López, Sara; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Nikiforov, Sergey; Niles, Paul; Nixon, Brian; Noe Dobrea, Eldar; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; Owen, Tobias; de Pablo Hernández, Miguel Ángel; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pepin, Robert; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J.; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel “Dan”; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Sebastian Martinez, Eduardo; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sobrón Sánchez, Pablo; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stalport, Fabien; Steele, Andrew; Stein, Thomas; Stern, Jennifer; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Trainer, Melissa; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Webster, Chris; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B. “Mouser”; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay (Gale crater) on Mars include mudstone sampled by the Curiosity rover. The samples, John Klein and Cumberland, contain detrital basaltic minerals, calcium sulfates, iron oxide or hydroxides, iron sulfides, amorphous material, and trioctahedral smectites. The John Klein smectite has basal spacing of ~10 angstroms, indicating little interlayer hydration. The Cumberland smectite has basal spacing at both ~13.2 and ~10 angstroms. The larger spacing suggests a partially chloritized interlayer or interlayer magnesium or calcium facilitating H2O retention. Basaltic minerals in the mudstone are similar to those in nearby eolian deposits. However, the mudstone has far less Fe-forsterite, possibly lost with formation of smectite plus magnetite. Late Noachian/Early Hesperian or younger age indicates that clay mineral formation on Mars extended beyond Noachian time.

  19. Mineralogy of a mudstone at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D T; Bish, D L; Ming, D W; Bristow, T F; Morris, R V; Blake, D F; Chipera, S J; Morrison, S M; Treiman, A H; Rampe, E B; Rice, M; Achilles, C N; Grotzinger, J P; McLennan, S M; Williams, J; Bell, J F; Newsom, H E; Downs, R T; Maurice, S; Sarrazin, P; Yen, A S; Morookian, J M; Farmer, J D; Stack, K; Milliken, R E; Ehlmann, B L; Sumner, D Y; Berger, G; Crisp, J A; Hurowitz, J A; Anderson, R; Des Marais, D J; Stolper, E M; Edgett, K S; Gupta, S; Spanovich, N

    2014-01-24

    Sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay (Gale crater) on Mars include mudstone sampled by the Curiosity rover. The samples, John Klein and Cumberland, contain detrital basaltic minerals, calcium sulfates, iron oxide or hydroxides, iron sulfides, amorphous material, and trioctahedral smectites. The John Klein smectite has basal spacing of ~10 angstroms, indicating little interlayer hydration. The Cumberland smectite has basal spacing at both ~13.2 and ~10 angstroms. The larger spacing suggests a partially chloritized interlayer or interlayer magnesium or calcium facilitating H2O retention. Basaltic minerals in the mudstone are similar to those in nearby eolian deposits. However, the mudstone has far less Fe-forsterite, possibly lost with formation of smectite plus magnetite. Late Noachian/Early Hesperian or younger age indicates that clay mineral formation on Mars extended beyond Noachian time.

  20. Electron/positron measurements obtained with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector on the surface of Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koehler, J.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.; Appel, J. [Kiel Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Experimental and Applied Physics; and others

    2016-04-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. Although charged and neutral particle spectra have been investigated in detail, the electron and positron spectra have not been investigated yet. The reason for that is that they are difficult to separate from each other and because of the technical challenges involved in extracting energy spectra from the raw data. We use GEANT4 to model the behavior of the RAD instrument for electron/positron measurements.We compare Planetocosmics predictions for different atmospheric pressures and different modulation parameters Φ with the obtained RAD electron/positron measurements.We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics. Both RAD measurements and Planetocosmics simulation show a dependence of the electron/positron fluxes on both atmospheric pressure and solar modulation potential.

  1. Volatile and Organic Compositions of Sedimentary Rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Archer, P. D.; Glavin, D. P.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H. B.; Sutter, B.; Brunner, A. E.; Stern, J. C.; Freissinet, C.; McAdam, A. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Campbell, J. L.; Atreya, S. K.; Niles, P. B.; Bell, J. F.; Bish, D. L.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Buch, A.; Conrad, P. G.; Des Marais, D. J.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Fairén, A. G.; Farley, K.; Flesch, G. J.; Francois, P.; Gellert, R.; Grant, J. A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Leshin, L. A.; Lewis, K. W.; McLennan, S. M.; Miller, K. E.; Moersch, J.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Perrett, G. M.; Pradler, I.; Squyres, S. W.; Summons, R. E.; Steele, A.; Stolper, E. M.; Sumner, D. Y.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M. G.; Treiman, A. H.; Vaniman, D. T.; Vasavada, A. R.; Webster, C. R.; Wray, J. J.; Yingst, R. A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Griffes, Jennifer; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Stalport, Fabien; Raulin, François; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Garvin, James; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Tan, Florence; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Yen, Albert; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Bower, Hannah; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, H2, H2S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO, and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay within Gale crater, Mars. H2O/OH-bearing phases included 2:1 phyllosilicate(s), bassanite, akaganeite, and amorphous materials. Thermal decomposition of carbonates and combustion of organic materials are candidate sources for the CO2. Concurrent evolution of O2 and chlorinated hydrocarbons suggests the presence of oxychlorine phase(s). Sulfides are likely sources for sulfur-bearing species. Higher abundances of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the mudstone compared with Rocknest windblown materials previously analyzed by Curiosity suggest that indigenous martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the mudstone; however, the carbon source for the chlorinated hydrocarbons is not definitively of martian origin.

  2. Volatile and organic compositions of sedimentary rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Archer, P.D.; Glavin, D.P.; Eigenbrode, J.L.; Franz, H.B.; Sutter, B.; Brunner, A.E.; Stern, J.C.; Freissinet, C.; McAdam, A.C.; Mahaffy, P.R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Campbell, J.L.; Atreya, S.K.; Niles, P.B.; Bell, J.F.; Bish, D.L.; Brinckerhoff, W.B.; Buch, A.; Conrad, P.G.; Des Marais, D.J.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Fairén, A.G.; Farley, K.; Flesch, G.J.; Francois, P.; Gellert, Ralf; Grant, J. A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Leshin, L.A.; Lewis, K.W.; McLennan, S.M.; Miller, Karl E.; Moersch, J.; Morris, R.V.; Navarro- González, R.; Pavlov, A.A.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I.; Squyres, S. W.; Summons, Roger E.; Steele, A.; Stolper, E.M.; Sumner, D.Y.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M.G.; Treiman, A.H.; Vaniman, D.T.; Vasavada, A.R.; Webster, C.R.; Wray, J.J.; Yingst, R.A.

    2014-01-01

    H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, H2, H2S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO, and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay within Gale crater, Mars. H2O/OH-bearing phases included 2:1 phyllosilicate(s), bassanite, akaganeite, and amorphous materials. Thermal decomposition of carbonates and combustion of organic materials are candidate sources for the CO2. Concurrent evolution of O2 and chlorinated hydrocarbons suggests the presence of oxychlorine phase(s). Sulfides are likely sources for sulfur-bearing species. Higher abundances of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the mudstone compared with Rocknest windblown materials previously analyzed by Curiosity suggest that indigenous martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the mudstone; however, the carbon source for the chlorinated hydrocarbons is not definitively of martian origin.

  3. Volatile and organic compositions of sedimentary rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D W; Archer, P D; Glavin, D P; Eigenbrode, J L; Franz, H B; Sutter, B; Brunner, A E; Stern, J C; Freissinet, C; McAdam, A C; Mahaffy, P R; Cabane, M; Coll, P; Campbell, J L; Atreya, S K; Niles, P B; Bell, J F; Bish, D L; Brinckerhoff, W B; Buch, A; Conrad, P G; Des Marais, D J; Ehlmann, B L; Fairén, A G; Farley, K; Flesch, G J; Francois, P; Gellert, R; Grant, J A; Grotzinger, J P; Gupta, S; Herkenhoff, K E; Hurowitz, J A; Leshin, L A; Lewis, K W; McLennan, S M; Miller, K E; Moersch, J; Morris, R V; Navarro-González, R; Pavlov, A A; Perrett, G M; Pradler, I; Squyres, S W; Summons, R E; Steele, A; Stolper, E M; Sumner, D Y; Szopa, C; Teinturier, S; Trainer, M G; Treiman, A H; Vaniman, D T; Vasavada, A R; Webster, C R; Wray, J J; Yingst, R A

    2014-01-24

    H2O, CO2, SO2, O2, H2, H2S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO, and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay within Gale crater, Mars. H2O/OH-bearing phases included 2:1 phyllosilicate(s), bassanite, akaganeite, and amorphous materials. Thermal decomposition of carbonates and combustion of organic materials are candidate sources for the CO2. Concurrent evolution of O2 and chlorinated hydrocarbons suggests the presence of oxychlorine phase(s). Sulfides are likely sources for sulfur-bearing species. Higher abundances of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the mudstone compared with Rocknest windblown materials previously analyzed by Curiosity suggest that indigenous martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the mudstone; however, the carbon source for the chlorinated hydrocarbons is not definitively of martian origin.

  4. Mars Science Laboratory Flight Software Internal Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Justin D.; Lam, Danny

    2011-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team is sending the rover, Curiosity, to Mars, and therefore is physically and technically complex. During my stay, I have assisted the MSL Flight Software (FSW) team in implementing functional test scripts to ensure that the FSW performs to the best of its abilities. There are a large number of FSW requirements that have been written up for implementation; however I have only been assigned a few sections of these requirements. There are many stages within testing; one of the early stages is FSW Internal Testing (FIT). The FIT team can accomplish this with simulation software and the MSL Test Automation Kit (MTAK). MTAK has the ability to integrate with the Software Simulation Equipment (SSE) and the Mission Processing and Control System (MPCS) software which makes it a powerful tool within the MSL FSW development process. The MSL team must ensure that the rover accomplishes all stages of the mission successfully. Due to the natural complexity of this project there is a strong emphasis on testing, as failure is not an option. The entire mission could be jeopardized if something is overlooked.

  5. MSR Fetch Rover Capability Development at the Canadian Space Agency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picard, M.; Hipkin, V.; Gingras, D.; Allard, P.; Lamarche, T.; Rocheleau, S. G.; Gemme, S.

    2018-04-01

    Describes Fetch Rover technology testing during CSA's 2016 Mars Sample Return Analogue Deployment which demonstrated autonomous navigation to 'cache depots' of M-2020-like sample tubes, acquisition of six such tubes, and transfer to a MAV mock up.

  6. Detection of Organics at Mars: How Wet Chemistry Onboard SAM Helps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, A.; Freissinet, Caroline; Szopa, C.; Glavin, D.; Coll, P.; Cabane, M.; Eigenbrode, J.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Coscia, D.; Teinturier, S.; hide

    2013-01-01

    For the first time in the history of space exploration, a mission of interest to astrobiology could be able to analyze refractory organic compounds in the soil of Mars. Wet chemistry experiment allow organic components to be altered in such a way that improves there detection either by releasing the compounds from sample matricies or by changing the chemical structure to be amenable to analytical conditions. The latter is particular important when polar compounds are present. Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM), on the Curiosity rover of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, has onboard two wet chemistry experiments: derivatization and thermochemolysis. Here we report on the nature of the MTBSTFA derivatization experiment on SAM, the detection of MTBSTFA in initial SAM results, and the implications of this detection.

  7. Measurements of the neutron spectrum in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, J; Ehresmann, B; Zeitlin, C; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R F; Hassler, D M; Reitz, G; Brinza, D E; Appel, J; Böttcher, S; Böhm, E; Burmeister, S; Guo, J; Lohf, H; Martin, C; Posner, A; Rafkin, S

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, containing the Curiosity rover, was launched to Mars on 26 November 2011. Although designed for measuring the radiation on the surface of Mars, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) measured the radiation environment inside the spacecraft during most of the 253-day, 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars. An important factor for determining the biological impact of the radiation environment inside the spacecraft is the specific contribution of neutrons with their high biological effectiveness. We apply an inversion method (based on a maximum-likelihood estimation) to calculate the neutron and gamma spectra from the RAD neutral particle measurements. The measured neutron spectrum (12-436 MeV) translates into a radiation dose rate of 3.8±1.2 μGy/day and a dose equivalent of 19±5 μSv/day. Extrapolating the measured spectrum (0.1-1000 MeV), we find that the total neutron-induced dose rate is 6±2 μGy/day and the dose equivalent rate is 30±10 μSv/day. For a 360 day round-trip from Earth to Mars with comparable shielding, this translates into a neutron induced dose equivalent of about 11±4 mSv. Copyright © 2015 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Determining best practices in reconnoitering sites for habitability potential on Mars using a semi-autonomous rover: A GeoHeuristic Operational Strategies Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yingst, R A; Berger, J; Cohen, B A; Hynek, B; Schmidt, M E

    2017-03-01

    We tested science operations strategies developed for use in remote mobile spacecraft missions, to determine whether reconnoitering a site of potential habitability prior to in-depth study (a walkabout-first strategy) can be a more efficient use of time and resources than the linear approach commonly used by planetary rover missions. Two field teams studied a sedimentary sequence in Utah to assess habitability potential. At each site one team commanded a human "rover" to execute observations and conducted data analysis and made follow-on decisions based solely on those observations. Another team followed the same traverse using traditional terrestrial field methods, and the results of the two teams were compared. Test results indicate that for a mission with goals similar to our field case, the walkabout-first strategy may save time and other mission resources, while improving science return. The approach enabled more informed choices and higher team confidence in choosing where to spend time and other consumable resources. The walkabout strategy may prove most efficient when many close sites must be triaged to a smaller subset for detailed study or sampling. This situation would arise when mission goals include finding, identifying, characterizing or sampling a specific material, feature or type of environment within a certain area.

  9. Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) as Critical In Situ Investigation for Targeting Mars Returned Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Goesmann, F.; Goetz, W.; Raulin, F.; SAM Science Team; MOMA Science Team

    2018-04-01

    SAM (Curiosity) and MOMA (ExoMars) Mars instruments, seeking for organics and biosignatures, are essential to establish taphonomic windows of preservation of molecules, in order to target the most interesting samples to return from Mars.

  10. Low Cost Mars Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Calhoun, Philip; Flick, John; Hajos, Gregory; Kolacinski, Richard; Minton, David; Owens, Rachel; Parker, Jennifer

    2003-01-01

    The "Mars Tumbleweed," a rover concept that would utilize surface winds for mobility, is being examined as a low cost complement to the current Mars exploration efforts. Tumbleweeds carrying microinstruments would be driven across the Martian landscape by wind, searching for areas of scientific interest. These rovers, relatively simple, inexpensive, and deployed in large numbers to maximize coverage of the Martian surface, would provide a broad scouting capability to identify specific sites for exploration by more complex rover and lander missions.

  11. Celebrate Mathematical Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redford, Christine

    2011-01-01

    Children's mathematical questions are often based in real-world experiences, as they instinctively make connections to the world around them. In teaching math methods courses, this author recently started to emphasize the importance of fostering curiosity in, and activating the thinking of, the students. In this article, she describes how to tap…

  12. Compassion and Curiosity - TCGA

    Science.gov (United States)

    William Kim, M.D., is motivated by two things: compassion and curiosity. Dr. Kim has taken these dual motivations and created a career in which he cares directly for patients and spearheads research that may lead to improved treatment options.

  13. The Epistemic Value of Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Frederick F.; Lahroodi, Reza

    2008-01-01

    In this essay, Frederick Schmitt and Reza Lahroodi explore the value of curiosity for inquiry and knowledge. They defend an appetitive account of curiosity, viewing curiosity as a motivationally original desire to know that arises from having one's attention drawn to the object and that in turn sustains one's attention to it. Distinguishing…

  14. 'Endurance' Courtesy of Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to capture this false-color image of the interior of 'Endurance Crater' on the rover's 188th martian day (Aug. 4, 2004). The image data were relayed to Earth by the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. The image was generated from separate frames using the cameras 750-, 530- and 480-nanometer filters.

  15. Solar and wind exergy potentials for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delgado-Bonal, Alfonso; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Vázquez-Martín, Sandra; Zorzano, María-Paz

    2016-01-01

    The energy requirements of the planetary exploration spacecrafts constrain the lifetime of the missions, their mobility and capabilities, and the number of instruments onboard. They are limiting factors in planetary exploration. Several missions to the surface of Mars have proven the feasibility and success of solar panels as energy source. The analysis of the exergy efficiency of the solar radiation has been carried out successfully on Earth, however, to date, there is not an extensive research regarding the thermodynamic exergy efficiency of in-situ renewable energy sources on Mars. In this paper, we analyse the obtainable energy (exergy) from solar radiation under Martian conditions. For this analysis we have used the surface environmental variables on Mars measured in-situ by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station onboard the Curiosity rover and from satellite by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer instrument onboard the Mars Global Surveyor satellite mission. We evaluate the exergy efficiency from solar radiation on a global spatial scale using orbital data for a Martian year; and in a one single location in Mars (the Gale crater) but with an appreciable temporal resolution (1 h). Also, we analyse the wind energy as an alternative source of energy for Mars exploration and compare the results with those obtained on Earth. We study the viability of solar and wind energy station for the future exploration of Mars, showing that a small square solar cell of 0.30 m length could maintain a meteorological station on Mars. We conclude that the low density of the atmosphere of Mars is responsible of the low thermal exergy efficiency of solar panels. It also makes the use of wind energy uneffective. Finally, we provide insights for the development of new solar cells on Mars. - Highlights: • We analyse the exergy of solar radiation under Martian environment • Real data from in-situ instruments is used to determine the maximum efficiency of radiation • Wind

  16. Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    First of NASA's Discovery missions. Launched in December 1996 and arrived at Mars on 4 July 1997. Mainly intended as a technology demonstration mission. Used airbags to cushion the landing on Mars. The Carl Sagan Memorial station returned images of an ancient flood plain in Ares Vallis. The 10 kg Sojourner rover used an x-ray spectrometer to study the composition of rocks and travelled about 100 ...

  17. In Situ Strategy of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory to Investigate the Habitability of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    The ten science investigations of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover named "Curiosity" seek to provide a quantitative assessment of habitability through chemical and geological measurements from a highly capable robotic' platform. This mission seeks to understand if the conditions for life on ancient Mars are preserved in the near-surface geochemical record. These substantial payload resources enabled by MSL's new entry descent and landing (EDL) system have allowed the inclusion of instrument types nevv to the Mars surface including those that can accept delivered sample from rocks and soils and perform a wide range of chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical analyses. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) experiment that is located in the interior of the rover is a powder x-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) instrument that provides elemental and mineralogical information. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments complements this experiment by analyzing the volatile component of identically processed samples and by analyzing atmospheric composition. Other MSL payload tools such as the Mast Camera (Mastcam) and the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instruments are utilized to identify targets for interrogation first by the arm tools and subsequent ingestion into SAM and CheMin using the Sample Acquisition, Processing, and Handling (SA/SPaH) subsystem. The arm tools include the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and the Chemistry and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXX). The Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument provides subsurface identification of hydrogen such as that contained in hydrated minerals

  18. Mimicking Mars: A vacuum simulation chamber for testing environmental instrumentation for Mars exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobrado, J. M., E-mail: sobradovj@inta.es; Martín-Soler, J. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Martín-Gago, J. A. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

    2014-03-15

    We have built a Mars environmental simulation chamber, designed to test new electromechanical devices and instruments that could be used in space missions. We have developed this environmental system aiming at validating the meteorological station Rover Environment Monitoring Station of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission currently installed on Curiosity rover. The vacuum chamber has been built following a modular configuration and operates at pressures ranging from 1000 to 10{sup −6} mbars, and it is possible to control the gas composition (the atmosphere) within this pressure range. The device (or sample) under study can be irradiated by an ultraviolet source and its temperature can be controlled in the range from 108 to 423 K. As an important improvement with respect to other simulation chambers, the atmospheric gas into the experimental chamber is cooled at the walls by the use of liquid-nitrogen heat exchangers. This chamber incorporates a dust generation mechanism designed to study Martian-dust deposition while modifying the conditions of temperature, and UV irradiated.

  19. Mimicking Mars: a vacuum simulation chamber for testing environmental instrumentation for Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobrado, J M; Martín-Soler, J; Martín-Gago, J A

    2014-03-01

    We have built a Mars environmental simulation chamber, designed to test new electromechanical devices and instruments that could be used in space missions. We have developed this environmental system aiming at validating the meteorological station Rover Environment Monitoring Station of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission currently installed on Curiosity rover. The vacuum chamber has been built following a modular configuration and operates at pressures ranging from 1000 to 10(-6) mbars, and it is possible to control the gas composition (the atmosphere) within this pressure range. The device (or sample) under study can be irradiated by an ultraviolet source and its temperature can be controlled in the range from 108 to 423 K. As an important improvement with respect to other simulation chambers, the atmospheric gas into the experimental chamber is cooled at the walls by the use of liquid-nitrogen heat exchangers. This chamber incorporates a dust generation mechanism designed to study Martian-dust deposition while modifying the conditions of temperature, and UV irradiated.

  20. Atmosphere Assessment for MARS Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia D.; Cantor, Bruce; Barnes, Jeff; Tyler, Daniel, Jr.; Rafkin, Scot; Chen, Allen; Kass, David; Mischna, Michael; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2013-01-01

    On August 6, 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, successfully landed on the surface of Mars. The Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) sequence was designed using atmospheric conditions estimated from mesoscale numerical models. The models, developed by two independent organizations (Oregon State University and the Southwest Research Institute), were validated against observations at Mars from three prior years. In the weeks and days before entry, the MSL "Council of Atmospheres" (CoA), a group of atmospheric scientists and modelers, instrument experts and EDL simulation engineers, evaluated the latest Mars data from orbiting assets including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Mars Color Imager (MARCI) and Mars Climate Sounder (MCS), as well as Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS). The observations were compared to the mesoscale models developed for EDL performance simulation to determine if a spacecraft parameter update was necessary prior to entry. This paper summarizes the daily atmosphere observations and comparison to the performance simulation atmosphere models. Options to modify the atmosphere model in the simulation to compensate for atmosphere effects are also presented. Finally, a summary of the CoA decisions and recommendations to the MSL project in the days leading up to EDL is provided.

