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Sample records for enhance earth-mars communication

  1. Magnetic Storms at Mars and Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vennerstrøm, Susanne; Falkenberg, Thea Vilstrup

    In analogy with magnetic storms at the Earth, periods of significantly enhanced global magnetic activity also exist at Mars. The extensive database of magnetic measurements from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), covering almost an entire solar cycle, is used in combination with geomagnetic activity...... indices at Earth to compare the occurrence of magnetic storms at Mars and Earth. Based on superposed epochs analysis the time-development of typical magnetic storms at Mars and Earth is described. In contradiction to storms at Earth, most magnetic storms at Mars are found to be associated...... with heliospheric current sheet crossings, where the IMF changes polarity. While most storms at the Earth occur due to significant southward excursions of the IMF associated with CMEs, at Mars most storms seem to be associated with the density enhancement of the heliospheric current sheet. Density enhancements...

  2. Advanced Communication and Networking Technologies for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasin, Kul; Hayden, Jeff; Agre, Jonathan R.; Clare, Loren P.; Yan, Tsun-Yee

    2001-01-01

    Next-generation Mars communications networks will provide communications and navigation services to a wide variety of Mars science vehicles including: spacecraft that are arriving at Mars, spacecraft that are entering and descending in the Mars atmosphere, scientific orbiter spacecraft, spacecraft that return Mars samples to Earth, landers, rovers, aerobots, airplanes, and sensing pods. In the current architecture plans, the communication services will be provided using capabilities deployed on the science vehicles as well as dedicated communication satellites that will together make up the Mars network. This network will evolve as additional vehicles arrive, depart or end their useful missions. Cost savings and increased reliability will result from the ability to share communication services between missions. This paper discusses the basic architecture that is needed to support the Mars Communications Network part of NASA's Space Science Enterprise (SSE) communications architecture. The network may use various networking technologies such as those employed in the terrestrial Internet, as well as special purpose deep-space protocols to move data and commands autonomously between vehicles, at disparate Mars vicinity sites (on the surface or in near-Mars space) and between Mars vehicles and earthbound users. The architecture of the spacecraft on-board local communications is being reconsidered in light of these new networking requirements. The trend towards increasingly autonomous operation of the spacecraft is aimed at reducing the dependence on resource scheduling provided by Earth-based operators and increasing system fault tolerance. However, these benefits will result in increased communication and software development requirements. As a result, the envisioned Mars communications infrastructure requires both hardware and protocol technology advancements. This paper will describe a number of the critical technology needs and some of the ongoing research

  3. Evolving earth-based and in-situ satellite network architectures for Mars communications and navigation support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastrup, Rolf; Weinberg, Aaron; McOmber, Robert

    1991-09-01

    Results of on-going studies to develop navigation/telecommunications network concepts to support future robotic and human missions to Mars are presented. The performance and connectivity improvements provided by the relay network will permit use of simpler, lower performance, and less costly telecom subsystems for the in-situ mission exploration elements. Orbiting relay satellites can serve as effective navigation aids by supporting earth-based tracking as well as providing Mars-centered radiometric data for mission elements approaching, in orbit, or on the surface of Mars. The relay satellite orbits may be selected to optimize navigation aid support and communication coverage for specific mission sets.

  4. Direct-to-Earth Communications with Mars Science Laboratory During Entry, Descent, and Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, Melissa; Finley, Susan; Fort, David; Schratz, Brian; Ilott, Peter; Mukai, Ryan; Estabrook, Polly; Oudrhiri, Kamal; Kahan, Daniel; Satorius, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) undergoes extreme heating and acceleration during Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) on Mars. Unknown dynamics lead to large Doppler shifts, making communication challenging. During EDL, a special form of Multiple Frequency Shift Keying (MFSK) communication is used for Direct-To-Earth (DTE) communication. The X-band signal is received by the Deep Space Network (DSN) at the Canberra Deep Space Communication complex, then down-converted, digitized, and recorded by open-loop Radio Science Receivers (RSR), and decoded in real-time by the EDL Data Analysis (EDA) System. The EDA uses lock states with configurable Fast Fourier Transforms to acquire and track the signal. RSR configuration and channel allocation is shown. Testing prior to EDL is discussed including software simulations, test bed runs with MSL flight hardware, and the in-flight end-to-end test. EDA configuration parameters and signal dynamics during pre-entry, entry, and parachute deployment are analyzed. RSR and EDA performance during MSL EDL is evaluated, including performance using a single 70-meter DSN antenna and an array of two 34-meter DSN antennas as a back up to the 70-meter antenna.

  5. Earth-Mars Telecommunications and Information Management System (TIMS): Antenna Visibility Determination, Network Simulation, and Management Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odubiyi, Jide; Kocur, David; Pino, Nino; Chu, Don

    1996-01-01

    This report presents the results of our research on Earth-Mars Telecommunications and Information Management System (TIMS) network modeling and unattended network operations. The primary focus of our research is to investigate the feasibility of the TIMS architecture, which links the Earth-based Mars Operations Control Center, Science Data Processing Facility, Mars Network Management Center, and the Deep Space Network of antennae to the relay satellites and other communication network elements based in the Mars region. The investigation was enhanced by developing Build 3 of the TIMS network modeling and simulation model. The results of several 'what-if' scenarios are reported along with reports on upgraded antenna visibility determination software and unattended network management prototype.

  6. Communications with Mars During Periods of Solar Conjunction: Initial Study Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morabito, D.; Hastrup, R.

    2001-07-01

    During the initial phase of the human exploration of Mars, a reliable communications link to and from Earth will be required. The direct link can easily be maintained during most of the 780-day Earth-Mars synodic period. However, during periods in which the direct Earth-Mars link encounters increased intervening charged particles during superior solar conjunctions of Mars, the resultant effects are expected to corrupt the data signals to varying degrees. The purpose of this article is to explore possible strategies, provide recommendations, and identify options for communicating over this link during periods of solar conjunctions. A significant improvement in telemetry data return can be realized by using the higher frequency 32 GHz (Ka-band), which is less susceptible to solar effects. During the era of the onset of probable human exploration of Mars, six superior conjunctions were identified from 2015 to 2026. For five of these six conjunctions, where the signal source is not occulted by the disk of the Sun, continuous communications with Mars should be achievable. Only during the superior conjunction of 2023 is the signal source at Mars expected to lie behind the disk of the Sun for about one day and within two solar radii (0. 5 deg) for about three days.

  7. Feasibility of infrared Earth tracking for deep-space optical communications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yijiang; Hemmati, Hamid; Ortiz, Gerry G

    2012-01-01

    Infrared (IR) Earth thermal tracking is a viable option for optical communications to distant planet and outer-planetary missions. However, blurring due to finite receiver aperture size distorts IR Earth images in the presence of Earth's nonuniform thermal emission and limits its applicability. We demonstrate a deconvolution algorithm that can overcome this limitation and reduce the error from blurring to a negligible level. The algorithm is applied successfully to Earth thermal images taken by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. With the solution to this critical issue, IR Earth tracking is established as a viable means for distant planet and outer-planetary optical communications. © 2012 Optical Society of America

  8. Entry, Descent, and Landing Communications for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abilleira, Fernando; Shidner, Jeremy D.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), established as the most advanced rover to land on the surface of Mars to date, launched on November 26th, 2011 and arrived to the Martian Gale Crater during the night of August 5th, 2012 (PDT). MSL will investigate whether the landing region was ever suitable to support carbon-based life, and examine rocks, soil, and the atmosphere with a sophisticated suite of tools. This paper addresses the flight system requirement by which the vehicle transmitted indications of the following events using both X-band tones and UHF telemetry to allow identification of probable root causes should a mission anomaly have occurred: Heat-Rejection System (HRS) venting, completion of the cruise stage separation, turn to entry attitude, atmospheric deceleration, bank angle reversal commanded, parachute deployment, heatshield separation, radar ground acquisition, powered descent initiation, rover separation from the descent stage, and rover release. During Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL), the flight system transmitted a UHF telemetry stream adequate to determine the state of the spacecraft (including the presence of faults) at 8 kbps initiating from cruise stage separation through at least one minute after positive indication of rover release on the surface of Mars. The flight system also transmitted X-band semaphore tones from Entry to Landing plus one minute although since MSL was occulted, as predicted, by Mars as seen from the Earth, Direct-To-Earth (DTE) communications were interrupted at approximately is approx. 5 min after Entry ( approximately 130 prior to Landing). The primary data return paths were through the Deep Space Network (DSN) for DTE and the existing Mars network of orbiting assets for UHF, which included the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and Mars Express (MEX) elements. These orbiters recorded the telemetry data stream and returned it back to Earth via the DSN. The paper also discusses the total power

  9. Architectural Design for a Mars Communications and Navigation Orbital Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceasrone R. J.; Hastrup, R. C.; Bell, D. J.; Roncoli, R. B.; Nelson, K.

    1999-01-01

    The planet Mars has become the focus of an intensive series of missions that span decades of time, a wide array of international agencies and an evolution from robotics to humans. The number of missions to Mars at any one time, and over a period of time, is unprecedented in the annals of space exploration. To meet the operational needs of this exploratory fleet will require the implementation of new architectural concepts for communications and navigation. To this end, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has begun to define and develop a Mars communications and navigation orbital infrastructure. This architecture will make extensive use of assets at Mars, as well as use of traditional Earth-based assets, such as the Deep Space Network, DSN. Indeed, the total system can be thought of as an extension of DSN nodes and services to the Mars in-situ region. The concept has been likened to the beginnings of an interplanetary Internet that will bring the exploration of Mars right into our living rooms. The paper will begin with a high-level overview of the concept for the Mars communications and navigation infrastructure. Next, the mission requirements will be presented. These will include the relatively near-term needs of robotic landers, rovers, ascent vehicles, balloons, airplanes, and possibly orbiting, arriving and departing spacecraft. Requirements envisioned for the human exploration of Mars will also be described. The important Mars orbit design trades on telecommunications and navigation capabilities will be summarized, and the baseline infrastructure will be described. A roadmap of NASA's plan to evolve this infrastructure over time will be shown. Finally, launch considerations and delivery to Mars will be briefly treated.

  10. 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.

  11. Reducing greenhouses and the temperature history of earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, C.

    1977-01-01

    It has been suggested that NH3 and other reducing gases were present in the earth's primitive atmosphere, enhancing the global greenhouse effect; data obtained through isotopic archeothermometry support this hypothesis. Computations have been applied to the evolution of surface temperatures on Mars, considering various bolometric albedos and compositions. The results are of interest in the study of Martian sinuous channels which may have been created by aqueous fluvial errosion, and imply that clement conditions may have previously occurred on Mars, and may occur in the future.

  12. A mars communication constellation for human exploration and network science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellini, Francesco; Simonetto, Andrea; Martini, Roberto; Lavagna, Michèle

    2010-01-01

    This paper analyses the possibility of exploiting a small spacecrafts constellation around Mars to ensure a complete and continuous coverage of the planet, for the purpose of supporting future human and robotic operations and taking advantage of optical transmission techniques. The study foresees such a communications mission to be implemented at least after 2020 and a high data-rate requirement is imposed for the return of huge scientific data from massive robotic exploration or to allow video transmissions from a possible human outpost. In addition, the set-up of a communication constellation around Mars would give the opportunity of exploiting this multi-platform infrastructure to perform network science, that would largely increase our knowledge of the planet. The paper covers all technical aspects of a feasibility study performed for the primary communications mission. Results are presented for the system trade-offs, including communication architecture, constellation configuration and transfer strategy, and the mission analysis optimization, performed through the application of a multi-objective genetic algorithm to two models of increasing difficulty for the low-thrust trajectory definition. The resulting communication architecture is quite complex and includes six 530 kg spacecrafts on two different orbital planes, plus one redundant unit per plane, that ensure complete coverage of the planet’s surface; communications between the satellites and Earth are achieved through optical links, that allow lower mass and power consumption with respect to traditional radio-frequency technology, while inter-satellite links and spacecrafts-to-Mars connections are ensured by radio transmissions. The resulting data-rates for Earth-Mars uplink and downlink, satellite-to-satellite and satellite-to-surface are respectively 13.7 Mbps, 10.2 Mbps, 4.8 Mbps and 4.3 Mbps, in worst-case. Two electric propulsion modules are foreseen, to be placed on a C3˜0 escape orbit with two

  13. Evaluating predictions of ICME arrival at Earth and Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Falkenberg, Thea Vilstrup; Taktakishvili, A.; Pulkkinen, A.

    2011-01-01

    We present a study of interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) propagation to Earth and Mars. Because of the significant space weather hazard posed by ICMEs, understanding and predicting their arrival and impact at Mars is important for current and future robotic and manned missions...... to the planet. We compare running ENLILv2.6 with coronal mass ejection (CME) input parameters from both a manual and an automated method. We analyze shock events identified at Mars in Mars Global Surveyor data in 2001 and 2003, when Earth and Mars were separated by...

  14. Size-Selective Modes of Aeolian Transport on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, C.; Ewing, R. C.; Sherman, D. J.; McLean, C. J.

    2016-12-01

    Aeolian sand transport is a dominant driver of surface change and dust emission on Mars. Estimates of aeolian sand transport on Earth and Mars rely on terrestrial transport models that do not differentiate between transport modes (e.g., creep vs. saltation), which limits estimates of the critical threshold for transport and the total sand flux during a transport event. A gap remains in understanding how the different modes contribute to the total sand flux. Experiments conducted at the MARtian Surface WInd Tunnel separated modes of transport for uniform and mixed grain size surfaces at Earth and Martian atmospheric pressures. Crushed walnut shells with a density of 1.0 gm/cm3 were used. Experiments resolved grain size distributions for creeping and saltating grains over 3 uniform surfaces, U1, U2, and U3, with median grain sizes of 308 µm, 721 µm, and 1294 µm, and a mixed grain size surface, M1, with median grain sizes of 519 µm. A mesh trap located 5 cm above the test bed and a surface creep trap were deployed to capture particles moving as saltation and creep. Grains that entered the creep trap at angles ≥ 75° were categorized as moving in creep mode only. Only U1 and M1 surfaces captured enough surface creep at both Earth and Mars pressure for statistically significant grain size analysis. Our experiments show that size selective transport differs between Earth and Mars conditions. The median grain size of particles moving in creep for both uniform and mixed surfaces are larger under Earth conditions. (U1Earth = 385 µm vs. U1Mars = 355 µm; M1Earth = 762 vs. M1Mars = 697 µm ). However, particles moving in saltation were larger under Mars conditions (U1Earth = 282 µm; U1Mars = 309 µm; M1Earth = 347 µm; M1Mars = 454 µm ). Similar to terrestrial experiments, the median size of surface creep is larger than the median grain size of saltation. Median sizes of U1, U2, U3 at Mars conditions for creep was 355 µm, 774 µm and 1574 µm. Saltation at Mars

  15. Near Earth Architectural Options for a Future Deep Space Optical Communications Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, B. L.; Liebrecht, P. E.; Fitzgerald, R. J.

    2004-01-01

    In the near future the National Aeronautics and Space Administration anticipates a significant increase in demand for long-haul communications services from deep space to Earth. Distances will range from 0.1 to 40 AU, with data rate requirements in the 1's to 1000's of Mbits/second. The near term demand is driven by NASA's Space Science Enterprise which wishes to deploy more capable instruments onboard spacecraft and increase the number of deep space missions. The long term demand is driven by missions with extreme communications challenges such as very high data rates from the outer planets, supporting sub-surface exploration, or supporting NASA's Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise beyond Earth orbit. Laser communications is a revolutionary communications technology that will dramatically increase NASA's ability to transmit information across the solar system. Lasercom sends information using beams of light and optical elements, such as telescopes and optical amplifiers, rather than RF signals, amplifiers, and antennas. This paper provides an overview of different network options at Earth to meet NASA's deep space lasercom requirements. It is based mainly on work done for the Mars Laser Communications Demonstration Project, a joint project between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (JPL), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL). It reports preliminary conclusions from the Mars Lasercom Study conducted at MIT/LL and on additional work done for the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System Continuation Study at GSFC. A lasercom flight terminal will be flown on the Mars Telesat Orbiter (MTO) to be launched by NASA in 2009, and will be the first high rate deep space demonstration of this revolutionary technology.

  16. 21st century early mission concepts for Mars delivery and earth return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Manuel I.; Ilgen, Marc R.

    1990-01-01

    In the 21st century, the early missions to Mars will entail unmanned Rover and Sample Return reconnaissance missions to be followed by manned exploration missions. High performance leverage technologies will be required to reach Mars and return to earth. This paper describes the mission concepts currently identified for these early Mars missions. These concepts include requirements and capabilities for Mars and earth aerocapture, Mars surface operations and ascent, and Mars and earth rendezvous. Although the focus is on the unmanned missions, synergism with the manned missions is also discussed.

  17. Mars Earth Return Vehicle (MERV) Propulsion Options

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Burke, Laura; Fincannon, James; Warner, Joe; Williams, Glenn; Parkey, Thomas; Colozza, Tony; Fittje, Jim; Martini, Mike; hide

    2010-01-01

    The COMPASS Team was tasked with the design of a Mars Sample Return Vehicle. The current Mars sample return mission is a joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) mission, with ESA contributing the launch vehicle for the Mars Sample Return Vehicle. The COMPASS Team ran a series of design trades for this Mars sample return vehicle. Four design options were investigated: Chemical Return /solar electric propulsion (SEP) stage outbound, all-SEP, all chemical and chemical with aerobraking. The all-SEP and Chemical with aerobraking were deemed the best choices for comparison. SEP can eliminate both the Earth flyby and the aerobraking maneuver (both considered high risk by the Mars Sample Return Project) required by the chemical propulsion option but also require long low thrust spiral times. However this is offset somewhat by the chemical/aerobrake missions use of an Earth flyby and aerobraking which also take many months. Cost and risk analyses are used to further differentiate the all-SEP and Chemical/Aerobrake options.

  18. Radio Wave Propagation Handbook for Communication on and Around Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Christian; Golshan, Nasser; Kliore, Arvydas

    2002-01-01

    This handbook examines the effects of the Martian environment on radio wave propagation on Mars and in the space near the planet. The environmental effects include these from the Martian atmosphere, ionosphere, global dust storms, aerosols, clouds, and geomorphologic features. Relevant Martian environmental parameters were extracted from the measurements of Mars missions during the past 30 years, especially from Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor. The results derived from measurements and analyses have been reviewed through an extensive literature search. The updated parameters have been theoretically analyzed to study their effects on radio propagation. This handbook also provides basic information about the entire telecommunications environment on and around Mars for propagation researchers, system engineers, and link analysts. Based on these original analyses, some important recommendations have been made, including the use of the Martian ionosphere as a reflector for Mars global or trans-horizon communication between future Martian colonies, reducing dust storm scattering effects, etc. These results have extended our wave propagation knowledge to a planet other than Earth; and the tables, models, and graphics included in this handbook will benefit telecommunication system engineers and scientific researchers.

  19. Mars Relay Satellite: Key to Enabling Low-Cost Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastrup, R.; Cesarone, R.; Miller, A.

    1993-01-01

    Recently, there has been increasing evidence of a renewed focus on Mars exploration both by NASA and the international community. The thrust of this renewed interest appears to be manifesting itself in numerous low-cost missions employing small, light weight elements, which utilize advanced technologies including integrated microelectronics. A formidable problem facing these low-cost missions is communications with Earth. Providing adequate direct-link performance has very significant impacts on spacecraft power, pointing, mass and overall complexity. Additionally, for elements at or near the surface of Mars, there are serious connectivity constraints, especially at higher latitudes, which lose view of Earth for up to many months at a time. This paper will discuss the role a Mars relay satellite can play in enabling and enhancing low-cost missions to Mars...

  20. On the paleo-magnetospheres of Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherf, Manuel; Khodachenko, Maxim; Alexeev, Igor; Belenkaya, Elena; Blokhina, Marina; Johnstone, Colin; Tarduno, John; Lammer, Helmut; Tu, Lin; Guedel, Manuel

    2017-04-01

    exobase of a nitrogen dominated atmosphere would most probably have been extended above the magnetopause, leading to enhanced atmospheric erosion, whereas a CO2-dominated atmosphere would have prevented atmospheric loss in such a scenario. Our simulations also show that the Martian paleo-magnetosphere during the early Noachian must have been comparable in size to the terrestrial paleo-magnetosphere, hence a CO2-rich atmosphere should have been protected by the magnetic field from rapid atmospheric erosion until the cessation of the Martian dipole field ˜4.0 billion years ago. Finally, our results favor the idea that the young Sun must have been a slow to moderate rotator. The solar wind and EUV flux from a fast rotating Sun would have been so intense, that most probably the ancient atmospheres of Mars and Earth would not have survived. Acknowledgments. The authors acknowledge the support of the FWF NFN project "Pathways to Habitability: From Disks to Active Stars, Planets and Life", in particular its related sub-projects S11604-N16, S11606-N16 and S11607-N16. This presentation is supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the US NSF (EAR1015269 to JAT).

  1. Permanent Habitats in Earth-Sol/Mars-Sol Orbit Positions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenspon, J.

    Project Outpost is a manned Earth-Sol/Mars-Sol platform that enables permanent occupation in deep space. In order to develop the program elements for this complex mission, Project Outpost will rely primarily on existing/nearterm technology and hardware for the construction of its components. For the purposes of this study, four mission requirements are considered: 1. Outpost - Man's 1st purpose-produced effort of space engineering, in which astructure is developed/constructed in an environment completely alien to currentpractices for EVA guidelines. 2. Newton - a concept study developed at StarGate Research, for the development ofa modified Hohmann personnel orbital transport operating between Earth andMars. Newton would serve as the primary crew delivery apparatus throughrepeatable transfer scheduling for all Earth-Lpoint-Mars activities. Thispermanent "transit system" would establish the foundations for Solar systemcolonization. 3. Cruis - a concept study developed at StarGate Research, for the development of amodified Hohmann cargo orbital transport operating between Earth and Mars.Cruis would serve as the primary equipment delivery apparatus throughrepeatable transfer scheduling for all Earth-Lpoint-Mars activities. Thispermanent "transit system" would establish the foundations for Solar systemcolonization, and 4. Ares/Diana - a more conventional space platform configuration for Lunar andMars orbit is included as a construction baseline. The operations of these assetsare supported, and used for the support, of the outpost. Outpost would be constructed over a 27-year period of launch opportunities into Earth-Sol or Mars-Sol Lagrange orbit (E-S/M-S L1, 4 or 5). The outpost consists of an operations core with a self-contained power generation ability, a docking and maintenance structure, a Scientific Research complex and a Habitation Section. After achieving initial activation, the core will provide the support and energy required to operate the outpost in a 365

  2. Effects of megascale eruptions on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thordarson, T.; Rampino, M.; Keszthelyi, L.P.; Self, S.

    2009-01-01

    Volcanic features are common on geologically active earthlike planets. Megascale or "super" eruptions involving >1000 Gt of magma have occurred on both Earth and Mars in the geologically recent past, introducing prodigious volumes of ash and volcanic gases into the atmosphere. Here we discuss felsic (explosive) and mafi c (flood lava) supereruptions and their potential atmospheric and environmental effects on both planets. On Earth, felsic supereruptions recur on average about every 100-200,000 years and our present knowledge of the 73.5 ka Toba eruption implies that such events can have the potential to be catastrophic to human civilization. A future eruption of this type may require an unprecedented response from humankind to assure the continuation of civilization as we know it. Mafi c supereruptions have resulted in atmospheric injection of volcanic gases (especially SO2) and may have played a part in punctuating the history of life on Earth. The contrast between the more sustained effects of flood basalt eruptions (decades to centuries) and the near-instantaneous effects of large impacts (months to years) is worthy of more detailed study than has been completed to date. Products of mafi c supereruptions, signifi cantly larger than known from the geologic record on Earth, are well preserved on Mars. The volatile emissions from these eruptions most likely had global dispersal, but the effects may not have been outside what Mars endures even in the absence of volcanic eruptions. This is testament to the extreme variability of the current Martian atmosphere: situations that would be considered catastrophic on Earth are the norm on Mars. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  3. Solar rotation effects on the thermospheres of Mars and Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Jeffrey M; Bruinsma, Sean; Lemoine, Frank G

    2006-06-02

    The responses of Earth's and Mars' thermospheres to the quasi-periodic (27-day) variation of solar flux due to solar rotation were measured contemporaneously, revealing that this response is twice as large for Earth as for Mars. Per typical 20-unit change in 10.7-centimeter radio flux (used as a proxy for extreme ultraviolet flux) reaching each planet, we found temperature changes of 42.0 +/- 8.0 kelvin and 19.2 +/- 3.6 kelvin for Earth and Mars, respectively. Existing data for Venus indicate values of 3.6 +/- 0.6 kelvin. Our observational result constrains comparative planetary thermosphere simulations and may help resolve existing uncertainties in thermal balance processes, particularly CO2 cooling.

  4. Magnetic Fields of the Earth and Mars a Comparison and Discussion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Patrick T.

    2004-01-01

    In several aspects the magnetic fields of the Earth and Mars are similar but also different. In the past both bodies had planetary magnetic fields but while they Earth's field remains today the Martian ceased to operate, at some unknown time in the past, leaving this planet without a main or core field. This fact resulted in the interaction between the solar and interplanetary magnetic fields with the surfaces of these planets being very different. In addition, Mars has large crustal magnetic anomalies, nearly ten times larger than those on the Earth. Since crustal magnetic anomalies are the product of the thickness of the layer of magnetization, both the magnetizing material and the thickness of the layer of this material must be very different on Mars than Earth. Furthermore, the martian anomalies can only be produced by remanent or fossil magnetization, in contrast with the Earth where both induced and remanent magnetization are producing these anomalies. Crustal magnetic anomalies on the Earth are mainly produced by single-domain, irontitanium oxides, in the form of magnetite being the most common on Mars the main magnetic mineral(s) are unknown. The thickness of the martian magnetized layer in comparison with the Earth remains a major area for research. Determining the paleopole position for the Earth has been done by some of the earliest paleomagnetic researchers. Since we do not have oriented martian rock samples determining the paleopoles for Mars has been done by fitting a magnetization vector to individual magnetic anomalies. Several groups have worked on this problem with somewhat differing results.

  5. Telecommunications Relay Support of the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Charles D., Jr.; Erickson, James K.; Gladden, Roy E.; Guinn, Joseph R.; Ilott, Peter A.; Jai, Benhan; Johnston, Martin D.; Kornfeld, Richard P.; Martin-Mur, Tomas J.; McSmith, Gaylon W.; hide

    2010-01-01

    The Phoenix Lander, first of NASA's Mars Scout missions, arrived at the Red Planet on May 25, 2008. From the moment the lander separated from its interplanetary cruise stage shortly before entry, the spacecraft could no longer communicate directly with Earth, and was instead entirely dependent on UHF relay communications via an international network of orbiting Mars spacecraft, including NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey (ODY) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft, as well as ESA's Mars Express (MEX) spacecraft. All three orbiters captured critical event telemetry and/or tracking data during Phoenix Entry, Descent and Landing. During the Phoenix surface mission, ODY and MRO provided command and telemetry services, far surpassing the original data return requirements. The availability of MEX as a backup relay asset enhanced the robustness of the surface relay plan. In addition to telecommunications services, Doppler tracking observables acquired on the UHF link yielded an accurate position for the Phoenix landing site.

  6. Venus tectonics: another Earth or another Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGill, G.E.

    1979-01-01

    The presence of presumably primordial large craters has led to the suggestion that Venus may have a thick lithosphere like that of Mars despite its similarities to Earth in size and density. However, crust and upper mantle temperatures on Venus are very likely higher than on Earth so that a dry Venus could have a lithosphere with a thickness similar to that of Earth. If a trace of volatiles is present in the mantle, the lithosphere of Venus could be thinner. Due to the absence of liquid water, erosion and deposition will be much slower on Venus than on Earth, favoring retention of primordial cratered surfaces on portions of the crust that have not been destroyed or buried by tectonic and volcanic activity. Geochemical models of solar system origin and petrological considerations suggest that K is about as abundant in Venus as in Earth. The abundance of 40 Ar in the atmosphere of Venus lies somewhere between the Earth value and one-tenth of the Earth value. Because erosional liberation of 40 Ar on Venus will be relatively inefficient, this range for 40 Ar abundance at least permits an active tectonic history, and if the 40 Ar abundance is towards the high end of the range, it may well require an active tectonic history. Thus we are not constrained to a Mars-like model of Venus tectonics by craters and possible mantle dryness; an Earth-like model is equally probable

  7. Earth-type planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marov, M. Y.; Davydov, V. D.

    1975-01-01

    Spacecraft- and Earth-based studies on the physical nature of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are reported. Charts and graphs are presented on planetary surface properties, rotational parameters, atmospheric compositions, and astronomical characteristics.

  8. The effects of solar Reimers η on the final destinies of Venus, the Earth, and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jianpo; Lin, Ling; Bai, Chunyan; Liu, Jinzhong

    2016-04-01

    Our Sun will lose sizable mass and expand enormously when it evolves to the red giant branch phase and the asymptotic giant branch phase. The loss of solar mass will push a planet outward. On the contrary, solar expansion will enhance tidal effects, and tidal force will drive a planet inward. Will our Sun finally engulf Venus, the Earth, and Mars? In the literature, one can find a large number of studies with different points of view. A key factor is that we do not know how much mass the Sun will lose at the late stages. The Reimers η can describe the efficiency of stellar mass-loss and greatly affect solar mass and solar radius at the late stages. In this work, we study how the final destinies of Venus, the Earth, and Mars can be depending on Reimers η chosen. In our calculation, the Reimers η varies from 0.00 to 0.75, with the minimum interval 0.0025. Our results show that Venus will be engulfed by the Sun and Mars will most probably survive finally. The fate of the Earth is uncertain. The Earth will finally be engulfed by the Sun while η <0.4600, and it will finally survive while η ≥ 0.4600. New observations indicate that the average Reimers η for solar-like stars is 0.477. This implies that Earth may survive finally.

  9. SPACE: Enhancing Life on Earth. Proceedings Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobden, Alan (Editor); Hobden, Beverly (Editor); Bagley, Larry E. (Editor); Bolton, Ed (Editor); Campaigne, Len O. (Editor); Cole, Ron (Editor); France, Marty (Editor); Hand, Rich (Editor); McKinley, Cynthia (Editor); Zimkas, Chuck (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    The proceedings of the 12th National Space Symposium on Enhancing Life on Earth is presented. Technological areas discussed include: Space applications and cooperation; Earth sensing, communication, and navigation applications; Global security interests in space; and International space station and space launch capabilities. An appendices that include featured speakers, program participants, and abbreviation & acronyms glossary is also attached.

  10. Tafoni - A Llink Between Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacob, R. H.; Iacob, C. E.

    2013-12-01

    Remarkable rock erosion structures on the planetary surface, tafoni represent an important instrument for investigating the specific environmental conditions causing such rock formations. From simple cavities to refined honeycomb or other intricate patterns, tafoni are a reflection of the complex interaction between the rock structure and the environmental factors. On the genesis of tafoni, there is no unique breakdown mechanism at work, but a multitude of physical and chemical processes developing over time. However, some of these formation mechanisms are typically predominant. Tafoni can be found on a variety of rock substrates, from sandstone and vesicular lava rocks to granite and basalt, and in a variety of environments, from wet coastal areas to the extreme dry zones of hot deserts, high plateaus or frozen lands of Antarctica. During various NASA missions, tafoni were also identified on rock formations on Mars. Comparative study of the environmental conditions leading to the formation of tafoni on Earth and Mars can help explain past and present surface erosion mechanisms on the Red Planet. The mechanisms responsible for tafoni formation on Earth include wind erosion, exfoliation, frost shattering, and, in the majority of cases, salt weathering. Microclimate variations of temperature, evaporation of salt water, disaggregation of mineral grains, as well as sandblasting, are among most common contributors that initiate the pitting of the rock surface, giving way to further development of tafoni alveoli, cavities and other erosion patterns. Dissolution of calcium carbonates and siliceous cements, or hydration of feldspars, are representative examples of tafoni erosion involving rain water, sea water or air moisture. Live organisms and biochemical processes are significant contributors to the formation and evolution of tafoni, especially in humid or water reach environments. In many instances, tafoni reflect erosion mechanism specific to environmental conditions

  11. Earthlike planets: Surfaces of Mercury, Venus, earth, moon, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, B.; Malin, M. C.; Greeley, R.

    1981-01-01

    The surfaces of the earth and the other terrestrial planets of the inner solar system are reviewed in light of the results of recent planetary explorations. Past and current views of the origin of the earth, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are discussed, and the surface features characteristic of the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus are outlined. Mechanisms for the modification of planetary surfaces by external factors and from within the planet are examined, including surface cycles, meteoritic impact, gravity, wind, plate tectonics, volcanism and crustal deformation. The origin and evolution of the moon are discussed on the basis of the Apollo results, and current knowledge of Mercury and Mars is examined in detail. Finally, the middle periods in the history of the terrestrial planets are compared, and future prospects for the exploration of the inner planets as well as other rocky bodies in the solar system are discussed.

  12. Reducing greenhouses and the temperature history of Earth and Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sagan, C.

    1977-01-01

    The modern theory of stellar evolution implies that the Sun has increased in brightness by several tens per cent over geological time. Were all other global parameters held constant, this would imply that the mean temperature of the Earth was below the freezing point of seawater about 2 x 10 9 yr ago. There is, however, excellent geological and palaeontological evidence that there were extensive bodies of liquid water on the Earth between 3 and 4 x 10 9 yr ago. A possible solution to this puzzle is that the Earth's primitive atmosphere contained small quantities of NH 3 and other reducing gases which significantly enhanced the global 'greenhouse' effect. Cosmochemical considerations point strongly to a higher abundance of reduced constituents in the primitive than in the contemporary terrestrial atmosphere; and reduced atmospheric components such as NH 3 and CH 4 are required to understand the accumulation of prebiological organic compounds necessary for the origin of life between 3 and 4 x 10 9 yr ago. Similar arguments may apply to Mars. (author)

  13. Reducing greenhouses and the temperature history of Earth and Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sagan, C [Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y. (USA). Lab. for Planetary Studies

    1977-09-15

    The modern theory of stellar evolution implies that the Sun has increased in brightness by several tens per cent over geological time. Were all other global parameters held constant, this would imply that the mean temperature of the Earth was below the freezing point of seawater about 2 x 10/sup 9/ yr ago. There is, however, excellent geological and palaeontological evidence that there were extensive bodies of liquid water on the Earth between 3 and 4 x 10/sup 9/ yr ago. A possible solution to this puzzle is that the Earth's primitive atmosphere contained small quantities of NH/sub 3/ and other reducing gases which significantly enhanced the global 'greenhouse' effect. Cosmochemical considerations point strongly to a higher abundance of reduced constituents in the primitive than in the contemporary terrestrial atmosphere; and reduced atmospheric components such as NH/sub 3/ and CH/sub 4/ are required to understand the accumulation of prebiological organic compounds necessary for the origin of life between 3 and 4 x 10/sup 9/ yr ago. Similar arguments may apply to Mars.

  14. Volcano-ice interaction as a microbial habitat on Earth and Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousins, Claire R; Crawford, Ian A

    2011-09-01

    Volcano-ice interaction has been a widespread geological process on Earth that continues to occur to the present day. The interaction between volcanic activity and ice can generate substantial quantities of liquid water, together with steep thermal and geochemical gradients typical of hydrothermal systems. Environments available for microbial colonization within glaciovolcanic systems are wide-ranging and include the basaltic lava edifice, subglacial caldera meltwater lakes, glacier caves, and subsurface hydrothermal systems. There is widespread evidence of putative volcano-ice interaction on Mars throughout its history and at a range of latitudes. Therefore, it is possible that life on Mars may have exploited these habitats, much in the same way as has been observed on Earth. The sedimentary and mineralogical deposits resulting from volcano-ice interaction have the potential to preserve evidence of any indigenous microbial populations. These include jökulhlaup (subglacial outflow) sedimentary deposits, hydrothermal mineral deposits, basaltic lava flows, and subglacial lacustrine deposits. Here, we briefly review the evidence for volcano-ice interactions on Mars and discuss the geomicrobiology of volcano-ice habitats on Earth. In addition, we explore the potential for the detection of these environments on Mars and any biosignatures these deposits may contain.

  15. Mars extant-life campaign using an approach based on Earth-analog habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palkovic, Lawrence A.; Wilson, Thomas J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Robotic Outpost group at JPL has identified sixteen potential momentous discoveries that if found on Mars would alter planning for the future Mars exploration program. This paper details one possible approach to the discovery of and response to the 'momentous discovery'' of extant life on Mars. The approach detailed in this paper, the Mars Extant-Life (MEL) campaign, is a comprehensive and flexible program to find living organisms on Mars by studying Earth-analog habitats of extremophile communities.

  16. Synthetic biology meets bioprinting: enabling technologies for humans on Mars (and Earth).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J

    2016-08-15

    Human exploration off planet is severely limited by the cost of launching materials into space and by re-supply. Thus materials brought from Earth must be light, stable and reliable at destination. Using traditional approaches, a lunar or Mars base would require either transporting a hefty store of metals or heavy manufacturing equipment and construction materials for in situ extraction; both would severely limit any other mission objectives. Long-term human space presence requires periodic replenishment, adding a massive cost overhead. Even robotic missions often sacrifice science goals for heavy radiation and thermal protection. Biology has the potential to solve these problems because life can replicate and repair itself, and perform a wide variety of chemical reactions including making food, fuel and materials. Synthetic biology enhances and expands life's evolved repertoire. Using organisms as feedstock, additive manufacturing through bioprinting will make possible the dream of producing bespoke tools, food, smart fabrics and even replacement organs on demand. This new approach and the resulting novel products will enable human exploration and settlement on Mars, while providing new manufacturing approaches for life on Earth. © 2016 The Author(s).

  17. From Mars to Media: The Phoenix Mars Mission and the Challenges of Real-Time, Multimedia Science Communication and Public Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Bitter, C.

    2008-12-01

    Although the Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mars Odyssey Missions set the standard for science communication and public education about Mars, the Phoenix Mission was presented with robust new communication challenges and opportunities. The new frontier includes Web 2.0, international forums, internal and external blogs, social networking sites, as well as the traditional media and education outlets for communicating science and information. We will explore the highlights and difficulties of managing the 'message from Mars' in our current multimedia saturated world while balancing authentic science discoveries, public expectations, and communication demands. Our goal is to create a more science savvy public and a more communication oriented science community for the future. The key issues are helping the public and our scientists distinguish between information and knowledge and managing the content that connects the two.

  18. Radiation Database for Earth and Mars Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-11-17

    state which mainly determines its polarizability . ∆r2 = r2u− r2l is the difference between Radiation Database for Earth and Mars Entry RTO-EN-AVT...NO A← X (0,0) band in the presence of argon and nitrogen. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 47:375–390, 1992. Radiation

  19. Spacecraft navigation at Mars using earth-based and in situ radio tracking techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurman, S. W.; Edwards, C. D.; Kahn, R. D.; Vijayaraghavan, A.; Hastrup, R. C.; Cesarone, R. J.

    1992-08-01

    A survey of earth-based and in situ radiometric data types and results from a number of studies investigating potential radio navigation performance for spacecraft approaching/orbiting Mars and for landed spacecraft and rovers on the surface of Mars are presented. The performance of Doppler, ranging and interferometry earth-based data types involving single or multiple spacecraft is addressed. This evaluation is conducted with that of in situ data types, such as Doppler and ranging measurements between two spacecraft near Mars, or between a spacecraft and one or more surface radio beacons.

  20. Communications During Critical Mission Operations: Preparing for InSight's Landing on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmar, Sami; Oudrhiri, Kamal; Kurtik, Susan; Weinstein-Weiss, Stacy

    2014-01-01

    Radio communications with deep space missions are often taken for granted due to the impressively successful records since, for decades, the technology and infrastructure have been developed for ground and flight systems to optimize telemetry and commanding. During mission-critical events such as the entry, descent, and landing of a spacecraft on the surface of Mars, the signal's level and frequency dynamics vary significantly and typically exceed the threshold of the budgeted links. The challenge is increased when spacecraft shed antennas with heat shields and other hardware during those risky few minutes. We have in the past successfully received signals on Earth during critical events even ones not intended for ground reception. These included the UHF signal transmitted by Curiosity to Marsorbiting assets. Since NASA's Deep Space Network does not operate in the UHF band, large radio telescopes around the world are utilized. The Australian CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope supported the Curiosity UHF signal reception and DSN receivers, tools, and expertise were used in the process. In preparation for the InSight mission's landing on Mars in 2016, preparations are underway to support the UHF communications. This paper presents communication scenarios with radio telescopes, and the DSN receiver and tools. It also discusses the usefulness of the real-time information content for better response time by the mission team towards successful mission operations.

  1. Science in Exploration: From the Moon to Mars and Back Home to Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, James B.

    2007-01-01

    NASA is embarking on a grand journey of exploration that naturally integrates the past successes of the Apollo missions to the Moon, as well as robotic science missions to Mars, to Planet Earth, and to the broader Universe. The US Vision for Space Exporation (VSE) boldly lays out a plan for human and robotic reconnaissance of the accessible Universe, starting with the surface of the Moon, and later embracing the surface of Mars. Sustained human and robotic access to the Moon and Mars will enable a new era of scientific investigation of our planetary neighbors, tied to driving scientific questions that pertain to the evolution and destiny of our home planet, but which also can be related to the search habitable worlds across the nearby Universe. The Apollo missions provide a vital legacy for what can be learned from the Moon, and NASA is now poised to recapture the lunar frontier starting with the flight of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in late 2008. LRO will provide a new scientific context from which joint human and robotic exploration will ensue, guided by objectives some of which are focused on the grandest scientific challenges imaginable : Where did we come from? Are we alone? and Where are we going? The Moon will serve as an essential stepping stone for sustained human access and exploration of deep space and as a training ground while robotic missions with ever increasing complexity probe the wonders of Mars. As we speak, an armada of spacecraft are actively investigating the red planet both from orbit (NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey Orbiter, plus ESA's Mars Express) and from the surface (NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers, and in 2008 NASA's Phoenix polar lander). The dramatically changing views of Mars as a potentially habitable world, with its own flavor of global climate change and unique climate records, provides a new vantage point from which to observe and question the workings of our own planet Earth. By 2010 NASA will

  2. Two planets: Earth and Mars - One salt model: The Hydrothermal SCRIW-Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovland, M. T.; Rueslaatten, H.; Johnsen, H. K.; Indreiten, T.

    2011-12-01

    One of the common characteristics of planets Earth and Mars is that both host water (H2O) and large accumulations of salt. Whereas Earth's surface-environment can be regarded as 'water-friendly' and 'salt hostile', the reverse can be said for the surface of Mars. This is because liquid water is stable on Earth, and the atmosphere transports humidity around the globe, whereas on planet Mars, liquid water is unstable, rendering the atmosphere dry and, therefore, 'salt-friendly'. The riddle as to how the salt accumulated in various locations on those two planets is one of long-lasting and great debate. The salt accumulations on Earth are traditionally termed 'evaporites', meaning that they formed by the evaporation of large masses of seawater. How the accumulations on Mars formed is much harder to explain, with a similar model, as surface water, representing a large ocean only existed briefly. Although water molecules and OH-groups may exist in abundance in bound form (crystal water, adsorbed water, etc.), the only place where free water is expected to be stable on Mars is within underground faults, fractures, and crevices. Here it likely occurs as brine or in the form of ice. Based on these conditions, a key to understanding the accumulation of large deposits of salt on both planets is linked to how brines behave in the subsurface when pressurized and heated beyond their supercritical point. At depths greater than about 3 km (i.e., a pressure, P>300 bars) water will no longer boil in a steam phase. Rather, it becomes supercritical and will form a supercritical water 'vapor' (SCRIW) with a specific gravity of typically 0.3 g/cm3. An important characteristic of SCRIW is its inability to dissolve the common sea salts. The salt dissolved in the brines will therefore precipitate as solid particles when brines (seawater on the Earth) move into the supercritical P&T-domain (above 400 C and 300 bars). Numerical modeling of a hydrothermal system in the Atlantis II Deep of the

  3. Simultaneous Modeling of Gradual SEP Events at the Earth and the Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, J.; Li, G.

    2017-12-01

    Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) event is the number one space hazard for spacecraft instruments and astronauts' safety. Recent studies have shown that both longitudinal and radial extent of SEP events can be very significant. In this work, we use the improved Particle Acceleration and Transport in the Heliosphere (iPATH) model to simulate gradual SEP events that have impacts upon both the Earth and the Mars. We follow the propagation of a 2D CME-driven shock. Particles are accelerated at the shock via the diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) mechanism. Transport of the escaped particles to the Earth and the Mars is then followed using a backward stochastic differential equation method. Perpendicular diffusion is considered in both the DSA and the transport process. Model results such as time intensity profile and energetic particle spectrum at the two locations are compared to understand the spatial extent of an SEP event. Observational data at the Earth and the Mars are also studied to validate the model.

  4. Overview of the Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillman, Robert; Corliss, James

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Mars Sample Return (MSR) project will bring Mars surface and atmosphere samples back to Earth for detailed examination. Langley Research Center's MSR Earth Entry Vehicle (EEV) is a core part of the mission, protecting the sample container during atmospheric entry, descent, and landing. Planetary protection requirements demand a higher reliability from the EEV than for any previous planetary entry vehicle. An overview of the EEV design and preliminary analysis is presented, with a follow-on discussion of recommended future design trade studies to be performed over the next several years in support of an MSR launch in 2018 or 2020. Planned topics include vehicle size for impact protection of a range of sample container sizes, outer mold line changes to achieve surface sterilization during re-entry, micrometeoroid protection, aerodynamic stability, thermal protection, and structural materials selection.

  5. MAVEN-Measured Meteoritic Ions on Mars - Tracers of Lower Ionosphere Processes With and Without Analogues On Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benna, M.; Grebowsky, J. M.; Collinson, G.; Plane, J. M. C.; Mitchell, D.; Srivastava, N.

    2017-12-01

    MAVEN observations of meteoritic metal ion populations during "deep dip" campaigns at Mars have revealed unique non-Earth like behavior that are not yet understood. These deep dip campaigns (6 so far) consisted each of more than a score of repeated orbits through the Martian molecular-ion-dominated lower ionosphere, whose terrestrial parallel (Earth's E-region) has been rather sparcely surveyed in situ by sounding rockets. In regions of weak Mars magnetic fields, MAVEN found ordered exponentially decreasing metal ion concentrations above the altitude of peak meteor ablation. Such an ordered trend has never been observed on Earth. Isolated anomalous high-altitude layers in the metal ion are also encountered, typically on deep dip campaigns in the southern hemisphere where large localized surface remanent magnetic fields prevail. The source of these anomalous layers is not yet evident, although the occurrences of some high-altitude metal ion enhancements were in regions with measured perturbed magnetic fields, indicative of localized electrical currents. Further investigation shows that those currents are also sometimes associated with superthermal/energetic electron bursts offering evidence that that impact ionization of neutral metal populations persisting at high altitudes are the source of metal ion enhancement - a rather difficult assumption to accept far above the ablation region where the metal neutrals are deposited. The relationship of the anomalous layers to the coincident electron populations as well as to the orientation of the magnetic fields which can play a role in the neutral wind generated ion convergences as on Earth is investigated.

  6. EarthMars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper. These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  7. Mert Davies: Pioneer in the Use of Spacecraft to Map Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, B.; Augenstein, B.

    2002-12-01

    Mert Davies was one of the founding employees of the RAND Corporation in 1946, and continued that relationship until his death in 2001. He began his involvement in satellite imaging at Rand as one of about 100 researchers in Project Feedback in 1954, provided the basis for the initial US military space program. In 1957, in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik, Mert and a small group of Rand cohorts proposed a family of recoverable reconnaissance satellites featuring spin stabilized cameras, for which he later received a patent. This work, now declassified, was for a short time considered as a basis for the Corona, America's first reconnaissance satellite Corona, although ultimately alternative technologies were employed. In addition he was looking beyond Earth quite early and in May, 1958 published an analysis of a lunar mapping satellite. The 1957 work at Rand spurred considerations of space-based geodesy and mapping. These and other early contributions were recognized in 1999 by the National Reconnaissance Office which honored him as one of the founders of national reconnaissance. He was so enthused by the opportunity developing in the mid 1960?s to explore photographically the planets that he changed careers and joined the Television Team of the Mariner probes being developed to flyby Mars in 1969 (Mariner's 6&7). His abilities and accomplishments there led directly to central roles later in the Mariner 9 Mars Orbiter mission (1971-72) as well as Mariner 10 to Mercury (1973-75) and Voyagers 1&2 (1979-89) These early flights to Mars represented unprecedented technical challenges, especially to radio communications. As a consequence, analog television systems, like that carried on the Ranger impact probe in 1964-65 or film readout technology like that used on Lunar Orbiter in 1965-66 to send back high-resolution images from the Moon were not feasible from planetary distances. In order to exploit the remarkable communication potential of the DSN, JPL

  8. Is Mars a habitable environment for extremophilic microorganisms from Earth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rettberg, Petra; Reitz, Guenther; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Bauermeister, Anja

    In the last decades several sucessful space missions to our neighboring planet Mars have deepened our knowledge about its environmental conditions substantially. Orbiters with intruments for remote sensing and landers with sophisticated intruments for in situ investigations resulted in a better understanding of Mars’ radiation climate, atmospheric composition, geology, and mineralogy. Extensive regions of the surface of Mars are covered with sulfate- and ferric oxide-rich layered deposits. These sediments indicate the possible existence of aqueous, acidic environments on early Mars. Similar environments on Earth harbour a specialised community of microorganisms which are adapted to the local stress factors, e.g. low pH, high concentrations of heavy metal ions, oligotrophic conditions. Acidophilic iron-sulfur bacteria isolated from such habitats on Earth could be considered as model organisms for an important part of a potential extinct Martian ecosystem or an ecosystem which might even exist today in protected subsurface niches. Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans was chosen as a model organism to study the ability of these bacteria to survive or grow under conditions resembling those on Mars. Stress conditions tested included desiccation, radiation, low temperatures, and high salinity. It was found that resistance to desiccation strongly depends on the mode of drying. Biofilms grown on membrane filters can tolerate longer periods of desiccation than planktonic cells dried without any added protectants, and drying under anaerobic conditions is more favourable to survival than drying in the presence of oxygen. Organic compounds such as trehalose and glycine betaine had a positive influence on survival after drying and freezing. A. ferrooxidans was shown to be sensitive to high salt concentrations, ionizing radiation, and UV radiation. However, the bacteria were able to utilize the iron minerals in Mars regolith mixtures as sole energy source. The survival and growth of

  9. Biota and biomolecules in extreme environments on Earth: implications for life detection on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Joost W; Röling, Wilfred F M; Elsaesser, Andreas; Ehrenfreund, Pascale

    2014-10-13

    The three main requirements for life as we know it are the presence of organic compounds, liquid water, and free energy. Several groups of organic compounds (e.g., amino acids, nucleobases, lipids) occur in all life forms on Earth and are used as diagnostic molecules, i.e., biomarkers, for the characterization of extant or extinct life. Due to their indispensability for life on Earth, these biomarkers are also prime targets in the search for life on Mars. Biomarkers degrade over time; in situ environmental conditions influence the preservation of those molecules. Nonetheless, upon shielding (e.g., by mineral surfaces), particular biomarkers can persist for billions of years, making them of vital importance in answering questions about the origins and limits of life on early Earth and Mars. The search for organic material and biosignatures on Mars is particularly challenging due to the hostile environment and its effect on organic compounds near the surface. In support of life detection on Mars, it is crucial to investigate analogue environments on Earth that resemble best past and present Mars conditions. Terrestrial extreme environments offer a rich source of information allowing us to determine how extreme conditions affect life and molecules associated with it. Extremophilic organisms have adapted to the most stunning conditions on Earth in environments with often unique geological and chemical features. One challenge in detecting biomarkers is to optimize extraction, since organic molecules can be low in abundance and can strongly adsorb to mineral surfaces. Methods and analytical tools in the field of life science are continuously improving. Amplification methods are very useful for the detection of low concentrations of genomic material but most other organic molecules are not prone to amplification methods. Therefore, a great deal depends on the extraction efficiency. The questions "what to look for", "where to look", and "how to look for it" require more of

  10. Biota and Biomolecules in Extreme Environments on Earth: Implications for Life Detection on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joost W. Aerts

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The three main requirements for life as we know it are the presence of organic compounds, liquid water, and free energy. Several groups of organic compounds (e.g., amino acids, nucleobases, lipids occur in all life forms on Earth and are used as diagnostic molecules, i.e., biomarkers, for the characterization of extant or extinct life. Due to their indispensability for life on Earth, these biomarkers are also prime targets in the search for life on Mars. Biomarkers degrade over time; in situ environmental conditions influence the preservation of those molecules. Nonetheless, upon shielding (e.g., by mineral surfaces, particular biomarkers can persist for billions of years, making them of vital importance in answering questions about the origins and limits of life on early Earth and Mars. The search for organic material and biosignatures on Mars is particularly challenging due to the hostile environment and its effect on organic compounds near the surface. In support of life detection on Mars, it is crucial to investigate analogue environments on Earth that resemble best past and present Mars conditions. Terrestrial extreme environments offer a rich source of information allowing us to determine how extreme conditions affect life and molecules associated with it. Extremophilic organisms have adapted to the most stunning conditions on Earth in environments with often unique geological and chemical features. One challenge in detecting biomarkers is to optimize extraction, since organic molecules can be low in abundance and can strongly adsorb to mineral surfaces. Methods and analytical tools in the field of life science are continuously improving. Amplification methods are very useful for the detection of low concentrations of genomic material but most other organic molecules are not prone to amplification methods. Therefore, a great deal depends on the extraction efficiency. The questions “what to look for”, “where to look”, and “how to

  11. Comparison of the distribution of large magmatic centers on Earth, Venus, and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L. S.

    1993-01-01

    Volcanism is widely distributed over the surfaces of the major terrestrial planets: Venus, Earth, and Mars. Anomalous centers of magmatic activity occur on each planet and are characterized by evidence for unusual concentrations of volcanic centers, long-lived activity, unusual rates of effusion, extreme size of volcanic complexes, compositionally unusual magmatism, and evidence for complex geological development. The purpose of this study is to compare the characteristics and distribution of these magmatic anomalies on Earth, Venus, and Mars in order to assess these characteristics as they may relate to global characteristics and evolution of the terrestrial planets.

  12. Autonomous Mars ascent and orbit rendezvous for earth return missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, H. C.; Balmanno, W. F.; Cruz, Manuel I.; Ilgen, Marc R.

    1991-01-01

    The details of tha assessment of autonomous Mars ascent and orbit rendezvous for earth return missions are presented. Analyses addressing navigation system assessments, trajectory planning, targeting approaches, flight control guidance strategies, and performance sensitivities are included. Tradeoffs in the analysis and design process are discussed.

  13. Methane on Mars: Thermodynamic Equilibrium and Photochemical Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J. S.; Summers, M. E.; Ewell, M.

    2010-01-01

    The detection of methane (CH4) in the atmosphere of Mars by Mars Express and Earth-based spectroscopy is very surprising, very puzzling, and very intriguing. On Earth, about 90% of atmospheric ozone is produced by living systems. A major question concerning methane on Mars is its origin - biological or geological. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations indicated that methane cannot be produced by atmospheric chemical/photochemical reactions. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations for three gases, methane, ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the Earth s atmosphere are summarized in Table 1. The calculations indicate that these three gases should not exist in the Earth s atmosphere. Yet they do, with methane, ammonia and nitrous oxide enhanced 139, 50 and 12 orders of magnitude above their calculated thermodynamic equilibrium concentration due to the impact of life! Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations have been performed for the same three gases in the atmosphere of Mars based on the assumed composition of the Mars atmosphere shown in Table 2. The calculated thermodynamic equilibrium concentrations of the same three gases in the atmosphere of Mars is shown in Table 3. Clearly, based on thermodynamic equilibrium calculations, methane should not be present in the atmosphere of Mars, but it is in concentrations approaching 30 ppbv from three distinct regions on Mars.

  14. Use of Web 2.0 Technologies for Public Outreach on a Simulated Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrone, Kristine; Shiro, Brian; Palaia, Joseph E., IV

    2009-01-01

    Recent advances in social media and internet communications have revolutionized the ways people interact and disseminate information. Astronauts are already taking advantage of these tools by blogging and tweeting from space, and almost all NASA missions now have presences on the major social networking sites. One priotity for future human explorers on Mars will be communicating their experiences to the people back on Earth. During July 2009, a 6-member crew of volunteers carried out a simulated Mars mission at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS). The Mars Society built the mock Mars habitat in 2000-01 to help develop key knowledge and inspire the public for human Mars exploration. It is located on Devon island about 1600 km from the North Pole within the Arctic Circle. The structure is situated on the rim of Haughton Crater in an environment geologically and biologically analogous to Mars. Living in a habitat, conducting EVAs wearing spacesuits, and observing communication delays with "Earth,"the crew endured restrictions similar to those that will be faced by future human Mars explorers. Throughout the expedition, crewmembers posted daily blog entries, reports, photos, videos, and updates to their website and social media outlets Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Picasa Web Albums. During the sixteen EVAs of thier field science research campaign, FMARS crewmembers collected GPS track information and took geotagged photos using GPS-enabled cameras. They combined their traverse GPS tracks with photo location information into KML/KMZ files that website visitors can view in Google Earth.

  15. Mega-geomorphology: Mars vis a vis Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, R. P.

    1985-01-01

    The areas of chaotic terrain, the giant chasma of the Valles Marineris region, the complex linear and circular depressions of Labyrinthus Noctis on Mars all suggest the possibility of large scale collapse of parts of the martian crust within equatorial and sub equatorial latitudes. It seems generally accepted that the above features are fossil, being perhaps, more than a billion years old. It is possible that parts of Earth's crust experienced similar episodes of large scale collapse sometime early in the evolution of the planet.

  16. The MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot; Soucek, Alexander; Frischauf, Norbert; Stumptner, Willibald; Ragonig, Christoph; Sams, Sebastian; Bartenstein, Thomas; Häuplik-Meusburger, Sandra; Petrova, Polina; Evetts, Simon; Sivenesan, Chan; Bothe, Claudia; Boyd, Andrea; Dinkelaker, Aline; Dissertori, Markus; Fasching, David; Fischer, Monika; Föger, Daniel; Foresta, Luca; 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; Ramirez, Barbara; Ramo, Wissam; Rampey, Mike; Sams, Arnold; Sams, Elisabeth; Sandu, Oana; Sans, Alejandra; Sansone, Petra; Scheer, Daniela; Schildhammer, Daniel; Scornet, Quentin; Sejkora, Nina; Stadler, Andrea; Stummer, Florian; Taraba, Michael; Tlustos, Reinhard; Toferer, Ernst; Turetschek, Thomas; Winter, Egon; Zanella-Kux, Katja

    2014-05-01

    We report on the MARS2013 mission, a 4-week Mars analog field test in the northern Sahara. Nineteen experiments were conducted by a field crew in Morocco under simulated martian surface exploration conditions, supervised by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria. A Remote Science Support team analyzed field data in near real time, providing planning input for the management of a complex system of field assets; two advanced space suit simulators, four robotic vehicles, an emergency shelter, and a stationary sensor platform in a realistic work flow were coordinated by a Flight Control Team. A dedicated flight planning group, external control centers for rover tele-operations, and a biomedical monitoring team supported the field operations. A 10 min satellite communication delay and other limitations pertinent to human planetary surface activities were introduced. The fields of research for the experiments were geology, human factors, astrobiology, robotics, tele-science, exploration, and operations research. This paper provides an overview of the geological context and environmental conditions of the test site and the mission architecture, in particular the communication infrastructure emulating the signal travel time between Earth and Mars. We report on the operational work flows and the experiments conducted, including a deployable shelter prototype for multiple-day extravehicular activities and contingency situations.

