WorldWideScience

Sample records for exploration rover mission

  1. Mars Exploration Rover mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crisp, Joy A.; Adler, Mark; Matijevic, Jacob R.; Squyres, Steven W.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Kass, David M.

    2003-10-01

    In January 2004 the Mars Exploration Rover mission will land two rovers at two different landing sites that show possible evidence for past liquid-water activity. The spacecraft design is based on the Mars Pathfinder configuration for cruise and entry, descent, and landing. Each of the identical rovers is equipped with a science payload of two remote-sensing instruments that will view the surrounding terrain from the top of a mast, a robotic arm that can place three instruments and a rock abrasion tool on selected rock and soil samples, and several onboard magnets and calibration targets. Engineering sensors and components useful for science investigations include stereo navigation cameras, stereo hazard cameras in front and rear, wheel motors, wheel motor current and voltage, the wheels themselves for digging, gyros, accelerometers, and reference solar cell readings. Mission operations will allow commanding of the rover each Martian day, or sol, on the basis of the previous sol's data. Over a 90-sol mission lifetime, the rovers are expected to drive hundreds of meters while carrying out field geology investigations, exploration, and atmospheric characterization. The data products will be delivered to the Planetary Data System as integrated batch archives.

  2. An Analog Rover Exploration Mission for Education and Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moores, John; Campbell, Charissa L.; Smith, Christina L.; Cooper, Brittney A.

    2017-10-01

    This abstract describes an analog rover exploration mission designed as an outreach program for high school and undergraduate students. This program is used to teach them about basic mission control operations, how to manage a rover as if it were on another planetary body, and employing the rover remotely to complete mission objectives. One iteration of this program has been completed and another is underway. In both trials, participants were shown the different operation processes involved in a real-life mission. Modifications were made to these processes to decrease complexity and better simulate a mission control environment in a short time period (three 20-minute-long mission “days”). In the first run of the program, participants selected a landing site, what instruments would be on the rover - subject to cost, size, and weight limitations - and were randomly assigned one of six different mission operations roles, each with specific responsibilities. For example, a Science Planner/Integrator (SPI) would plan science activities whilst a Rover Engineer (RE) would keep on top of rover constraints. Planning consisted of a series of four meetings to develop and verify the current plan, pre-plan the next day's activities and uplink the activities to the “rover” (a human colleague). Participants were required to attend certain meetings depending upon their assigned role. To conclude the mission, students viewed the site to understand any differences between remote viewing and reality in relation to the rover. Another mission is currently in progress with revisions from the earlier run to improve the experience. This includes broader roles and meetings and pre-selecting the landing site and rover. The new roles are: Mission Lead, Rover Engineer and Science Planner. The SPI role was previously popular so most of the students were placed in this category. The meetings were reduced to three but extended in length. We are also planning to integrate this program

  3. Accessing Information on the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinderson, Elias; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2004-01-01

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

  5. A Reliable Service-Oriented Architecture for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mak, Ronald; Walton, Joan; Keely, Leslie; Hehner, Dennis; Chan, Louise

    2005-01-01

    The Collaborative Information Portal (CIP) was enterprise software developed jointly by the NASA Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA's highly successful Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. Both MER and CIP have performed far beyond their original expectations. Mission managers and engineers ran CIP inside the mission control room at JPL, and the scientists ran CIP in their laboratories, homes, and offices. All the users connected securely over the Internet. Since the mission ran on Mars time, CIP displayed the current time in various Mars and Earth time zones, and it presented staffing and event schedules with Martian time scales. Users could send and receive broadcast messages, and they could view and download data and image files generated by the rovers' instruments. CIP had a three-tiered, service-oriented architecture (SOA) based on industry standards, including J2EE and web services, and it integrated commercial off-the-shelf software. A user's interactions with the graphical interface of the CIP client application generated web services requests to the CIP middleware. The middleware accessed the back-end data repositories if necessary and returned results for these requests. The client application could make multiple service requests for a single user action and then present a composition of the results. This happened transparently, and many users did not even realize that they were connecting to a server. CIP performed well and was extremely reliable; it attained better than 99% uptime during the course of the mission. In this paper, we present overviews of the MER mission and of CIP. We show how CIP helped to fulfill some of the mission needs and how people used it. We discuss the criteria for choosing its architecture, and we describe how the developers made the software so reliable. CIP's reliability did not come about by chance, but was the result of several key design decisions. We conclude with some of the important

  6. Working on Mars: Understanding How Scientists, Engineers and Rovers Interacted Across Space and Time during the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wales, Roxana C.

    2005-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation summarizes the scheduling and planning difficulties inherent in operating the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) during the overlapping terrestrial day and Martian sol. The presentation gives special empahsis to communication between the teams controlling the rovers from Earth, and keeping track of time on the two planets.

  7. An Ontology for Requesting Distant Robotic Action: A Case Study in Naming and Action Identification for Planning on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wales, Roxana C.; Shalin, Valerie L.; Bass, Deborah S.

    2004-01-01

    This paper focuses on the development and use of the abbreviated names as well as an emergent ontology associated with making requests for action of a distant robotic rover during the 2003-2004 NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, run by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The infancy of the domain of Martian telerobotic science, in which specialists request work from a rover moving through the landscape, as well as the need to consider the interdisciplinary teams involved in the work required an empirical approach. The formulation of this ontology is grounded in human behavior and work practice. The purpose of this paper is to identify general issues for an ontology of action (specifically for requests for action), while maintaining sensitivity to the users, tools and the work system within a specific technical domain. We found that this ontology of action must take into account a dynamic environment, changing in response to the movement of the rover, changes on the rover itself, as well as be responsive to the purposeful intent of the science requestors. Analysis of MER mission events demonstrates that the work practice and even robotic tool usage changes over time. Therefore, an ontology must adapt and represent both incremental change and revolutionary change, and the ontology can never be more than a partial agreement on the conceptualizations involved. Although examined in a rather unique technical domain, the general issues pertain to the control of any complex, distributed work system as well as the archival record of its accomplishments.

  8. Planetary rovers robotic exploration of the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Ellery, Alex

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Small rover exploration capabilities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salotti, J.; Laithier, C.; Machut, B.; van Marie, A.; Bruneau, A.; Groemer, G.; Foing, B.H.

    2015-01-01

    For a human mission to the Moon or Mars, an important question is to determine the best strategy for the choice of surface vehicles. Recent studies suggest that the first missions to Mars will be strongly constrained and that only small unpressurized vehicles will be available. We analyze the

  10. 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.

  11. High-Performance Micro-Rover for Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Y.; Chen, X.

    2009-04-01

    Planetary robotic missions rely on rovers to produce surface mobility for multiple sites sampling and exploration. For example, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) have been extremely successful in the exploring a wide area of the Martian surface in the past four years. Each of the MER has the size of a golf car and weights ~170 kg. They both result in a massive launch of nearly 1100 kg. Small rovers (5-30 kg) can help to provide moderate surface traverse and greatly reduce cost of the mission, e.g. the Sojourner rover of the Mars Pathfinder mission. There is a growing interest in the micro-rover design and how to maximize performance of a miniaturized system. For example, the rover traversability and locomotion capability will be compromised if the objective is to reduce the size of the vehicle. Undoubtedly, this affects the rover performance in terms of mobility and usefulness to the mission. We propose to overcome this problem by investigating a new generation of rover chassis design to maximize its terrian capability. This paper presents a chassis concept suited for a micro-rover system and negotiating with different planetary terrains such as the Moon and Mars. The proposed tracked-wheel is motivated by bringing together advantages of wheels and tracks, in the same time keeping the design simple and easy to implement. The chassis is built based on four tracked-wheels and offers 10 DOF for the vehicle. Analysis based on Bekker theories suggests this design can generate larger tractive effort (drawbar pull) compared to the wheeled design for the same rover dimensions. As a result, a more effective and efficent chassis can be achieved and leave a large design margin for the science payload.

  12. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Joseph F.; Smyth, David E.

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Rover Traverse Planning to Support a Lunar Polar Volatiles Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, J.L.; Colaprete, A.C.; Elphic, R. C.; Bussey, B.; McGovern, A.; Beyer, R.; Lees, D.; Deans, M. C.; Otten, N.; Jones, H.; hide

    2015-01-01

    Studies of lunar polar volatile depositsare of interest for scientific purposes to understandthe nature and evolution of the volatiles, and alsofor exploration reasons as a possible in situ resource toenable long term exploration and settlement of theMoon. Both theoretical and observational studies havesuggested that significant quantities of volatiles exist inthe polar regions, although the lateral and horizontaldistribution remains unknown at the km scale and finerresolution. A lunar polar rover mission is required tofurther characterize the distribution, quantity, andcharacter of lunar polar volatile deposits at thesehigher spatial resolutions. Here we present two casestudies for NASA’s Resource Prospector (RP) missionconcept for a lunar polar rover and utilize this missionarchitecture and associated constraints to evaluatewhether a suitable landing site exists to support an RPflight mission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Robotic Arm and Rover Actuator Systems for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, L.; Brawn, D.; Noon, D.

    1999-01-01

    Missions such as the Sojourner Rover, the Robotic Arm for Mars Polar Lander, and the 2003 Mars Rover, Athena, use numerous actuators that must operate reliably in extreme environments for long periods of time.

  16. A Mars Rover Mission Simulation on Kilauea Volcano

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol; Cuzzi, Jeffery N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    A field experiment to simulate a rover mission on Mars was performed using the Russian Marsokhod rover deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI in February, 1995. A Russian Marsokhod rover chassis was equipped with American avionics equipment, stereo cameras on a pan and tilt platform, a digital high resolution body-mounted camera, and a manipulator arm on which was mounted a camera with a close-up lens. The six wheeled rover is 2 meters long and has a mass of 120 kg. The imaging system was designed to simulate that used on the planned "Mars Together" mission. The rover was deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI and operated from NASA Ames by a team of planetary geologists and exobiologists. Two modes of mission operations were simulated for three days each: (1) long time delay, low data bandwidth (simulating a Mars mission), and (2) live video, wide-bandwidth data (allowing active control simulating a Lunar rover mission or a Mars rover mission controlled from on or near the Martian surface). Simulated descent images (aerial photographs) were used to plan traverses to address a detailed set of science questions. The actual route taken was determined by the science team and the traverse path was frequently changed in response to the data acquired and to unforeseen operational issues. Traverses were thereby optimized to efficiently answer scientific questions. During the Mars simulation, the rover traversed a distance of 800 m. Based on the time delay between Earth and Mars, we estimate that the same operation would have taken 30 days to perform on Mars. This paper will describe the mission simulation and make recommendations about incorporating rovers into the Mars surveyor program.

  17. Mars Rover Missions and Science Education: A Decade of Education and Public Outreach Using the Mars Exploration Rover Mission at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubele, J. C.; Crumpler, L. S.

    2014-07-01

    New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science exhibits and educational programming related to the MER mission reached over two million museum visitors through exhibits and over 15,000 participants in targeted educational programs.

  18. Mars exploration. Plan for two rovers squeezes NASA budget.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawler, A; MacNeil, J

    2000-08-18

    NASA's decision last week to send two rovers to Mars in 2003 is being hailed by researchers as affirming the agency's commitment to exploring the Red Planet. But once the applause dies down, cash-strapped space science managers will be forced to make tough decisions about how to shoulder the added $200 million cost of a second mission, starting with $96 million that must come out of NASA's 2001 budget.

  19. A Wind-powered Rover for a Low-Cost Venus Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benigno, Gina; Hoza, Kathleen; Motiwala, Samira; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Venus, with a surface temperature of 450 C and an atmospheric pressure 90 times higher than that of the Earth, is a difficult target for exploration. However, high-temperature electronics and power systems now being developed make it possible that future missions may be able to operate in the Venus environment. Powering such a rover within the scope of a Discovery class mission will be difficult, but harnessing Venus' surface winds provides a possible way to keep a powered rover small and light. This project scopes out the feasibility of a wind-powered rover for Venus surface missions. Two rover concepts, a land-sailing rover and a wind-turbine-powered rover, were considered. The turbine-powered rover design is selected as being a low-risk and low-cost strategy. Turbine detailed analysis and design shows that the turbine can meet mission requirements across the desired range of wind speeds by utilizing three constant voltage generators at fixed gear ratios.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Akshay; Singh, Amit

    2012-07-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Wiens, Roger

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Adaptive multisensor fusion for planetary exploration rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collin, Marie-France; Kumar, Krishen; Pampagnin, Luc-Henri

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of the adaptive multisensor fusion system currently being designed at NASA/Johnson Space Center is to provide a robotic rover with assured vision and safe navigation capabilities during robotic missions on planetary surfaces. Our approach consists of using multispectral sensing devices ranging from visible to microwave wavelengths to fulfill the needs of perception for space robotics. Based on the illumination conditions and the sensors capabilities knowledge, the designed perception system should automatically select the best subset of sensors and their sensing modalities that will allow the perception and interpretation of the environment. Then, based on reflectance and emittance theoretical models, the sensor data are fused to extract the physical and geometrical surface properties of the environment surface slope, dielectric constant, temperature and roughness. The theoretical concepts, the design and first results of the multisensor perception system are presented.

  3. Field Experiments using Telepresence and Virtual Reality to Control Remote Vehicles: Application to Mars Rover Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol

    1994-01-01

    This paper will describe a series of field experiments to develop and demonstrate file use of Telepresence and Virtual Reality systems for controlling rover vehicles on planetary surfaces. In 1993, NASA Ames deployed a Telepresence-Controlled Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (TROV) into an ice-covered sea environment in Antarctica. The goal of the mission was to perform scientific exploration of an unknown environment using a remote vehicle with telepresence and virtual reality as a user interface. The vehicle was operated both locally, from above a dive hole in the ice through which it was launched, and remotely over a satellite communications link from a control room at NASA's Ames Research center, for over two months. Remote control used a bidirectional Internet link to the vehicle control computer. The operator viewed live stereo video from the TROV along with a computer-gene rated graphic representation of the underwater terrain showing file vehicle state and other related information. Tile actual vehicle could be driven either from within the virtual environment or through a telepresence interface. In March 1994, a second field experiment was performed in which [lie remote control system developed for the Antarctic TROV mission was used to control the Russian Marsokhod Rover, an advanced planetary surface rover intended for launch in 1998. Marsokhod consists of a 6-wheel chassis and is capable of traversing several kilometers of terrain each day, The rover can be controlled remotely, but is also capable of performing autonomous traverses. The rover was outfitted with a manipulator arm capable of deploying a small instrument, collecting soil samples, etc. The Marsokhod rover was deployed at Amboy Crater in the Mojave desert, a Mars analog site, and controlled remotely from Los Angeles. in two operating modes: (1) a Mars rover mission simulation with long time delay and (2) a Lunar rover mission simulation with live action video. A team of planetary

  4. Miniature thermal emission spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Steven; Peralta, Richard; Christensen, Phil; Mehall, Greg

    2006-10-01

    This paper describes results of the calibration of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) being built by Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing (SBRS) under contract to Arizona State University (ASU). This paper also serves as an update to an earlier paper [R.J. Peralta, S. Silverman, D. Bates, Raytheon/Santa Barbara Remote Sensing, P. Christensen, G. Mehall, T. Tourville, R. Keehn, G. Cannon, Arizona State University, Miniature thermal emission spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rover, Proceedings of the SPIE, vol. 4485-09, August 2001] for mission description and instrument design. Mini-TES is a single detector Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS), covering the spectral range 5 29μm at 10cm spectral resolution. Launched in June 2003, one Mini-TES instrument will fly to Mars aboard each of the two missions of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project (MER), named Spirit and Opportunity. Mini-TES is designed to provide a key minerological remote sensing component of the MER mission, which includes several other science instruments. The first Mini-TES unit was required to meet a two-year development schedule with proven, flight-tested instrumentation. Therefore, SBRS designed Mini-TES based on proven heritage from the successful Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) thermal emission spectrometer (TES), which was launched in 1996 and is still operational with over 500 million spectra collected to date. Mini-TES design, performance, integration onto the rovers, as well as details of the calibration are discussed. Full instrument and calibration details are the subject of an upcoming Journal of Geophysical Research Mini-TES paper by Christensen, et al.

  5. Terrain modelling and motion planning for an autonomous exploration rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, F.; Benoliel, S.; Faugeras, O.; Grandjean, P.; Hayard, M.; Simeon, T.

    1994-01-01

    To assess the feasibility of planetary exploration missions using rovers, the French national agency CNES, with a consortium of European laboratories and industrial concerns, has initiated the Eureka project, 'Illustration of an Autonomous Robot for the Exploration of Space' (IARES). IARES is a demonstrator composed of a rover and a ground station, linked by telemetry and telecommand. It is aimed at verifying, on earth, robotic concepts developed by the RISP group of French laboratories (LAAS, INRIA, CERT, LETI) to perform scientific missions such as autonomous terrain sample collecting over large areas. To cope with the actual needs of planet exploration, IARES suitability is assessed through constraints on limited bandwidth, time delay and on-board resources. This autonomy relies heavily on robust onboard trajectory generation capabilities. This paper presents the main functions of the IARES navigation sub-system and shows how they are combined to allow movement in Mars-like environments. Section 2 gives an overall description of the IARES system. Section 3 details the functions of the Navigation sub-system, and finally, section 4 illustrates with a simple example the use of these functions.

  6. An Overview of Wind-Driven Rovers for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajos, Gregory A.; Jones, Jack A.; Behar, Alberto; Dodd, Micheal

    2005-01-01

    The use of in-situ propulsion is considered enabling technology for long duration planetary surface missions. Most studies have focused on stored energy from chemicals extracted from the soil or the use of soil chemicals to produce photovoltaic arrays. An older form of in-situ propulsion is the use of wind power. Recent studies have shown potential for wind driven craft for exploration of Mars, Titan and Venus. The power of the wind, used for centuries to power wind mills and sailing ships, is now being applied to modern land craft. Efforts are now underway to use the wind to push exploration vehicles on other planets and moons in extended survey missions. Tumbleweed rovers are emerging as a new type of wind-driven science platform concept. Recent investigations by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) indicate that these light-weight, mostly spherical or quasi-spherical devices have potential for long distance surface exploration missions. As a power boat has unique capabilities, but relies on stored energy (fuel) to move the vessel, the Tumbleweed, like the sailing ships of the early explorers on earth, uses an unlimited resource the wind to move around the surface of Mars. This has the potential to reduce the major mass drivers of robotic rovers as well as the power generation and storage systems. Jacques Blamont of JPL and the University of Paris conceived the first documented Mars wind-blown ball in 1977, shortly after the Viking landers discovered that Mars has a thin CO2 atmosphere with relatively strong winds. In 1995, Jack Jones, et al, of JPL conceived of a large wind-blown inflated ball for Mars that could also be driven and steered by means of a motorized mass hanging beneath the rolling axis of the ball. A team at NASA Langley Research Center started a biomimetic Tumbleweed design study in 1998. Wind tunnel and CFD analysis were applied to a variety of concepts to optimize the aerodynamic

  7. Mars Exploration Rover Athena Panoramic Camera (Pancam) investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J.F.; Squyres, S. W.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Maki, J.N.; Arneson, H.M.; Brown, D.; Collins, S.A.; Dingizian, A.; Elliot, S.T.; Hagerott, E.C.; Hayes, A.G.; Johnson, M.J.; Johnson, J. R.; Joseph, J.; Kinch, K.; Lemmon, M.T.; Morris, R.V.; Scherr, L.; Schwochert, M.; Shepard, M.K.; Smith, G.H.; Sohl-Dickstein, J. N.; Sullivan, R.J.; Sullivan, W.T.; Wadsworth, M.

    2003-01-01

    The Panoramic Camera (Pancam) investigation is part of the Athena science payload launched to Mars in 2003 on NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions. The scientific goals of the Pancam investigation are to assess the high-resolution morphology, topography, and geologic context of each MER landing site, to obtain color images to constrain the mineralogic, photometric, and physical properties of surface materials, and to determine dust and aerosol opacity and physical properties from direct imaging of the Sun and sky. Pancam also provides mission support measurements for the rovers, including Sun-finding for rover navigation, hazard identification and digital terrain modeling to help guide long-term rover traverse decisions, high-resolution imaging to help guide the selection of in situ sampling targets, and acquisition of education and public outreach products. The Pancam optical, mechanical, and electronics design were optimized to achieve these science and mission support goals. Pancam is a multispectral, stereoscopic, panoramic imaging system consisting of two digital cameras mounted on a mast 1.5 m above the Martian surface. The mast allows Pancam to image the full 360?? in azimuth and ??90?? in elevation. Each Pancam camera utilizes a 1024 ?? 1024 active imaging area frame transfer CCD detector array. The Pancam optics have an effective focal length of 43 mm and a focal ratio f/20, yielding an instantaneous field of view of 0.27 mrad/pixel and a field of view of 16?? ?? 16??. Each rover's two Pancam "eyes" are separated by 30 cm and have a 1?? toe-in to provide adequate stereo parallax. Each eye also includes a small eight position filter wheel to allow surface mineralogic studies, multispectral sky imaging, and direct Sun imaging in the 400-1100 nm wavelength region. Pancam was designed and calibrated to operate within specifications on Mars at temperatures from -55?? to +5??C. An onboard calibration target and fiducial marks provide the capability

  8. Parametric study of the factors affecting wheel slip and sinkage for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J.; Kulchitsky, A. V.; Duvoy, P.; Arvidson, R. E.; Iagnemma, K.; Senatore, C.

    2013-12-01

    In 2004 two rovers landed on Mars to conduct scientific investigations of the Martian surface in an effort to better understand its surface geology, climate, and potential to support life. During the mission, both rovers experienced events of severe rover wheel sinkage and slip in the highly variable Martian regolith. Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity experienced high wheel slip and sinkage when it attempted to cross a series of wind-blown ripples. MER rover Spirit became immobilized after breaking through a soil crust into highly deformable poorly sorted sands. Events of MER rover wheel high-sinkage and slip make mobility difficult, creating challenges for rover drive planners and increasing the risk of ending a mission early due to a lack of rover mobility. The ARTEMIS (Adams- based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction Simulator) MER rover simulation tool was developed in an effort to improve the ability to simulate rover mobility on planetary surfaces to aid planning of rover drives and to extract a rover if it becomes embedded in soil [1]. While ARTEMIS has demonstrated its ability to simulate a wide variety of rover mobility scenarios using a library of empirically based terramechanics subroutines and high-resolution digital elevation maps of Mars, it has had less success at simulating the high-sinkage, high-slip conditions that pose the highest risk to rover mobility. To improve ARTEMIS's high-slip, high-sinkage terramechanics subroutines, the COUPi discrete element method (DEM) model of MER rover wheel motion under conditions of high-sinkage and slip is being used to examine the effects of soil particle size distribution (PSD), shape, and bulk density. DEM simulations of MER wheel digging tests and the resistance forces of penetrometers in soil have demonstrated the importance of particle shape and bulk density on soil strength [2, 3]. Simulations of the densification of particle beds as functions of the spread (ratio of largest to smallest

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Space Robotics: Robotic Rovers for Planetary Exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Ellery

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available In this third of three short papers, I introduce some of the basic concepts of planetary rovers with an emphasis on some specific challenging areas of research that are peculiar to planetary robotics and not usually associated with terrestrial mobile robotics. The style of these short papers is pedagogical and this paper stresses the issue of rover-terrain interaction as an important consideration. Soil-vehicle interaction originates from military vehicle research but may be regarded as part of the dynamical approach to mobile robotics. For hostile planetary surfaces, this is essential in order to design a robotic rover with sufficient tractive capability to traverse planetary surfaces.

  11. Space Robotics: Robotic Rovers for Planetary Exploration

    OpenAIRE

    Alex Ellery

    2004-01-01

    In this third of three short papers, I introduce some of the basic concepts of planetary rovers with an emphasis on some specific challenging areas of research that are peculiar to planetary robotics and not usually associated with terrestrial mobile robotics. The style of these short papers is pedagogical and this paper stresses the issue of rover-terrain interaction as an important consideration. Soil-vehicle interaction originates from military vehicle research but may be regarded as part ...

  12. Dynamic Rover Simulation for Teleoperations in Planetary Surface Exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, H.L.M.M.; Kuijper, F.; Verheul, C.H.; Dumay, A.C.M.; Bagiana, F.

    1995-01-01

    Advanced Simulation Techniques (AST) combine interactive technologies like Virtual Environments (VEs), Augmented Reality (AR) and real-time simulation, and finds potential space applications. One of these applications is the exploration of a planetary surface by teleoperated rovers. This paper

  13. Design of Mobility System for Ground Model of Planetary Exploration Rover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Younkyu Kim

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, a number of missions have been planned and conducted worldwide on the planets such as Mars, which involves the unmanned robotic exploration with the use of rover. The rover is an important system for unmanned planetary exploration, performing the locomotion and sample collection and analysis at the exploration target of the planetary surface designated by the operator. This study investigates the development of mobility system for the rover ground model necessary to the planetary surface exploration for the benefit of future planetary exploration mission in Korea. First, the requirements for the rover mobility system are summarized and a new mechanism is proposed for a stable performance on rough terrain which consists of the passive suspension system with 8 wheeled double 4-bar linkage (DFBL, followed by the performance evaluation for the mechanism of the mobility system based on the shape design and simulation. The proposed mobility system DFBL was compared with the Rocker-Bogie suspension system of US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration and 8 wheeled mobility system CRAB8 developed in Switzerland, using the simulation to demonstrate the superiority with respect to the stability of locomotion. On the basis of the simulation results, a general system configuration was proposed and designed for the rover manufacture.

  14. Mars Exploration Rover airbag landing loads testing and analsysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Douglas S.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a summary of the testing and analysis used to quantify the expected airbag landing loads for the Mars Exploration Rovers. The airbag drop test setup, lander instrumentation, and the test data reduction method are discussed in order to provide an understanding of the empirical loads. A set of limiting cases that bound the empirical data are developed for use in finite element modeling of the lander and rover models.

  15. Mars Exploration Rover mobility and robotic arm operational performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tunstel, Edward; Maimone, Mark; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Yen, Jeng; Petras, Richard; Wilson, Reg

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to describe an actual instance of a practical human-robot system used on a NASA Mars rover mission that has been underway since January 2004 involving daily intercation between humans on Earth and mobile robots on Mars.

  16. Study on a Suspension of a Planetary Exploration Rover to Improve Driving Performance During Overcoming Obstacles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    We-Sub Eom

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The planetary exploration rover executes various missions after moving to the target point in an unknown environment in the shortest distance. Such missions include the researches for geological and climatic conditions as well as the existence of water or living creatures. If there is any obstacle on the way, it is detected by such sensors as ultrasonic sensor, infrared light sensor, stereo vision, and laser ranger finder. After the obtained data is transferred to the main controller of the rover, decisions can be made to either overcome or avoid the obstacle on the way based on the operating algorithm of the rover. All the planetary exploration rovers which have been developed until now receive the information of the height or width of the obstacle from such sensors before analyzing it in order to find out whether it is possible to overcome the obstacle or not. If it is decided to be better to overcome the obstacle in terms of the operating safety and the electric consumption of the rover, it is generally made to overcome it. Therefore, for the purpose of carrying out the planetary exploration task, it is necessary to design the proper suspension system of the rover which enables it to safely overcome any obstacle on the way on the surface in any unknown environment. This study focuses on the design of the new double 4-bar linkage type of suspension system applied to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute rover (a tentatively name that is currently in the process of development by our institute in order to develop the planetary exploration rover which absolutely requires the capacity of overcoming any obstacle. Throughout this study, the negative moment which harms the capacity of the rover for overcoming an obstacle was induced through the dynamical modeling process for the rocker-bogie applied to the Mars exploration rover of the US and the improved version of rocker-bogie as well as the suggested double 4-bar linkage type of suspension

  17. Visual Odometry for Planetary Exploration Rovers in Sandy Terrains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linhui Li

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Visual odometry provides planetary exploration rovers with accurate knowledge of their position and orientation, which needs effective feature tracking results, especially in barren sandy terrains. In this paper, a stereovision based odometry algorithm is proposed for a lunar rover, which is composed of corner extraction, feature tracking and motion estimation. First, a morphology based image enhancement method is studied to guarantee enough corners are extracted. Second, a Random Sample Consensus (RANSAC algorithm is proposed to make a robust estimation of the fundamental matrix, which is the basic and critical part of feature matching and tracking. Then, the 6 degrees of freedom rover position and orientation is estimated by the RANSAC algorithm. Finally, experiments are performed in a simulated lunar surface environment using a prototype rover, which have confirmed the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method.

  18. The Mars Exploration Rover/Collaborative Information Portal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, Joan; Filman, Robert E.; Schreiner, John; Koga, Dennis (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Astrology has long argued that the alignment of the planets governs human affairs. Science usually scoffs at this. There is, however, an important exception: sending spacecraft for planetary exploration. In late May and early June, 2003, Mars will be in position for Earth launch. Two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) will rocket towards the red planet. The rovers will perform a series of geological and meteorological experiments, seeking to examine geological evidence for water and conditions once favorable for life. Back on earth, a small army of surface operations staff will work to keep the rovers running, sending directions for each day's operations and receiving the files encoding the outputs of the Rover's six instruments. (Mars is twenty light minutes from Earth. The rovers must be robots.) The fundamental purpose of the project is, after all, Science. Scientists have experiments they want to run. Ideally, scientists want to be immediately notified when the data products of their experiments have been received, so that they can examine their data and (collaboratively) deduce results. Mars is an unpredictable environment. We may issue commands to the rovers but there is considerable uncertainty in how the commands will be executed and whether what the rovers sense will be worthy of further pursuit. The steps of what is, to a scientist, conceptually an individual experiment may be scattered over a large number of activities. While the scientific staff has an overall strategic idea of what it would like to accomplish, activities are planned daily. The data and surprises of the previous day need to be integrated into the negotiations for the next day's activities, all synchronized to a schedule of transmission windows . Negotiations is the operative term, as different scientists want the resources to run possibly incompatible experiments. Many meetings plan each day's activities.

  19. Dynamic Rover Simulation for teleoperations in Planetary Surface Exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, H.L.M.M.; Kuijper, F.; Donkers, H.C.; Dumay, A.C.M.

    1997-01-01

    Advanced Simulation Techniques (AST) combine interactive technologies like Virtual Environments (VEs), Augmented Reality (AR) and real-time simulation, and finds potential space applications. One of these applications is the exploration of a planetary sur£ace by teleoperated rovers. This paper

  20. The Scale of Exploration: Planetary Missions Set in the Context of Tourist Destinations on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garry, W. B.; Bleacher, L. V.; Bleacher, J. E.; Petro, N. E.; Mest, S. C.; Williams, S. H.

    2012-03-01

    What if the Apollo astronauts explored Washington, DC, or the Mars Exploration Rovers explored Disney World? We present educational versions of the traverse maps for Apollo and MER missions set in the context of popular tourist destinations on Earth.

  1. Choosing Mars-Time: Analysis of the Mars Exploration Rover Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bass, Deborah S.; Wales,Roxana C.; Shalin, Valerie L.

    2004-01-01

    This paper focuses on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission decision to work on Mars Time and the implications of that decision on the tactical surface operations process as personnel planned activities and created a new command load for work on each Martian sol. The paper also looks at tools that supported the complexities of Mars Time work, and makes some comparisons between Earth and Mars time scheduling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

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

  3. MARS EXPLORATION ROVER 2 RADIO SCIENCE SUBSYSTEM EDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Exploration Rover 2 MER2) Radio Science (RS) data archive contains raw radio tracking data collected during the surface lifetime of the MER2 Rover. The data...

  4. Dynamic Dust Accumulation and Dust Removal Observed on the Mars Exploration Rover Magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertelsen, P.; Bell, J. F., III; Goetz, W.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hviid, S. F.; Johnson, J. R.; Kinch, K. M.; Knudsen, J. M.; Madsen, M. B.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers each carry a set of Magnetic Properties Experiments designed to investigate the properties of the airborne dust in the Martian atmosphere. It is a preferred interpretation of previous experiments that the airborne dust in the Martian atmosphere is primarily composed by composite silicate particles containing one or more highly magnetic minerals as a minor constituent. The ultimate goal of the magnetic properties experiments on the Mars Exploration Rover mission is to provide some information/ constraints on whether the dust is formed by volcanic, meteoritic, aqueous, or other processes. The first problem is to identify the magnetic mineral(s) in the airborne dust on Mars. While the overall results of the magnetic properties experiments are presented in, this abstract will focus on dust deposition and dust removal on some of the magnets.

  5. Mars Exploration Rover's image analysis: Evidence of Microbialites on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianciardi, Giorgio; Rizzo, Vincenzo; Cantasano, Nicola

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, investigated Martian plains, where sedimentary rocks are present. The Mars Exploration Rover's Athena morphological investigation showed microstructures organized in intertwined filaments of microspherules: a texture we have also found on samples of terrestrial (biogenic) stromatolites and other microbialites. We performed a quantitative image analysis to compare images of microbialites with the images photographed by the Rovers (corresponding, approximately, to 25,000/25,000 microstructures, Earth/Mars). Contours were extracted and morphometric indexes were obtained: geometric and algorithmic complexities, entropy, tortuosity, minimum and maximum diameters. Terrestrial and Martian textures present a multifractal aspect. Mean values and confidence intervals from the Martian images overlapped perfectly with those from the terrestrial samples. The probability of this occurring by chance is 1/2^8, less than pstromatolite images or Martian images with a less ordered texture (p<0.001). Our work shows the presumptive evidence of microbialites in the Martian outcroppings: the presence of unicellular life widespread on the ancient Mars.

  6. PDS MSL Analyst's Notebook: Supporting Active Rover Missions and Adding Value to Planetary Data Archives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Thomas

    Planetary data archives of surface missions contain data from numerous hosted instruments. Because of the nondeterministic nature of surface missions, it is not possible to assess the data without understanding the context in which they were collected. The PDS Analyst’s Notebook (http://an.rsl.wustl.edu) provides access to Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) data archives by integrating sequence information, engineering and science data, observation planning and targeting, and documentation into web-accessible pages to facilitate “mission replay.” In addition, Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Mars Phoenix Lander, Lunar Apollo surface mission, and LCROSS mission data are available in the Analyst’s Notebook concept, and a Notebook is planned for the Insight mission. The MSL Analyst’s Notebook contains data, documentation, and support files for the Curiosity rovers. The inputs are incorporated on a daily basis into a science team version of the Notebook. The public version of the Analyst’s Notebook is comprised of peer-reviewed, released data and is updated coincident with PDS data releases as defined in mission archive plans. The data are provided by the instrument teams and are supported by documentation describing data format, content, and calibration. Both operations and science data products are included. The operations versions are generated to support mission planning and operations on a daily basis. They are geared toward researchers working on machine vision and engineering operations. Science versions of observations from some instruments are provided for those interested in radiometric and photometric analyses. Both data set documentation and sol (i.e., Mars day) documents are included in the Notebook. The sol documents are the mission manager and documentarian reports that provide a view into science operations—insight into why and how particular observations were made. Data set documents contain detailed information regarding the mission, spacecraft

  7. The Hardware Challenges for the Mars Exploration Rover Heat Rejection System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuyuki, Glenn; Ganapathi, Gani; Bame, David; Patzold, Jack; Fisher, Richard; Theriault, Laurent

    2004-02-01

    The primary objective of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) 2003 Project focused on the search for evidence of water on Mars. The launch of two identical flight systems occurred in June and July of 2003. The roving science vehicles are expected to land on the Martian surface in early and late January of 2004, respectively. The flight system design inherited many successfully features and approaches from the Mars Pathfinder Mission. This included the use of a mechanically-pumped fluid loop, known as the Heat Rejection System (HRS), to transport heat from the Rover to radiators on the Cruise Stage during the quiescent trek to Mars. While the heritage of the HRS was evident, application of this system for MER presented unique and difficult challenges with respect to hardware implementation. We will discuss these hardware challenges in each HRS hardware element: the integrated pump assembly, cruise stage HRS, lander HRS, and Rover HRS. These challenges span the entire development cycle including fabrication, assembly, and test. We will conclude by citing the usefulness of this system during launch operations, where in particular, the flight hardware inside the Rover was thermally conditioned by the HRS since there was no other effective means of maintaining its temperature.

  8. Exploration of Victoria crater by the mars rover opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyres, S. W.; Knoll, A.H.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ashley, James W.; Bell, J.F.; Calvin, W.M.; Christensen, P.R.; Clark, B. C.; Cohen, B. A.; De Souza, P.A.; Edgar, L.; Farrand, W. H.; Fleischer, I.; Gellert, Ralf; Golombek, M.P.; Grant, J.; Grotzinger, J.; Hayes, A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Jolliff, B.; Klingelhofer, G.; Knudson, A.; Li, R.; McCoy, T.J.; McLennan, S.M.; Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Rice, J. W.; Schroder, C.; Sullivan, R.J.; Yen, A.; Yingst, R.A.

    2009-01-01

    The Mars rover Opportunity has explored Victoria crater, a ???750-meter eroded impact crater formed in sulfate-rich sedimentary rocks. Impact-related stratigraphy is preserved in the crater walls, and meteoritic debris is present near the crater rim. The size of hematite-rich concretions decreases up-section, documenting variation in the intensity of groundwater processes. Layering in the crater walls preserves evidence of ancient wind-blown dunes. Compositional variations with depth mimic those ???6 kilometers to the north and demonstrate that water-induced alteration at Meridiani Planum was regional in scope.

  9. Preliminary Results of the Magnetic Properties Experiments on the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hviid, S. F.; Bertelsen, P.; Goetz, W.; Kinch, K. M.; Knudsen, J. M.; Madsen, M. B.; Squyres, S. W.; Bell, J. F., III; Yen, A.; Johnson, M. J.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers each carry a set of Magnetic Properties Experiments designed to investigate the properties of the air-borne dust in the Martian atmosphere. It is a preferred interpretation of previous experiments (Viking 1 & 2, 1976 and Mars Pathfinder, 1997) that the airborne dust in the Martian atmosphere is primarily composed by composite silicate particles containing one or more highly magnetic minerals as a minor constituent, this minor constituent probably being dominated by the mineral maghemite (gamma-Fe2O3). The ultimate goal of the magnetic properties experiments on the Mars Exploration Rover mission is to provide some information/constraints on whether the dust is formed by volcanic, meteoritic, aqueous, or other processes. In detail, the objectives are: a) To identify the magnetic mineral(s) in the dust, soil and rocks on Mars. b) To establish if the magnetic material is present in the form of nanosized (d magnets are culling a subset of strongly magnetic particles or if essentially all particles of the airborne dust are sufficiently magnetic to be attracted by the magnets. d) Detect compositional differences between the airborne dust and the soil and rock sites which are investigated at two landing sites. To accomplish these goals the Mars Exploration Rovers each carry a set of permanent magnets of several different strengths and sizes. Each magnet has its own specific objective.