  1. Bringing Terramechanics to bear on Planetary Rover Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, L.

    2007-08-01

    Thus far, planetary rovers have been successfully operated on the Earth's moon and on Mars. In particular, the two NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) ,Spirit' and ,Opportunity' are still in sustained daily operations at two sites on Mars more than 3 years after landing there. Currently, several new planetary rover missions are in development targeting Mars (the US Mars Science Lab vehicle for launch in 2009 and ESA's ExoMars rover for launch in 2013), with lunar rover missions under study by China and Japan for launches around 2012. Moreover, the US Constellation program is preparing pre-development of lunar rovers for initially unmanned and, subsequently, human missions to the Moon with a corresponding team dedicated to mobility system development having been set up at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Given this dynamic environment, it was found timely to establish an expert group on off-the-road mobility as relevant for robotic vehicles that would involve individuals representing the various on-going efforts on the different continents. This was realized through the International Society of Terrain-Vehicle Systems (ISTVS), a research organisation devoted to terramechanics and to the ,science' of off-the-road vehicle development which as a result is just now establishing a Technical Group on Terrestrial and Planetary Rovers. Members represent space-related as well as military research institutes and universities from the US, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The group's charter for 2007 is to define its objectives, functions, organizational structure and recommended research objectives to support planetary rover design and development. Expected areas of activity of the ISTVS-sponsored group include: the problem of terrain specification for planetary rovers; identification of limitations in modelling of rover mobility; a survey of existing rover mobility testbeds; the consolidation of mobility predictive models and their state of validation; sensing and real

  2. In Situ Measurement of Atmospheric Krypton and Xenon on Mars with Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, P. G.; Malespin, C. A.; Franz, H. B.; Pepin, R. O.; Trainer, M. G.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Atreya, S. K.; Freissinet, C.; Jones, J. H.; Manning, H.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Mars Science Laboratorys Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation has measured all of the stable isotopes of the heavy noble gases krypton and xenon in the martian atmosphere, in situ, from the Curiosity Rover at Gale Crater, Mars. Previous knowledge of martian atmospheric krypton and xenon isotope ratios has been based upon a combination of the Viking missions krypton and xenon detections and measurements of noble gas isotope ratios in martian meteorites. However, the meteorite measurements reveal an impure mixture of atmospheric, mantle, and spallation contributions. The xenon and krypton isotopic measurements reported here include the complete set of stable isotopes, unmeasured by Viking. The new results generally agree with Mars meteorite measurements but also provide a unique opportunity to identify various non-atmospheric heavy noble gas components in the meteorites. Kr isotopic measurements define a solar-like atmospheric composition, but deviating from the solar wind pattern at 80Kr and 82Kr in a manner consistent with contributions originating from neutron capture in Br. The Xe measurements suggest an intriguing possibility that isotopes lighter than 132Xe have been enriched to varying degrees by spallation and neutron capture products degassed to the atmosphere from the regolith, and a model is constructed to explore this possibility. Such a spallation component, however, is not apparent in atmospheric Xe trapped in the glassy phases of martian meteorites.

  3. The curious case of curiosity: unpleasant advertising and curiosity

    OpenAIRE

    Van den Driessche, Liesbet; Vermeir, Iris; Pandelaere, Mario

    2013-01-01

    Previous research demonstrated that advertisements that induce positive feelings are effective. However, unpleasant advertising are frequently used and can be effective as well. This research examines whether evoked curiosity can explain the effectiveness of unpleasant advertising. Our results indicate that although unpleasant advertising did not lead to behavioral intention with regard to the advertised product, unpleasant advertising did evoke curiosity. Curiosity itself proves to be a stro...

  4. Mineral Composition and Abundance of the Rocks and Soils at Gusev and Meridiani from the Mars Exploration Rover Mini-TES Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.; Wyatt, M. B.; Glotch, T. D.; Rogers, A. D.; Anwar, S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bandfield, J. L.; Blaney, D. L.; Budney, C.; Calvin, W. M.

    2005-01-01

    The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) has provided remote measurements of mineralogy, thermophysical properties, and atmospheric temperature profile and composition of the outcrops, rocks, spherules, and soils surrounding the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. The mineralogy of volcanic rocks provides insights into the composition of the source regions and the nature of martian igneous processes. Carbonates, sulfates, evaporites, and oxides provide information on the role of water in the surface evolution. Oxides, such as crystalline hematite, provide insight into aqueous weathering processes, as would the occurrence of clay minerals and other weathering products. Diurnal temperature measurements can be used to determine particle size and search for the effects of sub-surface layering, which in turn provide clues to the origin of surficial materials through rock disintegration, aeolian transport, atmospheric fallout, or induration. In addition to studying the surface properties, Mini-TES spectra have also been used to determine the temperature profile in the lower boundary layer, providing evidence for convective activity, and have determined the seasonal trends in atmospheric temperature and dust and cloud opacity.

  5. Determining best practices in reconnoitering sites for habitability potential on Mars using a semi-autonomous rover: A GeoHeuristic Operational Strategies Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yingst, R.A.; Berger, J.; Cohen, B.A.; Hynek, B.; Schmidt, M.E.

    2017-01-01

    We tested science operations strategies developed for use in remote mobile spacecraft missions, to determine whether reconnoitering a site of potential habitability prior to in-depth study (a walkabout-first strategy) can be a more efficient use of time and resources than the linear approach commonly used by planetary rover missions. Two field teams studied a sedimentary sequence in Utah to assess habitability potential. At each site one team commanded a human “rover” to execute observations and conducted data analysis and made follow-on decisions based solely on those observations. Another team followed the same traverse using traditional terrestrial field methods, and the results of the two teams were compared. Test results indicate that for a mission with goals similar to our field case, the walkabout-first strategy may save time and other mission resources, while improving science return. The approach enabled more informed choices and higher team confidence in choosing where to spend time and other consumable resources. The walkabout strategy may prove most efficient when many close sites must be triaged to a smaller subset for detailed study or sampling. This situation would arise when mission goals include finding, identifying, characterizing or sampling a specific material, feature or type of environment within a certain area. PMID:29307922

  6. Mars Stratigraphy Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budney, C. J.; Miller, S. L.; Cutts, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Stratigraphy Mission lands a rover on the surface of Mars which descends down a cliff in Valles Marineris to study the stratigraphy. The rover carries a unique complement of instruments to analyze and age-date materials encountered during descent past 2 km of strata. The science objective for the Mars Stratigraphy Mission is to identify the geologic history of the layered deposits in the Valles Marineris region of Mars. This includes constraining the time interval for formation of these deposits by measuring the ages of various layers and determining the origin of the deposits (volcanic or sedimentary) by measuring their composition and imaging their morphology.

  7. NASA Mars Conference

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reiber, D.B.

    1988-01-01

    Papers about Mars and Mars exploration are presented, covering topics such as Martian history, geology, volcanism, channels, moons, atmosphere, meteorology, water on the planet, and the possibility of life. The unmanned exploration of Mars is discussed, including the Phobos Mission, the Mars Observer, the Mars Aeronomy Observer, the seismic network, Mars sample return missions, and the Mars Ball, an inflatable-sectored-tire rover concept. Issues dealing with manned exploration of Mars are examined, such as the reasons for exploring Mars, mission scenarios, a transportation system for routine visits, technologies for Mars expeditions, the human factors for Mars missions, life support systems, living and working on Mars, and the report of the National Commission on Space

  8. Peeling Back the Layers of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This is a 3-D model of the trench excavated by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the 23rd day, or sol, of its mission. An oblique view of the trench from a bit above and to the right of the rover's right wheel is shown. The model was generated from images acquired by the rover's front hazard-avoidance cameras.

  9. X-ray Diffraction Results from Mars Science Laboratory: Mineralogy of Rocknest at Gale Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bish, D. L.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Chipera, S. J.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Treiman, A. H.; Sarrazin, P.; Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Achilles, C. N.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Crisp, J. A.; Morookian, J. M.; Farmer, J. D.; Rampe, E. B.; Stolper, E. M.; Spanovich, N.; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Verdasca, José Alexandre Alves; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Atreya, Sushil; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Bish, David; Blake, David F.; Avalos, Juan J. Blanco; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John "Iain"; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Carmosino, Marco; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie "Kenzie"; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; DesMarais, David; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Bob; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M. Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Flesch, Greg; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Franz, Heather; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Jones, John; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Leshin, Laurie; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Mahaffy, Paul; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; García, César Martín; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard; Morrison, Shaunna; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; Nachon, Marion; López, Sara Navarro; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Niles, Paul; Nixon, Brian; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; Owen, Tobias; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pepin, Robert; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J.; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel "Dan"; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Steele, Andrew; Stein, Thomas; Stern, Jennifer; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Ed; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Webster, Chris; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B. "Mouser"; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano

    2013-09-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity scooped samples of soil from the Rocknest aeolian bedform in Gale crater. Analysis of the soil with the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) x-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument revealed plagioclase (~An57), forsteritic olivine (~Fo62), augite, and pigeonite, with minor K-feldspar, magnetite, quartz, anhydrite, hematite, and ilmenite. The minor phases are present at, or near, detection limits. The soil also contains 27 ± 14 weight percent x-ray amorphous material, likely containing multiple Fe3+- and volatile-bearing phases, including possibly a substance resembling hisingerite. The crystalline component is similar to the normative mineralogy of certain basaltic rocks from Gusev crater on Mars and of martian basaltic meteorites. The amorphous component is similar to that found on Earth in places such as soils on the Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii.

  10. Elemental Geochemistry of Sedimentary Rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S. M.; Anderson, R. B.; Bell, J. F.; Bridges, J. C.; Calef, F.; Campbell, J. L.; Clark, B. C.; Clegg, S.; Conrad, P.; Cousin, A.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M. D.; Edgar, L. A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Fabre, C.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Gellert, R.; Gordon, S.; Grant, J. A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J. A.; King, P. L.; Le Mouélic, S.; Leshin, L. A.; Léveillé, R.; Lewis, K. W.; Mangold, N.; Maurice, S.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Nachon, M.; Newsom, H. E.; Ollila, A. M.; Perrett, G. M.; Rice, M. S.; Schmidt, M. E.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Stack, K.; Stolper, E. M.; Sumner, D. Y.; Treiman, A. H.; VanBommel, S.; Vaniman, D. T.; Vasavada, A.; Wiens, R. C.; Yingst, R. A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Siebach, Kirsten; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Wolff, Michael; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Pradler, Irina; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion and deposition. The absence of predicted geochemical variations indicates that magnetite and phyllosilicates formed by diagenesis under low-temperature, circumneutral pH, rock-dominated aqueous conditions. Analyses of diagenetic features (including concretions, raised ridges, and fractures) at high spatial resolution indicate that they are composed of iron- and halogen-rich components, magnesium-iron-chlorine-rich components, and hydrated calcium sulfates, respectively. Composition of a cross-cutting dike-like feature is consistent with sedimentary intrusion. The geochemistry of these sedimentary rocks provides further evidence for diverse depositional and diagenetic sedimentary environments during the early history of Mars.

  11. Elemental geochemistry of sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S M; Anderson, R B; Bell, J F; Bridges, J C; Calef, F; Campbell, J L; Clark, B C; Clegg, S; Conrad, P; Cousin, A; Des Marais, D J; Dromart, G; Dyar, M D; Edgar, L A; Ehlmann, B L; Fabre, C; Forni, O; Gasnault, O; Gellert, R; Gordon, S; Grant, J A; Grotzinger, J P; Gupta, S; Herkenhoff, K E; Hurowitz, J A; King, P L; Le Mouélic, S; Leshin, L A; Léveillé, R; Lewis, K W; Mangold, N; Maurice, S; Ming, D W; Morris, R V; Nachon, M; Newsom, H E; Ollila, A M; Perrett, G M; Rice, M S; Schmidt, M E; Schwenzer, S P; Stack, K; Stolper, E M; Sumner, D Y; Treiman, A H; VanBommel, S; Vaniman, D T; Vasavada, A; Wiens, R C; Yingst, R A

    2014-01-24

    Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion and deposition. The absence of predicted geochemical variations indicates that magnetite and phyllosilicates formed by diagenesis under low-temperature, circumneutral pH, rock-dominated aqueous conditions. Analyses of diagenetic features (including concretions, raised ridges, and fractures) at high spatial resolution indicate that they are composed of iron- and halogen-rich components, magnesium-iron-chlorine-rich components, and hydrated calcium sulfates, respectively. Composition of a cross-cutting dike-like feature is consistent with sedimentary intrusion. The geochemistry of these sedimentary rocks provides further evidence for diverse depositional and diagenetic sedimentary environments during the early history of Mars.

  12. In situ detection of boron by ChemCam on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasda, Patrick J.; Haldeman, Ethan B.; Wiens, Roger C.; Rapin, William; Bristow, Thomas F.; Bridges, John C.; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Clark, Benton; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Frydenvang, Jens; Lanza, Nina L.; Maurice, Sylvestre; Clegg, Samuel; Delapp, Dorothea M.; Sanford, Veronica L.; Bodine, Madeleine R.; McInroy, Rhonda

    2017-09-01

    We report the first in situ detection of boron on Mars. Boron has been detected in Gale crater at levels Curiosity rover ChemCam instrument in calcium-sulfate-filled fractures, which formed in a late-stage groundwater circulating mainly in phyllosilicate-rich bedrock interpreted as lacustrine in origin. We consider two main groundwater-driven hypotheses to explain the presence of boron in the veins: leaching of borates out of bedrock or the redistribution of borate by dissolution of borate-bearing evaporite deposits. Our results suggest that an evaporation mechanism is most likely, implying that Gale groundwaters were mildly alkaline. On Earth, boron may be a necessary component for the origin of life; on Mars, its presence suggests that subsurface groundwater conditions could have supported prebiotic chemical reactions if organics were also present and provides additional support for the past habitability of Gale crater.

  13. Confidence Hills Mineralogy and Chemin Results from Base of Mt. Sharp, Pahrump Hills, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanagh, P. D.; Bish, D. L.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Achilles, C. N.; Chipera, S. J.; Treiman, A. H.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity recently completed its fourth drill sampling of sediments on Mars. The Confidence Hills (CH) sample was drilled from a rock located in the Pahrump Hills region at the base of Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater. The CheMin X-ray diffractometer completed five nights of analysis on the sample, more than previously executed for a drill sample, and the data have been analyzed using Rietveld refinement and full-pattern fitting to determine quantitative mineralogy. Confidence Hills mineralogy has several important characteristics: 1) abundant hematite and lesser magnetite; 2) a 10 angstrom phyllosilicate; 3) multiple feldspars including plagioclase and alkali feldspar; 4) mafic silicates including forsterite, orthopyroxene, and two types of clinopyroxene (Ca-rich and Ca-poor), consistent with a basaltic source; and 5) minor contributions from sulfur-bearing species including jarosite.

  14. Powered Flight Design and Reconstructed Performance Summary for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sell, Steven; Chen, Allen; Davis, Jody; San Martin, Miguel; Serricchio, Frederick; Singh, Gurkirpal

    2013-01-01

    The Powered Flight segment of Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) system extends from backshell separation through landing. This segment is responsible for removing the final 0.1% of the kinetic energy dissipated during EDL and culminating with the successful touchdown of the rover on the surface of Mars. Many challenges exist in the Powered Flight segment: extraction of Powered Descent Vehicle from the backshell, performing a 300m divert maneuver to avoid the backshell and parachute, slowing the descent from 85 m/s to 0.75 m/s and successfully lowering the rover on a 7.5m bridle beneath the rocket-powered Descent Stage and gently placing it on the surface using the Sky Crane Maneuver. Finally, the nearly-spent Descent Stage must execute a Flyaway maneuver to ensure surface impact a safe distance from the Rover. This paper provides an overview of the powered flight design, key features, and event timeline. It also summarizes Curiosity's as flown performance on the night of August 5th as reconstructed by the flight team.

  15. MAHLI on Mars: lessons learned operating a geoscience camera on a landed payload robotic arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aileen Yingst, R.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian M.; McBride, Marie J.; Minitti, Michelle E.; Ravine, Michael A.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.

    2016-06-01

    The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is a 2-megapixel, color camera with resolution as high as 13.9 µm pixel-1. MAHLI has operated successfully on the Martian surface for over 1150 Martian days (sols) aboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity. During that time MAHLI acquired images to support science and science-enabling activities, including rock and outcrop textural analysis; sand characterization to further the understanding of global sand properties and processes; support of other instrument observations; sample extraction site documentation; range-finding for arm and instrument placement; rover hardware and instrument monitoring and safety; terrain assessment; landscape geomorphology; and support of rover robotic arm commissioning. Operation of the instrument has demonstrated that imaging fully illuminated, dust-free targets yields the best results, with complementary information obtained from shadowed images. The light-emitting diodes (LEDs) allow satisfactory night imaging but do not improve daytime shadowed imaging. MAHLI's combination of fine-scale, science-driven resolution, RGB color, the ability to focus over a large range of distances, and relatively large field of view (FOV), have maximized the return of science and science-enabling observations given the MSL mission architecture and constraints.

  16. Chemical Evidence for Smectites and Zeolites on Mars: Criteria and Limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Ming, D.; Vaniman, D.; Wiens, R.; Gellert, R.; Bridges, J. C.; Morris, D.

    2014-01-01

    Aqueous alteration on Mars can produce a range of tell-tale secondary minerals [1]. Surface missions typically obtain detailed and highly localized element compositional information, but not always mineralogical information, whereas orbital missions deduce mineralogy from relatively high spatial resolution IR spectral mapping (decameters scale, for CRISM), but obtain element data only over much larger areas of martian terrain (200 km). Surface missions have also discovered several occurrences of major geochemical alteration of igneous precursors, for many of which elemental compositional is the only diagnostic information available. Many types of clays and zeolites have quasi-unique element profiles which may be used to implicate their presence. In some cases, one or more candidate minerals are sufficiently close in their component elements and their stoichiometry that ambiguity must remain, unless other constraints can be brought to bear. Geochemical characteristics of alteration products most likely on Mars can be compared to results from MER and MSL rover missions (e.g. Independence [4] and Esperance samples). These considerations are needed for MER Opportunity rover now that Mini-TES is no longer operational. It also has importance for exploration by the MSL Curiosity rover because inferences and deductions available from ChemCam (CCAM) remote LIBS and/or in situ x-ray fluorescence (APXS) can be used as indicators for triage to select materials to sample for limited-resource instruments, SAM and Chemin.

  17. The Curiosity Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kimberly Ennico

    2017-01-01

    This conference aims to improve how we learn through integrative project and discovery-based methods. My talk highlights areas in my experience as a scientist, and most recently working for our national space agency, NASA, where we work in teams with a "discovery-based" mindset. When you demonstrate broad curiosity, you become open to different viewpoints and ways to approach and manage situations. Sometimes working only from "what you have been trained to do" or "what you know" is not enough, especially when the rules may be changing. Increasing our openness in our learning, and sharing what we know, can lead to a more diverse and innovative community, solving problems in new ways, overcoming resistance to new ideas, and hopefully creating a dynamic and faring-forward society. Let us not kill curiosity, at any age, in any situation. Let us remind ourselves, at any time, in any circumstance, to continue to learn, to mentor, to stimulate, to engage and reconnect with that "open sense of possibility."

  18. Reflections on curiosity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bemmel, J H

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to show that curiosity is the driving force behind all scientific endeavors. The second purpose is to show that all science is constrained on its underlying assumptions. Three examples are used to illustrate the above theses: one from cosmology, the second from biomedical research, and the third from the formalization of human reasoning in a computer. The three examples are supported by quotes from Albert Einstein. Research in cosmology shows that the horizon of our knowledge is continuously expanding but that major scientific questions remain to be solved. The second example from biomedicine explains that the more we discover of the details of living phenomena, the more complex they appear to be. The example involving human reasoning makes clear that the brain is still largely unknown territory. Like Einstein, who said he held 'humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind', I have a deep admiration for the Architect who reveals himself in the details that we are privileged to study in our research. As Albert Einstein said: The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

  19. "Measurements of the neutron spectrum in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory", Köhler et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jack

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft carried the Curiosity rover to Mars. While the dramatic, successful landing of Curiosity and its subsequent exploration of the Martian surface have justifiably generated great excitement, from the standpoint of the health of crewmembers on missions to Mars, knowledge of the environment between Earth and Mars is critical. This paper reports data taken during the cruise phase of the MSL by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD). The results are of great interest for several reasons. They are a direct measurement of the radiation environment during what will be a significant fraction of the duration of a proposed human mission to Mars; they were made behind the de facto shielding provided by various spacecraft components; and, in particular, they are a measurement of the contribution to radiation dose by neutrons. The neutron environment inside spacecraft is produced primarily by galactic cosmic ray ions interacting in shielding materials, and given the high biological effectiveness of neutrons and the increased contribution of neutrons to dose with increased depth in shielding, accurate knowledge of the neutron energy spectrum behind shielding is vital. The results show a relatively modest contribution from neutrons and gammas compared to that from charged particles, but also a discrepancy in both dose and dose rate between the data and simulations. The failure of the calculations to accurately reproduce the data is significant, given that future manned spacecraft will be more heavily shielded (and thus produce more secondary neutrons) and that spacecraft design will rely on simulations and model calculations of radiation transport. The methodology of risk estimation continues to evolve, and incorporates our knowledge of both the physical and biological effects of radiation. The relatively large uncertainties in the biological data, and the difficulties in reducing those uncertainties, makes it all the more important to

  20. Experimental Alteration of Basalt to Support Interpretation of Remote Sensing and In Situ Meausrements from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, M. S.