  17. Aspects of the atmospheric surface layers on Mars and Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Søren Ejling; Ejsing Jørgensen, Hans; Landberg, L.

    2002-01-01

    and mean flow on Mars is found to obey the same scaling laws as on Earth. The largest micrometeorological differences between the two atmospheres are associated with the low air density of the Martian atmosphere. Together with the virtual absence of water vapour, it reduces the importance...

  18. RITD - Adapting Mars Entry, Descent and Landing System for Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukka, H.; Heilimo, J.; Harri, A.-M.; Aleksashkin, S.; Koryanov, V.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Finchenko, V.; Martynov, M.; Ponomarenko, A.; Kazakovtsev, V.; Martin, S.

    2015-10-01

    We have developed an atmospheric re-entry and descent system concept based on inflatable hypersonic decelerator techniques that were originally developed for Mars. The ultimate goal of this EU-funded RITD-project (Re-entry: Inflatable Technology Development) was to assess the benefits of this technology when deploying small payloads from low Earth orbits to the surface of the Earth with modest costs. The principal goal was to assess and develop a preliminary EDLS design for the entire relevant range of aerodynamic regimes expected to be encountered in Earth's atmosphere during entry, descent and landing. Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and even Lunar applications envisaged include the use of the EDLS approach in returning payloads of 4-8 kg down to the surface.

  19. Astrobiology in the Field: Studying Mars by Analogue Expeditions on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.

    2011-01-01

    We will present a strategy for how one prepares to engage in fieldwork on another planets by practicing in analogous environments on the Earth, including at Mono Lake. As an example, we will address the problem of how to study the habitability of an environment when you have no idea what kind of life might be there to exploit it. This will all be related to the upcoming launch of the Mars Science Laboratory to Mars in late November this year.

  20. Drastic Environmental Change on Mars: Applying the Lessons Learned on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairen, A.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Irwin, L. N.

    2014-12-01

    Rapid and drastic environmental change has occurred frequently on Earth, posing a critical challenge to life. However, directional selection has overcome those challenges and driven life on our planet to ever increasing diversity and complexity. Based on our knowledge of the natural history of Earth, the effect of drastic environmental changes on a planet's biosphere can be attributed to three main factors: (1) the nature and time scale of change, (2) the composition of the biosphere prior to change, and (3) the nature of the environment following the change. Mars has undergone even larger environmental changes than Earth, from habitable conditions under which the origin of life (or transfer of life from Earth) seem plausible, to a dry and cold planet punctuated by wetter conditions. Given its planetary history, life on Mars could have retreated to a psychrophilic lifestyle in the deep subsurface or to environmental near-surface niches, such as hydrothermal regions and caves. Further, strong directional selection could have pushed putative martian life to evolve alternating cycles between active and dormant forms, as well as the innovation of new traits adapted to challenging near-surface conditions (e.g., use of H2O2 or perchlorates as antifreeze compounds).

  1. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as keys to the enhancement of public awareness about potential earth impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usikov, Denis A.

    2013-09-01

    The 2007 Planetary Defense Conference recommends "to provide or enhance Internet sites to show how threats evolve and to illustrate possible action scenarios". Thereby, establishment of informational and communicational AsteroidAware web-site with the exact, authentic data about the past and the present of Earth's impact events will assist in achievement of positive results and progress in different directions on political, international, social and scientific levels. Expanded ICT's capabilities for popularization of planetary defense can help in resolving the problem of low public interest. The project's primary intent lies in popularizing the concept of planetary defenses and attracting attention to the potential dangers that threaten the Earth from outer space. The result of the efforts falling into the boundaries of this project would be an increased amount of social participation in the process of developing solutions for and increasing awareness of potential collisions between various astral bodies and the Earth. The project is also aimed at creating a foundation for the interaction between scientists and executives from around the world to facilitate international efforts of searching for fitting measures towards lowering threat levels and developing strategies revolving around united actions against potential threats.

  2. Mineral remains of early life on Earth? On Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iberall, Robbins E.; Iberall, A.S.

    1991-01-01

    The oldest sedimentary rocks on Earth, the 3.8-Ga Isua Iron-Formation in southwestern Greenland, are metamorphosed past the point where organic-walled fossils would remain. Acid residues and thin sections of these rocks reveal ferric microstructures that have filamentous, hollow rod, and spherical shapes not characteristic of crystalline minerals. Instead, they resemble ferric-coated remains of bacteria. Because there are no earlier sedimentary rocks to study on Earth, it may be necessary to expand the search elsewhere in the solar system for clues to any biotic precursors or other types of early life. A study of morphologies of iron oxide minerals collected in the southern highlands during a Mars sample return mission may therefore help to fill in important gaps in the history of Earth's earliest biosphere. -from Authors

  3. Use of Web 2.0 Technologies for Public Outreach on a Simulated Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiro, B.; Palaia, J.; Ferrone, K.

    2009-12-01

    Recent advances in social media and internet communications have revolutionized the ways people interact and disseminate information. Astronauts are already starting to take advantage of these tools by blogging and tweeting from space, and almost all NASA missions now have presences on the major social networking sites. One priority for future human explorers on Mars will be communicating their experiences to the people back on Earth. During July 2009, a six-member crew of volunteers carried out a simulated Mars mission at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic. Living in a habitat, conducting EVAs wearing spacesuits, and observing communication delays with “Earth,” the crew endured restrictions similar to those that will be faced by future human Mars explorers. Throughout the expedition, crewmembers posted regular blog entries, reports, photos, videos, and updates to their website and social media outlets Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Picasa Web Albums. During the sixteen EVAs of their field science research campaign, FMARS crewmembers collected GPS track information and took geotagged photos using GPS-enabled cameras. They combined their traverse GPS tracks with photo location information into KML/KMZ files that website visitors can view in Google Maps or Google Earth. Although the crew observed a strict 20-minute communication delay with “Earth” to simulate a real Mars mission, they broke this rule to conduct four very successful live webcasts with student groups using Skype since education and public outreach were important objectives of the endeavor. This presentation will highlight the use of Web 2.0 technologies for public outreach during the simulated Mars expedition and the implications for other remote scientific journeys. The author embarks on a "rover" to carry out an EVA near the FMARS Habitat. The satellite dish to the right of the structure was used for all communications with the remote

  4. Multipoint observations of coronal mass ejection and solar energetic particle events on Mars and Earth during November 2001

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Falkenberg, Thea Vilstrup; Vennerstrøm, Susanne; Brain, D. A.

    2011-01-01

    and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) data to study ICMEs and SEPs at Earth, we present a detailed study of three CMEs and flares in late November 2001. In this period, Mars trailed Earth by 56 degrees solar longitude so that the two planets occupied interplanetary magnetic field lines...... not only ICME events but also SEP events at Mars, with good results providing a consistent picture of the events when combined with near-Earth data....

  5. Venus-Earth-Mars: comparative climatology and the search for life in the solar system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Launius, Roger D

    2012-09-19

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans-all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a "runaway greenhouse theory," and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth.

  6. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-01-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans—all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a “runaway greenhouse theory,” and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth. PMID:25371106

  7. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger D. Launius

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans—all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a “runaway greenhouse theory,” and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth.

  8. Origin and evolution of the atmospheres of early Venus, Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Zerkle, Aubrey L.; Gebauer, Stefanie; Tosi, Nicola; Noack, Lena; Scherf, Manuel; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Güdel, Manuel; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Nikolaou, Athanasia

    2018-05-01

    We review the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of Earth, Venus and Mars from the time when their accreting bodies were released from the protoplanetary disk a few million years after the origin of the Sun. If the accreting planetary cores reached masses ≥ 0.5 M_Earth before the gas in the disk disappeared, primordial atmospheres consisting mainly of H_2 form around the young planetary body, contrary to late-stage planet formation, where terrestrial planets accrete material after the nebula phase of the disk. The differences between these two scenarios are explored by investigating non-radiogenic atmospheric noble gas isotope anomalies observed on the three terrestrial planets. The role of the young Sun's more efficient EUV radiation and of the plasma environment into the escape of early atmospheres is also addressed. We discuss the catastrophic outgassing of volatiles and the formation and cooling of steam atmospheres after the solidification of magma oceans and we describe the geochemical evidence for additional delivery of volatile-rich chondritic materials during the main stages of terrestrial planet formation. The evolution scenario of early Earth is then compared with the atmospheric evolution of planets where no active plate tectonics emerged like on Venus and Mars. We look at the diversity between early Earth, Venus and Mars, which is found to be related to their differing geochemical, geodynamical and geophysical conditions, including plate tectonics, crust and mantle oxidation processes and their involvement in degassing processes of secondary N_2 atmospheres. The buildup of atmospheric N_2, O_2, and the role of greenhouse gases such as CO_2 and CH_4 to counter the Faint Young Sun Paradox (FYSP), when the earliest life forms on Earth originated until the Great Oxidation Event ≈ 2.3 Gyr ago, are addressed. This review concludes with a discussion on the implications of understanding Earth's geophysical and related atmospheric evolution in relation

  9. Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with Earth's Smallest Settlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cwikla, Julie; Milroy, Scott; Reider, David; Skelton, Tara

    2014-01-01

    Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with the Earth's Smallest Settlers (http://pioneeringmars.org) provides a partnership model for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning that brings university scientists together with high school students to investigate whether cyanobacteria from Antarctica could survive on…

  10. Network science landers for Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harri, A.M.; Marsal, O.; Lognonne, P.

    1999-01-01

    by the Mars Express Orbiter that is expected to be functional during the NetLander Mission's operational phase. Communication between the landers and the Earth would take place via a data relay onboard the Mars Express Orbiter. (C) 1999 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.......The NetLander Mission will deploy four landers to the Martian surface. Each lander includes a network science payload with instrumentation for studying the interior of Mars, the atmosphere and the subsurface, as well as the ionospheric structure and geodesy. The NetLander Mission is the first......, ionospheric, geodetic measurements and ground penetrating radar mapping supported by panoramic images. The payloads also include entry phase measurements of the atmospheric vertical structure. The scientific data could be combined with simultaneous observations of the atmosphere and surface of Mars...

  11. A Case for Developing a Ground Based Replication of the Earth, Moon and Mars Spaceflight Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, Robert N.; Best, Susan L.

    2006-01-01

    When the systems are developed and in place to provide the services needed to operate en route and on the Lunar and Martian surfaces, an Earth based replication will need to be in place for the safety and protection of mission success. The replication will entail all aspects of the flight configuration end to end but will not include any closed loop systems. This would replicate the infrastructure from Lunar and Martian robots, manned surface excursions, through man and unmanned terrestrial bases, through the various types of communication systems and technologies, manned and un-manned space vehicles (large and small), to Earth based systems and control centers. An Earth based replicated infrastructure will enable checkout and test of new technologies, hardware, software updates and upgrades and procedures without putting humans and missions at risk. Analysis of events, what ifs and trouble resolution could be played out on the ground to remove as much risk as possible from any type of proposed change to flight operational systems. With adequate detail, it is possible that failures could be predicted with a high probability and action taken to eliminate failures. A major factor in any mission to the Moon and to Mars is the complexity of systems, interfaces, processes, their limitations, associated risks and the factor of the unknown including the development by many contractors and NASA centers. The need to be able to introduce new technologies over the life of the program requires an end to end test bed to analyze and evaluate these technologies and what will happen when they are introduced into the flight system. The ability to analyze system behaviors end to end under varying conditions would enhance safety e.g. fault tolerances. This analysis along with the ability to mine data from the development environment (e.g. test data), flight ops and modeling/simulations data would provide a level of information not currently available to operations and astronauts. In

  12. Polar vortices on Earth and Mars: A comparative study of the climatology and variability from reanalyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, D M; Montabone, L; Thomson, S; Read, P L

    2015-01-01

    Polar vortices on Mars provide case-studies to aid understanding of geophysical vortex dynamics and may help to resolve long-standing issues regarding polar vortices on Earth. Due to the recent development of the first publicly available Martian reanalysis dataset (MACDA), for the first time we are able to characterise thoroughly the structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices, and hence perform a systematic comparison with the polar vortices on Earth. The winter atmospheric circulations of the two planets are compared, with a specific focus on the structure and evolution of the polar vortices. The Martian residual meridional overturning circulation is found to be very similar to the stratospheric residual circulation on Earth during winter. While on Earth this residual circulation is very different from the Eulerian circulation, on Mars it is found to be very similar. Unlike on Earth, it is found that the Martian polar vortices are annular, and that the Northern Hemisphere vortex is far stronger than its southern counterpart. While winter hemisphere differences in vortex strength are also reported on Earth, the contrast is not as large. Distinctions between the two planets are also apparent in terms of the climatological vertical structure of the vortices, in that the Martian polar vortices are observed to decrease in size at higher altitudes, whereas on Earth the opposite is observed. Finally, it is found that the Martian vortices are less variable through the winter than on Earth, especially in terms of the vortex geometry. During one particular major regional dust storm on Mars (Martian year 26), an equatorward displacement of the vortex is observed, sharing some qualitative characteristics of sudden stratospheric warmings on Earth.

  13. Farewell to the Earth and the Moon -ESA's Mars Express successfully tests its instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-07-01

    The routine check-outs of Mars Express's instruments and of the Beagle-2 lander, performed during the last weeks, have been very successful. "As in all space missions little problems have arisen, but they have been carefully evaluated and solved. Mars Express continues on its way to Mars performing beautifully", comments Chicarro. The views of the Earth/Moon system were taken on 3 July 2003 by Mars Express's High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), when the spacecraft was 8 million kilometres from Earth. The image taken shows true colours; the Pacific Ocean appears in blue, and the clouds near the Equator and in mid to northern latitudes in white to light grey. The image was processed by the Instrument Team at the Institute of Planetary Research of DLR, Berlin (Germany). It was built by combining a super resolution black and white HRSC snap-shot image of the Earth and the Moon with colour information obtained by the blue, green, and red sensors of the instrument. “The pictures and the information provided by the data prove the camera is working very well. They provide a good indication of what to expect once the spacecraft is in its orbit around Mars, at altitudes of only 250-300 kilometres: very high resolution images with brilliant true colour and in 3D,” says the Principal Investigator of the HRSC, Gerhard Neukum, of the Freie Universität of Berlin (Germany). This camera will be able to distinguish details of up to 2 metres on the Martian surface. Another striking demonstration of Mars Express's instruments high performance are the data taken by the OMEGA spectrometer. Once at Mars, this instrument will provide the best map of the molecular and mineralogical composition of the whole planet, with 5% of the planetary surface in high resolution. Minerals and other compounds such as water will be charted as never before. As the Red Planet is still too far away, the OMEGA team devised an ingenious test for their instrument: to detect the Earth’s surface

  14. On the Nature of Earth-Mars Porkchop Plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, Ryan C.; Whetsel, Charles W.

    2013-01-01

    Porkchop plots are a quick and convenient tool to help mission designers plan ballistic trajectories between two bodies. Parameter contours give rise to the familiar 'porkchop' shape. Each synodic period the pattern repeats, but not exactly, primarily due to differences in inclination and non-zero eccentricity. In this paper we examine the morphological features of Earth-to-Mars porkchop plots and the orbital characteristics that create them. These results are compared to idealistic and optimized transfers. Conclusions are drawn about 'good' opportunities versus 'bad' opportunities for different mission applications.

  15. Correlations Between Variations in Solar EUV and Soft X-Ray Irradiance and Photoelectron Energy Spectra Observed on Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, W. K.; Brain, D. A.; Mitchell, D. L.; Bailey, S. M.; Chamberlin, P. C.

    2013-01-01

    Solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV; 10-120 nm) and soft X-ray (XUV; 0-10 nm) radiation are major heat sources for the Mars thermosphere as well as the primary source of ionization that creates the ionosphere. In investigations of Mars thermospheric chemistry and dynamics, solar irradiance models are used to account for variations in this radiation. Because of limited proxies, irradiance models do a poor job of tracking the significant variations in irradiance intensity in the EUV and XUV ranges over solar rotation time scales when the Mars-Sun-Earth angle is large. Recent results from Earth observations show that variations in photoelectron energy spectra are useful monitors of EUV and XUV irradiance variability. Here we investigate photoelectron energy spectra observed by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Electron Reflectometer (ER) and the FAST satellite during the interval in 2005 when Earth, Mars, and the Sun were aligned. The Earth photoelectron data in selected bands correlate well with calculations based on 1 nm resolution observations above 27 nm supplemented by broadband observations and a solar model in the 0-27 nm range. At Mars, we find that instrumental and orbital limitations to the identifications of photoelectron energy spectra in MGS/ER data preclude their use as a monitor of solar EUV and XUV variability. However, observations with higher temporal and energy resolution obtained at lower altitudes on Mars might allow the separation of the solar wind and ionospheric components of electron energy spectra so that they could be used as reliable monitors of variations in solar EUV and XUV irradiance than the time shifted, Earth-based, F(10.7) index currently used.

  16. Correlations between variations in solar EUV and soft X-ray irradiance and photoelectron energy spectra observed on Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, W. K.; Brain, D. A.; Mitchell, D. L.; Bailey, S. M.; Chamberlin, P. C.

    2013-11-01

    extreme ultraviolet (EUV; 10-120 nm) and soft X-ray (XUV; 0-10 nm) radiation are major heat sources for the Mars thermosphere as well as the primary source of ionization that creates the ionosphere. In investigations of Mars thermospheric chemistry and dynamics, solar irradiance models are used to account for variations in this radiation. Because of limited proxies, irradiance models do a poor job of tracking the significant variations in irradiance intensity in the EUV and XUV ranges over solar rotation time scales when the Mars-Sun-Earth angle is large. Recent results from Earth observations show that variations in photoelectron energy spectra are useful monitors of EUV and XUV irradiance variability. Here we investigate photoelectron energy spectra observed by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Electron Reflectometer (ER) and the FAST satellite during the interval in 2005 when Earth, Mars, and the Sun were aligned. The Earth photoelectron data in selected bands correlate well with calculations based on 1 nm resolution observations above 27 nm supplemented by broadband observations and a solar model in the 0-27 nm range. At Mars, we find that instrumental and orbital limitations to the identifications of photoelectron energy spectra in MGS/ER data preclude their use as a monitor of solar EUV and XUV variability. However, observations with higher temporal and energy resolution obtained at lower altitudes on Mars might allow the separation of the solar wind and ionospheric components of electron energy spectra so that they could be used as reliable monitors of variations in solar EUV and XUV irradiance than the time shifted, Earth-based, F10.7 index currently used.

  17. Particle motion in atmospheric boundary layers of Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, B. R.; Iversen, J. D.; Greeley, R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1975-01-01

    To study the eolian mechanics of saltating particles, both an experimental investigation of the flow field around a model crater in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel and numerical solutions of the two- and three-dimensional equations of motion of a single particle under the influence of a turbulent boundary layer were conducted. Two-dimensional particle motion was calculated for flow near the surfaces of both Earth and Mars. For the case of Earth both a turbulent boundary layer with a viscous sublayer and one without were calculated. For the case of Mars it was only necessary to calculate turbulent boundary layer flow with a laminar sublayer because of the low values of friction Reynolds number; however, it was necessary to include the effects of slip flow on a particle caused by the rarefied Martian atmosphere. In the equations of motion the lift force functions were developed to act on a single particle only in the laminar sublayer or a corresponding small region of high shear near the surface for a fully turbulent boundary layer. The lift force functions were developed from the analytical work by Saffman concerning the lift force acting on a particle in simple shear flow.

  18. Modeling the effectiveness of shielding in the earth-moon-mars radiation environment using PREDICCS: five solar events in 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Philip R.; Schwadron, Nathan A.; Townsend, Larry W.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Case, Anthony W.; Spence, Harlan E.; Wilson, Jody K.; Joyce, Colin J.

    2017-08-01

    Radiation in the form of solar energetic particles (SEPs) presents a severe risk to the short-term health of astronauts and the success of human exploration missions beyond Earth's protective shielding. Modeling how shielding mitigates the dose accumulated by astronauts is an essential step toward reducing these risks. PREDICCS (Predictions of radiation from REleASE, EMMREM, and Data Incorporating the CRaTER, COSTEP, and other SEP measurements) is an online tool for the near real-time prediction of radiation exposure at Earth, the Moon, and Mars behind various levels of shielding. We compare shielded dose rates from PREDICCS with dose rates from the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) at the Moon and from the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) during its cruise phase to Mars for five solar events in 2012 when Earth, MSL, and Mars were magnetically well connected. Calculations of the accumulated dose demonstrate a reasonable agreement between PREDICCS and RAD ranging from as little as 2% difference to 54%. We determine mathematical relationships between shielding levels and accumulated dose. Lastly, the gradient of accumulated dose between Earth and Mars shows that for the largest of the five solar events, lunar missions require aluminum shielding between 1.0 g cm-2 and 5.0 g cm-2 to prevent radiation exposure from exceeding the 30-day limits for lens and skin. The limits were not exceeded near Mars.

  19. Is Mars Sample Return Required Prior to Sending Humans to Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Michael; Abell, Paul; Allwood, Abigail; Baker, John; Barnes, Jeff; Bass, Deborah; Beaty, David; Boston, Penny; Brinkerhoff, Will; Budney, Charles; hide

    2012-01-01

    Prior to potentially sending humans to the surface of Mars, it is fundamentally important to return samples from Mars. Analysis in Earth's extensive scientific laboratories would significantly reduce the risk of human Mars exploration and would also support the science and engineering decisions relating to the Mars human flight architecture. The importance of measurements of any returned Mars samples range from critical to desirable, and in all cases these samples will would enhance our understanding of the Martian environment before potentially sending humans to that alien locale. For example, Mars sample return (MSR) could yield information that would enable human exploration related to 1) enabling forward and back planetary protection, 2) characterizing properties of Martian materials relevant for in situ resource utilization (ISRU), 3) assessing any toxicity of Martian materials with respect to human health and performance, and 4) identifying information related to engineering surface hazards such as the corrosive effect of the Martian environment. In addition, MSR would be engineering 'proof of concept' for a potential round trip human mission to the planet, and a potential model for international Mars exploration.

  20. The Search for Life on Mars - Current Knowledge, Earth Analogues, and Principal Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been imagined as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for life's signatures began in the 19th century via ground-based visual astronomy that stimulated a vibrant fantasy literature but little lasting scientific knowledge. Modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and via biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Today, investigations are based on high-resolution spectroscopy at Earth's largest telescopes along with planet orbiting and landed space missions. Methane has assumed central importance in these searches. Living systems produce more than 900/0 of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. Abundant methane is not expected in an oxidizing atmosphere such as Mars', and its presence would imply recent release - whether biological or geochemical. F or that reason, the quest for methane on Mars has been a continuing thread in the fabric of searches conducted since 1969. I will review aspects of the discovery and distribution of methane on Mars, and will mention ongoing extended searches for clues to its origin and destruction. On Earth, hydrogen (generated via serpentinization or radiolysis of water) provides an important 'fuel' for carbonate-reducing and sulphate-reducing biota (CH4 and H2S producers, respectively). Several such communities are known to reside at depth in continental domains (e.g., Lidy Hot Springs, Idaho; Witwatersrand Basin, S. Africa). If similar conditions exist in favourable locations on Mars, organisms similar to these could likely prosper there. Geologic (abiotic) production will also be mentioned, especially abiotic methane production associated with low-temperature serpentinization (e.g., terrestrial ophiolites). It is vitally important to pursue evidence for geochemical and biological production with equal vigour and intellectual weight lest unwanted and unintended bias contaminate the

  1. Blueberries on Earth and Mars: Some Correlations Between Andean Paleosols, Geothermal Pipes in Navajo Sandstone and Terra Meridiani on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Milner, M. W.; Netoff, D. I.; Dohm, J. M.; Sodhi, R. N. S.; Aufreiter, S.; Hancock, R. G. V.; Bezada, M.; Kalm, V.; Malloch, D.

    2006-03-01

    The origin of "blueberries" on Mars and their relationship to similar concretionary forms on Earth invokes a process of variable redox conditions in underground fluids. The possible role of microorganisms in the origin of bluberries opens an avenue for biological investigations.

  2. A New Generation of Telecommunications for Mars: The Reconfigurable Software Radio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, J.; Horne, W.

    2000-01-01

    Telecommunications is a critical component for any mission at Mars as it is an enabling function that provides connectivity back to Earth and provides a means for conducting science. New developments in telecommunications, specifically in software - configurable radios, expand the possible approaches for science missions at Mars. These radios provide a flexible and re-configurable platform that can evolve with the mission and that provide an integrated approach to communications and science data processing. Deep space telecommunication faces challenges not normally faced by terrestrial and near-earth communications. Radiation, thermal, highly constrained mass, volume, packaging and reliability all are significant issues. Additionally, once the spacecraft leaves earth, there is no way to go out and upgrade or replace radio components. The reconfigurable software radio is an effort to provide not only a product that is immediately usable in the harsh space environment but also to develop a radio that will stay current as the years pass and technologies evolve.

  3. Telecommunications and navigation systems design for manned Mars exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Justin R.; Hastrup, Rolf C.

    1989-06-01

    This paper discusses typical manned Mars exploration needs for telecommunications, including preliminary navigation support functions. It is a brief progress report on an ongoing study program within the current NASA JPL Deep Space Network (DSN) activities. A typical Mars exploration case is defined, and support approaches comparing microwave and optical frequency performance for both local in situ and Mars-earth links are described. Optical telecommunication and navigation technology development opportunities in a Mars exploration program are also identified. A local Mars system telecommunication relay and navigation capability for service support of all Mars missions has been proposed as part of an overall solar system communications network. The effects of light-time delay and occultations on real-time mission decision-making are discussed; the availability of increased local mass data storage may be more important than increasing peak data rates to earth. The long-term frequency use plan will most likely include a mix of microwave, millimeter-wave and optical link capabilities to meet a variety of deep space mission needs.

  4. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillingim, M. O.; Brain, D. A.; Peticolas, L. M.; Yan, D.; Fricke, K. W.; Thrall, L.

    2012-12-01

    The magnetic fields of the large terrestrial planets, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are all vastly different from each other. These differences can tell us a lot about the interior structure, interior history, and even give us clues to the atmospheric history of these planets. This poster highlights the third in a series of presentations that target school-age audiences with the overall goal of helping the audience visualize planetary magnetic field and understand how they can impact the climatic evolution of a planet. Our first presentation, "Goldilocks and the Three Planets," targeted to elementary school age audiences, focuses on the differences in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars and the causes of the differences. The second presentation, "Lost on Mars (and Venus)," geared toward a middle school age audience, highlights the differences in the magnetic fields of these planets and what we can learn from these differences. Finally, in the third presentation, "Wet Mars, Dry Mars," targeted to high school age audiences and the focus of this poster, the emphasis is on the long term climatic affects of the presence or absence of a magnetic field using the contrasts between Earth and Mars. These presentations are given using visually engaging spherical displays in conjunction with hands-on activities and scientifically accurate 3D models of planetary magnetic fields. We will summarize the content of our presentations, discuss our lessons learned from evaluations, and show (pictures of) our hands-on activities and 3D models.

  5. Human Exploration Mission Capabilities to the Moon, Mars, and Near Earth Asteroids Using ''Bimodal'' NTR Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanley K. Borowski; Leonard A. Dudzinski; Melissa L. McGuire

    2000-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is one of the leading propulsion options for future human exploration missions because of its high specific impulse (Isp ∼ 850 to 1000 s) and attractive engine thrust-to-weight ratio (∼ 3 to 10). Because only a minuscule amount of enriched 235 U fuel is consumed in an NRT during the primary propulsion maneuvers of a typical Mars mission, engines configured both for propulsive thrust and modest power generation (referred to as 'bimodal' operation) provide the basis for a robust, power-rich stage with efficient propulsive capture capability at the moon and near-earth asteroids (NEAs), where aerobraking cannot be utilized. A family of modular bimodal NTR (BNTR) space transfer vehicles utilize a common core stage powered by three ∼15-klb f engines that produce 50 kW(electric) of total electrical power for crew life support, high data rate communications with Earth, and an active refrigeration system for long-term, zero-boiloff liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ) storage. This paper describes details of BNTR engines and designs of vehicles using them for various missions

  6. The Biological Potential of Mars, the Early Earth, and Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, B. M.; Shock, E. L.

    1998-09-01

    The potential biomass that could have existed on Mars is constrained by the total amount of energy available to construct it. From an inventory of the available geochemical sources of energy, we estimate that, from the time of the onset of the visible geologic record 4 b.y. ago to the present, as much as 20 g/cm2 of biota could have been constructed. This is the same amount that could have been constructed from similar sources on the early Earth in only 100 m.y. This indicates that there likely was sufficient energy available to support an origin of life on Mars, but not sufficient energy to create a ubiquitous and lush biosphere. Similar calculations for Europa suggest that even less geochemical energy would have been available there.

  7. Bedrock Canyons Carved by the Largest Known Floods on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, M. P.; Lapôtre, M. G. A.; Larsen, I. J.; Williams, R. M. E.

    2017-12-01

    The surface of Earth is a dynamic and permeable interface where the rocky crust is sculpted by ice, wind and water resulting in spectacular mountain ranges, vast depositional basins and environments that support life. These landforms and deposits contain a rich, yet incomplete, record of Earth history that we are just beginning to understand. Some of the most dramatic landforms are the huge bedrock canyons carved by catastrophic floods. On Mars, similar bedrock canyons, known as Outflow Channels, are the most important indicators of large volumes of surface water in the past. Despite their importance and now decades of observations of canyon morphology, we lack a basic understanding of how the canyons formed, which limits our ability to reconstruct flood discharge, duration and water volume. In this presentation I will summarize recent work - using mechanistic numerical models and field observations - that suggests that bedrock canyons carved by megafloods rapidly evolve to a size and shape such that boundary shear stresses just exceed that required to entrain fractured blocks of rock. The threshold shear stress constraint allows for quantitative reconstruction of the largest known floods on Earth and Mars, and implies far smaller discharges than previous methods that assume flood waters fully filled the canyons to high water marks.

  8. Existence of collisional trajectories of Mercury, Mars and Venus with the Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laskar, J; Gastineau, M

    2009-06-11

    It has been established that, owing to the proximity of a resonance with Jupiter, Mercury's eccentricity can be pumped to values large enough to allow collision with Venus within 5 Gyr (refs 1-3). This conclusion, however, was established either with averaged equations that are not appropriate near the collisions or with non-relativistic models in which the resonance effect is greatly enhanced by a decrease of the perihelion velocity of Mercury. In these previous studies, the Earth's orbit was essentially unaffected. Here we report numerical simulations of the evolution of the Solar System over 5 Gyr, including contributions from the Moon and general relativity. In a set of 2,501 orbits with initial conditions that are in agreement with our present knowledge of the parameters of the Solar System, we found, as in previous studies, that one per cent of the solutions lead to a large increase in Mercury's eccentricity-an increase large enough to allow collisions with Venus or the Sun. More surprisingly, in one of these high-eccentricity solutions, a subsequent decrease in Mercury's eccentricity induces a transfer of angular momentum from the giant planets that destabilizes all the terrestrial planets approximately 3.34 Gyr from now, with possible collisions of Mercury, Mars or Venus with the Earth.

  9. Blueberries on Earth and Mars: Correlations Between Concretions in Navajo Sandstone and Terra Meridiani on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Milner, M. W.; Netoff, D.; Dohm, J.; Kalm, V.; Krinsley, D.; Sodhi, R. N.; Anderson, R. C.; Boccia, S.; Malloch, D.; Kapran, B.; Havics, A.

    2008-12-01

    Concretionary Fe-Mn-rich nodular authigenic constituents of Jurassic Navajo sandstone (moki marbles) bear a certain relationship to similar concretionary forms ('blueberries') observed on Mars. Their origin on Earth is considered to invoke variable redox conditions with underground fluids penetrating porous quartz-rich sandstone leading to precipitation of hematite and goethite-rich material from solution, generally forming around a central nucleus of fine particles of quartz and orthoclase, recently verified by XRD and SEM-EDS analyses. At the outer rim/inner nucleus boundary, bulbous lobes of fine-grained quartz often invade and fracture the outer rim armored matrix. The bulbous forms are interpreted to result from fluid explusion from the inner concretionary mass, a response to pressure changes accompanying overburden loading. Moki marbles, harder than enclosing rock, often weather out of in situ sandstone outcrops that form a surface lag deposit of varnished marbles that locally resemble desert pavement. The marbles appear morphologically similar to 'blueberries' identified on the martian surface in Terra Meridiani through the MER-1 Opportunity rover. On Earth, redox fluids responsible for the genesis of marbles may have emanated from deep in the crust (often influenced by magmatic processes). These fluids, cooling to ambient temperatures, may have played a role in the genesis of the cemented outer rim of the concretions. The low frequency of fungi filaments in the marbles, contrasts with a high occurrence in Fe-encrusted sands of the Navajo formation [1], indicating that microbial content is of secondary importance in marble genesis relative to the fluctuating influx of ambient groundwater. Nevertheless, the presence of filaments in terrestrial concretions hints at the possibility of discovering fossil/extant life on Mars, and thus should be considered as prime targets for future reconnaissance missions to Mars. 1] Mahaney, W.C., et al. (2004), Icarus, 171, 39-53.

  10. Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally.

  11. NASA's Evolution to K(sub a)- Band Space Communications for Near-Earth Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Kevin P.; Stocklin, Frank J.; Geldzahler, Barry J.; Friedman, Daniel E.; Celeste, Peter B.

    2010-01-01

    Over the next several years, NASA plans to launch multiple earth-science missions which will send data from low-Earth orbits to ground stations at 1-3 Gbps, to achieve data throughputs of 5-40 terabits per day. These transmission rates exceed the capabilities of S-band and X-band frequency allocations used for science probe downlinks in the past. Accordingly, NASA is exploring enhancements to its space communication capabilities to provide the Agency's first Ka-band architecture solution for next generation missions in the near-earth regime. This paper describes the proposed Ka-band solution's drivers and concept, constraints and analyses which shaped that concept, and expansibility for future needs

  12. Surface navigation on Mars with a Navigation Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayaraghavan, A.; Thurman, Sam W.; Kahn, Robert D.; Hastrup, Rolf C.

    Radiometric navigation data from the Deep Space Network (DSN) stations on the earth to transponders and other surface elements such as rovers and landers on Mars, can determine their positions to only within a kilometer in inertial space. The positional error is mostly in the z-component of the surface element parallel to the Martian spin-axis. However, with Doppler and differenced-Doppler data from a Navigation Satellite in orbit around Mars to two or more of such transponders on the planetary surface, their positions can be determined to within 15 meters (or 20 meters for one-way Doppler beacons on Mars) in inertial space. In this case, the transponders (or other vehicles) on Mars need not even be capable of directly communicating to the earth. When the Navigation Satellite data is complemented by radiometric observations from the DSN stations also, directly to the surface elements on Mars, their positions can be determined to within 3 meters in inertial space. The relative positions of such surface elements on Mars (relative to one another) in Mars-fixed coordinates, however, can be determined to within 5 meters from simply range and Doppler data from the DSN stations to the surface elements. These results are obtained from covariance studies assuming X-band data noise levels and data-arcs not exceeding 10 days. They are significant in the planning and deployment of a Mars-based navigation network necessary to support real-time operations during critical phases of manned exploration of Mars.

  13. Mars for Earthlings: an analog approach to Mars in undergraduate education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Marjorie; Kahmann-Robinson, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Mars for Earthlings (MFE) is a terrestrial Earth analog pedagogical approach to teaching undergraduate geology, planetary science, and astrobiology. MFE utilizes Earth analogs to teach Mars planetary concepts, with a foundational backbone in Earth science principles. The field of planetary science is rapidly changing with new technologies and higher-resolution data sets. Thus, it is increasingly important to understand geological concepts and processes for interpreting Mars data. MFE curriculum is topically driven to facilitate easy integration of content into new or existing courses. The Earth-Mars systems approach explores planetary origins, Mars missions, rocks and minerals, active driving forces/tectonics, surface sculpting processes, astrobiology, future explorations, and hot topics in an inquiry-driven environment. Curriculum leverages heavily upon multimedia resources, software programs such as Google Mars and JMARS, as well as NASA mission data such as THEMIS, HiRISE, CRISM, and rover images. Two years of MFE class evaluation data suggest that science literacy and general interest in Mars geology and astrobiology topics increased after participation in the MFE curriculum. Students also used newly developed skills to create a Mars mission team presentation. The MFE curriculum, learning modules, and resources are available online at http://serc.carleton.edu/marsforearthlings/index.html.

  14. Comparative study of ion cyclotron waves at Mars, Venus and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, H. Y.; Russell, C. T.; Zhang, T. L.; Blanco-Cano, X.

    2011-08-01

    Ion cyclotron waves are generated in the solar wind when it picks up freshly ionized planetary exospheric ions. These waves grow from the free energy of the highly anisotropic distribution of fresh pickup ions, and are observed in the spacecraft frame with left-handed polarization and a wave frequency near the ion's gyrofrequency. At Mars and Venus and in the Earth's polar cusp, the solar wind directly interacts with the planetary exospheres. Ion cyclotron waves with many similar properties are observed in these diverse plasma environments. The ion cyclotron waves at Mars indicate its hydrogen exosphere to be extensive and asymmetric in the direction of the interplanetary electric field. The production of fast neutrals plays an important role in forming an extended exosphere in the shape and size observed. At Venus, the region of exospheric proton cyclotron wave production may be restricted to the magnetosheath. The waves observed in the solar wind at Venus appear to be largely produced by the solar-wind-Venus interaction, with some waves at higher frequencies formed near the Sun and carried outward by the solar wind to Venus. These waves have some similarity to the expected properties of exospherically produced proton pickup waves but are characterized by magnetic connection to the bow shock or by a lack of correlation with local solar wind properties respectively. Any confusion of solar derived waves with exospherically derived ion pickup waves is not an issue at Mars because the solar-produced waves are generally at much higher frequencies than the local pickup waves and the solar waves should be mostly absorbed when convected to Mars distance as the proton cyclotron frequency in the plasma frame approaches the frequency of the solar-produced waves. In the Earth's polar cusp, the wave properties of ion cyclotron waves are quite variable. Spatial gradients in the magnetic field may cause this variation as the background field changes between the regions in which

  15. Implementing Strategic Planning Capabilities Within the Mars Relay Operations Service

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hy, Franklin; Gladden, Roy; Allard, Dan; Wallick, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Since the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Spirit and Opportunity, began their travels across the Martian surface in January of 2004, orbiting spacecraft such as the Mars 2001 Odyssey orbiter have relayed the majority of their collected scientific and operational data to and from Earth. From the beginning of those missions, it was evident that using orbiters to relay data to and from the surface of Mars was a vastly more efficient communications strategy in terms of power consumption and bandwidth compared to direct-to-Earth means. However, the coordination between the various spacecraft, which are largely managed independently and on differing commanding timelines, has always proven to be a challenge. Until recently, the ground operators of all these spacecraft have coordinated the movement of data through this network using a collection of ad hoc human interfaces and various, independent software tools. The Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS) has been developed to manage the evolving needs of the Mars relay network, and specifically to standardize and integrate the relay planning and coordination data into a centralized infrastructure. This paper explores the journey of developing the MaROS system, from inception to delivery and acceptance by the Mars mission users.

  16. Earth Observations: Experiences from Various Communication Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilja Bye, Bente

    2015-04-01

    With Earth observations and the Group of Earth Observations as the common thread, a variety of communication strategies have been applied showcasing the use of Earth observations in geosciences such as climate change, natural hazards, hydrology and more. Based on the experiences from these communication strategies, using communication channels ranging from popular articles in established media, video production, event-based material and social media, lessons have been learned both with respect to the need of capacity, skills, networks, and resources. In general it is not difficult to mobilize geoscientists willing to spend some time on outreach activities. Time for preparing and training is however scarce among scientists. In addition, resources to cover the various aspects of professional science outreach is far from abundant. Among the challenges is the connection between the scientific networks and media channels. Social media competence and capacity are also issues that needs to be addressed more explicitly and efficiently. An overview of the experiences from several types of outreach activities will be given along with some input on possible steps towards improved communication strategies. Steady development of science communication strategies continuously integrating trainging of scientists in use of new outreach tools such as web technology and social innovations for more efficient use of limited resources will remain an issue for the scientific community.

  17. Illumination Invariant Change Detection (iicd): from Earth to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, X.; Liu, J.; Qin, M.; Li, S. Y.

    2018-04-01

    Multi-temporal Earth Observation and Mars orbital imagery data with frequent repeat coverage provide great capability for planetary surface change detection. When comparing two images taken at different times of day or in different seasons for change detection, the variation of topographic shades and shadows caused by the change of sunlight angle can be so significant that it overwhelms the real object and environmental changes, making automatic detection unreliable. An effective change detection algorithm therefore has to be robust to the illumination variation. This paper presents our research on developing and testing an Illumination Invariant Change Detection (IICD) method based on the robustness of phase correlation (PC) to the variation of solar illumination for image matching. The IICD is based on two key functions: i) initial change detection based on a saliency map derived from pixel-wise dense PC matching and ii) change quantization which combines change type identification, motion estimation and precise appearance change identification. Experiment using multi-temporal Landsat 7 ETM+ satellite images, Rapid eye satellite images and Mars HiRiSE images demonstrate that our frequency based image matching method can reach sub-pixel accuracy and thus the proposed IICD method can effectively detect and precisely segment large scale change such as landslide as well as small object change such as Mars rover, under daily and seasonal sunlight changes.

  18. Adapting Mars Entry, Descent and Landing System for Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilimo, J.; Harri, A.-M.; Aleksashkin, S.; Koryanov, V.; Guerrero, H.; Schmidt, W.; Haukka, H.; Finchenko, V.; Martynov, M.; Ostresko, B.; Ponomarenko, A.; Kazakovtsev, V.; Arruego, I.; Martin, S.; Siili, T.

    2013-09-01

    In 2001 - 2011 an inflatable Entry, Descent and Landing System (EDLS) for Martian atmosphere was developed by FMI and the MetNet team. This MetNet Mars Lander EDLS is used in both the initial deceleration during atmospheric entry and in the final deceleration before the semi-hard impact of the penetrator to Martian surface. The EDLS design is ingenious and its applicability to Earth's atmosphere is studied in the on-going project. In particular, the behavior of the system in the critical transonic aerodynamic (from hypersonic to subsonic) regime will be investigated. This project targets to analyze and test the transonic behavior of this compact and light weight payload entry system to Earth's atmosphere [1]. Scaling and adaptation for terrestrial atmospheric conditions, instead of a completely new design, is a favorable approach for providing a new re-entry vehicle for terrestrial space applications.

  19. Source-to-Sink: An Earth/Mars Comparison of Boundary Conditions for Eolian Dune Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Kocurek, Gary; Ewing, Ryan C.

    2012-01-01

    Eolian dune fields on Earth and Mars evolve as complex systems within a set of boundary conditions. A source-to-sink comparison indicates that although differences exist in sediment production and transport, the systems largely converge at the dune-flow and pattern-development levels, but again differ in modes of accumulation and preservation. On Earth, where winds frequently exceed threshold speeds, dune fields are sourced primarily through deflation of subaqueous deposits as these sediments...

  20. An Alternative Humans to Mars Approach: Reducing Mission Mass with Multiple Mars Flyby Trajectories and Minimal Capability Investments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitley, Ryan J.; Jedrey, Richard; Landau, Damon; Ocampo, Cesar

    2015-01-01

    Mars flyby trajectories and Earth return trajectories have the potential to enable lower- cost and sustainable human exploration of Mars. Flyby and return trajectories are true minimum energy paths with low to zero post-Earth departure maneuvers. By emplacing the large crew vehicles required for human transit on these paths, the total fuel cost can be reduced. The traditional full-up repeating Earth-Mars-Earth cycler concept requires significant infrastructure, but a Mars only flyby approach minimizes mission mass and maximizes opportunities to build-up missions in a stepwise manner. In this paper multiple strategies for sending a crew of 4 to Mars orbit and back are examined. With pre-emplaced assets in Mars orbit, a transit habitat and a minimally functional Mars taxi, a complete Mars mission can be accomplished in 3 SLS launches and 2 Mars Flyby's, including Orion. While some years are better than others, ample opportunities exist within a given 15-year Earth-Mars alignment cycle. Building up a mission cadence over time, this approach can translate to Mars surface access. Risk reduction, which is always a concern for human missions, is mitigated by the use of flybys with Earth return (some of which are true free returns) capability.

  1. Development of a Relay Performance Web Tool for the Mars Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allard, Daniel A.; Edwards, Charles D.

    2009-01-01

    Modern Mars surface missions rely upon orbiting spacecraft to relay communications to and from Earth systems. An important component of this multi-mission relay process is the collection of relay performance statistics supporting strategic trend analysis and tactical anomaly identification and tracking.

  2. Mars at Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2010-01-01

    On January 29, Mars will reach opposition, a point along its orbit around the Sun where Mars will be directly opposite from the Sun in a two-planet and Sun line-up with the Earth in between. At this opposition, the Earth and Mars will be separated by nearly 100 million km. An opposition is similar to a full Moon in that the planet at opposition…

  3. Next stop Mars the why, how, and when of human missions

    CERN Document Server

    Genta, Giancarlo

    2017-01-01

    This book covers the possible manned mission to Mars first discussed in the 1950s and still a topic of much debate, addressing historic and future plans to visit the Red Planet. Considering the environmental dangers and the engineering and design needed for a successful trip, it covers every aspect of a possible mission and outpost. The chapters explain the motivations behind the plan to go to Mars, as well as the physical factors that astronauts on manned missions will face on Mars and in transit. The author provides a comprehensive exposure to the infrastructure needs on Mars itself, covering an array of facilities including power sources, as well as addressing earth-based communication networks that will be necessary. Mechanisms for return to Earth are also addressed. As the reality of a manned Mars voyage becomes more concrete, the details are still largely up in the air. This book presents an overview of proposed approaches past, present, and future, both from NASA and, increasingly, from other space age...

  4. Mars mission performance enhancement with hybrid nuclear propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dagle, J. E. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Noffsinger, K. E. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Segna, D. R. [USDOE Richland Operations Office, WA (United States)

    1992-01-01

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP), compared with chemical and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP), can effectively deliver the same mass to Mars using much less propellant, consequently requiring less mass delivered to Earth orbit. The lower thrust of NEP requires a spiral trajectory near planetary bodies, which significantly increases the travel time. Although the total travel time is long, the portion of the flight time spent during interplanetary transfer is shorter, because the vehicle is thrusting for much longer periods of time. This has led to the supposition that NEP, although very attractive for cargo missions, is not suitable for piloted missions to Mars. However, with the application of a hybrid application of a hybrid approach to propulsion, the benefits of NEP can be utilized while drastically reducing the overall travel time required. Development of a dual-mode system, which utilizes high-thrust NTP to propel the spacecraft from the planetary gravitational influence and low-thrust NEP to accelerate in interplanetary space, eliminates the spiral trajectory and results in a much faster transit time than could be obtained by either NEP or NTP alone. This results in a mission profile with a lower initial mass in low Earth orbit. In addition, the propulsion system would have the capability to provide electrical power for mission applications.

  5. Preparing for Mars: The Evolvable Mars Campaign 'Proving Ground' Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobskill, Marianne R.; Lupisella, Mark L.; Mueller, Rob P.; Sibille, Laurent; Vangen, Scott; Williams-Byrd, Julie

    2015-01-01

    As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) prepares to extend human presence beyond Low Earth Orbit, we are in the early stages of planning missions within the framework of an Evolvable Mars Campaign. Initial missions would be conducted in near-Earth cis-lunar space and would eventually culminate in extended duration crewed missions on the surface of Mars. To enable such exploration missions, critical technologies and capabilities must be identified, developed, and tested. NASA has followed a principled approach to identify critical capabilities and a "Proving Ground" approach is emerging to address testing needs. The Proving Ground is a period subsequent to current International Space Station activities wherein exploration-enabling capabilities and technologies are developed and the foundation is laid for sustained human presence in space. The Proving Ground domain essentially includes missions beyond Low Earth Orbit that will provide increasing mission capability while reducing technical risks. Proving Ground missions also provide valuable experience with deep space operations and support the transition from "Earth-dependence" to "Earth-independence" required for sustainable space exploration. A Technology Development Assessment Team identified a suite of critical technologies needed to support the cadence of exploration missions. Discussions among mission planners, vehicle developers, subject-matter-experts, and technologists were used to identify a minimum but sufficient set of required technologies and capabilities. Within System Maturation Teams, known challenges were identified and expressed as specific performance gaps in critical capabilities, which were then refined and activities required to close these critical gaps were identified. Analysis was performed to identify test and demonstration opportunities for critical technical capabilities across the Proving Ground spectrum of missions. This suite of critical capabilities is expected to

  6. Modeling the effectiveness of shielding in the earth-moon-mars radiation environment using PREDICCS: five solar events in 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quinn Philip R.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Radiation in the form of solar energetic particles (SEPs presents a severe risk to the short-term health of astronauts and the success of human exploration missions beyond Earth’s protective shielding. Modeling how shielding mitigates the dose accumulated by astronauts is an essential step toward reducing these risks. PREDICCS (Predictions of radiation from REleASE, EMMREM, and Data Incorporating the CRaTER, COSTEP, and other SEP measurements is an online tool for the near real-time prediction of radiation exposure at Earth, the Moon, and Mars behind various levels of shielding. We compare shielded dose rates from PREDICCS with dose rates from the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO at the Moon and from the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL during its cruise phase to Mars for five solar events in 2012 when Earth, MSL, and Mars were magnetically well connected. Calculations of the accumulated dose demonstrate a reasonable agreement between PREDICCS and RAD ranging from as little as 2% difference to 54%. We determine mathematical relationships between shielding levels and accumulated dose. Lastly, the gradient of accumulated dose between Earth and Mars shows that for the largest of the five solar events, lunar missions require aluminum shielding between 1.0 g cm−2 and 5.0 g cm−2 to prevent radiation exposure from exceeding the 30-day limits for lens and skin. The limits were not exceeded near Mars.

  7. LIDAR technology for measuring trace gases on Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riris, H.; Abshire, J. B.; Graham, Allan; Hasselbrack, William; Rodriguez, Mike; Sun, Xiaoli; Weaver, Clark; Mao, Jianping; Kawa, Randy; Li, Steve; Numata, Kenji; Wu, Stewart

    2017-11-01

    greenhouse gas and called for a mission to measure CO2, CO and CH4. Methane has absorptions in the mid-infrared (3.3 um) and the near infrared (1.65 um). The 3.3 um spectral region is ideal for planetary (Mars) Methane monitoring, but unfortunately is not suitable for earth monitoring since the Methane absorption lines are severely interfered with by water. The near infra-red overtones of Methane at 1.65 um are relatively free of interference from other atmospheric species and are suitable for Earth observations. The methane instrument uses Optical Parametric Generation (OPG) along with sensitive detectors to achieve the necessary sensitivity. Our instrument generates and detects tunable laser signals in the 3.3 or 1.65 um spectral regions with different detectors in order to measure methane on Earth or Mars. For Mars, the main interest in methane is its importance as a biogenic marker.

  8. Water and Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils.

  9. Moon-Mars Analogue Mission (EuroMoonMars 1 at the Mars Desert Research Station)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lia Schlacht, Irene; Voute, Sara; Irwin, Stacy; Foing, Bernard H.; Stoker, Carol R.; Westenberg, Artemis

    The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is situated in an analogue habitat-based Martian environment, designed for missions to determine the knowledge and equipment necessary for successful future planetary exploration. For this purpose, a crew of six people worked and lived together in a closed-system environment. They performed habitability experiments within the dwelling and conducted Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) for two weeks (20 Feb to 6 Mar 2010) and were guided externally by mission support, called "Earth" within the simulation. Crew 91, an international, mixed-gender, and multidisciplinary group, has completed several studies during the first mission of the EuroMoonMars campaign. The crew is composed of an Italian designer and human factors specialist, a Dutch geologist, an American physicist, and three French aerospace engineering students from Ecole de l'Air, all with ages between 21 and 31. Each crewmember worked on personal research and fulfilled a unique role within the group: commander, executive officer, engineer, health and safety officer, scientist, and journalist. The expedition focused on human factors, performance, communication, health and safety pro-tocols, and EVA procedures. The engineers' projects aimed to improve rover manoeuvrability, far-field communication, and data exchanges between the base and the rover or astronaut. The crew physicist evaluated dust control methods inside and outside the habitat. The geologist tested planetary geological sampling procedures. The crew designer investigated performance and overall habitability in the context of the Mars Habitability Experiment from the Extreme-Design group. During the mission the crew also participated in the Food Study and in the Ethospace study, managed by external groups. The poster will present crew dynamics, scientific results and daily schedule from a Human Factors perspective. Main co-sponsors and collaborators: ILEWG, ESA ESTEC, NASA Ames, Ecole de l'Air, SKOR, Extreme

  10. Intra-EVA Space-to-Ground Interactions when Conducting Scientific Fieldwork Under Simulated Mars Mission Constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaton, Kara H.; Chappell, Steven P.; Abercromby, Andrew F. J.; Lim, Darlene S. S.

    2018-01-01

    The Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains (BASALT) project is a four-year program dedicated to iteratively designing, implementing, and evaluating concepts of operations (ConOps) and supporting capabilities to enable and enhance scientific exploration for future human Mars missions. The BASALT project has incorporated three field deployments during which real (non-simulated) biological and geochemical field science have been conducted at two high-fidelity Mars analog locations under simulated Mars mission conditions, including communication delays and data transmission limitations. BASALT's primary Science objective has been to extract basaltic samples for the purpose of investigating how microbial communities and habitability correlate with the physical and geochemical characteristics of chemically altered basalt environments. Field sites include the active East Rift Zone on the Big Island of Hawai'i, reminiscent of early Mars when basaltic volcanism and interaction with water were widespread, and the dormant eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho, similar to present-day Mars where basaltic volcanism is rare and most evidence for volcano-driven hydrothermal activity is relict. BASALT's primary Science Operations objective has been to investigate exploration ConOps and capabilities that facilitate scientific return during human-robotic exploration under Mars mission constraints. Each field deployment has consisted of ten extravehicular activities (EVAs) on the volcanic flows in which crews of two extravehicular and two intravehicular crewmembers conducted the field science while communicating across time delay and under bandwidth constraints with an Earth-based Mission Support Center (MSC) comprised of expert scientists and operators. Communication latencies of 5 and 15 min one-way light time and low (0.512 Mb/s uplink, 1.54 Mb/s downlink) and high (5.0 Mb/s uplink, 10.0 Mb/s downlink) bandwidth conditions were evaluated. EVA crewmembers communicated

  11. Calculation of Operations Efficiency Factors for Mars Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layback, Sharon L.

    2014-01-01

    For planning of Mars surface missions, to be operated on a sol-by-sol basis by a team on Earth (where a "sol" is a Martian day), activities are described in terms of "sol types" that are strung together to build a surface mission scenario. Some sol types require ground decisions based on a previous sol's results to feed into the activity planning ("ground in the loop"), while others do not. Due to the differences in duration between Earth days and Mars sols, for a given Mars local solar time, the corresponding Earth time "walks" relative to the corresponding times on the prior sol/day. In particular, even if a communication window has a fixed Mars local solar time, the Earth time for that window will be approximately 40 minutes later each succeeding day. Further complexity is added for non-Mars synchronous communication relay assets, and when there are multiple control centers in different Earth time zones. The solution is the development of "ops efficiency factors" that reflect the efficiency of a given operations configuration (how many and location of control centers, types of communication windows, synchronous or non-synchronous nature of relay assets, sol types, more-or-less sustainable operations schedule choices) against a theoretical "optimal" operations configuration for the mission being studied. These factors are then incorporated into scenario models in order to determine the surface duration (and therefore minimum spacecraft surface lifetime) required to fulfill scenario objectives. The resulting model is used to perform "what-if" analyses for variations in scenario objectives. The ops efficiency factor is the ratio of the figure of merit for a given operations factor to the figure of merit for the theoretical optimal configuration. The current implementation is a pair of models in Excel. The first represents a ground operations schedule for 500 sols in each operations configuration for the mission being studied (500 sols was chosen as being a long

  12. The feasibility and application of using gravitational energy to allow efficient travel between earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, O. L.; Avvento, Gennaro J.

    This paper discusses the feasibility and application of using gravitational energy attained in a planetary swing-by to control the trajectory of an interplanetary transfer vehicle (IPTV) - establishing nonstop round trip orbits between earth and Mars. Energy supplied by the swing-by process and supplemented by minor correction burns will allow efficient nonstop round trip travel between earth and Mars. The IPTV will have all the necessary support equipment to maintain the cargo (manned/unmanned) during transit. At the planetary 'landfall' points, the IPTV will not decelerate but will perform a swing-by maneuver returning to the planet of origin. Cargo elements will either depart or dock with the IPTV at the planetary approach asymptote. This will be the only component of the system to undergo propulsive maneuvers.

  13. Hints of Habitable Environments on Mars Challenge Our Studies of Mars-Analog Sites on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    desMarais, David J

    2009-01-01

    Life as we know it requires water with a chemical activity (alpha) >or approx.0.6 and sources of nutrients and useful energy. Some biota can survive even if favorable conditions occur only intermittently, but the minimum required frequency of occurrences is poorly understood. Recent discoveries have vindicated the Mars exploration strategy to follow the water. Mars Global Surveyor s Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) found coarse-grained hematite at Meridiani Planum. Opportunity rover confirmed this and also found evidence of ancient sulfate-rich playa lakes and near-surface groundwater. Elsewhere, TES found evidence of evaporitic halides in topographic depressions. But alpha might not have approached 0.6 in these evaporitic sulfate- and halide-bearing waters. Mars Express (MEX) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) found extensive sulfate evaporites in Meridiani and Valles Marineris. MEX found phyllosilicates at several sites, most notably Mawrth Valles and Nili Fossae. MRO's CRISM near-IR mapper extended the known diversity and geographic distribution of phyllosilicates to include numerous Noachian craters. Phyllosilicates typically occur at the base of exposed ancient rock sections or in sediments in early Hesperian craters. It is uncertain whether the phyllosilicates developed in surface or subsurface aqueous environments and how long aqueous conditions persisted. Spirit rover found remarkably pure ferric sulfate, indicating oxidation and transport of Fe and S, perhaps in fumaroles or hot springs. Spirit also found opaline silica, consistent with hydrothermal activity. CRISM mapped extensive silica deposits in the Valles Marineris region, consistent with aqueous weathering and deposition. CRISM also found ultramafic rocks and magnesite at Nili Fossae, consistent with serpentinization, a process that can sustain habitable environments on Earth. The report of atmospheric methane implies subsurface aqueous conditions. A working hypothesis is that aqueous

  14. Low cost manned Mars mission based on indigenous propellant production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckner, A. P.; Cinnamon, M.; Hamling, S.; Mahn, K.; Phillips, J.; Westmark, V.

    1993-01-01

    The paper describes a low-cost approach to the manned exploration of Mars (which involves an unmanned mission followed two years later by a manned mission) based on near-term technologies and in situ propellant production. Particular attention is given to the basic mission architecture and its major components, including the orbital analysis, the unmanned segment, the Earth Return Vehicle, the aerobrake design, life sciences, guidance, communications, power, propellant production, the surface rovers, and Mars science. Also discussed are the cost per mission over an assumed 8-yr initiative.