  10. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas J.

    1991-07-01

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

  11. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas J.

    1991-01-01

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

  12. Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Philip R.; Mehall, Greg L.; Silverman, Steven H.; Anwar, Saadat; Cannon, George; Gorelick, Noel; Kheen, Rolph; Tourville, Tom; Bates, Duane; Ferry, Steven; Fortuna, Teresa; Jeffryes, John; O'Donnell, William; Peralta, Richard; Wolverton, Thomas; Blaney, Diana; Denise, Robert; Rademacher, Joel; Morris, Richard V.; Squyres, Steven

    2003-12-01

    The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) will provide remote measurements of mineralogy and thermophysical properties of the scene surrounding the Mars Exploration Rovers and guide the rovers to key targets for detailed in situ measurements by other rover experiments. The specific scientific objectives of the Mini-TES investigation are to (1) determine the mineralogy of rocks and soils, (2) determine the thermophysical properties of selected soil patches, and (3) determine the temperature profile, dust and water-ice opacity, and water vapor abundance in the lower atmospheric boundary layer. The Mini-TES is a Fourier Transform Spectrometer covering the spectral range 5-29 μm (339.50 to 1997.06 cm-1) with a spectral sample interval of 9.99 cm-1. The Mini-TES telescope is a 6.35-cm-diameter Cassegrain telescope that feeds a flat-plate Michelson moving mirror mounted on a voice-coil motor assembly. A single deuterated triglycine sulfate (DTGS) uncooled pyroelectric detector with proven space heritage gives a spatial resolution of 20 mrad; an actuated field stop can reduce the field of view to 8 mrad. Mini-TES is mounted within the rover's Warm Electronics Box and views the terrain using its internal telescope looking up the hollow shaft of the Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA) to the fixed fold mirror and rotating elevation scan mirror in the PMA head located ~1.5 m above the ground. The PMA provides a full 360°of azimuth travel and views from 30° above the nominal horizon to 50° below. An interferogram is collected every two seconds and transmitted to the Rover computer, where the Fast Fourier Transform, spectral summing, lossless compression, and data formatting are performed prior to transmission to Earth. Radiometric calibration is provided by two calibration V-groove blackbody targets instrumented with platinum thermistor temperature sensors with absolute temperature calibration of +/-0.1°C. One calibration target is located inside the PMA head; the

  13. Precursor missions to interstellar exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, R. A.

    This paper summarizes material developed over a three-month period by a JPL team of mission architects/analysts and advanced technology developers for presentation to NASA Headquarters in the summer of 1998. A preliminary mission roadmap is suggested that leads to the exploration of star systems within 40 light years of our Solar System. The precursor missions include technology demonstrations as well as missions that return significant new knowledge about the space environment reached. Three propulsion technology candidates are selected on the basis of allowing eventual travel to the nearest star taking 10 years. One of the three propulsion technologies has a near term version applicable to early missions (prior to 2010) - the solar sail. Using early sail missions other critical supporting technologies can be developed that will later enable Interstellar travel. Example precursor missions are sail demonstration missions, including a solar storm warning mission demonstrating a simple sail, a solar polar imaging mission using an intermediate sail, and a 200-AU Heliosphere Explorer mission using an advanced solar sail. Mission and technology strategy, science return, and potential mission spin-offs are described.

  14. 3D Vision on Mars: Stereo processing and visualizations for NASA and ESA rover missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Ben

    2016-07-01

    Three dimensional (3D) vision processing is an essential component of planetary rover mission planning and scientific data analysis. Standard ground vision processing products are digital terrain maps, panoramas, and virtual views of the environment. Such processing is currently developed for the PanCam instrument of ESA's ExoMars Rover mission by the PanCam 3D Vision Team under JOANNEUM RESEARCH coordination. Camera calibration, quality estimation of the expected results and the interfaces to other mission elements such as operations planning, rover navigation system and global Mars mapping are a specific focus of the current work. The main goals of the 3D Vision team in this context are: instrument design support & calibration processing: Development of 3D vision functionality Visualization: development of a 3D visualization tool for scientific data analysis. 3D reconstructions from stereo image data during the mission Support for 3D scientific exploitation to characterize the overall landscape geomorphology, processes, and the nature of the geologic record using the reconstructed 3D models. The developed processing framework PRoViP establishes an extensible framework for 3D vision processing in planetary robotic missions. Examples of processing products and capabilities are: Digital Terrain Models, Ortho images, 3D meshes, occlusion, solar illumination-, slope-, roughness-, and hazard-maps. Another important processing capability is the fusion of rover and orbiter based images with the support of multiple missions and sensors (e.g. MSL Mastcam stereo processing). For 3D visualization a tool called PRo3D has been developed to analyze and directly interpret digital outcrop models. Stereo image products derived from Mars rover data can be rendered in PRo3D, enabling the user to zoom, rotate and translate the generated 3D outcrop models. Interpretations can be digitized directly onto the 3D surface, and simple measurements of the outcrop and sedimentary features

  15. In-flight propulsion system characterization for both Mars Exploration Rover Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Todd J.; Picha, Frank Q.

    2004-01-01

    Two Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft were dispensed to red planet in 2003, culminating in a phenomenally successful prime science mission. Twin cruise stage propulsion systems were developed in record time, largely through heritage with Mars Pathfinder. As expected, consumable usage was minimal during the short seven-month cruise for both spacecraft. Propellant usage models based on pressure and temperature agreed with throughput models with in a few percent. Trajectory correction maneuver performance was nominal, allowing the cancellation of near-Mars maneuvers. Spin thruster delivered impulse was 10-12% high vs. ground based models for the intial spin-down maneuvers, while turn performance was XX-XX% high/low vs. expectations. No clear indications for pressure transducer drift were noted during the brief MER missions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Determining Wheel-Soil Interaction Loads Using a Meshfree Finite Element Approach Assisting Future Missions with Rover Wheel Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Michael T.; Peng, Chia-Yen; Wang, Dongdong; Chen, Jiun-Shyan

    2012-01-01

    A wheel experiencing sinkage and slippage events poses a high risk to rover missions as evidenced by recent mobility challenges on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. Because several factors contribute to wheel sinkage and slippage conditions such as soil composition, large deformation soil behavior, wheel geometry, nonlinear contact forces, terrain irregularity, etc., there are significant benefits to modeling these events to a sufficient degree of complexity. For the purposes of modeling wheel sinkage and slippage at an engineering scale, meshfree finite element approaches enable simulations that capture sufficient detail of wheel-soil interaction while remaining computationally feasible. This study demonstrates some of the large deformation modeling capability of meshfree methods and the realistic solutions obtained by accounting for the soil material properties. A benchmark wheel-soil interaction problem is developed and analyzed using a specific class of meshfree methods called Reproducing Kernel Particle Method (RKPM). The benchmark problem is also analyzed using a commercially available finite element approach with Lagrangian meshing for comparison. RKPM results are comparable to classical pressure-sinkage terramechanics relationships proposed by Bekker-Wong. Pending experimental calibration by future work, the meshfree modeling technique will be a viable simulation tool for trade studies assisting rover wheel design.

  19. Crystal Water on Mars: Insights from the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Clark, B. C.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to constrain the total water contents from crystal H2O and OH in several materials analyzed by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Crystal H2O is part of the unit cell and cannot be removed without changing the structure. Minerals that contain only OH in their structures are anhydrous minerals containing hydroxyls, although they are formed as a product of aqueous activity and will decompose with evolution of H2O when heated. The crystal water and OH contents of a bulk material at the MER landing sites can be estimated from mineralogical composition, which is determined by a combination of Fe-mineralogy obtained by the Mossbauer Spectrometer and mineral abundances based upon the chemical composition determined by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. Jarosite, along with Ca- and Mg-sulfates, have been suggested as the sulfur-bearing phases in Meridiani Planum outcrop. Models of various hydration states of Fe-, Ca-, and Mg-sulfates and other possible secondary phases suggest that 6 to 22 wt.% of the outcrop may occur as crystal H2O and/or OH (Clark et al., 2005). This estimate of water is consistent with measurements from the Odyssey orbiter, where 7 % H2O-equivalent H was measured down to a depth of approximately 1 m for the region (Feldman et al., 2004).

  20. Molecular Microbial Analyses of the Mars Exploration Rovers Assembly Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; LaDuc, Myron T.; Newcombe, David; Kempf, Michael J.; Koke, John. A.; Smoot, James C.; Smoot, Laura M.; Stahl, David A.

    2004-01-01

    During space exploration, the control of terrestrial microbes associated with robotic space vehicles intended to land on extraterrestrial solar system bodies is necessary to prevent forward contamination and maintain scientific integrity during the search for life. Microorganisms associated with the spacecraft assembly environment can be a source of contamination for the spacecraft. In this study, we have monitored the microbial burden of air samples of the Mars Exploration Rovers' assembly facility at the Kennedy Space Center utilizing complementary diagnostic tools. To estimate the microbial burden and identify potential contaminants in the assembly facility, several microbiological techniques were used including culturing, cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes, DNA microarray analysis, and ATP assays to assess viable microorganisms. Culturing severely underestimated types and amounts of contamination since many of the microbes implicated by molecular analyses were not cultivable. In addition to the cultivation of Agrobacterium, Burkholderia and Bacillus species, the cloning approach retrieved 16s rDNA sequences of oligotrophs, symbionts, and y-proteobacteria members. DNA microarray analysis based on rational probe design and dissociation curves complemented existing molecular techniques and produced a highly parallel, high resolution analysis of contaminating microbial populations. For instance, strong hybridization signals to probes targeting the Bacillus species indicated that members of this species were present in the assembly area samples; however, differences in dissociation curves between perfect-match and air sample sequences showed that these samples harbored nucleotide polymorphisms. Vegetative cells of several isolates were resistant when subjected to treatments of UVC (254 nm) and vapor H202 (4 mg/L). This study further validates the significance of non-cultivable microbes in association with spacecraft assembly facilities, as our analyses have

  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. Mission Profile and Design Challenges for Mars Landing Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, J.; Sun, Z.; Rao, W.; Jia, Y.; Meng, L.; Wang, C.; Chen, B.

    2017-07-01

    An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Genotypic & Phenotypic Diversity of Microbial Isolates from the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora-Williams, Keith

    2012-01-01

    Mars-bound rovers such as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) endure strict planetary protection implementation campaigns to assess bioburden. The objective of this study is to identify cultivable microorganisms isolated by the NASA Standard Assay from spacecraft during pre-launch and evaluate their potential to survive conditions on the Martian surface. Of approximately 350 isolates collected from the MER spacecraft archive, 171 microorganisms were reconstituted for characterization via 16S rRNA fingerprinting. Alignment of 16S sequences revealed high levels of sequence similarity to spore-forming species, overwhelmingly of the genera Bacillus (73.7%) and Paenibacillus (14.0%). Samples underwent phenotype characterization employing multiple carbon sources and ion concentrations in an automated microarray format using the Omnilog system. Working and stock cultures were prepared to address the immediate needs for day-to-day culture utilization and long-term preservation, respectively. Results from this study produced details about the microbes that contaminate surfaces of spacecraft, as well as a preliminary evaluation of a rapid biochemical ID method that also provides a phenotypic assessment of contaminants. The overall outcome of this study will benefit emerging cleaning and sterilization technologies for preventing forward contamination that could negatively impact future life detection or sample return missions.

  5. Mars Exploration Rover Navigation Camera in-flight calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderblom, J.M.; Bell, J.F.; Johnson, J. R.; Joseph, J.; Wolff, M.J.

    2008-01-01

    The Navigation Camera (Navcam) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) spacecraft provide support for both tactical operations as well as scientific observations where color information is not necessary: large-scale morphology, atmospheric monitoring including cloud observations and dust devil movies, and context imaging for both the thermal emission spectrometer and the in situ instruments on the Instrument Deployment Device. The Navcams are a panchromatic stereoscopic imaging system built using identical charge-coupled device (CCD) detectors and nearly identical electronics boards as the other cameras on the MER spacecraft. Previous calibration efforts were primarily focused on providing a detailed geometric calibration in line with the principal function of the Navcams, to provide data for the MER navigation team. This paper provides a detailed description of a new Navcam calibration pipeline developed to provide an absolute radiometric calibration that we estimate to have an absolute accuracy of 10% and a relative precision of 2.5%. Our calibration pipeline includes steps to model and remove the bias offset, the dark current charge that accumulates in both the active and readout regions of the CCD, and the shutter smear. It also corrects pixel-to-pixel responsivity variations using flat-field images, and converts from raw instrument-corrected digital number values per second to units of radiance (W m-2 nm-1 sr-1), or to radiance factor (I/F). We also describe here the initial results of two applications where radiance-calibrated Navcam data provide unique information for surface photometric and atmospheric aerosol studies. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  6. Mars exploration rover geologic traverse by the spirit rover in the plains of Gusev crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.F.; Blaney, D.; Cabrol, N.A.; Christensen, P.R.; DesMarais, D.J.; Farmer, J.D.; Fergason, R.; Golombek, M.P.; Grant, F.D.; Grant, J. A.; Greeley, R.; Hahn, B.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Knudson, A.T.; Landis, G.A.; Li, R.; Maki, J.; McSween, H.Y.; Ming, D. W.; Moersch, J.E.; Payne, M.C.; Rice, J.W.; Richter, L.; Ruff, S.W.; Sims, M.; Thompson, S.D.; Tosca, N.; Wang, A.; Whelley, P.; Wright, S.P.; Wyatt, M.B.

    2005-01-01

    The Spirit rover completed a 2.5 km traverse across gently sloping plains on the floor of Gusev crater from its location on the outer rim of Bonneville crater to the lower slopes of the Columbia Hills, Mars. Using the Athena suite of instruments in a transect approach, a systematic series of overlapping panoramic mosaics, remote sensing observations, surface analyses, and trenching operations documented the lateral variations in landforms, geologic materials, and chemistry of the surface throughout the traverse, demonstrating the ability to apply the techniques of field geology by remote rover operations. Textures and shapes of rocks within the plains are consistent with derivation from impact excavation and mixing of the upper few meters of basaltic lavas. The contact between surrounding plains and crater ejecta is generally abrupt and marked by increases in clast abundance and decimeter-scale steps in relief. Basaltic materials of the plains overlie less indurated and more altered rock types at a time-stratigraphic contact between the plains and Columbia Hills that occurs over a distance of one to two meters. This implies that regional geologic contacts are well preserved and that Earth-like field geologic mapping will be possible on Mars despite eons of overturn by small impacts. ?? 2005 Geological Society of America.

  7. Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Heat Exchangers for the Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastropietro, A. J.; Beatty, John S.; Kelly, Frank P.; Bhandari, Pradeep; Bame, David P.; Liu, Yuanming; Birux, Gajanana C.; Miller, Jennifer R.; Pauken, Michael T.; Illsley, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    The addition of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover requires an advanced thermal control system that is able to both recover and reject the waste heat from the MMRTG as needed in order to maintain the onboard electronics at benign temperatures despite the extreme and widely varying environmental conditions experienced both on the way to Mars and on the Martian surface. Based on the previously successful Mars landed mission thermal control schemes, a mechanically pumped fluid loop (MPFL) architecture was selected as the most robust and efficient means for meeting the MSL thermal requirements. The MSL heat recovery and rejection system (HRS) is comprised of two Freon (CFC-11) MPFLs that interact closely with one another to provide comprehensive thermal management throughout all mission phases. The first loop, called the Rover HRS (RHRS), consists of a set of pumps, thermal control valves, and heat exchangers (HXs) that enables the transport of heat from the MMRTG to the rover electronics during cold conditions or from the electronics straight to the environment for immediate heat rejection during warm conditions. The second loop, called the Cruise HRS (CHRS), is thermally coupled to the RHRS during the cruise to Mars, and provides a means for dissipating the waste heat more directly from the MMRTG as well as from both the cruise stage and rover avionics by promoting circulation to the cruise stage radiators. A multifunctional structure was developed that is capable of both collecting waste heat from the MMRTG and rejecting the waste heat to the surrounding environment. It consists of a pair of honeycomb core sandwich panels with HRS tubes bonded to both sides. Two similar HX assemblies were designed to surround the MMRTG on the aft end of the rover. Heat acquisition is accomplished on the interior (MMRTG facing) surface of each HX while heat rejection is accomplished on the exterior surface of

  8. PicoBots -A small-sized exploration rover standard for universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiß, André

    This paper will introduce a pico-class robotic platform primarily intended for future lunar exploration. Inspired by the Cubesat standard, an affordable and easy to fabricate design will be introduced allowing universities to develop and perform own rover-based missions. As all major space agencies have set the goal to go to Earths natural satellite in the near future, several opportunities will arise to piggyback to the moon. With a maximum weight of 1 kg, one or multiple PicoBots, plus an eventually needed base station, could easily fill mass budget margins. By utilizing the alternating tripod gait, adapted from simple insects like the cockroach, locomotion can be realized with only two actuators. In comparison to most exploration rovers, the chosen propulsion system leads to a lower number in `degrees of freedom' and therefore a much higher demand for a simple environment. Main advantage, on the other hand, is that it minimizes the complexity of the control-algorithm and reduces the mass as well as the cost. Thanks to the progress in the field of MEMS-based technologies, subsystem components and instruments are available in small sizes, are lightweight and with low power requirements. PicoBots could either be specifically designed for a single mechanical task, e.g. sampling and analysis of rocks, or numerous sensoric payloads, like the seismo-or gravimeter. Swarm intelligence and behavior could also be an interesting field of research. To protect the electronics from radiation, a complementary, multi-layered `spacesuit' will be offered. If needed the suit can also be pressurized thus allowing the use of components not functioning in the vacuum environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trease, Brian

    2011-01-01

    To help minimize risk of high sinkage and slippage during drives and to better understand soil properties and rover terramechanics from drive data, a multidisciplinary team was formed under the Mars Exploration Rover project to develop and utilize dynamic computer-based models for rover drives over realistic terrains. The resulting system, named ARTEMIS (Adams-based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction System), consists of the dynamic model, a library of terramechanics subroutines, and the high-resolution digital elevation maps of the Mars surface. A 200-element model of the rovers was developed and validated for drop tests before launch, using Adams dynamic modeling software. The external library was built in Fortran and called by Adams to model the wheel-soil interactions include the rut-formation effect of deformable soils, lateral and longitudinal forces, bull-dozing effects, and applied wheel torque. The paper presents the details and implementation of the system. To validate the developed system, one study case is presented from a realistic drive on Mars of the Opportunity rover. The simulation results match well from the measurement of on-board telemetry data. In its final form, ARTEMIS will be used in a predictive manner to assess terrain navigability and will become part of the overall effort in path planning and navigation for both Martian and lunar rovers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  12. CLUPI: CLose-UP Imager on.board the ExoMars Mission Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, Jean-Luc

    The CLose-UP Imager (CLUPI) imaging experiment is designed to obtain high-resolution colour and stereo images of rocks from the ExoMars rover (Pasteur payload). The close-up imager is a robotic equivalent of one of the most useful instruments of the field geologist: the hand lens. Imaging of surfaces of rocks, soils and wind drift deposits is crucial for the understanding of the geological context of any site where the rover will be active on Mars. The purpose of the Close-up imager is to look an area of about 4 cm x 2.6 cm of the rocks at a focus distance of 10 cm. With a resolution of approx. 15 micrometer/pixel, many kinds of rock surface and internal structures can be visualized: crystals in igneous rocks, fracture mineralization, secondary minerals, details of the surface morphology, sediment components, sedimentary structures, soil particles. It is conceivable that even textures resulting from ancient biological activity can be seen, such as fine lamination due to microbial mats (stromatolites) and textures resulting from colonies of filamentous microbes. CLUPI is a powerful highly integrated miniaturized (¡208g) low-power robust imaging system with no mobile part, able to operate at very low temperature (-120° C). The opto-mechanical interfaces will be a smart assembly in titanium sustaining wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions. . . The close-up imager CLUPI on the ExoMars Rover will be described together with its capabilities to provide important information significantly contributing to the understanding of the geological environment and could identify outstanding potential biofabrics (stromatolites...) of past life on Mars.

  13. Arusha Rover Deployable Medical Workstation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boswell, Tyrone; Hopson, Sonya; Marzette, Russell; Monroe, Gilena; Mustafa, Ruqayyah

    2014-01-01

    The NSBE Arusha rover concept offers a means of human transport and habitation during long-term exploration missions on the moon. This conceptual rover calls for the availability of medical supplies and equipment for crew members in order to aid in mission success. This paper addresses the need for a dedicated medical work station aboard the Arusha rover. The project team investigated multiple options for implementing a feasible deployable station to address both the medical and workstation layout needs of the rover and crew. Based on layout specifications and medical workstation requirements, the team has proposed a deployable workstation concept that can be accommodated within the volumetric constraints of the Arusha rover spacecraft

  14. Random vibration test of Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharton, T.; Lee, D.

    2003-01-01

    The primary objective of the random vibration test was to identify any hardware problems, which might compromise the mission. The test objectives, configuration, and requirements are briefly described in this presentation, and a representative sample of the measured data is presented.

  15. Astronaut Clothing for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poritz, Darwin H.; Orndoff, Evelyne; Kaspranskiy, Rustem R.; Schesinger, Thilini; Byrne, Vicky

    2016-01-01

    Astronaut clothes for exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit need to satisfy several challenges not met by the currently-used mostly-cotton clothing. A laundering system is not expected to be available, and thus soiled garments must be trashed. Jettisoning waste does not seem feasible at this time. The cabin oxygen concentration is expected to be higher than standard, and thus fabrics must better resist ignition and burning. Fabrics need to be identified that reduce logistical mass, that can be worn longer before disposal, that are at least as comfortable as cotton, and that resist ignition or that char immediately after ignition. Human factors and psychology indicate that crew well-being and morale require a variety of colors and styles to accommodate personal identity and preferences. Over the past four years, the Logistics Reduction Project under NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Program has sponsored the Advanced Clothing System Task to conduct several ground studies and one ISS study. These studies have evaluated length of wear and personal preferences of commercially-available exercise- and routine-wear garments made from several fabrics (cotton, polyester, Merino wool, and modacrylic), woven and knitted. Note that Merino wool and modacrylic char like cotton in ambient air, while polyester unacceptably melts. This paper focuses on the two components of an International Space Station study, onboard and on the ground, with astronauts and cosmonauts. Fabrics were randomized to participants. Length of wear was assessed by statistical survival analysis, and preference by exact binomial confidence limits. Merino wool and modacrylic t-shirts were worn longer on average than polyester t-shirts. Interestingly, self-assessed preferences were inconsistent with length-of-wear behavior, as polyester was preferred to Merino wool and modacrylic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Advances in Autonomous Systems for Missions of Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, A. R.; Smith, B. D.; Briggs, G. A.; Hieronymus, J.; Clancy, D. J.

    applications. One notable example of such missions are those to explore for the existence of water on planets such as Mars and the moons of Jupiter. It is clear that water does not exist on the surfaces of such bodies, but may well be located at some considerable depth below the surface, thus requiring a subsurface drilling capability. Subsurface drilling on planetary surfaces will require a robust autonomous control and analysis system, currently a major challenge, but within conceivable reach of planned technology developments. This paper will focus on new and innovative software for remote, autonomous, space systems flight operations, including flight test results, lessons learned, and implications for the future. An additional focus will be on technologies for planetary exploration using autonomous systems and astronaut-assistance systems that employ new spoken language technology. Topics to be presented will include a description of key autonomous control concepts, illustrated by the Remote Agent program that commanded the Deep Space 1 spacecraft to new levels of system autonomy, recent advances in distributed autonomous system capabilities, and concepts for autonomous vehicle health management systems. A brief description of teaming spacecraft and rovers for complex exploration missions will also be provided. New software for autonomous science data acquisition for planetary exploration will also be described, as well as advanced systems for safe planetary landings. Current results of autonomous planetary drilling system research will be presented. A key thrust within NASA is to develop technologies that will leverage the capabilities of human astronauts during planetary surface explorations. One such technology is spoken dialogue interfaces, which would allow collaboration with semi-autonomous agents that are engaged in activities that are normally accomplished using language, e.g., astronauts in space suits interacting with groups of semi-autonomous rovers and other

  19. Autonomous Path Tracking Steering Controller for Extraterrestrial Terrain Exporation Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Mohammed; Sonsalla, Roland; Kirchner, Frank

    Extraterrestrial surface missions typically use a robotic rover platform to carry the science instrumentation (e.g.,the twin MER rovers). Due to the risks in the rover path (i.e. low trafficability of unrecognized soil patches), it is proposed in the FASTER footnote{\\url{https://www.faster-fp7-space.eu}} project that two rovers should be used. A micro scout rover is used for determining the traversability of the terrain and collaborate with a primary rover to lower the risk of entering hazardous areas. That will improve the mission safety and the effective traverse speed for planetary rover exploration. This paper presents the design and implementation of the path following controller for micro scout rover. The objective to synthesize a control law which allows the rover to autonomously follow a desired path in a stable manner. Furthermore, the software architecture controlling the rover and all its subsystems is depicted. The performance of the designed controller is discussed and demonstrated with realistic simulations and experiments, conclusions and an outlook of future work are also given. Key words: Micro Rover, Scout Rover, Mars Exploration, Multi-Rover Team, Mobile, All-Terrain, Hybrid-Legged Wheel, Path Following, Automatic Steer, nonlinear systems.

  20. Geologic overview of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission at the Kimberley, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Melissa S.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Treiman, Allan H.; Stack, Kathryn M.; Calef, Fred; Edgar, Lauren A.; Grotzinger, John; Lanza, Nina; Le Deit, Laetitia; Lasue, Jeremie; Siebach, Kirsten L.; Vasavada, Ashwin; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Joshua

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover completed a detailed investigation at the Kimberley waypoint within Gale crater from sols 571-634 using its full science instrument payload. From orbital images examined early in the Curiosity mission, the Kimberley region had been identified as a high-priority science target based on its clear stratigraphic relationships in a layered sedimentary sequence that had been exposed by differential erosion. Observations of the stratigraphic sequence at the Kimberley made by Curiosity are consistent with deposition in a prograding, fluvio-deltaic system during the late Noachian to early Hesperian, prior to the existence of most of Mount Sharp. Geochemical and mineralogic analyses suggest that sediment deposition likely took place under cold conditions with relatively low water-to-rock ratios. Based on elevated K2O abundances throughout the Kimberley formation, an alkali feldspar protolith is likely one of several igneous sources from which the sediments were derived. After deposition, the rocks underwent multiple episodes of diagenetic alteration with different aqueous chemistries and redox conditions, as evidenced by the presence of Ca-sulfate veins, Mn-oxide fracture fills, and erosion-resistant nodules. More recently, the Kimberley has been subject to significant aeolian abrasion and removal of sediments to create modern topography that slopes away from Mount Sharp, a process that has continued to the present day.

  1. Cerebellum Augmented Rover Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Matthew

    2005-01-01

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

  2. A multitasking behavioral control system for the Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klarer, P.

    1994-03-01

    The design of a multitasking behavioral control system for the Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) is described. The control system design attempts to ameliorate some of the problems noted by some researchers when implementing subsumption or behavioral control systems, particularly with regard to multiple processor systems and real-time operations. The architecture is designed to allow both synchronous and asynchronous operations between various behavior modules by taking advantage of intertask communications channels, and by implementing each behavior module and each interconnection node as a stand-alone task. The potential advantages of this approach over those previously described in the field are discussed. An implementation of the architecture is planned for a prototype Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) currently under development, and is briefly described.

  3. Extraterrestrial Moessbauer Spectroscopy: More than Three Years of Mars Exploration and Developments for Future Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Christian; Klingelhoefer, Goestar; Morris, Richard V.; Rodionov, Daniel S.; Fleischer, Iris; Blumers, Mathias

    2007-01-01

    The NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Spirit and Opportunity, landed on the Red Planet in January 2004. Both rovers are equipped with a miniaturized Moessbauer spectrometer MIMOS II. Designed for a three months mission, both rovers and both Moessbauer instruments are still working after more than three years of exploring the Martian surface. At the beginning of the mission, with a landed intensity of the Moessbauer source of 150 mCi, a 30 minute touch and go measurement produced scientifically valuable data while a good quality Moessbauer spectrum was obtained after approximately eight hours. Now, after about five halflives of the sources have passed, Moessbauer integrations are routinely planned to last approx.48 hours. Because of this and other age-related hardware degradations of the two rover systems, measurements now occur less frequently, but are still of outstanding quality and scientific importance. Summarizing important Moessbauer results, Spirit has traversed the plains from her landing site in Gusev crater and is now, for the greater part of the mission, investigating the stratigraphically older Columbia Hills. Olivine in rocks and soils in the plains suggests that physical rather than chemical processes are currently active.

  4. Automated science target selection for future Mars rovers: A machine vision approach for the future ESA ExoMars 2018 rover mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Yu; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2013-04-01

    The ESA ExoMars 2018 rover is planned to perform autonomous science target selection (ASTS) using the approaches described in [1]. However, the approaches shown to date have focused on coarse features rather than the identification of specific geomorphological units. These higher-level "geoobjects" can later be employed to perform intelligent reasoning or machine learning. In this work, we show the next stage in the ASTS through examples displaying the identification of bedding planes (not just linear features in rock-face images) and the identification and discrimination of rocks in a rock-strewn landscape (not just rocks). We initially detect the layers and rocks in 2D processing via morphological gradient detection [1] and graph cuts based segmentation [2] respectively. To take this further requires the retrieval of 3D point clouds and the combined processing of point clouds and images for reasoning about the scene. An example is the differentiation of rocks in rover images. This will depend on knowledge of range and range-order of features. We show demonstrations of these "geo-objects" using MER and MSL (released through the PDS) as well as data collected within the EU-PRoViScout project (http://proviscout.eu). An initial assessment will be performed of the automated "geo-objects" using the OpenSource StereoViewer developed within the EU-PRoViSG project (http://provisg.eu) which is released in sourceforge. In future, additional 3D measurement tools will be developed within the EU-FP7 PRoViDE2 project, which started on 1.1.13. References: [1] M. Woods, A. Shaw, D. Barnes, D. Price, D. Long, D. Pullan, (2009) "Autonomous Science for an ExoMars Rover-Like Mission", Journal of Field Robotics Special Issue: Special Issue on Space Robotics, Part II, Volume 26, Issue 4, pages 358-390. [2] J. Shi, J. Malik, (2000) "Normalized Cuts and Image Segmentation", IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Volume 22. [3] D. Shin, and J.-P. Muller (2009

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  6. Atrial Fibrillation During an Exploration Class Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipset, Mark A.; Lemery, Jay; Polk, J. D.; Hamilton, Douglas R.

    2010-01-01

    Background: A long-duration exploration class mission is fraught with numerous medical contingency plans. Herein, we explore the challenges of symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) occurring during an exploration class mission. The actions and resources required to ameliorate the situation, including the availability of appropriate pharmaceuticals, monitoring devices, treatment modalities, and communication protocols will be investigated. Challenges of Atrial Fibrillation during an Exploration Mission: Numerous etiologies are responsible for the initiation of AF. On Earth, we have the time and medical resources to evaluate and determine the causative situation for most cases of AF and initiate therapy accordingly. During a long-duration exploration class mission resources will be severely restricted. How is one to determine if new onset AF is due to recent myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, fluid overload, thyrotoxicosis, cardiac structural abnormalities, or CO poisoning? Which pharmaceutical therapy should be initiated and what potential side effects can be expected? Should anti-coagulation therapy be initiated? How would one monitor the therapeutic treatment of AF in microgravity? What training would medical officers require, and which communication strategies should be developed to enable the best, safest therapeutic options for treatment of AF during a long-duration exploration class mission? Summary: These questions will be investigated with expert opinion on disease elucidation, efficient pharmacology, therapeutic monitoring, telecommunication strategies, and mission cost parameters with emphasis on atrial fibrillation being just one illustration of the tremendous challenges that face a long-duration exploration mission. The limited crew training time, medical hardware, and drugs manifested to deal with such an event predicate that aggressive primary and secondary prevention strategies be developed to protect a multibillion-dollar asset like the

  7. Aeolian environments observed by the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, R.; Fike, D.; Golombek, M.; Greeley, R.; Grotzinger, J.; Jerolmack, D.; Landis, G.; Malin, M.; Soderblom, L.; Squyres, S.; Thompson, S.; Watters, W.; Whelley, P.

    2004-12-01

    Previous telescopic, orbital, and in situ exploration has shown the significance of aeolian processes on Mars. The twin MER vehicles have examined the effects of aeolian processes along geological traverses at two Mars landing sites. "Spirit" landed on a dust devil track on plains within Gusev crater, and encountered scattered low bedforms and ventifacts along its traverse to the Columbia Hills. Particle size-frequency variations between bedform crests and troughs are consistent with terrestrial ripple characteristics. Wheel disturbances in one bedform revealed the presence of a dust-covered coarse sand monolayer surface crust overlying a finer-grained, less sorted interior. Several lines of evidence are consistent with NW winds affecting the plains in this part of Gusev crater: (1) slightly asymmetric ripples sparsely distributed across the plains are oriented NNE/SSW and have slightly steeper ESE faces that are also dustier (as determined from albedo and thermal IR spectroscopy); (2) facets, flutes, and grooves on rocks interpreted as ventifacts are most abundant on NW exposures; and (3) asymmetric debris piles from Rock Abrasion Tool grinding extend to the SE. This evidence is consistent with afternoon WNW winds predicted in the area by mesoscale climate models. No dust devils have been observed yet (through 240 sols) by "Spirit." The landing site for "Opportunity" on the plains of Meridiani Planum was less dusty than the Gusev site. Hematite-enriched aeolian ripples dominate the plains, and contribute to the hematite signature detected by MGS TES. Trenching one of these bedforms revealed a surface crust of hematite-enriched spherule concretion fragments, and a substantial fraction of very fine sand in the ripple interior. Very fine sand is also found on the relatively flat areas between ripples, along with spherules and partly buried spherule fragments. Individual plains ripples are oriented about N26E but commonly are grouped en echelon into alignments along a

  8. The Utility of a Small Pressurized Rover with Suit Ports for Lunar Exploration: A Geologist's Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kring, David A.; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Garry, W. Brent; Love, Stanley G.; Young, Kelsey E.

    2017-01-01

    Rover trade study: As summarized recently, mission simulations at Black Point Lava Flow (Arizona) that included realistic extravehicular activity (EVA) tasking, accurate traverse timelines, and an in-loop science CAPCOM (or SciCOM) showed that a small pressurized rover (SPR) was a better mobility asset than an unpressurized rover (UPR). Traverses within the SPR were easier on crew than spending an entire day in a spacesuit, enhancing crew productivity at each station. The SPR, named Lunar Electric Rover (LER), and sometimes called the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV), could also provide shelter during a suit malfunction, radiation event, or medical emergency that might occur on the Moon. Intravehicular activity (IVA) capabilities: From within the vehicle, crew could describe and photo-document distant features during drives between stations, as well as in the near-field, directly in front of the LER, providing an ability to begin EVA planning on approach to each outcrop prior to egress. The vehicle can rotate 360º without any lateral movement, providing views in all directions. It has high-visibility windows, a ForeCam, AftCam, port and starboard cameras, docking cameras, and a GigaPan camera. EVA capabilities: To reduce timeline, mass, and volumetric overhead, rapid egress and ingress were envisioned, replacing an airlock with lower cabin pressure than on the International Space Station and suit ports on the aft cabin wall [2]. When needed for closer inspection and sample collecting, crew could egress in about 10 minutes through suit ports. Crew use SuitCams for additional photo-documentation, transmit mobile observations verbally, and collect surface materials. Typical simulations involved 3 to 4 EVA stations/day and 2 to 3 hr/day of boots on the ground. This allowed crew to explore a far larger territory, with more complex geological and in situ resource utilization (ISRU) features, than would a single, longer-duration EVA at one location, while also minimizing

  9. A rover's geologic field campaign: Exploration of the Kimberley by Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minitti, Michelle E.

    2017-03-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover undertook comprehensive exploration of the Kimberley waypoint within Gale crater, Mars in order to understand its context within the larger geologic picture of Gale crater and its evidence for past Martian habitability. Coordinated observations from Curiosity's rich science payload revealed important insights into new Martian crustal compositions, the prevalence and diversity of sedimentary processes within Gale crater, and surface erosion rates. Exploration at the Kimberley, in part informed by a decade of orbital observations of Gale crater, underscored the critical synergy between landed and orbital observations and furthered understanding of complex geological processes on Mars.

  10. NASA Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Tim

    2017-01-01

    Since August 2012, the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity has been operating on the Martian surface. The primary goal of the MSL mission is to assess whether Mars ever had an environment suitable for life. MSL Science Team member Dr. Tim Olson will provide an overview of the rover's capabilities and the major findings from the mission so far. He will also share some of his experiences of what it is like to operate Curiosity's science cameras and explore Mars as part of a large team of scientists and engineers.

  11. Exploration Mission Benefits From Logistics Reduction Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broyan, James Lee, Jr.; Schlesinger, Thilini; Ewert, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    Technologies that reduce logistical mass, volume, and the crew time dedicated to logistics management become more important as exploration missions extend further from the Earth. Even modest reductions in logical mass can have a significant impact because it also reduces the packing burden. NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems' Logistics Reduction Project is developing technologies that can directly reduce the mass and volume of crew clothing and metabolic waste collection. Also, cargo bags have been developed that can be reconfigured for crew outfitting and trash processing technologies to increase habitable volume and improve protection against solar storm events are under development. Additionally, Mars class missions are sufficiently distant that even logistics management without resupply can be problematic due to the communication time delay with Earth. Although exploration vehicles are launched with all consumables and logistics in a defined configuration, the configuration continually changes as the mission progresses. Traditionally significant ground and crew time has been required to understand the evolving configuration and locate misplaced items. For key mission events and unplanned contingencies, the crew will not be able to rely on the ground for logistics localization assistance. NASA has been developing a radio frequency identification autonomous logistics management system to reduce crew time for general inventory and enable greater crew self-response to unplanned events when a wide range of items may need to be located in a very short time period. This paper provides a status of the technologies being developed and there mission benefits for exploration missions.

  12. Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daou, D.