    2014-01-01

    Major occurrences of hydrous alteration minerals on Mars have been found in Noachian impact craters formed in basaltic targets and detected using visible/near infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy. Until recently phyllosilicates were detected only in craters in the southern hemisphere [1, 2]. However, it has been reported that at least nine craters in the northern plains apparently excavated thick layers of lava and sediment to expose phyllosilicates [3] as well. The MER (Mars Exploration Rovers) rovers previously reported results of in situ measurement indicating the presence of alteration minerals on Mars [4,5] and it was recently reported that the Mars Curiosity rover has detected alteration phases in situ at Yellowknife Bay in Gale crater as well [6,7]. An important discovery for Mars geochronology is that the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) x-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument on Curiosity detected phyllosilicates indicating that phyllosilicate formation on Mars extended beyond the Noachian Epoch [8]. These discoveries indicate that Mars was globally altered by water in the past but does not constrain formation conditions for alteration phase occurrences, which have important implications for the evolution of the surface and the biological potential on Mars. Understanding the alteration assemblages produced by a range of conditions is vital for the interpretation of phyllosilicate spectral signatures as well as in situ measurements and to decipher the environment and evolution of early Mars. The martian surface has been intensely altered by meteorite impacts whose effects include brecciation and melting of target materials as well as the initiation of hydrothermal circulation in a hydrous target [9,10,11,12]. Impact effects may facilitate aqueous alteration of a basaltic target because the rate of silicate dissolution is a function of the degree of crystallinity, surface area, and temperature. The resultant alteration mineralogies from shocked basaltic target material

  1. Methane Seepage on Mars: Where to Look and Why.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z; Etiope, Giuseppe

    2017-12-01

    Methane on Mars is a topic of special interest because of its potential association with microbial life. The variable detections of methane by the Curiosity rover, orbiters, and terrestrial telescopes, coupled with methane's short lifetime in the martian atmosphere, may imply an active gas source in the planet's subsurface, with migration and surface emission processes similar to those known on Earth as "gas seepage." Here, we review the variety of subsurface processes that could result in methane seepage on Mars. Such methane could originate from abiotic chemical reactions, thermogenic alteration of abiotic or biotic organic matter, and ancient or extant microbial metabolism. These processes can occur over a wide range of temperatures, in both sedimentary and igneous rocks, and together they enhance the possibility that significant amounts of methane could have formed on early Mars. Methane seepage to the surface would occur preferentially along faults and fractures, through focused macro-seeps and/or diffuse microseepage exhalations. Our work highlights the types of features on Mars that could be associated with methane release, including mud-volcano-like mounds in Acidalia or Utopia; proposed ancient springs in Gusev Crater, Arabia Terra, and Valles Marineris; and rims of large impact craters. These could have been locations of past macro-seeps and may still emit methane today. Microseepage could occur through faults along the dichotomy or fractures such as those at Nili Fossae, Cerberus Fossae, the Argyre impact, and those produced in serpentinized rocks. Martian microseepage would be extremely difficult to detect remotely yet could constitute a significant gas source. We emphasize that the most definitive detection of methane seepage from different release candidates would be best provided by measurements performed in the ground or at the ground-atmosphere interface by landers or rovers and that the technology for such detection is currently available. Key

  2. Risk-Aware Planetary Rover Operation: Autonomous Terrain Classification and Path Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Masahiro; Fuchs, Thoams J.; Steffy, Amanda; Maimone, Mark; Yen, Jeng

    2015-01-01

    Identifying and avoiding terrain hazards (e.g., soft soil and pointy embedded rocks) are crucial for the safety of planetary rovers. This paper presents a newly developed groundbased Mars rover operation tool that mitigates risks from terrain by automatically identifying hazards on the terrain, evaluating their risks, and suggesting operators safe paths options that avoids potential risks while achieving specified goals. The tool will bring benefits to rover operations by reducing operation cost, by reducing cognitive load of rover operators, by preventing human errors, and most importantly, by significantly reducing the risk of the loss of rovers.

  3. An experimental study to support the search for organics at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poch, Olivier; Stalport, Fabien; Noblet, Audrey; Szopa, Cyril; Coll, Patrice

    2012-07-01

    upcoming exploration of Gale Crater by Curiosity, the rover of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission.

  4. The Case of Curiosity and the Night Sky: Relationship between Noctcaelador and Three Forms of Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, William E.; Daughtry, Don

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between noctcaelador (psychological attachment to the night sky) and curiosity. A measure of noctcaelador and three curiosity scales (perceptual curiosity, epistemic curiosity, and curiosity as a feeling of deprivation) were administered to 233 university students. Correlations indicated…

  5. Night Rover Challenge

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of the Night Rover Challenge was to foster innovations in energy storage technology. Specifically, this challenge asked competitors to create an energy...

  6. Mineral Trends in Early Hesperian Lacustrine Mudstone at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampe, E. B.; Ming, D. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Morris, R. V.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Bristow, T. F.; Morrison, S. M.; Yen, A. S.; Chipera, S. J.; hide

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover landed in Gale crater in August 2012 to study the layered sediments of lower Aeolis Mons (i.e., Mount Sharp), which have signatures of phyllosilicates, hydrated sulfates, and iron oxides in orbital visible/near-infrared observations. The observed mineralogy within the stratigraphy, from phyllosilicates in lower units to sulfates in higher units, suggests an evolution in the environments in which these secondary phases formed. Curiosity is currently investigating the sedimentary structures, geochemistry, and mineralogy of the Murray formation, the lowest exposed unit of Mount Sharp. The Murray formation is dominated by laminated lacustrine mudstone and is approx.200 m thick. Curiosity previously investigated lacustrine mudstone early in the mission at Yellowknife Bay, which represents the lowest studied stratigraphic unit. Here, we present the minerals identified in lacus-trine mudstone from Yellowknife Bay and the Murray formation. We discuss trends in mineralogy within the stratigraphy and the implications for ancient lacustrine environments, diagenesis, and sediment sources.

  7. Exploring Mars for Evidence of Habitable Environments and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2014-01-01

    candidates. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity revealed that water once flowed to the surface across the vast Meridiani plains, creating saline lakes whose waters were roiled by ancient winds that also sculptured their salt deposits into sand dunes. Opportunity then drove more than 30 km to explore even older deposits on a crater rim. MER Spirit found evidence that thermal waters (heated by volcanism or by impacts?) altered rocks to create sulfate salts, and siliceous sinters. These discoveries indicate that an early hydrological cycle apparently sustained precipitation, streams and lakes. Liquid water participated in rock weathering reactions, such as iron and sulfur oxidation, that created distinctive weathering regimes. Volcanism, impacts, groundwater and ice interacted at least locally. Redox chemical energy from volcanism, hydrothermal activity and weathering of crustal materials would have been available for any life. Thus conditions might have supported life in the past, at least locally. The main objective of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover is to determine the extent to which Gale crater hosted environments capable of supporting microbial life. The rover has already found stream gravels as well as sediments that might have been deposited in an ancient lake. The rover is now traversing to Mt. Sharp, a 5 km-high mound that is located on the crater floor and that exhibits layered sedimentary rocks having diverse minerals (sulfates and clays) that apparently formed in the presence of liquid water. This rock sequence was deposited over an extended time period in diverse potentially habitable watery environments. Curiosity is poised to characterize a a well-preserved rock record of hundreds of millions of years of diverse environments and profound climate change.

  8. Scout Rover Applications for Forward Acquisition of Soil and Terrain Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonsalla, R.; Ahmed, M.; Fritsche, M.; Akpo, J.; Voegele, T.

    2014-04-01

    As opposed to the present mars exploration missions future mission concepts ask for a fast and safe traverse through vast and varied expanses of terrain. As seen during the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission the rovers suffered a lack of detailed soil and terrain information which caused Spirit to get permanently stuck in soft soil. The goal of the FASTER1 EU-FP7 project is to improve the mission safety and the effective traverse speed for planetary rover exploration by determining the traversability of the terrain and lowering the risk to enter hazardous areas. To achieve these goals, a scout rover will be used for soil and terrain sensing ahead of the main rover. This paper describes a highly mobile, and versatile micro scout rover that is used for soil and terrain sensing and is able to co-operate with a primary rover as part of the FASTER approach. The general reference mission idea and concept is addressed within this paper along with top-level requirements derived from the proposed ESA/NASA Mars Sample Return mission (MSR) [4]. Following the mission concept and requirements [3], a concept study for scout rover design and operations has been performed [5]. Based on this study the baseline for the Coyote II rover was designed and built as shown in Figure 1. Coyote II is equipped with a novel locomotion concept, providing high all terrain mobility and allowing to perform side-to-side steering maneuvers which reduce the soil disturbance as compared to common skid steering [6]. The rover serves as test platform for various scout rover application tests ranging from locomotion testing to dual rover operations. From the lessons learned from Coyote II and for an enhanced design, a second generation rover (namely Coyote III) as shown in Figure 2 is being built. This rover serves as scout rover platform for the envisaged FASTER proof of concept field trials. The rover design is based on the test results gained by the Coyote II trials. Coyote III is equipped with two

  9. Comparative Field Tests of Pressurised Rover Prototypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, G. A.; Wood, N. B.; Clarke, J. D.; Piechochinski, S.; Bamsey, M.; Laing, J. H.

    The conceptual designs, interior layouts and operational performances of three pressurised rover prototypes - Aonia, ARES and Everest - were field tested during a recent simulation at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. A human factors experiment, in which the same crew of three executed the same simulated science mission in each of the three vehicles, yielded comparative data on the capacity of each vehicle to safely and comfortably carry explorers away from the main base, enter and exit the vehicle in spacesuits, perform science tasks in the field, and manage geological and biological samples. As well as offering recommendations for design improvements for specific vehicles, the results suggest that a conventional Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) would not be suitable for analog field work; that a pressurised docking tunnel to the main habitat is essential; that better provisions for spacesuit storage are required; and that a crew consisting of one driver/navigator and two field science crew specialists may be optimal. From a field operations viewpoint, a recurring conflict between rover and habitat crews at the time of return to the habitat was observed. An analysis of these incidents leads to proposed refinements of operational protocols, specific crew training for rover returns and again points to the need for a pressurised docking tunnel. Sound field testing, circulating of results, and building the lessons learned into new vehicles is advocated as a way of producing ever higher fidelity rover analogues.

  10. Mineralogy of Rocks and Sediments at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achilles, Cherie; Downs, Robert; Blake, David; Vaniman, David; Ming, Doug; Rampe, Elizabeth; Morris, Dick; Morrison, Shaunna; Treiman, Allan; Chipera, Steve; Yen, Albert; Bristow, Thomas; Craig, Patricia; Hazen, Robert; Crisp, Joy; Grotzinger, John; Des Marias, David; Farmer, Jack; Sarrazin, Philippe; Morookian, John Michael

    2017-04-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is providing in situ mineralogical, geochemical, and sedimentological assessments of rocks and soils in Gale crater. Since landing in 2012, Curiosity has traveled over 15 km, providing analyses of mudstones and sandstones to build a stratigraphic history of the region. The CheMin X-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument is the first instrument on Mars to provide quantitative mineralogical analyses of drilled powders and scooped sediment based on X-ray crystallography. CheMin identifies and determines mineral abundances and unit-cell parameters of major crystalline phases, and identifies minor phases at abundances >1 wt%. In conjunction with elemental analyses, CheMin-derived crystal chemistry allows for the first calculations of crystalline and amorphous material compositions. These mineralogy, crystal chemistry, and amorphous chemistry datasets are playing central roles in the characterization of Gale crater paleoenvironments. CheMin has analyzed 17 rock and sediment samples. In the first phase of the mission, Curiosity explored the sedimentary units of Aeolis Palus (Bradbury group), including two mudstones from Yellowknife Bay. CheMin analyses of the Yellowknife Bay mudstones identified clay minerals among an overall basaltic mineral assemblage. These mineralogical results, along with imaging and geochemical analyses, were used to characterize an ancient lacustrine setting that is thought to have once been a habitable environment. Following the investigations of the Bradbury group, Curiosity arrived at the lower reaches of Aeolis Mons, commonly called Mt. Sharp. A strategic sample campaign was initiated, drilling bedrock at X-ray amorphous phases. Adjacent to fractures, light-toned, halo-like zones are thought to result from significant aqueous alteration of the primary sandstone and show decreased abundances of feldspar and pyroxene, and an increase in the amorphous component, specifically high-silica phases. The Murray

  11. Measurements of Forbush decreases at Mars: both by MSL on ground and by MAVEN in orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jingnan; Lillis, Robert; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Zeitlin, Cary; Simonson, Patrick; Rahmati, Ali; Posner, Arik; Papaioannou, Athanasios; Lundt, Niklas; Lee, Christina O.; Larson, Davin; Halekas, Jasper; Hassler, Donald M.; Ehresmann, Bent; Dunn, Patrick; Böttcher, Stephan

    2018-04-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) Curiosity rover, has been measuring ground level particle fluxes along with the radiation dose rate at the surface of Mars since August 2012. Similar to neutron monitors at Earth, RAD sees many Forbush decreases (FDs) in the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) induced surface fluxes and dose rates. These FDs are associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and/or stream/corotating interaction regions (SIRs/CIRs). Orbiting above the Martian atmosphere, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft has also been monitoring space weather conditions at Mars since September 2014. The penetrating particle flux channels in the solar energetic particle (SEP) instrument onboard MAVEN can also be employed to detect FDs. For the first time, we study the statistics and properties of a list of FDs observed in-situ at Mars, seen both on the surface by MSL/RAD and in orbit detected by the MAVEN/SEP instrument. Such a list of FDs can be used for studying interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICME) propagation and SIR evolution through the inner heliosphere. The magnitudes of different FDs can be well-fitted by a power-law distribution. The systematic difference between the magnitudes of the FDs within and outside the Martian atmosphere may be mostly attributed to the energy-dependent modulation of the GCR particles by both the pass-by ICMEs/SIRs and the Martian atmosphere.

  12. Overview of the Atmosphere and Environment within Gale Crater on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, A. R.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Crisp, J. A.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Webster, C. R.

    2012-12-01

    Curiosity's mission at Gale Crater places a number of highly capable atmospheric and environmental sensors within a dynamic setting: next to a 5-km mountain within a 150-km diameter impact crater whose floor is -4.5 km. Curiosity's scientific payload was chosen primarily to allow a geologic and geochemical investigation of Mars' environmental history and habitability, as preserved in the layered sediments on the crater floor and mound. Atmospheric and environmental sensors will contribute by measuring the bulk atmospheric chemical and isotopic composition, the flux of high-energy particle and ultraviolet radiation after modification by the atmosphere, and modern processes related to meteorology and climate over at least one Mars year. The Sample Analysis at Mars instrument will analyze the atmosphere with its mass spectrometer and tunable laser spectrometer. The former is capable of providing bulk composition and isotopic ratios of relevance to planetary evolution, such as nitrogen and noble gases. The latter is designed to acquire high-precision measurements of atmospheric species including CH4, CO2, and H2O, and key isotope ratios in H, C, and O. An important goal will be to compare CH4 abundance and time variability over the mission with the reported detections from the Mars Express orbiter and ground-based observations. The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) measures a broad spectrum of high-energy radiation incident at the surface, including secondary particles created via interactions of galactic cosmic rays and solar protons with Mars' atmospheric constituents. Curiosity's Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) carries six ultraviolet sensors, spanning 200-380 nm. For the first time, both the high-energy and ultraviolet radiation measured at the surface can be compared with measurements above the atmosphere, acquired by other platforms. Modern meteorology and the climatology of dust and water will be studied using the rover's cameras and REMS

  13. Mars Science Laboratory: Mission, Landing Site, and Initial Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, John; Blake, D.; Crisp, J.; Edgett, K.; Gellert, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Hassler, D.; Mahaffy, P.; Malin, M.; Meyer, M.; Mitrofanov, I.; Vasavada, A.; Wiens, R.

    2012-10-01

    Scheduled to land on August 5, 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, will conduct an investigation of modern and ancient environments. Recent mission results will be discussed. Curiosity has a lifetime of at least one Mars year ( 23 months), and drive capability of at least 20 km. The MSL science payload was specifically assembled to assess habitability and includes a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and gas analyzer that will search for organic carbon in rocks, regolith fines, and the atmosphere; an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity; focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color; an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry; a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals; an active neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith; a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables; and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of background solar and cosmic radiation. The 155-km diameter Gale Crater was chosen as Curiosity’s field site based on several attributes: an interior mound of ancient flat-lying strata extending almost 5 km above the elevation of the landing site; the lower few hundred meters of the mound show a progression with relative age from clay-bearing to sulfate-bearing strata, separated by an unconformity from overlying likely anhydrous strata; the landing ellipse is characterized by a mixture of alluvial fan and high thermal inertia/high albedo stratified deposits; and a number of stratigraphically/geomorphically distinct fluvial features. Gale’s regional context and strong evidence for a progression through multiple potentially habitable environments, represented by a stratigraphic record of extraordinary extent, insure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars.

  14. Rover waste assay system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akers, D.W.; Stoots, C.M.; Kraft, N.C.; Marts, D.J. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    1997-11-01

    The Rover Waste Assay System (RWAS) is a nondestructive assay system designed for the rapid assay of highly-enriched {sup 235}U contaminated piping, tank sections, and debris from the Rover nuclear rocket fuel processing facility at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant. A scanning system translates a NaI(Tl) detector/collimator system over the structural components where both relative and calibrated measurements for {sup 137}Cs are made. Uranium-235 concentrations are in operation and is sufficiently automated that most functions are performed by the computer system. These functions include system calibration, problem identification, collimator control, data analysis, and reporting. Calibration of the system was done through a combination of measurements on calibration standards and benchmarked modeling. A description of the system is presented along with the methods and uncertainties associated with the calibration and analysis of the system for components from the Rover facility. 4 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  15. Rover waste assay system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akers, D.W.; Stoots, C.M.; Kraft, N.C.; Marts, D.J.

    1997-01-01

    The Rover Waste Assay System (RWAS) is a nondestructive assay system designed for the rapid assay of highly-enriched 235 U contaminated piping, tank sections, and debris from the Rover nuclear rocket fuel processing facility at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant. A scanning system translates a NaI(Tl) detector/collimator system over the structural components where both relative and calibrated measurements for 137 Cs are made. Uranium-235 concentrations are in operation and is sufficiently automated that most functions are performed by the computer system. These functions include system calibration, problem identification, collimator control, data analysis, and reporting. Calibration of the system was done through a combination of measurements on calibration standards and benchmarked modeling. A description of the system is presented along with the methods and uncertainties associated with the calibration and analysis of the system for components from the Rover facility. 4 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs

  16. Value of curiosity-oriented research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbons, M; Greer, J R; Jevons, F R; Langrish, J; Watkins, D S

    1970-03-14

    Is the most profit to be had from research inspired by curiosity or by foresight of practical applications? A recent suggestion that the answer could be found by evaluating curiosity-oriented projects has proved hard to follow up.

  17. Mineralogy of Fluvio-Lacustrine Sediments Investigated by Curiosity During the Prime Mission: Implications for Diagenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampe, Elizabeth B.; Morris, R. V.; Bish, D. L.; Vaniman, D. T.; Bristow, T. F.; Chipera, S. J.; Blake, D. F.; Ming, D. W.; Farmer, J. D.; Morrison, S. M.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity investigated sedimentary rocks that were deposited in a diversity of fluvio-lacustrine settings. The entire science payload was employed to characterize the mineralogy and chemistry of the Sheepbed mudstone at Yellowknife Bay and the Windjana sandstone at the Kimberley. Data from the CheMin instrument, a transmission Xray diffractometer, were used to determine the quantitative mineralogy of both samples. The Sheepbed mudstone contains detrital basaltic minerals, calcium sulfates, iron oxides or hydroxides, iron sulfides, trioctahedral smectite, and amorphous material. The mineral assemblage and chemical data from APXS suggest that the trioctahedral smectite and magnetite formed authigenically as a result of alteration of olivine. The apparent lack of higher-grade phyllosilicates (e.g., illite and chlorite) and the presence of anhydrite indicate diagenesis at 50- 80 ºC. The mineralogy of the Windjana sandstone is different than the Sheepbed mudstone. Windjana contains significant abundances of K-feldspar, low- and high-Ca pyroxenes, magnetite, phyllosilicates, and amorphous material. At least two distinct phyllosilicate phases exist: a 10 Å phase and a component that is expanded with a peak at 11.8 Å. The identity of the expanded phase is currently unknown, but could be a smectite with interlayer H2O, and the 10 Å phase could be illite or collapsed smectite. Further work is necessary to characterize the phyllosilicates, but the presence of illite could suggest that Windjana experienced burial diagenesis. Candidates for the cementing agents include fine-grained phyllosilicates, Fe-oxides, and/or amorphous material. Interpretations of CheMin data from the Windjana sandstone are ongoing at the time of writing, but we will present an estimate of the composition of the amorphous material from mass balance calculations using the APXS bulk chemistry and quantitative mineralogy from CheMin.

  18. Deposition, exhumation, and paleoclimate of an ancient lake deposit, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Malin, M. C.; Rubin, D. M.; Schieber, J.; Siebach, K.; Sumner, D. Y.; Stack, K. M.; Vasavada, A. R.; Arvidson, R. E.; Calef, F.; Edgar, L.; Fischer, W. F.; Grant, J. A.; Griffes, J.; Kah, L. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Lewis, K. W.; Mangold, N.; Minitti, M. E.; Palucis, M.; Rice, M.; Williams, R. M. E.; Yingst, R. A.; Blake, D.; Blaney, D.; Conrad, P.; Crisp, J.; Dietrich, W. E.; Dromart, G.; Edgett, K. S.; Ewing, R. C.; Gellert, R.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Kocurek, G.; Mahaffy, P.; McBride, M. J.; McLennan, S. M.; Mischna, M.; Ming, D.; Milliken, R.; Newsom, H.; Oehler, D.; Parker, T. J.; Vaniman, D.; Wiens, R. C.; Wilson, S. A.