  15. Magnetic storms on Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vennerstrøm, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    and typical time profile of such periods is investigated and compared to solar wind measurements at Earth. Typical durations of the events are 20–40h, and there is a tendency for large events to last longer, but a large spread in duration and intensity are found. The large and medium intensity events at Mars......Based on data from the Mars Global Surveyor magnetometer we examine periods of significantly enhanced magnetic disturbances in the martian space environment. Using almost seven years of observations during the maximum and early declining phase of the previous solar cycle the occurrence pattern...... are found to occur predominantly in association with interplanetary sector boundaries, with solar wind dynamic pressure enhancements being the most likely interplanetary driver. In addition it is found that, on time scales of months to several years, the dominant cause of global variability of the magnetic...

  16. ELF-VLF communications through-the-Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buettner, H. M.; Burke, G. J.; Didwall, E. M.; Holladay, G.; Lytle, R. J.

    1985-06-01

    We use computer models and experiments to explore the feasibility of communication between points underground and on the Earth's surface. Emphasis is placed on ELF-VLF electromagnetic propagation through the Earth; nominally, we investigated propagation in the 200 Hz-30 kHz frequency range. The computer modeling included calculations of the fields of a point electric or magnetic source in a homogeneous half space or a stratified Earth. Initial results for an insulated antenna of finite length are also considered. The experiments involved through-the-Earth transmissions at two locations in Pennsylvania, both of which had large formations of limestone. Initial results indicate that information rates as high as kbits/s may be possible for subsurface depths of 300 m or less. Accuracy of these estimates depends on the electromagnetic propagation constants of the rock, the noise characteristics, and modulation scheme. Although a nuisance for evaluating through-the-Earth propagation, the existence of subsurface metal conductors can improve the transmission character of the site.

  17. Radiation chemistry in exploration of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zagorski, Z.P.

    2005-01-01

    Problems of exploration of Mars are seldom connected with radiation research. Improvements in such approach, more and more visible, are reported in this paper, written by the present author working on prebiotic chemistry and origins of life on Earth. Objects on Mars subjected to radiation are very different from those on Earth. Density of the Martian atmosphere is by two orders smaller than over Earth and does not protect the surface of Mars from ionizing radiations, contrary to the case of Earth, shielded by the equivalent of ca. 3 meters of concrete. High energy protons from the Sun are diverted magnetically around Earth, and Mars is deprived of that protection. The radiolysis of martian '' air '' (95.3% of carbon dioxide) starts with the formation of CO 2 + , whereas the primary product over Earth is N 2 + ion radical. The lack of water vapor over Mars prevents the formation of many secondary products. The important feature of Martian regolith is the possibility of the presence of hydrated minerals, which could have been formed milliards years ago, when (probably) water was present on Mars. The interface of the atmosphere and the regolith can be the site of many chemical reactions, induced also by intensive UV, which includes part of the vacuum UV. Minerals like sodalite, discovered on Mars can contribute as reagents in many reactions. Conclusions are dedicated to questions of the live organisms connected with exploration of Mars; from microorganisms, comparatively resistant to ionizing radiation, to human beings, considered not to be fit to manned flight, survival on Mars and return to Earth. Pharmaceuticals proposed as radiobiological protection cannot improve the situation. Exploration over the distance of millions of kilometers performed successfully without presence of man, withstands more easily the presence of ionizing radiation. (author)

  18. Conceptual design of a synchronous Mars telecommunications satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badi, Deborah M.; Farmer, Jeffrey T.; Garn, Paul A.; Martin, Gary L.

    1989-01-01

    Future missions to Mars will require a communications system to link activities on the Martian surface with each other and with mission controllers on Earth. A conceptual design is presented for an aerosynchronous communications satellite to provide these links. The satellite provides the capability for voice, data/command, and video transmissions. The mission scenario assumed for the design is described, and a description of a single aerosynchronous satellite is explained. A viable spacecraft design is then presented. Communication band selection and channel allocation are discussed. The communications system conceptual design is presented along with the trades used in sizing each of the required antennas. Also, the analyses used to develop the supporting subsystem designs are described as is the communications impact on each subsystem design.

  19. Martian Multimedia: The Agony and Ecstasy of Communicating Real-Time, Authentic Science During the Phoenix Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitter, C.; Buxner, S. R.

    2009-03-01

    The Phoenix Mars Mission faced robust communication challenges requiring real-time solutions. Managing the message from Mars and ensuring the highest quality of science data and news releases were our top priorities during mission surface operations.

  20. Roles of Clathrate Hydrates in Crustal Heating and Volatile Storage/Release on Earth, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kargel, J. S.; Beget, J.; Furfaro, R.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Palmero-Rodriguez, J. A.

    2007-12-01

    Clathrate hydrates are stable through much of the Solar System. These materials and hydrate-like amorphous associations of water with N2, CO, CH4, CO2, O2 and other molecules could, in fact, constitute the bulk of the non-rock components of some icy satellites, comets, and Kuiper Belt Objects. CO2 clathrate is thermodynamically stable at the Martian South Pole surface and could form a significant fraction of both Martian polar caps and icy permafrost distributed across one-third of the Martian surface. CH4 clathrate is the largest clathrate material in Earth's permafrost and cold seafloor regions, and it may be a major volatile reservoir on Mars, too. CO2 clathrate is less abundant on Earth but it might store most of Mars' CO2 inventory and thus may be one of the critical components in the climate system of that planet, just as CH4 clathrate is for Earth. These ice-like phases not only store biologically, geologically, and climatologically important gases, but they also are natural thermal insulators. Thus, they retard the conductive flow of geothermal heat, and thick accumulations of them can modify geotherms, cause brines to exist where otherwise they would not, and induce low-grade metamorphism of upper crustal rocks underlying the insulating bodies. This mechanism of crustal heating may be especially important in assisting hydrogeologic activity on Mars, gas-rich carbonaceous asteroids, icy satellites, and Kuiper Belt Objects. These worlds, compared to Earth, are comparatively energy starved and frozen but may partly make up for their deficit of joules by having large accumulations of joule-conserving hydrates. Thick, continuous layers of clathrate may seal in gases and produce high gas fugacities in aquifers underlying the clathrates, thus producing gas-rich reservoirs capable of erupting violently. This may have happened repeatedly in Earth history, with global climatic consequences for abrupt climate change. We have hypothesized that such eruptions may have

  1. Mars Technologies Spawn Durable Wind Turbines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    To develop and test wind power technology for use on Mars, Ames Research Center turned to Northern Power Systems (NPS), based in Barre, Vermont. Ames awarded NPS an SBIR contract so the company could enhance their turbine’s function. Today, over 200 NASA-derived Northern Power 100s are in operation on Earth and have reduced carbon emissions by 50,000 tons annually.

  2. The Topography of Mars: Understanding the Surface of Mars Through the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derby, C. A.; Neumann, G. A.; Sakimoto, S. E.

    2001-12-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter has been orbiting Mars since 1997 and has measured the topography of Mars with a meter of vertical accuracy. This new information has improved our understanding of both the surface and the interior of Mars. The topographic globe and the labeled topographic map of Mars illustrate these new data in a format that can be used in a classroom setting. The map is color shaded to show differences in elevation on Mars, presenting Mars with a different perspective than traditional geological and geographic maps. Through the differences in color, students can see Mars as a three-dimensional surface and will be able to recognize features that are invisible in imagery. The accompanying lesson plans are designed for middle school science students and can be used both to teach information about Mars as a planet and Mars in comparison to Earth, fitting both the solar system unit and the Earth science unit in a middle school curriculum. The lessons are referenced to the National Benchmark standards for students in grades 6-8 and cover topics such as Mars exploration, the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, resolution and powers of 10, gravity, craters, seismic waves and the interior structure of a planet, isostasy, and volcanoes. Each lesson is written in the 5 E format and includes a student content activity and an extension showing current applications of Mars and MOLA data. These activities can be found at http://ltpwww.gsfc.nasa.gov/education/resources.html. Funding for this project was provided by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and the MOLA Science Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

  3. Two Moons and the Pleiades from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Inverted image of two moons and the Pleiades from Mars Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recently settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. In this view, the Pleiades, a star cluster also known as the 'Seven Sisters,' is visible in the lower left corner. The bright star Aldebaran and some of the stars in the constellation Taurus are visible on the right. Spirit acquired this image the evening of martian day, or sol, 590 (Aug. 30, 2005). The image on the right provides an enhanced-contrast view with annotation. Within the enhanced halo of light is an insert of an unsaturated view of Phobos taken a few images later in the same sequence. On Mars, Phobos would be easily visible to the naked eye at night, but would be only about one-third as large as the full Moon appears from Earth. Astronauts staring at Phobos from the surface of Mars would notice its oblong, potato-like shape and that it moves quickly against the background stars. Phobos takes only 7 hours, 39 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That is so fast, relative to the 24-hour-and-39-minute sol on Mars (the length of time it takes for Mars to complete one rotation), that Phobos rises in the west and sets in the east. Earth's moon, by comparison, rises in the east and sets in the west. The smaller martian moon, Deimos, takes 30 hours, 12 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That orbital period is longer than a martian sol, and so Deimos rises, like most solar system moons, in the east and sets in the west. Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the five images that make up this composite with the panoramic camera, using the camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically

  4. The Nitrate/(Per)Chlorate Relationship on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Jennifer C.; Sutter, Brad; Jackson, W. Andrew; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.; Ming, Douglas W.; Archer, P. Douglas; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2017-01-01

    Nitrate was recently detected in Gale Crater sediments on Mars at abundances up to approximately 600 mg/kg, confirming predictions of its presence at abundances consistent with models based on impact-generated nitrate and other sources of fixed nitrogen. Terrestrial Mars analogs, Mars meteorites, and other solar system materials help establish a context for interpreting in situ nitrate measurements on Mars, particularly in relation to other cooccuring salts. We compare the relative abundance of nitrates to oxychlorine (chlorate and/or perchlorate, hereafter (per)chlorate) salts on Mars and Earth. The nitrate/(per)chlorate ratio on Mars is greater than 1, significantly lower than on Earth (nitrate/(per)chlorate greater than 10(exp.3)), suggesting not only the absence of biological activity but also different (per)chlorate formation mechanisms on Mars than on Earth.

  5. Explosive Volcanic Eruptions from Linear Vents on Earth, Venus and Mars: Comparisons with Circular Vent Eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaze, Lori S.; Baloga, Stephen M.; Wimert, Jesse

    2010-01-01

    Conditions required to support buoyant convective plumes are investigated for explosive volcanic eruptions from circular and linear vents on Earth, Venus, and Mars. Vent geometry (linear versus circular) plays a significant role in the ability of an explosive eruption to sustain a buoyant plume. On Earth, linear and circular vent eruptions are both capable of driving buoyant plumes to equivalent maximum rise heights, however, linear vent plumes are more sensitive to vent size. For analogous mass eruption rates, linear vent plumes surpass circular vent plumes in entrainment efficiency approximately when L(sub o) > 3r(sub o) owing to the larger entrainment area relative to the control volume. Relative to circular vents, linear vents on Venus favor column collapse and the formation of pyroclastic flows because the range of conditions required to establish and sustain buoyancy is narrow. When buoyancy can be sustained, however, maximum plume heights exceed those from circular vents. For current atmospheric conditions on Mars, linear vent eruptions are capable of injecting volcanic material slightly higher than analogous circular vent eruptions. However, both geometries are more likely to produce pyroclastic fountains, as opposed to convective plumes, owing to the low density atmosphere. Due to the atmospheric density profile and water content on Earth, explosive eruptions enjoy favorable conditions for producing sustained buoyant columns, while pyroclastic flows would be relatively more prevalent on Venus and Mars. These results have implications for the injection and dispersal of particulates into the planetary atmosphere and the ability to interpret the geologic record of planetary volcanism.

  6. Nebraska Earth Science Education Network: Enhancing the NASA, University, and Pre-College Science Teacher Connection with Electronic Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosselin, David C.

    1997-01-01

    The primary goals of this project were to: 1. Promote and enhance K-12 earth science education; and enhance the access to and exchange of information through the use of digital networks in K-12 institutions. We have achieved these two goals. Through the efforts of many individuals at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Nebraska Earth Science Education Network (NESEN) has become a viable and beneficial interdisciplinary outreach program for K-12 educators in Nebraska. Over the last three years, the NASA grant has provided personnel and equipment to maintain, expand and develop NESEN into a program that is recognized by its membership as a valuable source of information and expertise in earth systems science. Because NASA funding provided a framework upon which to build, other external sources of funding have become available to support NESEN programs.

  7. A Summary of - An Earth-to-Deep Space Communications System with Adaptive Tilt and Scintillation Correction Using Near-Earth Relay Mirrors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, J. W.; Yeh, C.; Wilson, K. E.

    1998-01-01

    Optical telecommunication will be the next technology for wide-band Earth/space communication. Uncompensated propagation through the Earth's atmosphere (e.g., scintillation and wavefront tilt) fundamentally degrade communication to distant spcaecraft.

  8. '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

  9. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Caves and Rock Fracture Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope J.

    2017-01-01

    The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond. We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can fluorish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a Field Guide to Unknown Organisms for developing life detection space missions.

  10. 2016 Mars Insight Mission Design and Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abilleira, Fernando; Frauenholz, Ray; Fujii, Ken; Wallace, Mark; You, Tung-Han

    2014-01-01

    Scheduled for a launch in the 2016 Earth to Mars opportunity, the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport (InSight) Mission will arrive to Mars in late September 2016 with the primary objective of placing a science lander on the surface of the Red Planet followed by the deployment of two science instruments to investigate the fundamental processes of terrestrial planet formation and evolution. In order to achieve a successful landing, the InSight Project has selected a launch/arrival strategy that satisfies the following key and driving requirements: (1) Deliver a total launch mass of 727 kg, (2) target a nominal landing site with a cumulative Delta V99 less than 30 m/s, and (3) approach EDL with a V-infinity upper limit of 3.941 km/s and (4) an entry flight-path angle (EFPA) of -12.5 +/- 0.26 deg, 3-sigma; the InSight trajectories have been designed such that they (5) provide UHF-band communications via Direct-To-Earth and MRO from Entry through landing plus 60 s, (6) with injection aimpoints biased away from Mars such that the probability of the launch vehicle upper stage impacting Mars is less than 1.0 X 10(exp 4) for fifty years after launch, and (7) non-nominal impact probabilities due to failure during the Cruise phase less than 1.0 X 10(exp 2).

  11. The divergent fates of primitive hydrospheric water on Earth and Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Jon; Dyck, Brendan; Palin, Richard M; Moore, James D P; Smye, Andrew J

    2017-12-20

    Despite active transport into Earth's mantle, water has been present on our planet's surface for most of geological time. Yet water disappeared from the Martian surface soon after its formation. Although some of the water on Mars was lost to space via photolysis following the collapse of the planet's magnetic field, the widespread serpentinization of Martian crust suggests that metamorphic hydration reactions played a critical part in the sequestration of the crust. Here we quantify the relative volumes of water that could be removed from each planet's surface via the burial and metamorphism of hydrated mafic crusts, and calculate mineral transition-induced bulk-density changes at conditions of elevated pressure and temperature for each. The metamorphic mineral assemblages in relatively FeO-rich Martian lavas can hold about 25 per cent more structurally bound water than those in metamorphosed terrestrial basalts, and can retain it at greater depths within Mars. Our calculations suggest that in excess of 9 per cent by volume of the Martian mantle may contain hydrous mineral species as a consequence of surface reactions, compared to about 4 per cent by volume of Earth's mantle. Furthermore, neither primitive nor evolved hydrated Martian crust show noticeably different bulk densities compared to their anhydrous equivalents, in contrast to hydrous mafic terrestrial crust, which transforms to denser eclogite upon dehydration. This would have allowed efficient overplating and burial of early Martian crust in a stagnant-lid tectonic regime, in which the lithosphere comprised a single tectonic plate, with only the warmer, lower crust involved in mantle convection. This provided an important sink for hydrospheric water and a mechanism for oxidizing the Martian mantle. Conversely, relatively buoyant mafic crust and hotter geothermal gradients on Earth reduced the potential for upper-mantle hydration early in its geological history, leading to water being retained close to

  12. A Hands-on Exploration of the Retrograde Motion of Mars as Seen from the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pincelli, M. M.; Otranto, S.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a set of activities based on the use of a celestial simulator to gain insights into the retrograde motion of Mars as seen from the Earth. These activities provide a useful link between the heliocentric concepts taught in schools and those tackled in typical introductory physics courses based on classical mechanics for…

  13. An Efficient Approach for Mars Sample Return Using Emerging Commercial Capabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Andrew A; Stoker, Carol R

    2016-06-01

    Mars Sample Return is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the 2011 Decadal Survey of Planetary Science [1]. This article presents the results of a feasibility study for a Mars Sample Return mission that efficiently uses emerging commercial capabilities expected to be available in the near future. The motivation of our study was the recognition that emerging commercial capabilities might be used to perform Mars Sample Return with an Earth-direct architecture, and that this may offer a desirable simpler and lower cost approach. The objective of the study was to determine whether these capabilities can be used to optimize the number of mission systems and launches required to return the samples, with the goal of achieving the desired simplicity. All of the major element required for the Mars Sample Return mission are described. Mission system elements were analyzed with either direct techniques or by using parametric mass estimating relationships. The analysis shows the feasibility of a complete and closed Mars Sample Return mission design based on the following scenario: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle places a modified version of a SpaceX Dragon capsule, referred to as "Red Dragon", onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule carries all the hardware needed to return to Earth Orbit samples collected by a prior mission, such as the planned NASA Mars 2020 sample collection rover. The payload includes a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle; a fueled Earth Return Vehicle, support equipment, and a mechanism to transfer samples from the sample cache system onboard the rover to the Earth Return Vehicle. The Red Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using Supersonic Retropropulsion. After collected samples are transferred to the Earth Return Vehicle, the single-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle launches the Earth Return Vehicle from the surface of Mars to a Mars phasing orbit. After a brief phasing period, the Earth Return

  14. Habitability: Where to look for life? Halophilic habitats: Earth analogs to study Mars habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, F.; Rodríguez-Manfredi, J. A.; Rodríguez, N.; Fernández-Sampedro, M.; Caballero-Castrejón, F. J.; Amils, R.

    2012-08-01

    Oxidative stress, high radiation doses, low temperature and pressure are parameters which made Mars's surface adverse for life. Those conditions found on Mars surface are harsh conditions for life to deal with. Life, as we know it on Earth, needs several requirements for its establishment but, the only "sine qua nom" element is water. Extremophilic microorganisms widened the window of possibilities for life to develop in the universe, and as a consequence on Mars. Recently reported results in extreme environments indicate the possibility of presence of "oasys" for life in microniches due to water deliquescence in salts deposits. The compilation of data produced by the ongoing missions (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity) offers a completely different view from that reported by Viking missions: signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity. The discovery of important accumulations of sulfates, and the existence of iron minerals like jarosite, goethite and hematite in rocks of sedimentary origin has allowed specific terrestrial models related with this type of mineralogy to come into focus. Río Tinto (Southwestern Spain, Iberian Pyritic Belt) is an extreme acidic environment, product of the chemolithotrophic activity of microorganisms that thrive in the massive pyrite-rich deposits of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. The high concentration of ferric iron and sulfates, products of the metabolism of pyrite, generate a collection of minerals, mainly gypsum, jarosite, goethite and hematites, all of which have been detected in different regions of Mars. Some particular protective environments or elements could house organic molecules or the first bacterial life forms on Mars surface. Terrestrial analogs could help us to afford its comprehension. We are reporting here some preliminary studies about endolithic niches inside salt deposits used by phototrophs for taking advantage of sheltering particular light

  15. Mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) on Earth: A review of the characteristics, processes, and spatial distributions of analogs for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burr, D.M.; Bruno, B.C.; Lanagan, P.D.; Glaze, L.S.; Jaeger, W.L.; Soare, R.J.; Wan, Bun Tseung J.-M.; Skinner, J.A.; Baloga, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    Fields of mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) of various origins are found on Earth and Mars. Examples include rootless cones, mud volcanoes, collapsed pingos, rimmed kettle holes, and basaltic ring structures. Correct identification of MRRDs on Mars is valuable because different MRRD types have different geologic and/or climatic implications and are often associated with volcanism and/or water, which may provide locales for biotic or prebiotic activity. In order to facilitate correct identification of fields of MRRDs on Mars and their implications, this work provides a review of common terrestrial MRRD types that occur in fields. In this review, MRRDs by formation mechanism, including hydrovolcanic (phreatomagmatic cones, basaltic ring structures), sedimentological (mud volcanoes), and ice-related (pingos, volatile ice-block forms) mechanisms. For each broad mechanism, we present a comparative synopsis of (i) morphology and observations, (ii) physical formation processes, and (iii) published hypothesized locations on Mars. Because the morphology for MRRDs may be ambiguous, an additional tool is provided for distinguishing fields of MRRDs by origin on Mars, namely, spatial distribution analyses for MRRDs within fields on Earth. We find that MRRDs have both distinguishing and similar characteristics, and observation that applies both to their mesoscale morphology and to their spatial distribution statistics. Thus, this review provides tools for distinguishing between various MRRDs, while highlighting the utility of the multiple working hypotheses approach. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  16. EarthCubed: Community Convergence and Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, J. C.; Black, R.; Davis, R.; Dick, C.; Lee, T.; Allison, M. L.

    2015-12-01

    What drives engagement across a diverse community with the common goal of creating a robust cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences? Which applications, social media venues and outreach mechanisms solicit the most valuable feedback? Of the dizzying toolkit available for community-building, which tools should receive time, attention and dedication? Finally, how does it all relate to better geoscience research? Research projects in the geosciences are rapidly becoming more interdisciplinary, requiring use of broader data-sets and a multitude of data-types in an effort to explain questions important to both the scientific community and the general public. Effective use of the data and tools available requires excellent community communication and engagement across disciplines, as well as a manner to easily obtain and access those data and tools. For over two years, the EarthCube project has sought to create the most active and engaged community possible, bringing together experts from all across the NSF GEO directorate and its many-faceted disciplines. Initial efforts focused on collecting insight and opinions at in-person "end-user workshops," and informal organization of interest groups and teams. Today, efforts feature an organizational structure with dedicated internal communication and outreach groups. The EarthCube Office has been largely responsible for coordination of these groups and the social media and Internet presence of the project to date, through the creation and curation of the EarthCube.org website, social media channels, live-streaming of meetings, and newsletters. Measures of the effectiveness of these efforts will be presented, to serve as potential reference and guidance for other projects seeking to grow their own communities. In addition, we will discuss how the Office's role in outreach and engagement has changed over the past year with the creation of the Engagement and Liaison Teams, and what it signifies for the Office's role in Earth

  17. System concepts and design examples for optical communication with planetary spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesh, James R.

    Systems concepts for optical communication with future deep-space (planetary) spacecraft are described. These include not only the optical transceiver package aboard the distant spacecraft, but the earth-vicinity optical-communications receiving station as well. Both ground-based, and earth-orbiting receivers are considered. Design examples for a number of proposed or potential deep-space missions are then presented. These include an orbital mission to Saturn, a Lander and Rover mission to Mars, and an astronomical mission to a distance of 1000 astronomical units.

  18. Life On Mars: Past, Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Cyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Cyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet will require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued

  19. Enabling Communication and Navigation Technologies for Future Near Earth Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Israel, David J.; Heckler, Gregory; Menrad, Robert; Hudiburg, John; Boroson, Don; Robinson, Bryan; Cornwell, Donald

    2016-01-01

    In 2015, the Earth Regimes Network Evolution Study (ERNESt) proposed an architectural concept and technologies that evolve to enable space science and exploration missions out to the 2040 timeframe. The architectural concept evolves the current instantiations of the Near Earth Network and Space Network with new technologies to provide a global communication and navigation network that provides communication and navigation services to a wide range of space users in the near Earth domain. The technologies included High Rate Optical Communications, Optical Multiple Access (OMA), Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN), User Initiated Services (UIS), and advanced Position, Navigation, and Timing technology. This paper describes the key technologies and their current technology readiness levels. Examples of science missions that could be enabled by the technologies and the projected operational benefits of the architecture concept to missions are also described.

  20. Commercialization and Standardization Progress Towards an Optical Communications Earth Relay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Bernard L.; Israel, David J.

    2015-01-01

    NASA is planning to launch the next generation of a space based Earth relay in 2025 to join the current Space Network, consisting of Tracking and Data Relay Satellites in space and the corresponding infrastructure on Earth. While the requirements and architecture for that relay satellite are unknown at this time, NASA is investing in communications technologies that could be deployed to provide new communications services. One of those new technologies is optical communications. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) project, scheduled for launch in 2018 as a hosted payload on a commercial communications satellite, is a critical pathfinder towards NASA providing optical communications services on the next generation space based relay. This paper will describe NASA efforts in the on-going commercialization of optical communications and the development of inter-operability standards. Both are seen as critical to making optical communications a reality on future NASA science and exploration missions. Commercialization is important because NASA would like to eventually be able to simply purchase an entire optical communications terminal from a commercial provider. Inter-operability standards are needed to ensure that optical communications terminals developed by one vendor are compatible with the terminals of another. International standards in optical communications would also allow the space missions of one nation to use the infrastructure of another.

  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. Ancient aliens on mars

    CERN Document Server

    Bara, Mike

    2013-01-01

    Best-selling author and Secret Space Program researcher Bara brings us this lavishly illustrated volume on alien structures on Mars. Was there once a vast, technologically advanced civilization on Mars, and did it leave evidence of its existence behind for humans to find eons later? Did these advanced extraterrestrial visitors vanish in a solar system wide cataclysm of their own making, only to make their way to Earth and start anew? Was Mars once as lush and green as the Earth, and teeming with life? Did Mars once orbit a missing member of the solar system, a "Super Earth” that vanished in a disaster that devastated life on Earth and Venus and left us only the asteroid belt as evidence of its once grand existence? Did the survivors of this catastrophe leave monuments and temples behind, arranged in a mathematical precision designed to teach us the Secret of a new physics that could lift us back to the stars? Does the planet have an automated defense shield that swallows up robotic probes if they wander int...

  3. Is Canyon Width a Diagnostic Indicator of the Discharge of Megafloods on Earth and Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M. G.; Lamb, M. P.

    2013-12-01

    On Earth, large floods have carved steep-walled and amphitheater-headed canyons from the Pleistocene (e.g. Box Canyon, ID) through the Holocene (e.g. Asbyrgi Canyon, Iceland), to historic times (e.g. Canyon Lake Gorge, TX). The geologic record on Mars suggests that similar floods have carved canyons by waterfall retreat about 3.5 billion years ago, when the red planet was wetter and possibly warmer. We currently lack robust paleo-hydraulic tools to reconstruct the discharge of ancient floods, especially on Mars where sediment sizes are obscured from observation. To address this issue, we hypothesize that the width of canyon escarpment is controlled by the hydraulics of the canyon-carving flood due to focusing of the flood into the canyon head. We compiled field data from multiple canyons and floods on Earth and Mars and show that there is a correlation between estimated flood discharge and canyon headwall width. To explore what sets this relationship, we identified five important parameters using dimensional analysis: the Froude number, the ratio of backwater length to canyon length, the ratio of backwater length to flood width, the ratio of canyon width to flood width, and the topographic slope upstream of the canyon. We used the hydraulic numerical modeling suite ANUGA to simulate overland flow over different canyon geometries and flood parameters to systematically explore the relative bed shear stresses along the canyon rim as a metric for flow focusing. Results show that canyons that exceed a certain length, scaling with the hydraulic backwater length, have shear stresses at their heads that are significantly higher than near the canyon mouth. Shear stresses along the rim of the canyon sidewalls are limited, in comparison to stresses along the canyon head, when the flood width is of the order of the backwater length. Flow focusing only occurs for subcritical flow. Together, these results suggest that canyons may only grow from a perturbation that is large

  4. Life, death and revival of debris-flow fans on Earth and Mars : fan dynamics and climatic inferences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haas, T.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/374023190

    2016-01-01

    Alluvial fans are ubiquitous landforms in high-relief regions on Earth and Mars. They have a semi-conical shape and are located at the transition between highlands and adjacent basins. Alluvial fans can form by a range of processes including debris flows, which are water-laden masses of soil and

  5. Rationale for a Mars Pathfinder mission to Chryse Planitia and the Viking 1 lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.

    1994-01-01

    Presently the landing site for Mars Pathfinder will be constrained to latitudes between 0 deg and 30 deg N to facilitate communication with earth and to allow the lander and rover solar arrays to generate the maximum possible power. The reference elevation of the site must also be below 0 km so that the descent parachute, a Viking derivative, has sufficient time to open and slow the lander to the correct terminal velocity. Although Mars has as much land surface area as the continental crust of the earth, such engineering constraints immediately limit the number of possible landing sites to only three broad areas: Amazonis, Chryse, and Isidis Planitia. Of these, both Chryse and Isidis Planitia stand out as the sites offering the most information to address several broad scientific topics.

  6. Ancient wet aeolian environments on Earth: clues to presence of fossil/live microorganisms on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, William C.; Milner, Michael W.; Netoff, D. I.; Malloch, David; Dohm, James M.; Baker, Victor R.; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Hare, Trent M.; Komatsu, Goro

    2004-09-01

    Ancient wet aeolian (wet-sabkha) environments on Earth, represented in the Entrada and Navajo sandstones of Utah, contain pipe structures considered to be the product of gas/water release under pressure. The sediments originally had considerable porosity allowing the ingress of living plant structures, microorganisms, clay minerals, and fine-grained primary minerals of silt and sand size from the surface downward in the sedimentary column. Host rock material is of a similar size and porosity and presumably the downward migration of fine-grained material would have been possible prior to lithogenesis and final cementation. Recent field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and EDS (energy-dispersive spectrometry) examination of sands from fluidized pipes in the Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone reveal the presence of fossil forms resembling fungal filaments, some bearing hyphopodium-like structures similar to those produced by modern tropical leaf parasites. The tropical origin of the fungi is consistent with the paleogeography of the sandstone, which was deposited in a tropical arid environment. These fossil fungi are silicized, with minor amounts of CaCO 3 and Fe, and in some cases a Si/Al ratio similar to smectite. They exist as pseudomorphs, totally depleted in nitrogen, adhering to the surfaces of fine-grained sands, principally quartz and orthoclase. Similar wet aeolian paleoenvironments are suspected for Mars, especially following catastrophic sediment-charged floods of enormous magnitudes that are believed to have contributed to rapid formation of large water bodies in the northern plains, ranging from lakes to oceans. These events are suspected to have contributed to a high frequency of constructional landforms (also known as pseudocraters) related to trapped volatiles and water-enriched sediment underneath a thick blanket of materials that were subsequently released to the martian surface, forming piping structures at the near surface and

  7. Mars: The Viking Discoveries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Bevan M.

    This booklet describes the results of NASA's Viking spacecraft on Mars. It is intended to be useful for the teacher of basic courses in earth science, space science, astronomy, physics, or geology, but is also of interest to the well-informed layman. Topics include why we should study Mars, how the Viking spacecraft works, the winds of Mars, the…

  8. Obliquity histories of Earth and Mars: Influence of inertial and dissipative core-mantle coupling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bills, B.G.

    1990-01-01

    For both the Earth and Mars, secular variations in the angular separation of the spin axis from the orbit normal are suspected of driving major climatic changes. There is considerable interest in determining the amplitude and timing of these obliquity variations. If the orientation of the orbital plane were inertially fixed, the spin axis would simply precess around the orbit at a fixed obliquity and at a uniform angular rate. The precession rate parameter depends on the principal moments of inertia and rotation rate of the perturbed body, and on the gravitational masses and semiminor axes of the perturbing bodies. For Mars, the precession rate is not well known, but probably lies in the interval 8 to 10 arcsec/year. In the rigid body case, the spin axis still attempts to precess about the instantaneous orbit normal, but now the obliquity varies. The hydrostatic figure of a planet represents a compromise between gravitation, which attempts to attain spherical symmetry, and rotation, which prefers cylindrical symmetry. Due to their higher mean densities the cores of the Earth and Mars will be more nearly spherical than the outer layers of these planets. On short time scales it is appropriate to consider the core to be an inviscid fluid. The inertial coupling provided by this mechanism is effective whenever the ellipticicy of the container exceeds the ratio of precessional to rotational rates. If the mantle were actually rigid, this would be an extremely effective type of coupling. However, on sufficiently long time scales, the mantle will deform viscously and can accommodate the motions of the core fluid. A fundamentally different type of coupling is provided by electromagnetic or viscous torques. This type of coupling is likely to be most important on longer time scales

  9. Science Driven Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2004-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Fossils are not enough. We will want to determine if life on Mars was a separate genesis from life on Earth. For this determination we need to access intact martian life; possibly frozen in the deep old permafrost. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet will require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued human presence on Mars will be the most economical way to study that planet in detail. It is possible that at some time in the future we might recreate a habitable climate on Mars, returning it to the life-bearing state it may have enjoyed early in its history. Our studies of Mars are still in a preliminary state but everything we have learned suggests that it may be possible to restore Mars to a habitable climate. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  10. 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.

  11. Design Enhancements of the Fourier Kelvin Stellar Interferometer to Enable Detection of Earth Twins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, Richard K.; Danchi, William C.; Lopez, Bruno; Rinehart, Stephan; Augereau, Jean-Charles; Beust, Herve; Bonfils, Xavier; Borde, Pascal; Kern, Pierre; Leger, Alain; hide

    2009-01-01

    During the last few years, considerable effort has been directed towards very large-scale (> $5 billion) missions to detect and characterize Mars-radius to Earth-radius planets around nearby stars; such as the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer and Darwin missions. However, technological issues such as formation flying and control of systematic noise sources will likely prevent these missions from entering Phase A until at least the end of the next decade. Presently more than 350 planets have been discovered by a variety of techniques, and little is known about the majority of them other than their approximate mass. However, a simplified nulling interferometer operating in the near- to mid-infrared (e.g. approx. 5-15 microns), like the enhanced version of the Fourier Kelvin Stellar Interferometer (FKSI), can characterize the atmospheres of a large sample of the known planets - including Earth twins. Many other scientific problems can be addressed with a system like FKSI, including the studies of debris disks, active galactic nuclei, and low mass companions around nearby stars. We report results of a recent engineering study on an enhanced version of FKSI that includes 1-meter primary mirrors, 20-meter boom length, and an advanced sun shield that will provide a 45-degree FOR and 40K operating temperature for all optics including siderostats.

  12. Implementation of a Relay Coordination System for the Mars Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allard, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

    Mars network relay operations involve the coordination of lander and orbiter teams through long-term and short-term planning, tactical changes and post-pass analysis. Much of this coordination is managed through email traffic and point-to-point file data exchanges. It is often difficult to construct a complete and accurate picture of the relay situation at any given moment, as there is no centralized store of correlated relay data. The Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS) is being implemented to address the problem of relay coordination for current and next-generation relay missions. The service is provided for the purpose of coordinating communications sessions between landed spacecraft assets and orbiting spacecraft assets at Mars. The service centralizes a set of functions previously distributed across multiple spacecraft operations teams, and as such greatly improves visibility into the end-to-end strategic coordination process. Most of the process revolves around the scheduling of communications sessions between the spacecraft during periods of time when a landed asset on Mars is geometrically visible by an orbiting spacecraft. These "relay" sessions are used to transfer data both to and from the landed asset via the orbiting asset on behalf of Earth-based spacecraft operators. This paper will discuss the relay coordination problem space, overview the architecture and design selected to meet system requirements, and describe the first phase of system implementation

  13. Astrobiology, Mars Exploration and Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2015-01-01

    The search for evidence of life beyond Earth illustrates how the charters of NASA and the National Park Service share common ground. The mission of NPS is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. NASA's Astrobiology program seeks to understand the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the universe, and it abides by the principles of planetary stewardship, public outreach, and education. We cannot subject planetary exploration destinations to Earthly biological contamination both for ethical reasons and to preserve their scientific value for astrobiology. We respond to the public's interest in the mysteries of life and the cosmos by honoring their desire to participate in the process of discovery. We involve youth in order to motivate career choices in science and technology and to perpetuate space exploration. The search for evidence of past life on Mars illustrates how the missions of NASA and NPS can become synergistic. Volcanic activity occurs on all rocky planets in our Solar System and beyond, and it frequently interacts with water to create hydrothermal systems. On Earth these systems are oases for microbial life. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has found evidence of extinct hydrothermal system in Gusev crater, Mars. Lassen Volcanic National Park provides a pristine laboratory for investigating how microorganisms can both thrive and leave evidence of their former presence in hydrothermal systems. NASA scientists, NPS interpretation personnel and teachers can collaborate on field-oriented programs that enhance Mars mission planning, engage students and the public in science and technology, and emphasize the ethics of responsible exploration.

  14. Tactile Earth and Space Science Materials for Students with Visual Impairments: Contours, Craters, Asteroids, and Features of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rule, Audrey C.

    2011-01-01

    New tactile curriculum materials for teaching Earth and planetary science lessons on rotation=revolution, silhouettes of objects from different views, contour maps, impact craters, asteroids, and topographic features of Mars to 11 elementary and middle school students with sight impairments at a week-long residential summer camp are presented…

  15. The comparison of element composition of Venus, Earth, Mars, and chondrites in the light of the Mendeleev Periodic Law

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chuburkov, Yu.T.

    1998-01-01

    The share of free neutral atoms, N 0 , for all elements in Protoplanet nebula has been determined with the account of their abundance and physico-chemical properties. The linear dependence for the ratio of nonvolatile and volatile elements in chondrites and igneous rocks of the Earth on N 0 was obtained. The Mendeleev Periodic Law was used to obtain the proof of the existence of the hypothetical process of element magnetic separation in Protoplanet nebula. To this end the concentration ratios of element-analogous with different N 0 in the matters of Venus, Earth, Mars, and chondrites were compared. The data obtained are sufficient demonstration of the existence of the hypothetical process of element magnetic separation in Protoplanet nebula. With the account of the above said, it was shown that Shergotty and Tunguska meteorites by their relative elemental composition are close to Mars and asteroids, respectively. (author)

  16. 78 FR 19172 - Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft Communicating with Fixed-Satellite Service Geostationary-Orbit...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-29

    ... FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 2 and 25 [IB Docket No. 12-376; FCC 12-161] Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft Communicating with Fixed-Satellite Service Geostationary-Orbit Space Stations... the Federal Register of March 8, 2013. The document proposed rules for Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft...

  17. Integration of lessons from recent research for "Earth to Mars" life support systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, M.; Allen, J. P.; Alling, A.; Dempster, W. F.; Silverstone, S.; van Thillo, M.

    Development of reliable and robust strategies for long-term life support for mbox planetary exploration needs to be built on real-time experimentation to verify and improve system components Also critical is the incorporation of a range of viable options to handle potential short-term life system imbalances This paper revisits some of the conceptual framework for a Mars base prototype previously advanced Mars on Earth in the light of three years of experimentation by the authors in the Laboratory Biosphere further investigation of system alternatives and the advent of other innovative engineering and agri-ecosystem approaches Several experiments with candidate space agriculture crops have demonstrated the higher productivity possible with elevated light levels and improved environmental controls For example crops of sweet potatoes exceeded original Mars base prototype projections by 83 ultradwarf Apogee wheat by 27 pinto bean by 240 and cowpeas slightly exceeded anticipated dry bean yield These production levels although they may be increased with further optimization of lighting regimes environmental parameters crop density etc offer evidence that a soil-based system can be as productive as the hydroponic systems which have dominated space life support scenarios and research Soil also offers several distinct advantages the capability to be created using in-situ space resources reducing reliance on consumables and imported resources and more easily recycling and

  18. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.; Arcone, S.; Arvidson, R. W.; Baker, V.; Barlow, N. G.; Beaty, D.; Bell, M. S.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bridges, N.; Briggs, G.; Bulmer, M.; Carsey, F.; Clifford, S. M.; Craddock, R. A.; Dickerson, P. W.; Duxbury, N.; Galford, G. L.; Garvin, J.; Grant, J.; Green, J. R.; Gregg, T. K. P.; Guinness, E.; Hansen, V. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Holt, J.; Howard, A.; Keszthelyi, L. P.; Lee, P.; Lanagan, P. D.; Lentz, R. C. F.; Leverington, D. W.; Marinangeli, L.; Moersch, J. E.; Morris-Smith, P. A.; Mouginis-Mark, P.; Olhoeft, G. R.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Reilly, J. F., II; Rice, J. W., Jr.; Robinson, C. A.; Sheridan, M.; Snook, K.; Thomson, B. J.; Watson, K.; Williams, K.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2002-08-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of Martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the Mars Exploration Payload Assessment Group science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel has considered the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  19. Size-Frequency Distributions of Rocks on Mars and Earth Analog Sites: Implications for Future Landed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombeck, M.; Rapp, D.

    1996-01-01

    The size-frequency distribution of rocks and the Vicking landing sites and a variety of rocky locations on the Earth that formed from a number of geologic processes all have the general shape of simple exponential curves, which have been combined with remote sensing data and models on rock abundance to predict the frequency of boulders potentially hazardous to future Mars landers and rovers.

  20. Humans to Mars: The Greatest Adventure in Human History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Schild,Rudy

    2011-01-01

    The reasons for a human mission to Mars are many and include (1) World technological leadership, (2) Enhanced national security, (3) Enhanced economic vitality, (4) The human urge to explore new and distant frontiers, (5) Scientific discovery (how did Mars evolve from an early Earth-like, hospitable planet to its present inhospitable state? Is there life on Mars?) (6) Inspiring the American public and the next generation of scientists and engineers (following the launch of Sputnik I by the USSR on October 4, 1957, the U. S. and the rest of the world witnessed a significant increase in the number of students going into science and engineering), (7) Develop new technologies for potential non-space spin-off applications, and, (8) Enhanced national prestige, etc. Other reasons for colonizing the Red Planet are more catastrophic in nature, including Mars as a safe haven for the survival of the human species in the event of an impact with a large asteroid (remember the demise of the dinosaurs 65-million years as a result of an asteroid impact!). Some have also suggested that the colonization of Mars may be a solution to the global exponential population explosion on our planet! A human mission to and the colonization of the Red Planet requires multi-disciplined expertise in many areas including engineering, technology, science, human health and medicine and the human psychological and behavior. To capture the relevant areas of needed expertise, we have invited a group of more than 70 U. S. and foreign experts in these areas, including astronauts, scientists, engineers, technologists, medical doctors, psychologists and economists to share their views and thoughts on a human mission to Mars.

  1. Architectural Options for a Future Deep Space Optical Communications Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, B. L.; Benjamin, T.; Scozzafava, J.; Khatri, F.; Sharma, J.; Parvin, B.; Liebrecht, P. E.; Fitzgerald, R. J.

    2004-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of different options at Earth to provide Deep Space optical communication services. It is based mainly on work done for the Mars Laser Communications Demonstration (MLCD) Project, a joint project between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (JPL), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL). It also reports preliminary conclusions from the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System Continuation Study at GSFC. A lasercom flight terminal will be flown on the Mars Telecommunications Orbiter (MTO) to be launched by NASA in 2009, and will be the first high rate deep space demonstration of this revolutionary technology.

  2. Inverted stream channels in the Western Desert of Egypt: Synergistic remote, field observations and laboratory analysis on Earth with applications to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaki, Abdallah S.; Pain, Colin F.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Giegengack, Robert

    2018-07-01

    Inverted relief landforms occur in numerous regions on Mars, ranging in age from Noachian to more recent Amazonian periods (channel features on Earth form, and the geologic records they preserve in arid settings, can yield insights into the development of inverted landforms on Mars. Inverted channel landforms in the Western Desert of Egypt are well represented across an area of ∼27,000 km2. We investigated inverted channel features at seven sites using remotely-sensed data, field observations, and lab analysis. Inverted channel features in the Western Desert record fluvial environments of differing scales and ages. They developed mainly via inversion of cemented valley floor sediment, but there is a possibility that inverted fluvial landforms in the Dakhla Depression might have been buried, lithified, and exhumed. A few examples, in the southeastern part of the Western Desert, record, instead, a resistance to erosion caused by surface armouring of uncemented valley floor sediment. We show that the grain-size distribution for investigated and reviewed inverted channels is highly variable, with boulders that are commonly 0.35 - 1 m in size; large particles provide high porosity that influences the cementation mechanism. The studied inverted channel sediments are mainly cemented with ferricrete, calcrete, gypcrete, and silcrete. Inverted channels are valuable for the reconstruction of paleoclimate cycles or episodes on Earth and Mars; observations from the Western Desert, when offered as analogs, add to the growing list of Earth examples that provide suites of observables relevant to reconstruction of paleoenvironmental conditions on Mars.

  3. Enabling Future Science and Human Exploration with NASA's Next Generation Near Earth and Deep Space Communications and Navigation Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhart, Richard; Schier, James; Israel, David; Tai, Wallace; Liebrecht, Philip; Townes, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is studying alternatives for the United States space communications architecture through the 2040 timeframe. This architecture provides communication and navigation services to both human exploration and science missions throughout the solar system. Several of NASA's key space assets are approaching their end of design life and major systems are in need of replacement. The changes envisioned in the relay satellite architecture and capabilities around both Earth and Mars are significant undertakings and occur only once or twice each generation, and therefore is referred to as NASA's next generation space communications architecture. NASA's next generation architecture will benefit from technology and services developed over recent years. These innovations will provide missions with new operations concepts, increased performance, and new business and operating models. Advancements in optical communications will enable high-speed data channels and the use of new and more complex science instruments. Modern multiple beam/multiple access technologies such as those employed on commercial high throughput satellites will enable enhanced capabilities for on-demand service, and with new protocols will help provide Internet-like connectivity for cooperative spacecraft to improve data return and coordinate joint mission objectives. On-board processing with autonomous and cognitive networking will play larger roles to help manage system complexity. Spacecraft and ground systems will coordinate among themselves to establish communications, negotiate link connectivity, and learn to share spectrum to optimize resource allocation. Spacecraft will autonomously navigate, plan trajectories, and handle off-nominal events. NASA intends to leverage the ever-expanding capabilities of the satellite communications industry and foster its continued growth. NASA's technology development will complement and extend commercial capabilities

  4. Enabling Future Science and Human Exploration with NASA's Next Generation near Earth and Deep Space Communications and Navigation Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhart, Richard C.; Schier, James S.; Israel, David J.; Tai, Wallace; Liebrecht, Philip E.; Townes, Stephen A.

    2017-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is studying alternatives for the United States space communications architecture through the 2040 timeframe. This architecture provides communication and navigation services to both human exploration and science missions throughout the solar system. Several of NASA's key space assets are approaching their end of design life and major systems are in need of replacement. The changes envisioned in the relay satellite architecture and capabilities around both Earth and Mars are significant undertakings and occur only once or twice each generation, and therefore is referred to as NASA's next generation space communications architecture. NASA's next generation architecture will benefit from technology and services developed over recent years. These innovations will provide missions with new operations concepts, increased performance, and new business and operating models. Advancements in optical communications will enable high-speed data channels and the use of new and more complex science instruments. Modern multiple beam/multiple access technologies such as those employed on commercial high throughput satellites will enable enhanced capabilities for on-demand service, and with new protocols will help provide Internet-like connectivity for cooperative spacecraft to improve data return and coordinate joint mission objectives. On-board processing with autonomous and cognitive networking will play larger roles to help manage system complexity. Spacecraft and ground systems will coordinate among themselves to establish communications, negotiate link connectivity, and learn to share spectrum to optimize resource allocation. Spacecraft will autonomously navigate, plan trajectories, and handle off-nominal events. NASA intends to leverage the ever-expanding capabilities of the satellite communications industry and foster its continued growth. NASA's technology development will complement and extend commercial capabilities

  5. Formation of Box Canyon, Idaho, by megaflood: implications for seepage erosion on Earth and Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Michael P; Dietrich, William E; Aciego, Sarah M; Depaolo, Donald J; Manga, Michael

    2008-05-23

    Amphitheater-headed canyons have been used as diagnostic indicators of erosion by groundwater seepage, which has important implications for landscape evolution on Earth and astrobiology on Mars. Of perhaps any canyon studied, Box Canyon, Idaho, most strongly meets the proposed morphologic criteria for groundwater sapping because it is incised into a basaltic plain with no drainage network upstream, and approximately 10 cubic meters per second of seepage emanates from its vertical headwall. However, sediment transport constraints, 4He and 14C dates, plunge pools, and scoured rock indicate that a megaflood (greater than 220 cubic meters per second) carved the canyon about 45,000 years ago. These results add to a growing recognition of Quaternary catastrophic flooding in the American northwest, and may imply that similar features on Mars also formed by floods rather than seepage erosion.

  6. Accretion and primary differentiation of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drake, M.J.

    1988-01-01

    In collecting samples from Mars to address questions such as whether Mars accreted homogeneously or heterogeneously, how Mars segregated into a metallic core and silicate mantle, and whether Mars outgassed catastrophically coincident with accretion or more serenely on a longer timescale, we must be guided by our experience in addressing these questions for the Earth, Moon, and igneous meteorite parent bodies. A key measurement to be made on any sample returned from Mars is its oxygen isotopic composition. A single measurement will suffice to bind the SNC meteorites to Mars or demonstrate that they cannot be samples of that planet. A positive identification of Mars as the SNC parent planet will permit all that has been learned from the SNC meteorites to be applied to Mars with confidence. A negative result will perhaps be more exciting in forcing us to look for another object that has been geologically active in the recent past. If the oxygen isotopic composition of Earth and Mars are established to be distinct, accretion theory must provide for different compositions for two planets now separated by only 0.5 AU

  7. Mission Design Considerations for Mars Cargo of the Human Spaceflight Architecture Team's Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjauw, Waldy K.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Freeh, Joshua E.

    2016-01-01

    Recent NASA interest in human missions to Mars has led to an Evolvable Mars Campaign by the agency's Human Architecture Team. Delivering the crew return propulsion stages and Mars surface landers, SEP based systems are employed because of their high specific impulse characteristics enabling missions requiring less propellant although with longer transfer times. The Earth departure trajectories start from an SLS launch vehicle delivery orbit and are spiral shaped because of the low SEP thrust. Previous studies have led to interest in assessing the divide in trip time between the Earth departure and interplanetary legs of the mission for a representative SEP cargo vehicle.

  8. Astrobiology field research in Moon/Mars Analogue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foing, B.H.; Stoker, C.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2011-01-01

    Extreme environments on Earth often provide similar terrain conditions to landing/operation sites on Moon and Mars. Several field campaigns (EuroGeoMars2009 and DOMMEX/ILEWG EuroMoonMars from November 2009 to March 2010) were conducted at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. Some of the

  9. The humanation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L. W.

    Early developments related to human excursions to Mars are examined, taking into account plans considered by von Braun, and the 'ambitious goal of a manned flight to Mars by the end of the century', proposed at the launch of Apollo 11. In response to public reaction, plans for manned flights to Mars in the immediate future were given up, and unmanned reconnaissance of Mars was continued. An investigation is conducted concerning the advantages of manned exploration of Mars in comparison to a study by unmanned space probes, and arguments regarding a justification for interplanetary flight to Mars are discussed. Attention is given to the possibility to consider Mars as a 'back-up' planet for preserving earth life, an international Mars expedition as a world peace project, the role of Mars in connection with resource utilization considerations, and questions of exploration ethics.

  10. Conducting Rock Mass Rating for tunnel construction on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beemer, Heidi D.; Worrells, D. Scott

    2017-10-01

    Mars analogue missions provide researchers, scientists, and engineers the opportunity to establish protocols prior to sending human explorers to another planet. This paper investigated the complexity of a team of simulation astronauts conducting a Rock Mass Rating task during Analogue Mars missions. This study was conducted at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, UT, during field season 2015/2016 and with crews 167,168, and 169. During the experiment, three-person teams completed a Rock Mass Rating task during a three hour Extra Vehicular Activity on day six of their two-week simulation mission. This geological test is used during design and construction of excavations in rock on Earth. On Mars, this test could be conducted by astronauts to determine suitable rock layers for tunnel construction which would provide explorers a permanent habitat and radiation shielding while living for long periods of time on the surface. The Rock Mass Rating system derives quantitative data for engineering designs that can easily be communicated between engineers and geologists. Conclusions from this research demonstrated that it is feasible for astronauts to conduct the Rock Mass Rating task in a Mars simulated environment. However, it was also concluded that Rock Mass Rating task orientation and training will be required to ensure that accurate results are obtained.

  11. Project Minerva: A low cost manned Mars mission based on indigenous propellant production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beder, David; Bryan, Richard; Bui, Tuyen; Caviezel, Kelly; Cinnamon, Mark; Daggert, Todd; Folkers, Mike; Fornia, Mark; Hanks, Natasha; Hamilton, Steve

    1992-01-01

    Project Minerva is a low-cost manned Mars mission designed to deliver a crew of four to the Martian surface using only two sets of two launches from the Kennedy Space Center. Key concepts which make this mission realizable are the use of near-term technologies and in-situ propellant production, following the scenario originally proposed by R. Zubrin. The first set of launches delivers two unmanned payloads into low Earth orbit (LEO): the first payload consists of an Earth Return Vehicle (ERV), a propellant production plant, and a set of robotic vehicles; the second payload consists of the trans-Mars injection (TMI) upper stage. In LEO, the two payloads are docked and the configuration is injected into a Mars transfer orbit. The landing on Mars is performed with the aid of multiple aerobraking maneuvers. On the Martian surface, the propellant production plant uses a Sabatier/electrolysis type process to combine nine tons of hydrogen with carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere to produce over a hundred tons of liquid oxygen and liquid methane, which are later used as the propellants for the rover expeditions and the manned return journey of the ERV. The systems necessary for the flights to and from Mars, as well as those needed for the stay on Mars, are discussed. These systems include the transfer vehicle design, life support, guidance and communications, rovers and telepresence, power generation, and propellant manufacturing. Also included are the orbital mechanics, the scientific goals, and the estimated mission costs.

  12. Mars Surface Environmental Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John

    2002-01-01

    Planetary exploration by astronauts will require extended periods of habitation on a planet's surface, under the influence of environmental factors that are different from those of Earth and the spacecraft that delivered the crew to the planet. Human exploration of Mars, a possible near-term planetary objective, can be considered a challenging scenario. Mission scenarios currently under consideration call for surface habitation periods of from 1 to 18 months on even the earliest expeditions. Methods: Environmental issues associated with Mars exploration have been investigated by NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) as part of the Bioastronautics Critical Path Roadmap Project (see http ://criticalpath.jsc.nasa.gov). Results: Arrival on Mars will immediately expose the crew to gravity only 38% of that at Earth's surface in possibly the first prolonged exposure to gravity other than the 1G of Earth's surface and the zero G of weightless space flight, with yet unknown effects on crew physiology. The radiation at Mars' surface is not well documented, although the planet's bulk and even its thin atmosphere may moderate the influx of galactic cosmic radiation and energetic protons from solar flares. Secondary radiation from activated components of the soil must also be considered. Ultrafine and larger respirable and nonrespirable particles in Martian dust introduced into the habitat after surface excursions may induce pulmonary inflammation exacerbated by the additive reactive and oxidizing nature of the dust. Stringent decontamination cannot eliminate mechanical and corrosive effects of the dust on pressure suits and exposed machinery. The biohazard potential of putative indigenous Martian microorganisms may be assessed by comparison with analog environments on Earth. Even in their absence, human microorganisms, if not properly controlled, can be a threat to the crew's health. Conclusions: Mars' surface offers a substantial challenge to the

  13. Sustaining Human Presence on Mars Using ISRU and a Reusable Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Dale C.; Jones, Christopher A.; Klovstad, Jordan J.; Komar, D.R.; Earle, Kevin; Moses, Robert; Shyface, Hilary R.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the impact of ISRU (In-Site Resource Utilization), reusability, and automation on sustaining a human presence on Mars, requiring a transition from Earth dependence to Earth independence. The study analyzes the surface and transportation architectures and compared campaigns that revealed the importance of ISRU and reusability. A reusable Mars lander, Hercules, eliminates the need to deliver a new descent and ascent stage with each cargo and crew delivery to Mars, reducing the mass delivered from Earth. As part of an evolvable transportation architecture, this investment is key to enabling continuous human presence on Mars. The extensive use of ISRU reduces the logistics supply chain from Earth in order to support population growth at Mars. Reliable and autonomous systems, in conjunction with robotics, are required to enable ISRU architectures as systems must operate and maintain themselves while the crew is not present. A comparison of Mars campaigns is presented to show the impact of adding these investments and their ability to contribute to sustaining a human presence on Mars.

  14. Could the early environment of Mars have supported the development of life?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Stoker, Carol R.

    1990-01-01

    The environment of Mars and its correlation to the origin of life on earth are examined. Evidence of liquid water and nitrogen on early Mars is discussed. The similarities between the early Mars and early earth environments are described.

  15. Biomedical Aspects of Lunar and Mars Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John B.

    2006-01-01

    Recent long-range planning for exploration-class missions has emphasized the need for anticipating the medical and human factors aspects of such expeditions. Missions returning Americans to the moon for stays of up to 6 months at a time will provide the opportunity to demonstrate the means to function safely and efficiently on another planet. Details of mission architectures are still under study, but a typical Mars design reference mission comprises a six-month transit from Earth to Mars, eighteen months in residence on Mars, and a six-month transit back to Earth. Physiological stresses will come from environmental factors such as prolonged exposure to radiation, weightlessness en route to Mars and then back to Earth, and low gravity and a toxic atmosphere while on Mars. Psychological stressors will include remoteness from Earth, confinement, and potential interpersonal conflicts, all complicated by circadian alterations. Medical risks including trauma must be considered. The role of such risk-modifying influences as artificial gravity and improved propulsion technologies to shorten round-trip time will also be discussed. Results of planning for assuring human health and performance will be presented.

  16. Enhanced pinning in mixed rare earth-123 films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Judith L [Los Alamos, NM; Foltyn, Stephen R [Los Alamos, NM

    2009-06-16

    An superconductive article and method of forming such an article is disclosed, the article including a substrate and a layer of a rare earth barium cuprate film upon the substrate, the rare earth barium cuprate film including two or more rare earth metals capable of yielding a superconductive composition where ion size variance between the two or more rare earth metals is characterized as greater than zero and less than about 10.times.10.sup.-4, and the rare earth barium cuprate film including two or more rare earth metals is further characterized as having an enhanced critical current density in comparison to a standard YBa.sub.2Cu.sub.3O.sub.y composition under identical testing conditions.

  17. Enhancing Communication in an Egyptian Research Centre

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morsy, S.W.

    2013-01-01

    This paper is a proposed attempt to enhance communication in a research centre in Egypt. The currently Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (NRRA) which formerly was the National Centre for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Control (NCNSRC) is housed in a nine-storey building with a straight double loaded corridor architectural plan. Syntactic axial analysis showed high integration for each floor plan individually which means that the floor plan is not to be blamed for lack of communication among floor inhabitants; other means must be attempted. But global axial integration (for the whole building) proved to be poor. A problem of communication among floors was identified. Means for enhancing communication were introduced: The lecture hall, the cafe and meeting rooms can play an important role in enhancing global communication among NRRA inhabitants. Besides a questionnaire was designed and distributed on all inhabitants and its feedback came up with ideas which if implemented could result in enhancing the level of communication between the inhabitants of the building thus overcoming spatial hindrances.

  18. 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.