    2017-09-01

    The Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx) supports the formulation and development of science investigations that require a spaceflight mission that can be accomplished using small spacecraft. SIMPLEx is responsive to the goals of the Planetary Science Division, as described in the 2014 NASA Science Plan. This presentation will discuss the NASA Planetary Science Divisions SIMPLEx initiative and provide a status update on the first cadre of selected investigations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers have accumulated airborne dust on different types of permanent magnets. Images of these magnets document the dynamics of dust capture and removal over time. The strongly magnetic subset of airborne dust appears dark brown to black in Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images...... show that some of the iron in magnetite is substituted by titanium and chromium. The good correlation of the amount of calcium and sulfur in the dust may be caused by the presence of a calcium sulfate related phase. The overall mineralogical composition points to a basaltic origin of the airborne dust...

  15. Logistics Reduction Technologies for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broyan, James L., Jr.; Ewert, Michael K.; Fink, Patrick W.

    2014-01-01

    Human exploration missions under study are limited by the launch mass capacity of existing and planned launch vehicles. The logistical mass of crew items is typically considered separate from the vehicle structure, habitat outfitting, and life support systems. Although mass is typically the focus of exploration missions, due to its strong impact on launch vehicle and habitable volume for the crew, logistics volume also needs to be considered. NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Logistics Reduction and Repurposing (LRR) Project is developing six logistics technologies guided by a systems engineering cradle-to-grave approach to enable after-use crew items to augment vehicle systems. Specifically, AES LRR is investigating the direct reduction of clothing mass, the repurposing of logistical packaging, the use of autonomous logistics management technologies, the processing of spent crew items to benefit radiation shielding and water recovery, and the conversion of trash to propulsion gases. Reduction of mass has a corresponding and significant impact to logistical volume. The reduction of logistical volume can reduce the overall pressurized vehicle mass directly, or indirectly benefit the mission by allowing for an increase in habitable volume during the mission. The systematic implementation of these types of technologies will increase launch mass efficiency by enabling items to be used for secondary purposes and improve the habitability of the vehicle as mission durations increase. Early studies have shown that the use of advanced logistics technologies can save approximately 20 m(sup 3) of volume during transit alone for a six-person Mars conjunction class mission.

  16. Principal Components Analysis of Reflectance Spectra Returned by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, C. M.; Cohen, Barbara A.

    2010-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has spent over six years exploring the Martian surface near its landing site at Meridiani Planum. Meridiani bedrock observed by the rover is largely characterized by sulfate-rich sandstones and hematite spherules, recording evidence of ancient aqueous environments [1]. The region is a deflationary surface, allowing hematite spherules, fragments of bedrock, and "cobbles" of foreign origin to collect loosely on the surface. These cobbles may be meteorites (e.g., Barberton, Heat Shield Rock, Santa Catarina) [2], or rock fragments of exotic composition derived from adjacent terranes or from the subsurface and delivered to Meridiani Planum as impact ejecta [3]. The cobbles provide a way to better understand Martian meteorites and the lithologic diversity of Meridiani Planum by examining the various rock types located there. In the summer of 2007, a global dust storm on Mars effectively disabled Opportunity's Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), which served as the Athena Science Team s primary tool for remotely identifying rocks of interest on a tactical timescale for efficient rover planning. While efforts are ongoing to recover use of the Mini-TES, the team is currently limited to identifying rocks of interest by visual inspection of images returned from Opportunity's Panoramic Camera (Pancam). This study builds off of previous efforts to characterize cobbles at Meridiani Planum using a database of reflectance spectra extracted from Pancam 13-Filter (13F) images [3]. We analyzed the variability of rock spectra in this database and identified physical characteristics of Martian rocks that could potentially account for the observed variance. By understanding such trends, we may be able to distinguish between rock types at Meridiani Planum and regain the capability to remotely identify locally unique rocks.

  17. The development of a virtual camera system for astronaut-rover planetary exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Donald W; Boy, Guy A

    2012-01-01

    A virtual assistant is being developed for use by astronauts as they use rovers to explore the surface of other planets. This interactive database, called the Virtual Camera (VC), is an interactive database that allows the user to have better situational awareness for exploration. It can be used for training, data analysis and augmentation of actual surface exploration. This paper describes the development efforts and Human-Computer Interaction considerations for implementing a first-generation VC on a tablet mobile computer device. Scenarios for use will be presented. Evaluation and success criteria such as efficiency in terms of processing time and precision situational awareness, learnability, usability, and robustness will also be presented. Initial testing and the impact of HCI design considerations of manipulation and improvement in situational awareness using a prototype VC will be discussed.

  18. Trajectory Design Considerations for Exploration Mission 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawn, Timothy F.; Gutkowski, Jeffrey P.; Batcha, Amelia L.; Williams, Jacob; Pedrotty, Samuel M.

    2018-01-01

    Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) will be the first mission to send an uncrewed Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) to cislunar space in the fall of 2019. EM-1 was originally conceived as a lunar free-return mission, but was later changed to a Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO) mission as a precursor to the Asteroid Redirect Mission. To understand the required mission performance (i.e., propellant requirement), a series of trajectory optimization runs was conducted using JSC's Copernicus spacecraft trajectory optimization tool. In order for the runs to be done in a timely manner, it was necessary to employ a parallelization approach on a computing cluster using a new trajectory scan tool written in Python. Details of the scan tool are provided and how it is used to perform the scans and post-process the results. Initially, a scan of daily due east launched EM-1 DRO missions in 2018 was made. Valid mission opportunities are ones that do not exceed the useable propellant available to perform the required burns. The initial scan data showed the propellant and delta-V performance patterns for each launch period. As questions were raised from different subsystems (e.g., power, thermal, communications, flight operations, etc.), the mission parameters or data that were of interest to them were added to the scan output data file. The additional data includes: (1) local launch and landing times in relation to sunrise and sunset, (2) length of eclipse periods during the in-space portion of the mission, (3) Earth line of sight from cislunar space, (4) Deep Space Network field of view looking towards cislunar space, and (5) variation of the downrange distance from Earth entry interface to splashdown. Mission design trades can also be performed based on the information that the additional data shows. For example, if the landing is in darkness, but the recovery operations team desires a landing in daylight, then an analysis is performed to determine how to change the mission design

  19. Identifying mechanical property parameters of planetary soil using in-situ data obtained from exploration rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Liang; Gao, Haibo; Liu, Zhen; Deng, Zongquan; Liu, Guangjun

    2015-12-01

    Identifying the mechanical property parameters of planetary soil based on terramechanics models using in-situ data obtained from autonomous planetary exploration rovers is both an important scientific goal and essential for control strategy optimization and high-fidelity simulations of rovers. However, identifying all the terrain parameters is a challenging task because of the nonlinear and coupling nature of the involved functions. Three parameter identification methods are presented in this paper to serve different purposes based on an improved terramechanics model that takes into account the effects of slip, wheel lugs, etc. Parameter sensitivity and coupling of the equations are analyzed, and the parameters are grouped according to their sensitivity to the normal force, resistance moment and drawbar pull. An iterative identification method using the original integral model is developed first. In order to realize real-time identification, the model is then simplified by linearizing the normal and shearing stresses to derive decoupled closed-form analytical equations. Each equation contains one or two groups of soil parameters, making step-by-step identification of all the unknowns feasible. Experiments were performed using six different types of single-wheels as well as a four-wheeled rover moving on planetary soil simulant. All the unknown model parameters were identified using the measured data and compared with the values obtained by conventional experiments. It is verified that the proposed iterative identification method provides improved accuracy, making it suitable for scientific studies of soil properties, whereas the step-by-step identification methods based on simplified models require less calculation time, making them more suitable for real-time applications. The models have less than 10% margin of error comparing with the measured results when predicting the interaction forces and moments using the corresponding identified parameters.

  20. Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids for the Exploration of Small Solar System Bodies Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of this effort is to develop a mission architecture that allows the systematic and affordable in situ exploration of small Solar System bodies (such...

  1. Trailblazing Medicine Sustaining Explorers During Interplanetary Missions

    CERN Document Server

    Seedhouse, Erik

    2011-01-01

    To prepare for the day when astronauts leave low-Earth orbit for long-duration exploration missions, space medicine experts must develop a thorough understanding of the effects of microgravity on the human body, as well as ways of mitigating them. To gain a complete understanding of the effects of space on the human body and to create tools and technologies required for successful exploration, space medicince will become an increasingly collaborative discipline incorporating the skills of physicians, biomedical scientists, engineers, and mission planners. Trailblazing Medicine examines the future of space medicine in relation to human space exploration; describes what is necessary to keep a crew alive in space, including the use of surgical robots, surface-based telemedicine, and remote emergency care; discusses bioethical problems such as euthanasia, sex, and precautionary surgery; investigates the medical challenges faced by interplanetary astronauts; details the process of human hibernation.

  2. The Ionospheric Connection Explorer Mission: Mission Goals and Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immel, T. J.; England, S. L.; Mende, S. B.; Heelis, R. A.; Englert, C. R.; Edelstein, J.; Frey, H. U.; Korpela, E. J.; Taylor, E. R.; Craig, W. W.; Harris, S. E.; Bester, M.; Bust, G. S.; Crowley, G.; Forbes, J. M.; Gérard, J.-C.; Harlander, J. M.; Huba, J. D.; Hubert, B.; Kamalabadi, F.; Makela, J. J.; Maute, A. I.; Meier, R. R.; Raftery, C.; Rochus, P.; Siegmund, O. H. W.; Stephan, A. W.; Swenson, G. R.; Frey, S.; Hysell, D. L.; Saito, A.; Rider, K. A.; Sirk, M. M.

    2018-02-01

    The Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, is a new NASA Explorer mission that will explore the boundary between Earth and space to understand the physical connection between our world and our space environment. This connection is made in the ionosphere, which has long been known to exhibit variability associated with the sun and solar wind. However, it has been recognized in the 21st century that equally significant changes in ionospheric conditions are apparently associated with energy and momentum propagating upward from our own atmosphere. ICON's goal is to weigh the competing impacts of these two drivers as they influence our space environment. Here we describe the specific science objectives that address this goal, as well as the means by which they will be achieved. The instruments selected, the overall performance requirements of the science payload and the operational requirements are also described. ICON's development began in 2013 and the mission is on track for launch in 2018. ICON is developed and managed by the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, with key contributions from several partner institutions.

  3. Photogrammetric Processing of Rover Images by example of NASAs MER Mission Data

    OpenAIRE

    Peters, O.; Scholten, F.; Oberst, J.

    2011-01-01

    We have developed a photogrammetric processing scheme for planetary rover image data which involves several main steps: dense image matching, improvement of orientation, and 3d-reconstruction. The first step uses DLR matching software which originally was built for matching orbital imagery [1]. The main problem with close range imagery is the wide range of disparities caused by the varying distances to the surface in the foreground and in the background. If not specifically dealt with, th...

  4. Scientific Objectives of China Chang E 4 CE-4 Lunar Far-side Exploration Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hongbo; Zeng, Xingguo; Chen, Wangli

    2017-10-01

    China has achieved great success in the recently CE-1~CE-3 lunar missions, and in the year of 2018, China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) is going to launch the CE-4 mission. CE-4 satellite is the backup satellite of CE-3, so that it also consists of a Lander and a Rover. However, CE-4 is the first mission designed to detect the far side of the Moon in human lunar exploration history. So the biggest difference between CE-4 and CE-3 is that it will be equipped with a relay satellite in Earth-Moon-L2 Point for Earth-Moon Communication. And the scientific payloads carried on the Lander and Rover will also be different. It has been announced by the Chinese government that CE-4 mission will be equipped with some new international cooperated scientific payloads, such as the Low Frequency Radio Detector from Holland, Lunar Neutron and Radiation Dose Detector from Germany, Neutral Atom Detector from Sweden, and Lunar Miniature Optical Imaging Sounder from Saudi Arabia. The main scientific objective of CE-4 is to provide scientific data for lunar far side research, including: 1)general spatial environmental study of lunar far side;2)general research on the surface, shallow layer and deep layer of lunar far side;3)detection of low frequency radio on lunar far side using Low Frequency Radio Detector, which would be the first time of using such frequency band in lunar exploration history .

  5. INTEGRITY -- Integrated Human Exploration Mission Simulation Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henninger, D.; Tri, T.; Daues, K.

    It is proposed to develop a high -fidelity ground facil ity to carry out long-duration human exploration mission simulations. These would not be merely computer simulations - they would in fact comprise a series of actual missions that just happen to stay on earth. These missions would include all elements of an actual mission, using actual technologies that would be used for the real mission. These missions would also include such elements as extravehicular activities, robotic systems, telepresence and teleoperation, surface drilling technology--all using a simulated planetary landscape. A sequence of missions would be defined that get progressively longer and more robust, perhaps a series of five or six missions over a span of 10 to 15 years ranging in durat ion from 180 days up to 1000 days. This high-fidelity ground facility would operate hand-in-hand with a host of other terrestrial analog sites such as the Antarctic, Haughton Crater, and the Arizona desert. Of course, all of these analog mission simulations will be conducted here on earth in 1-g, and NASA will still need the Shuttle and ISS to carry out all the microgravity and hypogravity science experiments and technology validations. The proposed missions would have sufficient definition such that definitive requirements could be derived from them to serve as direction for all the program elements of the mission. Additionally, specific milestones would be established for the "launch" date of each mission so that R&D programs would have both good requirements and solid milestones from which to build their implementation plans. Mission aspects that could not be directly incorporated into the ground facility would be simulated via software. New management techniques would be developed for evaluation in this ground test facility program. These new techniques would have embedded metrics which would allow them to be continuously evaluated and adjusted so that by the time the sequence of missions is completed

  6. A multitasking behavioral control system for the Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, P.

    1994-01-01

    An alternative methodology for designing an autonomous navigation and control system is discussed. This generalized hybrid system is based on a less sequential and less anthropomorphic approach than that used in the more traditional artificial intelligence (AI) technique. The architecture is designed to allow both synchronous and asynchronous operations between various behavior modules. This is accomplished by intertask communications channels which implement each behavior module and each interconnection node as a stand-alone task. The proposed design architecture allows for construction of hybrid systems which employ both subsumption and traditional AI techniques as well as providing for a teleoperator's interface. Implementation of the architecture is planned for the prototype Robotic All Terrain Lunar Explorer Rover (RATLER) which is described briefly.

  7. A multitasking behavioral control system for the Robotic All-Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, Paul

    1993-01-01

    An approach for a robotic control system which implements so called 'behavioral' control within a realtime multitasking architecture is proposed. The proposed system would attempt to ameliorate some of the problems noted by some researchers when implementing subsumptive or behavioral control systems, particularly with regard to multiple processor systems and realtime operations. The architecture is designed to allow synchronous operations between various behavior modules by taking advantage of a realtime multitasking system's intertask communications channels, and by implementing each behavior module and each interconnection node as a stand-alone task. The potential advantages of this approach over those previously described in the field are discussed. An implementation of the architecture is planned for a prototype Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) currently under development and is briefly described.

  8. Principal Components Analysis of Reflectance Spectra from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, C. M.; Cohen, B. A.

    2010-01-01

    In the summer of 2007 a global dust storm on Mars effectively disabled Opportunity's Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), the primary instrument used by the Athena Science Team to identify locally unique rocks on the Martian surface. The science team needs another way to distinguish interesting rocks from their surroundings on a tactical timescale. This study was designed to develop the ability to identify locally unique rocks on the Martian surface remotely using the Mars Exploration Rovers' Panoramica Camera (PanCam) instrument. Meridiani bedrock observed by Opportunity is largely characterized by sulfate-rich sandstones and hematite spherules. Additionally, loose fragments of bedrock and "cobbles" of foreign origin collet on the surface, some of which are interpreted as meteorites.

  9. Clear Evidence for Hydrothermal Deposits within Gusev Crater Established by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, A. S.; Gellert, R.; Morris, R. V.; Clark, B. C.; Athena Science Team

    2011-12-01

    The Spirit rover ended its science mission on the martian surface after operating for 2210 sols and covering over 7.7 km across geologically diverse terrain. A multitude of discoveries have been made along the traverse, including compelling evidence for past hydrothermal activity at the surface of Mars. Several light-toned deposits excavated by the rover wheels were analyzed in detail by the Mössbauer and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometers (APXS), which determined that they are dominated by ferric sulfates in association with magnesium sulfates, silica and occasionally calcium sulfates and phosphates. Based on modeling of scatter peaks within the APXS data, these samples are hydrated and contain up to 18 wt% water. They also exhibit the chemical signatures of nearby rocks (e.g. corresponding phosphate enrichments) and have a Fe:Mn ratio far from the value measured for the majority of samples analyzed by the rovers, clearly indicative of aqueous interactions. Variability in the deposits over centimeter to meter scales indicates that these precipitates did not develop under large-scale equilibrium conditions. Based upon the observations of up to 35 wt% SO3 and the abundance of measured cations in expected oxidation states, the occurrence of elemental sulfur, sulfuric acid, or sulfides cannot be ruled out. The likely mechanisms for the formation of these deposits involve sulfur-rich hydrothermal fluids and volcanic vapors reaching the surface and producing fumarolic condensates. In close association with the samples containing abundant hydrated ferric sulfates are other samples which are dominated by silica. In one example, the elemental chemistry data shows over 90 wt% SiO2. Elevated titanium concentrations in these silica-rich samples are suggestive of interactions with acidic fluids or vapors resulting in preferential retention of the least mobile elements. This is consistent with the acid sulfate processes indicated by the occurrence of the ferric sulfates

  10. WATER ON MARS: EVIDENCE FROM MER MISSION RESULTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2006-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission landed two rovers on Mars, equipped with a highly-capable suite of science instruments. The Spirit rover landed on the inside Gusev Crater on January 5, 2004, and the Opportunity rover three weeks later on Meridiani Planum. This paper summarizes some of the findings from the MER rovers related to the NASA science strategy of investigating past and present water on Mars.

  11. Multimodal Platform Control for Robotic Planetary Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgensen, Charles; Betts, Bradley J.

    2006-01-01

    Planetary exploration missions pose unique problems for astronauts seeking to coordinate and control exploration vehicles. These include working in an environment filled with abrasive dust (e.g., regolith compositions), a desire to have effective hands-free communication, and a desire to have effective analog control of robotic platforms or end effectors. Requirements to operate in pressurized suits are particularly problematic due to the increased bulk and stiffness of gloves. As a result, researchers are considering alternative methods to perform fine movement control, for example capitalizing on higher-order voice actuation commands to perform control tasks. This paper presents current research at NASA s Neuro Engineering Laboratory that explores one method-direct bioelectric interpretation-for handling some of these problems. In this type of control system, electromyographic (EMG) signals are used both to facilitate understanding of acoustic speech in pressure-regulated suits 2nd to provide smooth analog control of a robotic platform, all without requiring fine-gained hand movement. This is accomplished through the use of non-invasive silver silver-chloride electrodes located on the forearm, throat, and lower chin, positioned so as to receive electrical activity originating from the muscles during contraction. For direct analog platform control, a small Personal Exploration Rover (PER) built by Carnegie Mellon University Robotics is controlled using forearm contraction duration and magnitudes, measured using several EMG channels. Signal processing is used to translate these signals into directional platform rotation rates and translational velocities. higher order commands were generated by differential contraction patterns called "clench codes."

  12. Vibroacoustic analysis and experimental validation of the structural responses of NASA Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft due to acoustic launch load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, H. J.

    2003-01-01

    Structural responses of a spacecraft during liftoff are dominated by the intense acoustic pressure field imping on the exterior of the launch vehicle. Statistical Energy Analysis model of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft has been developed and the SEA model was analyzed to predict vibroacoustic responses of the spacecraft under the diffuse acoustic loading condition.

  13. CLUPI, a high-performance imaging system on the rover of the 2018 mission to discover biofabrics on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, J.-L.; Westall, F.; Hofmann, B. A.; Spray, J. G.; Cockell, C.; Kempe, S.; Griffiths, A. D.; Coradini, A.; Colangeli, L.; Koschny, D.; Pullan, D.; Föllmi, K.; Diamond, L.; Josset, M.; Javaux, E.; Esposito, F.

    2011-10-01

    The scientific objectives of the 2018 ExoMars rover mission are to search for traces of past or present life and to characterise the near-sub surface. Both objectives require study of the rock/regolith materials in terms of structure, textures, mineralogy, and elemental and organic composition. The 2018 ExoMars rover payload consists of a suite of complementary instruments designed to reach these objectives. CLUPI, the high-performance colour close up imager, on board the 2018 ExoMars Rover plays an important role in attaining the mission objectives: it is the equivalent of the hand lens that no geologist is without when undertaking field work. CLUPI is a powerful, highly integrated miniaturized (smart assembly in titanium that can sustain a wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions… In a typical field scenario, the geologist will use his/her eyes to make an overview of an area and the outcrops within it to determine sites of particular interest for more detailed study. In the ExoMars scenario, the PanCam wide angle cameras (WACS) will be used for this task. After having made a preliminary general evaluation, the geologist will approach a particular outcrop for closer observation of structures at the decimetre to subdecimeter scale (ExoMars' High Resolution Camera) before finally getting very close up to the surface with a hand lens (ExoMars' CLUPI), and/or taking a hand specimen, for detailed observation of textures and minerals. Using structural, textural and preliminary compositional analysis, the geologist identifies the materials and makes a decision as to whether they are of sufficient interest to be subsampled for laboratory analysis (using the ExoMars drill and laboratory instruments). Given the time and energy expense necessary for drilling and analysing samples in the rover laboratory, preliminary screening of the materials to chose those most likely to be of interest is

  14. Aerokats and Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bland, G.; Miles, T.; Nagchaudhuri, A.; Henry, A.; Coronado, P.; Smith, S.; Bydlowski, D.; Gaines, J.; Hartman, C.

    2015-12-01

    Two novel tools are being developed for team-based environmental and science observations suitable for use in Middle School through Undergraduate settings. Partnerships with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center are critical for this work, and the concepts and practices are aimed at providing affordable and easy-to-field hardware to the classroom. The Advanced Earth Research Observation Kites and Atmospheric and Terrestrial Sensors (AEROKATS) system brings affordable and easy-to-field remote sensing and in-situ measurements within reach for local-scale Earth observations and data gathering. Using commercial kites, a wide variety of sensors, and a new NASA technology, AEROKATS offers a quick-to-learn method to gather airborne remote sensing and in-situ data for classroom analysis. The Remotely Operated Vehicle for Education and Research (ROVER) project introduces team building for mission operations and research, using modern technologies for exploring aquatic environments. ROVER projects use hobby-type radio control hardware and common in-water instrumentation, to highlight the numerous roles and responsibilities needed in real-world research missions, such as technology, operations, and science disciplines. NASA GSFC's partnerships have enabled the fielding of several AEROKATS and ROVER prototypes, and results suggest application of these methods is feasible and engaging.

  15. The DArk Matter Particle Explorer mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, J.; Ambrosi, G.; An, Q.; Asfandiyarov, R.; Azzarello, P.; Bernardini, P.; Bertucci, B.; Cai, M. S.; Caragiulo, M.; Chen, D. Y.; Chen, H. F.; Chen, J. L.; Chen, W.; Cui, M. Y.; Cui, T. S.; D'Amone, A.; De Benedittis, A.; De Mitri, I.; Di Santo, M.; Dong, J. N.; Dong, T. K.; Dong, Y. F.; Dong, Z. X.; Donvito, G.; Droz, D.; Duan, K. K.; Duan, J. L.; Duranti, M.; D'Urso, D.; Fan, R. R.; Fan, Y. Z.; Fang, F.; Feng, C. Q.; Feng, L.; Fusco, P.; Gallo, V.; Gan, F. J.; Gan, W. Q.; Gao, M.; Gao, S. S.; Gargano, F.; Gong, K.; Gong, Y. Z.; Guo, J. H.; Hu, Y. M.; Huang, G. S.; Huang, Y. Y.; Ionica, M.; Jiang, D.; Jiang, W.; Jin, X.; Kong, J.; Lei, S. J.; Li, S.; Li, X.; Li, W. L.; Li, Y.; Liang, Y. F.; Liang, Y. M.; Liao, N. H.; Liu, Q. Z.; Liu, H.; Liu, J.; Liu, S. B.; Liu, Q. Z.; Liu, W. Q.; Liu, Y.; Loparco, F.; Lü, J.; Ma, M.; Ma, P. X.; Ma, S. Y.; Ma, T.; Ma, X. Q.; Ma, X. Y.; Marsella, G.; Mazziotta, M. N.; Mo, D.; Miao, T. T.; Niu, X. Y.; Pohl, M.; Peng, X. Y.; Peng, W. X.; Qiao, R.; Rao, J. N.; Salinas, M. M.; Shang, G. Z.; Shen, W. H.; Shen, Z. Q.; Shen, Z. T.; Song, J. X.; Su, H.; Su, M.; Sun, Z. Y.; Surdo, A.; Teng, X. J.; Tian, X. B.; Tykhonov, A.; Vagelli, V.; Vitillo, S.; Wang, C.; Wang, Chi; Wang, H.; Wang, H. Y.; Wang, J. Z.; Wang, L. G.; Wang, Q.; Wang, S.; Wang, X. H.; Wang, X. L.; Wang, Y. F.; Wang, Y. P.; Wang, Y. Z.; Wen, S. C.; Wang, Z. M.; Wei, D. M.; Wei, J. J.; Wei, Y. F.; Wu, D.; Wu, J.; Wu, S. S.; Wu, X.; Xi, K.; Xia, Z. Q.; Xin, Y. L.; Xu, H. T.; Xu, Z. L.; Xu, Z. Z.; Xue, G. F.; Yang, H. B.; Yang, J.; Yang, P.; Yang, Y. Q.; Yang, Z. L.; Yao, H. J.; Yu, Y. H.; Yuan, Q.; Yue, C.; Zang, J. J.; Zhang, C.; Zhang, D. L.; Zhang, F.; Zhang, J. B.; Zhang, J. Y.; Zhang, J. Z.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, P. F.; Zhang, S. X.; Zhang, W. Z.; Zhang, Y.; Zhang, Y. J.; Zhang, Y. Q.; Zhang, Y. L.; Zhang, Y. P.; Zhang, Z.; Zhang, Z. Y.; Zhao, H.; Zhao, H. Y.; Zhao, X. F.; Zhou, C. Y.; Zhou, Y.; Zhu, X.; Zhu, Y.; Zimmer, S.

    2017-10-01

    The DArk Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), one of the four scientific space science missions within the framework of the Strategic Pioneer Program on Space Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is a general purpose high energy cosmic-ray and gamma-ray observatory, which was successfully launched on December 17th, 2015 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The DAMPE scientific objectives include the study of galactic cosmic rays up to ∼ 10 TeV and hundreds of TeV for electrons/gammas and nuclei respectively, and the search for dark matter signatures in their spectra. In this paper we illustrate the layout of the DAMPE instrument, and discuss the results of beam tests and calibrations performed on ground. Finally we present the expected performance in space and give an overview of the mission key scientific goals.

  16. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dagle, J.E.; Coomes, E.P.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Bamberger, J.A.; Bates, J.M.; Chiu, M.A.; Dodge, R.E.; Wise, J.A.

    1992-03-01

    Manned exploration of our nearest neighbors in the solar systems is the primary goal of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An integral part of any manned lunar or planetary outpost will be a system for manned excursions over the surface of the planet. This report presents a preliminary design for a lunar rover capable of supporting four astronauts on long-duration excursions across the lunar landscape. The distinguishing feature of this rover design is that power is provided to rover via a laser beam from an independent orbiting power satellite. This system design provides very high power availability with minimal mass on the rover vehicle. With this abundance of power, and with a relatively small power-system mass contained in the rover, the vehicle can perform an impressive suite of mission-related activity. The rover might be used as the first outpost for the lunar surface (i.e., a mobile base). A mobile base has the advantage of providing extensive mission activities without the expense of establishing a fixed base. This concept has been referred to as Rove First.'' A manned over, powered through a laser beam, has been designed for travel on the lunar surface for round-trip distances in the range of 1000 km, although the actual distance traveled is not crucial since the propulsion system does not rely on energy storage. The life support system can support a 4-person crew for up to 30 days, and ample power is available for mission-related activities. The 8000-kg rover has 30 kW of continuous power available via a laser transmitter located at the Earth-moon L1 libration point, about 50,000 km above the surface of the moon. This rover, which is designed to operate in either day or night conditions, has the flexibility to perform a variety of power-intensive missions. 24 refs.

  17. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dagle, J.E.; Coomes, E.P.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Bamberger, J.A.; Bates, J.M.; Chiu, M.A.; Dodge, R.E.; Wise, J.A.

    1992-03-01

    Manned exploration of our nearest neighbors in the solar systems is the primary goal of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An integral part of any manned lunar or planetary outpost will be a system for manned excursions over the surface of the planet. This report presents a preliminary design for a lunar rover capable of supporting four astronauts on long-duration excursions across the lunar landscape. The distinguishing feature of this rover design is that power is provided to rover via a laser beam from an independent orbiting power satellite. This system design provides very high power availability with minimal mass on the rover vehicle. With this abundance of power, and with a relatively small power-system mass contained in the rover, the vehicle can perform an impressive suite of mission-related activity. The rover might be used as the first outpost for the lunar surface (i.e., a mobile base). A mobile base has the advantage of providing extensive mission activities without the expense of establishing a fixed base. This concept has been referred to as ``Rove First.`` A manned over, powered through a laser beam, has been designed for travel on the lunar surface for round-trip distances in the range of 1000 km, although the actual distance traveled is not crucial since the propulsion system does not rely on energy storage. The life support system can support a 4-person crew for up to 30 days, and ample power is available for mission-related activities. The 8000-kg rover has 30 kW of continuous power available via a laser transmitter located at the Earth-moon L1 libration point, about 50,000 km above the surface of the moon. This rover, which is designed to operate in either day or night conditions, has the flexibility to perform a variety of power-intensive missions. 24 refs.

  18. Key Recent Scientific Results from the Opportunity Rover's Exploration of Endeavour Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Gellert, R.; Herkenhoff, K.; Mittlefehldt, D.; Crumpler, L.; McLennan, S.; Farrand, W. H.; Joliff, B. L.; Morris, R. V.

    2015-01-01

    The Opportunity Rover is currently in its 11th year of operations, exploring the rim of the approximately 22 km wide Noachian-age Endeavour Crater. Opportunity spent its 5th winter season in Cook Haven, a gentle swale along Murray Ridge. Two small rocks serendipitously overturned by rover wheel motions show evidence for aqueous precipitation of sulfates, and interaction with a strong oxidant (e.g., O2) to form a thin, high valence state Mn oxide coating. After the winter, Opportunity headed south to Cape Tribulation and explored Shoemaker formation impact breccias, finding numerous Ca-sulfate veins cutting across outcrops. A key target for Opportunity's measurements has been the Spirit of Saint Louis crater (SoSL), which is approximately 25 m wide, oval in plan view, shallow, flat-floored, and has a slightly raised rim. SoSL crater is surrounded by an apron of bright, polygonally-shaped outcrops and is superimposed on a gentle swale in Cape Tribulation. Rocks in a thin reddish zone on the rim are enriched in hematite, Si, and Ge, and depleted in Fe, relative to surrounding rocks. Apron rocks include an outcrop also enriched in Si and Ge, and slightly depleted in Fe. In general rocks in the crater and apron have elevated S relative to Shoemaker formation breccias, tracking values observed in the Cook Haven and the Hueytown (fracture running perpendicular to Cape Tribulation) outcrops. SoSL crater lies just to the west of Marathon Valley, a key target for exploration by Opportunity because five separate CRISM observations indicate the presence of Fe/Mg smectites on the upper valley floor. Opportunity data show that low relief, relatively bright polygonal outcrops dominate the valley floor where not covered by scree and soil shed from surrounding walls. Initial reconnaissance shows that the outcrops are breccias with compositions similar to the typical SoSL crater apron and floor rocks, although only the very upper portion of the valley has been explored as of August

  19. Design Concept for a Nuclear Reactor-Powered Mars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, John; Poston, Dave; Lipinski, Ron

    2007-01-01

    A report presents a design concept for an instrumented robotic vehicle (rover) to be used on a future mission of exploration of the planet Mars. The design incorporates a nuclear fission power system to provide long range, long life, and high power capabilities unachievable through the use of alternative solar or radioisotope power systems. The concept described in the report draws on previous rover designs developed for the 2009 Mars Science laboratory (MSL) mission to minimize the need for new technology developments.

  20. Two Years Onboard the MER Opportunity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estlin, Tara; Anderson, Robert C.; Bornstein, Benjamin; Burl, Michael; Castano, Rebecca; Gaines, Daniel; Judd, Michele; Thompson, David R.

    2012-01-01

    The Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) system provides automated data collection for planetary rovers. AEGIS is currently being used onboard the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission's Opportunity to provide autonomous targeting of the MER Panoramic camera. Prior to AEGIS, targeted data was collected in a manual fashion where targets were manually identified in images transmitted to Earth and the rover had to remain in the same location for one to several communication cycles. AEGIS enables targeted data to be rapidly acquired with no delays for ground communication. Targets are selected by AEGIS through the use of onboard data analysis techniques that are guided by scientist-specified objectives. This paper provides an overview of the how AEGIS has been used on the Opportunity rover, focusing on usage that occurred during a 21 kilometer historic trek to the Mars Endeavour crater.

  1. Study of space reactors for exploration missions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cliquet, Elisa; Ruault, Jean-Marc; Masson, Frederic, E-mail: elisa.cliquet@cnes.fr, E-mail: frederic.masson@cnes.fr [Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Paris (France); Roux, Jean-Pierre; Paris, Nicolas; Cazale, Brice; Manifacier, Laurent, E-mail: jean-pierre.roux@areva.com [AREVA TA, Aix en Provence, (France); Poinot-Salanon, Christine, E-mail: christine.poinot@cea.fr [Comissariado a l' Energie Atomique et Aux Energies alternatives (CEA), Paris (France)

    2013-07-01

    Nuclear propulsion has been studied for many decades. The power density of nuclear fission is much higher than chemical process, and for missions to outer solar system requiring several hundred of kilowatts, or for flexible manned missions to Mars requiring several megawatts, nuclear electric propulsion might be the only option offering a reasonable mass in low earth orbit. Despite the existence of low power experiences - SNAP10 in the 60's or Buk/Topaz in the 60-80's - no high power reactor has been developed: investment cost, long term time frame, high technological challenges and radioactive hazards are the main challenges we must overtake. However, it seems reasonable to look at the technical challenges that have to be overcome for a next generation of nuclear electric systems for space exploration. This paper will present some recent studies going on in France, on space reactors for exploration. Three classes of power have been considered: 10kWe, 100kWe, and several megawatts. Available data from previous studies and developments performed in Russia, USA], and Europe, have been collected and gave us a large overview of potential technical solutions. This was the starting point of a trade-off analysis aiming at the selection of the best options, with regards to the technological readiness level in France and Europe. The resulting preliminary designs will be presented and critical technologies needing maturation activities will be highlighted. (author)

  2. Key Recent Scientific Results from the Opportunity Rover's Exploration of Cape Tribulation, Endeavour Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Gellert, R.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Crumpler, L. S.; McLennan, S. M.; Farrand, W. H.; Jolliff, B. L.; Morris, R. V.

    2015-12-01

    The Opportunity Rover is in its 11th year of exploration, currently exploring the Cape Tribulation rim segment of the ~22 km wide Noachian Endeavour Crater and its tilted and fractured outcrops. A key target for Opportunity's measurements has been the Spirit of Saint Louis crater (SoSL), which is ~25 m wide, oval in plan view, shallow, flat-floored, and has a slightly raised rim. SoSL crater is surrounded by an apron of bright, polygonally-shaped outcrops and is superimposed on a gentle swale in Cape Tribulation. Rocks in a thin reddish zone on the rim are enriched in hematite, Si, and Ge, and depleted in Fe, relative to surrounding rocks. Apron rocks include an outcrop also enriched in Si and Ge, and slightly depleted in Fe. In general rocks in the crater and apron have elevated S levels relative to Shoemaker formation breccias, tracking values observed in the Cook Haven (gentle swale superimposed on Murray Ridge and site of Opportunity's 5th winter site) and the Hueytown fracture (running perpendicular to Cape Tribulation) outcrops. SoSL crater lies just to the west of Marathon Valley, a key target for exploration by Opportunity because five separate CRISM observations indicate the presence of Fe/Mg smectites on the upper valley floor. Opportunity data show that low relief, relatively bright, wind-scoured outcrops dominate the valley floor where not covered by scree and soil shed from surrounding walls. Initial reconnaissance shows that the outcrops are breccias with compositions similar to the typical SoSL crater apron and floor rocks, although only the very upper portion of the valley has been explored as of August 2015. Pervasive but modest aqueous alteration of Endeavour's rim is implied by the combination of CRISM and Opportunity data, providing insight into early aqueous processes dominated in this location by relatively low water to rock ratios, and at least in part associated with enhanced fluid flow along fractures.

  3. Potential Applications for Radioisotope Power Systems in Support of Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cataldo, Robert L.; Colozza, Anthony J.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2013-01-01

    Radioisotope power systems (RPS) for space applications have powered over 27 U.S. space systems, starting with Transit 4A and 4B in 1961, and more recently with the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity in August 2012. RPS enable missions with destinations far from the Sun with faint solar flux, on planetary surfaces with dense or dusty atmospheres, and at places with long eclipse periods where solar array sizes and energy storage mass become impractical. RPS could also provide an enabling capability in support of human exploration activities. It is envisioned that with the higher power needs of most human mission concepts, a high efficiency thermal-to-electric technology would be required such as the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope generator (ASRG). The ASRG should be capable of a four-fold improvement in efficiency over traditional thermoelectric RPS. While it may be impractical to use RPS as a main power source, many other applications could be considered, such as crewed pressurized rovers, in-situ resource production of propellants, back-up habitat power, drilling, any mobile or remote activity from the main base habitat, etc. This paper will identify potential applications and provide concepts that could be a practical extension of the current ASRG design in providing for robust and flexible use of RPS on human exploration missions.

  4. Mobile Payload Element (MPE): Concept study for a sample fetching rover for the ESA Lunar Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haarmann, R.; Jaumann, R.; Claasen, F.; Apfelbeck, M.; Klinkner, S.; Richter, L.; Schwendner, J.; Wolf, M.; Hofmann, P.