    2015-10-01

    The landforms of northern Gale crater on Mars expose thick sequences of sedimentary rocks. Based on images obtained by the Curiosity rover, we interpret these outcrops as evidence for past fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine environments. Degradation of the crater wall and rim probably supplied these sediments, which advanced inward from the wall, infilling both the crater and an internal lake basin to a thickness of at least 75 meters. This intracrater lake system probably existed intermittently for thousands to millions of years, implying a relatively wet climate that supplied moisture to the crater rim and transported sediment via streams into the lake basin. The deposits in Gale crater were then exhumed, probably by wind-driven erosion, creating Aeolis Mons (Mount Sharp).

  19. A Habitable Fluvio-Lacustrine Environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, J. P.; Sumner, D. Y.; Kah, L. C.; Stack, K.; Gupta, S.; Edgar, L.; Rubin, D.; Lewis, K.; Schieber, J.; Mangold, N.; Milliken, R.; Conrad, P. G.; DesMarais, D.; Farmer, J.; Siebach, K.; Calef, F.; Hurowitz, J.; McLennan, S. M.; Ming, D.; Vaniman, D.; Crisp, J.; Vasavada, A.; Edgett, K. S.; Malin, M.; Blake, D.; Gellert, R.; Mahaffy, P.; Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Grant, J. A.; Wilson, S.; Anderson, R. C.; Beegle, L.; Arvidson, R.; Hallet, B.; Sletten, R. S.; Rice, M.; Bell, J.; Griffes, J.; Ehlmann, B.; Anderson, R. B.; Bristow, T. F.; Dietrich, W. E.; Dromart, G.; Eigenbrode, J.; Fraeman, A.; Hardgrove, C.; Herkenhoff, K.; Jandura, L.; Kocurek, G.; Lee, S.; Leshin, L. A.; Leveille, R.; Limonadi, D.; Maki, J.; McCloskey, S.; Meyer, M.; Minitti, M.; Newsom, H.; Oehler, D.; Okon, A.; Palucis, M.; Parker, T.; Rowland, S.; Schmidt, M.; Squyres, S.; Steele, A.; Stolper, E.; Summons, R.; Treiman, A.; Williams, R.; Yingst, A.; MSL Science Team; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Cremers, David; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Li, Shuai; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Farley, Kenneth; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Bish, David; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Szopa, Cyril; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Fay, Donald; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Aubrey, Andrew; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Christensen, Lance; DeFlores, Lauren; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Vicenzi, Edward; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Kortmann, Onno; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    The Curiosity rover discovered fine-grained sedimentary rocks, which are inferred to represent an ancient lake and preserve evidence of an environment that would have been suited to support a martian biosphere founded on chemolithoautotrophy. This aqueous environment was characterized by neutral pH, low salinity, and variable redox states of both iron and sulfur species. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, and phosphorus were measured directly as key biogenic elements; by inference, phosphorus is assumed to have been available. The environment probably had a minimum duration of hundreds to tens of thousands of years. These results highlight the biological viability of fluvial-lacustrine environments in the post-Noachian history of Mars.

  20. Wind-blown sandstones cemented by sulfate and clay minerals in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milliken, R. E.; Ewing, R. C.; Fischer, W. W.; Hurowitz, J.

    2014-02-01

    Gale Crater contains Mount Sharp, a ~5 km thick stratigraphic record of Mars' early environmental history. The strata comprising Mount Sharp are believed to be sedimentary in origin, but the specific depositional environments recorded by the rocks remain speculative. We present orbital evidence for the occurrence of eolian sandstones within Gale Crater and the lower reaches of Mount Sharp, including preservation of wind-blown sand dune topography in sedimentary strata—a phenomenon that is rare on Earth and typically associated with stabilization, rapid sedimentation, transgression, and submergence of the land surface. The preserved bedforms in Gale are associated with clay minerals and elsewhere accompanied by typical dune cross stratification marked by bounding surfaces whose lateral equivalents contain sulfate salts. These observations extend the range of possible habitable environments that may be recorded within Gale Crater and provide hypotheses that can be tested in situ by the Curiosity rover payload.

  1. Deposition, exhumation, and paleoclimate of an ancient lake deposit, Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, J P; Gupta, S; Malin, M C; Rubin, D M; Schieber, J; Siebach, K; Sumner, D Y; Stack, K M; Vasavada, A R; Arvidson, R E; Calef, F; Edgar, L; Fischer, W F; Grant, J A; Griffes, J; Kah, L C; Lamb, M P; Lewis, K W; Mangold, N; Minitti, M E; Palucis, M; Rice, M; Williams, R M E; Yingst, R A; Blake, D; Blaney, D; Conrad, P; Crisp, J; Dietrich, W E; Dromart, G; Edgett, K S; Ewing, R C; Gellert, R; Hurowitz, J A; Kocurek, G; Mahaffy, P; McBride, M J; McLennan, S M; Mischna, M; Ming, D; Milliken, R; Newsom, H; Oehler, D; Parker, T J; Vaniman, D; Wiens, R C; Wilson, S A

    2015-10-09

    The landforms of northern Gale crater on Mars expose thick sequences of sedimentary rocks. Based on images obtained by the Curiosity rover, we interpret these outcrops as evidence for past fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine environments. Degradation of the crater wall and rim probably supplied these sediments, which advanced inward from the wall, infilling both the crater and an internal lake basin to a thickness of at least 75 meters. This intracrater lake system probably existed intermittently for thousands to millions of years, implying a relatively wet climate that supplied moisture to the crater rim and transported sediment via streams into the lake basin. The deposits in Gale crater were then exhumed, probably by wind-driven erosion, creating Aeolis Mons (Mount Sharp). Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  2. Developing Critical Curiosity in Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Shelby; Seider, Scott

    2017-01-01

    Critical consciousness refers to the ways in which individuals come to understand and challenge oppressive social forces. Philosopher-educator Paulo Freire argued that critical curiosity--an eagerness to learn more about and develop a deep understanding of issues of social justice--serves as an important catalyst to critical consciousness…

  3. The University Rover Challenge: A competition highlighting Human and Robotic partnerships for exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Heather; Duncan, Andrew

    2016-07-01

    The University Rover Challenge began in 2006 with 4 American college teams competing, now in it's 10th year there are 63 teams from 12 countries registered to compete for the top rover designed to assist humans in the exploration of Mars. The Rovers compete aided by the University teams in four tasks (3 engineering and 1 science) in the Mars analog environment of the Utah Southern Desert in the United States. In this presentation we show amazing rover designs with videos demonstrating the incredible ingenuity, skill and determination of the world's most talented college students. We describe the purpose and results of each of the tasks: Astronaut Assistant, Rover Dexterity, Terrain maneuvering, and Science. We explain the evolution of the competition and common challenges faced by the robotic explorers

  4. Microbial Habitability in Gale Crater: Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Detection of Microbial Essential Carbon and Nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Ming, D. W.; Eigenbrode, J. E.; Steele, A.; Stern, J. C.; Gonzalez, R. N.; McAdam, A. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2016-01-01

    Chemical analyses of Mars soils and sediments from previous landed missions have demonstrated that Mars surface materials possessed major (e.g., P, K, Ca, Mg, S) and minor (e.g., Fe, Mn, Zn, Ni, Cl) elements essential to support microbial life. However, the detection of microbial essential organic-carbon (C) and nitrate have been more elusive until the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission. Nitrate and organic-C in Gale Crater, Mars have been detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the MSL Curiosity rover. Eolian fines and drilled sedimentary rock samples were heated in the SAM oven from approximately 30 to 860 degrees Centigrade where evolved gases (e.g., nitrous oxide (NO) and CO2) were released and analyzed by SAM’s quadrupole mass spectrometer (MS). The temperatures of evolved NO was assigned to nitrate while evolved CO2 was assigned to organic-C and carbonate. The CO2 releases in several samples occurred below 450 degrees Centigrade suggesting organic-C dominated in those samples. As much as 7 micromoles NO3-N per gram and 200 micromoles CO2-C per gram have been detected in the Gale Crater materials. These N and C levels coupled with assumed microbial biomass (9 x 10 (sup -7) micrograms per cell) C (0.5 micrograms C per micrograms cell) and N (0.14 micrograms N per micrograms cell) requirements, suggests that less than 1 percent and less than 10 percent of Gale Crater C and N, respectively, would be required if available, to accommodate biomass requirements of 1 by 10 (sup 5) cells per gram sediment. While nitrogen is the limiting nutrient, the potential exists that sufficient N and organic-C were present to support limited heterotrophic microbial populations that may have existed on ancient Mars.

  5. Curiosity About People : The Development of a Social Curiosity Measure in Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Renner, Britta

    2006-01-01

    Curiosity refers to the desire for acquiring new information. The aim of this study was to develop a questionnaire to assess social curiosity, that is, interest in how other people think, feel, and behave. The questionnaire was administered to 312 participants. Factor analyses of the 10-item Social Curiosity Scale (SCS) yielded 2 factors: General Social Curiosity and Covert Social Curiosity. Evidence of convergent validity was provided by moderately high correlations of the SCS with other mea...

  6. Mars Sample Return Architecture Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C. D.; Vijendran, S.

    2018-04-01

    NASA and ESA are exploring potential concepts for a Sample Retrieval Lander and Earth Return Orbiter that could return samples planned to be collected and cached by the Mars 2020 rover mission. We provide an overview of the Mars Sample Return architecture.

  7. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    OpenAIRE

    J. Dong; Z. Sun; W. Rao; Y. Jia; L. Meng; C. Wang; B. Chen

    2017-01-01

    An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to achiev...

  8. Effect of Sulfur Concentration and PH Conditions on Akaganeite Formation: Understanding Akaganeite Formation Conditions in Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, A.; Peretyazhko, T.; Sutter, B.; Niles, P.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.

    2015-01-01

    The Chemistry and Mineralogy Instrument (CHEMIN) on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover identified minor amounts of akaganeite (beta-FeOOH) at Yellowknife Bay, Mars. There is also evidence for akaganeite at other localities on Mars from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). Akaganeite is an iron(III) hydroxide with a hollandite- like structure and Cl in its tunnels. Terrestrial akaganeite usually forms in Cl-rich environments under acidic, oxidizing conditions. Previous studies of akaganeite have revealed that akaganeite formation is affected by the presence of sulfate (hereafter denoted as S. The prediction of circumneutral pH coupled with the detection of S at Yellowknife Bay dictate that work is needed to determine how S and pH together affect akaganeite formation. The goal of this work is to study how changes in both S concentration and pH influence akaganeite precipitation. Akaganeite formation was investigated at S/Cl molar ratios of 0, 0.017, 0.083, 0.17 and 0.33 at pH 1.5, 2, and 4. Results are anticipated to provide combined S concentration and pH constraints on akaganeite formation in Yellowknife Bay and elsewhere on Mars. Knowledge of solution pH and S concentrations can be utilized in understanding microbial habitability potential on the Martian surface.

  9. Volcanogenic Fluvial-Lacustrine Environments in Iceland and Their Utility for Identifying Past Habitability on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Cousins

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The search for once-habitable locations on Mars is increasingly focused on environments dominated by fluvial and lacustrine processes, such as those investigated by the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. The availability of liquid water coupled with the potential longevity of such systems renders these localities prime targets for the future exploration of Martian biosignatures. Fluvial-lacustrine environments associated with basaltic volcanism are highly relevant to Mars, but their terrestrial counterparts have been largely overlooked as a field analogue. Such environments are common in Iceland, where basaltic volcanism interacts with glacial ice and surface snow to produce large volumes of meltwater within an otherwise cold and dry environment. This meltwater can be stored to create subglacial, englacial, and proglacial lakes, or be released as catastrophic floods and proglacial fluvial systems. Sedimentary deposits produced by the resulting fluvial-lacustrine activity are extensive, with lithologies dominated by basaltic minerals, low-temperature alteration assemblages (e.g., smectite clays, calcite, and amorphous, poorly crystalline phases (basaltic glass, palagonite, nanophase iron oxides. This paper reviews examples of these environments, including their sedimentary deposits and microbiology, within the context of utilising these localities for future Mars analogue studies and instrument testing.

  10. Volcanogenic fluvial-lacustrine environments in iceland and their utility for identifying past habitability on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousins, Claire

    2015-02-16

    The search for once-habitable locations on Mars is increasingly focused on environments dominated by fluvial and lacustrine processes, such as those investigated by the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. The availability of liquid water coupled with the potential longevity of such systems renders these localities prime targets for the future exploration of Martian biosignatures. Fluvial-lacustrine environments associated with basaltic volcanism are highly relevant to Mars, but their terrestrial counterparts have been largely overlooked as a field analogue. Such environments are common in Iceland, where basaltic volcanism interacts with glacial ice and surface snow to produce large volumes of meltwater within an otherwise cold and dry environment. This meltwater can be stored to create subglacial, englacial, and proglacial lakes, or be released as catastrophic floods and proglacial fluvial systems. Sedimentary deposits produced by the resulting fluvial-lacustrine activity are extensive, with lithologies dominated by basaltic minerals, low-temperature alteration assemblages (e.g., smectite clays, calcite), and amorphous, poorly crystalline phases (basaltic glass, palagonite, nanophase iron oxides). This paper reviews examples of these environments, including their sedimentary deposits and microbiology, within the context of utilising these localities for future Mars analogue studies and instrument testing.

  11. Recalibration of the Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam instrument with an expanded geochemical database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, Samuel M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Anderson, Ryan; Forni, Olivier; Frydenvang, Jens; Lasue, Jeremie; Cousin, Agnes; Payre, Valerie; Boucher, Tommy; Dyar, M. Darby; McLennan, Scott M.; Morris, Richard V.; Graff, Trevor G.; Mertzman, Stanley A; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Belgacem, Ines; Newsom, Horton E.; Clark, Ben C.; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; McInroy, Rhonda E.; Martinez, Ronald; Gasda, Patrick J.; Gasnault, Olivier; Maurice, Sylvestre

    2017-01-01

    The ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity has obtained > 300,000 spectra of rock and soil analysis targets since landing at Gale Crater in 2012, and the spectra represent perhaps the largest publicly-available LIBS datasets. The compositions of the major elements, reported as oxides (SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, FeOT, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O), have been re-calibrated using a laboratory LIBS instrument, Mars-like atmospheric conditions, and a much larger set of standards (408) that span a wider compositional range than previously employed. The new calibration uses a combination of partial least squares (PLS1) and Independent Component Analysis (ICA) algorithms, together with a calibration transfer matrix to minimize differences between the conditions under which the standards were analyzed in the laboratory and the conditions on Mars. While the previous model provided good results in the compositional range near the average Mars surface composition, the new model fits the extreme compositions far better. Examples are given for plagioclase feldspars, where silicon was significantly over-estimated by the previous model, and for calcium-sulfate veins, where silicon compositions near zero were inaccurate. The uncertainties of major element abundances are described as a function of the abundances, and are overall significantly lower than the previous model, enabling important new geochemical interpretations of the data.

  12. PDS MSL Analyst's Notebook: Supporting Active Rover Missions and Adding Value to Planetary Data Archives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Thomas

    Planetary data archives of surface missions contain data from numerous hosted instruments. Because of the nondeterministic nature of surface missions, it is not possible to assess the data without understanding the context in which they were collected. The PDS Analyst’s Notebook (http://an.rsl.wustl.edu) provides access to Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) data archives by integrating sequence information, engineering and science data, observation planning and targeting, and documentation into web-accessible pages to facilitate “mission replay.” In addition, Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Mars Phoenix Lander, Lunar Apollo surface mission, and LCROSS mission data are available in the Analyst’s Notebook concept, and a Notebook is planned for the Insight mission. The MSL Analyst’s Notebook contains data, documentation, and support files for the Curiosity rovers. The inputs are incorporated on a daily basis into a science team version of the Notebook. The public version of the Analyst’s Notebook is comprised of peer-reviewed, released data and is updated coincident with PDS data releases as defined in mission archive plans. The data are provided by the instrument teams and are supported by documentation describing data format, content, and calibration. Both operations and science data products are included. The operations versions are generated to support mission planning and operations on a daily basis. They are geared toward researchers working on machine vision and engineering operations. Science versions of observations from some instruments are provided for those interested in radiometric and photometric analyses. Both data set documentation and sol (i.e., Mars day) documents are included in the Notebook. The sol documents are the mission manager and documentarian reports that provide a view into science operations—insight into why and how particular observations were made. Data set documents contain detailed information regarding the mission, spacecraft

  13. Reconfigurable Autonomy for Future Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burroughes, Guy

    Extra-terrestrial Planetary rover systems are uniquely remote, placing constraints in regard to communication, environmental uncertainty, and limited physical resources, and requiring a high level of fault tolerance and resistance to hardware degradation. This thesis presents a novel self-reconfiguring autonomous software architecture designed to meet the needs of extraterrestrial planetary environments. At runtime it can safely reconfigure low-level control systems, high-level decisional autonomy systems, and managed software architecture. The architecture can perform automatic Verification and Validation of self-reconfiguration at run-time, and enables a system to be self-optimising, self-protecting, and self-healing. A novel self-monitoring system, which is non-invasive, efficient, tunable, and autonomously deploying, is also presented. The architecture was validated through the use-case of a highly autonomous extra-terrestrial planetary exploration rover. Three major forms of reconfiguration were demonstrated and tested: first, high level adjustment of system internal architecture and goal; second, software module modification; and third, low level alteration of hardware control in response to degradation of hardware and environmental change. The architecture was demonstrated to be robust and effective in a Mars sample return mission use-case testing the operational aspects of a novel, reconfigurable guidance, navigation, and control system for a planetary rover, all operating in concert through a scenario that required reconfiguration of all elements of the system.

  14. A Modular Re-configurable Rover System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouloubasis, A.; McKee, G.; Active Robotics Lab

    design allows the MTR to lift, lower, roll or tilt its body. It also provides the ability to lift any of the legs by nearly 300mm, enhancing internal re-configurability and therefore rough terrain stability off the robotic vehicle. A modular software and control architecture will be used so that integration to, and operation through the MTR, of different Packs can be demonstrated. An on-board high-level controller [4] will communicate with a small network of micro-controllers through an RS485 bus. Additional processing power could be obtained through a Pack with equivalent or higher computational capabilities. 1 The nature of the system offers many opportunities for behavior based control. The control system must accommodate not only rover based behaviors like obstacle avoidance and vehicle stabilization, but also any additional behaviors that different Packs may introduce. The Ego-Behavior Architecture (EBA) [5] comprises a number of behaviors which operate autonomously and independent of each other. This facilitates the design and suits the operation of the MTR since it fulfills the need for uncomplicated assimilation of new behaviors in the existing architecture. Our work at the moment focuses on the design and construction of the mechanical and electronic systems for the MTR and an associated Pack. References [1] NASA, Human Exploration of Mars: The Reference Mission (Version 3.0 with June, 1998 Addendum) of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team, Exploration Office, Advanced Development Office, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058, June, 1998. [2] A. Trebi-Ollennu, H Das Nayer, H Aghazarian, A ganino, P Pirjanian, B Kennedy, T Huntsberger and P Schenker, Mars Rover Pair Cooperatively Transporting a Long Payload, in Proceedings of the 2002 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 2002, pp. 3136-3141. [3] A. K. Bouloubasis, G. T McKee, P. S. Schenker, A Behavior-Based Manipulator for Multi-Robot Transport Tasks, in proceedings of the

  15. Nuclear thermal rocket workshop reference system Rover/NERVA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borowski, S.K.

    1991-01-01

    The Rover/NERVA engine system is to be used as a reference, against which each of the other concepts presented in the workshop will be compared. The following topics are reviewed: the operational characteristics of the nuclear thermal rocket (NTR); the accomplishments of the Rover/NERVA programs; and performance characteristics of the NERVA-type systems for both Mars and lunar mission applications. Also, the issues of ground testing, NTR safety, NASA's nuclear propulsion project plans, and NTR development cost estimates are briefly discussed

  16. Measurements of the neutral particle spectra on Mars by MSL/RAD from 2015-11-15 to 2016-01-15

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jingnan; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Hassler, Donald M.; Köhler, Jan; Ehresmann, Bent; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Brinza, David E.

    2017-08-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity, has been measuring the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars since the landing of the rover in August 2012. In contrast to charged particles, neutral particles (neutrons and γ-rays) are measured indirectly: the energy deposition spectra produced by neutral particles are complex convolutions of the incident particle spectra with the detector response functions. An inversion technique has been developed and applied to jointly unfold the deposited energy spectra measured in two scintillators of different types (CsI for high γ detection efficiency, and plastic for neutrons) to obtain the neutron and γ-ray spectra. This result is important for determining the biological impact of the Martian surface radiation contributed by neutrons, which interact with materials differently from the charged particles. These first in-situ measurements on Mars provide (1) an important reference for assessing the radiation-associated health risks for future manned missions to the red planet and (2) an experimental input for validating the particle transport codes used to model the radiation environments within spacecraft or on the surface of planets. Here we present neutral particle spectra as well as the corresponding dose and dose equivalent rates derived from RAD measurement during a period (November 15, 2015 to January 15, 2016) for which the surface particle spectra have been simulated via different transport models.