  19. The mobile GeoBus outreach project: hands-on Earth and Mars activities for secondary schools in the UK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Ruth; Pike, Charlotte; Roper, Kathryn

    2015-04-01

    GeoBus (www.geobus.org.uk) is an educational outreach project that was developed in 2012 by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews, and it is sponsored jointly by industry and the UK Research Councils (NERC and EPSRC). The aims of GeoBus are to support the teaching of Earth Science in secondary schools by providing teaching resources that are not readily available to educators, to inspire young learners by incorporating new science research outcomes in teaching activities, and to provide a bridge between industry, higher education institutions, research councils and schools. Since its launch, GeoBus has visited over 160 different schools across the length and breadth of Scotland. Just under 35,000 pupils have been involved in practical hands-on Earth science learning activities since the project began in 2012, including many in remote and disadvantaged regions. The resources that GeoBus brings to schools include all the materials and equipment needed to run 50 - 80 minute workshops, and half- or whole-day Enterprise Challenges and field excursions. Workshops are aimed at a class of up to 30 pupils and topics include minerals, rocks, fossils, geological time, natural resources, climate change, volcanoes, earthquakes, and geological mapping. As with all GeoBus activities, the inclusion of equipment and technology otherwise unavailable to schools substantially increases the engagement of pupils in workshops. Field excursions are increasingly popular, as many teachers have little or no field trainng and feel unable to lead this type of activity. The excursions comprise half or full day sessions for up to 30 pupils and are tailored to cover the local geology or geomorphology. Enterprise Challenge are half or full day sessions for up to 100 pupils. Topics include "Journey to Mars", "Scotland's Rocks", "Drilling for Oil", and "Renewable Energy". Both of the energy Enterprise Challenges were designed to incorporates ideas and

  20. Serpentinization and its implications for life on the early Earth and Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, Mitch; Blake, David; Hoehler, Tori; McCollom, Thomas

    2006-04-01

    Ophiolites, sections of ocean crust tectonically displaced onto land, offer significant potential to support chemolithoautotrophic life through the provision of energy and reducing power during aqueous alteration of their highly reduced mineralogies. There is substantial chemical disequilibrium between the primary olivine and pyroxene mineralogy of these ophiolites and the fluids circulating through them. This disequilibrium represents a potential source of chemical energy that could sustain life. Moreover, E (h)-pH conditions resulting from rock- water interactions in ultrabasic rocks are conducive to important abiotic processes antecedent to the origin of life. Serpentinization--the reaction of olivine- and pyroxene-rich rocks with water--produces magnetite, hydroxide, and serpentine minerals, and liberates molecular hydrogen, a source of energy and electrons that can be readily utilized by a broad array of chemosynthetic organisms. These systems are viewed as important analogs for potential early ecosystems on both Earth and Mars, where highly reducing mineralogy was likely widespread in an undifferentiated crust. Secondary phases precipitated during serpentinization have the capability to preserve organic or mineral biosignatures. We describe the petrology and mineral chemistry of an ophiolite-hosted cold spring in northern California and propose criteria to aid in the identification of serpentinizing terranes on Mars that have the potential to harbor chemosynthetic life.

  1. Scientific visualization for enhanced interpretation and communication of geoscientific information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vorauer, A.; Cotesta, L.

    2006-01-01

    Ontario Power Generation's Deep Geologic Repository Technology Program has undertaken applied research into the application of scientific visualization technologies to: i) improve the interpretation and synthesis of complex geoscientific field data; ii) facilitate the development of defensible conceptual site descriptive models; and iii) enhance communication between multi-disciplinary site investigation teams and other stakeholders. Two scientific visualization projects are summarized that benefited from the use of the Gocad earth modelling software and were supported by an immersive virtual reality laboratory: i) the Moderately Fractured Rock experiment at the 125,000 m 3 block scale; and ii) the Sub-regional Flow System Modelling Project at the 100 km 2 scale. (author)

  2. (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.

  3. Using GRIDVIEW to Better Understand the Early Bombardment History of the Moon, Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Herbert

    2012-01-01

    For more than a decade we have used GRIDVIEW to help analyze topographic and related data for Mars and more recently for the Moon. Our focus has been to employ the stretching, contouring, profiling, circle-fitting and other capabilities of GRIDVIEW to search for Quasi-Circular Depressions (CTAs) in MOLA, LOLA and other topographic data, and for Circular Thin Areas (CTAs) in Mars and Moon model crustal thickness data. Both QCDs and CTAs likely represent buried or obscured impact craters not readily visible in image data. We found clear evidence for a much larger population of buried impact craters in the northern lowlands of Mars (Frey et al. 2002), suggesting that part of the Red Planet is not significantly younger than the southern highlands. Edgar and Frey (2008) found that the N(300) crater retention ages of both areas were essentially identical, a conclusion confirmed by Wyatt (unpublished data) using more recent crustal thickness data for Mars. MOLA topographic data and MOLA-derived crustal thickness data were used to both identify a large number of previously unrecognized very large impact basins (D> 1000 km) on Mars and to determine relative crater retention ages for them (Frey, 2008). The distribution of N(300) CRAs suggested most formed in a relatively short interval of time. This dating also suggested the main magnetic field of Mars disappeared during this period (Lillis et al., 2008), because only the youngest basins systematically lack a remagnetized signature. Similar QCD and CTA analysis of first Clementine (Frey, 2011) and more recently LOLA topographic and LOLA-derived crustal thickness data for the Moon (Frey et al., 2011) revealed a significantly larger population of impact basins > 300 km in diameter than previously known. N(50) CRAs suggest a two-peak distribution of ages (Frey, 2012). An improved counting process confirms the two peaks, perhaps indicating both a pre-Nectaris Early Heavy Bombardment (EHB) as well as a Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB

  4. Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.; Braun, Robert D.; Sibille, Laurent; Sforzo, Brandon; Gonyea, Keir; Ali, Hisham

    2016-01-01

    This NIAC (NASA Advanced Innovative Concepts) work will focus on Mars and will build on previous efforts at analyzing atmospheric mining at Earth and the outer solar system. Spacecraft systems concepts will be evaluated and traded, to assess feasibility. However the study will primarily examine the architecture and associated missions to explore the closure, constraints and critical parameters through sensitivity studies. The Mars atmosphere consists of 95.5 percent CO2 gas which can be converted to methane fuel (CH4) and Oxidizer (O2) for chemical rocket propulsion, if hydrogen is transported from electrolyzed water on the Mars surface or from Earth. By using a highly elliptical Mars Molniya style orbit, the CO2 atmosphere can be scooped, ram-compressed and stored while the spacecraft dips into the Mars atmosphere at periapsis. Successive orbits result in additional scooping of CO2 gas, which also serves to aerobrake the spacecraft, resulting in a decaying Molniya orbit.

  5. Prediction of secular acceleration of axial rotation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkin, Yu. V.

    2009-04-01

    northern direction to Taimyr peninsula. Thus the gravitational attraction of superfluous mass of the core (19 % from the Earth mass) causes secular asymmetric inversion tide [2] of fluids which effectively manages to be modeled by two points with variable masses. In the given work the attempt to construct a similar model of the directed secular redistribution of fluid masses of Mars from a southern hemisphere in northern is undertaken with the purpose of an explanation of observably tendencies in redistribution of masses between hemispheres and with the purpose of a prediction of the new phenomena in its rotary motion. The hypothetical assumption is made, that secular redistribution of fluid masses from a southern hemisphere in northern hemisphere of Mars mainly is determined by areocentric axis OP directed to the pole P with coordinates 570N, 820 E (as is known in this direction the centre of mass of Mars relatively the centre of a figure on 2.8 km is displaced). Material points with masses m2 and m1 settle down at poles of geocentric axis OP on a surface of Mars, and their masses change linearly in the time with velocities [5]: ṁ2 = 0.402 × 1015kg/yr and ṁ1 = 0.257 × 1015kg/yr. The given modeling characteristics correspond to prospective secular variations of coefficients of the second and third zonal harmonics of gravitational potential of Mars: J˙2= - 57.0 × 10-11 1/yr and ˙J3 = -4.94 × 10-11 1/yr, more less agreed for today with the data of observations (Dehant, private communication, 2008) [6]. Let's emphasize, that the discussed phenomena of asymmetry of hemispheres, intensity of inversion processes, and bipolarity and inversion of all structures of Mars much more expressive, than at the Earth. Therefore we in the right to expect the greater efficiency in application of geodynamic model and more significant secular effects in rotation of Mars in comparison with the Earth. The constructed model has allowed to estimate non-tidal acceleration of

  6. The key to Mars, Titan and beyond?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1990-01-01

    This paper discusses the use of nuclear rockets using indigenous Mars propellants for future missions to Mars and Titan, which would drastically reduce the mass and cost of the mission while increasing its capability. Special attention is given to the CO2-powered nuclear rocket using indigenous Martian fuel (NIMF) vehicle for hopping around on Mars. If water is available on Mars, it could make a NIMF propellant yielding an exhaust velocity of 3.4 km/sec, good enough to allow a piloted NIMF spacecraft to ascent from the surface of Mars and propel itself directly to LEO; if water is available on Phobos, a NIMF spacecraft could travel to earth orbit and then back to Phobos or Mars without any additional propellant from earth. One of the many exciting missions beyond Mars that will be made possible by NIMF technology is the exploration of Saturn's moon Titan. A small automated NIMF Titan explorer, with foldout wings and a NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications) engine, is proposed

  7. Enhancing undergraduate students’ communications skills

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Merete; Witt, Klaus; Fridorff-Jens, Peter Kindt

    2014-01-01

    ,Monika Bullinger,Matthias Rose, Sylke Andreas.Enhancing medical students' communication skills: development and evaluation of an undergraduate training program.Published online 2012 March 24. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-12-16 2.William T. Branch, Jr, MD; David Kern, MD; Paul Haidet, MD, MPH; Peter Weissmann, MD......19729 Abstract Title: Enhancing undergraduate students communications skills Abstract Authors: •Merete Jorgensen, Copenhagen University , Family Medicine , Copenhagen •Klaus Witt, Research Unit , Family Medicine , Copenhagen •Peter Kindt Fridorff-Jens, Copenhagen University , IT-unit , Copenhagen...... Abstract Presenter(s): •Merete Jorgensen, Copenhagen University , Family Medicine , Øster Farigmagsgade 5 , 1014 , K , Denmark , mejor@sund.ku.dk Abstract: Background Being teachers in Clinical Course of Family Medicine since 1995, we have developed two schemes for communication analysing purposes called...

  8. Quick trips to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hornung, R.

    1991-01-01

    The design of a Mars Mission Vehicle that would have to be launched by two very heavy lift launch vehicles is described along with plans for a mission to Mars. The vehicle has three nuclear engine for rocket vehicle application (NERVA) boosters with a fourth in the center that acts as a dual mode system. The fourth generates electrical power while in route, but it also helps lift the vehicle out of earth orbit. A Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a Mars transfer vehicle stage, and a Mars Excursion Vehicle (MEV) are located on the front end of this vehicle. Other aspects of this research including aerobraking, heat shielding, nuclear thermal rocket engines, a mars mission summary, closed Brayton cycle with and without regeneration, liquid hydrogen propellant storage, etc. are addressed

  9. Human missions to Mars enabling technologies for exploring the red planet

    CERN Document Server

    Rapp, Donald

    2016-01-01

    A mission to send humans to explore the surface of Mars has been the ultimate goal of planetary exploration since the 1950s, when von Braun conjectured a flotilla of 10 interplanetary vessels carrying a crew of at least 70 humans. Since then, more than 1,000 studies were carried out on human missions to Mars, but after 60 years of study, we remain in the early planning stages. The second edition of this book now includes an annotated history of Mars mission studies, with quantitative data wherever possible. Retained from the first edition, Donald Rapp looks at human missions to Mars from an engineering perspective. He divides the mission into a number of stages: Earth’s surface to low-Earth orbit (LEO); departing from LEO toward Mars; Mars orbit insertion and entry, descent and landing; ascent from Mars; trans-Earth injection from Mars orbit and Earth return. For each segment, he analyzes requirements for candidate technologies. In this connection, he discusses the status and potential of a wide range of el...

  10. Terraced margins of inflated lava flows on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimbelman, J. R.; Garry, W. B.; Bleacher, J. E.; Crumpler, L. S.

    2011-12-01

    lava flows on both Earth and Mars indicates that the terracing mechanism is intimately associated with the lava flow inflation process. This work was supported by grants from the Planetary Geology and Geophysics program of NASA (NNX09AD88G) and the Scholarly Studies program of the Smithsonian Institution.

  11. Sustainable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alston, Christie; Hancock, Sean; Laub, Joshua; Perry, Christopher; Ash, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The proposed Mars sample return mission will be completed using natural Martian resources for the majority of its operations. The system uses the following technologies: In-Situ Propellant Production (ISPP), a methane-oxygen propelled Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a carbon dioxide powered hopper, and a hydrogen fueled balloon system (large balloons and small weather balloons). The ISPP system will produce the hydrogen, methane, and oxygen using a Sabatier reactor. a water electrolysis cell, water extracted from the Martian surface, and carbon dioxide extracted from the Martian atmosphere. Indigenous hydrogen will fuel the balloon systems and locally-derived methane and oxygen will fuel the MAV for the return of a 50 kg sample to Earth. The ISPP system will have a production cycle of 800 days and the estimated overall mission length is 1355 days from Earth departure to return to low Earth orbit. Combining these advanced technologies will enable the proposed sample return mission to be executed with reduced initial launch mass and thus be more cost efficient. The successful completion of this mission will serve as the next step in the advancement of Mars exploration technology.

  12. Enhanced Laser Cooling of Rare-Earth-Ion-Doped Composite Material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    You-Hua, Jia; Biao, Zhong; Xian-Ming, Ji; Jian-Ping, Yin

    2008-01-01

    We predict enhanced laser cooling performance of rare-earth-ions-doped glasses containing nanometre-sized ul-traBne particles, which can be achieved by the enhancement of local Geld around rare earth ions, owing to the surface plasma resonance of small metallic particles. The influence of energy transfer between ions and the particle is theoretically discussed. Depending on the particle size and the ion emission quantum efficiency, the enhancement of the absorption is predicted. It is concluded that the absorption are greatly enhanced in these composite materials, the cooling power is increased as compared to the bulk material

  13. Where on Mars Should We Search for Life?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    There is persuasive evidence that liquid water has been a significant geological processes on Mars. In particular, evidence suggests that one of the major epochs of liquid water on Mars was during and after the late heavy bombardment. During this time life originated on Earth and may have originated on Mars as well. Liquid water per se, independent of models for the temperature or atmospheric pressure, motivate the question of life. Promising sites for searching for evidence of life on Mars include dry lake beds, the ancient cratered terrain, and the South Polar permafrost. Life on Earth in environments that are analogous to those that might have provided the final refuge for life on Mars provide clues to where and how to search for evidence of past life.

  14. Strategies for the sustained human exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Damon Frederick

    A variety of mission scenarios are compared in this thesis to assess the strengths and weaknesses of options for Mars exploration. The mission design space is modeled along two dimensions: trajectory architectures and propulsion system technologies. Direct, semi-direct, stop-over, semi-cycler, and cycler architectures are examined, and electric propulsion, nuclear thermal rockets, methane and oxygen production on Mars, Mars water excavation, aerocapture, and reusable propulsion systems are included in the technology assessment. The mission sensitivity to crew size, vehicle masses, and crew travel time is also examined. The primary figure of merit for a mission scenario is the injected mass to low-Earth orbit (IMLEO), though technology readiness levels (TRL) are also included. Several elements in the architecture dimension are explored in more detail. The Earth-Mars semi-cycler architecture is introduced and five families of Earth-Mars semi-cycler trajectories are presented along with optimized itineraries. Optimized cycler trajectories are also presented. In addition to Earth-Mars semi-cycler and cycler trajectories, conjunction-class, free-return, Mars-Earth semi-cycler, and low-thrust trajectories are calculated. Design parameters for optimal DeltaV trajectories are provided over a range of flight times (from 120 to 270 days) and launch years (between 2009 and 2022). Unlike impulsive transfers, the mass-optimal low-thrust trajectory depends strongly on the thrust and specific impulse of the propulsion system. A low-thrust version of the rocket equation is provided where the initial mass or thrust may be minimized by varying the initial acceleration and specific impulse. Planet-centered operations are also examined. A method to rotate a parking orbit about the line of apsides to achieve the proper orientation at departure is discussed, thus coupling the effects of parking-orbit orientation with the interplanetary trajectories. Also, a guidance algorithm for

  15. Technology needs for manned Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Bartine, D.

    1991-01-01

    As members of the Stafford Synthesis Group, we performed an investigation as to the most expeditious manner to explore Mars. To do this, rationale, objectives, requirements and systems definitions were developed. The objectives include the development of the necessary infrastructure and resources for Mars exploration and performing initial successful exploration of Mars. This will include a transportation system between Mars and Earth, habitats for living on Mars, utilization of Martian resources, and the ability to perform exploration over the entire Martian surface. Using the developed architecture, key technologies were identified. 6 figs., 1 tab

  16. Obliquity histories of Earth and Mars: Influence of inertial and dissipative core-mantle coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bills, Bruce G.

    1990-01-01

    For both the Earth and Mars, secular variations in the angular separation of the spin axis from the orbit normal are suspected of driving major climatic changes. There is considerable interest in determining the amplitude and timing of these obliquity variations. If the orientation of the orbital plane were inertially fixed, and the planet were to act as a rigid body in it response to precessional torques, the spin axis would simply precess around the orbit at a fixed obliquity and at a uniform angular rate. The precession rate parameter depends on the principal moments of inertia and rotation rate of the perturbed body, and on the gravitational masses and semiminor axes of the perturbing bodies. For Mars, the precession rate is not well known, but probably lies in the interval 8 to 10 arcsec/year. Gravitational interactions between the planets lead to secular motions of the orbit planes. In the rigid body case, the spin axis still attempts to precess about the instantaneous orbit normal, but now the obliquity varies. The hydrostatic figure of a planet represents a compromise between gravitation, which attempts to attain spherical symmetry, and rotation, which prefers cylindrical symmetry. Due to their higher mean densities the cores of the Earth and Mars will be more nearly spherical than the outer layers of these planets. On short time scales it is appropriate to consider the core to be an inviscid fluid constrained to move with the ellipsoidal region bounded by the rigid mantle. The inertial coupling provided by this mechanism is effective whenever the ellipticicy of the container exceeds the ratio of precessional to rotational rates. If the mantle were actually rigid, this would be an extremely effective type of coupling. However, on sufficiently long time scales, the mantle will deform viscously and can accommodate the motions of the core fluid. A fundamentally different type of coupling is provided by electromagnetic or viscous torques. This type of coupling

  17. Status of High Data Rate Intersatellite Laser Communication as an Enabler for Earth and Space Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heine, F.; Zech, H.; Motzigemba, M.

    2017-12-01

    Space based laser communication is supporting earth observation and science missions with Gbps data download capabilities. Currently the Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 spacecrafts from the Copernicus earth observation program of the European Commission are using the Gbps laser communication links developed by Tesat Spacecom to download low latency data products via a commercial geostationary laser relay station- the European Data Relay Service- (EDRS) as a standard data path, in parallel to the conventional radio frequency links. The paper reports on the status of high bandwidth space laser communication as an enabler for small and large space science missions ranging from cube sat applications in low earth orbit to deep space missions. Space based laser communication has left the experimental phase and will support space science missions with unprecedented data rates.

  18. Lander Radioscience LaRa, a Space Geodesy Experiment to Mars within the ExoMars 2020 mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, V. M. A.; Le Maistre, S.; Yseboodt, M.; Peters, M. J.; Karatekin, O.; Van Hove, B.; Rivoldini, A.; Baland, R. M.; Van Hoolst, T.

    2017-12-01

    The LaRa (Lander Radioscience) experiment is designed to obtain coherent two-way Doppler measurements from the radio link between the 2020 ExoMars lander and Earth over at least one Martian year. The LaRa instrument consists of a coherent transponder with up- and downlinks at X-band radio frequencies. The signal received from Earth is a pure carrier at 7.178 GHz; it is transponded back to Earth at a frequency of 8.434 GHz. The transponder is designed to maintain its lock and coherency over its planed one-hour observation sessions. The transponder mass is at the one-kg level. There are one uplink antenna and two downlink antennas. They are small patch antennas covered by a radome of 130gr for the downlink ones and of 200gr for the uplink. The signals will be generated and received by Earth-based radio antennas belonging to the NASA deep space network (DSN), the ESA tracking station network, or the Russian ground stations network. The instrument lifetime is more than twice the nominal mission duration of one Earth year. The Doppler measurements will be used to observe the orientation and rotation of Mars in space (precession, nutations, and length-of-day variations), as well as polar motion. The ultimate objective is to obtain information/constraints on the Martian interior, and on the sublimation/condensation cycle of atmospheric CO2. Orientation and rotational variations will allow us to constrain the moment of inertia of the entire planet, the moment of inertia of the core, and seasonal mass transfer between the atmosphere and the ice caps. The LaRa experiment will be combined with other previous radio science experiments such as the InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) RISE experiment (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment) with radio science data of the NASA Viking landers, Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rovers. In addition, other ExoMars2020 and TGO (Trace Gas Orbiter) experiments providing

  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. Inaugeral lecture - Meteorite impacts on Earth and on the Earth ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is some controversial evidence for the theory that the first life on Earth itself may have been transported here on meteorites from Mars. The possibility of a major meteorite impact on Earth in the near future emphasizes the dramatic nature of these recent discoveries, which are having deep impacts in the Earth sciences ...

  1. Reconstructing paleo-discharge from geometries of fluvial sinuous ridges on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, A.; Lamb, M. P.; Mohrig, D. C.; Williams, R. M. E.; Myrow, P.; Ewing, R. C.; Cardenas, B. T.; Findlay, C. P., III

    2017-12-01

    Sinuous, branching networks of topographic ridges resembling river networks are common across Mars, and show promise for quantifying ancient martian surface hydrology. There are two leading formation mechanisms for ridges with a fluvial origin. Inverted channels are ridges that represent casts (e.g., due to lava fill) of relict river channel topography, whereas exhumed channel deposits are eroded remnants of a more extensive fluvial deposit, such as a channel belt. The inverted channel model is often assumed on Mars; however, we currently lack the ability to distinguish these ridge formation mechanisms, motivating the need for Earth-analog study. To address this issue, we studied the extensive networks of sinuous ridges in the Ebro basin of northeast Spain. The Ebro ridges stand 3-15 meters above the surrounding plains and are capped by a cliff-forming sandstone unit 3-10 meters thick and 20-50 meters in breadth. The caprock sandstone bodies contain bar-scale cross stratification, point-bar deposits, levee deposits, and lenses of mudstone, indicating that these are channel-belt deposits, rather than casts of channels formed from lateral channel migration, avulsion and reoccupation. In plan view, ridges form segments branching outward to the north resembling a distributary network; however, crosscutting relationships indicate that ridges cross at different stratigraphic levels. Thus, the apparent network in planview reflects non-uniform exhumation of channel-belt deposits from multiple stratigraphic positions, rather than an inverted coeval river network. As compared to the inverted channel model, exhumed fluvial deposits indicate persistent fluvial activity over geologic timescales, indicating the potential for long-lived surface water on ancient Mars.

  2. Space Tweetup - from a participant to a Mars Tweetup organizer and a new format of space communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haider, O.; Groemer, G.

    2014-01-01

    In September 2011, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Space Agency (DLR) organized the first European SpaceTweetup during the German Aerospace day. One of the authors was one of 60 participants at this SpaceTweetup in Cologne and experienced the concept of a Tweetup and the engagement of the participants from the inside view. Building upon this experience, the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) organized the first Austrian MarsTweetup during the “Dachstein Mars analog simulation”. Between 27 Apr,2001 and May,2012, a five day Mars simulation was conducted by the Austrian Space Forum and international research partners at the Giant Ice caves at the Dachstein region in Austria. During this field test, the Aouda.X spacesuit simulator and selected geophysical and life-science related experiments were conducted. In this paper we outline the potential and limitations of social media and how to engage the general public to participate and communicate about space projects through their own experience. We show examples of material SpaceTweetup participants produced e.g. hundreds of tweets during the actual event, blog entries, photo galleries and how space communication can benefit from it. Our considerations on organizing a SpaceTweetup are complemented with a section on lessons learned.

  3. Ionic Strength Is a Barrier to the Habitability of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Powell, Mark G; Hallsworth, John E; Cousins, Claire R; Cockell, Charles S

    2016-06-01

    The thermodynamic availability of water (water activity) strictly limits microbial propagation on Earth, particularly in hypersaline environments. A considerable body of evidence indicates the existence of hypersaline surface waters throughout the history of Mars; therefore it is assumed that, as on Earth, water activity is a major limiting factor for martian habitability. However, the differing geological histories of Earth and Mars have driven variations in their respective aqueous geochemistry, with as-yet-unknown implications for habitability. Using a microbial community enrichment approach, we investigated microbial habitability for a suite of simulated martian brines. While the habitability of some martian brines was consistent with predictions made from water activity, others were uninhabitable even when the water activity was biologically permissive. We demonstrate experimentally that high ionic strength, driven to extremes on Mars by the ubiquitous occurrence of multivalent ions, renders these environments uninhabitable despite the presence of biologically available water. These findings show how the respective geological histories of Earth and Mars, which have produced differences in the planets' dominant water chemistries, have resulted in different physicochemical extremes which define the boundary space for microbial habitability. Habitability-Mars-Salts-Water activity-Life in extreme environments. Astrobiology 16, 427-442.

  4. Communicating The Need For Earth Literacy Across The Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbstrith, K. G.

    2015-12-01

    California needs 11 trillion gallons of water to relieve the current drought, according to NASA, and there is 1.5 million tons of debris floating across the Pacific Ocean, a side effect of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan. These are merely two examples of the types of massive, global issues that students in high school and college will face in the coming years and decades. With an eye towards preparing students to learn the necessary skills to solve these problems head on, The InTeGrate (Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future) project is developing a new breed of teaching materials that can be utilized in general education courses, teacher preparation courses, core courses within geoscience majors, and courses designed for other majors including environmental studies, social science, engineering, and other sciences. To interest faculty, educators, and students, we must communicate the need for Earth literacy not just to the general public, but also to other educators across disciplinary fields. To this end, the InTeGrate project is utilizing both macro and micro level communication strategies with key stakeholders, partnering organizations, targeted professional development, a variety of social media platforms, and educators across fields and institutional types. This combination allows us to capitalize on personal interactions while linking them into a communication network that can scale.

  5. 78 FR 14952 - Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft Communicating with Fixed-Satellite Service Geostationary-Orbit...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-08

    ... FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 2 [IB Docket No. 12-376; FCC 12-161] Earth Stations... (NPRM) seeks comment on a proposal to elevate the allocation status of Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft... with GSO space stations of the FSS on a primary basis in the 11.7-12.2 GHz band (space-to-Earth), on an...

  6. Using Forbush Decreases to Derive the Transit Time of ICMEs Propagating from 1 AU to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freiherr von Forstner, Johan L.; Guo, Jingnan; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Hassler, Donald M.; Temmer, Manuela; Dumbović, Mateja; Jian, Lan K.; Appel, Jan K.; Čalogović, Jaša.; Ehresmann, Bent; Heber, Bernd; Lohf, Henning; Posner, Arik; Steigies, Christian T.; Vršnak, Bojan; Zeitlin, Cary J.

    2018-01-01

    The propagation of 15 interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) from Earth's orbit (1 AU) to Mars (˜1.5 AU) has been studied with their propagation speed estimated from both measurements and simulations. The enhancement of magnetic fields related to ICMEs and their shock fronts causes the so-called Forbush decrease, which can be detected as a reduction of galactic cosmic rays measured on ground. We have used galactic cosmic ray (GCR) data from in situ measurements at Earth, from both STEREO A and STEREO B as well as GCR measurements by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) instrument on board Mars Science Laboratory on the surface of Mars. A set of ICME events has been selected during the periods when Earth (or STEREO A or STEREO B) and Mars locations were nearly aligned on the same side of the Sun in the ecliptic plane (so-called opposition phase). Such lineups allow us to estimate the ICMEs' transit times between 1 and 1.5 AU by estimating the delay time of the corresponding Forbush decreases measured at each location. We investigate the evolution of their propagation speeds before and after passing Earth's orbit and find that the deceleration of ICMEs due to their interaction with the ambient solar wind may continue beyond 1 AU. We also find a substantial variance of the speed evolution among different events revealing the dynamic and diverse nature of eruptive solar events. Furthermore, the results are compared to simulation data obtained from two CME propagation models, namely the Drag-Based Model and ENLIL plus cone model.

  7. Chemical Alteration of Soils on Earth as a Function of Precipitation: Insights Into Weathering Processes Relevant to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, R.; Chadwick, O.; Ewing, S.; Sutter, B.; Owen, J.; McKay, C.

    2004-12-01

    Soils lie at the interface of the atmosphere and lithosphere, and the rates of chemical and physical processes that form them hinge on the availability of water. Here we quantify the effect of these processes on soil volume and mass in different rainfall regimes. We then use the results of this synthesis to compare with the growing chemical dataset for soils on Mars in order to identify moisture regimes on Earth that may provide crude analogues for past Martian weathering conditions. In this synthesis, the rates of elemental gains/losses, and corresponding volumetric changes, were compared for soils in nine soil chronosequences (sequences of soils of differing ages) - sequences formed in climates ranging from ~1 to ~4500 mm mean annual precipitation (MAP). Total elemental chemistry of soils and parent materials were determined via XRF, ICP-MS, and/or ICP-OES, and the absolute elemental gains or losses (and volume changes) were determined by normalizing data to an immobile index element. For the chronosequences examined, the initial stages of soil formation (103^ to 104^ yr), regardless of climate, generally show volumetric expansion due to (1) reduction in bulk density by biological/physical turbation, (2) addition of organic matter, (3) accumulation of water during clay mineral synthesis, and/or (4) accumulation of atmospheric salts and dust. Despite large differences in parent materials (basalt, sandstone, granitic alluvium), there was a systematic relationship between long-term (105^ to 106^ yr) volumetric change and rainfall, with an approximate cross-over point between net expansion (and accumulation of atmospheric solutes and dust) and net collapse (net losses of Si, Al, and alkaline earths and alkali metals) between approximately 20 and 100 mm MAP. Recently published geochemical data of soils at Gusev Crater (Gellert et al. 2004. Science 305:829), when normalized to Ti, show apparent net losses of Si and Al that range between 5 and 50% of values relative to

  8. Hydrogen escape from Mars enhanced by deep convection in dust storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavens, Nicholas G.; Kleinböhl, Armin; Chaffin, Michael S.; Halekas, Jasper S.; Kass, David M.; Hayne, Paul O.; McCleese, Daniel J.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Shirley, James H.; Schofield, John T.

    2018-02-01

    Present-day water loss from Mars provides insight into Mars's past habitability1-3. Its main mechanism is thought to be Jeans escape of a steady hydrogen reservoir sourced from odd-oxygen reactions with near-surface water vapour2, 4,5. The observed escape rate, however, is strongly variable and correlates poorly with solar extreme-ultraviolet radiation flux6-8, which was predicted to modulate escape9. This variability has recently been attributed to hydrogen sourced from photolysed middle atmospheric water vapour10, whose vertical and seasonal distribution is only partly characterized and understood11-13. Here, we report multi-annual observational estimates of water content and dust and water transport to the middle atmosphere from Mars Climate Sounder data. We provide strong evidence that the transport of water vapour and ice to the middle atmosphere by deep convection in Martian dust storms can enhance hydrogen escape. Planet-encircling dust storms can raise the effective hygropause (where water content rapidly decreases to effectively zero) from 50 to 80 km above the areoid (the reference equipotential surface). Smaller dust storms contribute to an annual mode in water content at 40-50 km that may explain seasonal variability in escape. Our results imply that Martian atmospheric chemistry and evolution can be strongly affected by the meteorology of the lower and middle atmosphere of Mars.

  9. ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter provides atmospheric data during Aerobraking into its final orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svedhem, Hakan; Vago, Jorge L.; Bruinsma, Sean; Müller-Wodarg, Ingo; ExoMars 2016 Team

    2017-10-01

    After the arrival of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) at Mars on 19 October 2016 a number of initial orbit change manoeuvres were executed and the spacecraft was put in an orbit with a 24 hour period and 74 degrees inclination. The spacecraft and its four instruments were thoroughly checked out after arrival and a few measurements and images were taken in November 2016 and in Feb-March 2017. The solar occultation observations have however not yet been possible due to lack of the proper geometry.On 15 March a long period of aerobraking to reach the final 400km semi-circular frozen orbit (370x430km, with a fixed pericentre latitude). This orbit is optimised for the payload observations and for the communication relay with the ExoMars Rover, due to arrive in 2021.The aerobraking is proceeding well and the final orbit is expected to be reached in April 2018. A large data set is being acquired for the upper atmosphere of Mars, from the limit of the sensitivity of the accelerometer, down to lowest altitude of the aerobraking at about 105km. Initial analysis has shown a highly variable atmosphere with a slightly lower density then predicted by existing models. Until the time of the abstract writing no dust storms have been observed.The ExoMars programme is a joint activity by the European Space Agency(ESA) and ROSCOSMOS, Russia. ESA is providing the TGO spacecraft and Schiaparelli (EDM) and two of the TGO instruments and ROSCOSMOS is providing the Proton launcher and the other two TGO instruments. After the arrival of the ExoMars 2020 mission, consisting of a Rover and a Surface platform also launched by a Proton rocket, the TGO will handle the communication between the Earth and the Rover and Surface Platform through its (NASA provided) UHF communication system.

  10. Human Health and Performance Aspects of the Mars Design Reference Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John B.

    2000-01-01

    This paper will describe the current planning for exploration-class missions, emphasizing the medical, and human factors aspects of such expeditions. The details of mission architecture are still under study, but a typical Mars design reference mission comprises a six-month transit from Earth to Mar, eighteen months in residence on Mars, and a six-month transit back to Earth. Physiological stressors will include environmental factors such as prolonged exposure to radiation, weightlessness in transit, and hypogravity and a toxic atmosphere while on Mars. Psychological stressors will include remoteness from Earth, confinement, and potential interpersonal conflicts, all complicated by circadian alterations. Medical risks including trauma must also be considered. Results of planning for assuring human health and performance will be presented.

  11. MarsSedEx I and II: Experimental investigation of gravity effects on sedimentation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, N. J.; Kuhn, B.; Gartmann, A.

    2014-12-01

    Sorting of sedimentary rocks is a proxy for the environmental conditions at the time of deposition, in particular the runoff that moved and deposited the material forming the rocks. Settling of sediment is strongly influenced by the gravity of a planetary body. As a consequence, sorting of a sedimentary rock varies with gravity for a given depth and velocity of surface runoff. Theoretical considerations for spheres indicate that sorting is less uniform on Mars than on Earth for runoff of identical depth. The effects of gravity on flow hydraulics limit the use of common, semi-empirical models developed to simulate particle settling in terrestrial environments, on Mars. Assessing sedimentation patterns on Mars, aimed at identifying strata potentially hosting traces of life, is potentially affected by such uncertainties. Using first-principle approaches, e.g. through Computational Fluid Dynamics, for calculating settling velocities on other planetary bodies requires a large effort and is limited by the values of boundary conditions, e.g. the shape of the particle. The degree of uncertainty resulting from the differences in gravity on Earth and Mars was therefore tested during three reduced-gravity flights, the MarsSedEx I and II missions, conducted in November 2012 and 2013. Nine types of sediment, ranging in size, shape and density were tested in custom-designed settling tubes during parabolas of Martian gravity lasting 20 to 25 seconds. Based on the observed settling velocities, the uncertainties of empirical relationships developed on Earth to assess particle settling on Mars are discussed. In addition, the potential effects of reduced gravity on patterns of erosion, transport and sorting of sediment, including the implications for identifying strata bearing traces of past life on are examined.

  12. Reaching Mars: multi-criteria R&D portfolio selection for Mars exploration technology planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J. H.; Dolgin, B. P.; Weisbin, C. R.

    2003-01-01

    The exploration of Mars has been the focus of increasing scientific interest about the planet and its relationship to Earth. A multi-criteria decision-making approach was developed to address the question, Given a Mars program composed of mission concepts dependent on a variety of alternative technology development programs, which combination of technologies would enable missions to maximize science return under a constrained budget?.

  13. Enhanced O2 Loss at Mars Due to an Ambipolar Electric Field from Electron Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ergun, R. E.; Andersson, L. A.; Fowler, C. M.; Woodson, A. K.; Weber, T. D.; Delory, G. T.; Andrews, D. J.; Eriksson, A. I.; Mcenulty, T.; Morooka, M. W.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Recent results from the MAVEN Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW) instrument suggest higher than predicted electron temperatures (T sub e) in Mars dayside ionosphere above approx. 180 km in altitude. Correspondingly, measurements from Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) indicate significant abundances of O2+ up to approx. 500 km in altitude, suggesting that O2+ may be a principal ion loss mechanism of oxygen. In this article, we investigate the effects of the higher T(sub e) (which results from electron heating) and ion heating on ion outflow and loss. Numerical solutions show that plasma processes including ion heating and higher T(sub e) may greatly increase O2+ loss at Mars. In particular, enhanced T(sub e) in Mars ionosphere just above the exobase creates a substantial ambipolar electric field with a potential (e) of several k(sub b)T(sub e), which draws ions out of the region allowing for enhanced escape. With active solar wind, electron and ion heating, direct O2+ loss could match or exceed loss via dissociative recombination of O2+. These results suggest that direct loss of O2+ may have played a significant role in the loss of oxygen at Mars over time.

  14. Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamic Chemistry and the Composition of the Atmosphere of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J. S.; Summers, M. E.

    2003-01-01

    A high priority objective of the Mars Exploration Program is to Determine if life exists today (MEPAG Goal I, Objective A). The measurement of gases of biogenic origin may be an approach to detect the presence of microbial life on the surface or subsurface of Mars. Chemical thermodynamic calculations indicate that on both Earth and Mars, certain gases should exist in extremely low concentrations, if at all. Microbial metabolic activity is an important non-equilibrium chemistry process on Earth, and if microbial life exists on Mars, may be an important nonequilibrium chemistry process on Mars. The non-equilibrium chemistry of the atmosphere of Mars is discussed in this paper.

  15. How Can We Look for Fossils on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, S.; Bosak, T.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Briggs, D. E. G.; Hurowitz, J.; Tosca, N.; Petroff, A.; Summons, R. E.; Weiss, B. P.

    2018-04-01

    Mars 2020 should target fine-grained sediments, which on Earth preserve biosignatures more reliably and consistently than other settings identified on Mars. Taphonomic experiments will show how oxychlorine compounds may affect preservation.

  16. Does an Intrinsic Magnetic Field Inhibit or Enhance Planetary Ionosphere Outflow and Loss?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strangeway, R. J.; Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, J. G.; Moore, T. E.; Foster, J. C.; Barabash, S. V.; Nilsson, H.

    2017-12-01

    A characteristic feature of the planets Earth, Venus and Mars is the observation of the outflow of ionospheric ions, most notably oxygen. The oxygen ion outflow is frequently assumed to be a proxy for the loss of water from the planetary atmosphere. In terms of global outflow rates for the Earth the rate varies from 1025 to 1026 s-1, depending on geomagnetic activity. For both Venus and Mars global rates of the order 5x1024 s-1 have been reported. Venus and Mars do not have a large-scale intrinsic magnetic field, and there are several pathways for atmospheric and ionospheric loss. At Mars, because of its low gravity, neutral oxygen can escape through dissociative recombination. At Venus only processes related to the solar wind interaction with the planet such as sputtering and direct scavenging of the ionosphere by the solar wind can result in oxygen escape. At the Earth the intrinsic magnetic field forms a barrier to the solar wind, but reconnection of the Earth's magnetic field with the Interplanetary Magnetic Field allows solar wind energy and momentum to be transferred into the magnetosphere, resulting in ionospheric outflows. Observations of oxygen ions at the dayside magnetopause suggest that at least some of these ions escape. In terms of the evolution of planetary atmospheres how the solar-wind driven escape rates vary for magnetized versus umagnetized planets is also not clear. An enhanced solar wind dynamic pressure will increase escape from the unmagnetized planets, but it may also result in enhanced reconnection at the Earth, increasing outflow and loss rates for the Earth as well. Continued improvement in our understanding of the different pathways for ionospheric and atmospheric loss will allow us to determine how effective an intrinsic planetary field is in preserving a planetary atmosphere, or if we have to look for other explanations as to why the atmospheres of Venus and Mars have evolved to their desiccated state.

  17. Advanced Solar-propelled Cargo Spacecraft for Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auziasdeturenne, Jacqueline; Beall, Mark; Burianek, Joseph; Cinniger, Anna; Dunmire, Barbrina; Haberman, Eric; Iwamoto, James; Johnson, Stephen; Mccracken, Shawn; Miller, Melanie

    1989-01-01

    Three concepts for an unmanned, solar powered, cargo spacecraft for Mars support missions were investigated. These spacecraft are designed to carry a 50,000 kg payload from a low Earth orbit to a low Mars orbit. Each design uses a distinctly different propulsion system: A Solar Radiation Absorption (SRA) system, a Solar-Pumped Laser (SPL) system and a solar powered magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) arc system. The SRA directly converts solar energy to thermal energy in the propellant through a novel process. In the SPL system, a pair of solar-pumped, multi-megawatt, CO2 lasers in sunsynchronous Earth orbit converts solar energy to laser energy. The MPD system used indium phosphide solar cells to convert sunlight to electricity, which powers the propulsion system. Various orbital transfer options are examined for these concepts. In the SRA system, the mother ship transfers the payload into a very high Earth orbit and a small auxiliary propulsion system boosts the payload into a Hohmann transfer to Mars. The SPL spacecraft and the SPL powered spacecraft return to Earth for subsequent missions. The MPD propelled spacecraft, however, remains at Mars as an orbiting space station. A patched conic approximation was used to determine a heliocentric interplanetary transfer orbit for the MPD propelled spacecraft. All three solar-powered spacecraft use an aerobrake procedure to place the payload into a low Mars parking orbit. The payload delivery times range from 160 days to 873 days (2.39 years).

  18. Automated Spacecraft Conjunction Assessment at Mars and the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, David; Guinn, Joseph; Tarzi, Zahi; Demcak, Stuart

    2012-01-01

    Conjunction assessment and collision avoidance are areas of current high interest in space operations. Most current conjunction assessment activity focuses on the Earth orbital environment. Several of the world's space agencies have satellites in orbit at Mars and the Moon, and avoiding collisions there is important too. Smaller number of assets than Earth, and smaller number of organizations involved, but consequences similar to Earth scenarios.This presentation will examine conjunction assessment processes implemented at JPL for spacecraft in orbit at Mars and the Moon.

  19. Is Mars Dead and Does it Matter: The Crucial Scientific Importance of a Lifeless Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Conrad, P. G.; Steele, A.

    2017-12-01

    The quest for signatures of ancient and/or present-day life on Mars is an important driving force in modern Mars science and exploration. The reasons for this have been spelled out in detail elsewhere, such as in the 2013-2022 Planetary Science decadal survey. We do not question the importance of the search for life, but would like to expound on the inverse case. Namely, if Mars is lifeless then it is one of the most astrobiologically important locales in the Solar System and is worthy of detailed and thorough investigation as such. At present we are aware of only one place in the universe that hosts biology, the Earth. Arguably one of the most important aspects of understanding life is the quandary of how life arose, and considerable work has been done on understanding this question. However, progress has been hampered by the fact that the conditions that facilitated the rise of life on Earth are almost completely lost; they have been overprinted by biological activity, altered by our oxygen- and water-rich modern environment, and physically destroyed by crustal recycling. None of these effects are present on a lifeless Mars. Whereas on a "living" Mars any habitable environment would be colonized and altered, a lifeless Mars should retain preserved environments - either planetary-scale or microenvironments - which preserve a record of the original physiochemical conditions suitable for the origin of life on a terrestrial planet. No other world has the same potential to preserve this record; Mercury, the Moon, Phobos and Deimos do not show signs of ever being habitable, Venus has a surface that has been mercilessly thermally altered and is difficult to access, and even the Earth itself has been extensively altered. Ceres is uncertain in this respect as that world is unlikely to ever have hosted a significant atmosphere and its potential status as an early ocean world is still debated. The irony here is that a Mars free of life is a unique and scientifically

  20. An ESA Robotic Package to Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, F.; Brack, A.; Clancy, P.; Hofmann, B.; Horneck, G.; Kurat, G.; Maxwell, J.; Ori, G. G.; Pillinger, C.; Raulin, F.

    1999-01-01

    Similarities in the early histories of Mars and Earth suggest that life may have arisen on Mars as it did on Earth. The early life forms on Mars were probably simple organisms, similar to terrestrial prokaryotes. In fact, given the early deterioration of the Martian climate, it is unlikely that life on Mars could ever have reached more sophisticated evolution. Based on the present knowledge of Mars, the possibility of extant life at the surface is small. However, given the adaptability of terrestrial prokaryotes under adverse conditions, it is not excluded. Any extant life is hypothesized to reside in the permafrost in a dormant state until "reanimated" by impact-caused hydrothermal activity. Using this rationale, a group of European scientists worked together to conceive a hypothetical strategy to search for life on Mars. A possible configuration for a lander/rover is outlined.

  1. Space Mobile Network: A Near Earth Communication and Navigation Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Israel, Dave J.; Heckler, Greg; Menrad, Robert J.

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes a Space Mobile Network architecture, the result of a recently completed NASA study exploring architectural concepts to produce a vision for the future Near Earth communications and navigation systems. The Space Mobile Network (SMN) incorporates technologies, such as Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) and optical communications, and new operations concepts, such as User Initiated Services, to provide user services analogous to a terrestrial smartphone user. The paper will describe the SMN Architecture, envisioned future operations concepts, opportunities for industry and international collaboration and interoperability, and technology development areas and goals.

  2. Past, present, and future life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.

    1998-01-01

    Although the Viking results indicated that the surface of Mars is dry and lifeless, there is direct geomorphological evidence that Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface in the past. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself, motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. The Mars environment 3.5 to 4.0 Gyr ago was comparable to that on the Earth at this time in that both contained liquid water. Life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication by 3.5 Gyr ago. To determine if life similarly arose on Mars may require extensive robotic exploration and ultimately human exploration. Intensive exploration of Mars will require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research station can obtain its life support requirements directly from the martian environment enabling a high degree of self-sufficiency. In the longer term, it is possible that in the future we might restore a habitable climate on Mars, returning it to the life-bearing state it may have enjoyed early in its history.

  3. COMUNICA Project: a commitment for strategic communication on Earth Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortes-Picas, Jordi; Diaz, Jordi; Fernandez-Turiel, Jose-Luis

    2016-04-01

    The Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera (ICTJA-CSIC) has just celebrated its 50-year anniversary last year. It is a reference research center on Earth Sciences both national and international level. The Institute includes 4 research groups which focus their scientific activity on the structure and dynamics of the Earth, the environmental changes in the geological record, geophysical and geochemical modelling and crystallography and optical properties. Only when large geological disasters happens, mainly earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, some interaction between ICTJA-CSIC researchers and traditional media occurs, which is limited by the fact that the aim of the Institute is the scientific research and it has no responsibilities in the area of civil protection. This relationship reduces the knowledge of our activity to the general public. To overcome this situation, the ICTJA-CSIC has decided to take an active role in the social dissemination of geological and geophysical knowledge. Thus, the ICTJA-CSIC has launched the COMUNICA Project. The project is aimed to increase the social visibility of the ICTJA-CSIC and to promote the outreach of researchers. Therefore ICTJA-CSIC has created the Communication Unit, which is in charge of designing communication strategies to give to different audiences (media, students of secondary and higher education, general public) an overview of the scientific and institutional activity of the ICTJA-CSIC. A global communication plan is being designed to define the strategic actions, both internal and external. An important role has been reserved for digital channels, to promote ICTJA-CSIC activity on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Youtube, besides making a major effort in the renovation and maintenance of the corporate website. A strong effort will be done to collect and spread through press releases the major scientific milestones achieved by the researchers, to promote the interest of mass media. Communication

  4. Community Decadal Panel for Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, N. G.; Farr, T.; Baker, V. R.; Bridges, N.; Carsey, F.; Duxbury, N.; Gilmore, M. S.; Green, J. R.; Grin, E.; Hansen, V.; Keszthelyi, L.; Lanagan, P.; Lentz, R.; Marinangeli, L.; Morris, P. A.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Robinson, C.; Thomson, B.

    2001-11-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites for Mars, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel is considering the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the MEPAG science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel is considering the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  5. '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.

  6. Special Semaphore Scheme for UHF Spacecraft Communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butman, Stanley; Satorius, Edgar; Ilott, Peter

    2006-01-01

    A semaphore scheme has been devised to satisfy a requirement to enable ultrahigh- frequency (UHF) radio communication between a spacecraft descending from orbit to a landing on Mars and a spacecraft, in orbit about Mars, that relays communications between Earth and the lander spacecraft. There are also two subsidiary requirements: (1) to use UHF transceivers, built and qualified for operation aboard the spacecraft that operate with residual-carrier binary phase-shift-keying (BPSK) modulation at a selectable data rate of 8, 32, 128, or 256 kb/s; and (2) to enable low-rate signaling even when received signals become so weak as to prevent communication at the minimum BPSK rate of 8 kHz. The scheme involves exploitation of Manchester encoding, which is used in conjunction with residual-carrier modulation to aid the carrier-tracking loop. By choosing various sequences of 1s, 0s, or 1s alternating with 0s to be fed to the residual-carrier modulator, one would cause the modulator to generate sidebands at a fundamental frequency of 4 or 8 kHz and harmonics thereof. These sidebands would constitute the desired semaphores. In reception, the semaphores would be detected by a software demodulator.

  7. The 1990 MB: The first Mars Trojan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowell, Edward

    1991-01-01

    Asteroid 1990 MB was discovered during the course of the Mars and Earth-crossing Asteroid and Comet Survey. An orbit based on a 9-day arc and the asteroid's location near Mars L5 longitude led to speculation that it might be in 1:1 resonance with Mars, analogous to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. Subsequent observations strengthened the possibility, and later calculations confirmed it. The most recent orbit shows that the asteroid's semimajor axis is very similar to that of Mars.

  8. Bow shock studies at Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars with applications to the solar-planetary interaction problem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slavin, J.A.

    1982-01-01

    A series of bow shock studies conducted for the purpose of investigating the interaction between the solar wind and the terrestrial planets is presented. Toward this end appropriate modeling techniques have been developed and applied to the bow wave observations at Venus, Earth, and Mars. For Mercury the measurements are so few in number that no accurate determination of shock shape was deemed possible. Flow solutions generated using the observed bow wave surface as a boundary condition in a single fluid variable obstacle shape gasdynamic model produced excellent fits to the measured width and shape of the earth's magnetosheath. This result and the observed ordering of shock shape and position by upstream sonic Mach number provide strong support for the validity of the gasdynamic approximation. At Mercury the application of earth type models to the individual Mariner 10 boundry crossings has led to the determination of an effective planetary magnetic moment of 6+-2 x 10 22 G-cm 3 . Consistent with the presence of a small terrestrial style magnetosphere, southward interplanetary magnetic fields were found to significantly reduce the solar wind stand-off distance most probably through the effects of dayside magnetic reconnection. For Venus the low altitude solar wind flow field derived from gasdynamic modeling of bow shock location and shape indicates that a fraction of the incident streamlines are absorbed by the neutral atmosphere near the ionopause; approximately 1% and 8%, respectively, in the solar maximum Pioneer Venus and solar minimum Venera measurements. Accordingly, it appears that cometary processes must be included in model calculations of the solar wind flow about Venus. At Mars the moderate height of the gasdynamic solar wind-obstacle interface and the weakness of the Martian ionosphere/atmosphere are found to be incompatible with a Venus type interaction

  9. Spacecraft-to-Earth Communications for Juno and Mars Science Laboratory Critical Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, Melissa; Finley, Susan; Jongeling, Andre; Fort, David; Goodhart, Charles; Rogstad, David; Navarro, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Deep Space communications typically utilize closed loop receivers and Binary Phase Shift Keying (BPSK) or Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK). Critical spacecraft events include orbit insertion and entry, descent, and landing.---Low gain antennas--> low signal -to-noise-ratio.---High dynamics such as parachute deployment or spin --> Doppler shift. During critical events, open loop receivers and Multiple Frequency Shift Keying (MFSK) used. Entry, Descent, Landing (EDL) Data Analysis (EDA) system detects tones in real-time.

  10. Red Dragon drill missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Stoker, Carol R.; Gonzales, Andrew; McKay, Christopher P.; Davila, Alfonso; Glass, Brian J.; Lemke, Larry L.; Paulsen, Gale; Willson, David; Zacny, Kris

    2017-12-01

    We present the concept of using a variant of a Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) Dragon space capsule as a low-cost, large-capacity, near-term, Mars lander (dubbed ;Red Dragon;) for scientific and human precursor missions. SpaceX initially designed the Dragon capsule for flight near Earth, and Dragon has successfully flown many times to low-Earth orbit (LEO) and successfully returned the Dragon spacecraft to Earth. Here we present capsule hardware modifications that are required to enable flight to Mars and operations on the martian surface. We discuss the use of the Dragon system to support NASA Discovery class missions to Mars and focus in particular on Dragon's applications for drilling missions. We find that a Red Dragon platform is well suited for missions capable of drilling deeper on Mars (at least 2 m) than has been accomplished to date due to its ability to land in a powered controlled mode, accommodate a long drill string, and provide payload space for sample processing and analysis. We show that a Red Dragon drill lander could conduct surface missions at three possible targets including the ice-cemented ground at the Phoenix landing site (68 °N), the subsurface ice discovered near the Viking 2 (49 °N) site by fresh impact craters, and the dark sedimentary subsurface material at the Curiosity site (4.5 °S).

  11. 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.

  12. The magnetic field in the pile-up region at Mars, and its variation with the solar wind

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vennerstrøm, Susanne; Olsen, Nils; Purucker, M.

    2003-01-01

    [1] The magnetic measurements from the Mars Global Surveyor satellite are used to study the magnetic field on the Martian dayside, and its variation with the solar wind. Because of the lack of solar wind measurements near Mars, solar wind measurements near Earth during a period centered on a Mars......-Earth conjunction are used. Concurrent variations at Mars and Earth related to the interplanetary sector-structure and dynamic pressure variations are demonstrated. The study is confined to the northern hemisphere of Mars in regions where the crustal anomalies are weak. Here we find a close association between...

  13. Lakes on Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2014-01-01

    On Earth, lakes provide favorable environments for the development of life and its preservation as fossils. They are extremely sensitive to climate fluctuations and to conditions within their watersheds. As such, lakes are unique markers of the impact of environmental changes. Past and current missions have now demonstrated that water once flowed at the surface of Mars early in its history. Evidence of ancient ponding has been uncovered at scales ranging from a few kilometers to possibly that of the Arctic ocean. Whether life existed on Mars is still unknown; upcoming missions may find critic

  14. A MATLAB based Distributed Real-time Simulation of Lander-Orbiter-Earth Communication for Lunar Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Diptyajit; Angeloski, Aleksandar; Ziah, Haseeb; Buchholz, Hilmar; Landsman, Andre; Gupta, Amitava; Mitra, Tiyasa

    Lunar explorations often involve use of a lunar lander , a rover [1],[2] and an orbiter which rotates around the moon with a fixed radius. The orbiters are usually lunar satellites orbiting along a polar orbit to ensure visibility with respect to the rover and the Earth Station although with varying latency. Communication in such deep space missions is usually done using a specialized protocol like Proximity-1[3]. MATLAB simulation of Proximity-1 have been attempted by some contemporary researchers[4] to simulate all features like transmission control, delay etc. In this paper it is attempted to simulate, in real time, the communication between a tracking station on earth (earth station), a lunar orbiter and a lunar rover using concepts of Distributed Real-time Simulation(DRTS).The objective of the simulation is to simulate, in real-time, the time varying communication delays associated with the communicating elements with a facility to integrate specific simulation modules to study different aspects e.g. response due to a specific control command from the earth station to be executed by the rover. The hardware platform comprises four single board computers operating as stand-alone real time systems (developed by MATLAB xPC target and inter-networked using UDP-IP protocol). A time triggered DRTS approach is adopted. The earth station, the orbiter and the rover are programmed as three standalone real-time processes representing the communicating elements in the system. Communication from one communicating element to another constitutes an event which passes a state message from one element to another, augmenting the state of the latter. These events are handled by an event scheduler which is the fourth real-time process. The event scheduler simulates the delay in space communication taking into consideration the distance between the communicating elements. A unique time synchronization algorithm is developed which takes into account the large latencies in space

  15. Search for Chemical Biomarkers on Mars Using the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Conrad, P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Eigenbrode, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    One key goal for the future exploration of Mars is the search for chemical biomarkers including complex organic compounds important in life on Earth. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will provide the most sensitive measurements of the organic composition of rocks and regolith samples ever carried out in situ on Mars. SAM consists of a gas chromatograph (GC), quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), and tunable laser spectrometer to measure volatiles in the atmosphere and released from rock powders heated up to 1000 C. The measurement of organics in solid samples will be accomplished by three experiments: (1) pyrolysis QMS to identify alkane fragments and simple aromatic compounds; pyrolysis GCMS to separate and identify complex mixtures of larger hydrocarbons; and (3) chemical derivatization and GCMS extract less volatile compounds including amino and carboxylic acids that are not detectable by the other two experiments.

  16. Comparison of Propulsion Options for Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Bret G.; McGuire, Melissa L.; McCarty, Steven L.

    2018-01-01

    NASA continues to advance plans to extend human presence beyond low-Earth orbit leading to human exploration of Mars. The plans being laid out follow an incremental path, beginning with initial flight tests followed by deployment of a Deep Space Gateway (DSG) in cislunar space. This Gateway, will serve as the initial transportation node for departing and returning Mars spacecraft. Human exploration of Mars represents the next leap for humankind because it will require leaving Earth on a long mission with very limited return, rescue, or resupply capabilities. Although Mars missions are long, approaches and technologies are desired which can reduce the time that the crew is away from Earth. This paper builds off past analyses of NASA's exploration strategy by providing more detail on the performance of alternative in-space transportation options with an emphasis on reducing total mission duration. Key options discussed include advanced chemical, nuclear thermal, nuclear electric, solar electric, as well as an emerging hybrid propulsion system which utilizes a combination of both solar electric and chemical propulsion.

  17. Mars Sample Return: Mars Ascent Vehicle Mission and Technology Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Jeffrey V.; Huynh, Loc C.; Hawke, Veronica M.; Jiang, Xun J.

    2013-01-01

    A Mars Sample Return mission is the highest priority science mission for the next decade recommended by the recent Decadal Survey of Planetary Science, the key community input process that guides NASAs science missions. A feasibility study was conducted of a potentially simple and low cost approach to Mars Sample Return mission enabled by the use of developing commercial capabilities. Previous studies of MSR have shown that landing an all up sample return mission with a high mass capacity lander is a cost effective approach. The approach proposed is the use of an emerging commercially available capsule to land the launch vehicle system that would return samples to Earth. This paper describes the mission and technology requirements impact on the launch vehicle system design, referred to as the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV).

  18. Human enhancement and communication: on meaning and shared understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrera, Laura; Weckert, John

    2013-09-01

    Our technologies have enabled us to change both the world and our perceptions of the world, as well as to change ourselves and to find new ways to fulfil the human desire for improvement and for having new capacities. The debate around using technology for human enhancement has already raised many ethical concerns, however little research has been done in how human enhancement can affect human communication. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether some human enhancements could change our shared lifeworld so radically that human communication as we know it would not be possible any longer. After exploring the kinds of communication problems we are concerned with as well as mentioning some possible enhancement interventions that could bring about such problems, we will address some of the ethical implications that follow from these potential communication problems. We argue that because of the role that communication plays in human society, this issue deserves attention.