    2012-12-01

    In late 2010, the DLR Space Administration invited the German industry to submit a proposal for a study about a Mobile Payload Element (MPE), which could be a German national contribution to the ESA Lunar Lander Mission. Several spots in the south polar region of the moon come into consideration as landing site for this mission. All possible spots provide sustained periods of solar illumination, interrupted by darkness periods of several 10 h. The MPE is outlined to be a small, autonomous, innovative vehicle in the 10 kg class for scouting and sampling the environment in the vicinity of the lunar landing site. The novel capabilities of the MPE will be to acquire samples of lunar regolith from surface, subsurface as well as shadowed locations, define their geological context and bring them back to the lander. This will enable access to samples that are not contaminated by the lander descent propulsion system plumes to increase the chances of detecting any indigenous lunar volatiles contained within the samples. Kayser-Threde, as prime industrial contractor for Phase 0/A, has assembled for this study a team of German partners with relevant industrial and institutional competence in space robotics and lunar science. The primary scientific objective of the MPE is to acquire clearly documented samples and to bring them to the lander for analysis with the onboard Lunar Dust Analysis Package (L-DAP) and Lunar Volatile Resources Analysis Package (L-VRAP). Due to the unstable nature of volatiles, which are of particular scientific interest, the MPE design needs to provide a safe storage and transportation of the samples to the lander. The proposed MPE rover concept has a four-wheeled chassis configuration with active suspension, being a compromise between innovation and mass efficiency. The suspension chosen allows a compact stowage of the MPE on the lander as well as precise alignment of the solar generators and instruments. Since therefore no further complex mechanics are

  5. Human and Robotic Exploration Missions to Phobos Prior to Crewed Mars Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gernhardt, Michael L.; Chappell, Steven P.; Bekdash, Omar S.; Abercromby, Andrew F.

    2016-01-01

    from portable foot restraints or body restrain tethers in the vicinity of the habitat. Prototype structures were tested as part of NEEMO 20. PEVs would contain closed loop guidance and provide life support and consumables for two crew for 2 weeks plus reserves. The PEV has a cabin that uses the exploration atmosphere of 8.2 psi with 34% oxygen, enabling use of suit ports for rapid EVA with minimal oxygen prebreathe as well as dust control by keeping the suits outside the pressurized volume. When equipped with outriggers and control moment gyros, the PEV enables EVA tasks of up to 8 pounds of force application without the need to anchor. Tasks with higher force requirements can be performed with PEV propulsion providing the necessary thrust to react forces. Exploration of Phobos builds heavily from the developments of the cis-lunar proving ground, and significantly reduces Mars surface risk by facilitating the development and testing of habitats, MAVs, and pressurized rover cabins that are all Mars surface forward. A robotic precursor mission to Phobos and Deimos is also under consideration and would need to launch in 2022 to support a 2031 human Phobos mission.

  6. Nuclear Electric Propulsion Application: RASC Mission Robotic Exploration of Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Melissa L.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2004-01-01

    The following paper documents the mission and systems analysis portion of a study in which Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) is used as the in-space transportation system to send a series of robotic rovers and atmospheric science airplanes to Venus in the 2020 to 2030 timeframe. As part of the NASA RASC (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts) program, this mission analysis is meant to identify future technologies and their application to far reaching NASA missions. The NEP systems and mission analysis is based largely on current technology state of the art assumptions. This study looks specifically at the performance of the NEP transfer stage when sending a series of different payload package point design options to Venus orbit.

  7. Development, Integration and Utilization of Surface Nuclear Energy Sources for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.; Schmidt, George R.; Bragg-Sitton, Shannon; Hickman, Robert; Hissam, Andy; Houston, Vance; Martin, Jim; Mireles, Omar; Reid, Bob; Schneider, Todd

    2005-01-01

    Throughout the past five decades numerous studies have identified nuclear energy as an enhancing or enabling technology for human surface exploration missions. Nuclear energy sources were used to provide electricity on Apollo missions 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17, and on the Mars Viking landers. Nuclear energy sources were used to provide heat on the Pathfinder; Spirit, and Discovery rovers. Scenarios have been proposed that utilize -1 kWe radioisotope systems for early missions, followed by fission systems in the 10 - 30 kWe range when energy requirements increase. A fission energy source unit size of approximately 150 kWt has been proposed based on previous lunar and Mars base architecture studies. Such a unit could support both early and advanced bases through a building block approach.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, M.B.; Goetz, W.; Bertelsen, P.; Binau, C.S.; Folkmann, F.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hjollum, J.I.; Hviid, S.F.; Jensen, J.; Kinch, K.M.; Leer, K.; Madsen, D.E.; Merrison, J.; Olsen, M.; Arneson, H.M.; Bell, J.F.; Gellert, Ralf; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Johnson, M.J.; Klingelhofer, G.; McCartney, E.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Proton, J.B.; Rodionov, D.; Sims, M.; Squyres, S. W.; Wdowiak, T.; Yen, A. S.

    2009-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers have accumulated airborne dust on different types of permanent magnets. Images of these magnets document the dynamics of dust capture and removal over time. The strongly magnetic subset of airborne dust appears dark brown to black in Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images, while the weakly magnetic one is bright red. Images returned by the Microscopic Imager reveal the formation of magnetic chains diagnostic of magnetite-rich grains with substantial magnetization (>8 Am2 kg-1). On the basis of M??ssbauer spectra the dust contains magnetite, olivine, pyroxene, and nanophase oxides in varying proportions, depending on wind regime and landing site. The dust contains a larger amount of ferric iron (Fe3+/Fe tot ??? 0.6) than rocks in the Gusev plains (???0.1-0.2) or average Gusev soil (???0.3). Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer data of the dust show that some of the iron in magnetite is substituted by titanium and chromium. The good correlation of the amount of calcium and sulfur in the dust may be caused by the presence of a calcium sulfate related phase. The overall mineralogical composition points to a basaltic origin of the airborne dust, although some alteration has taken place as indicated by the large degree of oxidation. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. Meteorological predictions for Mars 2020 Exploration Rover high-priority landing sites throug MRAMS Mesoscale Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge; Rafkin, Scot C. R.

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) is used to predict meteorological conditions that are likely to be encountered by the Mars 2020 Exploration Rover at several proposed landing sites during entry, descent, and landing (EDL). The meteorology during the EDL window at most of the sites is dynamic. The intense heating of the lower atmosphere drives intense thermals and mesoscale thermal circulations. Moderate mean winds, wind shear, turbulence, and vertical air currents associated with convection are present and potentially hazardous to EDL [1]. Nine areas with specific high-priority landing ellipses of the 2020 Rover, are investigated: NE Syrtis, Nili Fossae, Nili Fossae Carbonates, Jezero Crater Delta, Holden Crater, McLaughlin Crater, Southwest Melas Basin, Mawrth Vallis and East Margaritifer Chloride. MRAMS was applied to the landing site regions using nested grids with a spacing of 330 meters on the innermost grid that is centered over each landing site. MRAMS is ideally suited for this investigation; the model is explicitly designed to simulate Mars' atmospheric thermal circulations at the mesoscale and smaller with realistic, high-resolution surface properties [2, 3]. Horizontal wind speeds, both vertical profiles and vertical cross-sections wind speeds, are studied. For some landing sites simulations, two example configurations -including and not including Hellas basin in the mother domain- were generated, in order to study how the basin affects the innermost grids circulations. Afternoon circulations at all sites pose some risk entry, descent, and landing. Most of the atmospheric hazards are not evident in current observational data and general circulation model simulations and can only be ascertained through mesoscale modeling of the region. Decide where to go first and then design a system that can tolerate the environment would greatly minimize risk. References: [1] Rafkin, S. C. R., and T. I. Michaels (2003), J. Geophys. Res., 108(E12

  10. Defining Medical Capabilities for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hailey, M.; Antonsen, E.; Blue, R.; Reyes, D.; Mulcahy, R.; Kerstman, E.; Bayuse, T.

    2018-01-01

    Exploration-class missions to the moon, Mars and beyond will require a significant change in medical capability from today's low earth orbit centric paradigm. Significant increases in autonomy will be required due to differences in duration, distance and orbital mechanics. Aerospace medicine and systems engineering teams are working together within ExMC to meet these challenges. Identifying exploration medical system needs requires accounting for planned and unplanned medical care as defined in the concept of operations. In 2017, the ExMC Clinicians group identified medical capabilities to feed into the Systems Engineering process, including: determining what and how to address planned and preventive medical care; defining an Accepted Medical Condition List (AMCL) of conditions that may occur and a subset of those that can be treated effectively within the exploration environment; and listing the medical capabilities needed to treat those conditions in the AMCL. This presentation will discuss the team's approach to addressing these issues, as well as how the outputs of the clinical process impact the systems engineering effort.

  11. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA's Kepler Mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-02

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85-90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system.

  12. 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.

  13. MEP (Mars Environment Package): toward a package for studying environmental conditions at the surface of Mars from future lander/rover missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefière, E; Bertaux, J-L; Berthelier, J-J; Cabane, M; Ciarletti, V; Durry, G; Forget, F; Hamelin, M; Leblanc, F; Menvielle, M; Gerasimov, M; Korablev, O; Linkin, S; Managadze, G; Jambon, A; Manhès, G; Lognonné, Ph; Agrinier, P; Cartigny, P; Giardini, D; Pike, T; Kofman, W; Herique, A; Coll, P; Person, A; Costard, F; Sarda, Ph; Paillou, Ph; Chaussidon, M; Marty, B; Robert, F; Maurice, S; Blanc, M; d'Uston, C; Sabroux, J-Ch; Pineau, J-F; Rochette, P

    2004-01-01

    In view to prepare Mars human exploration, it is necessary to promote and lead, at the international level, a highly interdisciplinary program, involving specialists of geochemistry, geophysics, atmospheric science, space weather, and biology. The goal of this program will be to elaborate concepts of individual instruments, then of integrated instrumental packages, able to collect exhaustive data sets of environmental parameters from future landers and rovers of Mars, and to favour the conditions of their implementation. Such a program is one of the most urgent need for preparing human exploration, in order to develop mitigation strategies aimed at ensuring the safety of human explorers, and minimizing risk for surface operations. A few main areas of investigation may be listed: particle and radiation environment, chemical composition of atmosphere, meteorology, chemical composition of dust, surface and subsurface material, water in the subsurface, physical properties of the soil, search for an hypothesized microbial activity, characterization of radio-electric properties of the Martian ionosphere. Scientists at the origin of the present paper, already involved at a high degree of responsibility in several Mars missions, and actively preparing in situ instrumentation for future landed platforms (Netlander--now cancelled, MSL-09), express their readiness to participate in both ESA/AURORA and NASA programs of Mars human exploration. They think that the formation of a Mars Environment working group at ESA, in the course of the AURORA definition phase, could act positively in favour of the program, by increasing its scientific cross-section and making it still more focused on human exploration. c2004 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

  14. The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogut, Alan J.; Chuss, David T.; Dotson, Jessie L.; Fixsen, Dale J.; Halpern, Mark; Hinshaw, Gary F.; Meyer, Stephan M.; Moseley, S. Harvey; Seiffert, Michael D.; Spergel, David N.; hide

    2011-01-01

    The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) is an Explorer-class mission to map the absolute intensity and linear polarization of the cosmic microwave background and diffuse astrophysical foregrounds over the full sky from frequencies 30 GHz to 6 THz (I cm to 50 I-tm wavelength). PIXIE uses a polarizing Michelson interferometer with 2.7 K optics to measure the difference spectrum between two orthogonal linear polarizations from two co-aligned beams. Either input can view either the sky or a temperature-controlled absolute reference blackbody calibrator. The multimoded optics and high etendu provide sensitivity comparable to kilo-pixel focal plane arrays, but with greatly expanded frequency coverage while using only 4 detectors total. PIXIE builds on the highly successful COBEIFIRAS design by adding large-area polarization-sensitive detectors whose fully symmetric optics are maintained in thermal equilibrium with the CMB. The highly symmetric nulled design provides redundant rejection of major sources of systematic uncertainty. The principal science goal is the detection and characterization of linear polarization from an inflationary epoch in the early universe, with tensor-to-scalar ratio r much less than 10(exp -3). PIXIE will also return a rich data set constraining physical processes ranging from Big Bang cosmology, reionization, and large-scale structure to the local interstellar medium. Keywords: cosmic microwave background, polarization, FTS, bolometer

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Zephyr: A Landsailing Rover for Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; Grantier, David

    2014-01-01

    With an average temperature of 450C and a corrosive atmosphere at a pressure of 90 bars, the surface of Venus is the most hostile environment of any planetary surface in the solar system. Exploring the surface of Venus would be an exciting goal, since Venus is a planet with significant scientific mysteries, and interesting geology and geophysics. Technology to operate at the environmental conditions of Venus is under development. A rover on the surface of Venus with capability comparable to the rovers that have been sent to Mars would push the limits of technology in high-temperature electronics, robotics, and robust systems. Such a rover would require the ability to traverse the landscape on extremely low power levels. We have analyzed an innovative concept for a planetary rover: a sail-propelled rover to explore the surface of Venus. Such a rover can be implemented with only two moving parts; the sail, and the steering. Although the surface wind speeds are low (under 1 m/s), at Venus atmospheric density even low wind speeds develop significant force. Under funding by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts office, a conceptual design for such a rover has been done. Total landed mass of the system is 265 kg, somewhat less than that of the MER rovers, with a 12 square meter rigid sail. The rover folds into a 3.6 meter aeroshell for entry into the Venus atmosphere and subsequent parachute landing on the surface. Conceptual designs for a set of hightemperature scientific instruments and a UHF communication system were done. The mission design lifetime is 50 days, allowing operation during the sunlit portion of one Venus day. Although some technology development is needed to bring the high-temperature electronics to operational readiness, the study showed that such a mobility approach is feasible, and no major difficulties are seen.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Fenton, Lori K.

    2017-11-01

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

  18. Radiation shielding for future space exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWitt, Joel Michael

    Scope and Method of Study. The risk to space crew health and safety posed by exposure to space radiation is regarded as a significant obstacle to future human space exploration. To countermand this risk, engineers and designers in today's aerospace community will require detailed knowledge of a broad range of possible materials suitable for the construction of future spacecraft or planetary surface habitats that provide adequate protection from a harmful space radiation environment. This knowledge base can be supplied by developing an experimental method that provides quantitative information about a candidate material's space radiation shielding efficacy with the understanding that (1) shielding is currently the only practical countermeasure to mitigate the effects of space radiation on human interplanetary missions, (2) any mass of a spacecraft or planetary surface habitat necessarily alters the incident flux of ionizing radiation on it, and (3) the delivery of mass into LEO and beyond is expensive and therefore may benefit from the possible use of novel multifunctional materials that could in principle reduce cost as well as ionizing radiation exposure. The developed method has an experimental component using CR-39 PNTD and Al2O3:C OSLD that exposes candidate space radiation shielding materials of varying composition and depth to a representative sample of the GCR spectrum that includes 1 GeV 1H and 1 GeV/n 16O, 28Si, and 56Fe heavy ion beams at the BNL NSRL. The computer modeling component of the method used the Monte Carlo radiation transport code FLUKA to account for secondary neutrons that were not easily measured in the laboratory. Findings and Conclusions. This study developed a method that quantifies the efficacy of a candidate space radiation shielding material relative to the standard of polyethylene using a combination of experimental and computer modeling techniques. The study used established radiation dosimetry techniques to present an empirical

  19. Nuclear Thermal Rocket (Ntr) Propulsion: A Proven Game-Changing Technology for Future Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; McCurdy, David R.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2012-01-01

    The NTR represents the next evolutionary step in high performance rocket propulsion. It generates high thrust and has a specific impulse (Isp) of approx.900 seconds (s) or more V twice that of today s best chemical rockets. The technology is also proven. During the previous Rover and NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications) nuclear rocket programs, 20 rocket reactors were designed, built and ground tested. These tests demonstrated: (1) a wide range of thrust; (2) high temperature carbide-based nuclear fuel; (3) sustained engine operation; (4) accumulated lifetime; and (5) restart capability V all the requirements needed for a human mission to Mars. Ceramic metal cermet fuel was also pursued, as a backup option. The NTR also has significant growth and evolution potential. Configured as a bimodal system, it can generate electrical power for the spacecraft. Adding an oxygen afterburner nozzle introduces a variable thrust and Isp capability and allows bipropellant operation. In NASA s recent Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study, the NTR was selected as the preferred propulsion option because of its proven technology, higher performance, lower launch mass, simple assembly and mission operations. In contrast to other advanced propulsion options, NTP requires no large technology scale-ups. In fact, the smallest engine tested during the Rover program V the 25,000 lbf (25 klbf) Pewee engine is sufficient for human Mars missions when used in a clustered engine arrangement. The Copernicus crewed spacecraft design developed in DRA 5.0 has significant capability and a human exploration strategy is outlined here that uses Copernicus and its key components for precursor near Earth asteroid (NEA) and Mars orbital missions prior to a Mars landing mission. Initially, the basic Copernicus vehicle can enable reusable 1-year round trip human missions to candidate NEAs like 1991 JW and Apophis in the late 2020 s to check out vehicle systems. Afterwards, the

  20. Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisbin, Charles R.

    1998-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL's) Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), responds to opportunities presented by NASA space missions and systems, and seeds commerical applications of the emerging robotics technology. The scope of the JPL Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program comprises three major segments of activity: NASA robotic systems for planetary exploration, robotic technology and terrestrial spin-offs, and technology for non-NASA sponsors. Significant technical achievements have been reached in each of these areas, including complete telerobotic system prototypes that have built and tested in realistic scenarios relevant to prospective users. In addition, the program has conducted complementary basic research and created innovative technology and terrestrial applications, as well as enabled a variety of commercial spin-offs.

  1. Europa Exploration: Science and Mission Priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, J. F.; Phillips, C. B.; Green, J. R.; Wu, X.; Carlson, R. W.; Tamppari, L. K.; Terrile, R. J.; Johnson, R. E.; Eraker, J. H.; Makris, N. C.

    2002-08-01

    This report surveys the present state of knowledge for Europa and recommends key science objectives and spacecraft missions for the next decade of 2003 - 2013 and beyond. The highest priority initial objective is to confirm the presence of a subsurface water ocean, for which the evidence from multiple observations is already very compelling but not yet definitive. This should be addressed by a coupled set of gravity, altimetry, and magnetic field measurements in Europa orbit. Other related objectives include remote surveys for recent ocean-associated activity on the surface, the determination of chemical composition for Europa's surface, atmosphere, and dust ring, global mapping of energy flux and composition for magnetospheric particles incident at the surface, and the search for biochemical markers of any organisms originating from habitats below the visible surface. These objectives can partly be addressed by the same initial orbiter with addition of a moderate suite of remote-sensing and in-situ analysis instruments. Alternatively, a flyby mission with return to Earth of atmosphere and dust ring samples for chemical and isotopic analysis could achieve some of the compositional objectives. Science and engineering development are needed to support planning for lander missions in future decades.

  2. Medical System Concept of Operations for Mars Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbina, Michelle; Rubin, D.; Hailey, M.; Reyes, D.; Antonsen, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Future exploration missions will be the first time humanity travels beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) since the Apollo program, taking us to cis-lunar space, interplanetary space, and Mars. These long-duration missions will cover vast distances, severely constraining opportunities for emergency evacuation to Earth and cargo resupply opportunities. Communication delays and blackouts between the crew and Mission Control will eliminate reliable, real-time telemedicine consultations. As a result, compared to current LEO operations onboard the International Space Station, exploration mission medical care requires an integrated medical system that provides additional in-situ capabilities and a significant increase in crew autonomy. The Medical System Concept of Operations for Mars Exploration Missions illustrates how a future NASA Mars program could ensure appropriate medical care for the crew of this highly autonomous mission. This Concept of Operations document, when complete, will document all mission phases through a series of mission use case scenarios that illustrate required medical capabilities, enabling the NASA Human Research Program (HRP) Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) Element to plan, design, and prototype an integrated medical system to support human exploration to Mars.

  3. Evolution of Orion Mission Design for Exploration Mission 1 and 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutkowski, Jeffrey P.; Dawn, Timothy F.; Jedrey, Richard M.

    2016-01-01

    The evolving mission design and concepts of NASA’s next steps have shaped Orion into the spacecraft that it is today. Since the initial inception of Orion, through the Constellation Program, and now in the Exploration Mission frame-work with the Space Launch System (SLS), each mission design concept and pro-gram goal have left Orion with a set of capabilities that can be utilized in many different mission types. Exploration Missions 1 and 2 (EM-1 and EM-2) have now been at the forefront of the mission design focus for the last several years. During that time, different Design Reference Missions (DRMs) were built, analyzed, and modified to solve or mitigate enterprise level design trades to ensure a viable mission from launch to landing. The resulting DRMs for EM-1 and EM-2 were then expanded into multi-year trajectory scans to characterize vehicle performance as affected by variations in Earth-Moon geometry. This provides Orion’s subsystems with stressing reference trajectories to help design their system. Now that Orion has progressed through the Preliminary and Critical Design Reviews (PDR and CDR), there is a general shift in the focus of mission design from aiding the vehicle design to providing mission specific products needed for pre-flight and real time operations. Some of the mission specific products needed include, large quantities of nominal trajectories for multiple monthly launch periods and abort options at any point in the mission for each valid trajectory in the launch window.

  4. Lunar rover navigation concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, James D.

    1993-01-01

    With regard to the navigation of mobile lunar vehicles on the surface, candidate techniques are reviewed and progress of simulations and experiments made up to now are described. Progress that can be made through precursor investigations on Earth is considered. In the early seventies the problem was examined in a series of relevant tests made in the California desert. Meanwhile, Apollo rovers made short exploratory sorties and robotic Lunokhods traveled over modest distances on the Moon. In these early missions some of the required methods were demonstrated. The navigation problem for a lunar traverse can be viewed in three parts: to determine the starting point with enough accuracy to enable the desired mission; to determine the event sequence required to reach the site of each traverse objective; and to redetermine actual positions enroute. The navigator's first tool is a map made from overhead imagery. The Moon was almost completely photographed at moderate resolution by spacecraft launched in the sixties, but that data set provides imprecise topographic and selenodetic information. Therefore, more advanced orbital missions are now proposed as part of a resumed lunar exploration program. With the mapping coverage expected from such orbiters, it will be possible to use a combination of visual landmark navigation and external radio and optical references (Earth and Sun) to achieve accurate surface navigation almost everywhere on the near side of the Moon. On the far side and in permanently dark polar areas, there are interesting exploration targets where additional techniques will have to be used.

  5. Student Participation in Rover Field Trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, C. D.; Arvidson, R. E.; Nelson, S. V.; Sherman, D. M.; Squyres, S. W.

    2001-12-01

    The LAPIS program was developed in 1999 as part of the Athena Science Payload education and public outreach, funded by the JPL Mars Program Office. For the past three years, the Athena Science Team has been preparing for 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission operations using the JPL prototype Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover in extended rover field trials. Students and teachers participating in LAPIS work with them each year to develop a complementary mission plan and implement an actual portion of the annual tests using FIDO and its instruments. LAPIS is designed to mirror an end-to-end mission: Small, geographically distributed groups of students form an integrated mission team, working together with Athena Science Team members and FIDO engineers to plan, implement, and archive a two-day test mission, controlling FIDO remotely over the Internet using the Web Interface for Telescience (WITS) and communicating with each other by email, the web, and teleconferences. The overarching goal of LAPIS is to get students excited about science and related fields. The program provides students with the opportunity to apply knowledge learned in school, such as geometry and geology, to a "real world" situation and to explore careers in science and engineering through continuous one-on-one interactions with teachers, Athena Science Team mentors, and FIDO engineers. A secondary goal is to help students develop improved communication skills and appreciation of teamwork, enhanced problem-solving skills, and increased self-confidence. The LAPIS program will provide a model for outreach associated with future FIDO field trials and the 2003 Mars mission operations. The base of participation will be broadened beyond the original four sites by taking advantage of the wide geographic distribution of Athena team member locations. This will provide greater numbers of students with the opportunity to actively engage in rover testing and to explore the possibilities of

  6. An ESA precursor mission to human exploration of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, James; Fisackerly, Richard; Houdou, Berengere; Pradier, Alain; de Rossa, Diego; Vanoutryve, Benjamin; Jojaghaian, Aliac; Espinasse, Sylvie; Gardini, Bruno

    2010-05-01

    The coming decades will once again see humans on the surface of the Moon. Unlike the Apollo missions of the 1960s this new lunar exploration will be an international effort, with long duration missions and a goal to pave the way for further human expansion into the solar system. Ensuring the success and sustainability of this exploration poses significant challenges for all involved. ESA is currently preparing its first contribution to this international lunar exploration effort; a lunar lander mission, which will be a precursor to a future, Ariane V launched, ESA cargo and logistics capability to the Moon. The precursor mission will demonstrate soft precision landing with hazard avoidance capabilities, which will be required by a future cargo lander. In addition the mission can be applied as a preparation for future human exploration activities and help to ensure the sustainability of future exploration efforts. Activities have included Phase A and B1 mission design studies and technology development activities (both reported in another paper) and the definition of mission objectives and a model payload. The mission objectives have been derived by the Lunar Exploration Definition Team, a group derived of European specialists in various areas of exploration related science and technology, supported by ESA. Major inputs to the definition process were the 195 responses received to a request for information for potential payload contributions to the mission. The group was tasked with establishing how such a mission could best prepare for future human exploration. It was determined that the mission's goal should be to enable sustainable exploration and objectives were identified within a number of themes: health, habitation, resources, mobility and scientific preparations for future human activities. Investigations seek to characterise the lunar environment (e.g. radiation, dust etc.) and its effects and the properties of a landing site (potential resources, geological

  7. Multi-Modal Neurodiagnostic Tool for Exploration Missions Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA has a critical requirement for a neurodiagnostic tool that can be used to monitor the behavioral health of the crew during long duration exploration missions....

  8. Simulation Based Studies of Low Latency Teleoperations for NASA Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gernhardt, Michael L.; Crues, Edwin Z.; Bielski, Paul; Dexter, Dan; Litaker, Harry L.; Chappell, Steven P.; Beaton, Kara H.; Bekdash, Omar S.

    2017-01-01

    distance ranging from beyond 10m in Zone 1, through 1 cm to contact in Zone 5 with a step size factor of 10. Collected data consists of both objective simulation data (time, distance, hand controller inputs, velocity) and subjective questionnaire data. The second simulation provides a simple real-time operator interface with displays and control of a simulated surface rover. The rover traverses a synthetic Mars-like terrain and must be maneuvered to avoid obstacles while progressing to its destination. Like the manipulator simulation, subjects are tested using five operating latencies that represent teleoperation conditions from local surface operations to orbital operations at Phobos, Deimos and ultimately high Martian orbit. The rover is also operated at three different traverse speeds to assess the correlation between latency and speed. Collected data consisted of both objective simulation data (time, distance, hand controller inputs, braking) and subjective questionnaire data. These studies are exploring relationships between task complexity, operating speeds, operator efficiencies, and communications latencies for low latency teleoperations in support of human planetary exploration. This paper presents early results from these studies along with the current observations and conclusions. These and planned future studies will help to inform NASA on the potential for low latency teleoperations to support human exploration of Mars and inform the design of robotic systems and exploration missions.

  9. CLUPI, a high-performance imaging system on the ESA-NASA rover of the 2018 ExoMars mission to discover biofabrics on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, J.-L.; Westall, F.; Hofmann, B. A.; Spray, J. G.; Cockell, C.; Kempe, S.; Griffiths, A. D.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Colangeli, L.; Koschny, D.; Pullan, D.; Föllmi, K.; Diamond, L.; Josset, M.; Javaux, E.; Esposito, F.; Barnes, D.

    2012-04-01

    The scientific objectives of the ESA-NASA rover of the 2018 mission of the ExoMars Programme are to search for traces of past or present life and to characterise the near-sub surface. Both objectives require study of the rock/regolith materials in terms of structure, textures, mineralogy, and elemental and organic composition. The 2018 rover ExoMars payload consists of a suite of complementary instruments designed to reach these objectives. CLUPI, the high-performance colour close up imager, on board the 2018 ESA-NASA Rover plays an important role in attaining the mission objectives: it is the equivalent of the hand lens that no geologist is without when undertaking field work. CLUPI is a powerful, highly integrated miniaturized (smart assembly in titanium that can sustain a wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions… Because the main science objective of ExoMars concerns the search for life, whose traces on Mars are likely to be cryptic, close up observation of the rocks and granular regolith will be critical to the decision as whether to drill and sample the nearby underlying materials. Thus, CLUPI is the essential final step in the choice of drill site. But not only are CLUPI's observations of the rock outcrops important, but they also serve other purposes. CLUPI, could observe the placement of the drill head. It will also be able to observe the fines that come out of the drill hole, including any colour stratification linked to lithological changes with depth. Finally, CLUPI will provide detailed observation of the surface of the core drilled materials when they are in the sample drawer at a spatial resolution of 15 micrometer/pixel in color. The close-up imager CLUPI on the ESA-NASA rover of the 2018 mission will be described together with its capabilities to provide important information significantly contributing to the understanding of the geological environment and could

  10. Marco Polo: International Small Solar System Body Exploration Mission in 2010's

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yano, Hajime

    Since 2000, Japanese scientists and engineers have investigated new generation primitive body missions in the post-Hayabusa era in 2010's. Receiving the Minorbody Exploration Forum Final Report, ISAS established the nation-wide Small Body Exploration Working Group (SBE-WG) in 2004. After the successful exploration of the S-type NEO Itokawa by Hayabusa in 2005, the Hayabusa-2 concept emerged for a C-type asteroid sample return by the original Hayabusa spacecraft system with minor improvements and modifications. In parallel to that effort, the SBE-WG continued to develop the post-Hayabusa mission concept as "Hayabusa Mk-II," a fully model-changed, advanced spacecraft with the sample return capability from the most primitive bodies of the solar system. It is this Hayabusa Mk-II that has became the foundation of the International small body exploration concept "Marco Polo" since 2006. Jointly proposed to the first call of the ESA Cosmic Vision by scientists from Japan, Europe, and the U.S., the Marco Polo concept was selected as one of the M-class mission candidates for the assessment study phase in the fall of 2007. In 2008, the international joint study team has been created and its mission definitions, system requirements, and target selections are currently under the study. The top-level scientific themes are to decode the solar system formation and evolution in the astrobiology and astromineralogy contexts as one of the most important scientific challenges of 2010's. These themes are sub-divided into several objectives to be achieved by both instruments carried onboard the mother spacecraft (MSC), a large lander, or small hopping rovers and returned samples. The initial mission target candicdates include comet-asteroid transition (CAT) objects, D-type asteroids and C-type binary asteroids in near-Earth orbits. In the baseline scenario, a Soyuz launcher provided by ESA will launch the JAXA-made MSC with sampling and other in-situ science instruments provided by

  11. Availability of feature-oriented scanning probe microscopy for remote-controlled measurements on board a space laboratory or planet exploration Rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapshin, Rostislav V

    2009-06-01

    Prospects for a feature-oriented scanning (FOS) approach to investigations of sample surfaces, at the micrometer and nanometer scales, with the use of scanning probe microscopy under space laboratory or planet exploration rover conditions, are examined. The problems discussed include decreasing sensitivity of the onboard scanning probe microscope (SPM) to temperature variations, providing autonomous operation, implementing the capabilities for remote control, self-checking, self-adjustment, and self-calibration. A number of topical problems of SPM measurements in outer space or on board a planet exploration rover may be solved via the application of recently proposed FOS methods.

  12. Multimodal Neurodiagnostic Tool for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yong Jin

    2015-01-01

    Linea Research Corporation has developed a neurodiagnostic tool that detects behavioral stress markers for astronauts on long-duration space missions. Lightweight and compact, the device is unobtrusive and requires minimal time and effort for the crew to use. The system provides a real-time functional imaging of cortical activity during normal activities. In Phase I of the project, Linea Research successfully monitored cortical activity using multiparameter sensor modules. Using electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy signals, the company obtained photoplethysmography and electrooculography signals to compute the heart rate and frequency of eye movement. The company also demonstrated the functionality of an algorithm that automatically classifies the varying degrees of cognitive loading based on physiological parameters. In Phase II, Linea Research developed the flight-capable neurodiagnostic device. Worn unobtrusively on the head, the device detects and classifies neurophysiological markers associated with decrements in behavior state and cognition. An automated algorithm identifies key decrements and provides meaningful and actionable feedback to the crew and ground-based medical staff.

  13. Natural Environment Definition for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suggs, Rob

    2017-01-01

    A comprehensive set of environment definitions is necessary from the beginning of the development of a spacecraft. The Cross-Program Design Specification for Natural Environments (DSNE, SLS-SPEC-159) was originally developed during the Constellation Program and then modified and matured for the Exploration Programs (Space Launch System and Orion). The DSNE includes launch, low-earth orbit, trans-lunar, cis-lunar, interplanetary, and entry/descent/landing environments developed from standard and custom databases and models. The space environments section will be discussed in detail.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kereszturi, Akos

    2012-11-01

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

  15. Exploration of quasars with the Gaia mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proft, Svea; Wambsganss, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    We analyze the opportunities in and limits to investigating quasars with the Gaia satellite by studying Gaia's low- and high-resolution quasar spectra, with consideration of their signal-to-noise ratios. Furthermore, we explore bright quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey with broad emission lines (BELs) redshifted into the spectral range of Gaia's Radial Velocity Spectrograph (RVS). We find that Gaia low-resolution spectra of quasars enable a determination of equivalent widths, continuum variability, and the Baldwin effect. Additionally, it will be feasible to analyze BEL reverberation mapping with Gaia data for a small sample of objects. These quasars should have a high cadence of measurements or higher time lags due to large redshifts, high quasar luminosities, or selected low-ionization lines. More than 500 known quasars will also get high-resolution spectra of individual BELs in the small wavelength range of the RVS. This allows an investigation of broad emission line shapes and their variabilities to get information on the spatial structure and kinematics of the broad line region. We identify six known variable SDSS quasars with BELs in the RVS that have interesting spectra for a potential intrinsic line variability investigation. However, the signal-to-noise ratio of the RVS is too small for studying narrow and broad absorption lines in quasar spectra.

  16. The Evolution of Mission Architectures for Human Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everett, S. F.

    1995-01-01

    Defining transportation architectures for the human exploration of the Moon is a complex task due to the multitude of mission scenarios available. The mission transportation architecture recently proposed for the First Lunar Outpost (FLO) was not designed from carefully predetermined mission requirements and goals, but evolved from an initial set of requirements, which were continually modified as studies revealed that some early assumptions were not optimal. This paper focuses on the mission architectures proposed for FLO and investigates how these transportation architectures evolved. A comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the three distinct mission architectures are discussed, namely (1) Lunar Orbit Rendezvous, (2) staging from the Cislunar Libration Point, and (3) direct to the lunar surface. In addition, several new and revolutionary architectures are discussed.

  17. Chemical Composition by the APXS along the Downhill Traverse of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit at Gusev Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brueckner, J.; Dreibus, G.; Gellert, R.; Clark, B. C.; Cohen, B.; McCoy, T.; Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Yen, A.; Team, A. S.

    2006-12-01

    The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to determine the elemental composition of samples at Gusev Crater. Starting around sol 600 the rover descended Husband Hill, which is part of the Columbia Hills, visited the inner basin with a large dune field, called `El Dorado', and parked at `Low Ridge' to conserve energy during the martian winter. Many unique samples were discovered by the instruments onboard Spirit during her downhill traverse. Here, we report only on the chemical data obtained by the APXS. The compositions of some of the soil samples are comparable to the mean soil determined along the earlier traverse. However, a light-toned subsurface sample (disturbed by the rover wheels), called `Dead Sea Samra', showed the highest sulfur content of all soil samples, the lowest Na, Mg, Al, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, and Zn, among the lowest Si and P, and among the highest Cr, Fe and Ni. Assuming ferric sulfate as a major mineral, large amounts of a pure silica phase must be present. Color and quantity of Dead Sea Samra resemble somewhat an earlier soil called `Paso Robles', though the latter is a mixture of sulfates with phosphate-rich soil. Manganese in Dead Sea Samra is so low that the Fe/Mn ratio exceeds 300, a value that has never been found previously on Mars (Fe/Mn ratio of 46 for Gusev basalts), indicating that only Fe3+ occurs. The dune field El Dorado contained granulated material that exhibited the highest Mg and Ni concentrations and the lowest S and Cl compared to all other soils implying an enrichment of olivine-rich sands. Two outcrops, called `Algonquin' and `Comanche', revealed compositions that differ significantly from those of earlier outcrops as they have the highest concentrations of Mg, Fe, and Ni (except for Ni in `Independence') and the lowest of Al, K (detection limit), Ca, and Ti of all brushed and almost all abraded rocks. Normative estimates assign them the highest olivine contents ever

  18. Chemical Composition by the APXS along the Downhill Traverse of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit at Gusev Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckner, J.; Dreibus, G.; Gellert, R.; Clark, B.C.; Cohen, B.; McCoy, T.; Ming, D.W.; Mittlefehldt, D.W.; Yen, A.; Athena Science Team

    2006-01-01

    The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to determine the elemental composition of samples at Gusev Crater. Starting around sol 600 the rover descended Husband Hill, which is part of the Columbia Hills, visited the inner basin with a large dune field, called 'El Dorado', and parked at Low Ridge to conserve energy during the martian winter. Many unique samples were discovered by the instruments onboard Spirit during her downhill traverse. Here, we report only on the chemical data obtained by the APXS. The compositions of some of the soil samples are comparable to the mean soil determined along the earlier traverse. However, a light-toned subsurface sample (disturbed by the rover wheels), called Dead Sea Samra , showed the highest sulfur content of all soil samples, the lowest Na, Mg, Al, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, and Zn, among the lowest Si and P, and among the highest Cr, Fe and Ni. Assuming ferric sulfate as a major mineral, large amounts of a pure silica phase must be present. Color and quantity of Dead Sea Samra resemble somewhat an earlier soil called Paso Robles , though the latter is a mixture of sulfates with phosphate-rich soil. Manganese in Dead Sea Samra is so low that the Fe/Mn ratio exceeds 300, a value that has never been found previously on Mars (Fe/Mn ratio of 46 for Gusev basalts), indicating that only Fe(3+) occurs. The dune field El Dorado contained granulated material that exhibited the highest Mg and Ni concentrations and the lowest S and Cl compared to all other soils implying an enrichment of olivine-rich sands. Two outcrops, called Algonquin and Comanche , revealed compositions that differ significantly from those of earlier outcrops as they have the highest concentrations of Mg, Fe, and Ni (except for Ni in Independence) and the lowest of Al, K (detection limit), Ca, and Ti of all brushed and almost all abraded rocks. Normative estimates assign them the highest olivine contents ever found for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigue, Christine M.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. PFERD Mission: Pluto Flyby Exploration/Research Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemke, Gary; Zayed, Husni; Herring, Jason; Fuehne, Doug; Sutton, Kevin; Sharkey, Mike

    1990-01-01

    The Pluto Flyby Exploration/Research Design (PFERD) mission will consist of a flyby spacecraft to Pluto and its satellite, Charon. The mission lifetime is expected to be 18 years. The Titan 4 with a Centaur upper stage will be utilized to launch the craft into the transfer orbit. The proposal was divided into six main subsystems: (1) scientific instrumentation; (2) command, communications, and control: (3) altitude and articulation control; (4) power and propulsion; (5) structures and thermal control; and (6) mission management and costing. Tradeoff studies were performed to optimize all factors of design, including survivability, performance, cost, and weight. Problems encountered in the design are also presented.