  17. Dementia communication using empathic curiosity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEvoy, Phil; Eden, John; Plant, Rachel

    Communication skills training materials in dementia care usually focus on reminiscence. This is important because talking about past events can help people with dementia to retain their sense of self. This article examines the use of an alternative set of communication skills known as empathic curiosity, which may help to promote meaningful communication in the here and now with people who are living with dementia.

  18. Energy storage considerations for a robotic Mars surface sampler

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Donnell, P.M.; Cataldo, R.L.; Gonzalez-Sanabria, O.D.

    1988-01-01

    Manned exploration of Mars is being proposed by the National Commission on Space for the next century. To accomplish this task with minimal resupply cost for extended stay times, use of Mars' resources is essential. Methods must be developed to manufacture or extract water and oxygen from elements indigenous to Mars before they send explorers to the planet. Therefore, they must send precursor surveying equipment to determine Mars' resources to a greater extent than is now known from Viking 1 and Viking 2 data. A 1992 launch is planned for the Mars Observer that will contribute greater mapping resolution and expand the scientific data base. The proposed rover will provide scientists with the necessary information about abundant resources that would guide the required technology development needed to support a manned Mars infrastructure. The actual rover operations plan for both the sample return and extended mission will have a large impact on rover capabilities and the power system supplying power for traversing and scientific instrumentation. POWER SOURCE AND CONVERSION. Several power source/conversion options for the rover have been identified. These include power generation on the lander, Entry Vehicle (EV), Mars Orbiter Vehicle (MOV) and on the rover itself. Power from the lander would require the rover to return to landing site to recharge the energy storage systems, which limits rover excursions to one-half the range of the storage capacity. For on-board rover power, a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) has been considered with the appropriate energy storage to handle peak power demands

  19. Implementing planetary protection measures on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benardini, James N; La Duc, Myron T; Beaudet, Robert A; Koukol, Robert

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), comprising a cruise stage; an aeroshell; an entry, descent, and landing system; and the radioisotope thermoelectric generator-powered Curiosity rover, made history with its unprecedented sky crane landing on Mars on August 6, 2012. The mission's primary science objective has been to explore the area surrounding Gale Crater and assess its habitability for past life. Because microbial contamination could profoundly impact the integrity of the mission and compliance with international treaty was required, planetary protection measures were implemented on MSL hardware to verify that bioburden levels complied with NASA regulations. By applying the proper antimicrobial countermeasures throughout all phases of assembly, the total bacterial endospore burden of MSL at the time of launch was kept to 2.78×10⁵ spores, well within the required specification of less than 5.0×10⁵ spores. The total spore burden of the exposed surfaces of the landed MSL hardware was 5.64×10⁴, well below the allowed limit of 3.0×10⁵ spores. At the time of launch, the MSL spacecraft was burdened with an average of 22 spores/m², which included both planned landed and planned impacted hardware. Here, we report the results of a campaign to implement and verify planetary protection measures on the MSL flight system.

  20. The radiation environment on the surface of Mars - Numerical calculations of the galactic component with GEANT4/PLANETOCOSMICS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthiä, Daniel; Berger, Thomas

    2017-08-01

    Galactic cosmic radiation and secondary particles produced in the interaction with the atmosphere lead to a complex radiation field on the Martian surface. A workshop ("1st Mars Space Radiation Modeling Workshop") organized by the MSL-RAD science team was held in June 2016 in Boulder with the goal to compare models capable to predict this radiation field with each other and measurements from the RAD instrument onboard the curiosity rover taken between November 15, 2015 and January 15, 2016. In this work the results of PLANETOCOSMICS/GEANT4 contributed to the workshop are presented. Calculated secondary particle spectra on the Martian surface are investigated and the radiation field's directionality of the different particles in dependence on the energy is discussed. Omnidirectional particle fluxes are used in combination with fluence to dose conversion factors to calculate absorbed dose rates and dose equivalent rates in a slab of tissue. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Low Cost Mars Sample Return Utilizing Dragon Lander Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.

    2014-01-01

    We studied a Mars sample return (MSR) mission that lands a SpaceX Dragon Capsule on Mars carrying sample collection hardware (an arm, drill, or small rover) and a spacecraft stack consisting of a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) and Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) that collectively carry the sample container from Mars back to Earth orbit.

  2. Anatomy of an ancient aeolian sandstone on Mars: the Stimson formation, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Sanjeev; Banham, Steven; Rubin, David; Watkins, Jessica; Sumner, Dawn; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Edgar, Lauren; Stack, Kathryn; Day, McKenzie; Ewing, Ryan; Lapotre, Mathieu

    2016-10-01

    Since landing in 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) rover Curiosity has traversed the plains and foothills of Aeolis Mons (informally known as Mt. Sharp) investigating the environments preserved in the stratigraphic record of Gale crater. Recently, the Curiosity team has been investigating the Stimson formation, a sandstone exhibiting abundant crossbedding that drapes the underlying Murray formation mudstones. The contact between the Stimson and underlying Murray formation exhibits several meters relief over several 100 m hundred metres where encountered thus far. The Stimson is observed to onlap onto this contact, indicating that accumulating Stimson sandstones unconformably onlapped or buried local palaeotopography.Facies and architectural elements observed within the Stimson are interpreted to represent deposition within an ancient dune field. The Stimson formation is typically composed of decimeter-scale and meter-scale crossbedded sandstones, (exhibiting wind-ripple lamination and well rounded particles up to granule size). Architectural elements are visible in outcrops oriented perpendicular to the regional northwest dip. These consist of undulating surfaces parallel to the regional dip with observed lateral extents up to 30 m that truncate underlying cross-sets and commonly act as basal surfaces to overlying cross-sets. Undulating surfaces are interpreted possibly to be deflationary supersurfaces, which formed in response to deflation or dune-field stabilisation across a regional extent. Surfaces inclined relative to the regional dip ascend between supersurfaces towards the north east at an observed angle of 3-4°. These surfaces are interpreted to be dune bounding surfaces, which are preserved when dunes climb as a result of dune-field aggradation. Aggradation of the system during the duration of the dune field's existence possibly occurred as a response to episodic increases of sediment supply into the basin, allowing dunes to climb and preserving

  3. Electron/positron measurements obtained with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector on the surface of Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Köhler

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD, on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL rover Curiosity, measures the energetic charged and neutral particles and the radiation dose rate on the surface of Mars. Although charged and neutral particle spectra have been investigated in detail, the electron and positron spectra have not been investigated yet. The reason for that is that they are difficult to separate from each other and because of the technical challenges involved in extracting energy spectra from the raw data. We use GEANT4 to model the behavior of the RAD instrument for electron/positron measurements. We compare Planetocosmics predictions for different atmospheric pressures and different modulation parameters Φ with the obtained RAD electron/positron measurements. We find that the RAD electron/positron measurements agree well with the spectra predicted by Planetocosmics. Both RAD measurements and Planetocosmics simulation show a dependence of the electron/positron fluxes on both atmospheric pressure and solar modulation potential.

  4. Design of a nuclear-powered rover for lunar or Martian exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trellue, H.R.; Trautner, R.; Houts, M.G.; Poston, D.I.; Giovig, K.; Baca, J.A.; Lipinski, R.J.

    1998-08-01

    To perform more advanced studies on the surface of the moon or Mars, a rover must provide long-term power (≥10 kW e ). However, a majority of rovers in the past have been designed for much lower power levels (i.e., on the order of watts) or for shorter operating periods using stored power. Thus, more advanced systems are required to generate additional power. One possible design for a more highly powered rover involves using a nuclear reactor to supply energy to the rover and material from the surface of the moon or Mars to shield the electronics from high neutron fluxes and gamma doses. Typically, one of the main disadvantages of using a nuclear-powered rover is that the required shielding would be heavy and expensive to include as part of the payload on a mission. Obtaining most of the required shielding material from the surface of the moon or Mars would reduce the cost of the mission and still provide the necessary power. This paper describes the basic design of a rover that uses the Heatpipe Power System (HPS) as an energy source, including the shielding and reactor control issues associated with the design. It also discusses briefly the amount of power that can be produced by other power methods (solar/photovoltaic cells, radioisotope power supplies, dynamic radioisotope power systems, and the production of methane or acetylene fuel from the surface of Mars) as a comparison to the HPS

  5. Effects of Perchlorate on Organic Molecules under Simulated Mars Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrier, B. L.; Kounaves, S. P.

    2014-12-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4-) was discovered in the northern polar region of Mars by the Mars Phoenix Lander in 2008 and has also been recently detected by the Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater [1,2]. Perchlorate has also been shown to be formed under current Mars conditions via the oxidation of mineral chlorides, further supporting the theory that perchlorate is present globally on Mars [3]. The discovery of perchlorate on Mars has raised important questions about the effects of perchlorate on the survival and detection of organic molecules. Although it has been shown that pyrolysis in the presence of perchlorate results in the alteration or destruction of organic molecules [4], few studies have been conducted on the potential effects of perchlorate on organic molecules under martian surface conditions. Although perchlorate is typically inert under Mars-typical temperatures [5], perchlorate does absorb high energy UV radiation, and has been shown to decompose to form reactive oxychlorine species such as chlorite (ClO2-) when exposed to martian conditions including UV or ionizing radiation [6,7]. Here we investigate the effects of perchlorate on the organic molecules tryptophan, benzoic acid and mellitic acid in order to determine how perchlorate may alter these compounds under Mars conditions. Experiments are performed in a Mars Simulation Chamber (MSC) capable of reproducing the temperature, pressure, atmospheric composition and UV flux found on Mars. Soil simulants are prepared consisting of SiO2 and each organic, as well as varying concentrations of perchlorate salts, and exposed in the MSC. Subsequent to exposure in the MSC samples are leached and the leachate analyzed by HPLC and LC-MS to determine the degree of degradation of the original organic and the identity of any potential decomposition products formed by oxidation or chlorination. References: [1] Kounaves et al., J. Geophys. Res. Planets, Vol. 115, p. E00E10, 2010 [2] Glavin et al., J. Geophys. Res. Planets, Vol

  6. The Investigation of Chlorates as a Possible Source of Oxygen and Chlorine Detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Archer, D. P.; Ming, D. W.; Niles, P. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H.; Glavin, D. P.; McAdam, A. C.; Mahaffy, P; Stern, J. C.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the Curiosity rover detect-ed O2 and HCl gas releases from the Rocknest (RN) eolian bedform and the John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) drill hole materials in Gale Crater. Chlorinated hydrocarbons have also been detected by the SAM quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GCMS). These detections along with the detection of perchlorate (ClO4-) by the Mars Phoenix Lander’s Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) suggesting perchlorate is a possible candidate for evolved O2 and chlorine species. Laboratory thermal analysis of perchlorates has yet to provide an unequivocal temperature match to the SAM O2 and HCl release data. Iron mineralogy found in the Rocknest materials when mixed with Ca-perchlorate does cause O2 release temperatures to be closer match to the SAM O2 release data but more work is required in evaluating the catalytic effects of Fe mineralogy on perchlorate decomposition. Chlorates (ClO3-) are relevant Mars materials and potential O2 and Cl sources. The objective of this work is to evaluate the thermal decomposition of select chlorate (ClO3-) salts as possible sources of the O2 and HCl releases in the Gale Crater materials.

  7. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

    Mars is one of the most fascinating planets in the solar system, featuring an atmosphere, water, and enormous volcanoes and canyons. The Mars Pathfinder, Global Surveyor, and Odyssey missions mark the first wave of the Planet Earth's coming invasion of the red planet, changing our views of the past and future of the planet and the possibilities of life. Scientist and science-fiction writer Geoffrey A. Landis will present experiences on the Pathfinder mission, the challenges of using solar power on the surface of Mars, and present future missions to Mars such as the upcoming Mars Twin Rovers, which will launch two highly-capable vehicles in 2003 to explore the surface of Mars.

  8. A Concept Map of Curiosity Literature

    OpenAIRE

    Bai, Zhen

    2018-01-01

    Curiosity is a commonly studied topic in psychology. I produced the following mind map to categorize and understand key contributions to curiosity literature, to inform the design of technology-enhanced learning technologies to evoke curiosity that we are presently undertaking. Just as the mind map categorizes the literature, the literature de?fines the shape and nature of the mind map presented here-in.

  9. Quantifying Cyclic Thermal Stresses Due to Solar Exposure in Rock Fragments in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallet, B.; Mackenzie-Helnwein, P.; Sletten, R. S.

    2017-12-01

    Curiosity and earlier rovers on Mars have revealed in detail rocky landscapes with decaying outcrops, rubble, stone-littered regolith, and bedrock exposures that reflect the weathering processes operating on rock exposed to Mars' cold and hyperarid environment. Evidence from diverse sources points to the importance of thermal stresses driven by cyclic solar exposure in contributing to the mechanical weathering of exposed rock and generation of regolith in various settings on Earth [1,2,3], and even more so on extraterrestrial bodies where large, rapid cyclic temperature variations are frequent (e.g. Mars [4], as well as comets [5], asteroids [6] and other airless bodies [7]). To study these thermal stresses, we use a 3d finite element (FE) model constrained by ground-based surface temperature measurements from Curiosity's Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS). The numerical model couples radiation and conduction with elastic response to determine the temperature and stress fields in individual rocks on the surface of Mars based on rock size and thermo-mechanical properties. We provide specific quantitative results for boulder-size basalt rocks resting on the ground using a realistic thermal forcing that closely matches the REMS temperature observations, and related thermal inertia data. Moreover, we introduce analytical studies showing that these numerical results can readily be generalized. They are quite universal, informing us about thermal stresses due to cyclic solar exposure in general, for rock fragments of different sizes, lithologies, and fracture- thermal- and mechanical-properties. Using Earth-analogue studies to gain insight, we also consider how the shapes, fractures, and surface details of rock fragments imaged by Curiosity likely reflect the importance of rock breakdown due to thermal stresses relative to wind-driven rock erosion and other surface processes on Mars. References:[1] McFadden L et al. (2005) Geol. Soc.Am. Bull. 117(1-2): 161-173 [2

  10. Seasonal and interannual variability of solar radiation at Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity landing sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Lemmon, M.T.; Martinez, G.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.; Martin, M.L.

    2016-01-01

    In this article we characterize the radiative environment at the landing sites of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) missions. We use opacity values obtained at the surface from direct imaging of the Sun and our radiative transfer model COMIMART to analyze the seasonal and interannual variability of the daily irradiation at the MER and MSL landing sites. In addition, we analyze the behavior of the direct and diffuse components of the solar radiation at these landing sites. (Author)

  11. Physics curiosities, oddities, and novelties

    CERN Document Server

    Kimball, John

    2015-01-01

    An Enlightening Way to Navigate through Mind-Boggling Physics ConceptsPhysics Curiosities, Oddities, and Novelties highlights unusual aspects of physics and gives a new twist to some fundamental concepts. The book covers both classical and modern physics in an engaging, straightforward style.The author presents perplexing questions that often lack satisfying answers. He also delves into the stories of famous and eccentric past scientists. Many examples reveal interesting ideas, including how:Newton had trouble determining the mass of the moonAn electric motor is an electric generator run in re

  12. Analysis of carbon and nitrogen signatures with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy; the quest for organics under Mars-like conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dequaire, T.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Beck, P.; Jaber, M.; Cousin, A.; Rapin, W.; Lasne, J.; Gasnault, O.; Maurice, S.; Buch, A.; Szopa, C.; Coll, P.

    2017-05-01

    Organic matter has been continuously delivered by meteorites and comets to Mars since its formation, and possibly formed in situ by abiogenic and/or biogenic processes. This organic matter may be preserved from the harsh oxidizing environment of Mars in specific locations. Together with water, organic molecules are necessary to the emergence of life as we know it. Since the first martian landers, scientists have been searching for organics and until today, only one positive detection has been made by a Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) instrument onboard the Curiosity rover. In this article we investigate a complementary approach to guide the search for organic matter using ChemCam, the first Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument on Mars. This experimental study focuses on the analysis of carbon and nitrogen LIBS signatures in organoclay samples and allows the determination of the critical level (Lc) and limit of detection (LoD) of these elements with LIBS under Mars-like conditions, giving new insights into the search of organic matter on Mars.

  13. Synthesis of Akaganeite in the Presence of Sulfate: Implications for Akaganeite Formation in Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretyazhko, T. S.; Fox, A.; Sutter, B.; Niles, P. B.; Adams, M.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Akaganeite (beta-FeOOH) is an Fe(III) (hydr)oxide with a tunnel structure usually occupied by chloride. Akaganeite has been recently discovered in a mudstone on the surface of Mars by the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover in Gale crater [1, 2]. Akaganeite was detected together with sulfate minerals [anhydrite (CaSO4) and basanite (2CaSO4·2H2O)] in the drilled Cumberland and John Clein mudstone samples at Yellowknife Bay [2]. Discovery of akaganeite and sulfates in the same samples suggests that sulfate ions could be present in aqueous solution during akaganeite formation. However, mechanism and aqueous environmental conditions of akaganeite formation (e.g., pH and range of sulfate concentration) in Yellowknife Bay remain unknown. The objective of our work was to perform synthesis of akaganeite without or with sulfate addition at variable pHs in order to constrain formation conditions of akaganeite in Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater on Mars.

  14. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

    This videotape is a compilation of the best NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) videos of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions. The mission is described using animation and narration as well as some actual footage of the entire sequence of mission events. Included within these animations are the spacecraft orbit insertion; descent to the Mars surface; deployment of the airbags and instruments; and exploration by Sojourner, the Mars rover. JPL activities at spacecraft control during significant mission events are also included at the end. The spacecraft cameras pan the surrounding Mars terrain and film Sojourner traversing the surface and inspecting rocks. A single, brief, processed image of the Cydonia region (Mars face) at an oblique angle from the Mars Global Surveyor is presented. A description of the Mars Pathfinder mission, instruments, landing and deployment process, Mars approach, spacecraft orbit insertion, rover operation are all described using computer animation. Actual color footage of Sojourner as well as a 360 deg pan of the Mars terrain surrounding the spacecraft is provided. Lower quality black and white photography depicting Sojourner traversing the Mars surface and inspecting Martian rocks also is included.

  15. Soft Rock Yields Clues to Mars' Past

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1 This image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rock outcrop dubbed 'Clovis.' The rock was discovered to be softer than other rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater after the rover easily ground a hole into it with its rock abrasion tool. Spirit's solar panels can be seen in the foreground. This image was taken by the rover's navigation camera on sol 205 (July 31, 2004). Elemental Trio Found in 'Clovis' Figure 1 above shows that the interior of the rock dubbed 'Clovis' contains higher concentrations of sulfur, bromine and chlorine than basaltic, or volcanic, rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater. The data were taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer after the rover dug into Clovis with its rock abrasion tool. The findings might indicate that this rock was chemically altered, and that fluids once flowed through the rock depositing these elements.

  16. Major accomplishments of America's nuclear rocket program (ROVER)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finseth, J.L.

    1991-01-01

    The United States embarked on a program to develop nuclear rocket engines in 1955. This program was known as project Rover. Initially nuclear rockets were considered as a potential backup for intercontinental ballistic missile propulsion but later proposed applications included both a lunar second stage as well as use in manned-Mars flights. Under the Rover program, 19 different reactors were built and tested during the period of 1959-1969. Additionally, several cold flow (non-fuelled) reactors were tested as well as a nuclear fuels test cell. The Rover program was terminated in 1973, due to budget constraints and an evolving political climate. The Rover program would have led to the development of a flight engine had the program continued through a logical continuation. The Rover program was responsible for a number of technological achievements. The successful operation of nuclear rocket engines on a system level represents the pinnacle of accomplishment. This paper will discuss the engine test program as well as several subsystems

  17. Mars science laboratory radiation assessment detector (MSL/RAD) modeling workshop proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M.; Norbury, John W.; Reitz, Günther

    2017-08-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) (Hassler et al., 2012; Zeitlin et al., 2016) onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover (Grotzinger et al., 2012) is a sophisticated charged and neutral particle radiation analyzer developed by an international team of scientists and engineers from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado as the leading institution, the University of Kiel and the German Aerospace Center in Cologne, Germany. RAD is a compact, powerful instrument capable of distinguishing between ionizing particles and neutral particles and providing neutron, gamma, and charged particle spectra from protons to iron as well as absorbed dose measurements in tissue-equivalent material. During the 6 month cruise to Mars, inside the MSL spacecraft, RAD served as a proxy to validate models of the radiation levels expected inside a spacecraft that future astronauts might experience (Zeitlin et al., 2013). RAD was turned on one day after the landing on August 7, 2012, exactly 100 years to the day after the discovery of cosmic rays on Earth by Victor Hess. These measurements are the first of their kind on the surface of another planet (Hassler et al., 2014), and the radiation data collected by RAD on the surface of Mars will inform projections of crew health risks and the design of protective surface habitats and other countermeasures for future human missions in the coming decades.

  18. Looking Towards Curiosity's Canyon Path: a 4 km Sequence of Gully, Debris Deposits, and Fan/Deltas Which are Bordered by a Sloping Bedform-Capped Plain and Crossed by Lake Shorelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, W. E.; Palucis, M. C.; Parker, T.; Rubin, D.; dePablo, M. A.; Oehler, D. Z.; Bridges, N. T.

    2014-01-01

    The Curiosity Rover is headed towards layered outcrops that appear to be rich in phyllosilicates and sulphates with the expectation of an eventual ascent up Mt. Sharp. One likely will take the rover up a well-defined canyon. Inspection of CTX and HiRISE imagery and topography (5 m contour intervals) reveal a rich geomorphic sequence that may be encountered during the journey.

  19. Fast Optical Hazard Detection for Planetary Rovers Using Multiple Spot Laser Triangulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthies, L.; Balch, T.; Wilcox, B.