  19. Mars Sample Return Landed with Red Dragon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Lemke, Lawrence G.

    2013-01-01

    A Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the recent Decadal Survey of Planetary Science. However, an affordable program to carry this out has not been defined. This paper describes a study that examined use of emerging commercial capabilities to land the sample return elements, with the goal of reducing mission cost. A team at NASA Ames examined the feasibility of the following scenario for MSR: A Falcon Heavy launcher injects a SpaceX Dragon crew capsule and trunk onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule is modified to carry all the hardware needed to return samples collected on Mars including a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), an Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) and Sample Collection and Storage hardware. The Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using SuperSonic Retro Propulsion (SSRP) as described by Braun and Manning [IEEEAC paper 0076, 2005]. Samples are acquired and deliverd to the MAV by a prelanded asset, possibly the proposed 2020 rover. After samples are obtained and stored in the ERV, the MAV launches the sample-containing ERV from the surface of Mars. We examined cases where the ERV is delivered to either low Mars orbit (LMO), C3 = 0 (Mars escape), or an intermediate energy state. The ERV then provides the rest of the energy (delta V) required to perform trans-Earth injection (TEI), cruise, and insertion into a Moon-trailing Earth Orbit (MTEO). A later mission, possibly a crewed Dragon launched by a Falcon Heavy (not part of the current study) retrieves the sample container, packages the sample, and performs a controlled Earth re-entry to prevent Mars materials from accidentally contaminating Earth. The key analysis methods used in the study employed a set of parametric mass estimating relationships (MERs) and standard aerospace analysis software codes modified for the MAV class of launch vehicle to determine the range of performance parameters that produced converged

  20. The nitrogen cycle on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    1989-01-01

    Nirtogen is an essential element for the evolution of life, because it is found in a variety of biologically important molecules. Therefore, N is an important element to study from a exobiological perspective. In particular, fixed nitrogen is the biologically useful form of nitrogen. Fixed nitrogen is generally defines as NH3, NH4(+), NO(x), or N that is chemically bound to either inorganic or organic molecules, and releasable by hydrolysis to NH3 or NH4(+). On Earth, the vast majority of nitrogen exists as N2 in the atmosphere, and not in the fixes form. On early Mars the same situations probably existed. The partial pressure of N2 on early Mars was thought to be 18 mb, significantly less than that of Earth. Dinitrogen can be fixed abiotically by several mechanisms. These mechanisms include thernal shock from meteoritic infall and lightning, as well as the interaction of light and sand containing TiO2 which produces NH3 that would be rapidly destroyed by photolysis and reaction with OH radicals. These mechanisms could have been operative on primitive Mars.The chemical processes effecting these compounds and possible ways of fixing or burying N in the Martian environment are described. Data gathered in this laboratory suggest that the low abundance of nitrogen along (compared to primitive Earth) may not significantly deter the origin and early evolution of a nitrogen utilizing organisms. However, the conditions on current Mars with respect to nitrogen are quite different, and organisms may not be able to utilize all of the available nitrogen.

  1. Primary school children and teachers discover the nature and science of planet Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhans, Maarten; Verkade, Alex; Bastings, Mirjam; Reichwein, Maarten

    2016-04-01

    For various reasons primary schools emphasise language and calculus rather than natural sciences. When science is taught at all, examination systems often favour technological tricks and knowledge of the 'right' answer over the process of investigation and logical reasoning towards that answer. Over the long term, this is not conducive to curiosity and scientific attitude in large parts of the population. Since the problem is more serious in primary than in secondary education, and as children start their school career with a natural curiosity and great energy to explore their world, we focus our efforts on primary school teachers in close collaboration with teachers and researchers. Our objective was to spark children's curiosity and their motivation to learn and discover, as well as to help teachers develop self-afficacy in science education. To this end we developed a three-step program with a classroom game and sand-box experiments related to planet Earth and Mars. The classroom game Expedition Mundus simulates science in its focus on asking questions, reasoning towards answers on the basis of multiple sources and collaboration as well as growth of knowledge. Planet Mundus is entirely fictitional to avoid differences in foreknowledge between pupils. The game was tested in hundreds of classes in primary schools and the first years of secondary education and was printed (in Dutch) and distributed over thousands of schools as part of teacher education through university science hubs. Expedition Mundus was developed by the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and De Praktijk. The tested translations in English and German are available on http://www.expeditionmundus.org. Following the classroom game, we conducted simple landscape experiments in sand boxes supported by google earth imagery of real rivers, fans and deltas on Earth and Mars. This was loosely based on our fluvial morphodynamics research. This, in the presence of a

  2. Hydrothermal systems on Mars: an assessment of present evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, J. D.

    1996-01-01

    Hydrothermal processes have been suggested to explain a number of observations for Mars, including D/H ratios of water extracted from Martian meteorites, as a means for removing CO2 from the Martian atmosphere and sequestering it in the crust as carbonates, and as a possible origin for iron oxide-rich spectral units on the floors of some rifted basins (chasmata). There are numerous examples of Martian channels formed by discharges of subsurface water near potential magmatic heat sources, and hydrothermal processes have also been proposed as a mechanism for aquifer recharge needed to sustain long term erosion of sapping channels. The following geological settings have been identified as targets for ancient hydrothermal systems on Mars: channels located along the margins of impact crater melt sheets and on the slopes of ancient volcanoes; chaotic and fretted terranes where shallow subsurface heat sources are thought to have interacted with ground ice; and the floors of calderas and rifted basins (e.g. chasmata). On Earth, such geological environments are often a locus for hydrothermal mineralization. But we presently lack the mineralogical information needed for a definitive evaluation of hypotheses. A preferred tool for identifying minerals by remote sensing methods on Earth is high spatial resolution, hyperspectral, near-infrared spectroscopy, a technique that has been extensively developed by mineral explorationists. Future efforts to explore Mars for ancient hydrothermal systems would benefit from the application of methods developed by the mining industry to look for similar deposits on Earth. But Earth-based exploration models must be adapted to account for the large differences in the climatic and geological history of Mars. For example, it is likely that the early surface environment of Mars was cool, perhaps consistently below freezing, with the shallow portions of hydrothermal systems being dominated by magma-cryosphere interactions. Given the smaller

  3. Thermal Protection for Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle: A Grand Challenge for Design Methodology and Reliability Verification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Gage, Peter; Wright, Michael J.

    2017-01-01

    Mars Sample Return is our Grand Challenge for the coming decade. TPS (Thermal Protection System) nominal performance is not the key challenge. The main difficulty for designers is the need to verify unprecedented reliability for the entry system: current guidelines for prevention of backward contamination require that the probability of spores larger than 1 micron diameter escaping into the Earth environment be lower than 1 million for the entire system, and the allocation to TPS would be more stringent than that. For reference, the reliability allocation for Orion TPS is closer to 11000, and the demonstrated reliability for previous human Earth return systems was closer to 1100. Improving reliability by more than 3 orders of magnitude is a grand challenge indeed. The TPS community must embrace the possibility of new architectures that are focused on reliability above thermal performance and mass efficiency. MSR (Mars Sample Return) EEV (Earth Entry Vehicle) will be hit with MMOD (Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris) prior to reentry. A chute-less aero-shell design which allows for self-righting shape was baselined in prior MSR studies, with the assumption that a passive system will maximize EEV robustness. Hence the aero-shell along with the TPS has to take ground impact and not break apart. System verification will require testing to establish ablative performance and thermal failure but also testing of damage from MMOD, and structural performance at ground impact. Mission requirements will demand analysis, testing and verification that are focused on establishing reliability of the design. In this proposed talk, we will focus on the grand challenge of MSR EEV TPS and the need for innovative approaches to address challenges in modeling, testing, manufacturing and verification.

  4. Alteration of immature sedimentary rocks on Earth and Mars. Recording Aqueous and Surface-atmosphere Processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cannon, Kenneth M. [Brown Univ., Providence, RI (United States); Mustard, John F. [Brown Univ., Providence, RI (United States); Salvatore, Mark R. [Arizona State Univ., Mesa, AZ (United States)

    2015-03-05

    The rock alteration and rind formation in analog environments like Antarctica may provide clues to rock alteration and therefore paleoclimates on Mars. Clastic sedimentary rocks derived from basaltic sources have been studied in situ by martian rovers and are likely abundant on the surface of Mars. Moreover, how such rock types undergo alteration when exposed to different environmental conditions is poorly understood compared with alteration of intact basaltic flows. Here we characterize alteration in the chemically immature Carapace Sandstone from Antarctica, a terrestrial analog for martian sedimentary rocks. We employ a variety of measurements similar to those used on previous and current Mars missions. Laboratory techniques included bulk chemistry, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), hyperspectral imaging and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Through these methods we find that primary basaltic material in the Carapace Sandstone is pervasively altered to hydrated clay minerals and palagonite as a result of water–rock interaction. A thick orange rind is forming in current Antarctic conditions, superimposing this previous aqueous alteration signature. The rind exhibits a higher reflectance at visible-near infrared wavelengths than the rock interior, with an enhanced ferric absorption edge likely due to an increase in Fe3+ of existing phases or the formation of minor iron (oxy)hydroxides. This alteration sequence in the Carapace Sandstone results from decreased water–rock interaction over time, and weathering in a cold, dry environment, mimicking a similar transition early in martian history. This transition may be recorded in sedimentary rocks on Mars through a similar superimposition mechanism, capturing past climate changes at the hand sample scale. These results also suggest that basalt-derived sediments could have sourced significant volumes of hydrated minerals on early Mars due to their greater permeability compared with intact igneous rocks.

  5. Nuclear technologies for Moon and Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1991-01-01

    Nuclear technologies are essential to successful Moon and Mars exploration and settlements. Applications can take the form of nuclear propulsion for transport of crews and cargo to Mars and the Moon; surface power for habitats and base power; power for human spacecraft to Mars; shielding and life science understanding for protection against natural solar and cosmic radiations; radioisotopes for sterilization, medicine, testing, and power; and resources for the benefits of Earth. 5 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs

  6. Planetary protection issues linked to human missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, A.

    According to United Nations Treaties and handled presently by the Committee of Space Research COSPAR the exploration of the Solar System has to comply with planetary protection requirements The goal of planetary protection is to protect celestial bodies from terrestrial contamination and also to protect the Earth environment from an eventual biocontamination carried by return samples or by space systems returning to the Earth Mars is presently one of the main target at exobiology point of view and a lot of missions are operating on travel or scheduled for its exploration Some of them include payload dedicated to the search of life or traces of life and one of the goals of these missions is also to prepare sample return missions with the ultimate objective to walk on Mars Robotic missions to Mars have to comply with planetary protection specifications well known presently and planetary protection programs are implemented with a very good reliability taking into account an experience of 40 years now For sample return missions a set of stringent requirements have been approved by the COSPAR and technical challenges have now to be won in order to preserve Earth biosphere from an eventual contamination risk Sending astronauts on Mars will gather all these constraints added with the human dimension of the mission The fact that the astronauts are huge contamination sources for Mars and that they are also potential carrier of a contamination risk back to Earth add also ethical considerations to be considered For the preparation of a such

  7. THROUGH-THE-EARTH (TTE) COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM AND THE IN-MINE POWER LINE (IMPL) COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zvi H. Meiksin

    2002-01-01

    Work has progressed on both subsystems: the Through-the-Earth (TTE) Communications system and the In-Mine Power Line (IMPL) Communications system. The TTE system: The system was fabricated and repackaged as an industrial product enclosed in a commercial rugged, waterproof housing suitable for installation in mines. Features were added to the system to appeal to the preferences of different mine managers. Arrangements were made with NIOSH to install the system in the Lake Lynn underground mine for evaluation and demonstration to potential users. The IMPL system: Voice compression was successfully implemented and incorporated into the laboratory model. Compressed voice was transmitted through a power line, expanded at the receiving end, and received with high clarity

  8. MW-Class Electric Propulsion System Designs for Mars Cargo Transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilland, James H.; LaPointe, Michael R.; Oleson, Steven; Mercer, Carolyn; Pencil, Eric; Maosn, Lee

    2011-01-01

    Multi-kilowatt electric propulsion systems are well developed and have been used on commercial and military satellites in Earth orbit for several years. Ion and Hall thrusters have also propelled robotic spacecraft to encounters with asteroids, the Moon, and minor planetary bodies within the solar system. High power electric propulsion systems are currently being considered to support piloted missions to near earth asteroids, as cargo transport for sustained lunar or Mars exploration, and for very high-power piloted missions to Mars and the outer planets. Using NASA Mars Design Architecture 5.0 as a reference, a preliminary parametric analysis was performed to determine the suitability of a nuclear powered, MW-class electric propulsion system for Mars cargo transport. For this initial analysis, high power 100-kW Hall thrusters and 250-kW VASIMR engines were separately evaluated to determine optimum vehicle architecture and estimated performance. The DRA 5.0 cargo mission closed for both propulsion options, delivering a 100 t payload to Mars orbit and reducing the number of heavy lift launch vehicles from five in the baseline DRA 5.0 architecture to two using electric propulsion. Under an imposed single engine-out mission success criteria, the VASIMR system took longer to reach Mars than did the Hall system, arising from the need to operate the VASIMR thrusters in pairs during the spiral out from low Earth orbit.

  9. Protecting the Planets from Biological Contamination: The Strange Case of Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, J. D.; Conley, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Beyond the Earth's Moon, Mars is the most studied and to some the most compelling target in the solar system. Mars has the potential to have its own native life, and it has environments that appear quite capable of supporting Earth life. As such, Mars is subject to policies intended to keep Earth organisms from growing on Mars, and missions to Mars are controlled to ensure that we know that no Mars life gets to Earth onboard a returning spacecraft. It seems odd, then, that Mars is also the planet on which we have crashed the most (the Moon still owns the overall title), and is still the only body that has had positive results from a life-detection experiment soft-landed on its surface. Mars has very little water, yet it snows on Mars and we have seen regular night-time frosts and near-surface ice on more than half of the planet. Despite strong UV insolation, Mars also has regular dust storms and winds that can cover spacecraft surfaces with dust that itself may be poisonous, but also can protect microbial life from death by UV light. In spite of surface features and minerals that provide ample evidence of surface water in the past, on today's Mars only relatively short, thin lines that lengthen and retract with the seasons provide a hint that there may be water near the surface of Mars today, but the subsurface is almost totally unexplored by instruments needed to detect water, itself. In the face of these contradictions, the implementation of planetary protection requirements to prevent cross contamination has to proceed with the best available knowledge, and in spite of sometimes substantial costs to spacecraft development and operations. In this paper we will review the status of Mars as a potential (hopefully not inadvertent) abode for life, and describe the measures taken in the past and the present to safeguard the astrobiological study of Mars, and project the requirements for Mars planetary protection in a possible future that involves both sample return

  10. Communications: A Literature Review for Future Communications Mitigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Anderson

    2015-01-01

    There are many concerns with humans living and working in space. These are only compounded by the length of time and distance from Earth that the humans are travelling. For NASA to figure out countermeasures to these problems, they need to be looked at from different directions from a variety of domains. Psychological concerns will be one of the determining factors to whether or not humans will be able to successfully make a journey to Mars or beyond. Communications will be one of the pivotal factors that will affect a crew from a psychological standpoint. During this summer internship, this intern was tasked with looking into delving into this problem. The intern was tasked with performing a literature review on the topic of comparing communications from how they are conducted now to how they will be carried out in the future. These communications have many methods and functions for when and where they happen. A matrix was created to illustrate how these specific communications methods and functions currently are and could be carried out in the future from a time/location perspective. This research will used to help determine what future research will need to focus on in a psychological and technological aspect to better help the crew of a long duration mission.

  11. MarsSedEx III: linking Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and reduced gravity experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, N. J.; Kuhn, B.; Gartmann, A.

    2015-12-01

    Nikolaus J. Kuhn (1), Brigitte Kuhn (1), and Andres Gartmann (2) (1) University of Basel, Physical Geography, Environmental Sciences, Basel, Switzerland (nikolaus.kuhn@unibas.ch), (2) Meteorology, Climatology, Remote Sensing, Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland Experiments conducted during the MarsSedEx I and II reduced gravity experiments showed that using empirical models for sediment transport on Mars developed for Earth violates fluid dynamics. The error is caused by the interaction between runing water and sediment particles, which affect each other in a positive feedback loop. As a consequence, the actual flow conditions around a particle cannot be represented by drag coefficients derived on Earth. This study exmines the implications of such gravity effects on sediment movement on Mars, with special emphasis on the limits of sandstones and conglomerates formed on Earth as analogues for sedimentation on Mars. Furthermore, options for correctiong the errors using a combination of CFD and recent experiments conducted during the MarsSedEx III campaign are presented.

  12. Multi-spacecraft observations of ICMEs propagating beyond Earth orbit during MSL/RAD flight and surface phases

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Forstner, J.; Guo, J.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F.; Hassler, D.; Temmer, M.; Vrsnak, B.; Čalogović, J.; Dumbovic, M.; Lohf, H.; Appel, J. K.; Heber, B.; Steigies, C. T.; Zeitlin, C.; Ehresmann, B.; Jian, L. K.; Boehm, E.; Boettcher, S. I.; Burmeister, S.; Martin-Garcia, C.; Brinza, D. E.; Posner, A.; Reitz, G.; Matthiae, D.; Rafkin, S. C.; weigle, G., II; Cucinotta, F.

    2017-12-01

    The propagation of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) between Earth's orbit (1 AU) and Mars ( 1.5 AU) has been studied with their propagation speed estimated from both measurements and simulations. The enhancement of the magnetic fields related to ICMEs and their shock fronts cause so-called Forbush decreases, which can be detected as a reduction of galactic cosmic rays measured on-ground or on a spacecraft. We have used galactic cosmic ray (GCR) data from in-situ measurements at Earth, from both STEREO A and B as well as the GCR measurement by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) instrument onboard Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) on the surface of Mars as well as during its flight to Mars in 2011-2012. A set of ICME events has been selected during the periods when Earth (or STEREO A or B) and MSL locations were nearly aligned on the same side of the Sun in the ecliptic plane (so-called opposition phase). Such lineups allow us to estimate the ICMEs' transit times between 1 AU and the MSL location by estimating the delay time of the corresponding Forbush decreases measured at each location. We investigate the evolution of their propagation speeds after passing Earth's orbit and find that the deceleration of ICMEs due to their interaction with the ambient solar wind continues beyond 1 AU. The results are compared to simulation data obtained from two CME propagation models, namely the Drag-Based Model (DBM) and the WSA-ENLIL plus cone model.

  13. Mars Hybrid Propulsion System Trajectory Analysis. Part II; Cargo Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Patrick R.; Merrill, Raymond G.; Qu, Min

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Human Spaceflight Architecture Team is developing a reusable hybrid transportation architecture in which both chemical and electric propulsion systems are used to send crew and cargo to Mars destinations such as Phobos, Deimos, the surface of Mars, and other orbits around Mars. By combining chemical and electrical propulsion into a single spaceship and applying each where it is more effective, the hybrid architecture enables a series of Mars trajectories that are more fuel-efficient than an all chemical architecture without significant increases in flight times. This paper shows the feasibility of the hybrid transportation architecture to pre-deploy cargo to Mars and Phobos in support of the Evolvable Mars Campaign crew missions. The analysis shows that the hybrid propulsion stage is able to deliver all of the current manifested payload to Phobos and Mars through the first three crew missions. The conjunction class trajectory also allows the hybrid propulsion stage to return to Earth in a timely fashion so it can be reused for additional cargo deployment. The 1,100 days total trip time allows the hybrid propulsion stage to deliver cargo to Mars every other Earth-Mars transit opportunity. For the first two Mars surface mission in the Evolvable Mars Campaign, the short trip time allows the hybrid propulsion stage to be reused for three round-trip journeys to Mars, which matches the hybrid propulsion stage's designed lifetime for three round-trip crew missions to the Martian sphere of influence.

  14. Astrobiology Field Research in Moon/Mars Analogue Environments: Preface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, B. H.; Stoker, C.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2011-01-01

    Extreme environments on Earth often provide similar terrain conditions to landing/operation sites on Moon and Mars. Several field campaigns (EuroGeoMars2009 and DOMMEX/ILEWG EuroMoonMars from November 2009 to March 2010) were conducted at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. Some of the key astrobiology results are presented in this special issue on Astrobiology field research in Moon/Mars analogue environments relevant to investigate the link between geology, minerals, organics and biota. Preliminary results from a multidisciplinary field campaign at Rio Tinto in Spain are presented.

  15. Study on the Effect of Frequency on Conductivity of Underground Strata in Coal Mine Through-the-earth Wireless Communication

    OpenAIRE

    Jinyi TAO; Yuchen ZHANG

    2014-01-01

    The relationship of conductivity and the frequency, which is of decisive significance in through-the-earth wireless communication in coal mine, is closely related to the options of frequency range in coal mine wireless communication. When through-the-earth wireless communication is applied, the electromagnetic waves need to spread in the semi-conductive medium rocks. The main factors affecting the electromagnetic wave propagation in rocks is the rock strata electromagnetic parameters. These p...

  16. From Soup to Nuts: How Terra has enabled the growth of NASA Earth science communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, K.; Carlowicz, M. J.; Allen, J.; Voiland, A.; Przyborski, P.

    2014-12-01

    The birth of NASA's Earth Observatory website in 1999 closely mirrored the launch of Terra and over the years its growth has paralleled that of the Earth Observing System (EOS) program. With the launch of Terra, NASA gained an extraordinary platform that not only promised new science capabilities but gave us the data and imagery for telling the stories behind the science. The Earth Observatory Group was founded to communicate these stories to the public. We will present how we have used the capabilities of all the Terra instruments over the past 15 years to expand the public's knowledge of NASA Earth science. The ever-increasing quantity and quality of Terra data, combined with technological improvements to data availability and services has allowed the Earth Observatory and, as a result, the greater science-aware media, to greatly expand the visibility of NASA data and imagery. We will offer thoughts on best practices in using these multi-faceted instruments for public communication and we will share how we have worked with Terra science teams and affiliated systems to see the potential stories in their data and the value of providing the data in a timely fashion. Terra has allowed us to tell the stories of our Earth today like never before.

  17. Scientific results and lessons learned from an integrated crewed Mars exploration simulation at the Rio Tinto Mars analogue site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgel, Csilla; Kereszturi, Ákos; Váczi, Tamás; Groemer, Gernot; Sattler, Birgit

    2014-02-01

    Between 15 and 25 April 2011 in the framework of the PolAres programme of the Austrian Space Forum, a five-day field test of the Aouda.X spacesuit simulator was conducted at the Rio Tinto Mars-analogue site in southern Spain. The field crew was supported by a full-scale Mission Control Center (MCC) in Innsbruck, Austria. The field telemetry data were relayed to the MCC, enabling a Remote Science Support (RSS) team to study field data in near-real-time and adjust the flight planning in a flexible manner. We report on the experiences in the field of robotics, geophysics (Ground Penetrating Radar) and geology as well as life sciences in a simulated spaceflight operational environment. Extravehicular Activity (EVA) maps had been prepared using Google Earth and aerial images. The Rio Tinto mining area offers an excellent location for Mars analogue simulations. It is recognised as a terrestrial Mars analogue site because of the presence of jarosite and related sulphates, which have been identified by the NASA Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" in the El Capitan region of Meridiani Planum on Mars. The acidic, high ferric-sulphate content water of Rio Tinto is also considered as a possible analogue in astrobiology regarding the analysis of ferric sulphate related biochemical pathways and produced biomarkers. During our Mars simulation, 18 different types of soil and rock samples were collected by the spacesuit tester. The Raman results confirm the presence of minerals expected, such as jarosite, different Fe oxides and oxi-hydroxides, pyrite and complex Mg and Ca sulphates. Eight science experiments were conducted in the field. In this contribution first we list the important findings during the management and realisation of tests, and also a first summary of the scientific results. Based on these experiences suggestions for future analogue work are also summarised. We finish with recommendations for future field missions, including the preparation of the experiments

  18. Mars: Periglacial Morphology and Implications for Future Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Schurmeier, Lauren; McKay, Christopher; Davila, Alfonso; Stoker, Carol; Marinova, Margarita; Wilhelm, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    At the Mars Phoenix landing site and in much of the Martian northern plains, there is ice-cemented ground beneath a layer of dry permafrost. Unlike most permafrost on Earth, though, this ice is not liquid at any time of year. However, in past epochs at higher obliquity the surface conditions during summer may have resulted in warmer conditions and possible melting. This situation indicates that the ice-cemented ground in the north polar plains is likely to be a candidate for the most recently habitable place on Mars as near-surface ice likely provided adequate water activity approximately 5 Myr ago. The high elevation Dry Valleys of Antarctica provide the best analog on Earth of Martian ground ice. These locations are the only places on Earth where ice-cemented ground is found beneath dry permafrost. The Dry Valleys are a hyper-arid polar desert environment and in locations above 1500 m elevation, such as University Valley, air temperatures do not exceed 0 C. Thus, similarly to Mars, liquid water is largely absent here and instead the hydrologic cycle is dominated by frozen ice and vapor phase processes such as sublimation. These conditions make the high elevation Dry Valleys a key Mars analog location where periglacial processes and geomorphic features can be studied in situ. This talk will focus on studies of University Valley as a Mars analog for periglacial morphology and ice stability. We will review a landing site selection study encompassing this information gleaned from the Antarctic terrestrial analog studies plus Mars spacecraft data analysis to identify candidate landing sites for a future mission to search for life on Mars.

  19. An origin of life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P

    2010-04-01

    Evidence of past liquid water on the surface of Mars suggests that this world once had habitable conditions and leads to the question of life. If there was life on Mars, it would be interesting to determine if it represented a separate origin from life on Earth. To determine the biochemistry and genetics of life on Mars requires that we have access to an organism or the biological remains of one-possibly preserved in ancient permafrost. A way to determine if organic material found on Mars represents the remains of an alien biological system could be based on the observation that biological systems select certain organic molecules over others that are chemically similar (e.g., chirality in amino acids).

  20. Enhanced Time Out: An Improved Communication Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Patricia E

    2017-06-01

    An enhanced time out is an improved communication process initiated to prevent such surgical errors as wrong-site, wrong-procedure, or wrong-patient surgery. The enhanced time out at my facility mandates participation from all members of the surgical team and requires designated members to respond to specified time out elements on the surgical safety checklist. The enhanced time out incorporated at my facility expands upon the safety measures from the World Health Organization's surgical safety checklist and ensures that all personnel involved in a surgical intervention perform a final check of relevant information. Initiating the enhanced time out at my facility was intended to improve communication and teamwork among surgical team members and provide a highly reliable safety process to prevent wrong-site, wrong-procedure, and wrong-patient surgery. Copyright © 2017 AORN, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Space Communications and Data Systems Technologies for Next Generation Earth Science Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Robert A.; Reinhart, Richard C.; Hilderman, Don R.; Paulsen, Phillip E.

    2003-01-01

    The next generation of Earth observing satellites and sensor networks will face challenges in supporting robust high rate communications links from the increasingly sophisticated onboard instruments. Emerging applications will need data rates forecast to be in the 100's to 1000's of Mbps. As mission designers seek smaller spacecraft, challenges exist in reducing the size and power requirements while increasing the capacity of the spacecraft's communications technologies. To meet these challenges, this work looks at three areas of selected space communications and data services technologies, specifically in the development of reflectarray antennas, demonstration of space Internet concepts, and measurement of atmospheric propagation effects on Ka-band signal transmitted from LEO.

  2. Mars Orbiter Camera Views the 'Face on Mars' - Comparison with Viking

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    processed to remove the sensitivity differences between adjacent picture elements (calibrated). This removes the vertical streaking. The contrast and brightness of the image was adjusted, and 'filters' were applied to enhance detail at several scales. The image was then geometrically warped to meet the computed position information for a mercator-type map. This corrected for the left-right flip, and the non-vertical viewing angle (about 45o from vertical), but also introduced some vertical 'elongation' of the image for the same reason Greenland looks larger than Africa on a mercator map of the Earth. A section of the image, containing the 'Face' and a couple of nearly impact craters and hills, was 'cut' out of the full image and reproduced separately.See PIA01440-1442 for additional processing steps. Also see PIA01236 for the raw image.Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  3. Subsurface microbial habitats on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, P. J.; Mckay, C. P.

    1991-01-01

    We developed scenarios for shallow and deep subsurface cryptic niches for microbial life on Mars. Such habitats could have considerably prolonged the persistence of life on Mars as surface conditions became increasingly inhospitable. The scenarios rely on geothermal hot spots existing below the near or deep subsurface of Mars. Recent advances in the comparatively new field of deep subsurface microbiology have revealed previously unsuspected rich aerobic and anaerobic microbal communities far below the surface of the Earth. Such habitats, protected from the grim surface conditions on Mars, could receive warmth from below and maintain water in its liquid state. In addition, geothermally or volcanically reduced gases percolating from below through a microbiologically active zone could provide the reducing power needed for a closed or semi-closed microbial ecosystem to thrive.

  4. The Ph-D project: Manned expedition to the Moons of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, S. Fred

    2000-01-01

    The Ph-D (Phobos-Deimos) mission involves the transfer of six to eight men (and women), including two medical scientists, from Earth orbit to Deimos, the outer satellite of Mars. There follows a sequential program of unmanned exploration of the surface of Mars by means of some ten to twenty unmanned rover vehicles, each of which returns Mars samples to the Deimos laboratory. A two-man sortie descends to the surface of Mars to gain a direct geological perspective and develop priorities in selecting samples. At the same time, other astronauts conduct a coordinated program of exploration (including sample studies) of Phobos and Deimos. Bringing men close to Mars to control exploration is shown to have scientific and other advantages over either (i) (manned) control from the Earth, or (ii) manned operations from Mars surface. The mission is envisaged to take place after 2010, and to last about two years (including a three-to six-month stay at Deimos). Depending on then-available technology, take-off weight from Earth orbit is of the order of 300 tons. A preferred mission scheme may preposition propellants and equipment at Deimos by means of ``slow freight,'' possibly using a ``gravity boost'' from Venus. It is then followed by a ``manned express'' that conveys the astronauts more rapidly to Deimos. Both chemical and electric propulsion are used in this mission, as appropriate. Electric power is derived from solar and nuclear sources. Assuming that certain development costs can be shared with space-station programs, the incremental cost of the project is estimated as less than $40 billion (in 1998 dollars), expended over a 15-year period. The potential scientific returns are both unique and important: (i) Establishing current or ancient existence of life-forms on Mars; (ii) Understanding the causes of climate change by comparing Earth and Mars; (iii) Martian planetary history; (iv) Nature and origin of the Martian moons. Beyond the Ph-D Project, many advanced programs

  5. Journal of Earth System Science | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Earth System Science. Journal of Earth System Science. Volumes & Issues. Volume 127. Issue 1. Feb 2018; Issue 2. Mar 2018; Issue 3. Apr 2018. Volume 126. Issue 1. Feb 2017; Issue 2. Mar 2017; Issue 3. Apr 2017; Issue 4. Jun 2017; Issue 5. Jul 2017; Issue 6. Aug 2017; Issue 7. Oct 2017 ...

  6. Studying Antarctic Ordinary Chondrite (OC) and Miller Range (MIL) Nakhlite Meteorites to Assess Carbonate Formation on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Michael Ellis

    Carbonates are found in meteorites collected from Antarctica. The stable isotope composition of these carbonates records their formation environment on either Earth or Mars. The first research objective of this dissertation is to characterize the delta18O and delta 13C values of terrestrial carbonates formed on Ordinary Chondrites (OCs) collected in regions near known martian meteorites. The second objective is to characterize the delta18O and delta13C values of martian carbonates from Nakhlites collected from the Miller Range (MIL). The third objective is to assess environmental changes on Mars since the Noachian period. The OCs selected had no pre-terrestrial carbonates so any carbonates detected are presumed terrestrial in origin. The study methodology is stepped extraction of CO2 created from phosphoric acid reaction with meteorite carbonate. Stable isotope results show that two distinct terrestrial carbonate species (Ca-rich and Fe/Mg-rich) formed in Antarctica on OCs from a thin-film of meltwater containing dissolved CO2. Carbon isotope data suggests the terrestrial carbonates formed in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2 delta 13C = -7.5‰ at >15°C. The wide variation in delta 18O suggests the carbonates did not form in equilibrium with meteoric water alone, but possibly formed from an exchange of oxygen isotopes in both water and dissolved CO2. Antarctica provides a model for carbonate formation in a low water/rock ratio, near 0°C environment like modern Mars. Nakhlite parent basalt formed on Mars 1.3 billion years ago and the meteorites were ejected by a single impact approximately 11 million years ago. They traveled thru space before eventually falling to the Earth surface 10,000-40,000 years ago. Nakhlite samples for this research were all collected from the Miller Range (MIL) in Antarctica. The Nakhlite stable isotope results show two carbonate species (Ca-rich and Fe/Mg-rich) with a range of delta18O values that are similar to the terrestrial OC

  7. Hypervelocity Impact Testing of Materials for Additive Construction: Applications on Earth, the Moon, and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordonez, Erick; Edmunson, Jennifer; Fiske, Michael; Christiansen, Eric; Miller, Josh; Davis, Bruce Alan; Read, Jon; Johnston, Mallory; Fikes, John

    2017-01-01

    Additive Construction is the process of building infrastructure such as habitats, garages, roads, berms, etcetera layer by layer (3D printing). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are pursuing additive construction to build structures using resources available in-situ. Using materials available in-situ reduces the cost of planetary missions and operations in theater. The NASA team is investigating multiple binders that can be produced on planetary surfaces, including the magnesium oxide-based Sorel cement; the components required to make Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), the common cement used on Earth, have been found on Mars. The availability of OPC-based concrete on Earth drove the USACE to pursue additive construction for base housing and barriers for military operations. Planetary and military base structures must be capable of resisting micrometeoroid impacts with velocities ranging from 11 to 72km/s for particle sizes 200 micrometers or more (depending on protection requirements) as well as bullets and shrapnel with a velocity of 1.036km/s with projectiles 5.66mm diameter and 57.40mm in length, respectively.

  8. Nuclear interactions of cosmic rays with the Mars atmosphere and rocks according to data of the Mars-5 space vehicle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Surkov, Yu A; Moskaleva, L P; Kharyukova, V P; Borodin, A M [AN SSSR, Moscow. Inst. Geokhimii i Analiticheskoj Khimii

    1976-03-01

    Gamma-spectra of Mars have been analyzed measured by the ''Mars-5'' interplanetary station at the altitude of approximately 200 km over the planet. A model spectrum of the Mars atmosphere gamma-radiation obtained earlier has been employed for obtaining cosmo-chemical information of the Mars rocks. In the energy range of gamma radiation Esub(..gamma..)(>=)2.6 MeV, in which no contribution of gamma radiation of natural radioisotopes is present, the best agreement has been obtained for the spectrum of gamma-radiation induced by cosmic rays in rocks of the type of earthly basalts.

  9. Study on networking issues of medium earth orbit satellite communications systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, Noriyuki; Shinonaga, Hideyuki; Ito, Yasuhiko

    1993-01-01

    Two networking issues of communications systems with medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites, namely network architectures and location determination and registration methods for hand-held terminals, are investigated in this paper. For network architecture, five candidate architectures are considered and evaluated in terms of signaling traffic. For location determination and registration, two methods are discussed and evaluated.

  10. An analysis of the low-earth-orbit communications environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diersing, Robert Joseph

    Advances in microprocessor technology and availability of launch opportunities have caused interest in low-earth-orbit satellite based communications systems to increase dramatically during the past several years. In this research the capabilities of two low-cost, store-and-forward LEO communications satellites operating in the public domain are examined--PACSAT-1 (operated by the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) and UoSAT-3 (operated by the University of Surrey, England, Electrical Engineering Department). The file broadcasting and file transfer facilities are examined in detail and a simulation model of the downlink traffic pattern is developed. The simulator will aid the assessment of changes in design and implementation for other systems. The development of the downlink traffic simulator is based on three major parts. First, is a characterization of the low-earth-orbit operating environment along with preliminary measurements of the PACSAT-1 and UoSAT-3 systems including: satellite visibility constraints on communications, monitoring equipment configuration, link margin computations, determination of block and bit error rates, and establishing typical data capture rates for ground stations using computer-pointed directional antennas and fixed omni-directional antennas. Second, arrival rates for successful and unsuccessful file server connections are established along with transaction service times. Downlink traffic has been further characterized by measuring: frame and byte counts for all data-link layer traffic; 30-second interval average response time for all traffic and for file server traffic only; file server response time on a per-connection basis; and retry rates for information and supervisory frames. Finally, the model is verified by comparison with measurements of actual traffic not previously used in the model building process. The simulator is then used to predict operation of the PACSAT-1 satellite with modifications to the original design.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Effects of a CME on Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Falkenberg, Thea Vilstrup; Vennerstrøm, Susanne; Brain, D.

    this balances the solar wind pressure. As the dynamic pressure is severely increased during a CME, so is the magnetic pressure. A CME are also typically connected to a Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) event, causing large amounts of radiation. When the shock front of a CME arrives at Mars strong signals are seen......We investigate the effects of a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) on Mars. The magnetic field in the magnetic pileup region on Mars is dominated by the dynamic pressure from the solar as increased dynamic pressure compresses the magnetic pileup region causing a larger magnetic pressure, until...... in both the magnetic field data and in the radiation data. Based on Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Magnetometer (MAG) and Electron Reflectometer (ER) data we study the radiation and magnetic field variations on Mars during a CME event. We also compare the effects on Mars to the effects on Earth for the same...

  15. Investigating the Early Atmospheres of Earth and Mars through Rivers, Raindrops, and Lava Flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Som, Sanjoy M.

    2010-11-01

    The discovery of a habitable Earth-like planet beyond our solar-system will be remembered as one of the major breakthroughs of 21st century science, and of the same magnitude as Copernicus' heliocentric model dating from the mid 16th century. The real astrobiological breakthrough will be the added results from atmospheric remote sensing of such planets to determine habitability. Atmospheres, in both concentration and composition are suggestive of processes occurring at the planetary surface and upper crust. Unfortunately, only the modern Earth's atmosphere is known to be habitable. I investigate the density and pressure of our planet's early atmosphere before the rise of oxygen 2.5 billion years ago, because our planet was very much alive microbially. Such knowledge gives us another example of a habitable atmosphere. I also investigates the atmosphere of early Mars, as geomorphic signatures on its surface are suggestive of a past where liquid water may have present in a warmer climate, conditions suitable for the emergence of life, compared with today's 6 mbar CO2-dominated atmosphere. Using tools of fluvial geomorphology, I find that the largest river-valleys on Mars do not record a signature of a sustained hydrological cycle, in which precipitation onto a drainage basin induces many cycles of water flow, substrate incision, water ponding, and return to the atmosphere via evaporation. Rather, I conclude that while episodes of flow did occur in perhaps warmer environments, those periods were short-lived and overprinted onto a dominantly cold and dry planet. For Earth, I develop a new method of investigating atmospheric density and pressure using the size of raindrop imprints, and find that raindrop imprints preserved in the 2.7 billion year old Ventersdorp Supergroup of South Africa are consistent with precipitation falling in an atmosphere of near-surface density 0.1 kg/m3, compared to a modern value of 1.2 kg/m3, further suggesting a nitrogen level of at most

  16. 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.

  17. Short Range-Ordered Minerals: Insight into Aqueous Alteration Processes on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Douglas W.; Morris, R. V.; Golden, D. C.

    2011-01-01

    involved. The style of aqueous alteration (hydrolytic vs. acid sulfate) impacts which phases will form (e.g., oxides, oxysulfates, and oxyhydroxides). Knowledge on the formation processes of SRO phases in basaltic materials on Earth has allowed significant enhancement in our understanding of the aqueous processes at work on Mars. The 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will provide an instrument suite that should improve our understanding of the mineralogical and chemical compositions of SRO phases. CheMin is an X-ray diffraction instrument that may provide broad X-ray diffraction peaks for SRO phases; e.g., broad peaks around 0.33 and 0.23 nm for allophane. Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) heats samples and detects evolved gases of volatile-bearing phases including SRO phases (i.e., carbonates, sulfates, hydrated minerals). The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and ChemCam element analyzers will provide chemical characterization of samples. The identification of SRO phases in surface materials on MSL will be challenging due to their nanocrystalline properties; their detection and identification will require utilizing the MSL instrument suite in concert. Ultimately, sample return missions will be required to definitively identify and fully characterize SRO minerals with state-of-the-art laboratory instrumentation back on Earth.

  18. Searching for Life: The Case for Halobacteria on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    A major objective for NASA exploration of Mars is to determine whether life has existed on Mars in the past, and whether such life on Mars may persist to the present day. On Earth, life exists in all niches in which water exists in liquid form for at least a portion of the year. On Mars, any liquid water would have to be a highly concentrated brine solution. It is likely, therefore, that any present-day Martian microorganisms would be similar to terrestrial halophiles.

  19. An Origin of Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2010-01-01

    Evidence of past liquid water on the surface of Mars suggests that this world once had habitable conditions and leads to the question of life. If there was life on Mars, it would be interesting to determine if it represented a separate origin from life on Earth. To determine the biochemistry and genetics of life on Mars requires that we have access to an organism or the biological remains of one—possibly preserved in ancient permafrost. A way to determine if organic material found on Mars represents the remains of an alien biological system could be based on the observation that biological systems select certain organic molecules over others that are chemically similar (e.g., chirality in amino acids). PMID:20452949

  20. Manned Mars mission communication and data management systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Ronald E.

    1986-01-01

    A manned Mars mission will involve a small crew and many complex tasks. The productivity of the crew and the entire mission will depend significantly on effective automation of these tasks and the ease with which the crew can interface with them. The technology to support a manned Mars mission is available today; however, evolving software and electronic technology are enabling many interesting possibilities for increasing productivity and safety while reducing life cycle cost. Some of these advanced technologies are identified.

  1. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope Jane

    2016-01-01

    We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can flourish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a "Field Guide to Unknown Organisms" for developing life detection space missions.

  2. The ISS as a platform for a fully simulated mars voyage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narici, Livio; Reitz, Guenther

    2016-07-01

    The ISS can mimic the impact of microgravity, radiation, living and psychological conditions that astronauts will face during a deep space cruise, for example to Mars. This suggests the ISS as the most valuable "analogue" for deep space exploration. NASA has indeed suggested a 'full-up deep space simulation on last available ISS Mission: 6/7 crew for one year duration; full simulation of time delays & autonomous operations'. This idea should be pushed further. It is indeed conceivable to use the ISS as the final "analogue", performing a real 'dry-run' of a deep space mission (such as a mission to Mars), as close as reasonably possible to what will be the real voyage. This Mars ISS dry run (ISS4Mars) would last 500-800 days, mimicking most of the challenges which will be undertaken such as length, isolation, food provision, decision making, time delays, health monitoring diagnostic and therapeutic actions and more: not a collection of "single experiments", but a complete exploration simulation were all the pieces will come together for the first in space simulated Mars voyage. Most of these challenges are the same that those that will be encountered during a Moon voyage, with the most evident exceptions being the duration and the communication delay. At the time of the Mars ISS dry run all the science and technological challenges will have to be mostly solved by dedicated works. These solutions will be synergistically deployed in the dry run which will simulate all the different aspects of the voyage, the trip to Mars, the permanence on the planet and the return to Earth. During the dry run i) There will be no arrivals/departure of spacecrafts; 2) Proper communications delay with ground will be simulated; 3) Decision processes will migrate from Ground to ISS; 4) Permanence on Mars will be simulated. Mars ISS dry run will use just a portion of the ISS which will be totally isolated from the rest of the ISS, leaving to the other ISS portions the task to provide the

  3. Study on the Effect of Frequency on Conductivity of Underground Strata in Coal Mine Through-the-earth Wireless Communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinyi TAO

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The relationship of conductivity and the frequency, which is of decisive significance in through-the-earth wireless communication in coal mine, is closely related to the options of frequency range in coal mine wireless communication. When through-the-earth wireless communication is applied, the electromagnetic waves need to spread in the semi-conductive medium rocks. The main factors affecting the electromagnetic wave propagation in rocks is the rock strata electromagnetic parameters. These parameters are magnetic permeability m (H/m, dielectric constant e (F/m and electrical conductivity s (S/m. In these parameters, electrical conductivity is not constant. Under the influence of various factors, it will be great changes. This paper, for the specific circumstances of coal mine rock, discuses and conduct dada mining the effect frequency on the electrical conductivity of underground rock in coal mine with through-the-earth wireless communication.

  4. Paleo-hydraulic Reconstructions of Topographically Inverted River Deposits on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, A.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Ewing, R. C.; McElroy, B. J.

    2015-12-01

    River deposits are one of the keys to understanding the history of flowing water and sediment on Earth and Mars. Deposits of some ancient Martian rivers have been topographically inverted resulting in sinuous ridges visible from orbit. However, it is unclear what aspects of the fluvial deposits these ridges represent, so reconstructing paleo-hydraulics from ridge geometry is complicated. Most workers have assumed that ridges represent casts of paleo-river channels, such that ridge widths and slopes, for example, can be proxies for river widths and slopes at some instant in time. Alternatively, ridges might reflect differential erosion of extensive channel bodies, and therefore preserve a rich record of channel conditions and paleoenvironment over time. To explore these hypotheses, we examined well exposed inverted river deposits in the Jurassic Morrison and Early Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formations across the San Rafael Swell of central Utah. We mapped features on foot and by UAV, measured stratigraphic sections and sedimentary structures to constrain deposit architecture and river paleo-hydraulics, and used field observations and drainage network analyses to constrain recent erosion. Our work partly confirms earlier work in that the local trend of the ridge axis generally parallels paleo-flow indicators. However, ridge relief is much greater than reconstructed channel depths, and ridge widths vary from zero to several times the reconstructed channel width. Ridges instead appear to record a rich history of channel lateral migration, floodplain deposition, and soil development over significant time. The ridge network is disjointed owing to active modern fluvial incision and scarp retreat. Our results suggest that ridge geometry alone contains limited quantitative information about paleo-rivers, and that stratigraphic sections and observations of sedimentary structures within ridge-forming deposits are necessary to constrain ancient river systems on Mars.

  5. Light, plants, and power for life support on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salisbury, F. B.; Dempster, W. F.; Allen, J. P.; Alling, A.; Bubenheim, D.; Nelson, M.; Silverstone, S.

    2002-01-01

    Regardless of how well other growing conditions are optimized, crop yields will be limited by the available light up to saturation irradiances. Considering the various factors of clouds on Earth, dust storms on Mars, thickness of atmosphere, and relative orbits, there is roughly 2/3 as much light averaged annually on Mars as on Earth. On Mars, however, crops must be grown under controlled conditions (greenhouse or growth rooms). Because there presently exists no material that can safely be pressurized, insulated, and resist hazards of puncture and deterioration to create life support systems on Mars while allowing for sufficient natural light penetration as well, artificial light will have to be supplied. If high irradiance is provided for long daily photoperiods, the growing area can be reduced by a factor of 3-4 relative to the most efficient irradiance for cereal crops such as wheat and rice, and perhaps for some other crops. Only a small penalty in required energy will be incurred by such optimization. To obtain maximum yields, crops must be chosen that can utilize high irradiances. Factors that increase ability to convert high light into increased productivity include canopy architecture, high-yield index (harvest index), and long-day or day-neutral flowering and tuberization responses. Prototype life support systems such as Bios-3 in Siberia or the Mars on Earth Project need to be undertaken to test and further refine systems and parameters.

  6. Austere Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Hoppy; Hawkins, Alisa M.; Tadcliffe, Torrey O.

    2009-01-01

    The Design Reference Architecture 5 (DRA 5) is the most recent concept developed by NASA to send humans to Mars in the 2030 time frame using Constellation Program elements. DRA 5 is optimized to meet a specific set of requirements that would provide for a robust exploration program to deliver a new six-person crew at each biennial Mars opportunity and provide for power and infrastructure to maintain a highly capable continuing human presence on Mars. This paper examines an alternate architecture that is scaled back from DRA 5 and might offer lower development cost, lower flight cost, and lower development risk. It is recognized that a mission set using this approach would not meet all the current Constellation Mars mission requirements; however, this 'austere' architecture may represent a minimum mission set that would be acceptable from a science and exploration standpoint. The austere approach is driven by a philosophy of minimizing high risk or high cost technology development and maximizing development and production commonality in order to achieve a program that could be sustained in a flat-funded budget environment. Key features that would enable a lower technology implementation are as follows: using a blunt-body entry vehicle having no deployable decelerators, utilizing aerobraking rather than aerocapture for placing the crewed element into low Mars orbit, avoiding the use of liquid hydrogen with its low temperature and large volume issues, using standard bipropellant propulsion for the landers and ascent vehicle, and using radioisotope surface power systems rather than a nuclear reactor or large area deployable solar arrays. Flat funding within the expected NASA budget for a sustained program could be facilitated by alternating cargo and crew launches for the biennial Mars opportunities. This would result in two assembled vehicles leaving Earth orbit for Mars per Mars opportunity. The first opportunity would send two cargo landers to the Mars surface to

  7. Evidence for a Large Natural Nuclear Reactor in Mars Past

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, J. E.

    2006-05-01

    It has long been known that The isotopic ratios 129 Xe/132Xe and 40Ar/36Ar are very high in Mars atmosphere relative to Earth or meteoritic backgrounds. This fact has allowed the SNC meteorites to be identified as Martian based on their trapped gases (1). However, while the isotopic anomalies explained one mystery, the origin of the SNC meteorites, they created a new mystery: the rock samples from Mars show no evidence of the large amounts of Iodine or Potassium that would give naturally give rise to the Xenon and Argon isotopic anomalies (2). In fact, the Martian meteorites are depleted in Potassium relative to earth rocks. This is added to the fact that for other isotopic systems such as 80Kr, Mars rock samples must be irradiated by neutrons at fluences of 1015 /cm2 to explain observed abundances (1) . Compounding the mystery is the fact that Mars surface layer has elevated levels of Uranium and Thorium relative to Earth and even its own rocks, as determined from SNCs (3). These anomalies can be explained if some large nuclear energy release, such as by natural nuclear reactors known to have operated on Earth (4) in in some concentrated ore body, occurred with perhaps a large volcano like explosion that spread residues over the planets surface. Based on gamma ray observations from orbit (3), and the correlations of normally uncorrelated Th and K deposits , the approximate location of this event would appear to have been in the north of Mars in a region in Acidalia Planitia centered at 45N Latitude and 15W Longitude (5). The possibility of such a large radiological event in Mars past adds impetus to Mars exploration efforts and particularly to a human mission to Mars to learn more about this possible occurrence. (1) Swindle, T. D. , Caffee, M. W., and Hohenberg, C. M., (1986) "Xenon and other Noble Gases in Shergottites" Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 50, pp 1001-1015. (2) Banin, A., Clark, B.C., and Wanke, H. "Surface Chemistry and Mineralogy" (1992) in "Mars

  8. A Mission Concept: Re-Entry Hopper-Aero-Space-Craft System on-Mars (REARM-Mars)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodi, Faranak

    2013-01-01

    Future missions to Mars that would need a sophisticated lander, hopper, or rover could benefit from the REARM Architecture. The mission concept REARM Architecture is designed to provide unprecedented capabilities for future Mars exploration missions, including human exploration and possible sample-return missions, as a reusable lander, ascend/descend vehicle, refuelable hopper, multiple-location sample-return collector, laboratory, and a cargo system for assets and humans. These could all be possible by adding just a single customized Re-Entry-Hopper-Aero-Space-Craft System, called REARM-spacecraft, and a docking station at the Martian orbit, called REARM-dock. REARM could dramatically decrease the time and the expense required to launch new exploratory missions on Mars by making them less dependent on Earth and by reusing the assets already designed, built, and sent to Mars. REARM would introduce a new class of Mars exploration missions, which could explore much larger expanses of Mars in a much faster fashion and with much more sophisticated lab instruments. The proposed REARM architecture consists of the following subsystems: REARM-dock, REARM-spacecraft, sky-crane, secure-attached-compartment, sample-return container, agile rover, scalable orbital lab, and on-the-road robotic handymen.

  9. The divergent fates of primitive hydrospheric water on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Jon; Dyck, Brendan; Palin, Richard M.; Moore, James D. P.; Smye, Andrew J.

    2017-12-01

    Despite active transport into Earth’s mantle, water has been present on our planet’s surface for most of geological time. Yet water disappeared from the Martian surface soon after its formation. Although some of the water on Mars was lost to space via photolysis following the collapse of the planet’s magnetic field, the widespread serpentinization of Martian crust suggests that metamorphic hydration reactions played a critical part in the sequestration of the crust. Here we quantify the relative volumes of water that could be removed from each planet’s surface via the burial and metamorphism of hydrated mafic crusts, and calculate mineral transition-induced bulk-density changes at conditions of elevated pressure and temperature for each. The metamorphic mineral assemblages in relatively FeO-rich Martian lavas can hold about 25 per cent more structurally bound water than those in metamorphosed terrestrial basalts, and can retain it at greater depths within Mars. Our calculations suggest that in excess of 9 per cent by volume of the Martian mantle may contain hydrous mineral species as a consequence of surface reactions, compared to about 4 per cent by volume of Earth’s mantle. Furthermore, neither primitive nor evolved hydrated Martian crust show noticeably different bulk densities compared to their anhydrous equivalents, in contrast to hydrous mafic terrestrial crust, which transforms to denser eclogite upon dehydration. This would have allowed efficient overplating and burial of early Martian crust in a stagnant-lid tectonic regime, in which the lithosphere comprised a single tectonic plate, with only the warmer, lower crust involved in mantle convection. This provided an important sink for hydrospheric water and a mechanism for oxidizing the Martian mantle. Conversely, relatively buoyant mafic crust and hotter geothermal gradients on Earth reduced the potential for upper-mantle hydration early in its geological history, leading to water being retained

  10. Photosynthetic microbial mats today, on early Earth, (and on early Mars?)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D. J.

    2008-05-01

    extensive, highly productive biosphere? Perhaps the substantial decline in geothermal activity during the Archean created a driver for the development of oxygenic photosynthesis. Can we further document the Archean biosphere? The pre-3.5 Ga crust of Mars records evidence of surface water and is far better preserved than the early crust of Earth. Perhaps Mars exploration will extend our understanding of emerging biospheres to even earlier periods.

  11. Yield strengths of flows on the earth, Mars, and moon. [application of Bingham plastic model to lava flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, H. J.; Arthur, D. W. G.; Schaber, G. G.

    1978-01-01

    Dimensions of flows on the earth, Mars, and moon and their topographic gradients obtained from remote measurements are used to calculate yield strengths with a view to explore the validity of the Bingham plastic model and determine whether there is a relation between yield strengths and silica contents. Other factors are considered such as the vagaries of natural phenomena that might contribute to erroneous interpretations and measurements. Comparison of yield strengths of Martian and lunar flows with terrestrial flows suggests that the Martian and lunar flows are more akin to terrestrial basalts than they are to terrestrial andesites, trachytes, and rhyolites.

  12. A comparative study between control strategies for a solar sailcraft in an Earth-Mars transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainenti-Lopes, I.; Souza, L. C. Gadelha; De Sousa, Fabiano. L.

    2016-10-01

    The goal of this work was a comparative study of solar sail trajectory optimization using different control strategies. Solar sailcraft is propulsion system with great interest in space engineering, since it uses solar radiation to propulsion. So there is no need for propellant to be used, thus it can remains active throughout the entire transfer maneuver. This type of propulsion system opens the possibility to reduce the cost of exploration missions in the solar system. In its simplest configuration, a Flat Solar Sail (FSS) consists of a large and thin structure generally composed by a film fixed to flexible rods. The performance of these vehicles depends largely on the sails attitude relative to the Sun. Using a FSS as propulsion, an Earth-Mars transfer optimization problem was tackled by the algorithms GEOreal1 and GEOreal2 (Generalized Extremal Optimization with real codification). Those algorithms are Evolutionary Algorithms (AE) based on the theory of Self-Organized Criticality. They were used to optimize the FSS attitude angle so it could reach Mars orbit in minimum time. It was considered that the FSS could perform up to ten attitude maneuvers during orbital transfer. Moreover, the time between maneuvers can be different. So, the algorithms had to optimize an objective function with 20 design variables. The results obtained in this work were compared with previously results that considered constant values of time between maneuvers.

  13. Report of the Workshop for Life Detection in Samples from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kminek, Gerhard; Conley, Catherine; Allen, Carlton C.; Bartlett, Douglas H.; Beaty, David W.; Benning, Liane G.; Bhartia, Rohit; Boston, Penelope J.; Duchaine, Caroline; Farmer, Jack D.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether there is or was life on Mars has been one of the most pivotal since Schiaparellis' telescopic observations of the red planet. With the advent of the space age, this question can be addressed directly by exploring the surface of Mars and by bringing samples to Earth for analysis. The latter, however, is not free of problems. Life can be found virtually everywhere on Earth. Hence the potential for contaminating the Mars samples and compromising their scientific integrity is not negligible. Conversely, if life is present in samples from Mars, this may represent a potential source of extraterrestrial biological contamination for Earth. A range of measures and policies, collectively termed 'planetary protection', are employed to minimise risks and thereby prevent undesirable consequences for the terrestrial biosphere. This report documents discussions and conclusions from a workshop held in 2012, which followed a public conference focused on current capabilities for performing life-detection studies on Mars samples. The workshop focused on the evaluation of Mars samples that would maximise scientific productivity and inform decision making in the context of planetary protection. Workshop participants developed a strong consensus that the same measurements could be employed to effectively inform both science and planetary protection, when applied in the context of two competing hypotheses: 1) that there is no detectable life in the samples; or 2) that there is martian life in the samples. Participants then outlined a sequence for sample processing and defined analytical methods that would test these hypotheses. They also identified critical developments to enable the analysis of samples from Mars.

  14. Future Mars geophysical observatories for understanding its internal structure, rotation, and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, Veronique; Banerdt, Bruce; Lognonné, Philippe; Grott, Matthias; Asmar, Sami; Biele, Jens; Breuer, Doris; Forget, François; Jaumann, Ralf; Johnson, Catherine; Knapmeyer, Martin; Langlais, Benoit; Le Feuvre, Mathieu; Mimoun, David; Mocquet, Antoine; Read, Peter; Rivoldini, Attilio; Romberg, Oliver; Schubert, Gerald; Smrekar, Sue; Spohn, Tilman; Tortora, Paolo; Ulamec, Stephan; Vennerstrøm, Susanne

    2012-08-01

    Our fundamental understanding of the interior of the Earth comes from seismology, geodesy, geochemistry, geomagnetism, geothermal studies, and petrology. For the Earth, measurements in those disciplines of geophysics have revealed the basic internal layering of the Earth, its dynamical regime, its thermal structure, its gross compositional stratification, as well as significant lateral variations in these quantities. Planetary interiors not only record evidence of conditions of planetary accretion and differentiation, they exert significant control on surface environments. We present recent advances in possible in-situ investigations of the interior of Mars, experiments and strategies that can provide unique and critical information about the fundamental processes of terrestrial planet formation and evolution. Such investigations applied on Mars have been ranked as a high priority in virtually every set of European, US and international high-level planetary science recommendations for the past 30 years. New seismological methods and approaches based on the cross-correlation of seismic noise by two seismic stations/landers on the surface of Mars and on joint seismic/orbiter detection of meteorite impacts, as well as the improvement of the performance of Very Broad-Band (VBB) seismometers have made it possible to secure a rich scientific return with only two simultaneously recording stations. In parallel, use of interferometric methods based on two Earth-Mars radio links simultaneously from landers tracked from Earth has increased the precision of radio science experiments by one order of magnitude. Magnetometer and heat flow measurements will complement seismic and geodetic data in order to obtain the best information on the interior of Mars. In addition to studying the present structure and dynamics of Mars, these measurements will provide important constraints for the astrobiology of Mars by helping to understand why Mars failed to sustain a magnetic field, by

  15. Martian Feeling: An Analogue Study to Simulate a Round-Trip to Mars using the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix, C. V.; Gini, A.