  1. Soil and Rock Physical Properties at the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites: Early Returns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Anderson, R. C.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Biesiadecki, J.; Christensen, P. H.; Gorevan, S. P.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Guinness, E. A.; Graff, T. G.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to report the 'early returns' on the physical properties of soil units and rocks at the MER landing sites. Because we are still very early in the mission at Meridiani Planum, results from the Gusev Crater Landing Site are emphasized here.

  2. A Strategic Approach to Medical Care for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canga, Michael A.; Shah, Ronak V.; Mindock, Jennifer A.; Antonsen, Erik L.

    2016-01-01

    Exploration missions will present significant new challenges to crew health, including effects of variable gravity environments, limited communication with Earth-based personnel for diagnosis and consultation for medical events, limited resupply, and limited ability for crew return. Providing health care capabilities for exploration class missions will require system trades be performed to identify a minimum set of requirements and crosscutting capabilities, which can be used in design of exploration medical systems. Medical data, information, and knowledge collected during current space missions must be catalogued and put in formats that facilitate querying and analysis. These data are used to inform the medical research and development program through analysis of risk trade studies between medical care capabilities and system constraints such as mass, power, volume, and training. Medical capability as a quantifiable variable is proposed as a surrogate risk metric and explored for trade space analysis that can improve communication between the medical and engineering approaches to mission design. The resulting medical system design approach selected will inform NASA mission architecture, vehicle, and subsystem design for the next generation of spacecraft.

  3. Going beyond: Target selection and mission analysis of human exploration missions to Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmer, A. K.; Messerschmid, E.

    2011-12-01

    Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) offer a wide range of possibilities for space exploration, scientific research, and technology demonstration. In particular, manned missions to NEAs provide a unique opportunity to be the first human expedition to an interplanetary body beyond the Earth-Moon system and represent the perfect environment to gain experience in deep-space operations, which is an indispensable prerequisite for human missions to Mars. As a starting point for the analysis of such missions, the objectives of this study are to identify target asteroids and evaluate possible transfer trajectories as well as the associated launch windows. The list of accessible asteroids is narrowed down by taking dynamical and structural properties such as size and rotation rate into account. An accessibility model for NEAs is developed allowing pre-selection of asteroid targets for human missions. For this model, a novel approach is taken which assesses the accessibility of a NEA not by considering its orbital parameters separately. Instead, accessibility is determined by evaluating the combination of all orbital parameters only limited by mission duration (less than 365 days) and round-trip Δv (less than 10 km/s). In order to verify the reliability of the model, mission architectures for missions departing from low-Earth orbit are investigated and transfers to 2567 NEAs in the time frame from 2020 to 2040 are simulated. Two hundred and forty asteroids are found to be accessible for human missions under the given boundary conditions and are observed to nicely fit the model developed. Seventy three of these remaining asteroids can be reached with a Δv≤7.5km/s, 15 of which allow mission durations of less than 200 days. One hundred and seventy launch windows strongly varying in duration are found for these 73 asteroids between 2020 and 2040. Launch opportunity analysis shows that several launch windows open every year in the given time frame for missions with

  4. A seismic-network mission proposal as an example for modular robotic lunar exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, C.; Witte, L.; Rosta, R.; Sohl, F.; Heffels, A.; Knapmeyer, M.

    2017-05-01

    In this paper it is intended to discuss an approach to reduce design costs for subsequent missions by introducing modularity, commonality and multi-mission capability and thereby reuse of mission individual investments into the design of lunar exploration infrastructural systems. The presented approach has been developed within the German Helmholtz-Alliance on Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments (ROBEX), a research alliance bringing together deep-sea and space research to jointly develop technologies and investigate problems for the exploration of highly inaccessible terrain - be it in the deep sea and polar regions or on the Moon and other planets. Although overall costs are much smaller for deep sea missions as compared to lunar missions, a lot can be learned from modularity approaches in deep sea research infrastructure design, which allows a high operational flexibility in the planning phase of a mission as well as during its implementation. The research presented here is based on a review of existing modular solutions in Earth orbiting satellites as well as science and exploration systems. This is followed by an investigation of lunar exploration scenarios from which we derive requirements for a multi-mission modular architecture. After analyzing possible options, an approach using a bus modular architecture for dedicated subsystems is presented. The approach is based on exchangeable modules e.g. incorporating instruments, which are added to the baseline system platform according to the demands of the specific scenario. It will be described in more detail, including arising problems e.g. in the power or thermal domain. Finally, technological building blocks to put the architecture into practical use will be described more in detail.

  5. Innovations in mission architectures for exploration beyond low Earth orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, D. R.; Joosten, B. J.; Lo, M. W.; Ford, K. M.; Hansen, R. J.

    2003-01-01

    Through the application of advanced technologies and mission concepts, architectures for missions beyond Earth orbit have been dramatically simplified. These concepts enable a stepping stone approach to science driven; technology enabled human and robotic exploration. Numbers and masses of vehicles required are greatly reduced, yet the pursuit of a broader range of science objectives is enabled. The scope of human missions considered range from the assembly and maintenance of large aperture telescopes for emplacement at the Sun-Earth libration point L2, to human missions to asteroids, the moon and Mars. The vehicle designs are developed for proof of concept, to validate mission approaches and understand the value of new technologies. The stepping stone approach employs an incremental buildup of capabilities, which allows for future decision points on exploration objectives. It enables testing of technologies to achieve greater reliability and understanding of costs for the next steps in exploration. c2003 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. ESA's Future Earth Explorer: new candidate mission concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drinkwater, M.; Ingmann, P.; Kern, M.; Langen, J.; Drusch, M.; Davidson, M.; Bensi, P.; Carnicero, B.; Thompson, A.; Silvestrin, P.; Lin, C.; Heliere, F.; Bezy, J.; Durand, Y.; Aguirre, M.; Haagmans, R.

    2008-12-01

    The European Space Agency has released the call for the next Earth Explorer Core Mission Ideas in March 2005 with the aim to select the 7th Earth Explorer mission to be launched in the 2014 timeframe. Twenty-four proposals were received and subject to detailed scientific and technical assessment. Six proposals have been selected to be further investigated in a detailed scientific and technical assessment study, after which a down-selection will be made. The six candidate missions selected are: A-SCOPE - (Advanced Space Carbon and Climate Observation of Planet Earth): Improving the understanding of the global carbon cycle and regional carbon dioxide fluxes, BIOMASS - global measurements of forest biomass and extent, CoReH2O - (Cold Regions Hydrology High-resolution Observatory): Detailed observations of key snow, ice and water cycle characteristics, FLEX - (FLuorescence EXplorer): Observation of global photosynthesis through the measurement of fluorescence, PREMIER - (PRocess Exploration through Measurements of Infrared and millimetre- wave Emitted Radiation): Understanding the processes that link trace gases, radiation, chemistry and climate in the atmosphere and TRAQ - (TRopospheric composition and Air Quality) - Air quality monitoring and long-range transport of air pollutants. This paper will give an overview of the science objectives and preliminary requirement specifications for each candidate mission. A user concultation meeting will be held at the Congress Centre of the Belém Cultural Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, on 20-21 January 2009 to proceed with selected ones in feasibility study.

  7. Cost-Effective Icy Bodies Exploration using Small Satellite Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsson, Jonas; Mauro, David; Stupl, Jan; Nayak, Michael; Aziz, Jonathan; Cohen, Aaron; Colaprete, Anthony; Dono-Perez, Andres; Frost, Chad; Klamm, Benjamin; hide

    2015-01-01

    It has long been known that Saturn's moon Enceladus is expelling water-rich plumes into space, providing passing spacecraft with a window into what is hidden underneath its frozen crust. Recent discoveries indicate that similar events could also occur on other bodies in the solar system, such as Jupiter's moon Europa and the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt. These plumes provide a possible giant leap forward in the search for organics and assessing habitability beyond Earth, stepping stones toward the long-term goal of finding extraterrestrial life. The United States Congress recently requested mission designs to Europa, to fit within a cost cap of $1B, much less than previous mission designs' estimates. Here, innovative cost-effective small spacecraft designs for the deep-space exploration of these icy worlds, using new and emerging enabling technologies, and how to explore the outer solar system on a budget below the cost horizon of a flagship mission, are investigated. Science requirements, instruments selection, rendezvous trajectories, and spacecraft designs are some topics detailed. The mission concepts revolve around a comparably small-sized and low-cost Plume Chaser spacecraft, instrumented to characterize the vapor constituents encountered on its trajectory. In the event that a plume is not encountered, an ejecta plume can be artificially created by a companion spacecraft, the Plume Maker, on the target body at a location timed with the passage of the Plume Chaser spacecraft. Especially in the case of Ceres, such a mission could be a great complimentary mission to Dawn, as well as a possible future Europa Clipper mission. The comparably small volume of the spacecraft enables a launch to GTO as a secondary payload, providing multiple launch opportunities per year. Plume Maker's design is nearly identical to the Plume Chaser, and fits within the constraints for a secondary payload launch. The cost-effectiveness of small spacecraft missions enables the

  8. Mission control team structure and operational lessons learned from the 2009 and 2010 NASA desert RATS simulated lunar exploration field tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Ernest R.; Badillo, Victor; Coan, David; Johnson, Kieth; Ney, Zane; Rosenbaum, Megan; Smart, Tifanie; Stone, Jeffry; Stueber, Ronald; Welsh, Daren; Guirgis, Peggy; Looper, Chris; McDaniel, Randall

    2013-10-01

    The NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is an annual field test of advanced concepts, prototype hardware, and potential modes of operation to be used on human planetary surface space exploration missions. For the 2009 and 2010 NASA Desert RATS field tests, various engineering concepts and operational exercises were incorporated into mission timelines with the focus of the majority of daily operations being on simulated lunar geological field operations and executed in a manner similar to current Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions. The field test for 2009 involved a two week lunar exploration simulation utilizing a two-man rover. The 2010 Desert RATS field test took this two week simulation further by incorporating a second two-man rover working in tandem with the 2009 rover, as well as including docked operations with a Pressurized Excursion Module (PEM). Personnel for the field test included the crew, a mission management team, engineering teams, a science team, and the mission operations team. The mission operations team served as the core of the Desert RATS mission control team and included certified NASA Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) flight controllers, former flight controllers, and astronaut personnel. The backgrounds of the flight controllers were in the areas of Extravehicular Activity (EVA), onboard mechanical systems and maintenance, robotics, timeline planning (OpsPlan), and spacecraft communicator (Capcom). With the simulated EVA operations, mechanized operations (the rover), and expectations of replanning, these flight control disciplines were especially well suited for the execution of the 2009 and 2010 Desert RATS field tests. The inclusion of an operations team has provided the added benefit of giving NASA mission operations flight control personnel the opportunity to begin examining operational mission control techniques, team compositions, and mission scenarios. This also gave the mission operations

  9. The neutron star interior composition explorer (NICER): mission definition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arzoumanian, Z.; Gendreau, K. C.; Baker, C. L.; Cazeau, T.; Hestnes, P.; Kellogg, J. W.; Kenyon, S. J.; Kozon, R. P.; Liu, K.-C.; Manthripragada, S. S.; Markwardt, C. B.; Mitchell, A. L.; Mitchell, J. W.; Monroe, C. A.; Okajima, T.; Pollard, S. E.; Powers, D. F.; Savadkin, B. J.; Winternitz, L. B.; Chen, P. T.; Wright, M. R.; Foster, R.; Prigozhin, G.; Remillard, R.; Doty, J.

    2014-07-01

    Over a 10-month period during 2013 and early 2014, development of the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission [1] proceeded through Phase B, Mission Definition. An external attached payload on the International Space Station (ISS), NICER is scheduled to launch in 2016 for an 18-month baseline mission. Its prime scientific focus is an in-depth investigation of neutron stars—objects that compress up to two Solar masses into a volume the size of a city—accomplished through observations in 0.2-12 keV X-rays, the electromagnetic band into which the stars radiate significant fractions of their thermal, magnetic, and rotational energy stores. Additionally, NICER enables the Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) demonstration of spacecraft navigation using pulsars as beacons. During Phase B, substantive refinements were made to the mission-level requirements, concept of operations, and payload and instrument design. Fabrication and testing of engineering-model components improved the fidelity of the anticipated scientific performance of NICER's X-ray Timing Instrument (XTI), as well as of the payload's pointing system, which enables tracking of science targets from the ISS platform. We briefly summarize advances in the mission's formulation that, together with strong programmatic performance in project management, culminated in NICER's confirmation by NASA into Phase C, Design and Development, in March 2014.

  10. The esa earth explorer land surface processes and interactions mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labandibar, Jean-Yves; Jubineau, Franck; Silvestrin, Pierluigi; Del Bello, Umberto

    2017-11-01

    The European Space Agency (ESA) is defining candidate missions for Earth Observation. In the class of the Earth Explorer missions, dedicated to research and pre-operational demonstration, the Land Surface Processes and Interactions Mission (LSPIM) will acquire the accurate quantitative measurements needed to improve our understanding of the nature and evolution of biosphere-atmosphere interactions and to contribute significantly to a solution of the scaling problems for energy, water and carbon fluxes at the Earth's surface. The mission is intended to provide detailed observations of the surface of the Earth and to collect data related to ecosystem processes and radiation balance. It is also intended to address a range of issues important for environmental monitoring, renewable resources assessment and climate models. The mission involves a dedicated maneuvering satellite which provides multi-directional observations for systematic measurement of Land Surface BRDF (BiDirectional Reflectance Distribution Function) of selected sites on Earth. The satellite carries an optical payload : PRISM (Processes Research by an Imaging Space Mission), a multispectral imager providing reasonably high spatial resolution images (50 m over 50 km swath) in the whole optical spectral domain (from 450 nm to 2.35 μm with a resolution close to 10 nm, and two thermal bands from 8.1 to 9.1 μm). This paper presents the results of the Phase A study awarded by ESA, led by ALCATEL Space Industries and concerning the design of LSPIM.

  11. Mission Opportunities for Human Exploration of Nearby Planetary Bodies

    CERN Document Server

    Foster, Cyrus

    2016-01-01

    We characterize mission profiles for human expeditions to near-Earth asteroids, Venus, and Mars. Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are the closest destinations beyond cis-lunar space and present a compelling target with capabilities already under development by NASA and its partners. We present manned NEO mission options that would require between 90 days and one year. We next consider planetary flyby missions for Venus along the lines of plans that were first drafted during the Apollo program for human exploration of Venus. We also characterize a Mars flyby, and a double-flyby variant that would include close passes to both Venus and Mars. Finally, we consider orbital missions to Venus and Mars with capability for rendezvous with Phobos or Deimos. This would be a truly new class of mission for astronauts and could serve as a precursor to a human landing on Mars. We present launch opportunities, transit time, requisite {\\Delta}V, and approximate radiation environment parameters for each mission class. We find that {\\...

  12. Moon Age and Regolith Explorer (MARE) Mission Design and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condon, Gerald L.; Lee, David E.; Carson, John M., III

    2017-01-01

    On December 11, 1972, Apollo 17 marked the last controlled U.S. lunar landing and was followed by an absence of methodical in-situ investigation of the lunar surface. The Moon Age and Regolith Explorer (MARE) proposal provides scientific measurement of the age and composition of a relatively young portion of the lunar surface near Aristarchus Plateau and the first post-Apollo U.S. soft lunar landing. It includes the first demonstration of a crew survivability-enhancing autonomous hazard detection and avoidance system. This report focuses on the mission design and performance associated with the MARE robotic lunar landing subject to mission and trajectory constraints.

  13. Lunar Precursor Missions for Human Exploration of Mars - II. Studies of Mission Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendell, W. W.; Griffith, A. D.

    necessary precursor to human missions to Mars. He observed that mission parameters for Mars expeditions far exceed current and projected near-term space operations experience in categories such as duration, scale, logistics, required system reliability, time delay for communications, crew exposure to the space environment (particularly reduced gravity), lack of abort-to-Earth options, degree of crew isolation, and long-term political commitment. He demonstrated how a program of lunar exploration could be structured to expand the experience base, test operations approaches, and validate proposed technologies. In this paper, we plan to expand the discussion on the topic of mission operations, including flight and trajectory design, crew activity planning, procedure development and validation, and initialization load development. contemplating the nature of the challenges posed by a mission with a single crew lasting 3 years with no possibility of abort to Earth and at a distance where the light-time precludes conversation between with the astronauts. The brief durations of Apollo or Space Shuttle missions mandates strict scheduling of in-space tasks to maximize the productivity. On a mission to Mars, the opposite obtains. Transit times are long (~160 days), and crew time may be principally devoted to physical conditioning and repeated simulations of the landing sequence. While the physical exercise parallels the experience on the International Space Station (ISS), the remote refresher training is new. The extensive surface stay time (~500 days) implies that later phases of the surface missions will have to be planned in consultation with the crew to a large extent than is currently the case. resolve concerns over the form of new methodologies and philosophies needed. Recent proposed reductions in scope and crew size for ISS exacerbate this problem. One unknown aspect is whether any sociological pathologies will develop in the relationship of the crew to Mission

  14. Human Exploration of Mars: The Reference Mission of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Stephen J. (Editor); Kaplan, David I. (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    Personnel representing several NASA field centers have formulated a "Reference Mission" addressing human exploration of Mars. This report summarizes their work and describes a plan for the first human missions to Mars, using approaches that are technically feasible, have reasonable risks, and have relatively low costs. The architecture for the Mars Reference Mission builds on previous work of the Synthesis Group (1991) and Zubrin's (1991) concepts for the use of propellants derived from the Martian Atmosphere. In defining the Reference Mission, choices have been made. In this report, the rationale for each choice is documented; however, unanticipated technology advances or political decisions might change the choices in the future.

  15. Portable Diagnostics Technology Assessment for Space Missions. Part 1; General Technology Capabilities for NASA Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Emily S.; Chait, Arnon

    2010-01-01

    The changes in the scope of NASA s mission in the coming decade are profound and demand nimble, yet insightful, responses. On-board clinical and environmental diagnostics must be available for both mid-term lunar and long-term Mars exploration missions in an environment marked by scarce resources. Miniaturization has become an obvious focus. Despite solid achievements in lab-based devices, broad-based, robust tools for application in the field are not yet on the market. The confluence of rapid, wide-ranging technology evolution and internal planning needs are the impetus behind this work. This report presents an analytical tool for the ongoing evaluation of promising technology platforms based on mission- and application-specific attributes. It is not meant to assess specific devices, but rather to provide objective guidelines for a rational down-select of general categories of technology platforms. In this study, we have employed our expertise in the microgravity operation of fluidic devices, laboratory diagnostics for space applications, and terrestrial research in biochip development. A rating of the current state of technology development is presented using the present tool. Two mission scenarios are also investigated: a 30-day lunar mission using proven, tested technology in 5 years; and a 2- to 3-year mission to Mars in 10 to 15 years.

  16. Launch and Assembly Reliability Analysis for Human Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cates, Grant; Gelito, Justin; Stromgren, Chel; Cirillo, William; Goodliff, Kandyce

    2012-01-01

    NASA's future human space exploration strategy includes single and multi-launch missions to various destinations including cis-lunar space, near Earth objects such as asteroids, and ultimately Mars. Each campaign is being defined by Design Reference Missions (DRMs). Many of these missions are complex, requiring multiple launches and assembly of vehicles in orbit. Certain missions also have constrained departure windows to the destination. These factors raise concerns regarding the reliability of launching and assembling all required elements in time to support planned departure. This paper describes an integrated methodology for analyzing launch and assembly reliability in any single DRM or set of DRMs starting with flight hardware manufacturing and ending with final departure to the destination. A discrete event simulation is built for each DRM that includes the pertinent risk factors including, but not limited to: manufacturing completion; ground transportation; ground processing; launch countdown; ascent; rendezvous and docking, assembly, and orbital operations leading up to trans-destination-injection. Each reliability factor can be selectively activated or deactivated so that the most critical risk factors can be identified. This enables NASA to prioritize mitigation actions so as to improve mission success.

  17. The New Planetary Science Archive (PSA): Exploration and Discovery of Scientific Datasets from ESA's Planetary Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather, David; Besse, Sebastien; Vallat, Claire; Barbarisi, Isa; Arviset, Christophe; De Marchi, Guido; Barthelemy, Maud; Coia, Daniela; Costa, Marc; Docasal, Ruben; Fraga, Diego; Grotheer, Emmanuel; Lim, Tanya; MacFarlane, Alan; Martinez, Santa; Rios, Carlos; Vallejo, Fran; Saiz, Jaime

    2017-04-01

    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific datasets through various interfaces at http://psa.esa.int. All datasets are scientifically peer-reviewed by independent scientists, and are compliant with the Planetary Data System (PDS) standards. The PSA is currently implementing a number of significant improvements, mostly driven by the evolution of the PDS standard, and the growing need for better interfaces and advanced applications to support science exploitation. As of the end of 2016, the PSA is hosting data from all of ESA's planetary missions. This includes ESA's first planetary mission Giotto that encountered comet 1P/Halley in 1986 with a flyby at 800km. Science data from Venus Express, Mars Express, Huygens and the SMART-1 mission are also all available at the PSA. The PSA also contains all science data from Rosetta, which explored comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and asteroids Steins and Lutetia. The year 2016 has seen the arrival of the ExoMars 2016 data in the archive. In the upcoming years, at least three new projects are foreseen to be fully archived at the PSA. The BepiColombo mission is scheduled for launch in 2018. Following that, the ExoMars Rover Surface Platform (RSP) in 2020, and then the JUpiter ICy moon Explorer (JUICE). All of these will archive their data in the PSA. In addition, a few ground-based support programmes are also available, especially for the Venus Express and Rosetta missions. The newly designed PSA will enhance the user experience and will significantly reduce the complexity for users to find their data promoting one-click access to the scientific datasets with more customized views when needed. This includes a better integration with Planetary GIS analysis tools and Planetary interoperability services (search and retrieve data, supporting e.g. PDAP, EPN-TAP). It will also be up

  18. An Advanced Neutron Spectrometer for Future Manned Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christl, Mark; Apple, Jeffrey A.; Cox, Mark D.; Dietz, Kurtis L.; Dobson, Christopher C.; Gibson, Brian F.; Howard, David E.; Jackson, Amanda C.; Kayatin, Mathew J.; Kuznetsov, Evgeny N.; hide

    2014-01-01

    An Advanced Neutron Spectrometer (ANS) is being developed to support future manned exploration missions. This new instrument uses a refined gate and capture technique that significantly improves the identification of neutrons in mixed radiation fields found in spacecraft, habitats and on planetary surfaces. The new instrument is a composite scintillator comprised of PVT loaded with litium-6 glass scintillators. We will describe the detection concept and show preliminary results from laboratory tests and exposures at particle accelerators

  19. Cartography for lunar exploration: 2008 status and mission plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, R.L.; Archinal, B.A.; Gaddis, L.R.; Rosiek, M.R.

    2008-01-01

    The initial spacecraft exploration of the Moon in the 1960s-70s yielded extensive data, primarily in the form of film and television images, which were used to produce a large number of hardcopy maps by conventional techniques. A second era of exploration, beginning in the early 1990s, has produced digital data including global multispectral imagery and altimetry, from which a new generation of digital map products tied to a rapidly evolving global control network has been made. Efforts are also underway to scan the earlier hardcopy maps for online distribution and to digitize the film images so that modern processing techniques can be used to make high-resolution digital terrain models (DTMs) and image mosaics consistent with the current global control. The pace of lunar exploration is accelerating dramatically, with as many as eight new missions already launched or planned for the current decade. These missions, of which the most important for cartography are SMART-1 (Europe), Kaguya/SELENE (Japan), Chang'e-1 (China), Chandrayaan-1 (India), and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (USA), will return a volume of data exceeding that of all previous lunar and planetary missions combined. Framing and scanner camera images, including multispectral and stereo data, hyperspectral images, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images, and laser altimetry will all be collected, including, in most cases, multiple data sets of each type. Substantial advances in international standardization and cooperation, development of new and more efficient data processing methods, and availability of resources for processing and archiving will all be needed if the next generation of missions are to fulfill their potential for high-precision mapping of the Moon in support of subsequent exploration and scientific investigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Justin R.; Hastrup, Rolf C.

    1989-01-01

    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.

  1. Overview of an Integrated Medical System for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Sharmila; Rubin, David

    2013-01-01

    The Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) element of the NASA Human Research Program (HRP) is charged with addressing the risk of unacceptable health and mission outcomes due to limitations of inflight medical capabilities. The Exploration Medical System Demonstration (EMSD) is a project within the ExMC element aimed at reducing this risk by improving the medical capabilities available for exploration missions. The EMSD project will demonstrate, on the ground and on ISS, the integration of several components felt to be essential to the delivery of medical care during long ]duration missions outside of low Earth orbit. The components of the EMSD include the electronic medical record, assisted medical procedure software, medical consumables tracking technology and RFID ] tagged consumables, video conferencing capability, ultrasound device and probes (ground demonstration only), peripheral biosensors, and the software to allow communication among the various components (middleware). This presentation seeks to inform our international partners of the goals and objectives of the EMSD and to foster collaboration opportunities related to this and future projects.

  2. NASA'S Space Launch System Mission Capabilities for Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creech, Stephen D.; Crumbly, Christopher M.; Robinson, Kimberly F.

    2015-01-01

    Designed to enable human space exploration missions, including eventual landings on Mars, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) represents a unique launch capability with a wide range of utilization opportunities, from delivering habitation systems into the lunar vicinity to high-energy transits through the outer solar system. Developed with the goals of safety, affordability and sustainability in mind, SLS is a foundational capability for NASA’s future plans for exploration, along with the Orion crew vehicle and upgraded ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center. Substantial progress has been made toward the first launch of the initial configuration of SLS, which will be able to deliver more than 70 metric tons of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO), greater mass-to-orbit capability than any contemporary launch vehicle. The vehicle will then be evolved into more powerful configurations, culminating with the capability to deliver more than 130 metric tons to LEO, greater even than the Saturn V rocket that enabled human landings on the moon. SLS will also be able to carry larger payload fairings than any contemporary launch vehicle, and will offer opportunities for co-manifested and secondary payloads. Because of its substantial mass-lift capability, SLS will also offer unrivaled departure energy, enabling mission profiles currently not possible. Early collaboration with science teams planning future decadal-class missions have contributed to a greater understanding of the vehicle’s potential range of utilization. This presentation will discuss the potential opportunities this vehicle poses for the planetary sciences community, relating the vehicle’s evolution to practical implications for mission capture. As this paper will explain, SLS will be a global launch infrastructure asset, employing sustainable solutions and technological innovations to deliver capabilities for space exploration to power human and robotic systems beyond our Moon and in to

  3. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; McClure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar; Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric

    The objective of this project was to design a manned pressurized lunar rover (PLR) for long-range transportation and for exploration of the lunar surface. The vehicle must be capable of operating on a 14-day mission, traveling within a radius of 500 km during a lunar day or within a 50-km radius during a lunar night. The vehicle must accommodate a nominal crew of four, support two 28-hour EVA's, and in case of emergency, support a crew of six when near the lunar base. A nominal speed of ten km/hr and capability of towing a trailer with a mass of two mt are required. Two preliminary designs have been developed by two independent student teams. The PLR 1 design proposes a seven meter long cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, lighting, robotic arms, tools, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The rover uses a simple mobility system with six wheels on the main vehicle and two on the trailer. The nonpressurized trailer contains a modular radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) supplying 6.5 kW continuous power. A secondary energy storage for short-term peak power needs is provided by a bank of lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries. The life support system is partly a regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center allowing the center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. The PLR 1 has a total mass of 6197 kg. It has a top speed of 18 km/hr and is capable of towing three metric tons, in addition to the RTG trailer. The PLR 2 configuration consists of two four-meter diameter, cylindrical hulls which are passively connected by a flexible passageway, resulting in the overall vehicle length of 11 m. The vehicle is driven by eight independently suspended wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows articulated as well as double

  4. Teamwork Training Needs Analysis for Long-Duration Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Jentsch, Kimberly A.; Sierra, Mary Jane

    2016-01-01

    The success of future long-duration exploration missions (LDEMs) will be determined largely by the extent to which mission-critical personnel possess and effectively exercise essential teamwork competencies throughout the entire mission lifecycle (e.g., Galarza & Holland, 1999; Hysong, Galarza, & Holland, 2007; Noe, Dachner, Saxton, & Keeton, 2011). To ensure that such personnel develop and exercise these necessary teamwork competencies prior to and over the full course of future LDEMs, it is essential that a teamwork training curriculum be developed and put into place at NASA that is both 1) comprehensive, in that it targets all teamwork competencies critical for mission success and 2) structured around empirically-based best practices for enhancing teamwork training effectiveness. In response to this demand, the current teamwork-oriented training needs analysis (TNA) was initiated to 1) identify the teamwork training needs (i.e., essential teamwork-related competencies) of future LDEM crews, 2) identify critical gaps within NASA’s current and future teamwork training curriculum (i.e., gaps in the competencies targeted and in the training practices utilized) that threaten to impact the success of future LDEMs, and to 3) identify a broad set of practical nonprescriptive recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of NASA’s teamwork training curriculum in order to increase the probability of future LDEM success.

  5. Human Exploration Missions - Maturing Technologies to Sustain Crews

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukai, Chiaki; Koch, Bernhard; Reese, Terrence G.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration missions beyond low earth orbit will be long duration with abort scenarios of days to months. Providing crews with the essentials of life such as clean air and potable water means recycling human metabolic wastes back to useful products. Individual technologies are under development for such things as CO2 scrubbing, recovery of O2 from CO2, turning waste water into potable water, and so on. But in order to fully evaluate and mature technologies fully they must be tested in a relevant, high-functionality environment; a systems environment where technologies are challenged with real human metabolic wastes. It is for this purpose that an integrated systems ground testing capability at the Johnson Space Center is being readied for testing. The relevant environment will include deep space habitat human accommodations, sealed atmosphere of 8 psi total pressure and 32% oxygen concentration, life support systems (food, air, water), communications, crew accommodations, medical, EVA, tools, etc. Testing periods will approximate those of the expected missions (such as a near Earth asteroid, Earth ]Moon L2 or L1, the moon, and Mars). This type of integrated testing is needed not only for research and technology development but later during the mission design, development, test, and evaluation phases of preparing for the mission.

  6. Defining Medical Levels of Care for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hailey, M.; Reyes, D.; Urbina, M.; Rubin, D.; Antonsen, E.

    2017-01-01

    NASA medical care standards establish requirements for providing health and medical programs for crewmembers during all phases of a mission. These requirements are intended to prevent or mitigate negative health consequences of long-duration spaceflight, thereby optimizing crew health and performance over the course of the mission. Current standards are documented in the two volumes of the NASA-STD-3001 Space Flight Human-System Standard document, established by the Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer. Its purpose is to provide uniform technical standards for the design, selection, and application of medical hardware, software, processes, procedures, practices, and methods for human-rated systems. NASA-STD-3001 Vol. 1 identifies five levels of care for human spaceflight. These levels of care are accompanied by several components that illustrate the type of medical care expected for each. The Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) of the Human Research Program has expanded the context of these provided levels of care and components. This supplemental information includes definitions for each component of care and example actions that describe the type of capabilities that coincide with the definition. This interpretation is necessary in order to fully and systematically define the capabilities required for each level of care in order to define the medical requirements and plan for infrastructure needed for medical systems of future exploration missions, such as one to Mars.

  7. Rover Magnets All Around

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This illustration shows the locations of the various magnets on the Mars Exploration Rover, which are: its front side, or chest; its back, near the color calibration target; and on its rock abrasion tool. Scientists will use these tools to collect dust for detailed studies. The origins of martian dust are a mystery, although it is believed to come from at least one of three sources: volcanic ash, pulverized rocks or mineral precipitates from liqiud water. By studying the dust with the rover's two spectrometers, scientists hope to find an answer.

  8. Standardized Modular Power Interfaces for Future Space Explorations Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeftering, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Earlier studies show that future human explorations missions are composed of multi-vehicle assemblies with interconnected electric power systems. Some vehicles are often intended to serve as flexible multi-purpose or multi-mission platforms. This drives the need for power architectures that can be reconfigured to support this level of flexibility. Power system developmental costs can be reduced, program wide, by utilizing a common set of modular building blocks. Further, there are mission operational and logistics cost benefits of using a common set of modular spares. These benefits are the goals of the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Modular Power System (AMPS) project. A common set of modular blocks requires a substantial level of standardization in terms of the Electrical, Data System, and Mechanical interfaces. The AMPS project is developing a set of proposed interface standards that will provide useful guidance for modular hardware developers but not needlessly constrain technology options, or limit future growth in capability. In 2015 the AMPS project focused on standardizing the interfaces between the elements of spacecraft power distribution and energy storage. The development of the modular power standard starts with establishing mission assumptions and ground rules to define design application space. The standards are defined in terms of AMPS objectives including Commonality, Reliability-Availability, Flexibility-Configurability and Supportability-Reusability. The proposed standards are aimed at assembly and sub-assembly level building blocks. AMPS plans to adopt existing standards for spacecraft command and data, software, network interfaces, and electrical power interfaces where applicable. Other standards including structural encapsulation, heat transfer, and fluid transfer, are governed by launch and spacecraft environments and bound by practical limitations of weight and volume. Developing these mechanical interface standards is more difficult but

  9. Fatigue-Related Countermeasures for Long-Duration Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitmire, A.; Johnston, S.; Sipes, W.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA Human Research Program's (HRP) Behavioral Health and Performance Element (BHP) supports and conducts research to mitigate deleterious outcomes related to fatigue, sleep loss, circadian desynchronization, and work overload. Objective evidence indicates that within the context of the International Space Station (ISS), sleep is reduced and there is circadian misalignment. Despite chronic sleep loss and high workloads; however, astronauts successfully complete their missions. Contributing to their success is not only the tremendous skills and capabilities of each astronaut, but also the collaborative team efforts amongst the crew, between flight and ground crews, and through real-time care provided by medical personnel. It is anticipated that risks to human health and performance will increase in the context of exploration missions, where crewmembers will venture to deep space for extended durations and in small vehicles with limited communication with home. Hence, fatigue-related countermeasures are being developed and/or validated that include unobtrusive monitoring technologies to detect fatigue-related performance decrements, environmental countermeasures, and sleep education and training for flight and ground crews. Given that fatigue is an issue in current ISS missions, the BHP works collaboratively with Space Medicine operations to collect data in the operational environment, to validate fatigue-related countermeasures, and provide evidence-based mitigations. Our presentation will summarize fatigue-related operational research that is underway through NASA's BHP in partnership with its operational counterparts. Efforts include studies evaluating the effects of hypnotics, lighting protocols as countermeasures for circadian entrainment, and investigations involving education and training. This presentation will further identify, based on flight and terrestrial evidence, additional sleep and circadian countermeasures that may still be needed to support

  10. Pathfinder Lander Rover Recharge System, and MARCO POLO Controls and ACME Regolith Feed System Controls and Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Sarah Diem

    2015-01-01

    This project stems from the Exploration, Research, and Technology Directorate (UB) Projects Division, and one of their main initiatives is the "Journey to Mars". Landing on the surface of Mars which is millions of miles away is an incredibly large challenge. The terrain is covered in boulders, deep canyons, volcanic mountains, and spotted with sand dunes. The robotic lander is a kind of spacecraft with multiple purposes. One purpose is to be the protective shell for the Martian rover and absorb the impact from the landing forces; another purpose is to be a place where the rovers can come back to, actively communicate with, and recharge their batteries from. Rovers have been instrumental to the Journey to Mars initiative. They have been performing key research on the terrain of the red planet, trying to unlock the mysteries of the land for over a decade. The rovers that will need charging will not all have the same kind of internal battery either. RASSOR batteries may differ from the PbAC batteries inside Red Rover's chassis. NASA has invested heavily in the exploration of the surface of Mars. A driving force behind further exploration is the need for a more efficient operation of Martian rovers. One way is to reduce the weight as much as possible to reduce power consumption given the same mission parameters. In order to reduce the mass of the rovers, power generation, communication, and sample analysis systems currently onboard Martian rovers can be moved to a stationary lander deck. Positioning these systems from the rover to the Lander deck allows a taskforce of smaller, lighter rovers to perform the same tasks currently performed by or planned for larger rovers. A major task in transferring these systems to a stationary lander deck is ensuring that power can be transferred to the rovers.

  11. Exploring Cognition Using Software Defined Radios for NASA Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Dale J.; Reinhart, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    NASA missions typically operate using a communication infrastructure that requires significant schedule planning with limited flexibility when the needs of the mission change. Parameters such as modulation, coding scheme, frequency, and data rate are fixed for the life of the mission. This is due to antiquated hardware and software for both the space and ground assets and a very complex set of mission profiles. Automated techniques in place by commercial telecommunication companies are being explored by NASA to determine their usability by NASA to reduce cost and increase science return. Adding cognition the ability to learn from past decisions and adjust behavior is also being investigated. Software Defined Radios are an ideal way to implement cognitive concepts. Cognition can be considered in many different aspects of the communication system. Radio functions, such as frequency, modulation, data rate, coding and filters can be adjusted based on measurements of signal degradation. Data delivery mechanisms and route changes based on past successes and failures can be made to more efficiently deliver the data to the end user. Automated antenna pointing can be added to improve gain, coverage, or adjust the target. Scheduling improvements and automation to reduce the dependence on humans provide more flexible capabilities. The Cognitive Communications project, funded by the Space Communication and Navigation Program, is exploring these concepts and using the SCaN Testbed on board the International Space Station to implement them as they evolve. The SCaN Testbed contains three Software Defined Radios and a flight computer. These four computing platforms, along with a tracking antenna system and the supporting ground infrastructure, will be used to implement various concepts in a system similar to those used by missions. Multiple universities and SBIR companies are supporting this investigation. This paper will describe the cognitive system ideas under consideration and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C; Lee, Pascal

    2015-06-01

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

  13. The Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Stage (NTPS): A Key Space Asset for Human Exploration and Commercial Missions to the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; McCurdy, David R.; Burke, Laura M.