    1997-01-01

    A new laser-based optical sensor system that provides hazard detection for planetary rovers is presented. It is anticipated that the sensor can support safe travel at speeds up to 6cm/second for large (1m) rovers in full sunlight on Earth or Mars. The system overcomes limitations in an older design that require image differencing ot detect a laser stripe in full sun.

  20. Low computation vision-based navigation for a Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Andrew S.; Brooks, Rodney A.

    1994-01-01

    Construction and design details of the Mobot Vision System, a small, self-contained, mobile vision system, are presented. This system uses the view from the top of a small, roving, robotic vehicle to supply data that is processed in real-time to safely navigate the surface of Mars. A simple, low-computation algorithm for constructing a 3-D navigational map of the Martian environment to be used by the rover is discussed.

  1. Data from the Mars Science Laboratory CheMin XRD/XRF Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, David; Blake, David; Bristow, Tom; DesMarais, David; Achilles, Cherie; Anderson, Robert; Crips, Joy; Morookian, John Michael; Spanovich, Nicole; Vasavada, Ashwin; hide

    2013-01-01

    The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity uses a Co tube source and a CCD detector to acquire mineralogy from diffracted primary X-rays and chemical information from fluoresced X-rays. CheMin has been operating at the MSL Gale Crater field site since August 5, 2012 and has provided the first X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses in situ on a body beyond Earth. Data from the first sample collected, the Rocknest eolian soil, identify a basaltic mineral suite, predominantly plagioclase (approx.An50), forsteritic olivine (approx.Fo58), augite and pigeonite, consistent with expectation that detrital grains on Mars would reflect widespread basaltic sources. Minor phases (each XRD. This amorphous component is attested to by a broad rise in background centered at approx.27deg 2(theta) (Co K(alpha)) and may include volcanic glass, impact glass, and poorly crystalline phases including iron oxyhydroxides; a rise at lower 2(theta) may indicate allophane or hisingerite. Constraints from phase chemistry of the crystalline components, compared with a Rocknest bulk composition from the APXS instrument on Curiosity, indicate that in sum the amorphous or poorly crystalline components are relatively Si, Al, Mg-poor and enriched in Ti, Cr, Fe, K, P, S, and Cl. All of the identified crystalline phases are volatile-free; H2O, SO2 and CO2 volatile releases from a split of this sample analyzed by the SAM instrument on Curiosity are associated with the amorphous or poorly ordered materials. The Rocknest eolian soil may be a mixture of local detritus, mostly crystalline, with a regional or global set of dominantly amorphous or poorly ordered components. The Rocknest sample was targeted by MSL for "first time analysis" to demonstrate that a loose deposit could be scooped, sieved to <150 microns, and delivered to instruments in the body of the rover. A drilled sample of sediment in outcrop is anticipated. At the time of writing this abstract, promising outcrops are

  2. Assessment of Proficiency During Simulated Rover Operations Following Long-Duration Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S. J.; Dean, S. L.; De Dios, Y. E.; MacDougall, H. G.; Moore, S. T.

    2011-01-01

    Following long-duration space travel, pressurized rovers will enhance crew mobility to explore Mars and other planetary surfaces. Adaptive changes in sensorimotor function may limit the crew s proficiency when performing some rover operations shortly after transition to the new gravitoinertial environment. The primary goal of this investigation is to quantify postflight decrements in operational proficiency in a motion-based rover simulation after International Space Station (ISS) expeditions. Given that postflight performance will also be influenced by the level of preflight proficiency attained, a ground-based normative study was conducted to characterize the acquisition of skills over multiple sessions.

  3. Searching for Ancient Lakebeds in Ladon Basin, Mars and Implications for Future Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colón, A. M.; Miranda, C.; Milliken, R.

    2017-12-01

    It is well known from terrestrial studies that clay-rich rocks, and lacustrine mudstones in particular, are efficient at trapping, binding, and preserving organic matter through geologic time. This has also been demonstrated on Mars, where the Curiosity rover has detected organics in ancient mudstones in Gale crater. A number of other potential ancient lake sites have been proposed as landing sties for the Mars 2020 rover, including regions within the Ladon Basin and Valles system. In this study we map of the distribution of clay deposits in the Uzboi-Morava-Ladon (ULM) System, a system thought to have been a series of lakes interconnected by channels, and assess how these hydrous minerals relate to topography, adjacent fluvial networks, and the overall stratigraphy of basin deposits. We use CTX images and near-IR spectral reflectance data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM instrument to independently map morphological and mineralogical features within Ladon. We find a number of occurrences of stratified, light-toned outcrops within the basin, but individual outcrops are small even at the scale of CTX images and are concentrated in several locations in the basin. Some light-toned outcrops are associated with clay minerals, but in general the light-toned appearance appears to be a poor proxy for clay distribution. CRISM data reveal that some clay-bearing regions are visually indistinct from adjacent clay-poor terrains. Some of the best examples of stratified, clay-bearing rocks are found in Ladon Valles, where they occur in terraces. In general, the stratigraphic, topographic, and morphologic evidence do not preclude a lacustrine origin, but there is no diagnostic evidence to support this interpretation either. The clay-bearing and light-toned deposits within Ladon basin may instead reflect deposition in an alluvial/fluvial system that post-dates the peak period of inferred lacustrine activity in the ULM system.

  4. Next generation laser-based standoff spectroscopy techniques for Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasda, Patrick J; Acosta-Maeda, Tayro E; Lucey, Paul G; Misra, Anupam K; Sharma, Shiv K; Taylor, G Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    In the recent Mars 2020 Rover Science Definition Team Report, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has sought the capability to detect and identify elements, minerals, and most importantly, biosignatures, at fine scales for the preparation of a retrievable cache of samples. The current Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity, has a remote laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument, a type of quantitative elemental analysis, called the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) that has shown that laser-induced spectroscopy instruments are not only feasible for space exploration, but are reliable and complementary to traditional elemental analysis instruments such as the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer. The superb track record of ChemCam has paved the way for other laser-induced spectroscopy instruments, such as Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy. We have developed a prototype remote LIBS-Raman-fluorescence instrument, Q-switched laser-induced time-resolved spectroscopy (QuaLITy), which is approximately 70 000 times more efficient at recording signals than a commercially available LIBS instrument. The increase in detection limits and sensitivity is due to our development of a directly coupled system, the use of an intensified charge-coupled device image detector, and a pulsed laser that allows for time-resolved measurements. We compare the LIBS capabilities of our system with an Ocean Optics spectrometer instrument at 7 m and 5 m distance. An increase in signal-to-noise ratio of at least an order of magnitude allows for greater quantitative analysis of the elements in a LIBS spectrum with 200-300 μm spatial resolution at 7 m, a Raman instrument capable of 1 mm spatial resolution at 3 m, and bioorganic fluorescence detection at longer distances. Thus, the new QuaLITy instrument fulfills all of the NASA expectations for proposed instruments.

  5. Autonomous Rover Traverse and Precise Arm Placement on Remotely Designated Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felder, Michael; Nesnas, Issa A.; Pivtoraiko, Mihail; Kelly, Alonzo; Volpe, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Exploring planetary surfaces typically involves traversing challenging and unknown terrain and acquiring in-situ measurements at designated locations using arm-mounted instruments. We present field results for a new implementation of an autonomous capability that enables a rover to traverse and precisely place an arm-mounted instrument on remote targets. Using point-and-click mouse commands, a scientist designates targets in the initial imagery acquired from the rover's mast cameras. The rover then autonomously traverse the rocky terrain for a distance of 10 - 15 m, tracks the target(s) of interest during the traverse, positions itself for approaching the target, and then precisely places an arm-mounted instrument within 2-3 cm from the originally designated target. The rover proceeds to acquire science measurements with the instrument. This work advances what has been previously developed and integrated on the Mars Exploration Rovers by using algorithms that are capable of traversing more rock-dense terrains, enabling tight thread-the-needle maneuvers. We integrated these algorithms on the newly refurbished Athena Mars research rover and fielded them in the JPL Mars Yard. We conducted 43 runs with targets at distances ranging from 5 m to 15 m and achieved a success rate of 93% for placement of the instrument within 2-3 cm.

  6. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; McClure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar; Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric

    The objective of this project was to design a manned pressurized lunar rover (PLR) for long-range transportation and for exploration of the lunar surface. The vehicle must be capable of operating on a 14-day mission, traveling within a radius of 500 km during a lunar day or within a 50-km radius during a lunar night. The vehicle must accommodate a nominal crew of four, support two 28-hour EVA's, and in case of emergency, support a crew of six when near the lunar base. A nominal speed of ten km/hr and capability of towing a trailer with a mass of two mt are required. Two preliminary designs have been developed by two independent student teams. The PLR 1 design proposes a seven meter long cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, lighting, robotic arms, tools, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The rover uses a simple mobility system with six wheels on the main vehicle and two on the trailer. The nonpressurized trailer contains a modular radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) supplying 6.5 kW continuous power. A secondary energy storage for short-term peak power needs is provided by a bank of lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries. The life support system is partly a regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center allowing the center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. The PLR 1 has a total mass of 6197 kg. It has a top speed of 18 km/hr and is capable of towing three metric tons, in addition to the RTG trailer. The PLR 2 configuration consists of two four-meter diameter, cylindrical hulls which are passively connected by a flexible passageway, resulting in the overall vehicle length of 11 m. The vehicle is driven by eight independently suspended wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows articulated as well as double

  7. The Mars Science Laboratory Mission: Early Results from Gale Crater Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flatow, I.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Blake, D.; Crisp, J. A.; Edgett, K. S.; Gellert, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Hassler, D. M.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Malin, M. C.; Meyer, M. A.; Mitrofanov, I.; Vasavada, A. R.; Wiens, R. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, landed at Gale Crater on August 5th (PDT) and initiated an investigation of modern and ancient environments. The 155-km diameter Gale Crater was chosen as Curiosity's field site based on several attributes: the interior Mount Sharp preserves a succession of flat-lying strata extending almost 5 km above the elevation of the landing site; the lower few hundred meters of the mound show a progression with relative age from clay-bearing to sulfate-bearing strata, separated by an unconformity from overlying likely anhydrous strata; the landing ellipse is characterized by a mixture of alluvial fan and high thermal inertia/high albedo stratified deposits; and a number of stratigraphically/geomorphically distinct fluvial features. Gale's regional context and strong evidence for a progression through multiple potentially habitable environments, represented by a stratigraphic record of extraordinary extent, ensure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars. Curiosity has an expected lifetime of at least one Mars year (~23 months), and drive capability of at least 20 km. The MSL science payload was specifically assembled to assess habitability and includes a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and gas analyzer that will search for organic carbon in rocks, regolith fines, and the atmosphere (SAM); an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity (CheMin); focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color (MAHLI, Mastcam); an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry (APXS); a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals (ChemCam); an active/passive neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith (DAN); a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables (REMS); and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of

  8. Refinement of the Compton–Rayleigh scatter ratio method for use on the Mars Science Laboratory alpha particle X-ray spectrometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.ca [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); Perrett, G.M. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); Maxwell, J.A. [3A 47 Surrey St. East, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1H 3P6 (Canada); Nield, E.; Gellert, R. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); King, P.L. [Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200 (Australia); Lee, M.; O’Meara, J.M.; Pradler, I. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2013-05-01

    Spectra from the Mars rover alpha particle X-ray spectrometers contain the elastic and inelastic scatter peaks of the plutonium L X-rays emitted by the instrument’s {sup 244}Cm source. Various spectrum fitting approaches are tested using the terrestrial twin of the APXS instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, in order to provide accurate extraction of the Lα and Lβ Compton/Rayleigh intensity ratios, which can provide information about light “invisible” constituents such as water in geological samples. A well-defined dependence of C/R ratios upon mean sample atomic number is established using a large and varied set of geochemical reference materials, and the accuracy of this calibration is examined. Detailed attention is paid to the influence of the rubidium and strontium peaks which overlap the Lα scatter peaks. Our Monte Carlo simulation code for prediction of C/R ratios from element concentrations is updated. The ratio between measured and simulated C/R ratios provides a second means of calibration.

  9. Fatty Acid Detection in Mars-Analogous Rock Samples with the TMAH Wet Chemistry Experiment on the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, A. J.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Wilhelm, M. B.; Johnson, S. S.; Craft, K.; O'Reilly, S.; Lewis, J. M. T.; Williams, R.; Summons, R. E.; Benison, K. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2017-12-01

    The Curiosity rover is exploring sedimentary rock sequences in Gale Crater for evidence of habitability and searching for organic compounds using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. SAM includes a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC-MS) and pyrolysis ovens. SAM has the ability to perform wet chemistry experiments, one of which uses tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) thermochemolysis to liberate bound lipids, making them sufficiently volatile for detection by GC-MS. To determine the effectiveness of the SAM-like TMAH experiment on fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) biomarker identification, rock and sediment samples were collected from a variety of Mars analog environments including iron oxides from a modern mineral precipitate and older surface gossan at Iron Mountain, CA, as well as modern acid salt and neutral lake sediments with mixed iron oxides and clays from Western Australia; siliceous sinter from recently inactive and modern near-vent Icelandic hot springs deposits; modern carbonate ooids from The Bahamas, and organic-rich shale from Germany. Samples underwent pyrolysis with TMAH. Fatty acids were analyzed by pyro-GC-MS using a SAM-like heating ramp (35°C/min) as well as a 500°C flash on a Frontier pyrolyzer and Agilent GC-MS instrument. Results reveal that FAMEs were detectable with the TMAH experiment in nearly all samples. Low molecular weight (MW) C6:0-C10:0 FAMEs were present in all samples, medium MW C11:0-C18:2 FAMEs were present in select samples, and high MW (HMW) C20:0-C30:0 FAMEs were present in the shale sample. Many of these samples exhibited an even-over-odd carbon number preference, indicating biological production. These experiments demonstrate that TMAH thermochemolysis with SAM-like pyro-GC-MS is effective in fatty acid analysis from natural Mars-analog samples that vary in mineralogy, age, and microbial community input. HMW FAMEs are not detected in iron-dominated samples, and may not be detectable at low

  10. Circolo enogastronomico "Della Rovere" = The Della Rovere Club

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2012-01-01

    Della Rovere Klubist, mis on Itaalia Önogastronoomiliste Ühenduste Föderatsiooni ja Euroopa Önogastronoomia Vennaskondade Nõukogu liige ja mille missiooniks on kohalike traditsioonide säilitamine, erinevate toiduainete omaduste tutvustamine, veinikultuuri õpetamine jne

  11. Assessing Weather Curiosity in University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, A. E.

    2017-12-01

    This research focuses upon measuring an individual's level of trait curiosity about the weather using the Weather Curiosity Scale (WCS). The measure consists of 15 self-report items that describe weather preferences and/or behaviors that people may perform more or less frequently. The author reports on two initial studies of the WCS that have used the responses of 710 undergraduate students from a large university in the southeastern United States. In the first study, factor analysis of the 15 items indicated that the measure was unidimensional - suggesting that its items singularly assessed weather curiosity. The WCS also was internally consistent as evidenced by an acceptable Cronbach's alpha, a = .81). The second study sought to identify other personality variables that may relate with the WCS scores and thus illuminate the nature of weather curiosity. Several clusters of personality variables appear to underlie the curiosity levels people exhibited, the first of which related to perceptual curiosity (r = .59). Being curious about sights, sounds, smells, and textures generally related somewhat to curiosity about weather. Two measures of trait sensitivity to environmental stimulation, the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (r = .47) and the Orientation Sensitivity Scale of the Adult Temperament Questionnaire (r = .43), also predicted weather curiosity levels. Finally, possessing extraverted personality traits (r = .34) and an intense style of experiencing one's emotions (r = .33) related to weather curiosity. How can this measure be used in K-12 or post-secondary settings to further climate literacy? First, the WCS can identify students with natural curiosities about weather and climate so these students may be given more challenging instruction that will leverage their natural interests. Second, high-WCS students may function as weather and climate ambassadors during inquiry-based learning activities and thus help other students who are not as oriented to the

  12. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Spirit acquired this mosaic with the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. The view presented here is an approximately true-color rendering.

  13. Using Wind Driven Tumbleweed Rovers to Explore Martian Gully Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Woodard, Stanley E.; Hajos, Gregory A.; Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Taylor, Bryant D.

    2005-01-01

    Gully features have been observed on the slopes of numerous Martian crater walls, valleys, pits, and graben. Several mechanisms for gully formation have been proposed, including: liquid water aquifers (shallow and deep), melting ground ice, snow melt, CO2 aquifers, and dry debris flow. Remote sensing observations indicate that the most likely erosional agent is liquid water. Debate concerns the source of this water. Observations favor a liquid water aquifer as the primary candidate. The current strategy in the search for life on Mars is to "follow the water." A new vehicle known as a Tumbleweed rover may be able to conduct in-situ investigations in the gullies, which are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Deriving mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, Tumbleweed rovers would be lightweight and relatively inexpensive thus allowing multiple rovers to be deployed in a single mission to survey areas for future exploration. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is developing deployable structure Tumbleweed concepts. An extremely lightweight measurement acquisition system and sensors are proposed for the Tumbleweed rover that greatly increases the number of measurements performed while having negligible mass increase. The key to this method is the use of magnetic field response sensors designed as passive inductor-capacitor circuits that produce magnetic field responses whose attributes correspond to values of physical properties for which the sensors measure. The sensors do not need a physical connection to a power source or to data acquisition equipment resulting in additional weight reduction. Many of the sensors and interrogating antennae can be directly placed on the Tumbleweed using film deposition methods such as photolithography thus providing further weight reduction. Concepts are presented herein for methods to measure subsurface water, subsurface metals, planetary winds and environmental gases.

  14. Mineralogy of Sediments on a Cold and Icy Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampe, E. B.; Horgan, B. H. N.; Smith, R.; Scudder, N.; Rutledge, A. M.; Bamber, E.; Morris, R. V.

    2017-12-01

    The water-related minerals discovered in ancient martian terrains suggest liquid water was abundant on the surface and/or near subsurface during Mars' early history. The debate remains, however, whether these minerals are indicative of a warm and wet or cold and icy climate. To characterize mineral assemblages of cold and icy mafic terrains, we analyzed pro- and supraglacial rocks and sediments from the Collier and Diller glacial valleys in Three Sisters, Oregon. We identified primary and secondary phases using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning and transmission electron microscopies with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM, TEM, EDS), and visible/short-wave-infrared (VSWIR) and thermal-infrared (TIR) spectroscopies. Samples from both glacial valleys are dominated by primary igneous minerals (i.e., plagioclase and pyroxene). Sediments in the Collier glacial valley contain minor to trace amounts of phyllosilicates and zeolites, but these phases are likely detrital and sourced from hydrothermally altered units on North Sister. We find that the authigenic phases in cold and icy mafic terrains are poorly crystalline and/or amorphous. TEM-EDS analyses of the materials, including iron oxides, devitrified volcanic glass, and Fe-Si-Al (e.g., proto-clay) phases. A variety of primary and secondary amorphous materials (e.g., volcanic glass, leached glass, allophane) have been suggested from orbital IR data from Mars, and the CheMin XRD on the Curiosity rover has identified X-ray amorphous materials in all rocks and soils measured to date. The compositions of the Gale Crater amorphous components cannot be explained by primary volcanic glass alone and likely include secondary silicates, iron oxides, and sulfates. We suggest that the prevalence of amorphous materials on the martian surface and the variety of amorphous components may be a signature of a cold and icy climate on Early Mars.

  15. Measurement of Mars Analog Soil Dielectric Properties for Mars 2020 Radar Science Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decrossas, E.; Bell, D. J.; Jin, C.; Steinfeld, D.; Batres, J.

    2017-12-01

    On multiple solar system missions, radar instruments have been used to probe subsurface geomorphology and to infer chemical composition based on the dielectric signature derived from the reflected signal. One important planetary application is the identification of subsurface water ice at Mars. Low frequency, 15 MHz to 25 MHz, instruments like SHARAD have been used from Mars orbit to investigate subsurface features from 10's to 1000's of meters below the surface of Mars with a vertical resolution of 15m and a horizontal resolution of 300 to 3000 meters. SHARAD has been able to identify vast layers of CO2 and water ice. The ground-penetrating RIMFAX instrument that will ride on the back of the Mars 2020 rover will operate over the 150 MHz to 1200 MHz band and penetrate to a depth of 10 meters with a vertical resolution of 15 to 30 cm. RIMFAX will be able to identify near surface water ice if it exists below the travel path of the Mars 2020 rover. Identification of near surface water ice has science application to current and past Mars hydrologic processes and to the potential for finding remnants of past Mars biologic activity. Identification of near surface water ice also has application to future human missions that would benefit from access to a Mars local water source. Recently, JPL investigators have been pursuing a secondary use of telecom signals to capture bistatic radar signatures from subsurface areas surrounding the rover but away from its travel path. A particularly promising potential source would be the telecom signal from a proposed Mars Helicopter back to the Mars 2020 rover. The Mars 2020 rover will be equipped with up to three telecom subsystems. The Rover Relay telecom subsystem operates at UHF receiving at 435 MHz frequency. Anticipating opportunistic collection of near-surface bistatic radar signatures from telecom signals received at the rover, it is valuable to understand the dielectric properties of the Martian soil in each of these three

  16. Interactive 3D Mars Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    The Interactive 3D Mars Visualization system provides high-performance, immersive visualization of satellite and surface vehicle imagery of Mars. The software can be used in mission operations to provide the most accurate position information for the Mars rovers to date. When integrated into the mission data pipeline, this system allows mission planners to view the location of the rover on Mars to 0.01-meter accuracy with respect to satellite imagery, with dynamic updates to incorporate the latest position information. Given this information so early in the planning process, rover drivers are able to plan more accurate drive activities for the rover than ever before, increasing the execution of science activities significantly. Scientifically, this 3D mapping information puts all of the science analyses to date into geologic context on a daily basis instead of weeks or months, as was the norm prior to this contribution. This allows the science planners to judge the efficacy of their previously executed science observations much more efficiently, and achieve greater science return as a result. The Interactive 3D Mars surface view is a Mars terrain browsing software interface that encompasses the entire region of exploration for a Mars surface exploration mission. The view is interactive, allowing the user to pan in any direction by clicking and dragging, or to zoom in or out by scrolling the mouse or touchpad. This set currently includes tools for selecting a point of interest, and a ruler tool for displaying the distance between and positions of two points of interest. The mapping information can be harvested and shared through ubiquitous online mapping tools like Google Mars, NASA WorldWind, and Worldwide Telescope.