    When talking about human space exploration, Mars missions are always present. It is clear that sooner or later, humanity will take this adventure. Arguably the most important aspect to consider for the success of such an endeavour is the human element. The safety of the crew throughout a Martian mission is a top priority for all space agencies. Therefore, such a mission should not take place until all the risks have been fully understood and mitigated. A mission to Mars presents unique human and technological challenges in terms of isolation, confinement, autonomy, reliance on mission control, communication delays and adaptation to different gravity levels. Analogue environments provide the safest way to simulate these conditions, mitigate the risks and evaluate the effects of long-term space travel on the crew. Martian Feeling is one of nine analogue studies, from the Mars Analogue Path (MAP) report [1], proposed by the TP Analogue group of ISU Masters class 2010. It is an integrated analogue study which simulates the psychological, physiological and operational conditions that an international, six-person, mixed gender crew would experience on a mission to Mars. Set both onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and on Earth, the Martian Feeling study will perform a ``dress rehearsal'' of a mission to Mars. The study proposes to test both human performance and operational procedures in a cost-effective manner. Since Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is more accessible than other space-based locations, an analogue studies in LEO would provide the required level of realism to a simulated transit mission to Mars. The sustained presence of microgravity and other elements of true spaceflight are features of LEO that are neither currently feasible nor possible to study in terrestrial analogue sites. International collaboration, economics, legal and ethical issues were considered when the study was proposed. As an example of international collaboration, the ISS would

  16. HEAT OF MARS IS LOVE OF LIFE?! TWO WAYS TO LOOK AT MARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Alavipanah

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Earth and Mars travel in neighboring orbits around the sun. Both are rocky planets, but only the earth has the conditions to support life on. Is such a great difference due to their surface temperatures? It is obvious that the surface temperatures of these planets are governed by two factors of: (a the amount of energy they receive from the sun and, (b the composition of their atmospheres. If it is true, we must focus more on the Thermal Remote Sensing on Mars. Since heat is an important factor in any physical, chemical and biological study, it can be said that the heat in the form of love and psychological processes is effective for these studies. In study about life on another planet, not only the thermal characteristics are essential but love or passion in Scientists' efforts that are related to inner heat should also be considered. Therefore, in this paper we review the studies on Mars with the emphasis on the temperature. We consider science, art, literature, and technology as well as any things related to the heat including ice melting, volcanology, soil, morphology, and geothermal. As we believe that it must be bridged between mental and science gaps, shouldn't we make both the art and the science convergent? Therefore, we have used different scientific and art resources to make the role of heat in the Mars clear. We are seeking to answer the question whether the heat can be as a common factor in the researches.

  17. Heat of Mars is Love of LIFE?! Two Ways to Look at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavipanah, S. K.; Van Gasselt, S.; Mulder, N. J.; Nezammahalleh, M. A.

    2013-09-01

    Earth and Mars travel in neighboring orbits around the sun. Both are rocky planets, but only the earth has the conditions to support life on. Is such a great difference due to their surface temperatures? It is obvious that the surface temperatures of these planets are governed by two factors of: (a) the amount of energy they receive from the sun and, (b) the composition of their atmospheres. If it is true, we must focus more on the Thermal Remote Sensing on Mars. Since heat is an important factor in any physical, chemical and biological study, it can be said that the heat in the form of love and psychological processes is effective for these studies. In study about life on another planet, not only the thermal characteristics are essential but love or passion in Scientists' efforts that are related to inner heat should also be considered. Therefore, in this paper we review the studies on Mars with the emphasis on the temperature. We consider science, art, literature, and technology as well as any things related to the heat including ice melting, volcanology, soil, morphology, and geothermal. As we believe that it must be bridged between mental and science gaps, shouldn't we make both the art and the science convergent? Therefore, we have used different scientific and art resources to make the role of heat in the Mars clear. We are seeking to answer the question whether the heat can be as a common factor in the researches.

  18. Geology of Mars after the first 40 years of exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rossi, Angelo Pio; Van Gasselt, Stephan

    2010-01-01

    The knowledge of Martian geology has increased enormously in the last 40 yr. Several missions orbiting or roving Mars have revolutionized our understanding of its evolution and geological features, which in several ways are similar to Earth, but are extremely different in many respects. The impressive dichotomy between the two Martian hemispheres is most likely linked to its impact cratering history, rather than internal dynamics such as on Earth. Mars' volcanism has been extensive, very long-lived and rather constant in its setting. Water was available in large quantities in the distant past of Mars, when a magnetic field and more vigorous tectonics were active. Exogenic forces have been shaping Martian landscapes and have led to a plethora of landscapes shaped by wind, water and ice. Mars' dynamical behavior continues, with its climatic variation affecting climate and geology until very recent times. This paper tries to summarize major highlights in Mars' Geology, and points to deeper and more extensive sources of important scientific contributions and future exploration. (invited reviews)

  19. Astrobiological aspects of Mars and human presence: pros and cons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G

    2008-08-01

    After the realization of the International Space Station, human exploratory missions to Moon or Mars, i.e. beyond low Earth orbit, are widely considered as the next logical step of peaceful cooperation in space on a global scale. Besides the human desire to extend the window of habitability, human exploratory missions are driven by several aspects of science, technology, culture and economy. Mars is currently considered as a major target in the search for life beyond the Earth. Understanding the history of water on Mars appears to be one of the clues to the puzzle on the probability of life on Mars. On Earth microorganisms have flourished for more than 3.5 Ga and have developed strategies to cope with so-called extreme conditions (e.g., hot vents, permafrost, subsurface regions, rocks or salt crystals). Therefore, in search for life on Mars, microorganisms are the most likely candidates for a putative biota on Mars and the search for morphological or chemical signatures of life or its relics is one of the primary and most exciting goals of Mars exploration. The presence of humans on the surface of Mars will substantially increase this research potential, e.g., by supporting deep subsurface drilling and by allowing intellectual collection and sophisticated in situ analysis of samples of astrobiological interest. On the other hand, such long-duration missions beyond LEO will add a new dimension to human space flight, concerning the distance of travel, the radiation environment, the gravity levels, the duration of the mission, and the level of confinement and isolation the crew will be exposed to. This will raise the significance of several health issues, above all radiation protection, gravity related effects as well as psychological issues. Furthermore, the import of internal and external microorganisms inevitably accompanying any human mission to Mars, or brought purposely to Mars as part of a bioregenerative life support system needs careful consideration with

  20. Mars Atmosphere Resource Verification INsitu (MARVIN) - In Situ Resource Demonstration for the Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.; Araghi, Koorosh; Ess, Kim M.; Valencia, Lisa M.; Muscatello, Anthony C.; Calle, Carlos I.; Clark, Larry; Iacomini, Christie

    2014-01-01

    The making of oxygen from resources in the Martian atmosphere, known as In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), has the potential to provide substantial benefits for future robotic and human exploration. In particular, the ability to produce oxygen on Mars for use in propulsion, life support, and power systems can provide significant mission benefits such as a reducing launch mass, lander size, and mission and crew risk. To advance ISRU for possible incorporation into future human missions to Mars, NASA proposed including an ISRU instrument on the Mars 2020 rover mission, through an announcement of opportunity (AO). The purpose of the the Mars Atmosphere Resource Verification INsitu or (MARVIN) instrument is to provide the first demonstration on Mars of oxygen production from acquired and stored Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide, as well as take measurements of atmospheric pressure and temperature, and of suspended dust particle sizes and amounts entrained in collected atmosphere gases at different times of the Mars day and year. The hardware performance and environmental data obtained will be critical for future ISRU systems that will reduce the mass of propellants and other consumables launched from Earth for robotic and human exploration, for better understanding of Mars dust and mitigation techniques to improve crew safety, and to help further define Mars global circulation models and better understand the regional atmospheric dynamics on Mars. The technologies selected for MARVIN are also scalable for future robotic sample return and human missions to Mars using ISRU.

  1. Benefits of Mars ISRU Regolith Water Processing: A Case Study for the NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhenz, Julie; Paz, Aaron; Mueller, Robert

    2016-01-01

    ISRU of Mars resources was baselined in 2009 Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0, but only for Oxygen production using atmospheric CO2. The Methane (LCH4) needed for ascent propulsion of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) would need to be brought from Earth. However: Extracting water from the Martian Regolith enables the production of both Oxygen and Methane from Mars resources: Water resources could also be used for other applications including: Life support, radiation shielding, plant growth, etc. Water extraction was not baselined in DRA5.0 due to perceived difficulties and complexity in processing regolith. The NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) requested studies to look at the quantitative benefits and trades of using Mars water ISRUPhase 1: Examined architecture scenarios for regolith water retrieval. Completed October 2015. Phase 2: Deep dive of one architecture concept to look at end-to-end system size, mass, power of a LCH4/LO2 ISRU production system

  2. Next-Generation NASA Earth-Orbiting Relay Satellites: Fusing Optical and Microwave Communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Israel, David J.; Shaw, Harry

    2018-01-01

    NASA is currently considering architectures and concepts for the generation of relay satellites that will replace the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) constellation, which has been flying since 1983. TDRS-M, the last of the second TDRS generation, launched in August 2017, extending the life of the TDRS constellation beyond 2030. However, opportunities exist to re-engineer the concepts of geosynchronous Earth relay satellites. The needs of the relay satellite customers have changed dramatically over the last 34 years since the first TDRS launch. There is a demand for greater bandwidth as the availability of the traditional RF spectrum for space communications diminishes and the demand for ground station access grows. The next generation of NASA relay satellites will provide for operations that have factored in these new constraints. In this paper, we describe a heterogeneous constellation of geosynchronous relay satellites employing optical and RF communications. The new constellation will enable new optical communications services formed by user-to-space relay, space relay-to-space relay and space relay-to-ground links. It will build upon the experience from the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration from 2013 and the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration to be launched in 2019.Simultaneous to establishment of the optical communications space segment, spacecraft in the TDRS constellation will be replaced with RF relay satellites with targeted subsets of the TDRS capabilities. This disaggregation of the TDRS service model will allow for flexibility in replenishing the needs of legacy users as well as addition of new capabilities for future users. It will also permit the U.S. government access to launch capabilities such as rideshare and to hosted payloads that were not previously available.In this paper, we also explore how the next generation of Earth relay satellites provides a significant boost in the opportunities for commercial providers to the

  3. Next-Generation NASA Earth-Orbiting Relay Satellites: Fusing Microwave and Optical Communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Israel, David J.

    2018-01-01

    NASA is currently considering architectures and concepts for the generation of relay satellites that will replace the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) constellation, which has been flying since 1983. TDRS-M, the last of the second TDRS generation, launched in August 2017, extending the life of the TDRS constellation beyond 2030. However, opportunities exist to re-engineer the concepts of geosynchronous Earth relay satellites. The needs of the relay satellite customers have changed dramatically over the last 34 years since the first TDRS launch. There is a demand for greater bandwidth as the availability of the traditional RF spectrum for space communications diminishes and the demand for ground station access grows. The next generation of NASA relay satellites will provide for operations that have factored in these new constraints. In this paper, we describe a heterogeneous constellation of geosynchronous relay satellites employing optical and RF communications. The new constellation will enable new optical communications services formed by user-to-space relay, space relay-to-space relay and space relay-to-ground links. It will build upon the experience from the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration from 2013 and the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration to be launched in 2019.Simultaneous to establishment of the optical communications space segment, spacecraft in the TDRS constellation will be replaced with RF relay satellites with targeted subsets of the TDRS capabilities. This disaggregation of the TDRS service model will allow for flexibility in replenishing the needs of legacy users as well as addition of new capabilities for future users. It will also permit the U.S. government access to launch capabilities such as rideshare and to hosted payloads that were not previously available. In this paper, we also explore how the next generation of Earth relay satellites provides a significant boost in the opportunities for commercial providers to the

  4. Spiders from Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-426, 19 July 2003No, this is not a picture of a giant, martian spider web. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a plethora of polygonal features on the floor of a northern hemisphere impact crater near 65.6oN, 327.7oW. The picture was acquired during spring, after the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap had largely migrated through the region. At the time the picture was taken, remnants of seasonal frost remained on the crater rim and on the edges of the troughs that bound each of the polygons. Frost often provides a helpful hint as to where polygons and patterned ground occur. The polygons, if they were on Earth, would indicate the presence of freeze-thaw cycles in ground ice. Although uncertain, the same might be true of Mars. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  5. Martian Water: Are There Extant Halobacteria on Mars?

    OpenAIRE

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    On Earth, life exists in all niches where water exists in liquid form for at least a portion of the year. On Mars, any liquid water would have to be a highly concentrated brine solution. It is likely, therefore, that any present-day Martian microorganisms would be similar to terrestrial halophiles. Even if present-day life is not present on Mars, it is an interesting speculation that ancient bacteria preserved in salt deposits could be retrieved from an era when the climate of Mars was mor...

  6. On the chronology of lunar origin and evolution. Implications for Earth, Mars and the Solar System as a whole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiss, Johannes; Rossi, Angelo Pio

    2013-11-01

    An origin of the Moon by a Giant Impact is presently the most widely accepted theory of lunar origin. It is consistent with the major lunar observations: its exceptionally large size relative to the host planet, the high angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system, the extreme depletion of volatile elements, and the delayed accretion, quickly followed by the formation of a global crust and mantle. According to this theory, an impact on Earth of a Mars-sized body set the initial conditions for the formation and evolution of the Moon. The impact produced a protolunar cloud. Fast accretion of the Moon from the dense cloud ensured an effective transformation of gravitational energy into heat and widespread melting. A "Magma Ocean" of global dimensions formed, and upon cooling, an anorthositic crust and a mafic mantle were created by gravitational separation. Several 100 million years after lunar accretion, long-lived isotopes of K, U and Th had produced enough additional heat for inducing partial melting in the mantle; lava extruded into large basins and solidified as titanium-rich mare basalt. This delayed era of extrusive rock formation began about 3.9 Ga ago and may have lasted nearly 3 Ga. A relative crater count timescale was established and calibrated by radiometric dating (i.e., dating by use of radioactive decay) of rocks returned from six Apollo landing regions and three Luna landing spots. Fairly well calibrated are the periods ≈4 Ga to ≈3 Ga BP (before present) and ≈0.8 Ga BP to the present. Crater counting and orbital chemistry (derived from remote sensing in spectral domains ranging from γ- and x-rays to the infrared) have identified mare basalt surfaces in the Oceanus Procellarum that appear to be nearly as young as 1 Ga. Samples returned from this area are needed for narrowing the gap of 2 Ga in the calibrated timescale. The lunar timescale is not only used for reconstructing lunar evolution, but it serves also as a standard for chronologies of the

  7. Empirical Requirements Analysis for Mars Surface Operations Using the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancey, William J.; Lee, Pascal; Sierhuis, Maarten; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Living and working on Mars will require model-based computer systems for maintaining and controlling complex life support, communication, transportation, and power systems. This technology must work properly on the first three-year mission, augmenting human autonomy, without adding-yet more complexity to be diagnosed and repaired. One design method is to work with scientists in analog (mars-like) setting to understand how they prefer to work, what constrains will be imposed by the Mars environment, and how to ameliorate difficulties. We describe how we are using empirical requirements analysis to prototype model-based tools at a research station in the High Canadian Arctic.

  8. Soil Crystallinity As a Climate Indicator: Field Experiments on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horgan, Briony; Scudder, Noel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Rutledge, Alicia

    2016-01-01

    Soil crystallinity is largely determined by leaching rates, as high leaching rates favor the rapid precipitation of short order or poorly-crystalline phases like the aluminosilicate allophane. High leaching rates can occur due to high precipitation rates, seasonal monsoons, or weathering of glass, but are also caused by the rapid onset of seasonal melting of snow and ice in cold environments. Thus, cold climate soils are commonly dominated by poorly crystalline phases, which mature into kaolin minerals over time. Thus, we hypothesize that, in some contexts, soils with high abundances of poorly crystalline phases could indicate formation under cold climatic conditions. This model could be helpful in interpreting the poorly-constrained paleoclimate of ancient Mars, as the crystallinity of ancient soils and soil-derived sediments appears to be highly variable in time and space. While strong signatures of crystalline phyllosilicates have been identified in possible ancient paleosols on Mars, Mars Science Laboratory rover investigations of diverse ancient sediments at Gale Crater has shown that they can contain very high abundances (40-50 wt%) of poorly crystalline phases. We hypothesize that these poorly crystalline phases could be the result of weathering by ice/snow melt, perhaps providing support for sustained cold climates on early Mars punctuated by more limited warm climates. Furthermore, such poorly crystalline soils could be highly fertile growth media for future human exploration and colonization on Mars. To test this hypothesis, we are currently using rover-like instrumentation to investigate the mineralogy and chemistry of weathering products generated by snow and ice melt in a Mars analog alpine environment: the glaciated Three Sisters volcanic complex in central Oregon. Alteration in this glacial environment generates high abundances of poorly crystalline phases, many of which have compositions distinct from those identified in previous terrestrial

  9. Mars Habitability, Biosignature Preservation, and Mission Support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2014-01-01

    Our work has elucidated a new analog for the formation of giant polygons on Mars, involving fluid expulsion in a subaqueous environment. That work is based on three-dimensional (3D) seismic data on Earth that illustrate the mud volcanoes and giant polygons that result from sediment compaction in offshore settings. The description of this process has been published in the journal Icarus, where it will be part of a special volume on Martian analogs. These ideas have been carried further to suggest that giant polygons in the Martian lowlands may be the signature of an ancient ocean and, as such, could mark a region of enhanced habitability. A paper describing this hypothesis has been published in the journal Astrobiology.

  10. Radiation: microbial evolution, ecology, and relevance to mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, L. J.; Cockell, C. S.

    1999-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation has been an important environmental parameter during the evolution of life on Earth, both in its role as a mutagen and as a selective agent. This was probably especially true during the time from 3.8 to 2.5 billion years ago, when atmospheric ozone levels were less than 1% of present levels. Early Mars may not have had an "ozone shield" either, and it never developed a significant one. Even though Mars is farther away from the Sun than the Earth, a substantial surficial UV flux is present on Mars today. But organisms respond to dose rate, and on Mars, like on Earth, organisms would be exposed to diurnal variations in UV flux. Here we present data on the effect of diurnal patterns of UV flux on microbial ecosystems in nature, with an emphasis on photosynthesis and DNA synthesis effects. These results indicate that diurnal patterns of metabolism occur in nature with a dip in photosynthesis and DNA synthesis in the afternoon, in part regulated by UV flux. Thus, diurnal patterns must be studied in order to understand the effect of UV radiation in nature. The results of this work are significant to the success of human missions to Mars for several reasons. For example, human missions must include photosynthetic organisms for food production and likely oxygen production. An evolutionary approach suggests which organisms might be best suited for high UV fluxes. The diurnal aspect of these studies is critical. Terraforming is a potential goal of Mars exploration, and it will require studies of the effect of Martian UV fluxes, including their diurnal changes, on terrestrial organisms. Such studies may suggest that diurnal changes in UV only require mitigation at some times of day or year.

  11. Canyon formation constraints on the discharge of catastrophic outburst floods of Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.; Lamb, Michael P.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.

    2016-07-01

    Catastrophic outburst floods carved amphitheater-headed canyons on Earth and Mars, and the steep headwalls of these canyons suggest that some formed by upstream headwall propagation through waterfall erosion processes. Because topography evolves in concert with water flow during canyon erosion, we suggest that bedrock canyon morphology preserves hydraulic information about canyon-forming floods. In particular, we propose that for a canyon to form with a roughly uniform width by upstream headwall retreat, erosion must occur around the canyon head, but not along the sidewalls, such that canyon width is related to flood discharge. We develop a new theory for bedrock canyon formation by megafloods based on flow convergence of large outburst floods toward a horseshoe-shaped waterfall. The model is developed for waterfall erosion by rock toppling, a candidate erosion mechanism in well fractured rock, like columnar basalt. We apply the model to 14 terrestrial (Channeled Scablands, Washington; Snake River Plain, Idaho; and Ásbyrgi canyon, Iceland) and nine Martian (near Ares Vallis and Echus Chasma) bedrock canyons and show that predicted flood discharges are nearly 3 orders of magnitude less than previously estimated, and predicted flood durations are longer than previously estimated, from less than a day to a few months. Results also show a positive correlation between flood discharge per unit width and canyon width, which supports our hypothesis that canyon width is set in part by flood discharge. Despite lower discharges than previously estimated, the flood volumes remain large enough for individual outburst floods to have perturbed the global hydrology of Mars.

  12. The Coevolution of Life and Environment on Mars: An Ecosystem Perspective on the Robotic Exploration of Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Earth's biological and environmental evolution are intertwined and inseparable. This coevolution has become a fundamental concept in astrobiology and is key to the search for life beyond our planet. In the case of Mars, whether a coevolution took place is unknown, but analyzing the factors at play shows the uniqueness of each planetary experiment regardless of similarities. Early Earth and early Mars shared traits. However, biological processes on Mars, if any, would have had to proceed within the distinctive context of an irreversible atmospheric collapse, greater climate variability, and specific planetary characteristics. In that, Mars is an important test bed for comparing the effects of a unique set of spatiotemporal changes on an Earth-like, yet different, planet. Many questions remain unanswered about Mars' early environment. Nevertheless, existing data sets provide a foundation for an intellectual framework where notional coevolution models can be explored. In this framework, the focus is shifted from planetary-scale habitability to the prospect of habitats, microbial ecotones, pathways to biological dispersal, biomass repositories, and their meaning for exploration. Critically, as we search for biosignatures, this focus demonstrates the importance of starting to think of early Mars as a biosphere and vigorously integrating an ecosystem approach to landing site selection and exploration. Key Words: Astrobiology—Biosignatures—Coevolution of Earth and life—Mars. Astrobiology 18, 1–27. PMID:29252008

  13. The Coevolution of Life and Environment on Mars: An Ecosystem Perspective on the Robotic Exploration of Biosignatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2018-01-01

    Earth's biological and environmental evolution are intertwined and inseparable. This coevolution has become a fundamental concept in astrobiology and is key to the search for life beyond our planet. In the case of Mars, whether a coevolution took place is unknown, but analyzing the factors at play shows the uniqueness of each planetary experiment regardless of similarities. Early Earth and early Mars shared traits. However, biological processes on Mars, if any, would have had to proceed within the distinctive context of an irreversible atmospheric collapse, greater climate variability, and specific planetary characteristics. In that, Mars is an important test bed for comparing the effects of a unique set of spatiotemporal changes on an Earth-like, yet different, planet. Many questions remain unanswered about Mars' early environment. Nevertheless, existing data sets provide a foundation for an intellectual framework where notional coevolution models can be explored. In this framework, the focus is shifted from planetary-scale habitability to the prospect of habitats, microbial ecotones, pathways to biological dispersal, biomass repositories, and their meaning for exploration. Critically, as we search for biosignatures, this focus demonstrates the importance of starting to think of early Mars as a biosphere and vigorously integrating an ecosystem approach to landing site selection and exploration. Key Words: Astrobiology-Biosignatures-Coevolution of Earth and life-Mars. Astrobiology 18, 1-27.

  14. A participative model for undertaking and evaluating scientific communication in Earth Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    L'Astorina, Alba; Tomasoni, Irene

    2015-04-01

    Public communication of Science and Technology (PCST) is an integral part of the mission of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and widely carried out among the scientific community. Recently it has also become a research field investigating practices, channels, tools and models of public engagement and their impact on the relation between Science and Society. Understanding such aspects is increasingly considered relevant for an effective and aware outreach. Within this context, CNR has adopted some innovative communication approaches addressed to different publics, such as stakeholders, users, media, young people and the general public, using participative methodologies. Besides being practices of communication promoting the scientific culture, such initiatives aim at understanding the models at the basis of the relationship between the scientific community and the public. To what extent do scientists put their communication and involvement strategies in discussion? Do they use to have a real exchange with their publics in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the participatory techniques they adopt in communicating and disseminating their activities? In this paper we present a case study of a communication and educational proposal recently developed by CNR in order to promote a mutual exchange between Education/School and Research, that are the most important actors in the production and the revision of the scientific knowledge. The proposal brings an ongoing CNR research project (its steps, subjects, tools, activities, costs etc) in classrooms, making use of interactive Earth Sciences workshops conducted directly by researchers. The ongoing CNR project shared with students studies Innovative Methodologies of Earth Observation supporting the Agricultural sector in Lombardy. It aims at exploiting the Aerospace Earth Observation (EO) tools to develop dedicated agricultural downstream services that will bring added economic value and benefits for Lombardy

  15. The Human Mars Mission: Transportation assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kos, Larry

    1998-01-01

    If funding is available, and for NASA planning purposes, the Human Mars Mission (HMM) is baselined to take place during the 2011 and 2013/2014 Mars opportunities. Two cargo flights will leave for Mars during the first opportunity, one to Mars orbit and the second to the surface, in preparation for the crew during the following opportunity. Each trans-Mars injection (TMI) stack will consist of a cargo/payload portion (currently coming in at between 65 and 78 mt) and a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) stage (currently coming in at between 69 and 77 mt loaded with propellant) for performing the departure ΔVs to get on to the appropriate Mars trajectories. Three 66,700 N thrust NTP engines comprise the TMI stage for each stack and perform a ΔV ranging from 3580 to 3890 m/s as required by the trajectory (with gravity losses and various performance margins added to this for the total TMI ΔV performed). This paper will discuss the current application of this NTP stage to a Human Mars mission, and project what implications a nuclear trans-Earth injection (TEI) stage as well as a bi-modal NTP stage could mean to a human visit to Mars

  16. Montgolfiere balloon missions from Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jack A.

    2005-01-01

    Montgolfieres, which are balloons that are filled with heated ambient atmospheric gas, appear promising for the exploration of Mars as well as of Saturn's moon, Titan. On Earth, Montgolfieres are also known as 'hot air balloons'. Commercial versions are typically heated by burning propane, although a number of radiant and solar-heated Montgolfieres have been flown on earth by CNES.

  17. The Last Possible Outposts for Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davila, Alfonso F; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2016-02-01

    The evolution of habitable conditions on Mars is often tied to the existence of aquatic habitats and largely constrained to the first billion years of the planet. Here, we propose an alternate, lasting evolutionary trajectory that assumes the colonization of land habitats before the end of the Hesperian period (ca. 3 billion years ago) at a pace similar to life on Earth. Based on the ecological adaptations to increasing dryness observed in dryland ecosystems on Earth, we reconstruct the most likely sequence of events leading to a late extinction of land communities on Mars. We propose a trend of ecological change with increasing dryness from widespread edaphic communities to localized lithic communities and finally to communities exclusively found in hygroscopic substrates, reflecting the need for organisms to maximize access to atmospheric sources of water. If our thought process is correct, it implies the possibility of life on Mars until relatively recent times, perhaps even the present.

  18. A New Vehicle for Planetary Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

    The surface of Mars is currently being explored with a combination of orbiting spacecraft, stationary landers and wheeled rovers. However, only a small portion of the Martian surface has undergone in-situ examination. Landing sites must be chosen to insure the safety of the vehicles (and human explorers) and provide the greatest opportunity for mission success. While wheeled rovers provide the ability to move beyond the landing sites, they are also limited in their ability to traverse rough terrain; therefore, many scientifically interesting sites are inaccessible by current vehicles. In order to access these sites, a capability is needed that can transport scientific instruments across varied Martian terrain. A new "rover" concept for exploring the Martian surface, known as the Mars Tumbleweed, will derive mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, much like the Tumbleweed plant does here on Earth. Using the winds on Mars, a Tumbleweed rover could conceivably travel great distances and cover broad areas of the planetary surface. Tumbleweed vehicles would be designed to withstand repeated bouncing and rolling on the rock covered Martian surface and may be durable enough to explore areas on Mars such as gullies and canyons that are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Achieving Mars wind-driven mobility; however, is not a minor task. The density of the atmosphere on Mars is approximately 60-80 times less than that on Earth and wind speeds are typically around 2-5 m/s during the day, with periodic winds of 10 m/s to 20 m/s (in excess of 25 m/s during seasonal dust storms). However, because of the Martian atmosphere#s low density, even the strongest winds on Mars equate to only a gentle breeze on Earth. Tumbleweed rovers therefore need to be relatively large (4-6 m in diameter), very lightweight (10-20 kg), and equipped with lightweight, low-power instruments. This paper provides an overview of the Tumbleweed concept, presents several notional design

  19. Specialized Finite Set Statistics (FISST)-Based Estimation Methods to Enhance Space Situational Awareness in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-17

    Specialized Finite Set Statistics (FISST)-based Estimation Methods to Enhance Space Situational Awareness in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geostationary...terms of specialized Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) elements to estimate the state of resident space objects in the geostationary regime. Justification...AFRL-RV-PS- AFRL-RV-PS- TR-2016-0114 TR-2016-0114 SPECIALIZED FINITE SET STATISTICS (FISST)- BASED ESTIMATION METHODS TO ENHANCE SPACE SITUATIONAL

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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

  2. The Physics, Biology, and Environmental Ethics of Making Mars Habitable

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Marinova, Margarita M.

    2001-03-01

    The considerable evidence that Mars once had a wetter, more clement, environment motivates the search for past or present life on that planet. This evidence also suggests the possibility of restoring habitable conditions on Mars. While the total amounts of the key molecules - carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen - needed for creating a biosphere on Mars are unknown, estimates suggest that there may be enough in the subsurface. Super greenhouse gases, in particular, perfluorocarbons, are currently the most effective and practical way to warm Mars and thicken its atmosphere so that liquid water is stable on the surface. This process could take ~100 years. If enough carbon dioxide is frozen in the South Polar Cap and absorbed in the regolith, the resulting thick and warm carbon dioxide atmosphere could support many types of microorganisms, plants, and invertebrates. If a planet-wide martian biosphere converted carbon dioxide into oxygen with an average efficiency equal to that for Earth's biosphere, it would take >100,000 years to create Earth-like oxygen levels. Ethical issues associated with bringing life to Mars center on the possibility of indigenous martian life and the relative value of a planet with or without a global biosphere.

  3. The physics, biology, and environmental ethics of making mars habitable

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.; Marinova, M. M.

    2001-01-01

    The considerable evidence that Mars once had a wetter, more clement, environment motivates the search for past or present life on that planet. This evidence also suggests the possibility of restoring habitable conditions on Mars. While the total amounts of the key molecules--carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen--needed for creating a biosphere on Mars are unknown, estimates suggest that there may be enough in the subsurface. Super greenhouse gases, in particular, perfluorocarbons, are currently the most effective and practical way to warm Mars and thicken its atmosphere so that liquid water is stable on the surface. This process could take approximately 100 years. If enough carbon dioxide is frozen in the South Polar Cap and absorbed in the regolith, the resulting thick and warm carbon dioxide atmosphere could support many types of microorganisms, plants, and invertebrates. If a planet-wide martian biosphere converted carbon dioxide into oxygen with an average efficiency equal to that for Earth's biosphere, it would take > 100,000 years to create Earth-like oxygen levels. Ethical issues associated with bringing life to Mars center on the possibility of indigenous martian life and the relative value of a planet with or without a global biosphere.

  4. Biomarkers as tracers for life on early earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simoneit, B. R.; Summons, R. E.; Jahnke, L. L.

    1998-01-01

    Biomarkers in geological samples are products derived from biochemical (natural product) precursors by reductive and oxidative processes (e.g., cholestanes from cholesterol). Generally, lipids, pigments and biomembranes are preserved best over longer geological times and labile compounds such as amino acids, sugars, etc. are useful biomarkers for recent times. Thus, the detailed characterization of biomarker compositions permits the assessment of the major contributing species of extinct and/or extant life. In the case of the early Earth, work has progressed to elucidate molecular structure and carbon isotropic signals preserved in ancient sedimentary rocks. In addition, the combination of bacterial biochemistry with the organic geochemistry of contemporary and ancient hydrothermal ecosystems permits the modeling of the nature, behavior and preservation potential of primitive microbial communities. This approach uses combined molecular and isotopic analyses to characterize lipids produced by cultured bacteria (representative of ancient strains) and to test a variety of culture conditions which affect their biosynthesis. On considering Mars, the biomarkers from lipids and biopolymers would be expected to be preserved best if life flourished there during its early history (3.5-4 x 10(9) yr ago). Both oxidized and reduced products would be expected. This is based on the inferred occurrence of hydrothermal activity during that time with the concomitant preservation of biochemically-derived organic matter. Both known biomarkers (i.e., as elucidated for early terrestrial samples and for primitive terrestrial microbiota) and novel, potentially unknown compounds should be characterized.

  5. Mars Science Laboratory Entry Guidance Improvements for Mars 2018 (DRAFT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Llama, Eduardo; Winski, Richard G.; Shidner, Jeremy D.; Ivanov, Mark C.; Grover, Myron R.; Prakash, Ravi

    2011-01-01

    In 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will be launched in a mission to deliver the largest and most capable rover to date to the surface of Mars. A follow on MSL-derived mission, referred to as Mars 2018, is planned for 2018. Mars 2018 goals include performance enhancements of the Entry, Descent and Landing over that of its predecessor MSL mission of 2011. This paper will discuss the main elements of the modified 2018 EDL preliminary design that will increase performance on the entry phase of the mission. In particular, these elements will increase the parachute deploy altitude to allow for more time margin during the subsequent descent and landing phases and reduce the delivery ellipse size at parachute deploy through modifications in the entry reference trajectory design, guidance trigger logic design, and the effect of additional navigation hardware.

  6. Similarity of Mars and Mercury for terraforming and settling of people

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steklov, A. F.; Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2018-05-01

    We compared the main characteristics of the planets Mars and Mercury in the form normalized on the parameters of the planet Earth. Both planets turned out to be similar and close in terms of terraforming techniques, and conditions of comfortable human habitation in long term endo-planetary stations under the surface of a particular planetoid. Mars and Mercury also turned out to be similar on the vital activity of some other representatives of the Earth's biosphere. Our detailed analysis of the temperature distribution both over the entire surface of these planets, and in the conditions of their diurnal and annual variations on different latitudes and on Mars and on Mercury - showed that each of these planets has its advantages for the first terraforming.

  7. ELF-VLF communications through the Earth Project report for calendar year 1984, revision 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buettner, H. M.; Burker, G. J.; Didwall, E. M.; Holladay, G.; Lytle, R. J.

    1985-08-01

    We use computer models and experiments to explore the feasibility of communication between points underground and on the Earth's surface. Emphasis is placed on ELF-VLF electromagnetic propagation through the Earth; nominally, we investigated propagation in the 200 Hz-30 kHz frequency range. The computer modeling included calculations of the fields of a point electric or magnetic source in a homogeneous half space or a stratified earth. Initial results for an insulated antenna of finite length are also considered. The experiments involved through-the-Earth transmissions at two locations in Pennsylvania, both of which had large formations of limestone. Initial results indicate that information rates as high as kbits/s may be possible for subsurface depths of 300 m or less. Accuracy of these estimates depends on the electromagnetic propagation constant of the rock, the noise characteristics, and the modulation scheme. Although a nuisance for evaluating through-the-Earth propagation, the existence of subsurface metal conductors can improve the transmission character of the site.

  8. ELF-VLF Communications through the Earth Project report for calendar year 1984. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buettner, H.M.; Burke, G.J.; Didwall, E.M.; Holladay, G.; Lytle, R.J.

    1985-08-01

    We use computer models and experiments to explore the feasibility of communication between points underground and on the Earth's surface. Emphasis is placed on ELF-VLF electromagnetic propagation through the Earth; nominally, we investigated propagation in the 200 Hz-30 kHz frequency range. The computer modeling included calculations of the fields of a point electric or magnetic source in a homogeneous half space or a stratified earth. Initial results for an insulated antenna of finite length are also considered. The experiments involved through-the-earth transmissions at two locations in Pennsylvania, both of which had large formations of limestone. Initial results indicate that information rates as high as kbits/s may be possible for subsurface depths of 300 m or less. Accuracy of these estimates depends on the electromagnetic propagation constant of the rock, the noise characteristics, and the modulation scheme. Although a nuisance for evaluating through-the-Earth propagation, the existence of subsurface metal conductors can improve the transmission character of the site.

  9. Cratering record in the inner solar system: Implications for earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barlow, N.G.

    1988-01-01

    Internal and external processes have reworked the Earth's surface throughout its history. In particular, the effect of meteorite impacts on the early history of the earth is lost due to fluvial, aeolian, volcanic and plate tectonic action. The cratering record on other inner solar system bodies often provides the only clue to the relative cratering rates and intensities that the earth has experienced throughout its history. Of the five major bodies within the inner solar system, Mercury, Mars, and the Moon retain scars of an early episode of high impact rates. The heavily cratered regions on Mercury, Mars, and the Moon show crater size-frequency distribution curves similar in shape and crater density, whereas the lightly cratered plains on the Moon and Mars show distribution curves which, although similar to each other, are statistically different in shape and density from the more heavily cratered units. The similarities among crater size-frequency distribution curves for the Moon, Mercury, and Mars suggest that the entire inner solar system was subjected to the two populations of impacting objects but Earth and Venus have lost their record of heavy bombardment impactors. Thus, based on the cratering record on the Moon, Mercury, and Mars, it can be inferred that the Earth experienced a period of high crater rates and basin formation prior to about 3.8 BY ago. Recent studies have linked mass extinctions to large terrestrial impacts, so life forms were unable to establish themselves until impact rates decreased substantially and terrestrial conditions became more benign. The possible periodicity of mass extinctions has led to the theory of fluctuating impact rates due to comet showers in the post heavy bombardment period. The active erosional environment on the Earth complicates attempts to verify these showers by erasing geological evidence of older impact craters

  10. New enhancement mechanism of the transitions in the Earth of the solar and atmospheric neutrinos crossing the Earth core

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petcov, S.T.

    1999-01-01

    It is shown that the ν 2 → ν e and ν μ → ν e (ν e → ν μ(τ) ) transitions respectively of the solar and atmospheric neutrinos in the Earth in the case of ν e - ν μ(τ) mixing in vacuum, are strongly enhanced by a new type of resonance when the neutrinos cross the Earth core. The resonance is operative at small mixing angles but differs from the MSW one. It is in many respects similar to the electron paramagnetic resonance taking place in a specific configuration of two magnetic fields. The conditions for existence of the new resonance include, in particular, specific constraints on the neutrino oscillation lengths in the Earth mantle and in the Earth core, thus the resonance is a 'neutrino oscillation length resonance'. It leads also to enhancement of the ν 2 → ν e and ν e → ν s transitions in the case of ν e - ν s mixing and of the ν-bar s (or ν μ → ν s ) transitions at small mixing angles. The presence of the neutrino oscillation length resonance in the transitions of solar and atmospheric neutrinos traversing the Earth core has important implications for current and future solar and atmospheric neutrino experiments, and more specifically, for the interpretation of the results of the Super-Kamiokande experiment

  11. Mars exploration study workshop 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, Michael B.; Budden, Nancy Ann

    1993-11-01

    A year-long NASA-wide study effort has led to the development of an innovative strategy for the human exploration of Mars. The latest Mars Exploration Study Workshop 2 advanced a design reference mission (DRM) that significantly reduces the perceived high costs, complex infrastructure, and long schedules associated with previous Mars scenarios. This surface-oriented philosophy emphasizes the development of high-leveraging surface technologies in lieu of concentrating exclusively on space transportation technologies and development strategies. As a result of the DRM's balanced approach to mission and crew risk, element commonality, and technology development, human missions to Mars can be accomplished without the need for complex assembly operations in low-Earth orbit. This report, which summarizes the Mars Exploration Study Workshop held at the Ames Research Center on May 24-25, 1993, provides an overview of the status of the Mars Exploration Study, material presented at the workshop, and discussions of open items being addressed by the study team. The workshop assembled three teams of experts to discuss cost, dual-use technology, and international involvement, and to generate a working group white paper addressing these issues. The three position papers which were generated are included in section three of this publication.

  12. 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.

  13. First MARS Outpost: Development Considerations and Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, L.

    2002-01-01

    The Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) is undertaking a multi-year research and design study that is exploring near and long-term commercial space development opportunities. The central goal of this activity is to conceptualize a scenario of sequential, integrated private enterprise initiatives that can carry humankind forward to Mars. This presentation highlights planning considerations and design concepts for establishing a first settlement on Mars. The outpost would support surface missions lasting up to about 500 days and would serve as the initial stage of a larger and continuously operational development which would utilize Mars resources to be less reliant on materials from Earth. Key elements of this first stage mission development sequence include a new heavy-lift Earth-to-orbit launch vehicle; a plasma- drive Mars transit vehicle; habitat modules for crews in transit to and from Mars; "hard" and "inflatable" surface habitats and laboratories; a mobile power unit; a spacecraft to assist orbital assembly; and vehicles to lift crews off the Mars surface and land them safely back on Earth from LEO. SICSA's space development approach differs in fundamental ways from conventional NASA-sponsored initiatives. First, virtually all baseline planning assumptions are influenced by the private sector-driven nature of an approach that aims to avoid all possible reliance upon government financing, agendas and schedules. In this regard, any involvements with NASA or the space agencies of other countries would be premised upon mutual public-corporate partnership benefits rather than upon federal contract awards, management and control. Another potential difference relates to program philosophy. Unlike Apollo Program "sprint" missions which culminated with footprints and flagpoles on the Moon, the aim is to realize sustainable and continuing planetary exploration and development progress. This goal can be advanced through approaches that

  14. Design Concepts for a Small Space-Based GEO Relay Satellite for Missions Between Low Earth and near Earth Orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasin, Kul B.; Warner, Joseph D.; Oleson, Steven; Schier, James

    2014-01-01

    the number of links looking above and below GEO; the detailed design of a GEO SSBS spacecraft bus and its accommodation of the communication payload, and a summary of the trade study that resulted in the selection of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to deploy the SSBS and its impact on cost reductions per satellite. ======================================================================== Several initiatives have taken place within NASA1 and international space agencies2 to create a human exploration strategy for expanding human presence into the solar system; these initiatives have been driven by multiple factors to benefit Earth. Of the many elements in the strategy one stands out: to send robotic and human missions to destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO), including cis-lunar space, Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), the Moon, and Mars and its moons.3, 4 The time frame for human exploration to various destinations, based on the public information available,1,4 is shown in Figure 1. Advance planning is needed to define how future space communications services will be provided in the new budget environment to meet future space communications needs. The spacecraft for these missions can be dispersed anywhere from below LEO to beyond GEO, and to various destinations within the solar system. NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program office provides communication and tracking services to space missions during launch, in-orbit testing, and operation phases. Currently, SCaN's space networking relay satellites mainly provide services to users below GEO, at Near Earth Orbit (NEO), below LEO, and in deep space. The potential exists for using a space-based relay satellite, located in the vicinity of various solar system destinations, to provide communication space links to missions both below and above its orbit. Such relays can meet the needs of human exploration missions for maximum connectivity to Earth locations and for reduced latency. In the past, several studies

  15. Deep-space and near-Earth optical communications by coded orbital angular momentum (OAM) modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djordjevic, Ivan B

    2011-07-18

    In order to achieve multi-gigabit transmission (projected for 2020) for the use in interplanetary communications, the usage of large number of time slots in pulse-position modulation (PPM), typically used in deep-space applications, is needed, which imposes stringent requirements on system design and implementation. As an alternative satisfying high-bandwidth demands of future interplanetary communications, while keeping the system cost and power consumption reasonably low, in this paper, we describe the use of orbital angular momentum (OAM) as an additional degree of freedom. The OAM is associated with azimuthal phase of the complex electric field. Because OAM eigenstates are orthogonal the can be used as basis functions for N-dimensional signaling. The OAM modulation and multiplexing can, therefore, be used, in combination with other degrees of freedom, to solve the high-bandwidth requirements of future deep-space and near-Earth optical communications. The main challenge for OAM deep-space communication represents the link between a spacecraft probe and the Earth station because in the presence of atmospheric turbulence the orthogonality between OAM states is no longer preserved. We will show that in combination with LDPC codes, the OAM-based modulation schemes can operate even under strong atmospheric turbulence regime. In addition, the spectral efficiency of proposed scheme is N2/log2N times better than that of PPM.

  16. Microbial Diversity in Surface Iron-Rich Aqueous Environments: Implications for Seeking Signs of Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, I. I.; Allen, C. C.; Tringe, S. G.; Klatt, C. G.; Bryant, D. A.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Garrison, D. H.; McKay, D. S.

    2010-01-01

    The success of selecting future landing sites on Mars to discover extinct and/or extant extraterrestrial life is dependent on the correct approximation of available knowledge about terrestrial paleogeochemistry and life evolution to Martian (paleo) geology and geochemistry. It is well known that both Earth and Mars are Fe rich. This widespread occurrence suggests that Fe may have played a key role in early life forms, where it probably served as a key constituent in early prosthetic moieties in many proteins of ancient microbes on Earth and likely Mars. The second critical idea is the premise that Life on Mars could most likely have developed when Mars experienced tectonic activity [1] which dramatically decreased around 1 bin years after Martian creation. After that Martian life could have gone extinct or hibernated in the deep subsurface, which would be expensive to reach in contrast to the successful work of Martian surface rovers. Here we analyze the diversity of microbes in several terrestrial Fe rich surface environments in conjunction with the phylogeny and molecular timing of emergence of those microbes on Earth. Anticipated results should help evaluate future landing sites on Mars in searches for biosignatures.

  17. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars: NRC Community Panel Decadal Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.

    2002-12-01

    A report was completed recently by a Community Panel for the NRC Decadal Study of Solar System Exploration. The desire was for a review of the current state of knowledge and for recommendations for action over the next decade. The topic of this panel, Terrestrial Analogs to Mars, was chosen to bring attention to the need for an increase in analog studies in support of the increased pace of Mars exploration. It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all of these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the overarching science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel considered the issues of data collection and archiving, value of field workshops, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities. Parts of this work were performed under contract to NASA.

  18. ENHANCING STUDENTS’ COMMUNICATION SKILLS THROUGH TREFFINGER TEACHING MODEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idrus Alhaddad

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This research aims to  investigate, compare, and describe the achievement and enhancement of students’ mathematical communication skills (MCS.  It based on the prior mathematical knowledge (PMK category (high, medium and low by using Treffinger models (TM and conventional learning (CL. This research is an experimental study with the population of all students of Mathematics Education Department who took Discrete Mathematics subject matter of one university in the city of Ternate. The results show that (1 the achievement and enhancement of MCS  students that used  TM are higher than the students learning using CL; (2 Based on the categories of PMK, the achievement and enhancement of MCS of students using TM are also higher than those learning with CL; and  (3 There was no interaction effect between learning (TM and CL and PMK to the achievement and enhancement of MCS of the students.Keyword: Communication Skills, Prior Mathematical Knowledge, Treffinger Model DOI: dx.doi.org/10.22342/jme.61.31

  19. The New Mars Synthesis: A New Concept Of Mars Geo-Chemical History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, J. E.

    2005-02-01

    A new concept of Mars climatic and geo-chemical evolution is proposed, called the NMS (New Mars Synthesis) drawing on the full spectrum of available Mars data. The proposed synthesis is that Mars and Earth, having begun with similar surface conditions, did not strongly diverge from their similar paths 4.0 Billion years ago, in the Early Noachian, instead, under the NMS, they diverged much more recently in geologic time, in the Early Amazonian. Under the NMS, biology strongly affected the geo-chemical evolution of Mars, and allowed a stable and persistent greenhouse by producing a large oxygen component in the atmosphere. The NMS assumes Mars held biology form early on, has been geologically active throughout its history, that it had a northern paleo-ocean, that it has high, approximately, 4xLunar, cratering rates and that its climate changed recently in geologic time from being basically terrestrial to its present conditions. The proposed mechanism for the stability of the Mars greenhouse was a large oxygen component in the atmosphere that created acidic and highly oxidized conditions that prevented formation of Carbonates, and the thermal and gas buffering of the paleo-ocean. The greenhouse was thus biologically and hydrologically stabilized. The greenhouse was terminated by a large atmospheric cooling event in the Early Amazonian that killed the biosphere and froze the ocean stabilizing the greenhouse. This cooling event was probably caused by the formation of the Lyot impact basin. Given the long duration of this terrestrial biosphere in this NMS, the possible appearance of fossils in some rover images is not to be unexpected and the colonization of Mars by humanity may be aided extensive fossil biomass to use as raw material.

  20. Psychosocial issues during an expedition to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanas, Nick

    2014-10-01

    Much is known about psychological and interpersonal issues affecting astronauts participating in manned space missions near the Earth. But in a future long-distance, long-duration expedition to Mars, additional stressors will occur that will result in psychological, psychiatric, and interpersonal effects on the crew, both negative and positive. This paper will review what is known about important psychosocial issues in space and will extrapolate them to the scenario of a future manned space mission to Mars.

  1. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Dong

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 achieve the scientific investigation of the terrain, soil characteristics, material composition, magnetic field, atmosphere, etc. The landing process is divided into three phases (entry phase, parachute descent phase and powered descent phase, which are full of risks. There exit lots of indefinite parameters and design constrain to affect the selection of the landing sites and phase switch (mortaring the parachute, separating the heat shield and cutting off the parachute. A number of new technologies (disk-gap-band parachute, guidance and navigation, etc. need to be developed. Mars and Earth have gravity and atmosphere conditions that are significantly different from one another. Meaningful environmental conditions cannot be recreated terrestrially on earth. A full-scale flight validation on earth is difficult. Therefore the end-to-end simulation and some critical subsystem test must be considered instead. The challenges above and the corresponding design solutions are introduced in this paper, which can provide reference for the Mars exploration mission.

  2. Enhancing Transparency in Multidisciplinary Expert Communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hukki, Kristiina; Pulkkinen, Urho

    2003-01-01

    Faced with problems of public acceptance most nuclear waste management organisations now acknowledge the importance of transparency in their pursuit of solutions for high-level nuclear waste disposal. To make progress the implementing organizations need the trust of other stakeholders in the decision-making process. For such trust these outside stakeholders need knowledge on the grounds for the judgments and decisions made in different scientific and technical disciplines. Transparency is, however, at least as important for the multidisciplinary expert communication itself. As a matter of fact, the transparency of the internal expert interaction processes is a prerequisite for the true transparency of the communication between the implementer and the external stakeholder groups. The introduced conceptual framework has been developed for the identification of the requirements of safety-informed communication in multidisciplinary expert work in nuclear waste management. The framework offers a common thinking model and common concepts which can be utilized in the development of the communication practices. The basis of the framework is on the possibility to understand the safety-critical significance of one's work. The transparency of communication is, for its part, based on making explicit the relevant knowledge necessary for gaining the understanding. This supplementary knowledge, which is related to the substance issues but is not scientific-technical by nature, enhances the experts' awareness of the context of their own contribution and of the background of the other experts' contributions. The common conceptualization and modelling of the knowledge-related dependencies between the tasks make it possible to realize the significance of the supplementary knowledge for transparent communication in actual situations. They also facilitate the recognition of the need for different types of supplementary knowledge in the interfaces between the tasks. By enhancing mutual

  3. Using immersive media and digital technology to communicate Earth Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapur, Ravi

    2016-04-01

    A number of technologies in digital media and interactivity have rapidly advanced and are now converging to enable rich, multi-sensoral experiences which create opportunities for both digital art and science communication. Techniques used in full-dome film-making can now be deployed in virtual reality experiences; gaming technologies can be utilised to explore real data sets; and collaborative interactivity enable new forms of public artwork. This session will explore these converging trends through a number of emerging and forthcoming projects dealing with Earth science, climate change and planetary science.

  4. Where Should Search Traces of Life, Which Could Appear on Mars in the First 300 Million Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2017-10-01

    In its early years, Mars was like the ancient Earth. If life on Mars today there is, then, certainly, it is microbial. The proof of the presence of liquid water on Mars does not mean that there is life on Mars. But this gives some hope.

  5. Performance Assessment of Communication Enhancement Devices TEA HI Threat Headset

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    AFRL-RH-WP-TR-2015-0076 Performance Assessment of Communication Enhancement Devices: TEA HI Threat Headset Hilary L. Gallagher...of Communication Enhancement Devices: TEA HI Threat Headset 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA8650-14-D-6501 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER...technology in military applications. Objective performance data provided an assessment of the performance of these devices. The TEA HI Threat headset

  6. Mathematical modeling and measurement of electric fields of electrode-based through-the-earth (TTE) communication

    OpenAIRE

    Yan, Lincan; Zhou, Chenming; Reyes, Miguel; Whisner, Bruce; Damiano, Nicholas

    2017-01-01

    There are two types of through-the-earth (TTE) wireless communication in the mining industry: magnetic loop TTE and electrode-based (or linear) TTE. While the magnetic loop systems send signal through magnetic fields, the transmitter of an electrode-based TTE system sends signal directly through the mine overburden by driving an extremely low frequency (ELF) or ultralow frequency (ULF) AC current into the earth. The receiver at the other end (underground or surface) detects the resultant curr...

  7. Project Minerva: A low-cost manned Mars mission based on indigenous propellant production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckner, Adam P.; Anderson, Hobie; Caviezel, Kelly; Daggert, Todd; Folkers, Mike; Fornia, Mark; Hamling, Steven; Johnson, Bryan; Kalberer, Martin; Machula, Mike

    1992-01-01

    Project Minerva is a low-cost manned Mars mission designed to deliver a crew of four to the Martian surface, using only two sets of two launches. Key concepts which make this mission realizable are the use of near-term technologies and in-situ propellant production, following the senario originally proposed by R. Zubrin of Martin Marietta. The first set of launches delivers two unmanned payloads into low earth orbit (LEO): one consists of an Earth Return Vehicle (ERV), a propellant production plant, and a set of robotic vehicles, and the second consists of the upper stage/trans-Mars injection (TMI) booster. In LEO, the two payloads are joined and inserted into a Mars transfer orbit. The landing on Mars is performed with the aid of multiple aerobraking maneuvers. On the Martian surface, the propellant production plant uses a Sabatier/electrolysis-type process to combine six tons of hydrogen brought from earth with carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere to produce 100 tons of liquid oxygen and methane, which are later used as the propellants for the rover expeditions and the manned return journey of the ERV. Once the in-situ propellant production is completed, approximately two years after the first set of launches, the manned portion of the mission leaves earth. This set of two launches is similar to that of the unmanned vehicles; the two payloads are the Manned Transfer Vehicle (MTV) and the upper stage/TMI booster. The MTV contains the manned rover and the habitat which houses the astronauts enroute to Mars and on the Martian surface. During the 180-day trip to Mars, artificial gravity is created by tethering the MTV to the TMI booster and inducing rotation. Upon arrival the MTV performs aerobraking maneuvers to land near the fully-fueled ERV, which will be used by the crew a year and a half later to return to earth. The mission entails moderate travel times with relatively low-energy conjunction-class trajectories and allows ample time for scientific

  8. Mathematical modeling and measurement of electric fields of electrode-based through-the-earth (TTE) communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Lincan; Zhou, Chenming; Reyes, Miguel; Whisner, Bruce; Damiano, Nicholas

    2017-06-01

    There are two types of through-the-earth (TTE) wireless communication in the mining industry: magnetic loop TTE and electrode-based (or linear) TTE. While the magnetic loop systems send signal through magnetic fields, the transmitter of an electrode-based TTE system sends signal directly through the mine overburden by driving an extremely low frequency (ELF) or ultralow frequency (ULF) AC current into the earth. The receiver at the other end (underground or surface) detects the resultant current and receives it as a voltage. A wireless communication link between surface and underground is then established. For electrode-based TTE communications, the signal is transmitted through the established electric field and is received as a voltage detected at the receiver. It is important to understand the electric field distribution within the mine overburden for the purpose of designing and improving the performance of the electrode-based TTE systems. In this paper, a complete explicit solution for all three electric field components for the electrode-based TTE communication was developed. An experiment was conducted using a prototype electrode-based TTE system developed by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The mathematical model was then compared and validated with test data. A reasonable agreement was found between them.

  9. Comments about "Earth 3.0"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dator, Jim

    2006-01-01

    Dr. Christopher P. McKay, Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames. Chris received his Ph.D. in AstroGeophysics from the University of Colorado in 1982 and has been a research scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center since that time. His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human exploration. Chris been involved in research in Mars-like environments on Earth, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys, Siberia, the Canadian Arctic, and the Atacama desert to study life in these Mars-like environments. His was a co-I on the Titan Huygen s probe in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission for 2007, and the Mars Science Lander mission for 2009.

  10. Anaerobic Nitrogen Fixers on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, B. G.

    2000-07-01

    The conversion of atmospheric nitrogen gas to the protein of living systems is an amazing process of nature. The first step in the process is biological nitrogen fixation, the transformation of N2 to NH3. The phenomenon is crucial for feeding the billions of our species on Earth. On Mars, the same process may allow us to discover how life can adapt to a hostile environment, and render it habitable. Hostile environments also exist on Earth. For example, nothing grows in coal refuse piles due to the oxidation of pyrite and marcasite to sulfuric acid. Yet, when the acidity is neutralized, alfalfa and soybean plants develop root nodules typical of symbiotic nitrogen fixation with Rhizobium species possibly living in the pyritic material. When split open, these nodules exhibited the pinkish color of leghemoglobin, a protein in the nodule protecting the active nitrogen-fixing enzyme nitrogenase against the toxic effects of oxygen. Although we have not yet obtained direct evidence of nitrogenase activity in these nodules (reduction of acetylene to ethylene, for example), these findings suggested the possibility that nitrogen fixation was taking place in this hostile, non-soil material. This immediately raises the possibility that freeliving anaerobic bacteria which fix atmospheric nitrogen on Earth, could do the same on Mars.

  11. Fossil life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, M. R.

    1989-01-01

    Three major problems beset paleontologists searching for morphological evidence of life on early Earth: selecting a prospective site; finding biogenic structures; and distinguishing biogenic from abiogenic structures. The same problems arise on Mars. Terrestrial experience suggests that, with the techniques that can be employed remotely, ancient springs, including hot springs, are more prospective than lake deposits. If, on the other hand, the search is for chemical evidence, the strategy can be very different, and lake deposits are attractive targets. Lakes and springs frequenly occur in close proximity, and therefore a strategy that combines the two would seem to maximize the chance of success. The strategy for a search for stromatolite on Mars is discussed.

  12. Physical Properties and Seasonal Behavior of H2O, HDO, CO2 and Trace Gases on Mars: Quantitative Mapping from Earth-Based Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Robert E.; Mumma, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Since 1997, we have used high-resolution (R greater than 40000) spectrometers on ground based-telescopes to study molecules that have astrobiological significance in Mars' atmosphere. We have used the NASA-IRTF, Keck II, and VLT telescopes in the 1.0-5.0 micron range. The spectrometer is set at a wavelength to detect specific molecules. Spectral/spatial images are produced. Extracts from these images provide column densities centered at latitude/longitude locations (resolution 400km at sub-Earth point). We have mapped the O2 singlet-Delta emission (a proxy for ozone), HDO, and H2O for seasonal dates throughout the Martian year. Previously undiscovered isotopic bands of CO2 have been identified along with isotopic forms of CO. We are searching for other molecules that have astrobiological importance and have successfully measured methane in Mars' atmosphere.