    2014-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) has frequently been discussed as a key space asset that can bridge the gap between a sustained human presence on the Moon and the eventual human exploration of Mars. Recently, a human mission to a near Earth asteroid (NEA) has also been included as a "deep space precursor" to an orbital mission of Mars before a landing is attempted. In his "post-Apollo" Integrated Space Program Plan (1970 to 1990), Wernher von Braun, proposed a reusable Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Stage (NTPS) to deliver cargo and crew to the Moon to establish a lunar base initially before sending human missions to Mars. The NTR was selected because it was a proven technology capable of generating both high thrust and high specific impulse (Isp approx. 900 s)-twice that of today's best chemical rockets. During the Rover and NERVA programs, 20 rocket reactors were designed, built and successfully ground tested. These tests demonstrated the (1) thrust levels; (2) high fuel temperatures; (3) sustained operation; (4) accumulated lifetime; and (5) restart capability needed for an affordable in-space transportation system. In NASA's Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study, the "Copernicus" crewed NTR Mars transfer vehicle used three 25 klbf "Pewee" engines-the smallest and highest performing engine tested in the Rover program. Smaller lunar transfer vehicles-consisting of a NTPS with three approx. 16.7 klbf "SNRE-class" engines, an in-line propellant tank, plus the payload-can be delivered to LEO using a 70 t to LEO upgraded SLS, and can support reusable cargo delivery and crewed lunar landing missions. The NTPS can play an important role in returning humans to the Moon to stay by providing an affordable in-space transportation system that can allow initial lunar outposts to evolve into settlements capable of supporting commercial activities. Over the next decade collaborative efforts between NASA and private industry could open up new exploration and commercial

  14. Environmental Control Systems for Exploration Missions One and Two

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falcone, Mark A.

    2017-01-01

    In preparing for Exploration Missions One and Two (EM-1 & EM-2), the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program has significant updates to be made to nearly all facilities. This is all being done to accommodate the Space Launch System, which will be the world’s largest rocket in history upon fruition. Facilitating the launch of such a rocket requires an updated Vehicle Assembly Building, an upgraded Launchpad, Payload Processing Facility, and more. In this project, Environmental Control Systems across several facilities were involved, though there is a focus around the Mobile Launcher and Launchpad. Parts were ordered, analysis models were updated, design drawings were updated, and more.

  15. Evaluation of IEEE 802.11g and 802.16 for Lunar Surface Exploration Missions Using MACHETE Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segui, John; Jennings, Esther; Vyas, Hemali

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we investigated the suitability of terrestrial wireless networking technologies for lunar surface exploration missions. Specifically, the scenario we considered consisted of two teams of collaborating astronauts, one base station and one rover, where the base station and the rover have the capability of acting as relays. We focused on the evaluation of IEEE 802.11g and IEEE 802.16 protocols, simulating homogeneous 802.11g network, homogeneous 802.16 network, and heterogeneous network using both 802.11g and 802.16. A mix of traffic flows were simulated, including telemetry, caution and warning, voice, command and file transfer. Each traffic type had its own distribution profile, data volume, and priority. We analyzed the loss and delay trade-offs of these wireless protocols with various link-layer options. We observed that 802.16 network managed the channel better than an 802.11g network due to controlled infrastructure and centralized scheduling. However, due to the centralized scheduling, 802.16 also had a longer delay. The heterogeneous (hybrid) of 802.11/802.16 achieved a better balance of performance in terms of data loss and delay compared to using 802.11 or 802.16 alone.

  16. The lunar atmosphere and dust environment explorer mission (LADEE)

    CERN Document Server

    Russell, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    This volume contains five articles describing the mission and its instruments.  The first paper, by the project scientist Richard C. Elphic and his colleagues, describes the mission objectives, the launch vehicle, spacecraft and the mission itself.  This is followed by a description of LADEE’s Neutral Mass Spectrometer by Paul Mahaffy and company.  This paper describes the investigation that directly targets the lunar exosphere, which can also be explored optically in the ultraviolet.  In the following article Anthony Colaprete describes LADEE’s Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer that operated from 230 nm to 810 nm scanning the atmosphere just above the surface.  Not only is there atmosphere but there is also dust that putatively can be levitated above the surface, possibly by electric fields on the Moon’s surface.  Mihaly Horanyi leads this investigation, called the Lunar Dust Experiment, aimed at understanding the purported observations of levitated dust.  This experiment was also very succes...

  17. Private ground infrastructures for space exploration missions simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souchier, Alain

    2010-06-01

    The Mars Society, a private non profit organisation devoted to promote the red planet exploration, decided to implement simulated Mars habitat in two locations on Earth: in northern Canada on the rim of a meteoritic crater (2000), in a US Utah desert, location of a past Jurassic sea (2001). These habitats have been built with large similarities to actual planned habitats for first Mars exploration missions. Participation is open to everybody either proposing experimentations or wishing only to participate as a crew member. Participants are from different organizations: Mars Society, Universities, experimenters working with NASA or ESA. The general philosophy of the work conducted is not to do an innovative scientific work on the field but to learn how the scientific work is affected or modified by the simulation conditions. Outside activities are conducted with simulated spacesuits limiting the experimenter abilities. Technology or procedures experimentations are also conducted as well as experimentations on the crew psychology and behaviour.

  18. A Management Model for International Participation in Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Patrick J.; Pease, Gary M.; Tyburski, Timothy E.

    2005-01-01

    This paper proposes an engineering management model for NASA's future space exploration missions based on past experiences working with the International Partners of the International Space Station. The authors have over 25 years of combined experience working with the European Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Canadian Space Agency, Italian Space Agency, Russian Space Agency, and their respective contractors in the design, manufacturing, verification, and integration of their elements electric power system into the United States on-orbit segment. The perspective presented is one from a specific sub-system integration role and is offered so that the lessons learned from solving issues of technical and cultural nature may be taken into account during the formulation of international partnerships. Descriptions of the types of unique problems encountered relative to interactions between international partnerships are reviewed. Solutions to the problems are offered, taking into consideration the technical implications. Through the process of investigating each solution, the important and significant issues associated with working with international engineers and managers are outlined. Potential solutions are then characterized by proposing a set of specific methodologies to jointly develop spacecraft configurations that benefits all international participants, maximizes mission success and vehicle interoperability while minimizing cost.

  19. Cradle-to-Grave Logistic Technologies for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broyan, James L.; Ewert, Michael K.; Shull, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Human exploration missions under study are very limited by the launch mass capacity of exiting and planned vehicles. The logistical mass of crew items is typically considered separate from the vehicle structure, habitat outfitting, and life support systems. Consequently, crew item logistical mass is typically competing with vehicle systems for mass allocation. NASA is Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Logistics Reduction and Repurposing (LRR) Project is developing four logistics technologies guided by a systems engineering cradle-to-grave approach to enable used crew items to augment vehicle systems. Specifically, AES LRR is investigating the direct reduction of clothing mass, the repurposing of logistical packaging, the processing of spent crew items to benefit radiation shielding and water recovery, and the conversion of trash to propulsion supply gases. The systematic implementation of these types of technologies will increase launch mass efficiency by enabling items to be used for secondary purposes and improve the habitability of the vehicle as the mission duration increases. This paper provides a description, benefits, and challenges of the four technologies under development and a status of progress at the mid ]point of the three year AES project.

  20. A Raman Spectrometer for the ExoMars 2020 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  1. Autonomous and Autonomic Systems: A Paradigm for Future Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truszkowski, Walter F.; Hinchey, Michael G.; Rash, James L.; Rouff, Christopher A.

    2004-01-01

    NASA increasingly will rely on autonomous systems concepts, not only in the mission control centers on the ground, but also on spacecraft and on rovers and other assets on extraterrestrial bodies. Automomy enables not only reduced operations costs, But also adaptable goal-driven functionality of mission systems. Space missions lacking autonomy will be unable to achieve the full range of advanced mission objectives, given that human control under dynamic environmental conditions will not be feasible due, in part, to the unavoidably high signal propagation latency and constrained data rates of mission communications links. While autonomy cost-effectively supports accomplishment of mission goals, autonomicity supports survivability of remote mission assets, especially when human tending is not feasible. Autonomic system properties (which ensure self-configuring, self-optimizing self-healing, and self-protecting behavior) conceptually may enable space missions of a higher order into any previously flown. Analysis of two NASA agent-based systems previously prototyped, and of a proposed future mission involving numerous cooperating spacecraft, illustrates how autonomous and autonomic system concepts may be brought to bear on future space missions.

  2. Science Operations for Onboard Autonomous Rover Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estlin, T.; Castano, R.; Haldemann, A. F.; McHenry, M.; Bornstein, B.; Gaines, D.; Burl, M.; Anderson, R. C.; Powell, M.; Shu, I.; Farr, T.; Nesnas, I.; Jain, A.; Judd, M.

    2006-12-01

    Onboard autonomous science represents one means to balance the large amounts of scientific data that current and future rovers can acquire with the limited ability to download it to Earth. Several systems are under development to perform autonomous rover science. The use of such systems represents a departure from standard operations, which closely resemble batch tele-operation. It is important for the science operations team to understand the capabilities and limitations of the onboard system to effectively use the tool of autonomous onboard science to increase overall mission science return, however it is difficult for the science team to get a feel for the onboard system without hands on experience in an operational system setting. This past year, the OASIS (Onboard Autonomous Science Investigation System) team has been working with the SOOPS (Science Operations On Planetary Surfaces) task to investigate how science returns for surface missions can be improved through the use of science autonomy. A limited version of OASIS was tested at the system level. The test involved a high-fidelity software simulation of a rover exploring a remote terrain using realistic operational interfaces. By using the simulation environment it is feasible to run many more experiments than testing with physical rover. Further, the simulation environment combined with the integrated operational system provides situational awareness for the science operations team along with greater flexibility and control over experiments to help answer "what if" questions that can lead to identifying the most effective ways to use the onboard system. In the tests, OASIS applied predetermined criteria provided by the scientists to prioritize which data collected during a traverse to send home, given specified bandwidth constraints. In addition, rock summary information (which requires very little bandwidth) was returned and provided as both a table and a map to the science team. We discuss the results

  3. Exploring Asteroid Interiors: The Deep Interior Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, E.; Belton, M. J. S.; Cangahuala, A.; Keith, L.; Klaasen, K.; McFadden, L.; Neumann, G.; Ostro, S. J.; Reinert, R.; Safaeinili, A.

    2003-01-01

    Deep Interior is a mission to determine the geophysical properties of near-Earth objects, including the first volumetric image of the interior of an asteroid. Radio reflection tomography will image the 3D distribution of complex dielectric properties within the 1 km rendezvous target and hence map structural, density or compositional variations. Laser altimetry and visible imaging will provide high-resolution surface topography. Smart surface pods culminating in blast experiments, imaged by the high frame rate camera and scanned by lidar, will characterize active mechanical behavior and structure of surface materials, expose unweathered surface for NIR analysis, and may enable some characterization of bulk seismic response. Multiple flybys en route to this target will characterize a diversity of asteroids, probing their interiors with non-tomographic radar reflectance experiments. Deep Interior is a natural follow-up to the NEARShoemaker mission and will provide essential guidance for future in situ asteroid and comet exploration. While our goal is to learn the interior geology of small bodies and how their surfaces behave, the resulting science will enable pragmatic technologies required of hazard mitigation and resource utilization.

  4. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA’s Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M.

    2014-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85–90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system. PMID:25049406

  5. Fission Power System Technology for NASA Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Lee; Houts, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Under the NASA Exploration Technology Development Program, and in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), NASA is conducting a project to mature Fission Power System (FPS) technology. A primary project goal is to develop viable system options to support future NASA mission needs for nuclear power. The main FPS project objectives are as follows: 1) Develop FPS concepts that meet expected NASA mission power requirements at reasonable cost with added benefits over other options. 2) Establish a hardware-based technical foundation for FPS design concepts and reduce overall development risk. 3) Reduce the cost uncertainties for FPS and establish greater credibility for flight system cost estimates. 4) Generate the key products to allow NASA decisionmakers to consider FPS as a preferred option for flight development. In order to achieve these goals, the FPS project has two main thrusts: concept definition and risk reduction. Under concept definition, NASA and DOE are performing trade studies, defining requirements, developing analytical tools, and formulating system concepts. A typical FPS consists of the reactor, shield, power conversion, heat rejection, and power management and distribution (PMAD). Studies are performed to identify the desired design parameters for each subsystem that allow the system to meet the requirements with reasonable cost and development risk. Risk reduction provides the means to evaluate technologies in a laboratory test environment. Non-nuclear hardware prototypes are built and tested to verify performance expectations, gain operating experience, and resolve design uncertainties.

  6. Potential Uses of Deep Space Cooling for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambliss, Joe; Sweterlitsch, Jeff; Swickrath, Micahel J.

    2012-01-01

    Nearly all exploration missions envisioned by NASA provide the capability to view deep space and thus to reject heat to a very low temperature environment. Environmental sink temperatures approach as low as 4 Kelvin providing a natural capability to support separation and heat rejection processes that would otherwise be power and hardware intensive in terrestrial applications. For example, radiative heat transfer can be harnessed to cryogenically remove atmospheric contaminants such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Long duration differential temperatures on sunlit versus shadowed sides of the vehicle could be used to drive thermoelectric power generation. Rejection of heat from cryogenic propellant could counter temperature increases thus avoiding the need to vent propellants. These potential uses of deep space cooling will be addressed in this paper with the benefits and practical considerations of such approaches.

  7. Evolution of Requirements and Assumptions for Future Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Molly; Sargusingh, Miriam; Perry, Jay

    2017-01-01

    NASA programs are maturing technologies, systems, and architectures to enabling future exploration missions. To increase fidelity as technologies mature, developers must make assumptions that represent the requirements of a future program. Multiple efforts have begun to define these requirements, including team internal assumptions, planning system integration for early demonstrations, and discussions between international partners planning future collaborations. For many detailed life support system requirements, existing NASA documents set limits of acceptable values, but a future vehicle may be constrained in other ways, and select a limited range of conditions. Other requirements are effectively set by interfaces or operations, and may be different for the same technology depending on whether the hard-ware is a demonstration system on the International Space Station, or a critical component of a future vehicle. This paper highlights key assumptions representing potential life support requirements and explanations of the driving scenarios, constraints, or other issues that drive them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

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

  9. WAVE-E: The WAter Vapour European-Explorer Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez-LLuva, David; Deiml, Michael; Pavesi, Sara

    2017-04-01

    In the last decade, stratosphere-troposphere coupling processes in the Upper Troposphere Lower Stratosphere (UTLS) have been increasingly recognized to severely impact surface climate and high-impact weather phenomena. Weakened stratospheric circumpolar jets have been linked to worldwide extreme temperature and high-precipitation events, while anomalously strong stratospheric jets can lead to an increase in surface winds and tropical cyclone intensity. Moreover, stratospheric water vapor has been identified as an important forcing for global decadal surface climate change. In the past years, operational weather forecast and climate models have adapted a high vertical resolution in the UTLS region in order to capture the dynamical processes occurring in this highly stratified region. However, there is an evident lack of available measurements in the UTLS region to consistently support these models and further improve process understanding. Consequently, both the IPCC fifth assessment report and the ESA-GEWEX report 'Earth Observation and Water Cycle Science Priorities' have identified an urgent need for long-term observations and improved process understanding in the UTLS region. To close this gap, the authors propose the 'WAter Vapour European - Explorer' (WAVE-E) space mission, whose primary goal is to monitor water vapor in the UTLS at 1 km vertical, 25 km horizontal and sub-daily temporal resolution. WAVE-E consists of three quasi-identical small ( 500 kg) satellites (WAVE-E 1-3) in a constellation of Sun-Synchronous Low Earth Orbits, each carrying a limb sounding and cross-track scanning mid-infrared passive spectrometer (824 cm-1 to 829 cm-1). The core of the instruments builds a monolithic, field-widened type of Michelson interferometer without any moving parts, rendering it rigid and fault tolerant. Synergistic use of WAVE-E and MetOp-NG operational satellites is identified, such that a data fusion algorithm could provide water vapour profiles from the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Ryan B.; Bell, James F.

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Reconfigurable Autonomy for Future Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burroughes, Guy

    Extra-terrestrial Planetary rover systems are uniquely remote, placing constraints in regard to communication, environmental uncertainty, and limited physical resources, and requiring a high level of fault tolerance and resistance to hardware degradation. This thesis presents a novel self-reconfiguring autonomous software architecture designed to meet the needs of extraterrestrial planetary environments. At runtime it can safely reconfigure low-level control systems, high-level decisional autonomy systems, and managed software architecture. The architecture can perform automatic Verification and Validation of self-reconfiguration at run-time, and enables a system to be self-optimising, self-protecting, and self-healing. A novel self-monitoring system, which is non-invasive, efficient, tunable, and autonomously deploying, is also presented. The architecture was validated through the use-case of a highly autonomous extra-terrestrial planetary exploration rover. Three major forms of reconfiguration were demonstrated and tested: first, high level adjustment of system internal architecture and goal; second, software module modification; and third, low level alteration of hardware control in response to degradation of hardware and environmental change. The architecture was demonstrated to be robust and effective in a Mars sample return mission use-case testing the operational aspects of a novel, reconfigurable guidance, navigation, and control system for a planetary rover, all operating in concert through a scenario that required reconfiguration of all elements of the system.

  12. Reference Mission Version 3.0 Addendum to the Human Exploration of Mars: The Reference Mission of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team. Addendum; 3.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Bret G. (Editor)

    1998-01-01

    This Addendum to the Mars Reference Mission was developed as a companion document to the NASA Special Publication 6107, "Human Exploration of Mars: The Reference Mission of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team." It summarizes changes and updates to the Mars Reference Missions that were developed by the Exploration Office since the final draft of SP 6107 was printed in early 1999. The Reference Mission is a tool used by the exploration community to compare and evaluate approaches to mission and system concepts that could be used for human missions to Mars. It is intended to identify and clarify system drivers, significant sources of cost, performance, risk, and schedule variation. Several alternative scenarios, employing different technical approaches to solving mission and technology challenges, are discussed in this Addendum. Comparing alternative approaches provides the basis for continual improvement to technology investment plan and a general understanding of future human missions to Mars. The Addendum represents a snapshot of work in progress in support of planning for future human exploration missions through May 1998.

  13. Science Enabling Exploration: Using LRO to Prepare for Future Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, S.; Jolliff, B. L.; Stopar, J.; Speyerer, E. J.; Petro, N. E.

    2016-12-01

    Discoveries from LRO have transformed our understanding of the Moon (e. g., [1],[2],[3]), but LRO's instruments were originally designed to collect the measurements required to enable future lunar surface exploration [3]. A high lunar exploration priority is the collection of new samples and their return to Earth for comprehensive analysis [4]. The importance of sample return from South Pole-Aitken is well-established [Jolliff et al., this conference], but there are numerous other locations where sample return will yield important advances in planetary science. Using new LRO data, we have defined an achievability envelope based on the physical characteristics of successful lunar landing sites [5]. Those results were then used to define 1km x 1km regions of interest where sample return could be executed, including: the basalt flows in Oceanus Procellarum (22.1N, 53.9W), the Gruithuisen Domes (36.1N, 39.7W), the Dewar cryptomare (2.2S, 166.8E), the Aristarchus pyroclastic deposit (24.8N, 48.5W), the Sulpicius Gallus formation (19.9N, 10.3E), the Sinus Aestuum pyroclastic deposit (5.2N, 9.2W), the Compton-Belkovich volcanic complex (61.5N, 99.9E), the Ina Irregular Mare Patch (18.7N, 5.3E), and the Marius Hills volcanic complex (13.4N, 55.9W). All of these locations represent safe landing sites where sample returns are needed to advance our understanding of the evolution of the lunar interior and the timescales of lunar volcanism ([6], [7]). If LRO is still active when any future mission reaches the surface, LRO's capability to rapidly place surface activities into broader geologic context will provide operational advantages. LRO remains a unique strategic asset that continues to address the needs of future missions. References: [1] M. S. Robinson et al., Icarus, 252, 229-235, 2015. [2] S. E. Braden et al. Nat. Geosci., 7, 11, 787-791, 2014. [3] J. W. Keller et al. Icarus, 273, 2-24, 2016. [4] LEAG, Lunar Exploration Roadmap, 2011. [5] S. J. Lawrence et al., LPI

  14. Pressurized lunar rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; McClure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar

    1992-05-01

    The pressurized lunar rover (PLR) consists of a 7 m long, 3 m diameter cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, directional lighting, cameras, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The PLR shell is constructed of a layered carbon-fiber/foam composite. The rover has six 1.5 m diameter wheels on the main body and two 1.5 m diameter wheels on the trailer. The wheels are constructed of composites and flex to increase traction and shock absorption. The wheels are each attached to a double A-arm aluminum suspension, which allows each wheel 1 m of vertical motion. In conjunction with a 0.75 m ground clearance, the suspension aids the rover in negotiating the uneven lunar terrain. The 15 N-m torque brushless electric motors are mounted with harmonic drive units inside each of the wheels. The rover is steered by electrically varying the speeds of the wheels on either side of the rover. The PLR trailer contains a radiosotope thermoelectric generator providing 6.7 kW. A secondary back-up energy storage system for short-term high-power needs is provided by a bank of batteries. The trailer can be detached to facilitate docking of the main body with the lunar base via an airlock located in the rear of the PLR. The airlock is also used for EVA operation during missions. Life support is a partly regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center. The water absorbs any damaging radiation, allowing the command center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. Guidance, navigation, and control are supplied by a strapdown inertial measurement unit that works with the on-board computer. Star mappers provide periodic error correction.

  15. Physicochemical and biological technologies for future exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belz, S.; Buchert, M.; Bretschneider, J.; Nathanson, E.; Fasoulas, S.

    2014-08-01

    Life Support Systems (LSS) are essential for human spaceflight. They are the key element for humans to survive, to live and to work in space. Ambitious goals of human space exploration in the next 40 years like a permanently crewed surface habitat on Moon or a manned mission to Mars require technologies which allow for a reduction of system and resupply mass. Enhancements of existing technologies, new technological developments and synergetic components integration help to close the oxygen, water and carbon loops. In order to design the most efficient LSS architecture for a given mission scenario, it is important to follow a dedicated design process: definition of requirements, selection of candidate technologies, development of possible LSS architectures and characterisation of LSS architectures by system drivers and evaluation of the LSS architectures. This paper focuses on the approach of a synergetic integration of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEFC) and microalgae cultivated in photobioreactors (PBR). LSS architectures and their benefits for selected mission scenarios are demonstrated. Experiments on critical processes and interfaces were conducted and result in engineering models for a PEFC and PBR system which fulfil the requirements of a synergetic integrative environment. The PEFC system (about 1 kW) can be operated with cabin air enriched by stored or biologically generated oxygen instead of pure oxygen. This offers further advantages with regard to thermal control as high oxygen concentrations effect a dense heat production. The PBR system consists of an illuminated cultivation chamber (about 5 l), a nutrients supply and harvesting and analytics units. Especially the chamber enables a microgravity adapted cultivation of microalgae. However, the peripheral units still have to be adapted in order to allow for a continuous and automated cultivation and harvesting. These automation processes will be tested and evaluated by means of a parabolic

  16. Mars 2001 Orbiter, Lander and Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, R. S.

    1999-09-01

    The Mars 2001 mission is well equipped to analyze the surface of Mars. The mission: 1) completes MO objectives with gamma ray spectrometer elemental mapping, 2) explores a new region of the Martian surface, and 3) is the first in the combined Mars strategy of the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) and Space Science Enterprises of NASA. The mission demonstrates technologies and collects environmental data that provide the basis for permanent outposts or a decision to send humans to Mars. Potential sites include ancient crust and ancient aqueous environments. The orbiter carries the gamma ray spectrometer, a thermal emission spectrometer (THEMIS) and imager that will map the mineral abundance at selected sites and a radiation experiment, Marie, to assess radiation hazards. The lander carries a suite of Space Science and HEDS instruments including a robotic arm with camera. The arm will deploy a Moessbauer spectrometer to determine the state of iron in the soil. The arm will deploy the rover and dig up to 0.5 m to deliver soil to MECA, the soil and dust characterization experiments. The Mars In Situ Propellant Precursor Experiment (MIP) will assess in situ propellant production technology and produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The landed Marie radiation experiment will assess radiation hazards on the surface. The lander carries a panoramic camera bore-sighted with a thermal emission spectrometer (PanCam/MiniTES) to allow comparison between mineralogical data and elemental data. The descent imaging system (MARDI) will image from parachute deployment to the surface. The rover is Sojourner class, with an upgraded Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) experiment carefully calibrated on Earth and on Mars. The instruments will be operated in an integrated mode to provide maximum capability to explore and characterize a new region on Mars. MSP-01 is a NASA/JPL Mission.

  17. Microbial Impact on Success of Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, Duane L.; Ott, C. Mark; Groves, T. O.; Paloski, W. H. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to identify microbiological risks associated with space exploration and identify potential countermeasures available. Identification of microbial risks associated with space habitation requires knowledge of the sources and expected types of microbial agents. Crew data along with environmental data from water, surfaces, air, and free condensate are utilized in risk examination. Data from terrestrial models are also used. Microbial risks to crew health include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. Adverse effects of microbes include: infections, allergic reactions, toxin production, release of volatiles, food spoilage, plant disease, material degradation, and environmental contamination. Risk is difficult to assess because of unknown potential changes in microbes (e.g., mutation) and the human host (e.g., immune changes). Prevention of adverse microbial impacts is preferred over remediation. Preventative measures include engineering measures (e.g., air filtration), crew microbial screening, acceptability standards, and active verification by onboard monitoring. Microbiological agents are important risks to human health and performance during space flight and risks increase with mission duration. Acceptable risk level must be defined. Prevention must be given high priority. Careful screening of crewmembers and payloads is an important element of any risk mitigation plan. Improved quantitation of microbiological risks is a high priority.

  18. New vision solar system exploration missions study: Analysis of the use of biomodal space nuclear power systems to support outer solar system exploration missions. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-08

    This report presents the results of an analysis of the capability of nuclear bimodal systems to perform outer solar system exploration missions. Missions of interest include orbiter mission s to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. An initial technology baseline consisting of a NEBA 10 kWe, 1000 N thrust, 850 s, 1500 kg bimodal system was selected, and its performance examined against a data base for trajectories to outer solar system planetary destinations to select optimal direct and gravity assisted trajectories for study. A conceptual design for a common bimodal spacecraft capable of performing missions to all the planetary destinations was developed and made the basis of end to end mission designs for orbiter missions to Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. Concepts for microspacecraft capable of probing Jupiter`s atmosphere and exploring Titan were also developed. All mission designs considered use the Atlas 2AS for launch. It is shown that the bimodal nuclear power and propulsion system offers many attractive option for planetary missions, including both conventional planetary missions in which all instruments are carried by a single primary orbiting spacecraft, and unconventional missions in which the primary spacecraft acts as a carrier, relay, and mother ship for a fleet of micro spacecraft deployed at the planetary destination.

  19. G3E - Geostationary Emission Explorer for Europe: mission concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butz, Andre; Orphal, Johannes; Bovensmann, Heinrich; von Clarmann, Thomas; Friedl-Vallon, Felix; Knigge, Thiemo; Muenzenmayer, Ralf; Schmuelling, Frank

    2015-04-01

    Anthropogenic activities release various gaseous and particulate substances into the Earth's atmosphere affecting air quality and climate. The greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are particularly important drivers of man-made climate change while ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO) and aerosols are major players in tropospheric photochemistry controlling air quality. Once released to the atmosphere the fate of man-made pollutants and climate forcers is controlled by natural removal processes. We present the mission concept of the Geostationary Emission Explorer for Europe (G3E). G3E primarily aims at accurately measuring CO2 and CH4 column-average concentrations across Europe with spatial and temporal resolution of a few kilometers and a few hours, respectively. Such spatiotemporally dense imaging of the greenhouse gas concentration fields above Europe is expected to boost our ability to disentangle anthropogenic emissions from natural source and sink processes and to impose unprecedented observational constraints on surface flux quantification. In support of the retrieval and interpretation of greenhouse gas concentrations, G3E's grating spectrometers cover a wide spectral range from the near infrared into the shortwave infrared. This facilitates estimates of column-average CO and aerosol abundances providing extra information on air-quality from a geostationary view. A flexible pointing design further allows for selecting focus regions beyond the European continent in order to address the surface flux budgets of other regions of interest such as tropical Africa. We demonstrate G3E's capabilities in terms of prospective instrument design, observation concept, and retrieval performance.

  20. Science from the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elphic, Richard; Delory, Gregory; Noble, Sarah; Colaprete, Anthony; Horanyi, Mihaly; Mahaffy, Paul; Benna, Mehdi

    2014-11-01

    On September 6, 2013, a near-perfect launch of the first Minotaur V rocket successfully carried NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) into a high-eccentricity geocentric orbit. LADEE arrived at the Moon on October 6, 2013, during the government shutdown. The spacecraft impacted the lunar surface on April 18, 2014, following a completely successful mission. LADEE’s science objectives were twofold: (1) Determine the composition and variability of the lunar atmosphere; (2) Characterize the lunar exospheric dust environment, and its variability. The LADEE science payload consisted of the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX), which sensed dust impacts in situ, for particles between 100 nm and 5 micrometers; a neutral mass spectrometer (NMS), which sampled lunar exospheric gases in situ, over the 2-150 Dalton mass range; an ultraviolet/visible spectrometer (UVS) acquired spectra of atmospheric emissions and scattered light from tenuous dust, spanning a 250-800 nm wavelength range. UVS also performed dust extinction measurements via a separate solar viewer optic. Among the preliminary results for the lunar exosphere: (1) The helium exosphere of the Moon, first observed during Apollo, is clearly dominated by the delivery of solar wind He++. (2) Neon 20 is clearly seen as an important constituent of the exosphere. (3) Argon 40, also observed during Apollo and arising from interior outgassing, exhibits variations related to surface temperature-driven condensation and release, and is also enhanced over specific selenographic longitudes. (4) The sodium abundance varies with both lunar phase and with meteoroid influx, implicating both solar wind sputtering and impact vaporization processes. (5) Potassium was also routinely monitored and exhibits some of the same properties as sodium. (6) Other candidate species were seen by both NMS and UVS, and await confirmation. Dust measurements have revealed a persistent “shroud” of small dust particles between 0

  1. Planning Mars Memory: Learning from the MER Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlotte, Linde

    2004-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation discusses ways in which the lessons learned from a mission can be systematically remembered, retained, and applied by individuals and by an organization as a whole. The presentation cites lessons learned from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission as examples.

  2. Supporting Increased Autonomy for a Mars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estlin, Tara; Castano, Rebecca; Gaines, Dan; Bornstein, Ben; Judd, Michele; Anderson, Robert C.; Nesnas, Issa

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents an architecture and a set of technology for performing autonomous science and commanding for a planetary rover. The MER rovers have outperformed all expectations by lasting over 1100 sols (or Martian days), which is an order of magnitude longer than their original mission goal. The longevity of these vehicles will have significant effects on future mission goals, such as objectives for the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission (scheduled to fly in 2009) and the Astrobiology Field Lab rover mission (scheduled to potentially fly in 2016). Common objectives for future rover missions to Mars include the handling of opportunistic science, long-range or multi-sol driving, and onboard fault diagnosis and recovery. To handle these goals, a number of new technologies have been developed and integrated as part of the CLARAty architecture. CLARAty is a unified and reusable robotic architecture that was designed to simplify the integration, testing and maturation of robotic technologies for future missions. This paper focuses on technology comprising the CLARAty Decision Layer, which was designed to support and validate high-level autonomy technologies, such as automated planning and scheduling and onboard data analysis.

  3. Exploring university mission-identity perceptions: predictors of faith maturity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenigs, Angela M; Ferrari, Joseph R

    2013-01-01

    Two studies examined mission-identity perceptions as predictors of faith maturity among students at a faith-based university. Study 1 (n = 304; 222 women, 82 men) assessed the relationships among students in the general student population. Study 2 was a replication of Study 1, but included students involved with a campus ministry organization (n = 94; 69 women, 25 men). In Study 1, innovative and inclusive mission-identity perceptions were significant, positive predictors of vertical and horizontal faith maturity. The findings of Study 2 were consistent with those of Study 1, with one exception. Specifically, no evidence of a relationship between mission-identity perceptions (innovative and inclusive) and horizontal faith maturity was found in Study 2. Results may offer insight into the factors that influence students' spiritual development at faith-based universities.

  4. The ADRON-RM Instrument Onboard the ExoMars Rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrofanov, I G; Litvak, M L; Nikiforov, S Y; Jun, I; Bobrovnitsky, Y I; Golovin, D V; Grebennikov, A S; Fedosov, F S; Kozyrev, A S; Lisov, D I; Malakhov, A V; Mokrousov, M I; Sanin, A B; Shvetsov, V N; Timoshenko, G N; Tomilina, T M; Tret'yakov, V I; Vostrukhin, A A

    This overview presents the physical principles, design, measurement capabilities, and summary of planned operations of the autonomous detector of radiation of neutrons onboard rover at Mars (ADRON-RM) on the surface of Mars. ADRON-RM is a Russian project selected for the joint European Space Agency-Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 landing mission. A compact passive neutron spectrometer, ADRON-RM, was designed to study the abundance and distribution of water and neutron absorption elements (such as Cl, Fe, and others) in the martian subsurface along the path of the ExoMars rover. Key Words: Mars exploration-Surface-Neutron Spectroscopy-Water. Astrobiology 17, 585-594.

  5. Mars mission science operations facilities design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Jeffrey S.; Wales, Roxana; Powell, Mark W.; Backes, Paul G.; Steinke, Robert C.

    2002-01-01

    A variety of designs for Mars rover and lander science operations centers are discussed in this paper, beginning with a brief description of the Pathfinder science operations facility and its strengths and limitations. Particular attention is then paid to lessons learned in the design and use of operations facilities for a series of mission-like field tests of the FIDO prototype Mars rover. These lessons are then applied to a proposed science operations facilities design for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. Issues discussed include equipment selection, facilities layout, collaborative interfaces, scalability, and dual-purpose environments. The paper concludes with a discussion of advanced concepts for future mission operations centers, including collaborative immersive interfaces and distributed operations. This paper's intended audience includes operations facility and situation room designers and the users of these environments.

  6. Agile: From Software to Mission System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, Jay; Shirley, Mark H.; Hobart, Sarah Groves

    2016-01-01

    The Resource Prospector (RP) is an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) technology demonstration mission, designed to search for volatiles at the Lunar South Pole. This is NASA's first near real time tele-operated rover on the Moon. The primary objective is to search for volatiles at one of the Lunar Poles. The combination of short mission duration, a solar powered rover, and the requirement to explore shadowed regions makes for an operationally challenging mission. To maximize efficiency and flexibility in Mission System design and thus to improve the performance and reliability of the resulting Mission System, we are tailoring Agile principles that we have used effectively in ground data system software development and applying those principles to the design of elements of the mission operations system.

  7. Orion Optical Navigation Progress Toward Exploration: Mission 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Greg N.; D'Souza, Christopher N.; Saley, David

    2018-01-01

    Optical navigation of human spacecraft was proposed on Gemini and implemented successfully on Apollo as a means of autonomously operating the vehicle in the event of lost communication with controllers on Earth. It shares a history with the "method of lunar distances" that was used in the 18th century and gained some notoriety after its use by Captain James Cook during his 1768 Pacific voyage of the HMS Endeavor. The Orion emergency return system utilizing optical navigation has matured in design over the last several years, and is currently undergoing the final implementation and test phase in preparation for Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) in 2019. The software development is being worked as a Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) project delivered as an application within the Core Flight Software of the Orion camera controller module. The mathematical formulation behind the initial ellipse fit in the image processing is detailed in Christian. The non-linear least squares refinement then follows the technique of Mortari as an estimation process of the planetary limb using the sigmoid function. The Orion optical navigation system uses a body fixed camera, a decision that was driven by mass and mechanism constraints. The general concept of operations involves a 2-hour pass once every 24 hours, with passes specifically placed before all maneuvers to supply accurate navigation information to guidance and targeting. The pass lengths are limited by thermal constraints on the vehicle since the OpNav attitude generally deviates from the thermally stable tail-to-sun attitude maintained during the rest of the orbit coast phase. Calibration is scheduled prior to every pass due to the unknown nature of thermal effects on the lens distortion and the mounting platform deformations between the camera and star trackers. The calibration technique is described in detail by Christian, et al. and simultaneously estimates the Brown-Conrady coefficients and the Star Tracker

  8. Rover-Based Instrumentation and Scientific Investigations During the 2012 Analog Field Test on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, L. D.; Graff, T. G.

    2013-01-01

    Rover-based 2012 Moon and Mars Analog Mission Activities (MMAMA) were recently completed on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii. Scientific investigations, scientific input, and operational constraints were tested in the context of existing project and protocols for the field activities designed to help NASA achieve the Vision for Space Exploration [1]. Several investigations were conducted by the rover mounted instruments to determine key geophysical and geochemical properties of the site, as well as capture the geological context of the area and the samples investigated. The rover traverse and associated science investigations were conducted over a three day period on the southeast flank of the Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii. The test area was at an elevation of 11,500 feet and is known as "Apollo Valley" (Fig. 1). Here we report the integration and operation of the rover-mounted instruments, as well as the scientific investigations that were conducted.

  9. Robotic Arm of Rover 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    JPL engineers examine the robotic arm of Mars Exploration Rover 1. The arm is modeled after a human arm, complete with joints, and holds four devices on its end, the Rock Abrasion Tool which can grind into Martian rocks, a microscopic imager, and two spectrometers for elemental and iron-mineral identification.

  10. Electrostatic Dust Control for Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Farrell, W. M.; Nuth, J. A.; Stubbs, T. J.; Rilee, M. L.

    2005-12-01

    Detailed study of the physical and chemical nature of the fine particulate portion of the regoliths of these bodies is a key to understanding micrometeorite bombardment and the nature of regolith formation. Thus, missions to sample the surfaces of atmosphereless bodies, including the Moon, asteroids, and Mercury, have been identified as crucial components of solar system exploration over the next decades. We have proposed autonomous reconfigurable robotic manual assistants and lander/rovers for such missions. On the other hand, dust poses problems for mechanisms and exposed surfaces on landers/rovers sent to such bodies. Compromise of seals and loss of sample material, as well as mechanical damage to systems and surfaces, occurred after hours of operation during the Apollo missions. Thus both dust mitigation and dust collection are issues which must be addressed for sampling missions. Dust activity on atmosphereless bodies is ubiquitous and induced by complex interactions of fine particulates, environmentally-dependent fields, and charged particles with vehicle surfaces and mechanisms. Dust particles are both abrasive and adhesive as a result of the melting and crushing from micrometeorite bombardment. Thus, dust dynamics result from the interplay between mechanical and electrostatic forces and are a critical environmental factor with which all rover technologies must deal. We have considered various strategies for dust mitigation. Passive ones include the use of conducting surfaces and O-ring sealing of all mechanisms. Several active mechanisms for not only removing but collecting dust are under consideration. Our inter-disciplinary team is investigating the feasibility of an electrostatically based concept for a dust control. Relatively little work has been done on empirically simulating what happens when another surface is introduced into a non-conducting, dusty regolith. We plan to test our concept by performing empirical simulations of the interaction between

  11. Hybrid Aerial/Rover Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachelder, Aaron

    2003-01-01

    A proposed instrumented robotic vehicle called an "aerover" would fly, roll along the ground, and/or float on bodies of liquid, as needed. The aerover would combine features of an aerobot (a robotic lighter-than-air balloon) and a wheeled robot of the "rover" class. An aerover would also look very much like a variant of the "beach-ball" rovers. Although the aerover was conceived for use in scientific exploration of Titan (the largest moon of the planet Saturn), the aerover concept could readily be adapted to similar uses on Earth.