  17. Shaler: in situ analysis of a fluvial sedimentary deposit on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgar, Lauren; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Kocurek, Gary A.; Anderson, Ryan; Bell, James F.; Dromart, Gilles; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Grotzinger, John P.; Hardgrove, Craig; Kah, Linda C.; LeVeille, Richard A.; Malin, Michael C.; Mangold, Nicholas; Milliken, Ralph E.; Minitti, Michelle; Palucis, Marisa C.; Rice, Melissa; Rowland, Scott K.; Schieber, Juergen; Stack, Kathryn M.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Rebecca M.E.; Williams, Amy J.

    2018-01-01

    This paper characterizes the detailed sedimentology of a fluvial sandbody on Mars for the first time, and interprets its depositional processes and palaeoenvironmental setting. Despite numerous orbital observations of fluvial landforms on the surface of Mars, ground-based characterization of the sedimentology of such fluvial deposits has not previously been possible. Results from the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover provide an opportunity to reconstruct at fine scale the sedimentary architecture and palaeomorphology of a fluvial environment on Mars. This work describes the grain size, texture, and sedimentary facies of the Shaler outcrop, reconstructs the bedding architecture, and analyses cross-stratification to determine palaeocurrents. On the basis of bedset geometry and inclination, grain-size distribution, and bedform migration direction, this study concludes that the Shaler outcrop likely records the accretion of a fluvial barform. The majority of the outcrop consists of large-scale trough cross-bedding of coarse sand and granules. Palaeocurrent analyses and bedform reconstruction indicate that the beds were deposited by bedforms that migrated towards the northeast, across the surface of a bar that migrated southeast. Stacked cosets of dune cross-bedding suggest aggradation of multiple bedforms, which provides evidence for short periods of sustained flow during Shaler deposition. However, local evidence for aeolian reworking and the presence of potential desiccation cracks within the outcrop suggests that fluvial deposition may have been intermittent. The uppermost strata at Shaler are distinct in terms of texture and chemistry, and are inferred to record deposition from a different sediment dispersal system with a contrasting provenance. The outcrop as a whole is a testament to the availability of liquid water on the surface of Mars in its early history.

  18. The Relationship between Optimism, Pre-Entrepreneurial Curiosity and Entrepreneurial Curiosity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeraj Mitja

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs become more and more interesting fields for a scientific research. This paper addresses the relationship between optimism, pre-entrepreneurial curiosity and entrepreneurial curiosity as three determinants of entrepreneurial psychology. Literature review showed optimism is important for entrepreneurs and influence them mostly in a positive way. Although entrepreneurial curiosity is important determinant for entrepreneurs and it was connected with entrepreneurial self-efficacy, openness, and company's growth the connection with optimism remained unexplored until this research.

  19. Curiosity Is Not Good--But It's Not Bad, Either

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, David

    2012-01-01

    Curiosity is vital quality of the creative work. However, in the classroom, educators seem to view curiosity as alternately amoral, virtuous, or dangerous. Education's stance towards curiosity is, in a word, curious. Conversely, the author says, curiosity is inherently amoral--neither good nor bad--and the subject is ripe for an exploration of the…

  20. 'Mars-shine'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] 'Mars-shine' Composite NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to take advantage of favorable solar power conditions to conduct occasional nighttime astronomical observations from the summit region of 'Husband Hill.' Spirit has been observing the martian moons Phobos and Deimos to learn more about their orbits and surface properties. This has included observing eclipses. On Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's orbit takes it exactly between the Sun and Earth, casting parts of Earth into shadow. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is exactly between the Sun and the Moon, casting the Moon into shadow and often giving it a ghostly orange-reddish color. This color is created by sunlight reflected through Earth's atmosphere into the shadowed region. The primary difference between terrestrial and martian eclipses is that Mars' moons are too small to completely block the Sun from view during solar eclipses. Recently, Spirit observed a 'lunar' eclipse on Mars. Phobos, the larger of the two martian moons, was photographed while slipping into the shadow of Mars. Jim Bell, the astronomer in charge of the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam), suggested calling it a 'Phobal' eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse as a way of identifying which of the dozens of moons in our solar system was being cast into shadow. With the help of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's navigation team, the Pancam team planned instructions to Spirit for acquiring the views shown here of Phobos as it entered into a lunar eclipse on the evening of the rover's 639th martian day, or sol (Oct. 20, 2005) on Mars. This image is a time-lapse composite of eight Pancam images of Phobos moving across the martian sky. The entire eclipse lasted more than 26 minutes, but Spirit was able to observe only in the first 15 minutes. During the time closest to the shadow crossing, Spirit's cameras were programmed to take images every 10 seconds. In the first three

  1. Variable g- Mars environmental chamber: a small window of the martian environment for life science investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgambati, Antonella; Slenzka, Klaus; Schmeyers, Bernd; Di Capua, Massimiliano; Harting, Benjamin

    Human exploration and permanent settlement on the Martian surface is the one of the most attractive and ambitious endeavors mankind has ever faced. As technology and research progress, solutions and information that were before unavailable are slowly making the dream become everyday more feasible. In the past years a huge amount of knowledge was gathered by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity and now, even more insight is being gathered through the latest rover of the family, Curiosity. In this work, data from the various missions will be used to define and reproduce on Earth the characteristic Martian atmospheric conditions. A small Mars environmental chamber has been designed and built with the objective of studying the effects of the Martian environment on biological systems. The Variable gravity Mars Environmental Chamber (VgMEC) will allow researchers to replicate atmospheric pressure, gas composition, temperature and UVA/B exposure typical of the equatorial regions of Mars. By exposing biological systems to a controllable set of stressor it will be possible to identify both multi and single stressor effects on the system of interest. While several Mars environment simulation facilities exist, due to their size and mass, all are confined to floor-fixed laboratory settings. The VgMEC is an OHB funded project that wishes to bring together the scientific community and the industry. Collaborations will be enabled by granting low cost access to cutting-edge instrumentation and services. Developed at OHB System AG, VgMEC has been designed from the ground up to be a 28L, compact and lightweight test volume capable of being integrated in existing centrifuges (such as the ESA-ESTEC LCD), gimbal systems and parabolic flight aircraft. The VgMEC support systems were designed to accommodate continuous operations of virtually unlimited duration through the adoption of solutions such as: hot swappable gas/liquid consumables bottles, low power requirements, an

  2. Absolute Navigation Information Estimation for Micro Planetary Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Ilyas

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides algorithms to estimate absolute navigation information, e.g., absolute attitude and position, by using low power, weight and volume Microelectromechanical Systems-type (MEMS sensors that are suitable for micro planetary rovers. Planetary rovers appear to be easily navigable robots due to their extreme slow speed and rotation but, unfortunately, the sensor suites available for terrestrial robots are not always available for planetary rover navigation. This makes them difficult to navigate in a completely unexplored, harsh and complex environment. Whereas the relative attitude and position can be tracked in a similar way as for ground robots, absolute navigation information, unlike in terrestrial applications, is difficult to obtain for a remote celestial body, such as Mars or the Moon. In this paper, an algorithm called the EASI algorithm (Estimation of Attitude using Sun sensor and Inclinometer is presented to estimate the absolute attitude using a MEMS-type sun sensor and inclinometer, only. Moreover, the output of the EASI algorithm is fused with MEMS gyros to produce more accurate and reliable attitude estimates. An absolute position estimation algorithm has also been presented based on these on-board sensors. Experimental results demonstrate the viability of the proposed algorithms and the sensor suite for low-cost and low-weight micro planetary rovers.

  3. Tracing Curiosity with a Value Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soern F. Menning

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Several have challenged the idea that the act of educating is a neutral endeavour. Following this line of thought, this article intends to examine a common concept often taken for granted: curiosity. The aim of this article is to explore the notion of curiosity in an early-childhood-education-and-care (ECEC context in Norway in order to provide new perspectives on how value aspects of curiosity are communicated in official documents. Four ECEC documents from different organisational levels will be analysed. Informed by qualitative content analysis with a concept-driven strategy, this document analysis seeks to explore connections between the notion of curiosity and prominent value fields in ECEC, such as competence, democracy and care. Analysis of the documents suggests that curiosity is a value-loaded notion here, one which often has a competence-related value and which is frequently understood as a tool for gaining knowledge, especially in natural science and mathematics. Other value aspects, such as nurturing democracy, are represented to a minor degree. At the same time, the documents do not include possible ethical aspects of curiosity, such as connections to interpersonal caring, nor do they mention any existential or intrinsic value. In the final discussion, the article therefore explores these possible alternatives.

  4. The Psychology and Neuroscience of Curiosity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Celeste; Hayden, Benjamin Y

    2015-11-04

    Curiosity is a basic element of our cognition, but its biological function, mechanisms, and neural underpinning remain poorly understood. It is nonetheless a motivator for learning, influential in decision-making, and crucial for healthy development. One factor limiting our understanding of it is the lack of a widely agreed upon delineation of what is and is not curiosity. Another factor is the dearth of standardized laboratory tasks that manipulate curiosity in the lab. Despite these barriers, recent years have seen a major growth of interest in both the neuroscience and psychology of curiosity. In this Perspective, we advocate for the importance of the field, provide a selective overview of its current state, and describe tasks that are used to study curiosity and information-seeking. We propose that, rather than worry about defining curiosity, it is more helpful to consider the motivations for information-seeking behavior and to study it in its ethological context. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Male bisexual arousal: a matter of curiosity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieger, Gerulf; Rosenthal, Allen M; Cash, Brian M; Linsenmeier, Joan A W; Bailey, J Michael; Savin-Williams, Ritch C

    2013-12-01

    Conflicting evidence exists regarding whether bisexual-identified men are sexually aroused to both men and women. We hypothesized that a distinct characteristic, level of curiosity about sexually diverse acts, distinguishes bisexual-identified men with and without bisexual arousal. Study 1 assessed men's (n=277) sexual arousal via pupil dilation to male and female sexual stimuli. Bisexual men were, on average, higher in their sexual curiosity than other men. Despite this general difference, only bisexual-identified men with elevated sexual curiosity showed bisexual arousal. Those lower in curiosity had responses resembling those of homosexual men. Study 2 assessed men's (n=72) sexual arousal via genital responses and replicated findings of Study 1. Study 3 provided information on the validity on our measure of sexual curiosity by relating it to general curiosity and sexual sensation seeking (n=83). Based on their sexual arousal and personality, at least two groups of men identify as bisexual. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The Investigation of Perchlorate/Iron Phase Mixtures as A Possible Source of Oxygen Detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Heil, E.; Morris, R. V.; Archer, P. D.; Ming, D. W.; Niles, P. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H.; Freissinet C.; Glavin, D. P.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument onboard the Curiosity rover detected O2 and HCl gas releases from the Rocknest (RN) eolian bedform and the John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) drill hole materials in Gale Crater. Chlorinated hydrocarbons have also been detected by the SAM quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GCMS). These detections along with the detection of perchlorate (ClO4-) by the Mars Phoenix Lander's Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) suggesting perchlorate is a possible candidate for evolved O2 and chlorine species. Laboratory thermal analysis of individual per-chlorates has yet to provide an unequivocal temperature match to the SAM O2 and HCl release data. These detections along with the detection of perchlorate (ClO4-) by the Mars Phoenix Lander's Wet Chemistry Laboratory suggested perchlorate is a possible candidate for evolved O2 and chlorine species. Laboratory thermal analysis of pure perchlorates has yet to provide an unequivocal temperature match to the SAM O2 and HCl release data. Analog laboratory analysis of iron mineralogy detected in Gale materials that was physically mixed with Ca- and Mg-perchlorate has been shown to catalyze lower O2 release temperatures and approach some SAM O2 release data. Instead of physical mixtures used in previous work, the work presented here utilized perchlorate solutions added to Fe phases. This technique allowed for perchlorate to come in closer contact with the Fe-phase and may more closely mimic Mars conditions where humidity can increase enough to cause deliquescence of the highly hygroscopic perchlorate phases. The objective of this work is to: 1) Utilize a laboratory SAM analog instrument to evaluate the O2 release temperatures from Mg- and Ca-perchlorates solutions applied to Fephases detetected in Gale Crate; and 2) Determine if perchlorate solutions can provide improved matches with the SAM O2 temperature release profiles.

  7. The Mars Science Laboratory APXS calibration target: Comparison of Martian measurements with the terrestrial calibration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campbell, J.L.; King, P.L.; Burkemper, L.; Berger, J.A.; Gellert, R.; Boyd, N.I.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I.; Thompson, L.; Edgett, K.S.; Yingst, R.A.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover carries a basalt calibration target for monitoring the performance of the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The spectrum acquired on Sol 34 shows increased contributions from Mg, S, Cl and Fe relative to laboratory spectra recorded before launch. Mars Hand Lens Imager images confirm changes in the appearance of the surface. Spectra taken on Sols 179 and 411 indicate some loss of the deposited material. The observations suggest deposition of a surface film likely consisting of dust mobilized by impingement of the sky crane’s terminal descent engine plumes with surface fines during Curiosity’s landing. New APXS software has been used to model the thin film that coated the calibration target on landing. The results suggest that a film of about 100 nm thickness, and containing predominantly MgO, Fe 2 O 3 , SO 3 , Cl and Na 2 O could give rise to the observed spectral changes. If this film is also present on the alpha particle sources within the APXS, then its effect is negligible and the terrestrial calibration remains appropriate

  8. The Mars Science Laboratory APXS calibration target: Comparison of Martian measurements with the terrestrial calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.ca [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); King, P.L. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, NM 87131 (United States); Department of Earth Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario N6A3K7 (Canada); Burkemper, L. [Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, NM 87131 (United States); Berger, J.A. [Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, NM 87131 (United States); Department of Earth Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario N6A3K7 (Canada); Gellert, R.; Boyd, N.I.; Perrett, G.M.; Pradler, I. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); Thompson, L. [Planetary and Space Science Centre, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B5A3 (Canada); Edgett, K.S. [Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, CA 92191-0148 (United States); Yingst, R.A. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 (United States)

    2014-03-15

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover carries a basalt calibration target for monitoring the performance of the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The spectrum acquired on Sol 34 shows increased contributions from Mg, S, Cl and Fe relative to laboratory spectra recorded before launch. Mars Hand Lens Imager images confirm changes in the appearance of the surface. Spectra taken on Sols 179 and 411 indicate some loss of the deposited material. The observations suggest deposition of a surface film likely consisting of dust mobilized by impingement of the sky crane’s terminal descent engine plumes with surface fines during Curiosity’s landing. New APXS software has been used to model the thin film that coated the calibration target on landing. The results suggest that a film of about 100 nm thickness, and containing predominantly MgO, Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3}, SO{sub 3}, Cl and Na{sub 2}O could give rise to the observed spectral changes. If this film is also present on the alpha particle sources within the APXS, then its effect is negligible and the terrestrial calibration remains appropriate.

  9. Sedimentary processes of the Bagnold Dunes: Implications for the eolian rock record of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, R. C.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Lewis, K. W.; Day, M.; Stein, N.; Rubin, D. M.; Sullivan, R.; Banham, S.; Lamb, M. P.; Bridges, N. T.; Gupta, S.; Fischer, W. W.

    2017-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity visited two active wind-blown sand dunes within Gale crater, Mars, which provided the first ground-based opportunity to compare Martian and terrestrial eolian dune sedimentary processes and study a modern analog for the Martian eolian rock record. Orbital and rover images of these dunes reveal terrestrial-like and uniquely Martian processes. The presence of grainfall, grainflow, and impact ripples resembled terrestrial dunes. Impact ripples were present on all dune slopes and had a size and shape similar to their terrestrial counterpart. Grainfall and grainflow occurred on dune and large-ripple lee slopes. Lee slopes were 29° where grainflows were present and 33° where grainfall was present. These slopes are interpreted as the dynamic and static angles of repose, respectively. Grain size measured on an undisturbed impact ripple ranges between 50 μm and 350 μm with an intermediate axis mean size of 113 μm (median: 103 μm). Dissimilar to dune eolian processes on Earth, large, meter-scale ripples were present on all dune slopes. Large ripples had nearly symmetric to strongly asymmetric topographic profiles and heights ranging between 12 cm and 28 cm. The composite observations of the modern sedimentary processes highlight that the Martian eolian rock record is likely different from its terrestrial counterpart because of the large ripples, which are expected to engender a unique scale of cross stratification. More broadly, however, in the Bagnold Dune Field as on Earth, dune-field pattern dynamics and basin-scale boundary conditions will dictate the style and distribution of sedimentary processes.

  10. Sedimentary processes of the Bagnold Dunes: Implications for the eolian rock record of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, R C; Lapotre, M G A; Lewis, K W; Day, M; Stein, N; Rubin, D M; Sullivan, R; Banham, S; Lamb, M P; Bridges, N T; Gupta, S; Fischer, W W

    2017-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity visited two active wind-blown sand dunes within Gale crater, Mars, which provided the first ground-based opportunity to compare Martian and terrestrial eolian dune sedimentary processes and study a modern analog for the Martian eolian rock record. Orbital and rover images of these dunes reveal terrestrial-like and uniquely Martian processes. The presence of grainfall, grainflow, and impact ripples resembled terrestrial dunes. Impact ripples were present on all dune slopes and had a size and shape similar to their terrestrial counterpart. Grainfall and grainflow occurred on dune and large-ripple lee slopes. Lee slopes were ~29° where grainflows were present and ~33° where grainfall was present. These slopes are interpreted as the dynamic and static angles of repose, respectively. Grain size measured on an undisturbed impact ripple ranges between 50 μm and 350 μm with an intermediate axis mean size of 113 μm (median: 103 μm). Dissimilar to dune eolian processes on Earth, large, meter-scale ripples were present on all dune slopes. Large ripples had nearly symmetric to strongly asymmetric topographic profiles and heights ranging between 12 cm and 28 cm. The composite observations of the modern sedimentary processes highlight that the Martian eolian rock record is likely different from its terrestrial counterpart because of the large ripples, which are expected to engender a unique scale of cross stratification. More broadly, however, in the Bagnold Dune Field as on Earth, dune-field pattern dynamics and basin-scale boundary conditions will dictate the style and distribution of sedimentary processes.

  11. Calibration and Sequence Development Status for the Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    The measurement goals of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the "Curiosity" Rover of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) include chemical and isotopic analysis of organic and inorganic volatiles for both atmospheric and solid samples [1,2]. SAM directly supports the ambitious goals of the MSL mission to provide a quantitative assessment of habitability and preservation in Gale crater by means of a range of chemical and geological measurements [3]. The SAM FM combined calibration and environmental testing took place primarily in 2010 with a limited set of tests implemented after integration into the rover in January 2011. The scope of SAM FM testing was limited both to preserve SAM consumables such as life time of its electromechanical elements and to minimize the level of terrestrial contamination in the SAM instrument. A more comprehensive calibration of a SAM-like suite of instruments will be implemented in 2012 with calibration runs planned for the SAM testbed. The SAM Testbed is nearly identical to the SAM FM and operates in a ambient pressure chamber. The SAM Instrument Suite: SAM's instruments are a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), a 6-column Gas Chromatograph (GC), and a 2-channel Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS). Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry is designed for identification of even trace organic compounds. The TLS [5] secures the C, H, and O isotopic composition in carbon dioxide, water, and methane. Sieved materials are delivered from the MSL sample acquisition and processing system to one of68 cups of the Sample Manipulation System (SMS). 59 of these cups are fabricated from inert quartz. After sample delivery, a cup is inserted into one of 2 ovens for evolved gas analysis (EGA ambient to >9500C) by the QMS and TLS. A portion of the gas released can be trapped and subsequently analyzed by GCMS. Nine sealed cups contain liquid solvents and chemical derivatization or thermochemolysis agents to extract and transform polar molecules

  12. An Overview of Wind-Driven Rovers for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajos, Gregory A.; Jones, Jack A.; Behar, Alberto; Dodd, Micheal

    2005-01-01

    The use of in-situ propulsion is considered enabling technology for long duration planetary surface missions. Most studies have focused on stored energy from chemicals extracted from the soil or the use of soil chemicals to produce photovoltaic arrays. An older form of in-situ propulsion is the use of wind power. Recent studies have shown potential for wind driven craft for exploration of Mars, Titan and Venus. The power of the wind, used for centuries to power wind mills and sailing ships, is now being applied to modern land craft. Efforts are now underway to use the wind to push exploration vehicles on other planets and moons in extended survey missions. Tumbleweed rovers are emerging as a new type of wind-driven science platform concept. Recent investigations by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) indicate that these light-weight, mostly spherical or quasi-spherical devices have potential for long distance surface exploration missions. As a power boat has unique capabilities, but relies on stored energy (fuel) to move the vessel, the Tumbleweed, like the sailing ships of the early explorers on earth, uses an unlimited resource the wind to move around the surface of Mars. This has the potential to reduce the major mass drivers of robotic rovers as well as the power generation and storage systems. Jacques Blamont of JPL and the University of Paris conceived the first documented Mars wind-blown ball in 1977, shortly after the Viking landers discovered that Mars has a thin CO2 atmosphere with relatively strong winds. In 1995, Jack Jones, et al, of JPL conceived of a large wind-blown inflated ball for Mars that could also be driven and steered by means of a motorized mass hanging beneath the rolling axis of the ball. A team at NASA Langley Research Center started a biomimetic Tumbleweed design study in 1998. Wind tunnel and CFD analysis were applied to a variety of concepts to optimize the aerodynamic

  13. APXS on board Chandrayaan-2 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanmugam, M.; Sripada, V. S. Murty; Acharya, Y. B.; Goyal, S. K.