  13. Rosetta comet-chaser takes a close look at planet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    Its final destination is comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which it will reach only in 2014, after travelling some 6000 million kilometres in 10 years (its epic voyage began on 2 March 2004 with a launch by an Ariane 5 rocket). Rosetta will next be heading for the Sun, and its journey will require two more swing-bys around the Earth, in November this year and November 2009. Once at its destination, Rosetta will first deposit, from a height of about one kilometre, a small but very complex lander on the comet’s nucleus. This lander, a sort of miniature chemical laboratory packed with sophisticated instruments, will analyse the surface and provide information on the nucleus. The Rosetta probe will then chase the comet for one year and observe its nucleus as it continues on its trip towards the inner solar system at a speed of 135,000 km per hour. There is still a long way to go, but so far everything seems to be going exactly according to plan. ESA's Director of Science, David Southwood, witnessing the Mars swing-by at ESOC with scientists involved in the mission and the operations teams, said: "Interplanetary expeditions rely on very complex communication links. ESA’s mission operations centre here in Darmstadt is doing a great job. I and all the scientists involved in the mission are grateful to the experts who are taking such good care of 'our baby'. And this is only the beginning. The true excitement of targeting and releasing the lander on the comet’s nucleus is yet to come. Today we have reached another milestone on the way to finding an answer to questions such as whether life on Earth began with the help of comets." “The successful Mars swingby of the ESA Rosetta spacecraft has been the most critical event in the mission since launch. Now we are heading back to Earth in order to gain, in November this year, further momentum for the subsequent visits of the asteroids and the comet. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this achievement

  14. performance assessment of substation site earthing using fluke ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2013-03-01

    Mar 1, 2013 ... Earthing is the fundamental requirement for protection in all electrical ... for the performance assessment of this instrument as compare to the conventional system. ... tem and the reference earth at a given operating fre- quency ...

  15. Definitive Mineralogical Analysis of Mars Analog Rocks Using the CheMin XRD/XRF Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, D. F.; Sarrazin, P.; Bish, D. L.; Feldman, S.; Chipera, S. J.; Vaniman, D. T.; Collins, S.

    2004-01-01

    Mineral identification is a critical component of Mars Astrobiological missions. Chemical or elemental data alone are not definitive because a single elemental or chemical composition or even a single bonding type can represent a range of substances or mineral assemblages. Minerals are defined as unique structural and compositional phases that occur naturally. There are about 15,000 minerals that have been described on Earth, all uniquely identifiable via diffraction methods. There are likely many minerals yet undiscovered on Earth, and likewise on Mars. If an unknown phase is identified on Mars, it can be fully characterized by structural (X-ray Diffraction, XRD) and elemental analysis (X-ray Fluorescence, XRF) without recourse to other data because XRD relies on the principles of atomic arrangement for its determinations. XRD is the principal means of identification and characterization of minerals on Earth.

  16. Rare Earth Elements as Potential Biosignatures on Mars in SuperCam Time Resolved Laser Fluorescence Spectroscopy Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollila, A.; Beyssac, O.; Sharma, S. K.; Misra, A. K.; Clegg, S. M.; Gauthier, M.; Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Gasnault, O.; Lanza, N.

    2017-12-01

    The rare earth elements (REE, La to Lu) are a group of elements with similar chemical properties that are generally present in geologic materials at trace concentrations. REEs may be concentrated via processes such as igneous fractional crystallization in accessory minerals, e.g. apatite, zircon, and titanite. Additionally, however, concentrations of REE may serve to identify regions of high astrobiological interest. For example, Fe-oxyhydroxide deposits in hydrothermal vent systems and biologically related manganese nodules may be enriched in REEs. REEs have not been measured in situ on Mars, therefore their prevalence and distribution on Mars is as yet unknown, except as observed in martian meteorites. SuperCam is a survey instrument that will analyze materials around the Mars 2020 rover using a variety of spectral techniques including laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), Raman, VIS-IR, and time-resolved laser fluorescence (TRLF) spectroscopy. Recently, the SuperCam Engineering Development Unit was tested at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for its capabilities to detect REEs in minerals using TRLF spectroscopy. While this instrument was not designed to precisely replicate the flight model, the spectral resolution and light transmission was sufficient to obtain TRLF spectra on a number of minerals demonstrating a variety of REE luminescent centers. These include apatite (Sm3+, Nd3+, Eu3+, Dy3+), fluorite (Ho3+, Sm3+, Dy3+, Nd3+), and zircon (Er3+, Pr3+, Nd3+). Future work includes expanding this suite to include minerals associated with biological activities, for example Mn-oxides (desert varnish and manganese nodules), hydrothermal Fe-oxides, and stromatolite-associated carbonates. In this way and in combination with its other techniques, SuperCam may direct the rover team to perform further analyses of similar samples by the in situ chemical and mineralogical suite of instruments, or aid in prioritization for sample return.

  17. 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.

  18. Early Evolution of Earth's Geochemical Cycle and Biosphere: Implications for Mars Exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Carbon (C) has played multiple key roles for life and its environment. C has formed organics, greenhouse gases, aquatic pH buffers, redox buffers, and magmatic constituents affecting plutonism and volcanism. These roles interacted across a network of reservoirs and processes known as the biogeochemical C cycle. Changes in the cycle over geologic time were driven by increasing solar luminosity, declining planetary heat flow, and continental and biological evolution. The early Archean C cycle was dominated by hydrothermal alteration of crustal rocks and by thermal emanations of CO2 and reduced species (eg., H2, Fe(2+) and sulfides). Bioorganic synthesis was achieved by nonphotosynthetic CO2-fixing bacteria (chemoautotrophs) and, possibly, bacteria (organotrophs) utilizing any available nonbiological organic C. Responding both to abundant solar energy and to a longterm decline in thermal sources of chemical energy and reducing power, the blaspheme first developed anoxygenic photosynthesis, then, ultimately, oxygenic photosynthesis. O2-photosynthesis played a central role in transforming the ancient environment and blaspheme to the modem world. The geochemical C cycles of early Earth and Mars were quite similar. The principal differences between the modem C cycles of these planets arose during the later evolution of their heat flows, crusts, atmospheres and, perhaps, their blasphemes.

  19. Exposure to Multiple Languages Enhances Communication Skills in Infancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liberman, Zoe; Woodward, Amanda L.; Keysar, Boaz; Kinzler, Katherine D.

    2017-01-01

    Early exposure to multiple languages can enhance children's communication skills, even when children are effectively monolingual (Fan, Liberman, Keysar & Kinzler, 2015). Here we report evidence that the social benefits of multilingual exposure emerge in infancy. Sixteen-month-old infants participated in a communication task that required…

  20. Mechanical conditions and modes of paraglacial deep-seated gravitational spreading in Valles Marineris, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makowska, Magdalena; Mège, Daniel; Gueydan, Frédéric; Chéry, Jean

    2016-09-01

    Deep-seated gravitational spreading (DSGS) affects the slopes of formerly glaciated mountain ridges. On Mars, DSGS has played a key role in shaping the landforms of the giant Valles Marineris troughs. Though less spectacular, DSGS is common in terrestrial orogens, where understanding its mechanics is critical in the light of the ongoing climate change because it is a potential source of catastrophic landslides in deglaciated valleys. We conducted parametric numerical studies in order to identify important factors responsible for DSGS initiation. DSGS models are computed using an elastoviscoplastic finite element code. Using ADELI's software, we reproduce topographic ridge spreading under the effect of valley unloading. Two types of spreading topographic ridges are investigated, homogeneous or with horizontal rheological layering. We find that gravitational instabilities are enhanced by high slopes, which increase gravitational stress, and low friction and cohesion, which decrease yield stress. In the unlayered ridge, instability is triggered by glacial unloading with plastic strain concentration inside the ridge and at the base of the high slopes. Vertical fractures develop in the upper part of the slope, potentially leading to fault scarps. Ridge homogeneity promotes a deformation mode controlled by uphill-facing normal faulting and basal bulging. In the second case, the ridge encompasses horizontal geological discontinuities that induce rock mass anisotropy. Discontinuity located at the base of the slope accumulates plastic strain, leading to the formation of a sliding plane evolving into a landslide. The presence of a weak layer at ridge base therefore promotes another slope deformation mode ending up with catastrophic failure. Mechanical conditions and slope height being equal, these conclusions can probably be extrapolated to Earth. Compared with Mars, DSGS on Earth is inhibited because terrestrial topographic gradients are lower than in Valles Marineris, an

  1. Enhanced Laser Cooling of Rare-Earth-Ion-Doped Glass Containing Nanometer-Sized Metallic Particles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jia Youhua; Zhong Biao; Yin Jianping

    2009-01-01

    The enhanced laser cooling performance of rare-earth-ions-doped glasses containing small particles is predicted. This is achieved by the enhancement of local field around rare earth ions, owing to the surface plasmon resonance of small metallic particles. The role of energy transfer between ions and the particle is theoretical discussed. Depending on the particle size and the ion emission quantum efficiency, the enhancement of the absorption and the fluorescence is predicted. Moreover, taking Yb 3+ -doped ZBLAN as example, the cooling power and heat-light converting efficiency are calculated. It is finally concluded that the absorption and the fluorescence are greatly enhanced in these composite materials, the cooling power is increased compared to the bulk material. (condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties)

  2. Mars Technologies Spawn Durable Wind Turbines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubenheim, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Sometimes referred to as regenerative life support systems, the concept includes an enclosed self-sufficient habitat that can independently support life for years on end. Such a system aims not only to produce its own food and water but to purify air and convert waste into useful byproducts. In the early 1990s, NASA was planning for an extended stay on Mars, and Bubenheim and his Ames colleagues were concentrating efforts on creating a complete ecological system to sustain human crewmembers during their time on the Red Planet. The main barrier to developing such a system, he says, is energy. Mars has no power plants, and a regenerative system requires equipment that runs on electricity to do everything from regulating humidity in the atmosphere to monitoring the quality of recycled water. The Ames group started looking at how to best make power on a planet that is millions of miles away from Earth and turned to a hybrid concept combining wind and solar power technologies. The reason was that Mars experiences frequent dust storms that can block nearly all sunlight. When theres a dust storm and the wind is blowing, the wind system could be the dominant power source. When the wind is not blowing and the sun is out, photovoltaics could be the dominant source, says Bubenheim.To develop and test the wind power technology, Ames turned to a remote, harsh environment here on Earth: the South Pole. The South Pole was a really good analog for Mars, says Bubenheim. The technology features for going to Mars were the same technology features needed to make something work at the South Pole.Around the same time that NASA started investigating energy technologies for the Red Planet, the National Science Foundation (NSF) was working on a redesign of their station at the South Pole. To power its operations, NSF used fuel that it flew to the remote location, but the Foundation recognized the benefits of also using onsite renewable energy technologies. In the winter they have small

  3. A High Power Solar Electric Propulsion - Chemical Mission for Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Laura M.; Martini, Michael C.; Oleson, Steven R.

    2014-01-01

    Recently Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) as a main propulsion system has been investigated as an option to support manned space missions to near-Earth destinations for the NASA Gateway spacecraft. High efficiency SEP systems are able to reduce the amount of propellant long duration chemical missions require, ultimately reducing the required mass delivered to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by a launch vehicle. However, for long duration interplanetary Mars missions, using SEP as the sole propulsion source alone may not be feasible due to the long trip times to reach and insert into the destination orbit. By combining an SEP propulsion system with a chemical propulsion system the mission is able to utilize the high-efficiency SEP for sustained vehicle acceleration and deceleration in heliocentric space and the chemical system for orbit insertion maneuvers and trans-earth injection, eliminating the need for long duration spirals. By capturing chemically instead of with low-thrust SEP, Mars stay time increases by nearly 200 days. Additionally, the size the of chemical propulsion system can be significantly reduced from that of a standard Mars mission because the SEP system greatly decreases the Mars arrival and departure hyperbolic excess velocities (V(sub infinity)).

  4. K-Band Phased Array Developed for Low- Earth-Orbit Satellite Communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anzic, Godfrey

    1999-01-01

    Future rapid deployment of low- and medium-Earth-orbit satellite constellations that will offer various narrow- to wide-band wireless communications services will require phased-array antennas that feature wide-angle and superagile electronic steering of one or more antenna beams. Antennas, which employ monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC), are perfectly suited for this application. Under a cooperative agreement, an MMIC-based, K-band phased-array antenna is being developed with 50/50 cost sharing by the NASA Lewis Research Center and Raytheon Systems Company. The transmitting array, which will operate at 19 gigahertz (GHz), is a state-of-the-art design that features dual, independent, electronically steerable beam operation ( 42 ), a stand-alone thermal management, and a high-density tile architecture. This array can transmit 622 megabits per second (Mbps) in each beam from Earth orbit to small Earth terminals. The weight of the total array package is expected to be less than 8 lb. The tile integration technology (flip chip MMIC tile) chosen for this project represents a major advancement in phased-array engineering and holds much promise for reducing manufacturing costs.

  5. A Little Vacation on Mars: Mars Simulation Microbial Challenge Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, P.; Todd, P.; Van De Camp, J.; Northup, D.; Spilde, M.

    2008-06-01

    Communities of microbial organisms isolated from a variety of extreme environments were subjected to 1 to 5 weeks of simulated Martian environmental conditions using the Mars Environment Simulation Chamber at the Techshot, Inc. facility in Greenville, Indiana. The goal of the overall experiment program was to assess survival of test Earth organisms under Mars full spectrum sunlight, low-latitude daily temperature profile and various Mars-atmosphere pressures (~50 mbar to 500 mbar, 100% CO2) and low moisture content. Organisms surviving after 5 weeks at 100 mbar included those from gypsum surface fracture communities in a Permian aged evaporite basin, desert varnish on andesite lavas around a manganese mine, and iron and manganese oxidizing organisms isolated from two caves in Mew Mexico. Phylogenetic DNA analysis revealed strains of cyanobacteria, bacterial genera (present in all surviving communities) Asticacaulis, Achromobacter, Comamonas, Pantoea, Verrucomicrobium, Bacillus, Gemmatimonas, Actinomyces, and others. At least one microcolonial fungal strain from a desert varnish community and at least one strain from Utah survived simulations. Strains related to the unusual cave bacterial group Bacteroidetes are present in survivor communities that resist isolation into pure culture implying that their consortial relationships may be critical to their survival.

  6. What and how can affect the exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.; Morozhenko, A. V.

    2017-05-01

    Going to Mars, astronauts are deprived of the protection of the magnetic field. And for 15 months of flight to Mars and back astronaut will receive maximum permissible for his entire career, a dose of radiation of 1 sievert. And when powerful flash can occur on the sun, the dose of radiation will grow by an order of magnitude and can even kill the crew. The radiation background in the orbit of Mars is more than 2.2 times higher than the radiation background at the Earth's orbital station. The smallest toxic dust on Mars is also can interfere with the colonization of Mars. This dust contains a large number of toxic compounds such as perchlorates, minerals of gypsum, compounds of chromium, fine-grained salts of silicic acid, etc. The listed above factors make forced to think seriously about the possibility of organizing a Mars mission, even in the distant future.

  7. Bio-markers and the search for extinct life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, D. E.; Mancinelli, R. L.

    1989-01-01

    In order to predict what biomarkers could be used on Mars, several biomarkers, or key signatures, of extinct life on earth are identified. Some of these biomarkers which may be applicable to Mars include reduced carbon and nitrogen compounds, CO3(2-), SO4(2-), NO3(-), Mg, Mn, Fe, and the isotopic ratios of C, N, and S. It is suggested that a fully equipped Mars rover might be able to perform analyses to measure most of these biomarkers while on the Martian surface.

  8. Field measurements of horizontal forward motion velocities of terrestrial dust devils: Towards a proxy for ambient winds on Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balme, M. R.; Pathare, A.; Metzger, S. M.; Towner, M. C.; Lewis, S. R.; Spiga, A.; Fenton, L. K.; Renno, N. O.; Elliott, H. M.; Saca, F. A.; Michaels, T. I.; Russell, P.; Verdasca, J.

    2012-11-01

    Dust devils - convective vortices made visible by the dust and debris they entrain - are common in arid environments and have been observed on Earth and Mars. Martian dust devils have been identified both in images taken at the surface and in remote sensing observations from orbiting spacecraft. Observations from landing craft and orbiting instruments have allowed the dust devil translational forward motion (ground velocity) to be calculated, but it is unclear how these velocities relate to the local ambient wind conditions, for (i) only model wind speeds are generally available for Mars, and (ii) on Earth only anecdotal evidence exists that compares dust devil ground velocity with ambient wind velocity. If dust devil ground velocity can be reliably correlated to the ambient wind regime, observations of dust devils could provide a proxy for wind speed and direction measurements on Mars. Hence, dust devil ground velocities could be used to probe the circulation of the martian boundary layer and help constrain climate models or assess the safety of future landing sites. We present results from a field study of terrestrial dust devils performed in the southwest USA in which we measured dust devil horizontal velocity as a function of ambient wind velocity. We acquired stereo images of more than a 100 active dust devils and recorded multiple size and position measurements for each dust devil. We used these data to calculate dust devil translational velocity. The dust devils were within a study area bounded by 10 m high meteorology towers such that dust devil speed and direction could be correlated with the local ambient wind speed and direction measurements. Daily (10:00-16:00 local time) and 2-h averaged dust devil ground speeds correlate well with ambient wind speeds averaged over the same period. Unsurprisingly, individual measurements of dust devil ground speed match instantaneous measurements of ambient wind speed more poorly; a 20-min smoothing window applied to

  9. Evaporation Rates of Brine on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D. W. G.; Chittenden, J.; Moore, S. R.; Meier, A.; Kareev, M.; Farmer, C. B.

    2004-01-01

    While Mars is now largely a dry and barren place, recent data have indicated that water has flowed at specific locations within the last approx. 10(exp 6) y. This had led to a resurgence of interest in theoretical and experimental work aimed at understanding the behavior of water on Mars. There are several means whereby the stability of liquid water on Mars could be increased, one being the presence solutes that would depress the freezing point. Salt water on Earth is about 0.5M NaCl, but laboratory experiments suggest that martian salt water is quite different. We recently began a program of laboratory measurements of the stability of liquid water, ice and ice-dust mixtures under martian conditions and here report measurements of the evaporation rate of 0.25M brine.

  10. Solar discrepancies: Mars exploration and the curious problem of inter-planetary time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirmalek, Zara Lenora

    The inter-planetary work system for the NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission entailed coordinating work between two corporally diverse workgroups, human beings and solar-powered robots, and between two planets with asynchronous axial rotations. The rotation of Mars takes approximately 24 hours and 40 minutes while for Earth the duration is 24 hours, a differential that was synchronized on Earth by setting a clock forward forty minutes every day. The hours of the day during which the solar-powered rovers were operational constituted the central consideration in the relationship between time and work around which the schedule of MER science operations were organized. And, the operational hours for the rovers were precarious for at least two reasons: on the one hand, the possibility of a sudden and inexplicable malfunction was always present; on the other, the rovers were powered by solar-charged batteries that could simply (and would eventually) fail. Thus, the timetable for the inter-planetary work system was scheduled according to the daily cycle of the sun on Mars and a version of clock time called Mars time was used to keep track of the movement of the sun on Mars. While the MER mission was a success, it does not necessarily follow that all aspects of mission operations were successful. One of the central problems that plagued the organization of mission operations was precisely this construct called "Mars time" even while it appeared that the use of Mars time was unproblematic and central to the success of the mission. In this dissertation, Zara Mirmalek looks at the construction of Mars time as a tool and as a social process. Of particular interest are the consequences of certain (ostensibly foundational) assumptions about the relationship between clock time and the conduct of work that contributed to making the relationship between Mars time and work on Earth appear operational. Drawing on specific examples of breakdowns of Mars time as a support

  11. A single geophone to locate seismic events on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roques, Aurélien; Berenguer, Jean-Luc; Bozdag, Ebru

    2016-04-01

    Knowing the structure of Mars is a key point in understanding the formation of Earth-like planets as plate tectonics and erosion have erased the original suface of the Earth formation. Installing a seismometer on Mars surface makes it possible to identify its structure. An important step in the identification of the structure of a planet is the epicenter's location of a seismic source, typically a meteoric impact or an earthquake. On Earth, the classical way of locating epicenters is triangulation, which requires at least 3 stations. The Mars InSight Project plans to set a single station with 3 components. We propose a software to locate seismic sources on Mars thanks to the 3-components simulated data of an earthquake given by Geoazur (Nice Sophia-Antipolis University, CNRS) researchers. Instrumental response of a sensor is crucial for data interpretation. We study the oscillations of geophone in several situations so as to awaken students to the meaning of damping in second order modeling. In physics, car shock absorbers are often used to illustrate the principle of damping but rarely in practical experiments. We propose the use of a simple seismometer (a string with a mass and a damper) that allows changing several parameters (inductive damping, temperature and pressure) so as to see the effects of these parameters on the impulse response and, in particular, on the damping coefficient. In a second step, we illustrate the effect of damping on a seismogram with the difficulty of identifying and interpreting the different phase arrival times with low damping.

  12. COMPARISON OF COSMIC-RAY ENVIRONMENTS ON EARTH, MOON, MARS AND IN SPACECARFT USING PHITS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Tatsuhiko; Nagamatsu, Aiko; Ueno, Haruka; Kataoka, Ryuho; Miyake, Shoko; Takeda, Kazuo; Niita, Koji

    2017-09-29

    Estimation of cosmic-ray doses is of great importance not only in aircrew and astronaut dosimetry but also in evaluation of background radiation exposure to public. We therefore calculated the cosmic-ray doses on Earth, Moon and Mars as well as inside spacecraft, using Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System PHITS. The same cosmic-ray models and dose conversion coefficients were employed in the calculation to properly compare between the simulation results for different environments. It is quantitatively confirmed that the thickness of physical shielding including the atmosphere and soil of the planets is the most important parameter to determine the cosmic-ray doses and their dominant contributors. The comparison also suggests that higher solar activity significantly reduces the astronaut doses particularly for the interplanetary missions. The information obtained from this study is useful in the designs of the future space missions as well as accelerator-based experiments dedicated to cosmic-ray research. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Photogrammetric portrayal of Mars topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, S.S.C.

    1979-01-01

    Special photogrammetric techniques have been developed to portray Mars topography, using Mariner and Viking imaging and nonimaging topographic information and earth-based radar data. Topography is represented by the compilation of maps at three scales: global, intermediate, and very large scale. The global map is a synthesis of topographic information obtained from Mariner 9 and earth-based radar, compiled at a scale of 1:25,000,000 with a contour interval of 1 km; it gives a broad quantitative view of the planet. At intermediate scales, Viking Orbiter photographs of various resolutions are used to compile detailed contour maps of a broad spectrum of prominent geologic features; a contour interval as small as 20 m has been obtained from very high resolution orbital photography. Imagery from the Viking lander facsimile cameras permits construction of detailed, very large scale (1:10) topographic maps of the terrain surrounding the two landers; these maps have a contour interval of 1 cm. This paper presents several new detailed topographic maps of Mars.-Author

  14. Amazonian volcanism inside Valles Marineris on Mars

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brož, Petr; Hauber, E.; Wray, J. J.; Michael, G.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 473, September (2017), s. 122-130 ISSN 0012-821X Institutional support: RVO:67985530 Keywords : Mars * Valles Marineris * volcanism * scoria cone * hydrothermal activity Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure OBOR OECD: Volcanology Impact factor: 4.409, year: 2016

  15. Life at extreme elevations on Atacama volcanoes: the closest thing to Mars on Earth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, S K; Gendron, E M S; Vincent, K; Solon, A J; Sommers, P; Schubert, Z R; Vimercati, L; Porazinska, D L; Darcy, J L; Sowell, P

    2018-03-20

    Here we describe recent breakthroughs in our understanding of microbial life in dry volcanic tephra ("soil") that covers much of the surface area of the highest elevation volcanoes on Earth. Dry tephra above 6000 m.a.s.l. is perhaps the best Earth analog for the surface of Mars because these "soils" are acidic, extremely oligotrophic, exposed to a thin atmosphere, high UV fluxes, and extreme temperature fluctuations across the freezing point. The simple microbial communities found in these extreme sites have among the lowest alpha diversity of any known earthly ecosystem and contain bacteria and eukaryotes that are uniquely adapted to these extreme conditions. The most abundant eukaryotic organism across the highest elevation sites is a Naganishia species that is metabolically versatile, can withstand high levels of UV radiation and can grow at sub-zero temperatures, and during extreme diurnal freeze-thaw cycles (e.g. - 10 to + 30 °C). The most abundant bacterial phylotype at the highest dry sites sampled (6330 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Llullaillaco) belongs to the enigmatic B12-WMSP1 clade which is related to the Ktedonobacter/Thermosporothrix clade that includes versatile organisms with the largest known bacterial genomes. Close relatives of B12-WMSP1 are also found in fumarolic soils on Volcán Socompa and in oligotrophic, fumarolic caves on Mt. Erebus in Antarctica. In contrast to the extremely low diversity of dry tephra, fumaroles found at over 6000 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Socompa support very diverse microbial communities with alpha diversity levels rivalling those of low elevation temperate soils. Overall, the high-elevation biome of the Atacama region provides perhaps the best "natural experiment" in which to study microbial life in both its most extreme setting (dry tephra) and in one of its least extreme settings (fumarolic soils).

  16. Developing Low-Power Transceiver Technologies for In Situ Communication Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lay, N.; Cheetham, C.; Mojaradi, H.; Neal, J.

    2001-07-01

    For future deep-space missions, significant reductions in the mass and power requirements for short-range telecommunication systems will be critical in enabling a wide variety of new mission concepts. These possibilities include penetrators, gliders, miniature rovers, balloons, and sensor networks. The recent development activity reported in this article has focused on the design of ultra-low-mass and -power transceiver systems and subsystems suitable for operation in a flight environment. Under these efforts, the basic functionality of the transceiver has been targeted towards a Mars microprobe communications scenario. However, the overall transceiver architecture is well suited to any short- or medium-range application where a remote probe will aperiodically communicate with a base station, possibly an orbiter, for the eventual purpose of relaying science information back to Earth. Additionally, elements of the radio architecture can be applied in situations involving surface-to-surface communications, thereby enabling different mission communications topologies. Through a system analysis of these channels, both the applicability and benefit of very low power communications will be quantitatively addressed.

  17. The Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been regarded as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for the signatures of life began in the 19th century, and continue via telescopic investigations and landed missions. While early work focused on phenomenology and bordered on fantasy, modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and the search for biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Living systems produce more than 90% of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. The discovery of methane on Mars will be described, along with the ongoing extended search for clues to its origins. The possible origins of Mars methane will be discussed in the context of terrestrial analogue sites where geologic and biologic methane production now occurs - ranging from sub-permafrost zones in the arctic to hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. Terrestrial organisms that could prosper on Mars today will be mentioned. I will briefly touch upon experiments conducted by landed spacecraft, ranging from the Viking Life Science Experiments in 1976 to the impending Mars Science laboratory, and the Trace Gas Orbiter and ExoMars missions now being developed for flight in the coming decade.

  18. Mars Mission Concepts: SAR and Solar Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsperman, M.; Klaus, K.; Smith, D. B.; Clifford, S. M.; Lawrence, S. J.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction: The time has come to leverage technology advances (including advances in autonomous operation and propulsion technology) to reduce the cost and increase the flight rate of planetary missions, while actively developing a scientific and engineering workforce to achieve national space objectives. Mission Science at Mars: A SAR imaging radar offers an ability to conduct high resolution investigations of the shallow (Models uniquely useful for exploration planning and science purposes. Since the SAR and the notional high-resolution stereo imaging system would be huge data volume producers - to maximize the science return we are currently considering the usage of laser communications systems; this notional spacecraft represents one pathway to evaluate the utility of laser communications in planetary exploration while providing useful science return.. Mission Concept: Using a common space craft for multiple missions reduces costs. Solar electric propulsion (SEP) provides the flexibility required for multiple mission objectives. SEP provides the greatest payload advantage albeit at the sacrifice of mission time. Our concept involves using a SEP enabled space craft (Boeing 702SP) with a highly capable SAR imager that also conducts autonomous rendezvous and docking experiments accomplished from Mars orbit. Our concept of operations is to launch on May 5, 2018 using a launch vehicle with 2000kg launch capacity with a C3 of 7.4. After reaching Mars it takes 145 days to spiral down to a 250 km orbit above the surface of Mars when Mars SAR operations begin. Summary/Conclusions: A robust and compelling Mars mission can be designed to meet the 2018 Mars launch window opportunity. Using advanced in-space power and propulsion technologies like High Power Solar Electric Propulsion provides enormous mission flexibility to execute the baseline science mission and conduct necessary Mars Sample Return Technology Demonstrations in Mars orbit on the same mission. An

  19. Low Upper Limit to Methane Abundance on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.; 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; Elvira, Javier Gómez; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Soler, Javier Martín; 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; 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.

    2013-10-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the Martian atmosphere is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity. During the past decade, Earth-based telescopic observations reported “plumes” of methane of tens of parts per billion by volume (ppbv), and those from Mars orbit showed localized patches, prompting speculation of sources from subsurface bacteria or nonbiological sources. From in situ measurements made with the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) on Curiosity using a distinctive spectral pattern specific to methane, we report no detection of atmospheric methane with a measured value of 0.18 ± 0.67 ppbv corresponding to an upper limit of only 1.3 ppbv (95% confidence level), which reduces the probability of current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars and limits the recent contribution from extraplanetary and geologic sources.

  20. Special section introduction on MicroMars to MegaMars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Nathan T.; Dundas, Colin M.; Edgar, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    The study of Earth's surface and atmosphere evolved from local investigations to the incorporation of remote sensing on a global scale. The study of Mars has followed the opposite progression, beginning with telescopic observations, followed by flyby and orbital missions, landers, and finally rover missions in the last ∼20 years. This varied fleet of spacecraft (seven of which are currently operating as of this writing) provides a rich variety of datasets at spatial scales ranging from microscopic images to synoptic orbital remote sensing.

  1. Martian Chemical and Isotopic Reference Standards in Earth-based Laboratories — An Invitation for Geochemical, Astrobiological, and Engineering Dialog on Considering a Weathered Chondrite for Mars Sample Return.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, J. W.; Tait, A. W.; Velbel, M. A.; Boston, P. J.; Carrier, B. L.; Cohen, B. A.; Schröder, C.; Bland, P.

    2017-12-01

    Exogenic rocks (meteorites) found on Mars 1) have unweathered counterparts on Earth; 2) weather differently than indigenous rocks; and 3) may be ideal habitats for putative microorganisms and subsequent biosignature preservation. These attributes show the potential of meteorites for addressing hypothesis-driven science. They raise the question of whether chondritic meteorites, of sufficient weathering intensity, might be considered as candidates for sample return in a potential future mission. Pursuant to this discussion are the following questions. A) Is there anything to be learned from the laboratory study of a martian chondrite that cannot be learned from indigenous materials; and if so, B) is the science value high enough to justify recovery? If both A and B answer affirmatively, then C) what are the engineering constraints for sample collection for Mars 2020 and potential follow-on missions; and finally D) what is the likelihood of finding a favorable sample? Observations relevant to these questions include: i) Since 2005, 24 candidate and confirmed meteorites have been identified on Mars at three rover landing sites, demonstrating their ubiquity and setting expectations for future finds. All have been heavily altered by a variety of physical and chemical processes. While the majority of these are irons (not suitable for recovery), several are weathered stony meteorites. ii) Exogenic reference materials provide the only chemical/isotope standards on Mars, permitting quantification of alteration rates if residence ages can be attained; and possibly enabling the removal of Late Amazonian weathering overprints from other returned samples. iii) Recent studies have established the habitability of chondritic meteorites with terrestrial microorganisms, recommending their consideration when exploring astrobiological questions. High reactivity, organic content, and permeability show stony meteorites to be more attractive for colonization and subsequent biosignature

  2. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration, announced in 2004, calls on NASA to finish constructing the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed to return to the Moon and go on the Mars. By exploring space, America continues the tradition of great nations who mastered the Earth, air, and sea, and who then enjoyed the benefits of increased commerce and technological advances. The progress being made today is part of the next chapter in America's history of leadership in space. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within the planned timeline and also within the allowable budget, NASA is building upon the best of proven space transportation systems. Journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Lunar Surface Access Module. What America learns in reaching for the Moon will teach astronauts how to prepare for the first human footprints on Mars. While robotic science may reveal information about the nature of hydrogen on the Moon, it will most likely tale a human being with a rock hammer to find the real truth about the presence of water, a precious natural resource that opens many possibilities for explorers. In this way, the combination of astronauts using a variety of tools and machines provides a special synergy that will vastly improve our understanding of Earth's cosmic neighborhood.

  3. Mars Orbiter Camera Views the 'Face on Mars' - Best View from Viking

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Shortly after midnight Sunday morning (5 April 1998 12:39 AM PST), the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft successfully acquired a high resolution image of the 'Face on Mars' feature in the Cydonia region. The image was transmitted to Earth on Sunday, and retrieved from the mission computer data base Monday morning (6 April 1998). The image was processed at the Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) facility 9:15 AM and the raw image immediately transferred to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for release to the Internet. The images shown here were subsequently processed at MSSS.The picture was acquired 375 seconds after the spacecraft's 220th close approach to Mars. At that time, the 'Face', located at approximately 40.8o N, 9.6o W, was 275 miles (444 km) from the spacecraft. The 'morning' sun was 25o above the horizon. The picture has a resolution of 14.1 feet (4.3 meters) per pixel, making it ten times higher resolution than the best previous image of the feature, which was taken by the Viking Mission in the mid-1970's. The full image covers an area 2.7 miles (4.4 km) wide and 25.7 miles (41.5 km) long.This Viking Orbiter image is one of the best Viking pictures of the area Cydonia where the 'Face' is located. Marked on the image are the 'footprint' of the high resolution (narrow angle) Mars Orbiter Camera image and the area seen in enlarged views (dashed box). See PIA01440-1442 for these images in raw and processed form.Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  4. Sustainable life support on Mars - the potential roles of cyanobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verseux, Cyprien; Baqué, Mickael; Lehto, Kirsi; de Vera, Jean-Pierre P.; Rothschild, Lynn J.; Billi, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    Even though technological advances could allow humans to reach Mars in the coming decades, launch costs prohibit the establishment of permanent manned outposts for which most consumables would be sent from Earth. This issue can be addressed by in situ resource utilization: producing part or all of these consumables on Mars, from local resources. Biological components are needed, among other reasons because various resources could be efficiently produced only by the use of biological systems. But most plants and microorganisms are unable to exploit Martian resources, and sending substrates from Earth to support their metabolism would strongly limit the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of their cultivation. However, resources needed to grow specific cyanobacteria are available on Mars due to their photosynthetic abilities, nitrogen-fixing activities and lithotrophic lifestyles. They could be used directly for various applications, including the production of food, fuel and oxygen, but also indirectly: products from their culture could support the growth of other organisms, opening the way to a wide range of life-support biological processes based on Martian resources. Here we give insights into how and why cyanobacteria could play a role in the development of self-sustainable manned outposts on Mars.

  5. Flexible climate modeling systems: Lessons from Snowball Earth, Titan and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierrehumbert, R. T.

    2007-12-01

    Climate models are only useful to the extent that real understanding can be extracted from them. Most leading- edge problems in climate change, paleoclimate and planetary climate require a high degree of flexibility in terms of incorporating model physics -- for example in allowing methane or CO2 to be a condensible substance instead of water vapor. This puts a premium on model design that allows easy modification, and on physical parameterizations that are close to fundamentals with as little empirical ad-hoc formulation as possible. I will provide examples from two approaches to this problem we have been using at the University of Chicago. The first is the FOAM general circulation model, which is a clean single-executable Fortran-77/c code supported by auxiliary applications in Python and Java. The second is a new approach based on using Python as a shell for assembling building blocks in compiled-code into full models. Applications to Snowball Earth, Titan and Mars, as well as pedagogical uses, will be discussed. One painful lesson we have learned is that Fortran-95 is a major impediment to portability and cross-language interoperability; in this light the trend toward Fortran-95 in major modelling groups is seen as a significant step backwards. In this talk, I will focus on modeling projects employing a full representation of atmospheric fluid dynamics, rather than "intermediate complexity" models in which the associated transports are parameterized.

  6. Effect of Earth Ground and Environment on Body-Centric Communications in the MHz Band

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuyuki Fujii

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Body area network (BAN research, which uses the human body as a transmission channel, has recently attracted considerable attention globally. Zimmerman first advocated the idea in 1995. Illustrations of the electric field streamlines around the human body and wearable devices with electrodes were drawn. In the pictures, the electrodes of the wearable devices constitute a closed circuit with the human body and the earth ground. However, analysis of the circuit has not been conducted. In this study, we model the human body shunted to earth ground in a radio anechoic chamber to analyze the electric field strength around it and clarify the effect of earth ground during BAN run time. The results suggest that earth ground has little influence on the human body and wearable devices. Only when the human body is directly grounded, the electric field near the feet area will decrease. The input impedance of the transmitter is approximately the same, and the received open-circuit voltage and current of the receiver are also the same. In addition, we elucidate that stable communications can be established by developing a closed circuit using earth ground as return path. When the external electronic devices and human body are shunted to earth ground, the received open-circuit voltage and current increase.

  7. 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.

  8. Spacecraft design project: Low Earth orbit communications satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroney, Dave; Lashbrook, Dave; Mckibben, Barry; Gardener, Nigel; Rivers, Thane; Nottingham, Greg; Golden, Bill; Barfield, Bill; Bruening, Joe; Wood, Dave

    1991-01-01

    This is the final product of the spacecraft design project completed to fulfill the academic requirements of the Spacecraft Design and Integration 2 course (AE-4871) taught at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. The Spacecraft Design and Integration 2 course is intended to provide students detailed design experience in selection and design of both satellite system and subsystem components, and their location and integration into a final spacecraft configuration. The design team pursued a design to support a Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) communications system (GLOBALSTAR) currently under development by the Loral Cellular Systems Corporation. Each of the 14 team members was assigned both primary and secondary duties in program management or system design. Hardware selection, spacecraft component design, analysis, and integration were accomplished within the constraints imposed by the 11 week academic schedule and the available design facilities.

  9. The Coevolution of Life and Environment on Mars: An Ecosystem Perspective on the Robotic Exploration of Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A.

    2018-01-01

    Earth's biological and environmental evolution are intertwined and inseparable. This coevolution has become a fundamental concept in astrobiology and is key to the search for life beyond our planet. In the case of Mars, whether a coevolution took place is unknown, but analyzing the factors at play shows the uniqueness of each planetary experiment regardless of similarities. Early Earth and early Mars shared traits. However, biological processes on Mars, if any, would have had to proceed within the distinctive context of an irreversible atmospheric collapse, greater climate variability, and specific planetary characteristics. In that, Mars is an important test bed for comparing the effects of a unique set of spatiotemporal changes on an Earth-like, yet different, planet. Many questions remain unanswered about Mars' early environment. Nevertheless, existing data sets provide a foundation for an intellectual framework where notional coevolution models can be explored. In this framework, the focus is shifted from planetary-scale habitability to the prospect of habitats, microbial ecotones, pathways to biological dispersal, biomass repositories, and their meaning for exploration. Critically, as we search for biosignatures, this focus demonstrates the importance of starting to think of early Mars as a biosphere and vigorously integrating an ecosystem approach to landing site selection and exploration.

  10. Recommendations for communication to enhance informed consent ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Recommendations for communication to enhance informed consent and enrolment at multilingual research sites. Claire Penn, Melanie Evans. Abstract. Language issues can affect HIV and AIDS research trial enrolment, but little is understood about variables in this process. Some evidence indicates barriers exist even ...

  11. 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.

  12. Communicating with Professionals

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Disease Venous Thromboembolism Aortic Aneurysm More Communicating with Professionals Updated:Mar 8,2018 After a cardiac event ... shorter and more rushed than you (or your professionals) want. Simple communication skills can help you get ...

  13. Soil and crop management experiments in the Laboratory Biosphere: An analogue system for the Mars on Earth ® facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstone, S.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.; Allen, J. P.

    During the years 2002 and 2003, three closed system experiments were carried out in the "Laboratory Biosphere" facility located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The program involved experimentation of "Hoyt" Soy Beans, (experiment #1) USU Apogee Wheat (experiment #2) and TU-82-155 sweet potato (experiment #3) using a 5.37 m 2 soil planting bed which was 30 cm deep. The soil texture, 40% clay, 31% sand and 28% silt (a clay loam), was collected from an organic farm in New Mexico to avoid chemical residues. Soil management practices involved minimal tillage, mulching, returning crop residues to the soil after each experiment and increasing soil biota by introducing worms, soil bacteria and mycorrhizae fungi. High soil pH of the original soil appeared to be a factor affecting the first two experiments. Hence, between experiments #2 and #3, the top 15 cm of the soil was amended using a mix of peat moss, green sand, humates and pumice to improve soil texture, lower soil pH and increase nutrient availability. This resulted in lowering the initial pH of 8.0-6.7 at the start of experiment #3. At the end of the experiment, the pH was 7.6. Soil nitrogen and phosphorus has been adequate, but some chlorosis was evident in the first two experiments. Aphid infestation was the only crop pest problem during the three experiments and was handled using an introduction of Hyppodamia convergens. Experimentation showed there were environmental differences even in this 1200 cubic foot ecological system facility, such as temperature and humidity gradients because of ventilation and airflow patterns which resulted in consequent variations in plant growth and yield. Additional humidifiers were added to counteract low humidity and helped optimize conditions for the sweet potato experiment. The experience and information gained from these experiments are being applied to the future design of the Mars On Earth ® facility (Silverstone et al., Development and research program for a soil

  14. 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.

  15. Sustained Manned Mars Presence Enabled by E-sail Technology and Asteroid Water Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janhunen, Pekka; Merikallio, Sini; Toivanen, Petri; Envall, M. Jouni

    The Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail) can produce 0.5-1 N of inexhaustible and controllable propellantless thrust [1]. The E-sail is based on electrostatic Coulomb interaction between charged thin tethers and solar wind ions. It was invented in 2006, was developed to TRL 4-5 in 2011-2013 with ESAIL FP7 project (http://www.electric-sailing.fi/fp7) and a CubeSat small-scale flight test is in course (ESTCube-1). The E-sail provides a flexible and efficient way of moving 0-2 tonne sized cargo payloads in the solar system without consuming propellant. Given the E-sail, one could use it to make manned exploration of the solar system more affordable by combining it with asteroid water mining. One first sends a miner spacecraft to an asteroid or asteroids, either by E-sail or traditional means. Many asteroids are known to contain water and liberating it only requires heating the material one piece at a time in a leak tight container. About 2 tonne miner can produce 50 tonnes of water per year which is sufficient to sustain continuous manned traffic between Earth and Mars. If the ice-bearing asteroid resides roughly at Mars distance, it takes 3 years for a 0.7 N E-sailer to transport a 10 tonne water/ice payload to Mars orbit or Earth C3 orbit. Thus one needs a fleet of 15 E-sail transport spacecraft plus replacements to ferry 50 tonnes of water yearly to Earth C3 (1/3) and Mars orbit (2/3). The mass of one transporter is 300 kg [2]. One needs to launch max 1.5 tonne mass of new E-sail transporters per year and in practice much less since it is simple to reuse them. This infrastructure is enough to supply 17 tonnes of water yearly at Earth C3 and 33 tonnes in Mars orbit. Orbital water can be used by manned exploration in three ways: (1) for potable water and for making oxygen, (2) for radiation shielding, (3) for LH2/LOX propellant. Up to 75 % of the wet mass of the manned module could be water (50 % propellant and 25 % radiation shield water). On top of this the total mass

  16. How to Communicate Near Earth Objects with the Public - Klet Observatory Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticha, Jana; Tichy, Milos; Kocer, Michal

    2015-08-01

    Near-Earth Object (NEO) research is counted among the most popular parts of communicating astronomy with the public. Increasing research results in the field of Near-Earth Objects as well as impact hazard investigations cause growing interest among general public and media. Furthermore NEO related issues have outstanding educational value. So thus communicating NEO detection, NEO characterization, possible impact effects, space missions to NEOs, ways of mitigation and impact warnings with the public and media belong to the most important tasks of scientists and research institutions.Our institution represents an unique liaison of the small professional research institution devoted especially to NEO studies (the Klet Observatory, Czech Republic) and the educational and public outreach branch (the Observatory and Planetarium Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic). This all has been giving us an excellent opportunity for bringing NEO information to wider audience. We have been obtaining a wide experience in communicating NEOs with the public more than twenty years.There is a wide spectrum of public outreach tools aimed to NEO research and hazard. As the most useful ones we consider two special on-line magazines (e-zins) devoted to asteroids (www.planetky.cz) and comets (www.komety.cz) in Czech language, educational multimedia presentations for schools at different levels in planetarium, summer excursions for wide public just at the Klet Observatory on the top of the Klet mountain, public lectures, meetings and exhibitions. It seems to be very contributing and favoured by public to have opportunities for more or less informal meetings just with NEO researchers from time to time. Very important part of NEO public outreach consists of continuous contact with journalists and media including press releases, interviews, news, periodical programs. An increasing role of social media is taken into account through Facebook and Twitter profiles.The essential goal of all mentioned NEO

  17. The Role of Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin in the Enhancement of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    pc

    2018-03-05

    Mar 5, 2018 ... the web network has been developed to a contact communication ... role of these sites in the enhancement of the education process ... A- Study [2] This is a report about blogging using LinkedIn. .... wise, school wise, or region wise to contact and interact with others. ..... Education: A Case Study of Facebook.

  18. Relativistic time transfer for a Mars lander: from Areocentric Coordinate Time to Barycentric Coordinate Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wen-Zheng; Xu, De-Wang; Yu, Qing-Shan; Liu, Jie; Xie, Yi

    2017-08-01

    As the second step of relativistic time transfer for a Mars lander, we investigate the transformation between Areocentric Coordinate Time (TCA) and Barycentric Coordinate Time (TCB) in the framework of IAU Resolutions. TCA is a local time scale for Mars, which is analogous to the Geocentric Coordinate Time (TCG) for Earth. This transformation has two parts: contributions associated with gravitational bodies and those depending on the position of the lander. After setting the instability of an onboard clock to 10-13 and considering that the uncertainty in time is about 3.2 microseconds after one Earth year, we find that the contributions of the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in the leading term associated with these bodies can reach a level exceeding the threshold and must be taken into account. Other terms can be safely ignored in this transformation for a Mars lander.

  19. 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

    -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. Samples of the crater wall and rim rock, and more recent to currently active surface materials also may be studied. Gale has a well-defined regional context and strong evidence for a progression through multiple potentially habitable environments. These environments are represented by a stratigraphic record of extraordinary extent, and insure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars. The interior mountain of Gale Crater has been informally designated at Mount Sharp, in honor of the pioneering planetary scientist Robert Sharp. The major subsystems of the MSL Project consist of a single rover (with science payload), a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, an Earth-Mars cruise stage, an entry, descent, and landing system, a launch vehicle, and the mission operations and ground data systems. The primary communication path for downlink is relay through the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The primary path for uplink to the rover is Direct-from-Earth. The secondary paths for downlink are Direct-to-Earth and relay through the Mars Odyssey orbiter. Curiosity is a scaled version of the 6-wheel drive, 4-wheel steering, rocker bogie system from the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity and the Mars Pathfinder Sojourner. Like Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity offers three primary modes of navigation: blind-drive, visual odometry, and visual odometry with hazard avoidance. Creation of terrain maps based on HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and other remote sensing data were used to conduct simulated driving with Curiosity in these various modes, and allowed selection of the Gale crater landing site which requires climbing the base of a

  20. Observations of Crew Dynamics During Mars Analog Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy L.

    2009-01-01

    Crewmembers on Mars missions will face new and unique challenges compared to those in close communications proximity to Mission Control centers. Crews on Mars will likely become more autonomous and responsible for their day-to-day planning. These explorers will need to make frequent real time decisions without the assistance of large ground support teams. Ground-centric control will no longer be an option due to the communications delays. As a result of the new decision making model, crew dynamics and leadership styles of future astronauts may become significantly different from the demands of today. As a volunteer for the Mars Society on two Mars analog missions, this presenter will discuss observations made during isolated, surface exploration simulations. The need for careful crew selections, not just based on individual skill sets, but on overall team interactions becomes apparent very quickly when the crew is planning their own days and deciding their own priorities. Even more important is the selection of a Mission Commander who can lead a team of highly skilled individuals with strong and varied opinions in a way that promotes crew consensus, maintains fairness, and prevents unnecessary crew fatigue.

  1. Cis-Lunar Reusable In-Space Transportation Architecture for the Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, Eric S.; Jones, Christopher A.; Merrill, Raymond G.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars or other destinations in the solar system require large quantities of propellant to enable the transportation of required elements from Earth's sphere of influence to Mars. Current and proposed launch vehicles are incapable of launching all of the requisite mass on a single vehicle; hence, multiple launches and in-space aggregation are required to perform a Mars mission. This study examines the potential of reusable chemical propulsion stages based in cis-lunar space to meet the transportation objectives of the Evolvable Mars Campaign and identifies cis-lunar propellant supply requirements. These stages could be supplied with fuel and oxidizer delivered to cis-lunar space, either launched from Earth or other inner solar system sources such as the Moon or near Earth asteroids. The effects of uncertainty in the model parameters are evaluated through sensitivity analysis of key parameters including the liquid propellant combination, inert mass fraction of the vehicle, change in velocity margin, and change in payload masses. The outcomes of this research include a description of the transportation elements, the architecture that they enable, and an option for a campaign that meets the objectives of the Evolvable Mars Campaign. This provides a more complete understanding of the propellant requirements, as a function of time, that must be delivered to cis-lunar space. Over the selected sensitivity ranges for the current payload and schedule requirements of the 2016 point of departure of the Evolvable Mars Campaign destination systems, the resulting propellant delivery quantities are between 34 and 61 tonnes per year of hydrogen and oxygen propellant, or between 53 and 76 tonnes per year of methane and oxygen propellant, or between 74 and 92 tonnes per year of hypergolic propellant. These estimates can guide future propellant manufacture and/or delivery architectural analysis.

  2. Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Owen, Sandra J.

    2012-11-01

    Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop NASA/Ames Research Center May 15-17, 2012 Climate change on Mars has been a subject of great interest to planetary scientists since the 1970's when orbiting spacecraft first discovered fluvial landforms on its ancient surfaces and layered terrains in its polar regions. By far most of the attention has been directed toward understanding how "Early Mars" (i.e., Mars >~3.5 Gya) could have produced environmental conditions favorable for the flow of liquid water on its surface. Unfortunately, in spite of the considerable body of work performed on this subject, no clear consensus has emerged on the nature of the early Martian climate system because of the difficulty in distinguishing between competing ideas given the ambiguities in the available geological, mineralogical, and isotopic records. For several reasons, however, the situation is more tractable for "Recent Mars" (i.e., Mars during past 20 My or so). First, the geologic record is better preserved and evidence for climate change on this time scale has been building since the rejuvenation of the Mars Exploration Program in the late 1990's. The increasing coverage of the planet from orbit and the surface, coupled with accurate measurements of surface topography, increasing spatial resolution of imaging cameras, improved spectral resolution of infrared sensors, and the ability to probe the subsurface with radar, gamma rays, and neutron spectroscopy, has not only improved the characterization of previously known climate features such as polar layered terrains and glacier-related landforms, but has also revealed the existence of many new features related to recent climate change such as polygons, gullies, concentric crater fill, and a latitude dependent mantle. Second, the likely cause of climate change - spin axis/orbital variations - is more pronounced on Mars compared to Earth. Spin axis/orbital variations alter the seasonal and latitudinal distribution of sunlight, which can

  3. The Enhanced Segment Interconnect for FASTBUS data communications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Machen, D.R.; Downing, R.W.; Kirsten, F.A.; Nelson, R.O.

    1987-01-01

    The Enhanced Segment Interconnect concept (ESI) for improved FASTBUS data communications is a development supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The ESI will contain both the Segment Interconnect (SI) Tyhpe S-1 and an optional buffered interconnect for store-and-forward data communications; fiber-optic-coupled serial ports will provide optional data paths. The ESI can be applied in large FASTBUS-implemented physics experiments whose data-set or data-transmission distance requirements dictate alternate approaches to data communications. This paper describes the functions of the ESI and the status of its development, now 25% complete

  4. 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

  5. Drilling Automation Tests At A Lunar/Mars Analog Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, B.; Cannon, H.; Hanagud, S.; Lee, P.; Paulsen, G.

    2006-01-01

    Future in-situ lunar/martian resource utilization and characterization, as well as the scientific search for life on Mars, will require access to the subsurface and hence drilling. Drilling on Earth is hard - an art form more than an engineering discipline. The limited mass, energy and manpower in planetary drilling situations makes application of terrestrial drilling techniques problematic. The Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) project is developing drilling automation and robotics for projected use in missions to the Moon and Mars in the 2011-15 period. This has been tested recently, drilling in permafrost at a lunar/martian analog site (Haughton Crater, Devon Island, Canada).

  6. PADME (Phobos And Deimos and Mars Environment): A Proposed NASA Discovery Mission to Investigate the Two Moons of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Pascal; Benna, Mehdi; Britt, Daniel; Colaprete, Anthony; Davis, Warren; Delory, Greg; Elphic, Richard; Fulsang, Ejner; Genova, Anthony; Glavin, Daniel; hide

    2015-01-01

    After 40 years of solar system exploration by spacecraft, the origin of Mars's satellites, remains vexingly unknown. There are three prevailing hypotheses concerning their origin: H1: They are captured small bodies from the outer main belt or beyond; H2: They are reaccreted Mars impact ejecta; H3: They are remnants of Mars' formation. There are many variants of these hypotheses, but as stated, these three capture the key ideas and constraints on their nature. So far, data and modeling have not allowed any one of these hypotheses to be verified or excluded. Each one of these hypotheses has important implications for the evolution of the solar system, the formation and evolution of planets and satellites, and the delivery of water and organics to Early Mars and Early Earth. Determining the origin of Phobos and Deimos is identified by the NASA and the NRC Decadal Survey as the most important science goal at these bodies.

  7. Increased Science Instrumentation Funding Strengthens Mars Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Lee D.; Graff, T. G.

    2012-01-01

    As the strategic knowledge gaps mature for the exploration of Mars, Mars sample return (MSR), and Phobos/Deimos missions, one approach that becomes more probable involves smaller science instrumentation and integrated science suites. Recent technological advances provide the foundation for a significant evolution of instrumentation; however, the funding support is currently too small to fully utilize these advances. We propose that an increase in funding for instrumentation development occur in the near-term so that these foundational technologies can be applied. These instruments would directly address the significant knowledge gaps for humans to Mars orbit, humans to the Martian surface, and humans to Phobos/ Deimos. They would also address the topics covered by the Decadal Survey and the Mars scientific goals, objectives, investigations and priorities as stated by the MEPAG. We argue that an increase of science instrumentation funding would be of great benefit to the Mars program as well as the potential for human exploration of the Mars system. If the total non-Earth-related planetary science instrumentation budget were increased 100% it would not add an appreciable amount to the overall NASA budget and would provide the real potential for future breakthroughs. If such an approach were implemented in the near-term, NASA would benefit greatly in terms of science knowledge of the Mars, Phobos/Deimos system, exploration risk mitigation, technology development, and public interest.

  8. Learning to live on a Mars day: fatigue countermeasures during the Phoenix Mars Lander mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barger, Laura K; Sullivan, Jason P; Vincent, Andrea S; Fiedler, Edna R; McKenna, Laurence M; Flynn-Evans, Erin E; Gilliland, Kirby; Sipes, Walter E; Smith, Peter H; Brainard, George C; Lockley, Steven W

    2012-10-01

    To interact with the robotic Phoenix Mars Lander (PML) spacecraft, mission personnel were required to work on a Mars day (24.65 h) for 78 days. This alien schedule presents a challenge to Earth-bound circadian physiology and a potential risk to workplace performance and safety. We evaluated the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of a fatigue management program to facilitate synchronization with the Mars day and alleviate circadian misalignment, sleep loss, and fatigue. Operational field study. PML Science Operations Center. Scientific and technical personnel supporting PML mission. Sleep and fatigue education was offered to all support personnel. A subset (n = 19) were offered a short-wavelength (blue) light panel to aid alertness and mitigate/reduce circadian desynchrony. They were assessed using a daily sleep/work diary, continuous wrist actigraphy, and regular performance tests. Subjects also completed 48-h urine collections biweekly for assessment of the circadian 6-sulphatoxymelatonin rhythm. Most participants (87%) exhibited a circadian period consistent with adaptation to a Mars day. When synchronized, main sleep duration was 5.98 ± 0.94 h, but fell to 4.91 ± 1.22 h when misaligned (P Mars day suggests that future missions should utilize a similar circadian rhythm and fatigue management program to reduce the risk of sleepiness-related errors that jeopardize personnel safety and health during critical missions.

  9. Small Spacecraft Constellation Concept for Mars Atmospheric Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmar, S. W.; Mannucci, A. J.; Ao, C. O.; Kobayashi, M. M.; Lazio, J.; Marinan, A.; Massone, G.; McCandless, S. E.; Preston, R. A.; Seubert, J.; Williamson, W.

    2017-12-01

    First demonstrated in 1965 when Mariner IV flew by Mars and determined the salient features of its atmosphere, radio occultation experiments have been carried out on numerous planetary missions with great discoveries. These experiments utilize the now classic configuration of a signal from a single planetary spacecraft to Earth receiving stations, where the science data are acquired. The Earth science community advanced the technique to utilizing a constellation of spacecraft with the radio occultation links between the spacecraft, enabled by the infrastructure of the Global Positioning System. With the advent of small and less costly spacecraft, such as planetary CubeSats and other variations, such as the anticipated innovative Mars Cube One mission, crosslinks among small spacecraft can be used to study other planets in the near future. Advantages of this type of experiment include significantly greater geographical coverage, which could reach global coverage over a few weeks with a small number of spacecraft. Repeatability of the global coverage can lead to examining temperature-pressure profiles and ionospheric electron density profiles, on daily, seasonal, annual, or other time scales of interest. The higher signal-to-noise ratio for inter-satellite links, compared to a link to Earth, decreases the design demands on the instrumentation (smaller antennas and transmitters, etc.). After an actual Mars crosslink demonstration, this concept has been in development using Mars as a possible target. Scientific objectives, delivery methods, operational scenarios and end-to-end configuration have been documented. Science objectives include determining the state and variability of the lower Martian atmosphere, which has been an identified as a high priority objective by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, particularly as it relates to entry, descent, and landing and ascent for future crewed and robotic missions. This paper will present the latest research on the

  10. Utilizing Social Network Services for Enhanced Communication with Elderly Living at Home

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wagner, Stefan

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses whether social network services, like Facebook and Twitter, may be used by elderly living in their own homes to enhance communication with their relatives and friends. It introduces a prototype solution based on the iRobot Roomba 560, iRobot, USA, robot vacuum cleaner, which...... has been enhanced with Facebook and Twitter communication capabilities. The paper points out a number of other relevant applications where the use of social network services may provide better communication for ambient assisted living solutions and intelligent environments....

  11. Assessing Group Dynamics in a Mars Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, S. L.

    2007-10-01

    International interest in psychosocial functioning generally and issues of group and inter-group function for space crews has increased as focus has shifted towards longer duration spaceflight and, particularly, the issues involved in sending a human crew to Mars (Kanas, et al., 2001; Dawson, 2002). Planning documents for a human mission to Mars such as the NASA Design Reference Mission (DRM 1.0) emphasize the need for adaptability of crewmembers and autonomy in the crew as a whole (Hoffman and Kaplan, 1997). Similarly a major study by the International Space University (ISU, 1991) emphasized the need for autonomy and initiative for a Mars crew given that many of the scenarios that will be encountered on Mars cannot be rehearsed on earth and given the lack of any realistic possibility for rescue of the crew. This research project was only one subset of data collected during the larger AustroMars Expedition at the Mars Desert Research Facility (MDRS) in 2006. The participating crew comprises part of a multi-year investigation on teams utilizing the MDRS facility. The program of research has included numerous researchers since 2002 with a progressive evolution of key foci addressing stress, personality, coping, adaptation, cognitive functioning, and group identity assessed across the duration period of the individual missions.