  12. Exploring with PAM: Prospecting ANTS Missions for Solar System Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm), a large (1000 member) swarm of nano to picoclass (10 to 1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft, are being developed as a NASA advanced mission concept. ANTS, based on a hierarchical insect social order, use an evolvable, self-similar, hierarchical neural system in which individual spacecraft represent the highest level nodes. ANTS uses swarm intelligence attained through collective, cooperative interactions of the nodes at all levels of the system. At the highest levels this can take the form of cooperative, collective behavior among the individual spacecraft in a very large constellation. The ANTS neural architecture is designed for totally autonomous operation of complex systems including spacecraft constellations. The ANTS (Autonomous Nano Technology Swarm) concept has a number of possible applications. A version of ANTS designed for surveying and determining the resource potential of the asteroid belt, called PAM (Prospecting ANTS Mission), is examined here.

  13. Development of autonomous multirotor platform for exploration missions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Czyba, Roman; Janik, Marcin; Kurgan, Oliver; Niezabitowski, Michał; Nocoń, Marek

    2016-06-08

    This paper outlines development process of unmanned multirotor aerial vehicle HF-4X, which consists of design and manufacturing semi-autonomous UAV dedicated for indoor flight, which would be capable of stable and controllable mission flight. A micro air vehicle was designed to participate in the International Micro Air Vehicle Conference and Flight Competition. In this paper much attention was paid to the structure of flight control system, stabilization algorithms, analysis of IMU sensors, fusion algorithms.

  14. Lunar Surface Operations with Dual Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horz, Friedrich; Lofgren, Gary E.; Eppler, Dean E.; Ming, Douglas

    2010-01-01

    Lunar Electric Rovers (LER) are currently being developed that are substantially more capable than the Apollo vehicle (LRN ,"). Unlike the LRV, the new LERs provide a pressurized cabin that serves as short-sleeve environment for the crew of two, including sleeping accommodations and other provisions that allow for long tern stays, possibly up to 60 days, on the hear surface, without the need to replenish consumables from some outside source, such as a lander or outpost. As a consequence, significantly larger regions may be explored in the future and traverse distances may be measured in a few hundred kilometers (1, 2). However, crew safety remains an overriding concern, and methods other than "walk back", the major operational constraint of all Apollo traverses, must be implemented to assure -at any time- the safe return of the crew to the lander or outpost. This then causes current Constellation plans to envision long-tern traverses to be conducted with 2 LERs exclusively, each carrying a crew of two: in case one rover fails, the other will rescue the stranded crew and return all 4 astronauts in a single LER to base camp. Recent Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) analog field tests simulated a continuous 14 day traverse (3), covering some 135 km, and included a rescue operation that transferred the crew and diverse consumables from one LER to another these successful tests add substantial realism to the development of long-term, dual rover operations. The simultaneous utilization of 2 LERs is of course totally unlike Apollo and raises interesting issues regarding science productivity and mission operations, the thrust of this note.

  15. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Spirit acquired this mosaic with the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. The view presented here is an approximately true-color rendering.

  16. Innovations in Mission Architectures for Human and Robotic Exploration Beyond Low Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Douglas R.; Joosten, B. Kent; Lo, Martin W.; Ford, Ken; Hansen, Jack

    2002-01-01

    Through the application of advanced technologies, mission concepts, and new ideas in combining capabilities, architectures for missions beyond Earth orbit have been dramatically simplified. These concepts enable a stepping stone approach to discovery driven, technology enabled exploration. Numbers and masses of vehicles required are greatly reduced, yet enable the pursuit of a broader range of objectives. The scope of missions addressed range from the assembly and maintenance of arrays of telescopes for emplacement at the Earth-Sun L2, to Human missions to asteroids, the moon and Mars. Vehicle designs are developed for proof of concept, to validate mission approaches and understand the value of new technologies. The stepping stone approach employs an incremental buildup of capabilities; allowing for decision points on exploration objectives. It enables testing of technologies to achieve greater reliability and understanding of costs for the next steps in exploration.

  17. Predictions of space radiation fatality risk for exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.; To, Khiet; Cacao, Eliedonna

    2017-05-01

    In this paper we describe revisions to the NASA Space Cancer Risk (NSCR) model focusing on updates to probability distribution functions (PDF) representing the uncertainties in the radiation quality factor (QF) model parameters and the dose and dose-rate reduction effectiveness factor (DDREF). We integrate recent heavy ion data on liver, colorectal, intestinal, lung, and Harderian gland tumors with other data from fission neutron experiments into the model analysis. In an earlier work we introduced distinct QFs for leukemia and solid cancer risk predictions, and here we consider liver cancer risks separately because of the higher RBE's reported in mouse experiments compared to other tumors types, and distinct risk factors for liver cancer for astronauts compared to the U.S. population. The revised model is used to make predictions of fatal cancer and circulatory disease risks for 1-year deep space and International Space Station (ISS) missions, and a 940 day Mars mission. We analyzed the contribution of the various model parameter uncertainties to the overall uncertainty, which shows that the uncertainties in relative biological effectiveness (RBE) factors at high LET due to statistical uncertainties and differences across tissue types and mouse strains are the dominant uncertainty. NASA's exposure limits are approached or exceeded for each mission scenario considered. Two main conclusions are made: 1) Reducing the current estimate of about a 3-fold uncertainty to a 2-fold or lower uncertainty will require much more expansive animal carcinogenesis studies in order to reduce statistical uncertainties and understand tissue, sex and genetic variations. 2) Alternative model assumptions such as non-targeted effects, increased tumor lethality and decreased latency at high LET, and non-cancer mortality risks from circulatory diseases could significantly increase risk estimates to several times higher than the NASA limits.

  18. Solar Electric Propulsion Vehicle Demonstration to Support Future Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Bryan K.; Nazario, Margaret L.; Cunningham, Cameron C.

    2012-01-01

    Human and robotic exploration beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) will require enabling capabilities that are efficient, affordable, and reliable. Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) is highly advantageous because of its favorable in-space mass transfer efficiency compared to traditional chemical propulsion systems. The NASA studies have demonstrated that this advantage becomes highly significant as missions progress beyond Earth orbit. Recent studies of human exploration missions and architectures evaluated the capabilities needed to perform a variety of human exploration missions including missions to Near Earth Objects (NEOs). The studies demonstrated that SEP stages have potential to be the most cost effective solution to perform beyond LEO transfers of high mass cargoes for human missions. Recognizing that these missions require power levels more than 10X greater than current electric propulsion systems, NASA embarked upon a progressive pathway to identify critical technologies needed and a plan for an incremental demonstration mission. The NASA studies identified a 30kW class demonstration mission that can serve as a meaningful demonstration of the technologies, operational challenges, and provide the appropriate scaling and modularity required. This paper describes the planning options for a representative demonstration 30kW class SEP mission.

  19. Dives from missions of the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Dataset shows dives made by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) or an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) from the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer during expeditions from...

  20. Dive Tracks from missions of the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Dataset shows dive tracks made by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) or an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) from the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer during expeditions...

  1. Storyboard for the Medical System Concept of Operations for Mars Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonsen, Eric; Hailey, Melinda; Reyes, David; Rubin, David; Urbina, Michelle

    2017-01-01

    This storyboard conceptualizes one scenario of an integrated medical system during a Mars exploration mission. All content is for illustrative purposes only and neither defines nor implies system design requirement.

  2. High-Efficiency Reliable Stirling Generator for Space Exploration Missions Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA needs advanced power-conversion technologies to improve the efficiency and reliability of power conversion for space exploration missions. We propose to develop...

  3. Non-Radioisotope Power Systems For Sunless Solar System Exploration Missions Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Description: explore mission architectures to the Moon's southern Aitken Basin, the surface of Saturn’s moon, Titan, and the surface of Venus that do not...

  4. The New Frontiers Venus In Situ Atmospheric and Geochemical Explorer (VISAGE) Mission Proposal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, L. W.; Atkinson, D. H.; Baines, K. H.

    2017-09-01

    The New Frontiers Venus In Situ Atmospheric and Geochemical Explorer (VISAGE) Mission Proposal submitted to 2017 New Frontiers 4 program by University of Colorado, managed by Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  5. Robust Exploration and Commercial Missions to the Moon Using NTR LANTR Propulsion and Lunar-Derived Propellants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Ryan, Stephen W.; Burke, Laura M.; McCurdy, David R.; Fittje, James E.; Joyner, Claude R.

    2017-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) has frequently been identified as a key space asset required for the human exploration of Mars. This proven technology can also provide the affordable access through cislunar space necessary for commercial development and sustained human presence on the Moon. In his post-Apollo Integrated Space Program Plan (1970-1990), Wernher von Braun, proposed a reusable nuclear thermal propulsion stage (NTPS) to deliver cargo and crew to the Moon to establish a lunar base before undertaking human missions to Mars. The NTR option was selected by von Braun because it was a demonstrated technology capable of generating both high thrust and high specific impulse (Isp 900 s) twice that of todays best chemical rockets. In NASAs Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study, the crewed Mars transfer vehicle used three 25 klbf Pewee engines the smallest and highest performing engine tested in the Rover program along with graphite composite fuel. Smaller, lunar transfer vehicles consisting of a NTPS using three approximately 16.5 klbf Small Nuclear Rocket Engines (SNREs), an in-line propellant tank, plus the payload can enable a variety of reusable lunar missions. These include cargo delivery and crewed lunar landing missions. Even weeklong tourism missions carrying passengers into lunar orbit for a day of sightseeing and picture taking are possible. The NTR can play an important role in the next phase of lunar exploration and development by providing an affordable in-space lunar transportation system (LTS) that can allow initial outposts to evolve into settlements supported by a variety of commercial activities such as in-situ propellant production used to supply strategically located propellant depots and transportation nodes. The utilization of iron-rich volcanic glass or lunar polar ice (LPI) deposits (each estimated at billions of metric tons) for propellant production can significantly reduce the launch mass requirements from Earth and can

  6. A GUPIX-based approach to interpreting the PIXE-plus-XRF spectra from the Mars Exploration rovers: II geochemical reference materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.c [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1 (Canada); McDonald, A.M. [Department of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2E6 (Canada); Perrett, G.M. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1 (Canada); Taylor, S.M. [Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T5 (Canada)

    2011-01-01

    A detailed examination of the original calibration data for the laboratory version of the Mars Exploration Rover alpha particle X-ray spectrometer is undertaken to ascertain if the results from a suite of certified geochemical reference materials (GRMs) agree with the APXS calibration based upon homogeneous standards which was established in the previous paper. Various discrepancies, some of them large, are observed for specific elements in specific rock types, and it is argued on the basis of X-ray diffraction analyses of the GRMS that these are caused by the mineral phase structure of the rocks. Elements present in accessory mineral phases can be subject to very large errors, necessitating caution in interpretation of trace element results from the APXS. Some of the discrepancies can be dealt with by developing sub-calibrations, each of which is 'tuned' to a specific rock type. This approach has the potential to provide more accurate APXS analysis of unknown rocks than a calibration scheme based upon a simple averaging over many rock types within a GRM suite, or over a mix of rock and homogeneous standards. It also has the potential to measure the content of mineralogically bound water provided that a means of determining the distance from sample to detector is available.

  7. NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations: Science Operations Development for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Mary S.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission 16 in 2012 was to evaluate and compare the performance of a defined series of representative near-Earth asteroid (NEA) extravehicular activity (EVA) tasks under different conditions and combinations of work systems, constraints, and assumptions considered for future human NEA exploration missions. NEEMO 16 followed NASA's 2011 Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS), the primary focus of which was understanding the implications of communication latency, crew size, and work system combinations with respect to scientific data quality, data management, crew workload, and crew/mission control interactions. The 1-g environment precluded meaningful evaluation of NEA EVA translation, worksite stabilization, sampling, or instrument deployment techniques. Thus, NEEMO missions were designed to provide an opportunity to perform a preliminary evaluation of these important factors for each of the conditions being considered. NEEMO 15 also took place in 2011 and provided a first look at many of the factors, but the mission was cut short due to a hurricane threat before all objectives were completed. ARES Directorate (KX) personnel consulted with JSC engineers to ensure that high-fidelity planetary science protocols were incorporated into NEEMO mission architectures. ARES has been collaborating with NEEMO mission planners since NEEMO 9 in 2006, successively building upon previous developments to refine science operations concepts within engineering constraints; it is expected to continue the collaboration as NASA's human exploration mission plans evolve.

  8. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Taking Shape

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image taken in August 2008 in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., shows NASA's next Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, in the course of its assembly, before additions of its arm, mast, laboratory instruments and other equipment. The rover is about 9 feet wide and 10 feet long. Viewing progress on the assembly are, from left: NASA Associate Administrator for Science Ed Weiler, California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau, JPL Director Charles Elachi, and JPL Associate Director for Flight Projects and Mission Success Tom Gavin. JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

  9. The Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment Mission and its Potential Contributions to Human Exploration of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.; Rivkin, Andy S.

    2014-01-01

    The joint ESA and NASA Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission will directly address aspects of NASA's Asteroid Initiative and will contribute to future human exploration. The NASA Asteroid Initiative is comprised of two major components: the Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Mission. The first component, the Grand Challenge, focuses on protecting Earth's population from asteroid impacts by detecting potentially hazardous objects with enough warning time to either prevent them from impacting the planet, or to implement civil defense procedures. The Asteroid Mission, involves sending astronauts to study and sample a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) prior to conducting exploration missions of the Martian system, which includes Phobos and Deimos. AIDA's primary objective is to demonstrate a kinetic impact deflection and characterize the binary NEA Didymos. The science and technical data obtained from AIDA will aid in the planning of future human exploration missions to NEAs and other small bodies. The dual robotic missions of AIDA, ESA's Asteroid Impact Monitor (AIM) and NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), will provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting in-depth scientific examinations of the binary target Didymos both prior to and after the kinetic impact demonstration. The knowledge gained from this mission will help identify asteroidal physical properties in order to maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk for future small body missions. The AIDA data will help fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps concerning asteroid physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration considerations at similar small body destinations.

  10. Advanced Fuel Cell System Thermal Management for NASA Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Kenneth A.

    2009-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center is developing advanced passive thermal management technology to reduce the mass and improve the reliability of space fuel cell systems for the NASA exploration program. An analysis of a state-of-the-art fuel cell cooling systems was done to benchmark the portion of a fuel cell system s mass that is dedicated to thermal management. Additional analysis was done to determine the key performance targets of the advanced passive thermal management technology that would substantially reduce fuel cell system mass.

  11. Regenerative Energy Storage System for Space Exploration Missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wærnhus Ivar

    2017-01-01

    The breadboard was operated for 1250 hours alternating between electrolyser mode and fuel cell mode with H2/H2O as reactants. During the tests, as long as the mechanical integrity of the system was maintained, no degradation effect was observed. At the end of the test period, the fuel cell was operated for three full cycles (approx. 50 hours with CO/CO2 as reactants. The performance on CO/CO2 was lower than for hydrogen, but sufficient to be used in a compact energy storage system for Mars exploration.

  12. Multipurpose Cargo Transfer Bags fro Reducing Exploration Mission Logistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baccus, Shelley; Broyan, James Lee, Jr.; Borrego, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    The Logistics Reduction (LR) project within the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division is tasked with reducing logistical mass and repurposing logistical items. Multipurpose Cargo Transfer Bags (MCTB) have been designed such that they can serve the same purpose as a Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB), the common logistics carrying bag for the International Space Station (ISS). After use as a cargo carrier, a regular CTB becomes trash, whereas the MCTB can be unfolded into a flat panel for reuse. Concepts and potential benefits for various MCTB applications will be discussed including partitions, crew quarters, solar radiation storm shelters, acoustic blankets, and forward osmosis water processing. Acoustic MCTBs are currently in use on ISS to reduce the noise generated by the T2 treadmill, which reaches the hazard limit at high speeds. The development of the AMCTB included identification of keep out zones, acoustic properties, deployment considerations, and structural testing. Features developed for these considerations are applicable to MCTBs for all crew outfitting applications.

  13. Evolution of Safety Analysis to Support New Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrasher, Chard W.

    2008-01-01

    NASA is currently developing the Ares I launch vehicle as a key component of the Constellation program which will provide safe and reliable transportation to the International Space Station, back to the moon, and later to Mars. The risks and costs of the Ares I must be significantly lowered, as compared to other manned launch vehicles, to enable the continuation of space exploration. It is essential that safety be significantly improved, and cost-effectively incorporated into the design process. This paper justifies early and effective safety analysis of complex space systems. Interactions and dependences between design, logistics, modeling, reliability, and safety engineers will be discussed to illustrate methods to lower cost, reduce design cycles and lessen the likelihood of catastrophic events.

  14. Human factors research as part of a Mars exploration analogue mission on Devon Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binsted, Kim; Kobrick, Ryan L.; Griofa, Marc Ó.; Bishop, Sheryl; Lapierre, Judith

    2010-06-01

    Human factors research is a critical element of space exploration as it provides insight into a crew's performance, psychology and interpersonal relationships. Understanding the way humans work in space-exploration analogue environments permits the development and testing of countermeasures for and responses to potential hazardous situations, and can thus help improve mission efficiency and safety. Analogue missions, such as the one described here, have plausible mission constraints and operational scenarios, similar to those that a real Mars crew would experience. Long duration analogue studies, such as those being conducted at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island, Canada, offer an opportunity to study mission operations and human factors in a semi-realistic environment, and contribute to the design of missions to explore the Moon and Mars. The FMARS XI Long Duration Mission (F-XI LDM) was, at four months, the longest designed analogue Mars mission conducted to date, and thus provides a unique insight into human factors issues for long-duration space exploration. Here, we describe the six human factors studies that took place during F-XI LDM, and give a summary of their results, where available. We also present a meta-study, which examined the impact of the human-factors research itself on crew schedule and workload. Based on this experience, we offer some lessons learnt: some aspects (perceived risk and crew motivation, for example) of analogue missions must be realistic for study results to be valid; human factors studies are time-consuming, and should be fully integrated into crew schedules; and crew-ground communication and collaboration under long-term exploration conditions can present serious challenges.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge

    2017-04-01

    . During this transition, there is surface convergence into the rising branch (similar to the inter-tropical convergence zone on Earth), and dual Hadley cells with one circulation in each hemisphere. At this time, the mean surface winds flow from the high latitudes to equator in both hemispheres, providing the possibility for a direct vapor connection [5, 6]. It is likely that transient waves (e.g., storm systems) as well as boundary currents associated with planetary-scale stationary waves could advect and mix water equatorward, along the surface, in opposition to the Hadley Cell. Conclusion: We are studying whether moist air in northern spring/summer makes it to the surface of Mawrth at Ls 90, Ls 140 and Ls 180, three periods with high column abundance of water vapor at mid/high latitudes. The objective is to determine if the circulation (mean or regional) is favorable for the transport of water vapor from the north polar cap to MV where it might activate hygroscopic salts and/or chlorides [7]. Relative humidity at those different seasons is estimated to test for consistency with column abundances derived from orbit observations. If moist air makes it to MV during Ls90, 140 and/or 180, it should be a go-to site due to enhanced habitability implications. References: [1] Pla-García, J., & Rafkin, S. C., 2015: Meteorological predictions for Mars 2020 Exploration Rov-er high-priority landing sites throug MRAMS Mesoscale Modeling. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 17, p. 12605). [2] Rafkin, S. C. R., Haberle, R. M., and T. I. Michaels, 2001: The Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS): Model description and selected simulations. Icarus, 151, 228-256. [3] Rafkin, S. C. R., M. R. V. Sta. Maria, and T. I. Michaels, 2002: Simulation of the atmospheric thermal circulation of a martian volcano using a mesoscale numerical model. Nature, 419, 697-699. [4] Jakosky, B.M., and C.B. Farmer, 1982: The seasonal and global behavior of water vapor in the Mars

  16. Robotic Reconnaissance Missions to Small Bodies and Their Potential Contributions to Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Rivkin, A. S.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Robotic reconnaissance missions to small bodies will directly address aspects of NASA's Asteroid Initiative and will contribute to future human exploration. The NASA Asteroid Initiative is comprised of two major components: the Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Mission. The first component, the Grand Challenge, focuses on protecting Earth's population from asteroid impacts by detecting potentially hazardous objects with enough warning time to either prevent them from impacting the planet, or to implement civil defense procedures. The Asteroid Mission involves sending astronauts to study and sample a near- Earth asteroid (NEA) prior to conducting exploration missions of the Martian system, which includes Phobos and Deimos. The science and technical data obtained from robotic precursor missions that investigate the surface and interior physical characteristics of an object will help identify the pertinent physical properties that will maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk for both robotic assets and crew operating in close proximity to, or at the surface of, a small body. These data will help fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) concerning asteroid physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration considerations at similar small body destinations. Small Body Strategic Knowledge Gaps: For the past several years NASA has been interested in identifying the key SKGs related to future human destinations. These SKGs highlight the various unknowns and/or data gaps of targets that the science and engineering communities would like to have filled in prior to committing crews to explore the Solar System. An action team from the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) was formed specifically to identify the small body SKGs under the direction of the Human Exploration and Operations Missions Directorate (HEOMD), given NASA's recent interest in NEAs and the Martian moons as potential human destinations [1]. The action team

  17. Titan exploration with advanced systems. A study of future mission concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-01-01

    The requirements, capabilities, and programmatic issues associated with science-intensive mission concepts for the advanced exploration of Saturn's largest satellite are assessed. The key questions to be answered by a Titan exploratory mission are: (1) the atmospheric composition; (2) the atmospheric structure; (3) the nature of the surface; and (4) the nature of the interior of Titan. Five selected mission concepts are described in terms of their design requirements. Mission hardware concepts include balloons and/or blimps which will allow both atmospheric and surface observations for a long period of time. Key aspects of performance analysis are presented. Mission profiles and cost summaries are given. Candidate payloads are identified for imaging and nonimaging orbiters, a buoyant station, a haze probe, and a penetrator.

  18. Moessbauer and Electron Microprobe Studies of Density Separates of Martian Nakhlite Mil03346: Implications for Interpretation of Moessbauer Spectra Acquired by the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, R. V.; McKay, G. A.; Agresti, D. G.; Li, Loan

    2008-01-01

    Martian meteorite MIL03346 is described as an augite-rich cumulate rock with approx.80%, approx.3%, and approx.21% modal phase proportions of augite (CPX), olivine and glassy mesostasis, respectively, and is classified as a nakhlite [1]. The Mossbauer spectrum for whole rock (WR) MIL 03346 is unusual for Martian meteorites in that it has a distinct magnetite subspectrum (7% subspectral area) [2]. The meteorite also has products of pre-terrestrial aqueous alteration ("iddingsite") that is associated primarily with the basaltic glass and olivine. The Mossbauer spectrometers on the Mars Exploration Rovers have measured the Fe oxidation state and the Fe mineralogical composition of rocks and soils on the planet s surface since their landing in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum in January, 2004 [3,4]. The MIL 03346 meteorite provides an opportunity to "ground truth" or refine Fe phase identifications. This is particularly the case for the so-called "nanophase ferric oxide" (npOx) component. NpOx is a generic name for a ferric rich product of oxidative alteration. On Earth, where we can take samples apart and study individual phases, examples of npOx include ferrihydrite, schwertmannite, akagaaneite, and superparamagnetic (small particle) goethite and hematite. It is also possible for ferric iron to be associated to some unknown extent with igneous phases like pyroxene. We report here an electron microprobe (EMPA) and Moessbauer (MB) study of density separates of MIL 03346. The same separates were used for isotopic studies by [5]. Experimental techniques are described by [6,7].

  19. First Gravity Traverse on the Martian Surface from the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, K. W.; Peters, S. F.; Gonter, K. A.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2016-12-01

    Orbital gravity surveys have been a key tool in understanding planetary interiors and shallow crustal structure, exemplified by recent missions such as GRAIL and Juno. However, due to the loss of spatial resolution with altitude, airborne and ground-based survey methods are typically employed on the Earth. Previously, the Lunar Traverse Gravimeter experiment on the Apollo 17 mission has been the only attempt to collect surface gravity measurements on another planetary body. We will describe the results of the first gravity survey on the Martian surface, using data from the Curiosity rover over its >10 km traverse across the floor of Gale crater and lower slopes of Mount Sharp. These results enable us to estimate bulk rock density, and to search for potential subsurface density anomalies. To measure local gravitational acceleration, we use one of the two onboard Rover Inertial Measurement Units (RIMU-A), designed for rover position and fine attitude determination. The IMU contains three-axis micro-electromechanical (MEMS) accelerometers and fiber-optic gyros, and is used for gyrocompassing by integrating data for several minutes on sols with no drive or arm motions (roughly 50% of sols to date). Raw acceleration data are calibrated for biases induced by temperature effects and rover orientation, along with rover elevation over the course of the mission using multiple regression. We use the best fit linear relationship between topographic height and gravitational acceleration to estimate a Bouguer correction for the observed change in magnitude over the mission as the rover has ascended over 100 meters up the lower slopes of Mount Sharp. We find a relatively low best-fit density of 1600 +/- 500 kg/m^3 for the rocks of Mount Sharp, consistent with rover-based measurements of thermal inertial, and potentially indicating pervasive fracturing, high porosity and/or low compaction within the original sediments at least to depths of order 100 meters. Future measurements

  20. Dawn : a mission in developement for exploration of main belt asteroids Vesta and Ceres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayman, Marc D.; Fraschetti, Thomas C.; Russell, Christopher T.; Raymond, Carol A.

    2004-01-01

    Dawn is in development for a 2006 launch on a mission to explore main belt asteroids in order to yield insights into important questions about the formation and evolution of the solar system. Its objective is to acquire detailed data from orbit around two complementary bodies, Vesta and Ceres, the two most massive asteroids. The project relies on extensive heritage from other deep-space and Earth-orbiting missions, thus permitting the ambitious objectives to be accomplished with an affordable budget.

  1. Evaluation of simple deployment mechanism of multiple rovers by microgravity experiments using a drop tower

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimitsu, Tetsuo; Yano, Hajime; Kubota, Takashi; Adachi, Tadashi; Ishigami, Genya

    2012-07-01

    Introduction, Japan has announced the official development of ``Hayabusa-2'', the second sample return mission to a Near-Earth asteroid. When the development is made smoothly, Hayabusa-2 will be launched in 2014. The predecessor spacecraft ``Hayabusa'' made a great success when it returned to the Earth in June 2010 with a capsule containing some particles obtained from S-type asteroid ``Itokawa.'' Rover system, The authors installed a tiny hopping rover called ``MINERVA'' into Hayabusa spacecraft. MINERVA weights only 591[g] but has an autonomous exploration capability on the microgravity environment on the small solar system bodies. MINERVA was successfully deployed from the mother spacecraft on 12 Nov 2005 at the vicinity of the target asteroid. But unfortunately it became a solar orbiting satellite since the relative position and the speed of the mother spacecraft around the target asteroid were worst. Nevertheless it worked well, demonstrating an autnomous capability and had survived until the comunication link was lost. The authors plan to install some rovers also into Hayabusa-2. The total concept is the same but this time multiple rovers are considered. Deployment mechanism, Two rovers are installed in one container and are developed at the same time. The maximum allowed weight for the container including two rovers is 2.5[kg] and we have to seek for a simple and a light-weighted deployment system. We developed a new deployment system drastically sophisticated from the one used for MINERVA in Hayabusa mission. Both the cover and the rovers are pushed by the springs after the tightly winded wire has been cut by the deployment trigger form the spacecraft. The new deployment system enables the following things. The cover and the rovers are deployed in different directions in one action. The uncertainty of the deployment speed is decreased. Microgravity experiment, Thanks to the courtesy of DLR (German Aerospace Center) based on the international cooperation

  2. Researches on hazard avoidance cameras calibration of Lunar Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chunyan; Wang, Li; Lu, Xin; Chen, Jihua; Fan, Shenghong

    2017-11-01

    Lunar Lander and Rover of China will be launched in 2013. It will finish the mission targets of lunar soft landing and patrol exploration. Lunar Rover has forward facing stereo camera pair (Hazcams) for hazard avoidance. Hazcams calibration is essential for stereo vision. The Hazcam optics are f-theta fish-eye lenses with a 120°×120° horizontal/vertical field of view (FOV) and a 170° diagonal FOV. They introduce significant distortion in images and the acquired images are quite warped, which makes conventional camera calibration algorithms no longer work well. A photogrammetric calibration method of geometric model for the type of optical fish-eye constructions is investigated in this paper. In the method, Hazcams model is represented by collinearity equations with interior orientation and exterior orientation parameters [1] [2]. For high-precision applications, the accurate calibration model is formulated with the radial symmetric distortion and the decentering distortion as well as parameters to model affinity and shear based on the fisheye deformation model [3] [4]. The proposed method has been applied to the stereo camera calibration system for Lunar Rover.

  3. Autonomous Decision Making for Planetary Rovers Using Diagnostic and Prognostic Information

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Rover missions typically involve visiting a set of predetermined waypoints to perform science functions, such as sample collection. Given the communication delay...

  4. Human and Robotic Mission to Small Bodies: Mapping, Planning and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neffian, Ara V.; Bellerose, Julie; Beyer, Ross A.; Archinal, Brent; Edwards, Laurence; Lee, Pascal; Colaprete, Anthony; Fong, Terry

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the requirements, performs a gap analysis and makes a set of recommendations for mapping products and exploration tools required to support operations and scientific discovery for near- term and future NASA missions to small bodies. The mapping products and their requirements are based on the analysis of current mission scenarios (rendezvous, docking, and sample return) and recommendations made by the NEA Users Team (NUT) in the framework of human exploration. The mapping products that sat- isfy operational, scienti c, and public outreach goals include topography, images, albedo, gravity, mass, density, subsurface radar, mineralogical and thermal maps. The gap analysis points to a need for incremental generation of mapping products from low (flyby) to high-resolution data needed for anchoring and docking, real-time spatial data processing for hazard avoidance and astronaut or robot localization in low gravity, high dynamic environments, and motivates a standard for coordinate reference systems capable of describing irregular body shapes. Another aspect investigated in this study is the set of requirements and the gap analysis for exploration tools that support visualization and simulation of operational conditions including soil interactions, environment dynamics, and communications coverage. Building robust, usable data sets and visualisation/simulation tools is the best way for mission designers and simulators to make correct decisions for future missions. In the near term, it is the most useful way to begin building capabilities for small body exploration without needing to commit to specific mission architectures.

  5. Planetary exploration with optical imaging systems review: what is the best sensor for future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelis, H.; Behnke, T.; Bredthauer, R.; Holland, A.; Janesick, J.; Jaumann, R.; Keller, H. U.; Magrin, D.; Greggio, D.; Mottola, Stefano; Thomas, N.; Smith, P.

    2017-11-01

    When we talk about planetary exploration missions most people think spontaneously about fascinating images from other planets or close-up pictures of small planetary bodies such as asteroids and comets. Such images come in most cases from VIS/NIR- imaging- systems, simply called `cameras', which were typically built by institutes in collaboration with industry. Until now, they have nearly all been based on silicon CCD sensors, they have filter wheels and have often high power-consuming electronics. The question is, what are the challenges for future missions and what can be done to improve performance and scientific output. The exploration of Mars is ongoing. NASA and ESA are planning future missions to the outer planets like to the icy Jovian moons. Exploration of asteroids and comets are in focus of several recent and future missions. Furthermore, the detection and characterization of exo-planets will keep us busy for next generations. The paper is discussing the challenges and visions of imaging sensors for future planetary exploration missions. The focus of the talk is monolithic VIS/NIR- detectors.

  6. Machine learning challenges in Mars rover traverse science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castano, R.; Judd, M.; Anderson, R. C.; Estlin, T.

    2003-01-01

    The successful implementation of machine learning in autonomous rover traverse science requires addressing challenges that range from the analytical technical realm, to the fuzzy, philosophical domain of entrenched belief systems within scientists and mission managers.

  7. ESA SMART-1 mission: results and lessons for future lunar exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    We review ESA’s SMART-1 highlights and legacy 10 years after launch. We discuss lessons for future lunar exploration and upcoming missions. The SMART-1 mission to the Moon achieved record firsts such as: 1) first Small Mission for Advanced Research and Technology; with spacecraft built and integrated in 2.5 years and launched 3.5 years after mission approval; 2) first mission leaving the Earth orbit using solar power alone with demonstration for future deep space missions such as BepiColombo; 3) most fuel effective mission (60 litres of Xenon) and longest travel (13 month) to the Moon!; 4) first ESA mission reaching the Moon and first European views of lunar poles; 5) first European demonstration of a wide range of new technologies: Li-Ion modular battery, deep-space communications in X- and Ka-bands, and autonomous positioning for navigation; 6) first lunar demonstration of an infrared spectrometer and of a Swept Charge Detector Lunar X-ray fluorescence spectrometer ; 7) first ESA mission with opportunity for lunar science, elemental geochemistry, surface mineralogy mapping, surface geology and precursor studies for exploration; 8) first controlled impact landing on the Moon with real time observations campaign; 9) first mission supporting goals of the ILEWG/COSPAR International Lunar Exploration Working Group in technical and scientific exchange, international collaboration, public and youth engagement; 10) first mission preparing the ground for ESA collaboration in Chandrayaan-1, Chang’ E1-2-3 and near-future landers, sample return and human lunar missions. The SMART-1 technology legacy is applicable to application geostationary missions and deep space missions using solar electric propulsion. The SMART-1 archive observations have been used to support scientific research and prepare subsequent lunar missions. Most recent SMART-1 results are relevant to topics on: 1) the study of properties of the lunar dust, 2) impact craters and ejecta, 3) the study of

  8. The Curiosity Mars Rover's Fault Protection Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benowitz, Ed

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Design of a Mars atmosphere simulation chamber and testing a Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) under conditions pertinent to Mars rover missions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Motamedi Mohammadabadi, K.; Colin, A.P.M.C.A.M.G.; Hooijschuur, J.H.; Postma, O.; Lootens, R.N.; Pruijser, D.; Stoevelaar, R.; Ariese, F.; Hutchinson, I.B.; Ingley, R.; Davies, G.R.

    2015-01-01

    Raman spectrometry is a powerful technique for the rapid identification of most minerals and organic chemicals without sample preparation. In this context, the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA selected a Raman spectrometer in the payload of the future ExoMars and Mars 2020 missions to identify

  10. Human Mars Surface Mission Nuclear Power Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle A.

    2018-01-01

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

  11. Enhancing the Meaningfulness of Work for Astronauts on Long Duration Space Exploration Missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britt, Thomas W; Sytine, Anton; Brady, Ashley; Wilkes, Russ; Pittman, Rebecca; Jennings, Kristen; Goguen, Kandice

    2017-08-01

    Numerous authors have identified the stressors likely to be encountered on long duration space exploration missions (e.g., to Mars), including the possibility of significant crises, separation from family, boredom/monotony, and interpersonal conflict. Although many authors have noted that meaningful work may be beneficial for astronauts on these missions, none have detailed the sources of meaningful work for astronauts and how these sources may differ between astronauts. The present article identifies how engagement in meaningful work during long duration missions may mitigate the adverse effects of demands and increase the potential for benefits resulting from the missions. Semistructured interviews were conducted with nine NASA personnel, including astronauts, flight directors, and flight surgeons. Questions addressed sources of meaning for astronauts, characteristics of tasks that enhance vs. detract from meaning, and recommendations for enhancing meaning. Personnel mentioned contributing to humanity and the next generation, contributing to the mission, and exploration as the most meaningful aspects of their work. Characteristics of tasks that enhanced meaning included using a variety of skills, feeling personal control over their schedule, autonomy in the execution of tasks, and understanding the importance of the experiments conducted on the mission. Top recommendations to sustain meaning were insuring social needs were met through such activities as the strategic use of social media, giving astronauts autonomy as well as structure, and conducting training during transit. Implications are addressed for tailoring meaning-based interventions for astronauts participating on long duration missions and assessing the effectiveness of these interventions.Britt TW, Sytine A, Brady A, Wilkes R, Pittman R, Jennings K, Goguen K. Enhancing the meaningfulness of work for astronauts on long duration space exploration missions. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2017; 88(8):779-783.

  12. Progress in Materials and Component Development for Advanced Lithium-ion Cells for NASA's Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Concha, M.; Reid, Concha M.

    2011-01-01

    Vehicles and stand-alone power systems that enable the next generation of human missions to the Moon will require energy storage systems that are safer, lighter, and more compact than current state-of-the- art (SOA) aerospace quality lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. NASA is developing advanced Li-ion cells to enable or enhance the power systems for the Altair Lunar Lander, Extravehicular Activities spacesuit, and rovers and portable utility pallets for Lunar Surface Systems. Advanced, high-performing materials are required to provide component-level performance that can offer the required gains at the integrated cell level. Although there is still a significant amount of work yet to be done, the present state of development activities has resulted in the synthesis of promising materials that approach the ultimate performance goals. This report on interim progress of the development efforts will elaborate on the challenges of the development activities, proposed strategies to overcome technical issues, and present performance of materials and cell components.

  13. Human exploration of near earth asteroids: Mission analysis for chemical and electric propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Jonathan F. C.; Zimmer, Aline K.; Reijneveld, Johannes P. J.; Dunlop, Kathryn L.; Takahashi, Yu; Tardivel, Simon; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2014-11-01

    This paper presents a mission analysis comparison of human missions to asteroids using two distinct architectures. The objective is to determine if either architecture can reduce launch mass with respect to the other, while not sacrificing other performance metrics such as mission duration. One architecture relies on chemical propulsion, the traditional workhorse of space exploration. The second combines chemical and electric propulsion into a hybrid architecture that attempts to utilize the strengths of each, namely the short flight times of chemical propulsion and the propellant efficiency of electric propulsion. The architectures are thoroughly detailed, and accessibility of the known asteroid population is determined for both. The most accessible asteroids are discussed in detail. Aspects such as mission abort scenarios and vehicle reusability are also discussed. Ultimately, it is determined that launch mass can be greatly reduced with the hybrid architecture, without a notable increase in mission duration. This demonstrates that significant performance improvements can be introduced to the next step of human space exploration with realistic electric propulsion system capabilities. This leads to immediate cost savings for human exploration and simultaneously opens a path of technology development that leads to technologies enabling access to even further destinations in the future.