    2012-07-01

    Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) is a well proven instrument for quantitative in situ elemental analysis of the planetary surfaces and has been successfully employed for Mars surface exploration. Chandrayaan-2, ISRO's second lunar mission having an Orbiter, Lander and Rover has provided an opportunity to explore the lunar surface with superior detectors such as Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) with energy resolution of about 150eV @ 5.9keV. The objective of the APXS instrument is to analyse several soil/rock samples along the rover traverse for the major elements with characteristic X-rays in 1 to 25keV range. The working principle of APXS involves measuring the intensity of characteristic X-rays emitted from the sample due to Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and X-ray florescence (XRF) processes using suitable radioactive sources, allowing the determination of elements from Na to Br, spanning the energy range of 0.9 to 16keV. For this experiment ^{244}Cm radioactive source has been chosen which emits both Alpha particles (5.8MeV) and X-rays (14.1keV, 18keV). APXS uses six Alpha sources, each about 5mCi activity. Unlike Mars, lunar environment poses additional challenges due to the regolith and extreme surface temperature changes, to operate the APXS. Our APXS instrument consists of two packages namely APXS sensor head and APXS signal electronics. The sensor head assembly contains SDD, six alpha sources and front end electronic circuits such as preamplifier and shaper circuits and will be mounted on a robotic arm which on command brings the sensor head close to the lunar surface at a height of 35±10mm. SDD module to be used in the experiment has 30mm ^{2} active detector area with in-built peltier cooler and heat sink to maintain the detector at about -35°C. The detector is covered with 8 micron thick Be window which results in the low energy threshold of about 1keV. The size of the APXS sensor head is 70x70x70mm ^{3} (approx). APXS signal

  14. Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies: Roving to Find Subsurface Preserved Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, B.; Davila, A.; Parro, V.; Quinn, R.; Willis, P.; Brinckerhoff, W.; DiRuggiero, J.; Williams, M.; Bergman, D.; Stoker, C.

    2016-05-01

    The ARADS project is a NASA PSTAR that will drill into a Mars analog site in search of biomarkers. Leading to a field test of an integrated rover-drill system with four prototype in-situ instruments for biomarker detection and analysis.

  15. Hybrid Aerial/Rover Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachelder, Aaron

    2003-01-01

    A proposed instrumented robotic vehicle called an "aerover" would fly, roll along the ground, and/or float on bodies of liquid, as needed. The aerover would combine features of an aerobot (a robotic lighter-than-air balloon) and a wheeled robot of the "rover" class. An aerover would also look very much like a variant of the "beach-ball" rovers. Although the aerover was conceived for use in scientific exploration of Titan (the largest moon of the planet Saturn), the aerover concept could readily be adapted to similar uses on Earth.

  16. CRAFT: Collaborative Rover and Astronauts Future Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da-Poian, V. D. P.; Koryanov, V. V. K.

    2018-02-01

    Our project is focusing on the relationship between astronauts and rovers to best work together during surface explorations. Robots will help and assist astronauts, and will also work autonomously. Our project is to develop this type of rover.

  17. First Grinding of a Rock on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The round, shallow depression in this image resulted from history's first grinding of a rock on Mars. The rock abrasion tool on NASA's Spirit rover ground off the surface of a patch 45.5 millimeters (1.8 inches) in diameter on a rock called Adirondack during Spirit's 34th sol on Mars, Feb. 6, 2004. The hole is 2.65 millimeters (0.1 inch) deep, exposing fresh interior material of the rock for close inspection with the rover's microscopic imager and two spectrometers on the robotic arm. This image was taken by Spirit's panoramic camera, providing a quick visual check of the success of the grinding. The rock abrasion tools on both Mars Exploration Rovers were supplied by Honeybee Robotics, New York, N.Y.

  18. 2D/3D Visual Tracker for Rover Mast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajracharya, Max; Madison, Richard W.; Nesnas, Issa A.; Bandari, Esfandiar; Kunz, Clayton; Deans, Matt; Bualat, Maria

    2006-01-01

    A visual-tracker computer program controls an articulated mast on a Mars rover to keep a designated feature (a target) in view while the rover drives toward the target, avoiding obstacles. Several prior visual-tracker programs have been tested on rover platforms; most require very small and well-estimated motion between consecutive image frames a requirement that is not realistic for a rover on rough terrain. The present visual-tracker program is designed to handle large image motions that lead to significant changes in feature geometry and photometry between frames. When a point is selected in one of the images acquired from stereoscopic cameras on the mast, a stereo triangulation algorithm computes a three-dimensional (3D) location for the target. As the rover moves, its body-mounted cameras feed images to a visual-odometry algorithm, which tracks two-dimensional (2D) corner features and computes their old and new 3D locations. The algorithm rejects points, the 3D motions of which are inconsistent with a rigid-world constraint, and then computes the apparent change in the rover pose (i.e., translation and rotation). The mast pan and tilt angles needed to keep the target centered in the field-of-view of the cameras (thereby minimizing the area over which the 2D-tracking algorithm must operate) are computed from the estimated change in the rover pose, the 3D position of the target feature, and a model of kinematics of the mast. If the motion between the consecutive frames is still large (i.e., 3D tracking was unsuccessful), an adaptive view-based matching technique is applied to the new image. This technique uses correlation-based template matching, in which a feature template is scaled by the ratio between the depth in the original template and the depth of pixels in the new image. This is repeated over the entire search window and the best correlation results indicate the appropriate match. The program could be a core for building application programs for systems

  19. Seasonal and interannual variability of solar radiation at Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity landing sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Lemmon, M.T.; Martinez, G.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.; Martin, M.L.

    2016-07-01

    In this article we characterize the radiative environment at the landing sites of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) missions. We use opacity values obtained at the surface from direct imaging of the Sun and our radiative transfer model COMIMART to analyze the seasonal and interannual variability of the daily irradiation at the MER and MSL landing sites. In addition, we analyze the behavior of the direct and diffuse components of the solar radiation at these landing sites. (Author)

  20. Ancient sedimentary structures in the Mars, that resemble macroscopic morphology, spatial associations, and temporal succession in terrestrial microbialites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noffke, Nora

    2015-02-01

    Sandstone beds of the Mars have been interpreted as evidence of an ancient playa lake environment. On Earth, such environments have been sites of colonization by microbial mats from the early Archean to the present time. Terrestrial microbial mats in playa lake environments form microbialites known as microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS). On Mars, three lithofacies of the Gillespie Lake Member sandstone display centimeter- to meter-scale structures similar in macroscopic morphology to terrestrial MISS that include "erosional remnants and pockets," "mat chips," "roll-ups," "desiccation cracks," and "gas domes." The microbially induced sedimentary-like structures identified in Curiosity rover mission images do not have a random distribution. Rather, they were found to be arranged in spatial associations and temporal successions that indicate they changed over time. On Earth, if such MISS occurred with this type of spatial association and temporal succession, they would be interpreted as having recorded the growth of a microbially dominated ecosystem that thrived in pools that later dried completely: erosional pockets, mat chips, and roll-ups resulted from water eroding an ancient microbial mat-covered sedimentary surface; during the course of subsequent water recess, channels would have cut deep into the microbial mats, leaving erosional remnants behind; desiccation cracks and gas domes would have occurred during a final period of subaerial exposure of the microbial mats. In this paper, the similarities of the macroscopic morphologies, spatial associations, and temporal succession of sedimentary structures on Mars to MISS preserved on Earth has led to the following hypothesis: The sedimentary structures in the Mars are ancient MISS produced by interactions between microbial mats and their environment. Proposed here is a strategy for detecting, identifying, confirming, and differentiating possible MISS during current and future Mars missions.

  1. Measuring Sulfur Isotope Ratios from Solid Samples with the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument and the Effects of Dead Time Corrections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, H. B.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Kasprzak, W.; Lyness, E.; Raaen, E.

    2011-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite comprises the largest science payload on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" rover. SAM will perform chemical and isotopic analysis of volatile compounds from atmospheric and solid samples to address questions pertaining to habitability and geochemical processes on Mars. Sulfur is a key element of interest in this regard, as sulfur compounds have been detected on the Martian surface by both in situ and remote sensing techniques. Their chemical and isotopic composition can belp constrain environmental conditions and mechanisms at the time of formation. A previous study examined the capability of the SAM quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) to determine sulfur isotope ratios of SO2 gas from a statistical perspective. Here we discuss the development of a method for determining sulfur isotope ratios with the QMS by sampling SO2 generated from heating of solid sulfate samples in SAM's pyrolysis oven. This analysis, which was performed with the SAM breadboard system, also required development of a novel treatment of the QMS dead time to accommodate the characteristics of an aging detector.

  2. Did Viking discover life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guaita, Cesare

    2017-08-01

    The last analytical results of SAM laboratory onboard of Curiosity offer a new insight on the interpretation of the Label Release (LR) experiment performed on Mars by the two Viking landers about 40 years ago. The fundamental action of perchlorate salt, able to decompose all organic compounds at high temperature ( > 300°C) is discussed.

  3. Teaching Inquiry with a Lens toward Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Renesse, Christine; Ecke, Volker

    2017-01-01

    This paper links educational psychology research about curiosity to teacher moves that are effective in an inquiry-based mathematics classroom. Three vignettes will show explicit teacher moves (staging disagreement, intriguing anecdotes, and creating a safe space) for different audiences (math majors, mathematics for liberal arts students, and…

  4. Measuring epistemic curiosity in young children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piotrowski, J.; Litman, J.A.; Valkenburg, P.

    2014-01-01

    Epistemic curiosity (EC) is the desire to obtain new knowledge capable of either producing positive experiences of intellectual interest (I-type) or of reducing undesirable conditions of informational deprivation (D-type). Although researchers acknowledge that there are individual differences in

  5. Children's Need to Know: Curiosity in Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Susan

    2011-01-01

    In this essay, Susan Engel argues that curiosity is both intrinsic to children's development and unfolds through social interactions. Thus, it should be cultivated in schools, even though it is often almost completely absent from classrooms. Calling on well-established research and more recent studies, Engel argues that interactions between…

  6. Questions, Curiosity and the Inquiry Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Leo

    2014-01-01

    This article discusses the conceptual relationship between questions, curiosity and learning as inquiry elaborated in the work of Chip Bruce and others as the Inquiry Cycle. The Inquiry Cycle describes learning in terms of a continuous dynamic of ask, investigate, create, discuss and reflect. Of these elements "ask" has a privileged…

  7. Drawing on Curiosity: Between Two Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigglesworth, Ron

    2017-01-01

    This narrative of my research on drawing shares my experience of relearning drawing by hand and how the act of drawing can stimulate curiosity. This article examines its potential to enhance learning/observation in science. It describes a kinaesthetic drawing methodology and addresses pedagogical solutions for overcoming a student's declaration…

  8. Children's Question Asking and Curiosity: A Training Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jirout, Jamie; Klahr, David

    2011-01-01

    A primary instructional objective of most early science programs is to foster children's scientific curiosity and question-asking skills (Jirout & Klahr, 2011). However, little is known about the relationship between curiosity, question-asking behavior, and general inquiry skills. While curiosity and question asking are invariably mentioned in…

  9. Research Says/Curiosity Is Fleeting, but Teachable

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Bryan

    2014-01-01

    Psychologists and researchers have long puzzled over questions regarding "curiosity" and have more or less settled on a two-pronged definition as: (1) trait curiosity (an intrinsic drive for exploration and learning); and (2) state curiosity (an interest sparked by external conditions). Many studies have shown that human beings are…

  10. Curiositas and Studiositas: Investigating Student Curiosity and the Design Studio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Korydon

    2011-01-01

    Curiosity is often considered the foundation of learning. There is, however, little understanding of how (or if) pedagogy in higher education affects student curiosity, especially in the studio setting of architecture, interior design and landscape architecture. This article provides a brief cultural history of curiosity and its role in the design…

  11. Abundances and implications of volatile-bearing species from evolved gas analysis of the Rocknest aeolian deposit, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, Paul Douglas; Franz, Heather B.; Sutter, Brad; Arevalo, Ricardo D.; Coll, Patrice; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; McAdam, Amy C.; McKay, Christopher P.; Ming, Douglas W.; Morris, Richard V.; Navarro-González, Rafael; Niles, Paul B.; Pavlov, Alex; Squyres, Steven W.; Stern, Jennifer C.; Steele, Andrew; Wray, James J.

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity detected evolved gases during thermal analysis of soil samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit in Gale Crater. Major species detected (in order of decreasing molar abundance) were H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2, all at the µmol level, with HCl, H2S, NH3, NO, and HCN present at the tens to hundreds of nmol level. We compute weight % numbers for the major gases evolved by assuming a likely source and calculate abundances between 0.5 and 3 wt.%. The evolution of these gases implies the presence of both oxidized (perchlorates) and reduced (sulfides or H-bearing) species as well as minerals formed under alkaline (carbonates) and possibly acidic (sulfates) conditions. Possible source phases in the Rocknest material are hydrated amorphous material, minor clay minerals, and hydrated perchlorate salts (all potential H2O sources), carbonates (CO2), perchlorates (O2 and HCl), and potential N-bearing materials (e.g., Martian nitrates, terrestrial or Martian nitrogenated organics, ammonium salts) that evolve NH3, NO, and/or HCN. We conclude that Rocknest materials are a physical mixture in chemical disequilibrium, consistent with aeolian mixing, and that although weathering is not extensive, it may be ongoing even under current Martian surface conditions.

  12. Soil diversity and hydration as observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Schröder, S.; Cousin, A.; Berger, G.; Clegg, S.M.; Lasue, J.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Le Mouélic, S.; Wiens, R.C.; Fabre, C.; Goetz, W.; Bish, D.; Mangold, N.; Ehlmann, B.; Lanza, N.; Harri, A.-M.; Anderson, R.; Rampe, E.; McConnochie, T.H.; Pinet, P.; Blaney, D.; Léveillé, R.; Archer, D.; Barraclough, B.; Bender, S.; Blake, D.; Blank, J.G.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B.C.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M.D.; Fisk, M.; Gondet, B.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Leshin, L.; Lewin, E.; Madsen, M.B.; Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, A.; Mischna, M.A.; Moores, J.E.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; Perez, R.; Renno, N.; Sirven, J.-B.; Tokar, R.; De La Torre, M.; D'Uston, L.; Vaniman, D.; Yingst, A.; MSL Science Team, the

    2013-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of

  13. Planetary boundary layer and circulation dynamics at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Ricardo M.; Zorzano-Mier, María-Paz; Martín-Torres, Javier

    2018-03-01

    The Mars implementation of the Planet Weather Research and Forecasting (PlanetWRF) model, MarsWRF, is used here to simulate the atmospheric conditions at Gale Crater for different seasons during a period coincident with the Curiosity rover operations. The model is first evaluated with the existing single-point observations from the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS), and is then used to provide a larger scale interpretation of these unique measurements as well as to give complementary information where there are gaps in the measurements. The variability of the planetary boundary layer depth may be a driver of the changes in the local dust and trace gas content within the crater. Our results show that the average time when the PBL height is deeper than the crater rim increases and decreases with the same rate and pattern as Curiosity's observations of the line-of-sight of dust within the crater and that the season when maximal (minimal) mixing is produced is Ls 225°-315° (Ls 90°-110°). Thus the diurnal and seasonal variability of the PBL depth seems to be the driver of the changes in the local dust content within the crater. A comparison with the available methane measurements suggests that changes in the PBL depth may also be one of the factors that accounts for the observed variability, with the model results pointing towards a local source to the north of the MSL site. The interaction between regional and local flows at Gale Crater is also investigated assuming that the meridional wind, the dynamically important component of the horizontal wind at Gale, anomalies with respect to the daily mean can be approximated by a sinusoidal function as they typically oscillate between positive (south to north) and negative (north to south) values that correspond to upslope/downslope or downslope/upslope regimes along the crater rim and Mount Sharp slopes and the dichotomy boundary. The smallest magnitudes are found in the northern crater floor in a region that

  14. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - First Results of Pressure Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kemppinen, Osku; Genzer, Maria; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Haberle, Robert M.; Schmidt, Walter; Savijärvi, Hannu; Rodríquez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; Rafkin, Scott; Polkko, Jouni; Richardson, Mark; Newman, Claire; de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Martín-Torres, Javier; Paz Zorzano-Mier, Maria; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Kauhanen, Janne; Paton, Mark; Haukka, Harri

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Science laboratory (MSL) called Curiosity made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and UV measurements. The REMS instrument suite is described at length in [1]. We concentrate on describing the first results from the REMS pressure observations and comparison of the measurements with modeling results. The REMS pressure device is provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is based on silicon micro-machined capacitive pressure sensors developed by Vaisala Inc. The pressure device makes use of two transducer electronics sections placed on a single multi-layer PCB inside the REMS Instrument Control Unit (ICU) with a filter-protected ventilation inlet to the ambient atmosphere. The absolute accuracy of the pressure device (< 3 Pa) and zero-drift (< 1 Pa/year) enables the investigations of long term and seasonal cycles of the Martian atmosphere. The relative accuracy, or repeatability, in the diurnal time scale is < 1.5 Pa, less than 2 % of the observed diurnal pressure variation at the landing site. The pressure device has special sensors with very high precision (less than 0.2 Pa) that makes it a good tool to study short-term atmospheric phenomena, e.g., dust devils and other convective vortices. The observed MSL pressure data enable us to study both the long term and short-term phenomena of the Martian atmosphere. This would add knowledge of these phenomena to that gathered by earlier Mars missions and modeling experiments [2,3]. Pressure observations are revealing new information on the local atmosphere and climate at Gale crater, and will shed light on the mesoscale and micrometeorological phenomena. Pressure observations show also

  15. Embedded clays and sulfates in Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flahaut, J.D.; Carter, J.; Poulet, F.; Bibring, J.P.; van Westrenen, W.; Davies, G.R.; Murchie, S.L.

    2014-01-01

    The area of Meridiani Planum on Mars became of particular interest after the detection of coarse-grained, gray hematite, which led to the choice of this region as final landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Multiple additional minerals have since been detected in the region, both

  16. Thermochemolysis and the Search for Organic Material on Mars Onboard the MOMA Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morisson, Marietta; Buch, Arnaud; Szopa, Cyril; Glavin, Daniel; Freissinet, Carolinette; Pinnick, Veronica; Goetz, Walter; Stambouli, Moncef; Belmahdi, Imene; Coll, Patrice; Stalport, Fabien; Grand, Noël; Brinckerhoff, William; Goesmann, Fred; Raulin, François; Mahaffy, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Following the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment onboard the Curiosity rover, the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) experiment onboard the future ExoMars 2018 mission will continue to investigate the organic composition of the martian subsurface. MOMA will have the advantage of extracting the sample from as deep as 2 meters below the martian surface where the deleterious effects of radiation and oxidation on organic matter are minimized. To analyse the wide range of organic compounds (volatile and non-volatile compounds) potentially present in the martian soil, MOMA includes two operational modes: UV laser desorption / ionization ion trap mass spectrometry (LDI-ITMS) and pyrolysis gas chromatography ion trap mass spectrometry (pyr-GC-ITMS). In order to analyse refractory organic compounds and chirality, samples which undergo GC-ITMS analysis may be derivatized beforhands, consisting in the reaction of the sample components with specific chemical reagents (MTBSTFA [1], DMF-DMA [2] or TMAH [3]). To prove the feasibility of the derivatization within the MOMA conditions we have adapated our laboratory procedure for the space conditions (temperature, time, pressure and size). Goal is optimize our detection limits and increase the range of the organic compounds that MOMA will be able to detect. Results of this study, show that Thermochemolysis is one of the most promising technique onboard MOMA to detect organic material. References : [1] Buch, A. et al. (2009) J Chrom. A, 43, 143-151. [2] Freissinet, C. et al. (2013) J Chrom. A, 1306, 731-740. [3] Geffroy-Rodier, C. et al. (2009) JAAP, 85, 454-459.

  17. Basalt Weathering in a Cold and Icy Climate: Three Sisters, Oregon as an Analog for Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampe, E. B.; Horgan, B.; Smith, R. J.; Scudder, N. A.; Rutledge, A. M.; Bamber, E.; Morris, R. V.

    2017-01-01

    There is abundant evidence for liquid water on early Mars, but the debate remains whether early Mars was warm and wet or cold and icy with punctuated periods of melting. To further investigate the hypothesis of a cold and icy early Mars, we collected rocks and sediments from the Collier and Diller glacial valleys in the Three Sisters volcanic complex in Oregon. We analyzed rocks and sediments with X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning and transmission electron microscopies with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM, TEM, EDS), and visible, short-wave infrared (VSWIR) and thermal-IR (TIR) spectroscopies to characterize chemical weathering and sediment transport through the valleys. Here, we focus on the composition and mineralogy of the weathering products and how they compare to those identified on the martian surface. Phyllosilicates (smectite), zeolites, and poorly crystalline phases were discovered in pro- and supra-glacial sediments, whereas Si-rich regelation films were found on hand samples and boulders in the proglacial valleys. Most phyllosilicates and zeolites are likely detrital, originating from hydrothermally altered units on North Sister. TEM-EDS analyses of the flour samples demonstrate a variety of poorly crystalline (i.e., no long-range crystallographic order) phases: iron oxides, devitrified volcanic glass, and Fe-Si-Al phases. The Che