  12. How, when and where Life will begin on another planet after Earth by Duky’s Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deol, Satveer; Singh Nafria, Amritpal

    2017-01-01

    Our Sun is a Red Giant Star and in distant future it will engulf Mercury, Venus and probably Earth and Mars. This paper shows that in distant future due to increasing size & luminosity of the Sun life will begin on one of the planet after 1 duky’s Unit. 1 duky's Unit is the time from now to the time when Mercury would get merged in Sun. At that time Venus would be first planet & due to closeness to Sun, its upper atmosphere would get heated up by solar wind. In a continuous process the clouds of sulfuric acid would escape its gravity. Eventually it would get drifted off into space and it become Mercury twin. On Earth after few million years moisture in air would become very good to trap infra red radiation. As it will warms up, oceans would evaporate even more & in few million years it would get covered with blanket of water vapours. Due to increasing temperature & pressure, volcanoes on Earth would become active then volcanic eruption would blast billions of tons of sulfur high into atmosphere there sulfur would mix with water vapors & form conc. Sulfuric acids. In a continuous process of few more million years whole Earth would get covered with sulphuric acids cloud. As Earth’s moon is receding away from Earth, so before 1 DU, Moon will have been gone away from Earth. As a result it would get started slow down one spin about 1 million year. These would lead to massive outpouring of CO2 & other greenhouse gasses. At that Earth would become Venus Twin. Now it's Mars turn, according to scientists after 50 millions years from now phobo will crash onto the surface of Mars. When that would happen, Mars would have one moon like Earth. This collision would be so hard & strong that phobo would get totally immersed in the surface of Mars as a results it's possible that Mars would get tilted at about 23.5 degree. Due to collision molten lava would come out. When temperature & pressure would rise then water ice would become water. When water would get enriched with

  13. Laser-Induced Fluorescence Emission (L.I.F.E.): searching for Mars organics with a UV-enhanced PanCam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C; Muller, Jan-Peter; Fisk, Martin R; Cousins, Claire; Sattler, Birgit; Griffiths, Andrew D; Coates, Andrew J

    2009-12-01

    The European Space Agency will launch the ExoMars mission in 2016 with a primary goal of surveying the martian subsurface for evidence of organic material. We have recently investigated the utility of including either a 365 nm light-emitting diode or a 375 nm laser light source in the ExoMars rover panoramic camera (PanCam). Such a modification would make it feasible to monitor rover drill cuttings optically for the fluorescence signatures of aromatic organic molecules and map the distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as a function of depth to the 2 m limit of the ExoMars drill. The technique described requires no sample preparation, does not consume irreplaceable resources, and would allow mission control to prioritize deployment of organic detection experiments that require sample destruction, expenditure of non-replaceable consumables, or both. We report here for the first time laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) imaging detection limits for anthracene, pyrene, and perylene targets doped onto a Mars analog granular peridotite with a 375 nm Nichia laser diode in optically uncorrected wide-angle mode. Data were collected via the Beagle 2 PanCam backup filter wheel fitted with original blue (440 nm), green (530 nm), and red (670 nm) filters. All three PAH species can be detected with the PanCam green (530 nm) filter. Detection limits in the green band for signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) > 10 are 49 parts per million (ppm) for anthracene, 145 ppm for pyrene, and 20 ppm for perylene. The anthracene detection limit improves to 7 ppm with use of the PanCam blue filter. We discuss soil-dependent detection limit constraints; use of UV excitation with other rover cameras, which provides higher spatial resolution; and the advantages of focused and wide-angle laser modes. Finally, we discuss application of L.I.F.E. techniques at multiple wavelengths for exploration of Mars analog extreme environments on Earth, including Icelandic hydrothermally

  14. A unique volcanic field in Tharsis, Mars: Pyroclastic cones as evidence for explosive eruptions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brož, Petr; Hauber, E.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 218, č. 1 (2012), s. 88-99 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME09011 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : Mars * volcanism * Mars surface Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 3.161, year: 2012

  15. Mars Atmosphere Effects on Arc Welds: Phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA has been unprecedented in achieving its goals related to space exploration and furthering the understanding of our solar system. In keeping with this trend, NASA's current mission is to land a team of astronauts on Mars and return them safely to Earth. In addition to comprising much of the structure and life support systems that will be brought to Mars for the habitat and vehicle, titanium and aluminum can be found and mined on Mars and may be used when building structures.Where metals are present, there will be a need for welding capabilities. For welds that need to be made quickly and are located far from heavy resistance or solid state welding machinery, there will be a need for basic arc welding. Arc welding has been a major cornerstone of manufacturing throughout the 20th century, and the portability and capability of gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) will be necessary for repair, manufacturing, and survival on Mars. The two primary concerns for welding on Mars are that the Martian atmosphere contains high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), and the atmospheric pressure is much lower than it is on Earth. The high levels of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere may dissociate and produce oxygen in the arc and therefore increase the risk of oxidation. For simplification, atmospheric pressure will not be taken into account for this experiment. For survival on Mars during this mission, the life support and water filtration systems must be kept operational at all times. In order to ensure that water filtration systems can be repaired in the event of an emergency, it is very important to have the capability to weld. The Orion capsule and Mars lander must also remain operational throughout the duration of the mission to ensure the safe return of the astronauts on the mission to Mars. A better understanding of welding in a Mars environment is important to ensure that repair welds are possible if the Orion capsule/Mars lander or water filtration system is damaged at any point

  16. Two earth years of Moessbauer studies of the surface of Mars with MIMOS II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klingelhoefer, G.; Morris, R. V.; De Souza, P. A.; Rodionov, D.; Schroeder, C.

    2006-01-01

    The element iron plays a crucial role in the study of the evolution of matter from an interstellar cloud to the formation and evolution of the planets. In the Solar System iron is the most abundant metallic element. It occurs in at least three different oxidation states: Fe(0) (metallic iron), Fe(II) and Fe(III). Fe(IV) and Fe(VI) compounds are well known on Earth, and there is a possibility for their occurrence on Mars. In January 2004 the USA space agency NASA landed two rovers on the surface of Mars, both carrying the Mainz Moessbauer spectrometer MIMOS II. They performed for the first time in-situ measurements of the mineralogy of the Martian surface, at two different places on Mars, Meridiani Planum and Gusev crater, respectively, the landing sites of the Mars-Exploration-Rovers (MER) Opportunity and Spirit. After about two Earth years or one Martian year of operation the Moessbauer (MB) spectrometers on both rovers have acquired data from more than 150 targets (and more than thousand MB spectra) at each landing site. The scientific measurement objectives of the Moessbauer investigation are to obtain for rock, soil, and dust (1) the mineralogical identification of iron-bearing phases (e.g., oxides, silicates, sulfides, sulfates, and carbonates), (2) the quantitative measurement of the distribution of iron among these iron-bearing phases (e.g., the relative proportions of iron in olivine, pyroxenes, ilmenite and magnetite in a basalt), (3) the quantitative measurement of the distribution of iron among its oxidation states (e.g., Fe 2+ , Fe 3+ , and Fe 6+ ), and (4) the characterization of the size distribution of magnetic particles. Special geologic targets of the Moessbauer investigation are dust collected by the Athena magnets and interior rock and soil surfaces exposed by the Athena Rock Abrasion Tool and by trenching with rover wheels. The Moessbauer spectrometer on Opportunity at Meridiani Planum, identified eight Fe-bearing phases: jarosite (K,Na,H3O

  17. On the possibility of life on early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberbeck, V. R.; Fogleman, G.

    1990-01-01

    Prebiotic reactants, liquid water, and temperatures low enough for organic compounds to be stable are requirements for the origination of life as we know it. Prebiotic reactants and sufficiently low temperatures were present on Mars before liquid water vanished. Early in this time period, however, large planetesimal impacts may have periodically sterilized Mars, pyrolyzed organic compounds, and interrupted chemical origination of life. However, the calculated time interval between such impacts on Mars was larger just before liquid water vanished 3.8 Gyr (billion years) ago than it was on earth just before life originated. Therefore, there should have been sufficient time for life to originate on Mars. Ideal sites to search for microfossils are in the heavily cratered terrain of Upper Noachian age. Craters and channels in this terrain may have been the sites of ancient lakes and streams that could have provided habitats for the first microorganisms.

  18. Effect of NTP technology levels on engine sizing for a 2005 piloted Mars mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burr, Annette D.; Cross, Elden H.; Widman, Frederick W.; North, D. Michael

    1993-01-01

    Previous vehicle mass studies were performed for Mars launch windows in the 2010-2018 time frame. Within the last year, a study was performed to determine the effects of various Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) engine and mission parameters on Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (MLEO) for a piloted Mars mission during the 2005 opportunity. Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) and Enabler-type reactors were compared. Parameters evaluated included engine thrust, number of engines, number of Trans-Mars Injection (TMI) burns, engine thrust/weight, engine out capability, engine burn time, and Isp. Earth and Mars departure dates and outbound and return travel times were optimized for a 240-day total interplanetary transfer time (long-duration stay mission). Parameters which were seen to reduce IMLEO included a greater number of perigee burns, multiple engines, and higher Isp. Optimum engine thrust varied substantially depending on the configuration. Engine models developed jointly by Rocketdyne and Westinghouse within the last year formed the basis for the Enabler thrust optimization study.

  19. Carl Sagan and the Exploration of Mars and Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, Owen B.; Condon, Estelle P. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Inspired by childhood readings of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Carl Sagan's first interest in planetary science focused on Mars and Venus. Typical of much of his career he was skeptical of early views about these planets. Early in this century it was thought that the Martian wave of darkening, a seasonal albedo change on the planet, was biological in origin. He suggested instead that it was due to massive dust storms, as was later shown to be the case. He was the first to recognize that Mars has huge topography gradients across its surface. During the spacecraft era, as ancient river valleys were found on the planet, he directed studies of Mars' ancient climate. He suggested that changes in the planets orbit were involved in climate shifts on Mars, just as they are on Earth. Carl had an early interest in Venus. Contradictory observations led to a controversy about the surface temperature, and Carl was one of the first to recognize that Venus has a massive greenhouse effect at work warming its surface. His work on radiative transfer led to an algorithm that was extensively used by modelers of the Earth's climate and whose derivatives still dominate the calculation of radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres today. Carl inspired a vast number of young scientists through his enthusiasm for new ideas and discoveries, his skeptical approach, and his boundless energy. I had the privilege to work in Carl's laboratory during the peak of the era of Mars' initial exploration. It was an exciting time, and place. Carl made it a wonderful experience.

  20. ADVANCING TORPOR INDUCING TRANSFER HABITATS FOR HUMAN STASIS TO MARS

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — SpaceWorks proposes the development of an advanced habitat system for transporting crews between the Earth and Mars. This new and innovative habitat design is...

  1. The Surface of Mars: A Post-Viking View.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Michael H.

    1983-01-01

    Highlights current information on the martian surface. Topics include a planetary overview (atmosphere, dust storms, water vapor/ice, soil analysis) and surface features (craters, volcanoes, canyons/channels, polar regions, wind-related features). Similarities/differences between Mars and Earth are also discussed. (JN)

  2. An Outrageous Geological Hypothesis for the Early Mars Hydro-climatic Conundrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, V. R.

    2016-12-01

    Nearly a century ago a Science paper by W. M. Davis described the role for an "outrageous geological hypothesis" (OGH) as encouraging, "…a contemplation deliberate enough to seek out what conditions would make the outrage seem permissible and reasonable." Davis even advocated in 1926 that Earth scientists seriously consider "the Wegener outrage of wandering continents"- the OGH that ultimately led to the most important unifying concept for understanding the nature of Earthlike planets. Does this concept of a mobile lithosphere, manifesting itself on Earth as plate tectonics, have relevance for understanding the nature of early Mars? Conceptual arguments have been presented claiming that Mars could never have had an early phase of lithospheric dynamics similar to that associated with Earth's plate tectonics. Nevertheless, a total rejection of this OGH precludes any possibility of considering (1) the conditions that might make such dynamics possible, and (2) connections among the many phenomena that can be collectively accounted for by the OGH. While all scientific arguments are intrinsically fallible, nature presents us with absolute realities. For Mars the latter consist of the numerous anomalies related to planetary evolution that either can be explained piecemeal by ad hoc hypotheses, or, alternatively, might be viewed as part of something to be explained by a unifying, working hypothesis that may seem outrageous in the light of current theory. Briefly stated, the Early Mars OGH envisions a pre-Late Heavy Bombardment (> 4 Ga) phase of lithospheric subduction that helped generate the very powerful core dynamo while also emplacing near the core-mantle boundary a reservoir of volatiles that subsequently influenced the later Mars history of punctuated evolution, involving episodic volcanism and transient states of a denser atmosphere with associated, active hydrological cycling, including the temporary surficial expressions of oceans, lakes, glaciers, and rivers.

  3. A Google Earth Grand Tour of the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Paor, Declan; Coba, Filis; Burgin, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Google Earth is a powerful instructional resource for geoscience education. We have extended the virtual globe to include all terrestrial planets. Downloadable Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files (Google Earth's scripting language) associated with this paper include lessons about Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars. We created "grand…

  4. Artificial structures on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Flandern, T.

    2002-05-01

    Approximately 70,000 images of the surface of Mars at a resolution of up to 1.4 meters per pixel, taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, are now in public archives. Approximately 1% of those images show features that can be broadly described as `special shapes', `tracks, trails, and possible vegetation', `spots, stripes, and tubes', `artistic imagery', and `patterns and symbols'. Rather than optical illusions and tricks of light and shadow, most of these have the character that, if photographed on Earth, no one would doubt that they were the products of large biology and intelligence. In a few cases, relationships, context, and fulfillment of a priori predictions provide objective evidence of artificiality that is exempt from the influence of experimenter biases. Only controlled test results can be trusted because biases are strong and operate both for and against artificiality.

  5. Understanding Single-Thread Meandering Rivers with High Sinuosity on Mars through Chemical Precipitation Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Y.; Kim, W.

    2015-12-01

    Meandering rivers are extremely ubiquitous on Earth, yet it is only recently that single-thread experimental channels with low sinuosity have been created. In these recent experiments, as well as in natural rivers, vegetation plays a crucial role in maintaining a meandering pattern by adding cohesion to the bank and inhibiting erosion. The ancient, highly sinuous channels found on Mars are enigmatic because presumably vegetation did not exist on ancient Mars. Under the hypothesis that Martian meandering rivers formed by chemical precipitation on levees and flood plain deposits, we conducted carbonate flume experiments to investigate the formation and evolution of a single-thread meander pattern without vegetation. The flow recirculating in the flume is designed to accelerate chemical reactions - dissolution of limestone using CO2 gas to produce artificial spring water and precipitation of carbonates to increase cohesion- with precise control of water discharge, sediment discharge, and temperature. Preliminary experiments successfully created a single-thread meandering pattern through chemical processes. Carbonate deposits focused along the channel sides improved the bank stability and made them resistant to erosion, which led to a stream confined in a narrow path. The experimental channels showed lateral migration of the bend through cut bank and point bar deposits; intermittent floods created overbank flow and encouraged cut bank erosion, which enhanced lateral migration of the channel, while increase in sediment supply improved lateral point bar deposition, which balanced erosion and deposition rates. This mechanism may be applied to terrestrial single-thread and/or meandering rivers with little to no vegetation or before its introduction to Earth and also provide the link between meandering river records on Mars to changes in Martian surface conditions.

  6. Heating and thermal control of brazing technique to break contamination path for potential Mars sample return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Xiaoqi; Badescu, Mircea; Sherrit, Stewart; Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Campos, Sergio

    2017-04-01

    The potential return of Mars sample material is of great interest to the planetary science community, as it would enable extensive analysis of samples with highly sensitive laboratory instruments. It is important to make sure such a mission concept would not bring any living microbes, which may possibly exist on Mars, back to Earth's environment. In order to ensure the isolation of Mars microbes from Earth's Atmosphere, a brazing sealing and sterilizing technique was proposed to break the Mars-to-Earth contamination path. Effectively, heating the brazing zone in high vacuum space and controlling the sample temperature for integrity are key challenges to the implementation of this technique. The break-thechain procedures for container configurations, which are being considered, were simulated by multi-physics finite element models. Different heating methods including induction and resistive/radiation were evaluated. The temperature profiles of Martian samples in a proposed container structure were predicted. The results show that the sealing and sterilizing process can be controlled such that the samples temperature is maintained below the level that may cause damage, and that the brazing technique is a feasible approach to breaking the contamination path.

  7. 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

  8. Deployment of the MARSIS Radar Antennas On-Board Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denis, Michel; Moorhouse, A.; Smith, A.; McKay, Mike; Fischer, J.; Jayaraman, P.; Mounzer, Z.; Schmidt, R.; Reddy, J.; Ecale, E.; hide

    2006-01-01

    On the first European planetary mission, the deployment of the two 20-meter long MARSIS antennas onboard the ESA Mars Express spacecraft has represented an unprecedented technological challenge, in the middle of a successful science mission. While Mars Express was already performing regular observations at Mars, a complex process has been performed on Earth, involving the ESA Project, coordination between ESA, NASA and ASI, the Mars Science community, the spacecraft manufacturer EADS Astrium and the Mission Control Centre at ESOC. This paper describes the steps that led from an initial nogo in 2004 to deployment one year later, as well as the conditions and difficulties encountered during the actual deployment. It provides insights in the technical and managerial processes that made it a success, and analyses the rationale behind the decisions.

  9. Ertel Potential Vorticity versus Bernoulli Streamfunction in Earth's Southern Ocean: Comparison with the Atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Timothy E.; Stanley, Geoff; Bradley, Mary Elizabeth; Marshall, David P.

    2017-10-01

    We are working to expand the comparative planetology of vorticity-streamfunction correlations established for the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn to include Earth’s Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which is the only oceanic jet that encircles the planet. Interestingly, the ACC and its eddies scale like atmospheric jets and eddies on Jupiter and Saturn---the Southern Ocean is a “giant planet” with a zonal jet stream. Our input is the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE; Mazloff et al 2010, J. Phys. Ocean. 40, 880-899), an optimal combination of observations and primitive-equation model that spans 2005-2010. Two hurdles not encountered in atmospheric work arise from the nonlinear equation of state of ocean water: non-zero helicity, which prevents the existence of truly neutral (analogous to adiabatic) surfaces, and the lack of a geostrophic streamfunction in general. We follow de Szoeke et al (2000, J. Phys. Ocean. 30, 2830-2852) to overcome these hurdles, regionally, by using orthobaric density as the vertical coordinate. In agreement with results for all atmospheres analyzed to date, scatter plots of Ertel potential vorticity, Q, versus Bernoulli streamfunction, B, on orthobaric density surfaces in the Southern Ocean are well correlated. The general shape of the correlation is like a hockey stick, with the “blade” corresponding to a broad horizontal region that spans the ACC, and the “handle” corresponding to shallow water. The same linear-regression Q versus B model employed for Mars is applied to the ACC (“blade”) signal. Results include that the deeper water on the equatorward side of the ACC is most prone to shear instability, and elsewhere the ACC is “supersonic” such that the net propagation of vorticity waves is eastward, not the usual westward. During the 6-year span of the SOSE data, there is a steady drift of the correlation to larger values at the top of the vertical profile, and to smaller values in the middle of

  10. InSight: Single Station Broadband Seismology for Probing Mars' Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panning, Mark P.; Banerdt, W. Bruce; Beucler, Eric; Boschi, Lapo; Johnson, Catherine; Lognonne, Philippe; Mocquet, Antoine; Weber, Renee C.

    2012-01-01

    InSight is a proposed Discovery mission which will deliver a lander containing geophysical instrumentation, including a heat flow probe and a seismometer package, to Mars. The aim of this mission is to perform, for the first time, an in-situ investigation of the interior of a truly Earth- like planet other than our own, with the goal of understanding the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets through investigation of the interior structure and processes of Mars.

  11. A technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter in SAEF-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter which is scheduled to launch on Dec. 10, 1998, aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface.

  12. Earth's Trojan asteroid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connors, Martin; Wiegert, Paul; Veillet, Christian

    2011-07-27

    It was realized in 1772 that small bodies can stably share the same orbit as a planet if they remain near 'triangular points' 60° ahead of or behind it in the orbit. Such 'Trojan asteroids' have been found co-orbiting with Jupiter, Mars and Neptune. They have not hitherto been found associated with Earth, where the viewing geometry poses difficulties for their detection, although other kinds of co-orbital asteroid (horseshoe orbiters and quasi-satellites) have been observed. Here we report an archival search of infrared data for possible Earth Trojans, producing the candidate 2010 TK(7). We subsequently made optical observations which established that 2010 TK(7) is a Trojan companion of Earth, librating around the leading Lagrange triangular point, L(4). Its orbit is stable over at least ten thousand years.

  13. Mars' rotational state and tidal deformations from radio interferometry of a network of landers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iess, L.; Giuliani, S.; Dehant, V.

    2012-04-01

    The precise determination of the rotational state of solar system bodies is one of the main tools to investigate their interior structure. Unfortunately the accuracies required for geophysical interpretations are very stringent, and generally unattainable from orbit using optical or radar tracking of surface landmarks. Radio tracking of a lander from ground or from a spacecraft orbiting the planet offers substantial improvements, especially if the lander lifetime is adequately long. The optimal configuration is however attained when two or more landers can be simultaneously tracked from a ground antenna in an interferometric mode. ESA has been considering a network of landers on Mars since many years, and recently this concept has been revived by the study of the Mars Network Science Mission (MNSM). The scientific rationale of MNSM is the investigation of the Mars' interior and atmosphere by means of a network of two or three landers, making it especially suitable for interferometric observations. In order to synthesize an interferometer, the MNSN landers must be tracked simultaneously from a single ground antenna in a coherent two-way mode. The uplink radio signal (at X- or Ka-band) is received by the landers' transponders and retransmitted to ground in the same frequency band. The signals received at ground station are then recorded (typically at few tens of kHz) and beaten against each other to form the output of the interferometer, a complex phasor. The differential phase retain information on Mars' rotational parameters and tidal deformations. A crucial aspect of the interferometric configuration is the rejection of common noise and error sources. Errors in the station location, Earth orientation parameters and ephemerides, path delays due to the Earth troposphere and ionosphere, and, to a good extent, interplanetary plasma are cancelled out. The main residual errors are due to differential path delays from Mars' atmosphere and differential drifts of the

  14. Very recent and wide-spread basaltic volcanism on Mars

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hauber, E.; Brož, Petr; Jagert, F.; Jodlowski, P.; Platz, T.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 38, č. 10 (2011), L10201/1-L10201/5 ISSN 0094-8276 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : volcanism * Mars * Tharsis Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 3.792, year: 2011

  15. Human Space Exploration: The Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sexton, Jeffrey D.

    2007-01-01

    America is returning to the Moon in preparation for the first human footprint on Mars, guided by the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration. This presentation will discuss NASA's mission, the reasons for returning to the Moon and going to Mars, and how NASA will accomplish that mission in ways that promote leadership in space and economic expansion on the new frontier. The primary goals of the Vision for Space Exploration are to finish the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed, to return people to the Moon and go to Mars. The Vision commits NASA and the nation to an agenda of exploration that also includes robotic exploration and technology development, while building on lessons learned over 50 years of hard-won experience. Why the Moon? Many questions about the Moon's potential resources and how its history is linked to that of Earth were spurred by the brief Apollo explorations of the 1960s and 1970s. This new venture will carry more explorers to more diverse landing sites with more capable tools and equipment for extended expeditions. The Moon also will serve as a training ground before embarking on the longer, more difficult trip to Mars. NASA plans to build a lunar outpost at one of the lunar poles, learn to live off the land, and reduce dePendence on Earth for longer missions. America needs to extend its ability to survive in hostile environments close to our home planet before astronauts will reach Mars, a planet very much like Earth. NASA has worked with scientists to define lunar exploration goals and is addressing the opportunities for a range of scientific study on Mars. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within a lifetime and within budget, NASA is building on common hardware, shared knowledge, and unique experience derived from the Apollo Saturn, Space Shuttle and contemporary commercial launch vehicle programs. The journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I

  16. Environmental Effects on Volcanic Eruptions:From Deep Ocean to Deep Space. Chapter 3. Volcanism and Ice Interactions on Earth and Mars. Chapter 3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Mary G.; Allen, Carlton C.; Gudmundsson, Magnus T.; Gulick, Virginia C.; Jakobsson, Sveinn P.; Lucchitta, Baerbel K.; Skilling, Ian P.; Waitt, Richard B.

    2000-01-01

    CONCLUSION Volcano/ice interactions produce meltwater. Meltwater can enter the groundwater cycle and under the influence of hydrothermal systems, it can be later discharged to form channels and valleys or cycled upward to melt permafrost. Water or ice-saturated ground can erupt into phreatic craters when covered by lava. Violent mixing of meltwater and volcanic material and rapid release can generate lahars or jokulhlaups, that have the ability to freight coarse material, great distances downslope from the vent. Eruption into meltwater generate unique appearing edifices, that are definitive indicators of volcano/ice interaction. These features are hyaloclastic ridges or mounds and if capped by lava, tuyas. On Earth, volcano/ice interactions are limited to alpine regions and ice-capped polar and temperate regions. On Mars, where precipitation may be an ancient phenomenon, these interactions may be limited to areas of ground ice accumulation or the northern lowlands where water may have ponded fairly late in martian history. The recognition of features caused by volcano/ice interactions could provide strong constraints for the history of volatiles on Mars.

  17. Mars Express - ESA sets ambitious goals for the first European mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

    Mars has always fascinated human beings. No other planet has been visited so many times by spacecraft. And still, it has not been easy to unveil its secrets. Martian mysteries seem to have increased in quantity and complexity with every mission. When the first spacecraft were sent - the Mariner series in 1960s - the public was expecting an Earth ‘twin’, a green, inhabited planet full of oceans. Mariner shattered this dream by showing a barren surface. This was followed by the Viking probes which searched for life unsuccessfully in 1976. Mars appeared dry, cold and uninhabited: the Earth’s opposite. Now, two decades later, modern spacecraft have changed that view, but they have also returned more questions. Current data show that Mars was probably much warmer in the past. Scientists now think that Mars had oceans, so it could have been a suitable place for life in the past. “We do not know what happened to the planet in the past. Which process turned Mars into the dry, cold world we see today?” says Agustin Chicarro, ESA’s Mars Express project scientist. “With Mars Express, we will find out. Above all, we aim to obtain a complete global view of the planet - its history, its geology, how it has evolved. Real planetology!” Mars Express will reach the Red Planet by the end of December 2003, after a trip of just over six months. Six days before injection into its final orbit, Mars Express will eject the lander, Beagle 2, named after the ship on which Charles Darwin found inspiration to formulate his theory of evolution. The Mars Express orbiter will observe the planet and its atmosphere from a near-polar orbit, and will remain in operation for at least a whole Martian year (687 Earth days). Beagle 2 will land in an equatorial region that was probably flooded in the past, and where traces of life may have been preserved. The Mars Express orbiter carries seven advanced experiments, in addition to the Beagle 2 lander. The orbiter’s instruments have been

  18. Biotoxicity of Mars soils: 2. Survival of Bacillus subtilis and Enterococcus faecalis in aqueous extracts derived from six Mars analog soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Ming, Doug W.; Golden, D. C.

    2017-07-01

    The search for an extant microbiota on Mars depends on exploring sites that contain transient or permanent liquid water near the surface. Examples of possible sites for liquid water may be active recurring slope lineae (RSL) and fluid inclusions in ice or salt deposits. The presence of saline fluids on Mars will act to depress the freezing points of liquid water to as low as ‒60 °C, potentially permitting the metabolism and growth of halophilic microorganisms to temperatures significantly below the freezing point of pure water at 0 °C. In order to predict the potential risks of forward contamination by Earth microorganisms to subsurface sites on Mars with liquid brines, experiments were designed to characterize the short-term survival of two bacteria in aqueous soil solutions from six analog soils. The term ''soil'' is used here to denote any loose, unconsolidated matrix with no implications for the presence or absence of organics or biology. The analog soils were previously described (Schuerger et al., 2012, Planetary Space Sci., 72, 91-101), and represented crushed Basalt (benign control), Salt, Acid, Alkaline, Aeolian, and Phoenix analogs on Mars. The survival rates of spores of Bacillus subtilis and vegetative cells of Enterococcus faecalis were tested in soil solutions from each analog at 24, 0, or ‒70 °C for time periods up to 28 d. Survival of dormant spores of B. subtilis were mostly unaffected by incubation in the aqueous extracts of all six Mars analogs. In contrast, survival rates of E. faecalis cells were suppressed by all soil solutions when incubated at 24 °C but improved at 0 and ‒70 °C, except for assays in the Salt and Acid soil solutions in which most cells were killed. Results suggest that Earth microorganisms that form spores may persist in liquid brines on Mars better than non-spore forming species, and thus, spore-forming species may pose a potential forward contamination risk to sites with liquid brines.

  19. Joint US-USSR Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floyd, S. R.; Trombka, J. I.; Evans, L. G.; Starr, R.; Squyres, S. W.; Surkov, Iu. A.; Moskaleva, L. P.; Shcheglov, O.; Mitugov, A. G.; Rester, A. C.

    1991-01-01

    The Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) project has been established at Goddard Space Flight Center for the evaluation and cross calibration of U.S. and USSR remote sensing gamma-ray and neutron detectors. These detectors are analogs of those flown on the Soviet Phobos mission around Mars and those to be flown on the upcoming U.S. Mars Observer mission. Cosmic rays, which are normally filtered out by the atmosphere, and the earth's magnetic field, will induce gamma-ray and neutron emissions from about a half ton of simulated Mars soil aboard the gondola. The cross calibration of these instruments should greatly facilitate the data analysis from both missions and play a role in U.S.-USSR cooperation in space.

  20. 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.

  1. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

    The probe, weighing in at 1 120 kg, was built on ESA’s behalf by a European team led by Astrium. It set out on its journey to Mars aboard a Soyuz-Fregat launcher, under Starsem operational management. The launcher lifted off from Baïkonur in Kazakhstan on 2 June at 23.45 local time (17:45 GMT). An interim orbit around the Earth was reached following a first firing of the Fregat upper stage. One hour and thirty-two minutes after lift off the probe was injected into its interplanetary orbit. "Europe is on its way to Mars to stake its claim in the most detailed and complete exploration ever done of the Red Planet. We can be very proud of this and of the speed with which have achieved this goal", said David Southwood, ESA's Director of Science witnessing the launch from Baikonur. Contact with Mars Express has been established by ESOC, ESA’s satellite control centre, located in Darmstadt, Germany. The probe is pointing correctly towards the Sun and has deployed its solar panels. All on-board systems are operating faultlessly. Two days from now, the probe will perform a corrective manœuvre that will place it in a Mars-bound trajectory, while the Fregat stage, trailing behind, will vanish into space - there will be no risk of it crashing into and contaminating the Red Planet. Mars Express will then travel away from Earth at a speed exceeding 30 km/s (3 km/s in relation to the Earth), on a six-month and 400 million kilometre journey through the solar system. Once all payload operations have been checked out, the probe will be largely deactivated. During this period, the spacecraft will contact Earth only once a day. Mid-journey correction of its trajectory is scheduled for September. There in time for Christmas Following reactivation of its systems at the end of November, Mars Express will get ready to release Beagle 2. The 60 kg capsule containing the tiny lander does not incorporate its own propulsion and steering system and will be released into a collision

  2. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumrall, John P.

    2007-01-01

    America is returning to the Moon in preparation for the first human footprint on Mars, guided by the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration. This presentation will discuss NASA's mission today, the reasons for returning to the Moon and going to Mars, and how NASA will accomplish that mission. The primary goals of the Vision for Space Exploration are to finish the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed to return people to the Moon and go to Mars. Unlike the Apollo program of the 1960s, this phase of exploration will be a journey, not a race. In 1966, the NASA's budget was 4 percent of federal spending. Today, with 6/10 of 1 percent of the budget, NASA must incrementally develop the vehicles, infrastructure, technology, and organization to accomplish this goal. Fortunately, our knowledge and experience are greater than they were 40 years ago. NASA's goal is a return to the Moon by 2020. The Moon is the first step to America's exploration of Mars. Many questions about the Moon's history and how its history is linked to that of Earth remain even after the brief Apollo explorations of the 1960s and 1970s. This new venture will carry more explorers to more diverse landing sites with more capable tools and equipment. The Moon also will serve as a training ground in several respects before embarking on the longer, more perilous trip to Mars. The journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Lunar Surface Access Module. The architecture for the lunar missions will use one launch to ferry the crew into orbit on the Ares I and a second launch to orbit the lunar lander and the Earth Departure Stage to send the lander and crew vehicle to the Moon. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within a lifetime and within budget, NASA is building on proven hardware and decades of experience derived from

  3. Aerospace Communications Technologies in Support of NASA Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Felix A.

    2016-01-01

    NASA is endeavoring in expanding communications capabilities to enable and enhance robotic and human exploration of space and to advance aero communications here on Earth. This presentation will discuss some of the research and technology development work being performed at the NASA Glenn Research Center in aerospace communications in support of NASAs mission. An overview of the work conducted in-house and in collaboration with academia, industry, and other government agencies (OGA) to advance radio frequency (RF) and optical communications technologies in the areas of antennas, ultra-sensitive receivers, power amplifiers, among others, will be presented. In addition, the role of these and other related RF and optical communications technologies in enabling the NASA next generation aerospace communications architecture will be also discussed.

  4. Proceedings of the Astrobiology Science Conference 2010. Evolution and Life: Surviving Catastrophes and Extremes on Earth and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Mars?; Titan Versus Europa - Potential for Astrobiology; Habitability Potential of Mars; Biosignatures: Tools and Development I; Origins of Molecular Asymmetry, Homochirality, and Life Detection; Deserts and Evaporite Basins and Associated Microbialite Systems; Ancient Life and Synthetic Biology: Crossroad of the Past and Future; Biosignatures: Tools and Development II; Free Oxygen: Proxies, Causes, and Consequences; Life in Modern Microbialite Systems - Function and Adaptation; Hydrothermal Systems and Organosynthesis Processes: Origin and Evolution of Life; Where Should We Go on Mars to Seek Signs of Life?; Search for Intelligent Life I. Innovative SETI Observing Programs and Future Directions; Integrating Astrobiology Research Across and Beyond the Community; Education in Astrobiology in K-12; Search for Intelligent Life II. Global Engagement and Interstellar Message Construction; Poster sessions included: Extraterrestrial Molecular Evolution and Pre-Biological Chemistry; Prebiotic Evolution: From Chemistry to Life; RNA World; Terrestrial Evolution: Implications for the Past, Present, and Future of Life on Earth; Hydrothermal Systems and Organosynthesis Processes: Origin and Evolution of Life; Virology and Astrobiology; Horizontal Genetic Transfer and Properties of Ancestral Organisms; Life in Volcanic Environments: On Earth and Beyond; Impact Events and Evolution; Evolution of Advanced Life; Evolution of Intelligent Life; Education in Astrobiology in K-12; Origins of Molecular Asymmetry, Homochirality, and Life Detection; Astrobiology and Interdisciplinary Communication; Diversity in Astrobiology Research and Education; Integrating Astrobiology Research Across and Beyond the Community; Policy and Societal Issues: Dealing with Potential Bumps in the Astrobiology Road Ahead; Results from ASTEP and Other Astrobiology Field Campaigns; Energy Flow in Microbial Ecosystems; Psychrophiles and Polar Environments; Deserts and Evaporite Basins and Associated Microbialite

  5. Preservation of Reduced Carbon on Mars: Implications for Understanding Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela; Fogel, Marilyn; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    Upcoming Mars missions (e.g., Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars, Astrobiology Field Laboratory, and Mars Sample Return) will search for evidence of extant and fossil microbial habitats and the potential for future habitation. Understanding the distribution and composition of reduced carbon (or organic carbon) is critical for unraveling the Martian carbon cycle, potential for life, and possible biosignature record. Reduced carbon may be produced from biological, geochemical, or interstellar processes; however, evidence for reduced carbon on Mars is lacking with the exception of parts per billion of atmospheric methane. In contrast, abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide may reflect surface oxidation of reduced carbon and accumulation over geological timescales. This suggests that there is an undetected or lost pool of reduced carbon - a pool that may host molecular biosignatures, a characteristic of extant or extinct habitability. In this presentation, we will evaluate factors influencing the preservation potential for organic molecules in rocks on Earth and Martian. We,draw examples from organic molecules in sulfates, basalts, and ancient shales from Mars-analog settings to show how the distribution of organics and their structural patterns will aid Mars habitability studies.

  6. Silt-clay aggregates on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greeley, R.

    1979-01-01

    Viking observations suggest abundant silt and clay particles on Mars. It is proposed that some of these particles agglomerate to form sand size aggregates that are redeposited as sandlike features such as drifts and dunes. Although the binding for the aggregates could include salt cementation or other mechanisms, electrostatic bonding is considered to be a primary force holding the aggregates together. Various laboratory experiments conducted since the 19th century, and as reported here for simulated Martian conditions, show that both the magnitude and sign of electrical charges on windblown particles are functions of particle velocity, shape and composition, atmospheric pressure, atmospheric composition, and other factors. Electrical charges have been measured for saltating particles in the wind tunnel and in the field, on the surfaces of sand dunes, and within dust clouds on earth. Similar, and perhaps even greater, charges are proposed to occur on Mars, which could form aggregates of silt and clay size particles. Electrification is proposed to occur within Martian dust clouds, generating silt-clay aggregates which would settle to the surface where they may be deposited in the form of sandlike structures. By analog, silt-clay dunes are known in many parts of the earth where silt-clay aggregated were transported by saltation and deposited as 'sand.' In these structures the binding forces were later destroyed, and the particles reassumed the physical properties of silt and clay, but the sandlike bedding structure within the 'dunes' was preserved. The bedding observed in drifts at the Viking landing site is suggested to result from a similar process involving silt-clay aggregates on Mars

  7. Burfellshraun - a terrestrial analogue to recent volcanism on mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haack, Henning; Dall, Jørgen; Rossi, Matti

    2004-01-01

    The up to 2000 km long and very young lava flows from Elysium Planitia to Amazonis Planitia on Mars often include km-sized rafting plates. We have studied the unique Burfellshraun lava field east of lake Myvatn in Iceland that, although on a much smaller scale, share many characteristics of the M...... of the formation of Burfellshraun provides new constraints and insight into the extensive recent volcanic activity on Mars....... of the Martian flows. Up to km-sized plates have flowed several km downsteam from the vent area. Our remote sensing studies and field work suggest that the type of eruption seen in Burfellshraun can be found nowhere else on Earth. The only similar lava flows that we have found are those on Mars. Our study...

  8. Enhancing Students' Communication Skills through Treffinger Teaching Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhaddad, Idrus; Kusumah, Yaya S.; Sabandar, Jozua; Dahlan, Jarnawi A.

    2015-01-01

    This research aims to investigate, compare, and describe the achievement and enhancement of students' mathematical communication skills (MCS). It based on the prior mathematical knowledge (PMK) category (high, medium and low) by using Treffinger models (TM) and conventional learning (CL). This research is an experimental study with the population…

  9. Planetary protection issues related to human missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, A.; Arnould, J.

    2008-09-01

    In accordance with the United Nations Outer Space Treaties [United Nations, Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, UN doc A/RES/34/68, resolution 38/68 of December 1979], currently maintained and promulgated by the Committee on Space Research [COSPAR Planetary Protection Panel, Planetary Protection Policy accepted by the COSPAR Council and Bureau, 20 October 2002, amended 24 March 2005, http://www.cosparhq.org/scistr/PPPolicy.htm], missions exploring the Solar system must meet planetary protection requirements. Planetary protection aims to protect celestial bodies from terrestrial contamination and to protect the Earth environment from potential biological contamination carried by returned samples or space systems that have been in contact with an extraterrestrial environment. From an exobiology perspective, Mars is one of the major targets, and several missions are currently in operation, in transit, or scheduled for its exploration. Some of them include payloads dedicated to the detection of life or traces of life. The next step, over the coming years, will be to return samples from Mars to Earth, with a view to increasing our knowledge in preparation for the first manned mission that is likely to take place within the next few decades. Robotic missions to Mars shall meet planetary protection specifications, currently well documented, and planetary protection programs are implemented in a very reliable manner given that experience in the field spans some 40 years. With regards to sample return missions, a set of stringent requirements has been approved by COSPAR [COSPAR Planetary Protection Panel, Planetary Protection Policy accepted by the COSPAR Council and Bureau, 20 October 2002, amended 24 March 2005, http://www.cosparhq.org/scistr/PPPolicy.htm], and technical challenges must now be overcome in order to preserve the Earth’s biosphere from any eventual contamination risk. In addition to the human dimension of

  10. Development and Qualification of an Antenna Pointing Mechanism for the ExoMars High-Gain Antenna

    Science.gov (United States)

    St-Andre, Stephane; Dumais, Marie-Christine; Lebel, Louis-Philippe; Langevin, Jean-Paul; Horth, Richard; Winton, Alistair; Lebleu, Denis

    2015-09-01

    The European Space Agency ExoMars 2016 mission required a gimbaled High Gain Antenna (HGA) for orbiter-to-earth communications. The ExoMars Program is a cooperative program between ESA and ROSCOSMOS with participation of NASA. The ExoMars Program industrial consortium is led by THALES ALENIA SPACE.This paper presents the design and qualification test results of the Antenna Pointing Mechanism (APM) used to point the HGA towards Earth. This electrically redundant APM includes motors, drive trains, optical encoders, cable cassette and RF Rotary Joints.Furthermore, the paper describes the design, development and the qualification approach applied to this APM. The design challenges include a wide pointing domain necessary to maximise the communication duty cycle during the early operation phase, the interplanetary cruise phase and during the mission’s orbital science phase. Other design drivers are an extended rotation cycle life with very low backlash yielding little wear and accurate position feedback on both axes. Major challenges and related areas of development include:• Large moments are induced on the APM due to aerobraking forces when the Mars atmosphere is used to slow the orbiter into its science mission orbit,• Thermal control of the critical components of the APM due to the different environments of the various phases of the mission. Also, the large travel range of the actuators complicated the radiator design in order to maintain clearances and to avoid overheating.• The APM, with a mass less than 17.5 kg, is exposed to a demanding dynamic environment due to its mounting on the spacecraft thrust tube and aggravated by its elevated location on the payload.• Power and Data transmission between elevation and azimuth axes through a compact large rotation range spiral type cable cassette.• Integration of a 16 bit redundant encoder on both axes for position feedback: Each encoder is installed on the back of a rotary actuator and is coupled using the

  11. Mars Infrared Spectroscopy: From Theory and the Laboratory To Field Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkland, Laurel (Editor); Mustard, John (Editor); McAfee, John (Editor); Hapke, Bruce (Editor); Ramsey, Michael (Editor)

    2002-01-01

    The continuity and timely implementation of the Mars exploration strategy relies heavily on the ability of the planetary community to interpret infrared spectral data. However, the increasing mission rate, data volume, and data variety, combined with the small number of spectroscopists within the planetary community, will require a coordinated community effort for effective and timely interpretation of the newly acquired and planned data sets. Relevant spectroscopic instruments include the 1996 TES, 2001 THEMIS, 2003 Pancam, 2003 Mini-TES, 2003 Mars Express OMEGA, 2003 Mars Express PFS, and 2005 CFUSM. In light of that, leaders of the Mars spectral community met June 4-6 to address the question: What terrestrial theoretical, laboratory, and field studies are most needed to best support timely interpretations of current and planned visible infrared spectrometer data sets, in light of the Mars Program goals? A primary goal of the spectral community is to provide a reservoir of information to enhance and expand the exploration of Mars. Spectroscopy has a long history of providing the fundamental compositional discoveries in the solar system, from atmospheric constituents to surface mineralogy, from earth-based to spacecraft-based observations. However, such spectroscopic compositional discoveries, especially surface mineralogies, have usually come after long periods of detailed integration of remote observations, laboratory analyses, and field measurements. Spectroscopic information of surfaces is particularly complex and often is confounded by interference of broad, overlapping absorption features as well as confusing issues of mixtures, coatings, and grain size effects. Thus some spectroscopic compositional discoveries have come only after many years of research. However, we are entering an era of Mars exploration with missions carrying sophisticated spectrometers launching about every 2 years. It is critical that each mission provide answers to relevant questions

  12. Oxygen in the Martian atmosphere: Regulation of PO2 by the deposition of iron formations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Roger G.

    1992-01-01

    During Earth's early history, and prior to the evolution of its present day oxygenated atmosphere, extensive iron rich siliceous sedimentary rocks were deposited, consisting of alternating layers of silica (chert) and iron oxide minerals (hematite and magnetite). The banding in iron formations recorded changes of atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions near sea level in the ancient ocean, which induced the oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron, precipitation of insoluble ferric oxides and silica, and regulation of oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere. Similarities between the Archean Earth and the composition of the present day atmosphere on Mars, together with the pervasive presence of ferric oxides in the Martian regolith suggest that iron formation might also have been deposited on Mars and influenced the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere. Such a possibility is discussed here with a view to assessing whether the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere has been regulated by the chemical precipitation of iron formations on Mars.

  13. Mars Atmospheric Entry Integrated Navigation with Partial Intermittent Measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tai-shan Lou

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Signal degradation suffered by the vehicle is a combination brownout and blackout during Mars atmospheric entry. The communications brownout means that signal fades and blackout means that the signal is lost completely. The communications brownout and blackout periods are analyzed and predicted with an altitude and velocity profiles. In the brownout period, the range measurements between the vehicle and the orbiters are modeled as intermittent measurements with the radio signal arrival probabilities, which are distributed as a Rayleigh distribution of the electron number density around the entry vehicle. A new integrated navigation strategy during the Mars atmospheric entry phase is proposed to consider the probabilities of the radio measurements in the communications brownout and blackout periods under the IMU/beacon scenario based on the information filter with intermittent measurements. Numerical navigation simulations are designed to show the performance of the proposed navigation strategy under the integrated navigation scenario.

  14. Extreme Halophiles and Carbon Monoxide: Looking Through Windows at Earth's Past and Towards a Future on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, G.

    2015-12-01

    Carbon monoxide, which is ubiquitous on Earth, is the 2nd most abundant molecule in the universe. Members of the domain Bacteria have long been known to oxidize it, and activities of CO oxidizers in soils have been known for several decades to contribute to tropospheric CO regulation. Nonetheless, the diversity of CO oxidizers and their evolutionary history remain largely unknown. A molybdenum-dependent dehydrogenase (Mo-CODH) couples CO oxidation by most terrestrial and marine bacteria to either O2 or nitrate. Molybdenum dependence, the requirement for O2 and previous phylogenetic inferences have all supported a relatively late evolution for "aerobic" CO oxidation, presumably after the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) about 2.3 Gya. Although conundrums remain, recent discoveries suggest that Mo-CODH might have evolved before the GOE, and prior to the Bacteria-Archaea split. New phylogenetic analyses incorporating sequences from extremely halophilic CO-oxidizing Euryarchaeota isolated from salterns in the Atacama Desert, brines on Hawai`i and from the Bonneville Salt Flat suggest that Mo-CODH was present in an ancestor shared by Bacteria and Archaea. This observation is consistent with results of phylogenetic histories of genes involved in Mo-cofactor synthesis, and findings by others that Mo-nitrogenase was likely active > 3 Gya. Thus, analyses of Mo-dependent CO oxidizers provide a window on the past by raising questions about the availability of Mo and non-O2 electron acceptors. Extremely halophilic CO oxidizers also provide insights relevant for understanding the potential for extraterrestrial life. CO likely occurred at high concentrations in Mars' early atmosphere, and it occurs presently at about 800 ppm. At such high concentrations, CO represents one of the most abundant energy sources available for near-surface regolith. However, use of CO by an extant or transplanted Mars microbiota would require tolerance of low water potentials and high salt concentrations

  15. Enhancing Student Communication Skills Through Arabic Language Competency and Simulated Patient Assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan, Sanah; Tarazi, Hamadeh M Khier; Halim Hilal, Dana Abdel

    2017-05-01

    Objective. To assess student communication and patient management skill with introduction of Arabic and use of simulated patient assessments to a communication and counseling course. Design. Five, 3-hour tutorials (clinical skill laboratory) were added to the course covering: listening and empathic responding, non-verbal communications, interviewing skills, assertiveness, counseling in special situations: conflict, anger, worry or rushed situations, and professional decision making. Arabic content was introduced to the course to enhance Arabic communications and competence among students. Simulated patient assessment was used to evaluate student skills. Students' feedback about course changes was evaluated. Assessment. The course now covers a wider content and Arabic language. Students' scores were similar in the assessment and other assessments within the course and between Arabic and English groups. Students favorably rated the changes in the course and provided constructive feedback on content usefulness and adequacy. Conclusion. Expanding the course to include Arabic language and content and simulated patient assessments enhanced student communication skills.

  16. Mars Sample Return Using Solar Sail Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; Macdonald, Malcolm; Mcinnes, Colin; Percy, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Many Mars Sample Return (MSR) architecture studies have been conducted over the years. A key element of them is the Earth Return Stage (ERS) whose objective is to obtain the sample from the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) and return it safely to the surface of the Earth. ERS designs predominantly use chemical propulsion [1], incurring a significant launch mass penalty due to the low specific impulse of such systems coupled with the launch mass sensitivity to returned mass. It is proposed to use solar sail propulsion for the ERS, providing a high (effective) specific impulse propulsion system in the final stage of the multi-stage system. By doing so to the launch mass of the orbiter mission can be significantly reduced and hence potentially decreasing mission cost. Further, solar sailing offers a unique set of non-Keplerian low thrust trajectories that may enable modifications to the current approach to designing the Earth Entry Vehicle by potentially reducing the Earth arrival velocity. This modification will further decrease the mass of the orbiter system. Solar sail propulsion uses sunlight to propel vehicles through space by reflecting solar photons from a large, mirror-like surface made of a lightweight, reflective material. The continuous photonic pressure provides propellantless thrust to conduct orbital maneuvering and plane changes more efficiently than conventional chemical propulsion. Because the Sun supplies the necessary propulsive energy, solar sails require no onboard propellant, thus reducing system mass. This technology is currently at TRL 7/8 as demonstrated by the 2010 flight of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, IKAROS mission. [2

  17. Some unique surface patterns on ignimbrites on Earth: A "bird's eye" view as a guide for planetary mappers

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Silva, Shanaka L.; Bailey, John E.

    2017-08-01

    Observations of terrestrial analogs are critical to aiding planetary mappers in interpreting surface lithologies on other planets. For instance, the presence of ignimbrites on Mars has been debated for over three decades and is supported by analogy with deposits on Earth. Critical evidence includes the geomorphic and surface expression of the deposits, and those in the Central Andes of South America are amongst the most-cited analogs. Herein we describe some prominent surface textures and patterns seen in ignimbrites on the scale of high-resolution remotely sensed data (10-1 m per pixel). These include pervasive joints and fractures that contribute to yardang form and development as well as prominent mounds, fissures, and fracture networks ("spiders", "bugs", "boxworks") on ignimbrite surfaces. While all these features are related to intrinsic cooling and degassing processes, the involvement of external water buried by hot pyroclastic flows enhances fumarolic activity, advective cooling, and joint development. Observations of these geomorphic expressions using remote sensing are only possible with the highest resolution data and limited surface erosion. For Mars, where similarly high resolution datasets are available (for example, the High Resolution Imaging Sensor Experiment or HiRISE) extensive dust cover may limit the recognition of similar features there. However significant relief on some of these features on Earth indicate they might still be detectable on Mars.

  18. Officine Galileo for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistelli, E.; Tacconi, M.

    1999-09-01

    The interest for Mars's exploration is continuously increasing. Officine Galileo is engaged in this endeavor with several programmes. The exobiology is, of course, a stimulating field; presently Officine Galileo is leading a team with Dasa and Tecnospazio, under ESA contract, for the definition of a facility for the search of extinct life on Mars through the detection of indicators of life. The system, to be embarked on a Mars lander, is based on a drill to take rock samples underneath the oxidised soil layer, on a sample preparation and distribution system devoted to condition and bring the sample to a set of analytical instruments to carry out in-situ chemical and mineralogical investigations. The facility benefits of the presence of optical microscope, gas chromatograph, several spectrometers (Raman, Mass, Mossbauer, APX-Ray), and further instruments. In the frame of planetology, Officine Galileo is collaborating with several Principal Investigators to the definition of a set of instruments to be integrated on the Mars 2003 Lander (a NASA-ASI cooperation). A drill (by Tecnospazio), with the main task to collect Mars soil samples for the subsequent storage and return to Earth, will have the capability to perform several soil analyses, e.g. temperature and near infrared reflectivity spectra down to 50 cm depth, surface thermal and electrical conductivity, sounding of electromagnetic properties down to a few hundreds meter, radioactivity. Moreover a kit of instruments for in-situ soil samples analyses if foreseen; it is based on a dust analyser, an IR spectrometer, a thermofluorescence sensor, and a radioactivity analyser. The attention to the Red Planet is growing, in parallel with the findings of present and planned missions. In the following years the technology of Officine Galileo will carry a strong contribution to the science of Mars.

  19. Brief communication

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2011-03-14

    Mar 14, 2011 ... 1Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, 2Department of Horticulture, University of Arkansas, ... controlled by the soybean heat-shock promoter is an effective tool for conditional removal ... Brief communication ...

  20. Combining meteorites and missions to explore Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Timothy J; Corrigan, Catherine M; Herd, Christopher D K

    2011-11-29

    Laboratory studies of meteorites and robotic exploration of Mars reveal scant atmosphere, no evidence of plate tectonics, past evidence for abundant water, and a protracted igneous evolution. Despite indirect hints, direct evidence of a martian origin came with the discovery of trapped atmospheric gases in one meteorite. Since then, the study of martian meteorites and findings from missions have been linked. Although the meteorite source locations are unknown, impact ejection modeling and spectral mapping of Mars suggest derivation from small craters in terrains of Amazonian to Hesperian age. Whereas most martian meteorites are young ( 4.5 Ga and formation of enriched and depleted reservoirs. However, the history inferred from martian meteorites conflicts with results from recent Mars missions, calling into doubt whether the igneous histor y inferred from the meteorites is applicable to Mars as a whole. Allan Hills 84001 dates to 4.09 Ga and contains fluid-deposited carbonates. Accompanying debate about the mechanism and temperature of origin of the carbonates came several features suggestive of past microbial life in the carbonates. Although highly disputed, the suggestion spurred interest in habitable extreme environments on Earth and throughout the Solar System. A flotilla of subsequent spacecraft has redefined Mars from a volcanic planet to a hydrologically active planet that may have harbored life. Understanding the history and habitability of Mars depends on understanding the coupling of the atmosphere, surface, and subsurface. Sample return that brings back direct evidence from these diverse reservoirs is essential.

  1. Supporting a Deep Space Gateway with Free-Return Earth-Moon Periodic Orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, A. L.; Dunham, D. W.; Hardgrove, C.

    2018-02-01

    Earth-Moon periodic orbits travel between the Earth and Moon via free-return circumlunar segments and can host a station that can provide architecture support to other nodes near the Moon and Mars while enabling science return from cislunar space.

  2. Searching for Life on Early Mars: Lessons from the Pilbara

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, J. D. A.; Stoker, C. R.

    2016-01-01

    Stromatolites in the Pilbara region of Western Australia constitute the earliest outcrop-scale evidence of life on Earth (Figure 1). The stromatolites in the 3.4 Ga Strelley Pool Formation (SPF) provide an important analog for searching for fossil evidence of early life on Mars, as Noachian aged sediments on Mars were formed under similar environmental conditions. Stromatolites represent possibly the best evidence that could be collected by a rover because they form recognizable macroscopic structures and are often associated with chemical and microscopic evidence.

  3. The Exploration of Mars and the Improvement of Living Conditions in Western Asian Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Space is the new frontier. The exploration of a new world, Mars, has been giving people on Earth valuable comparative information about climatic and geological processes occurring here on our home planet. With the Viking 1 and 2, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, etc., spacecrafts, which explored the Red Planet we obtained a great deal information about the extremely arid soil and dry air of Mars in the present, and its watery condition in the distant past. Now there is a decade-long, program of robotic exploration of the martian atmosphere and soil - the 'Mars Surveyor Program', which is a series of small, cheap and fast spacecrafts, carrying very few scientific instruments, to be launched about every two years. Here in this paper, under the principles in the United Nations' Agenda 21, we comment on this new phase of Mars exploration under development, which began in 1996, and its benefits to living conditions in developing countries with desert regions. A peaceful regular research of the arid Mars, will help us to understand much better the dynamics of formation of dry regions here on Earth. We suggest that, if the developing countries participate in that program, they will achieve the scientific understanding to create a practical technology, with which they will acquire ways to future transform their arid areas into a more humid places, and to slow the process of desertification of other regions. This, using their own natural resources and own scientific personnel. That would strongly benefit the living conditions in Western Asian countries, which have many desert regions.

  4. International cooperation for Mars exploration and sample return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Eugene H.; Boynton, William V.; Cameron, A. G. W.; Carr, Michael H.; Kitchell, Jennifer H.; Mazur, Peter; Pace, Norman R.; Prinn, Ronald G.; Solomon, Sean C.; Wasserburg, Gerald J.

    1990-01-01

    The National Research Council's Space Studies Board has previously recommended that the next major phase of Mars exploration for the United States involve detailed in situ investigations of the surface of Mars and the return to earth for laboratory analysis of selected Martian surface samples. More recently, the European space science community has expressed general interest in the concept of cooperative Mars exploration and sample return. The USSR has now announced plans for a program of Mars exploration incorporating international cooperation. If the opportunity becomes available to participate in Mars exploration, interest is likely to emerge on the part of a number of other countries, such as Japan and Canada. The Space Studies Board's Committee on Cooperative Mars Exploration and Sample Return was asked by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to examine and report on the question of how Mars sample return missions might best be structured for effective implementation by NASA along with international partners. The committee examined alternatives ranging from scientific missions in which the United States would take a substantial lead, with international participation playing only an ancillary role, to missions in which international cooperation would be a basic part of the approach, with the international partners taking on comparably large mission responsibilities. On the basis of scientific strategies developed earlier by the Space Studies Board, the committee considered the scientific and technical basis of such collaboration and the most mutually beneficial arrangements for constructing successful cooperative missions, particularly with the USSR.

  5. Provision of water by halite deliquescence for Nostoc commune biofilms under Mars relevant surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jänchen, Jochen; Feyh, Nina; Szewzyk, Ulrich; de Vera, Jean-Pierre P.

    2016-04-01

    Motivated by findings of new mineral related water sources for organisms under extremely dry conditions on Earth we studied in an interdisciplinary approach the water sorption behaviour of halite, soil component and terrestrial Nostoc commune biofilm under Mars relevant environmental conditions. Physicochemical methods served for the determination of water sorption equilibrium data and survival of heterotrophic bacteria in biofilm samples with different water contents was assured by recultivation. Deliquescence of halite provides liquid water at temperatures <273 K and may serve as water source on Mars during the morning stabilized by the CO2 atmosphere for a few hours. The protecting biofilm of N. commune is rather hygroscopic and tends to store water at lower humidity values. Survival tests showed that a large proportion of the Alphaproteobacteria dominated microbiota associated to N. commune is very desiccation tolerant and water uptake from saturated NaCl solutions (either by direct uptake of brine or adsorption of humidity) did not enhance recultivability in long-time desiccated samples. Still, a minor part can grow under highly saline conditions. However, the salinity level, although unfavourable for the host organism, might be for parts of the heterotrophic microbiota no serious hindrance for growing in salty Mars-like environments.

  6. Why send humans to Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, Carl

    1991-01-01

    The proposed Space Exploration Initiative (SDI) to launch a manned flight to Mars is