  14. Exploring the martian moons a human mission to Deimos and Phobos

    CERN Document Server

    von Ehrenfried, Manfred “Dutch”

    2017-01-01

    This book explores the once popular idea of 'Flexible Path' in terms of Mars, a strategy that would focus on a manned orbital mission to Mars's moons rather than the more risky, expensive and time-consuming trip to land humans on the Martian surface. While currently still not the most popular idea, this mission would take advantage of the operational, scientific and engineering lessons to be learned from going to Mars's moons first. Unlike a trip to the planet's surface, an orbital mission avoids the dangers of the deep gravity well of Mars and a very long stay on the surface. This is analogous to Apollo 8 and 10, which preceded the landing on the Moon of Apollo 11. Furthermore, a Mars orbital mission could be achieved at least five years, possibly 10 before a landing mission. Nor would an orbital mission require all of the extra vehicles, equipment and supplies needed for a landing and a stay on the planet for over a year. The cost difference between the two types of missions is in the order of tens of billi...

  15. Risk Assessment of Bone Fracture During Space Exploration Missions to the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewandowski, Beth E.; Myers, Jerry G.; Nelson, Emily S.; Griffin, Devon

    2008-01-01

    The possibility of a traumatic bone fracture in space is a concern due to the observed decrease in astronaut bone mineral density (BMD) during spaceflight and because of the physical demands of the mission. The Bone Fracture Risk Module (BFxRM) was developed to quantify the probability of fracture at the femoral neck and lumbar spine during space exploration missions. The BFxRM is scenario-based, providing predictions for specific activities or events during a particular space mission. The key elements of the BFxRM are the mission parameters, the biomechanical loading models, the bone loss and fracture models and the incidence rate of the activity or event. Uncertainties in the model parameters arise due to variations within the population and unknowns associated with the effects of the space environment. Consequently, parameter distributions were used in Monte Carlo simulations to obtain an estimate of fracture probability under real mission scenarios. The model predicts an increase in the probability of fracture as the mission length increases and fracture is more likely in the higher gravitational field of Mars than on the moon. The resulting probability predictions and sensitivity analyses of the BFxRM can be used as an engineering tool for mission operation and resource planning in order to mitigate the risk of bone fracture in space.

  16. Increasing Crew Autonomy for Long Duration Exploration Missions: Self-Scheduling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquez, Jessica J.; Hillenius, Steven; Deliz, Ivonne; Kanefsky, Bob; Zheng, Jimin; Reagan, Marcum L.

    2017-01-01

    Over the last three years, we have been investigating the operational concept of crew self-scheduling as a method of increasing crew autonomy for future exploration missions. Through Playbook, a planning and scheduling software tool, we have incrementally increased the ability for Earth analog mission crews to modify their schedules. Playbook allows the crew to add new activities from scratch, add new activities or groups of activities through a Task List, and reschedule or reassign flexible activities. The crew is also able to identify if plan modifications create violations, i.e., plan constraints not being met. This paper summarizes our observations with qualitative evidence from four NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) analog missions that supported self-scheduling as a feasible operational concept.

  17. The Athena Mars Rover Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor program requires tools for martian surface exploration, including remote sensing, in-situ sensing, and sample collection. The Athena Mars rover payload is a suite of scientific instruments and sample collection tools designed to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition; (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials; (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials; and (4) Collect and store samples. The Athena payload is designed to be implemented on a long-range rover such as the one now under consideration for the 2003 Mars opportunity. The payload is at a high state of maturity, and most of the instruments have now been built for flight.

  18. Affordable Exploration of Mars: Recommendations from a Community Workshop on Sustainable Initial Human Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thronson, Harley; Carberry, Chris; Cassady, R. J.; Cooke, Doug; Hopkins, Joshua; Perino, Maria A.; Kirkpatrick, Jim; Raftery, Michael; Westenberg, Artemis; Zucker, Richard

    2013-01-01

    There is a growing consensus that within two decades initial human missions to Mars are affordable under plausible budget assumptions and with sustained international participation. In response to this idea, a distinguished group of experts from the Mars exploration stakeholder communities attended the "Affording Mars" workshop at George Washington University in December, 2013. Participants reviewed and discussed scenarios for affordable and sustainable human and robotic exploration of Mars, the role of the International Space Station over the coming decade as the essential early step toward humans to Mars, possible "bridge" missions in the 2020s, key capabilities required for affordable initial missions, international partnerships, and a usable definition of affordability and sustainability. We report here the findings, observations, and recommendations that were agreed to at that workshop.

  19. An Open Avionics and Software Architecture to Support Future NASA Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlesinger, Adam

    2017-01-01

    The presentation describes an avionics and software architecture that has been developed through NASAs Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division. The architecture is open-source, highly reliable with fault tolerance, and utilizes standard capabilities and interfaces, which are scalable and customizable to support future exploration missions. Specific focus areas of discussion will include command and data handling, software, human interfaces, communication and wireless systems, and systems engineering and integration.

  20. Exomars Mission Achievements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, J.; Juillet, J. J.

    2016-12-01

    ExoMars is the first step of the European Space Agency's Aurora Exploration Programme. Comprising two missions, the first one launched in 2016 and the second one to be launched in 2020, ExoMars is a program developed in a broad ESA and Roscosmos co-operation, with significant contribution from NASA that addresses the scientific question of whether life ever existed on Mars and demonstrate key technologies for entry, descent, landing, drilling and roving on the Martian surface . Thales Alenia Space is the overall prime contractor of the Exomars program leading a large industrial team The Spacecraft Composite (SCC), consisting of a Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and an EDL (Entry Descend and Landing) Demonstrator Module (EDM) named Schiaparelli, has been launched on 14 March 2016 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by a Proton Launcher. The two modules will separate on 16 October 2016 after a 7 months cruise. The TGO will search for evidence of methane and other atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes on Mars and will provide communications relay for the 2020 surface assets. The Schiaparelli module will prove the technologies required to safely land a payload on the surface of Mars, with a package of sensors aimed to support the reconstruction of the flown trajectory and the assessment of the performance of the EDL subsystems. For the second Exomars mission a space vehicle composed of a Carrier Module (CM) and a Descent Module (DM), whose Landing Platform (LP) will house a Rover, will begin a 7 months long trip to Mars in August 2020. In 2021 the Descent Module will be separated from the Carrier to carry out the entry into the planet's atmosphere and subsequently make the Landing Platform and the Rover land gently on the surface of Mars. While the LP will continue to measure the environmental parameters of the landing site, the Rover will begin exploration of the surface, which is expected to last 218 Martian days (approx. 230 Earth

  1. Farside explorer : Unique science from a mission to the farside of the moon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mimoun, D.; Wieczorek, M.A.; Gurvits, L.

    2012-01-01

    Farside Explorer is a proposed Cosmic Vision medium-size mission to the farside of theMoon consisting of two landers and an instrumented relay satellite. The farside of the Moon is a unique scientific platform in that it is shielded from terrestrial radio-frequency interference, it recorded the

  2. Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) : Science Objectives, Mission and Instruments (abstract)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gurvits, L.; Plaut, J.J.; Barabash, S.; Bruzzone, L.; Dougherty, M.; Erd, C.; Fletcher, L.; Gladstone, R.; Grasset, O.; Hartogh, P.; Hussmann, H.; Iess, L.; Jaumann, R.; Langevin, Y.; Palumbo, P.; Piccioni, G.; Titov, D.; Wahlund, J.E.

    2014-01-01

    The JUpiter ICy Moons Explorer (JUICE) is a European Space Agency mission that will fly by and observe the Galilean satellites Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, characterize the Jovian system in a lengthy Jupiter-orbit phase, and ultimately orbit Ganymede for in-depth studies of habitability, evolution

  3. Outreach for Cassini Huyghens mission and future Saturn and Titan exploration: From the Antikythera Mechanism to the TSSM mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moussas, Xenophon; Bampasidis, Georgios; Coustenis, Athena; Solomonidou, Anezina

    2010-05-01

    These days Outreach is an activity tightly related to success in science. The public with its great interest to space and astronomy in general, the solar system exploration and Saturn and Titan in particular, loves the scientific outcome of Cassini and Huygens. This love of the public gives a lot, as its known interest to space, persuades politicians and policy makers to support space and future Saturn and Titan explorations. We use the scientific results from Cassini and Huyghens together with a mosaic from ancient science concerning the history of solar system exploration, such as the oldest known complex astronomical device, the Antikyhtera Mechanism, in outreach activities to ensure future missions and continuous support to present ones. A future mission to the Saturnian System focusing on exotic Titan will broaden people's interest not only to Physics and Astronomy, but to Mechanics, Technology and even Philosophy as well, since, obviously, the roots of the vast contribution of Space Science and Astronomy to the contemporary society can be traced back to the first astronomers of Antiquity. As an example we use the Antikythera Mechanism, a favourite astronomical device for the public, which is the first geared astronomical device ever, constructed that combines the spirit of the ancient Astronomy and scientific accuracy. It is common belief that Astronomy and Astrophysics is a perfect tool to easily involve people in Science, as the public is always interested in space subjects, captivated by the beauty and the mystery of the Universe. Years after the successful entry, descent and landing of the Huygens probe on Titan's surface, the outstanding achievements of the Cassini-Huygens mission enhance the outreach potential of Space Science. Titan is an earth-like world, embedded in a dense nitrogen atmospheric envelop and a surface carved by rivers, mountains, dunes and lakes, its exploration will certainly empower the perspective of the society for space activities

  4. Aerial Explorers and Robotic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Larry A.; Pisanich, Greg

    2004-01-01

    A unique bio-inspired approach to autonomous aerial vehicle, a.k.a. aerial explorer technology is discussed. The work is focused on defining and studying aerial explorer mission concepts, both as an individual robotic system and as a member of a small robotic "ecosystem." Members of this robotic ecosystem include the aerial explorer, air-deployed sensors and robotic symbiotes, and other assets such as rovers, landers, and orbiters.

  5. 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...

  6. Voyage to Troy: A mission concept for the exploration of the Trojan asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saikia, S.; Das, A.; Laipert, F.; Dapkus, C.; Kendall, J.; Bowling, T.; Steckloff, J.; Holbert, S.; Graves, K.; Anthony, T.; Bobick, R.; Huang, Y.; Stuart, J.; Longuski, J.; Minton, D.

    2014-07-01

    The Trojan asteroids, located at Jupiter's L4 and L5 Lagrange points, are a potential source of insights into long-standing questions on the origin and early history of the Solar System. The 2013 Planetary Science Decadal Survey recommends a Trojan Tour and Rendezvous mission as high-priority among medium-class missions. A dedicated mission to the Trojan asteroids could confirm or refute multiple theories to correctly explain the Trojan asteroids' current location, characteristics, and behavior. In-depth and conclusive evidence for the Trojan asteroids' internal and external make-up as well as dynamical behavior hav been challenging due to limitations of ground- and space-based observations. Notwithstanding these limitations, it has been inferred that there are two distinct sub- populations that are distinguishable in visible and near-infrared spectra (redder and less red) within the swarms. These spectral groupings have not yet been conclusively linked to physical characteristics (e.g. size) or other observed parameters (e.g. albedo) of the primordial bodies. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's concept studies for Decadal Survey evaluated three concepts for missions to Trojan asteroids: each utilizing chemical- solar-electric, and radioisotope-electric for propulsion. Both Solar and Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators were considered for power [2]. We present a new conceptual mission to explore the Trojan asteroids that achieves the science goals prioritized in the 2013 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. The proposed mission aims to study both a redder and less red asteroid for the surface mineralogical and elemental composition, state of surface regolith, evidence and consequences of external modification processes such as collisional evolution, space weathering, and irradiation. Some potential targets in the L4 Greek camp currently under consideration for this mission include Achilles, Hektor and Agamemnon (redder) and Eurybates, Deipylos and Kalchas (less

  7. The Impact of Information Technology on the Design, Development, and Implementation of a Lunar Exploration Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Anthony R.; Sims, Michael H.; Briggs, Geoffrey A.

    1996-01-01

    From the beginning to the present expeditions to the Moon have involved a large investment of human labor. This has been true for all aspects of the process, from the initial design of the mission, whether scientific or technological, through the development of the instruments and the spacecraft, to the flight and operational phases. In addition to the time constraints that this situation imposes, there is also a significant cost associated with the large labor costs. As a result lunar expeditions have been limited to a few robotic missions and the manned Apollo program missions of the 1970s. With the rapid rise of the new information technologies, new paradigms are emerging that promise to greatly reduce both the time and cost of such missions. With the rapidly increasing capabilities of computer hardware and software systems, as well as networks and communication systems, a new balance of work is being developed between the human and the machine system. This new balance holds the promise of greatly increased exploration capability, along with dramatically reduced design, development, and operating costs. These new information technologies, utilizing knowledge-based software and very highspeed computer systems, will provide new design and development tools, scheduling mechanisms, and vehicle and system health monitoring capabilities that have hitherto been unavailable to the mission and spacecraft designer and the system operator. This paper will utilize typical lunar missions, both robotic and crewed, as a basis to describe and illustrate how these new information system technologies could be applied to all aspects such missions. In particular, new system design tradeoff tools will be described along with technologies that will allow a very much greater degree of autonomy of exploration vehicles than has heretofore been possible. In addition, new information technologies that will significantly reduce the human operational requirements will be discussed.

  8. EXPLORING THE MARKETING PHILOSOPHY THROUGH MISSION STATEMENTS: A STUDY ON CAPITAL 500

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İbrahim Taylan DÖRTYOL

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Mission statement, possesing an important place at strategic business planning process, is also a critical communication tool used by companies for expressing themselves to their target audiences. In this context, the mission statement, acting an important role at marketing communications, should be more market oriented and should emphasize on satisfying customer needs more than product and technologic terms, as Kotler and Armstrong [1] state. In the end of this process, companies will give their target audiences a clue about their basic philosophy. The present study aims to contribute to the literature by analyzing the content of mission statements of Capital 500 companies. A content analysis was conducted on these companies’ accessed mission statements via NVIVO, based on the “philosophy” component that placed in the framework of Pearce and David’s study exploring the mission statement components. At the data analysis process, companies were segmented with respect to their sectors they operate and the dominant philosophical thought for each sector was aimed to be determined. The research will create an awareness on the importance of mission statements on differentiating the business styles of the competing companies.

  9. JUICE: A European mission to explore the emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witasse, O.

    2017-09-01

    JUICE - JUpiter ICy moons Explorer - is the first large mission in the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. The mission was selected in May 2012 and adopted in November 2014. The implementation phase started in July 2015, following the selection of the prime industrial contractor, Airbus Defense and Space (Toulouse, France). Due to launch in June 2022 and arrival at Jupiter in October 2029, it will spend at least three ½ years making detailed observations of Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

  10. Evolvable Mars Campaign Long Duration Habitation Strategies: Architectural Approaches to Enable Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Matthew A.; Toups, Larry; Howe, A. Scott; Wald, Samuel I.

    2015-01-01

    The Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) is the current NASA Mars mission planning effort which seeks to establish sustainable, realistic strategies to enable crewed Mars missions in the mid-2030s timeframe. The primary outcome of the Evolvable Mars Campaign is not to produce "The Plan" for sending humans to Mars, but instead its intent is to inform the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate near-term key decisions and investment priorities to prepare for those types of missions. The FY'15 EMC effort focused upon analysis of integrated mission architectures to identify technically appealing transportation strategies, logistics build-up strategies, and vehicle designs for reaching and exploring Mars moons and Mars surface. As part of the development of this campaign, long duration habitats are required which are capable of supporting crew with limited resupply and crew abort during the Mars transit, Mars moons, and Mars surface segments of EMC missions. In particular, the EMC design team sought to design a single, affordable habitation system whose manufactured units could be outfitted uniquely for each of these missions and reused for multiple crewed missions. This habitat system must provide all of the functionality to safely support 4 crew for long durations while meeting mass and volume constraints for each of the mission segments set by the chosen transportation architecture and propulsion technologies. This paper describes several proposed long-duration habitation strategies to enable the Evolvable Mars Campaign through improvements in mass, cost, and reusability, and presents results of analysis to compare the options and identify promising solutions. The concepts investigated include several monolithic concepts: monolithic clean sheet designs, and concepts which leverage the co-manifested payload capability of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) to deliver habitable elements within the Universal Payload Adaptor between the SLS upper stage and the Orion

  11. The Miniaturized Mossbauer Spectrometer MIMOS II for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM): Quantitative Iron Mineralogy and Oxidation States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroder, Christian; Klingelhofer, Gostar; Morris, Richard V.; Yen, Albert S.; Renz, Franz; Graff, Trevor G.

    2016-01-01

    The miniaturized Mossbauer spectrometer MIMOS II is an off-the-shelf instrument, which has been successfully deployed during NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission and was on-board the ESA/UK Beagle 2 Mars lander and the Russian Phobos-Grunt sample return mission. We propose to use a fully-qualified flight-spare MIMOS II instrument available from these missions for in situ asteroid characterization with the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM).

  12. Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Science, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Sanders, G. B.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Drake, B. G.; Friedensen, V. P.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction: In 2009 the Augustine Commission identified near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. NEA Space-Based Survey and Robotic Precursor Missions: The most suitable targets for human missions are NEAs in Earth-like orbits with long synodic periods. However, these mission candidates are often not observable from Earth until the timeframe of their most favorable human mission opportunities, which does not provide an appropriate amount of time for mission development. A space-based survey telescope could more efficiently find these targets in a timely, affordable manner. Such a system is not only able to discover new objects, but also track and characterize objects of interest for human space flight consideration. Those objects with characteristic signatures representative of volatile-rich or metallic materials will be considered as top candidates for further investigation due to their potential for resource utilization and scientific discovery. Once suitable candidates have been identified, precursor spacecraft are required to perform basic reconnaissance of a few NEAs under consideration for the human-led mission. Robotic spacecraft will assess targets for potential hazards that may pose a risk to the deep space transportation vehicle, its deployable assets, and the crew. Additionally, the information obtained about the NEA's basic physical characteristics will be crucial for planning operational activities, designing in-depth scientific/engineering investigations, and identifying sites on the NEA for sample collection. Human Exploration

  13. Mars Rover Photos API

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This API is designed to collect image data gathered by NASA's Curiosity, Opportunity, and Spirit rovers on Mars and make it more easily available to other...

  14. Project APEX: Advanced Phobos Exploration. Manned mission to the Martian moon Phobos

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-04-01

    The manned exploration of Mars is a massive undertaking which requires careful consideration. A mission to the moon of Mars called Phobos as a prelude to manned landings on the Martian surface offers some advantages. One is that the energy requirements, in terms of delta 5, is only slightly higher than going to the Moon's surface. Another is that Phobos is a potential source of water and carbon which could be extracted and processed for life support and cryogenic propellants for use in future missions; thus, Phobos might serve as a base for extended Mars exploration or for exploration of the outer planets. The design of a vehicle for such a mission is the subject of our Aerospace System Design course this year. The materials and equipment needed for the processing plant would be delivered to Phobos in a prior unmanned mission. This study focuses on what it would take to send a crew to Phobos, set up the processing plant for extraction and storage of water and hydrocarbons, conduct scientific experiments, and return safely to Earth. The size, configuration, and subsystems of the vehicle are described in some detail. The spacecraft carries a crew of five and is launched from low Earth orbit in the year 2010. The outbound trajectory to Mars uses a gravitational assisted swing by of Venus and takes eight months to complete. The stay at Phobos is 60 days at which time the crew will be engaged in setting up the processing facility. The crew will then return to Earth orbit after a total mission duration of 656 days. Both stellar and solar observations will be conducted on both legs of the mission. The design of the spacecraft addresses human factors and life science; mission analysis and control; propulsion; power generation and distribution; thermal control; structural analysis; and planetary, solar, and stellar science. A 0.5 g artificial gravity is generated during transit by spinning about the lateral body axis. Nuclear thermal rockets using hydrogen as fuel are

  15. Robotic Missions to Small Bodies and Their Potential Contributions to Human Exploration and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.; Rivkin, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Robotic missions to small bodies will directly address aspects of NASA's Asteroid Initiative and will contribute to future human exploration and planetary defense. The NASA Asteroid Initiative is comprised of two major components: the Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Mission. The first component, the Grand Challenge, focuses on protecting Earth's population from asteroid impacts by detecting potentially hazardous objects with enough warning time to either prevent them from impacting the planet, or to implement civil defense procedures. The Asteroid Mission involves sending astronauts to study and sample a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) prior to conducting exploration missions of the Martian system, which includes Phobos and Deimos. The science and technical data obtained from robotic precursor missions that investigate the surface and interior physical characteristics of an object will help identify the pertinent physical properties that will maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk for both robotic assets and crew operating in close proximity to, or at the surface of, a small body. These data will help fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) concerning asteroid physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration considerations at similar small body destinations. These data can also be applied for gaining an understanding of pertinent small body physical characteristics that would also be beneficial for formulating future impact mitigation procedures. Small Body Strategic Knowledge Gaps: For the past several years NASA has been interested in identifying the key SKGs related to future human destinations. These SKGs highlight the various unknowns and/or data gaps of targets that the science and engineering communities would like to have filled in prior to committing crews to explore the Solar System. An action team from the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) was formed specifically to identify the small body SKGs under the

  16. Venus In Situ Explorer Mission design using a mechanically deployed aerodynamic decelerator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, B.; Venkatapathy, E.; Wercinski, P.; Yount, B.; Prabhu, D.; Gage, P.; Glaze, L.; Baker, C.

    The Venus In Situ Explorer (VISE) Mission addresses the highest priority science questions within the Venus community outlined in the National Research Council's Decadal Survey. The heritage Venus atmospheric entry system architecture, a 45° sphere-cone rigid aeroshell with a carbon phenolic thermal protection system, may no longer be the preferred entry system architecture compared to other viable alternatives being explored at NASA. A mechanically-deployed aerodynamic decelerator, known as the Adaptive Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT), is an entry system alternative that can provide key operational benefits and risk reduction compared to a rigid aeroshell. This paper describes a mission feasibility study performed with the objectives of identifying potential adverse interactions with other mission elements and establishing requirements on decelerator performance. Feasibility is assessed through a launch-to-landing mission design study where the Venus Intrepid Tessera Lander (VITaL), a VISE science payload designed to inform the Decadal Survey results, is repackaged from a rigid aeroshell into the ADEPT decelerator. It is shown that ADEPT reduces the deceleration load on VITaL by an order of magnitude relative to a rigid aeroshell. The more benign entry environment opens up the VISE mission design environment for increased science return, reduced risk, and reduced cost. The ADEPT-VITAL mission concept of operations is presented and details of the entry vehicle structures and mechanisms are given. Finally, entry aerothermal analysis is presented that defines the operational requirements for a revolutionary structural-TPS material employed by ADEPT: three-dimensionally woven carbon cloth. Ongoing work to mitigate key risks identified in this feasibility study is presented.

  17. The PRo3D View Planner - interactive simulation of Mars rover camera views to optimise capturing parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traxler, Christoph; Ortner, Thomas; Hesina, Gerd; Barnes, Robert; Gupta, Sanjeev; Paar, Gerhard

    2017-04-01

    High resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Outcrop Models (DOM) are highly useful for geological analysis and mission planning in planetary rover missions. PRo3D, developed as part of the EU-FP7 PRoViDE project, is a 3D viewer in which orbital DTMs and DOMs derived from rover stereo imagery can be rendered in a virtual environment for exploration and analysis. It allows fluent navigation over planetary surface models and provides a variety of measurement and annotation tools to complete an extensive geological interpretation. A key aspect of the image collection during planetary rover missions is determining the optimal viewing positions of rover instruments from different positions ('wide baseline stereo'). For the collection of high quality panoramas and stereo imagery the visibility of regions of interest from those positions, and the amount of common features shared by each stereo-pair, or image bundle is crucial. The creation of a highly accurate and reliable 3D surface, in the form of an Ordered Point Cloud (OPC), of the planetary surface, with a low rate of error and a minimum of artefacts, is greatly enhanced by using images that share a high amount of features and a sufficient overlap for wide baseline stereo or target selection. To support users in the selection of adequate viewpoints an interactive View Planner was integrated into PRo3D. The users choose from a set of different rovers and their respective instruments. PRo3D supports for instance the PanCam instrument of ESA's ExoMars 2020 rover mission or the Mastcam-Z camera of NASA's Mars2020 mission. The View Planner uses a DTM obtained from orbiter imagery, which can also be complemented with rover-derived DOMs as the mission progresses. The selected rover is placed onto a position on the terrain - interactively or using the current rover pose as known from the mission. The rover's base polygon and its local coordinate axes, and the chosen instrument's up- and forward vectors are

  18. The BIOMASS mission — An ESA Earth Explorer candidate to measure the BIOMASS of the earth's forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scipal, K.; Arcioni, M.; Chave, J.

    2010-01-01

    The European Space Agency (ESA) released a Call for Proposals for the next Earth Explorer Core Mission in March 2005, with the aim to select the 7th Earth Explorer (EE-7) mission for launch in the next decade. Twenty-four proposals were received and subject to scientific and technical assessment...

  19. In-Space Propulsion Technology Products for NASA's Future Science and Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Munk, Michelle M.

    2011-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling, for future NASA flagship and sample return missions currently being considered, as well as having broad applicability to future competed mission solicitations. The high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost was completed in 2009. Two other ISPT technologies are nearing completion of their technology development phase: 1) NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 2) Aerocapture technology development with investments in a family of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; aerothermal effect models: and atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus. This paper provides status of the technology development, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies that have recently completed their technology development and will be ready for infusion into NASA s Discovery, New Frontiers, Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Flagship, and Exploration technology demonstration missions

  20. APXS on board Chandrayaan-2 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanmugam, M.; Sripada, V. S. Murty; Acharya, Y. B.; Goyal, S. K.

    2012-07-01

    Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) is a well proven instrument for quantitative in situ elemental analysis of the planetary surfaces and has been successfully employed for Mars surface exploration. Chandrayaan-2, ISRO's second lunar mission having an Orbiter, Lander and Rover has provided an opportunity to explore the lunar surface with superior detectors such as Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) with energy resolution of about 150eV @ 5.9keV. The objective of the APXS instrument is to analyse several soil/rock samples along the rover traverse for the major elements with characteristic X-rays in 1 to 25keV range. The working principle of APXS involves measuring the intensity of characteristic X-rays emitted from the sample due to Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and X-ray florescence (XRF) processes using suitable radioactive sources, allowing the determination of elements from Na to Br, spanning the energy range of 0.9 to 16keV. For this experiment ^{244}Cm radioactive source has been chosen which emits both Alpha particles (5.8MeV) and X-rays (14.1keV, 18keV). APXS uses six Alpha sources, each about 5mCi activity. Unlike Mars, lunar environment poses additional challenges due to the regolith and extreme surface temperature changes, to operate the APXS. Our APXS instrument consists of two packages namely APXS sensor head and APXS signal electronics. The sensor head assembly contains SDD, six alpha sources and front end electronic circuits such as preamplifier and shaper circuits and will be mounted on a robotic arm which on command brings the sensor head close to the lunar surface at a height of 35±10mm. SDD module to be used in the experiment has 30mm ^{2} active detector area with in-built peltier cooler and heat sink to maintain the detector at about -35°C. The detector is covered with 8 micron thick Be window which results in the low energy threshold of about 1keV. The size of the APXS sensor head is 70x70x70mm ^{3} (approx). APXS signal

  1. SYNERGY: an Explorer mission concept for a next-generation ultraviolet survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKenty, John W.; Tumlinson, Jason; Arenberg, Jonathan W.; Elder, Craig; Gunderson, Adam; Warwick, Steven; O'Connell, Terri; Wong, Carlton

    2017-09-01

    Synergy is an Explorer class mission concept to obtain a large-area, multi-tier near-ultraviolet sky survey with lowresolution, spatially resolved slitless spectroscopy (R = 200-600) and simultaneous arc-second imaging between 210-320 nm. It's Wide and Deep surveys will examine the co-evolution of more than 200 million galaxies, 500,000 AGN, and 30,000 gas halos between 0.8 z z = 2 require ultraviolet observations.

  2. Strategic Research to Enable NASA's Exploration Missions Conference and Workshop: Poster Session. Volume 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nahra, Henry (Compiler)

    2004-01-01

    Reports are presented from volume 2 of the conference titled Strategic Research to Enable NASA's Exploration Missions, poster session. Topics included spacecraft fire suppression and fire extinguishing agents,materials flammability, various topics on the effects of microgravity including crystal growth, fluid mechanics, electric particulate suspension, melting and solidification, bubble formation, the sloshing of liquid fuels, biological studies, separation of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide for Mars ISRU.

  3. Automation Rover for Extreme Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauder, Jonathan; Hilgemann, Evan; Johnson, Michael; Parness, Aaron; Hall, Jeffrey; Kawata, Jessie; Stack, Kathryn

    2017-01-01

    Almost 2,300 years ago the ancient Greeks built the Antikythera automaton. This purely mechanical computer accurately predicted past and future astronomical events long before electronics existed1. Automata have been credibly used for hundreds of years as computers, art pieces, and clocks. However, in the past several decades automata have become less popular as the capabilities of electronics increased, leaving them an unexplored solution for robotic spacecraft. The Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments (AREE) proposes an exciting paradigm shift from electronics to a fully mechanical system, enabling longitudinal exploration of the most extreme environments within the solar system.

  4. Novel Rock Detection Intelligence for Space Exploration Based on Non-Symbolic Algorithms and Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yildirim, Sule; Beachell, Ronald L.; Veflingstad, Henning

    2007-01-01

    Future space exploration can utilize artificial intelligence as an integral part of next generation space rover technology to make the rovers more autonomous in performing mission objectives. The main advantage of the increased autonomy through a higher degree of intelligence is that it allows for greater utilization of rover resources by reducing the frequency of time consuming communications between rover and earth. In this paper, we propose a space exploration application of our research on a non-symbolic algorithm and concepts model. This model is based on one of the most recent approaches of cognitive science and artificial intelligence research, a parallel distributed processing approach. We use the Mars rovers. Sprit and Opportunity, as a starting point for proposing what rovers in the future could do if the presented model of non-symbolic algorithms and concepts is embedded in a future space rover. The chosen space exploration application for this paper, novel rock detection, is only one of many potential space exploration applications which can be optimized (through reduction of the frequency of rover-earth communications. collection and transmission of only data that is distinctive/novel) through the use of artificial intelligence technology compared to existing approaches.

  5. A Rover Operations Protocol for Maintaining Compliance with Planetary Protection Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Melissa; Vasavada, Ashwin

    2016-07-01

    day would be brought into a discussion. Typically the tactical team has a mix of experts in geology, astrobiology, geological materials, geochemistry, and meteorology. If this team cannot rule out the concern of introducing rover hardware into a potential Special Region, arm and wheel usage would be prohibited in that day's planning. This halt in tactical operations would allow a separate Special Regions Team to re-consider the data more deliberately, but still on timeline that would allow rover operations to resume as quickly as possible. This team is chosen in advance to have a broad range of expertise that can weigh the evidence for a potential Special Region, including representatives from the institutional planetary protection organization and involvement of the MSL Project Manager. If this team cannot rule out the concern, rover operations continue to hold while the NASA Planetary Protection Office is engaged to determine the best course of action for the mission. It is worth noting that evidence of modern, fluid-formed features at Gale Crater is not expected and would represent a major scientific discovery for the mission and Mars Exploration Program. However, this low-likelihood outcome still requires vigilance to ensure compliance with planetary protection requirements.

  6. Comparing different methods for assessing ground truth of rover data analysis for the 2005 season of the Life in the Atacama Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, G. W.; Peate, I. Ukstins; Nakamoto, J.; Pudenz, E.; Glasgow, J.; Bretthauer, J.; Cabrol, N.; Wettergreen, D.; Grin, E.; Coppin, P.; Dohm, J. M.; Piatek, J. L.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; Hock, A. N.; Weinstein, S.; Fisher, G.; Diaz, G. Chong; Cockell, C.; Marinangeli, L.; Minkley, N.; Moersch, J.; Ori, G. G.; Smith, T.; Stubb, K.; Wagner, M.; Waggoner, A. S.

    2007-12-01

    The scientific success of a remote exploration rover mission depends on the right combination of technology, teamwork and scientific insight. In order to quantitatively evaluate the success of a rover field trial, it is necessary to assess the accuracy of scientific interpretations made during the field test. This work compares three structured approaches to assessing the ground truth of scientific findings from a science team conducting a remote investigation of a locale using an autonomous rover. For the first approach, independent assessment, the daily science summaries were analyzed and reduced to a series of 1082 factual statements, which were treated as hypotheses. An independent scientist traveled to the field area to assess these hypotheses. For the second approach, guided self-study, the mission scientists themselves traveled to the field area and evaluated their own scientific interpretations. The third approach, discrepancy investigation, searched for the root causes of differences between the scientific interpretations made in the control room and those made in the field. The independent investigation provided sensitive, quantitative data, but suffered from the lack of context and continuity developed in the mission control room. The guided evaluation benefited from the context of the mission, but lacked clarity and consistency. The discrepancy investigation provided insight into the root causes behind the discrepancies, but was expensive and time consuming. The independent investigation method yielded particularly compelling results, but each method offers advantages and a comprehensive rover field trial assessment should include a combination of all three.

  7. Using Multi-Core Systems for Rover Autonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Brad; Estlin, Tara; Bornstein, Benjamin; Springer, Paul; Anderson, Robert C.

    2010-01-01

    Task Objectives are: (1) Develop and demonstrate key capabilities for rover long-range science operations using multi-core computing, (a) Adapt three rover technologies to execute on SOA multi-core processor (b) Illustrate performance improvements achieved (c) Demonstrate adapted capabilities with rover hardware, (2) Targeting three high-level autonomy technologies (a) Two for onboard data analysis (b) One for onboard command sequencing/planning, (3) Technologies identified as enabling for future missions, (4)Benefits will be measured along several metrics: (a) Execution time / Power requirements (b) Number of data products processed per unit time (c) Solution quality

  8. Social network analysis and dual rover communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litaker, Harry L.; Howard, Robert L.

    2013-10-01

    Social network analysis (SNA) refers to the collection of techniques, tools, and methods used in sociometry aiming at the analysis of social networks to investigate decision making, group communication, and the distribution of information. Human factors engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted a social network analysis on communication data collected during a 14-day field study operating a dual rover exploration mission to better understand the relationships between certain network groups such as ground control, flight teams, and planetary science. The analysis identified two communication network structures for the continuous communication and Twice-a-Day Communication scenarios as a split network and negotiated network respectfully. The major nodes or groups for the networks' architecture, transmittal status, and information were identified using graphical network mapping, quantitative analysis of subjective impressions, and quantified statistical analysis using Sociometric Statue and Centrality. Post-questionnaire analysis along with interviews revealed advantages and disadvantages of each network structure with team members identifying the need for a more stable continuous communication network, improved robustness of voice loops, and better systems training/capabilities for scientific imagery data and operational data during Twice-a-Day Communications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Space Resource Utilization: Near-Term Missions and Long-Term Plans for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Human Exploration Plans: A primary goal of all major space faring nations is to explore space: from the Earth with telescopes, with robotic probes and space telescopes, and with humans. For the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), this pursuit is captured in three important strategic goals: 1. Ascertain the content, origin, and evolution of the solar system and the potential for life elsewhere, 2. Extend and sustain human activities across the solar system (especially the surface of Mars), and 3. Create innovative new space technologies for exploration, science, and economic future. While specific missions and destinations are still being discussed as to what comes first, it is imperative for NASA that it foster the development and implementation of new technologies and approaches that make space exploration affordable and sustainable. Critical to achieving affordable and sustainable human exploration beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) is the development of technologies and systems to identify, extract, and use resources in space instead of bringing everything from Earth. To reduce the development and implementation costs for space resource utilization, often called In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), it is imperative to work with terrestrial mining companies to spin-in/spin-off technologies and capabilities, and space mining companies to expand our economy beyond Earth orbit. In the last two years, NASA has focused on developing and implementing a sustainable human space exploration program with the ultimate goal of exploring the surface of Mars with humans. The plan involves developing technology and capability building blocks critical for sustained exploration starting with the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew spacecraft and utilizing the International Space Station as a springboard into the solar system. The evolvable plan develops and expands human exploration in phases starting with missions that are reliant on Earth, to

  11. Launch and Assembly Reliability Analysis for Mars Human Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cates, Grant R.; Stromgren, Chel; Cirillo, William M.; Goodliff, Kandyce E.

    2013-01-01

    NASA s long-range goal is focused upon human exploration of Mars. Missions to Mars will require campaigns of multiple launches to assemble Mars Transfer Vehicles in Earth orbit. Launch campaigns are subject to delays, launch vehicles can fail to place their payloads into the required orbit, and spacecraft may fail during the assembly process or while loitering prior to the Trans-Mars Injection (TMI) burn. Additionally, missions to Mars have constrained departure windows lasting approximately sixty days that repeat approximately every two years. Ensuring high reliability of launching and assembling all required elements in time to support the TMI window will be a key enabler to mission success. This paper describes an integrated methodology for analyzing and improving the reliability of the launch and assembly campaign phase. A discrete event simulation involves several pertinent risk factors including, but not limited to: manufacturing completion; transportation; ground processing; launch countdown; ascent; rendezvous and docking, assembly, and orbital operations leading up to TMI. The model accommodates varying numbers of launches, including the potential for spare launches. Having a spare launch capability provides significant improvement to mission success.

  12. The Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer Mission at Penn State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nousek, J.; Burrows, D.; Chester, M.; Roming, P.; Gehrels, N.; Swift Team

    2000-12-01

    The Swift GRB Explorer mission is designed to discover ~ 1000 new gamma-ray bursts in its three year planned life, and immediately (within tens of seconds) to start simultaneous X-ray, optical and ultraviolet observations of the GRB afterglow. After its planned launch in September, 2003, it will collect an impressive database of gamma ray bursts (reaching more sensitive limits than BATSE); uniform X-ray/UV/optical monitoring of afterglows (with a dedicated weatherless observatory with broad multi-wavelength imaging capability); and rapid followup by other observatories (utilizing a continuous ground link with burst alerts and data posted immediately to the GCN). The Penn State Swift responsibilities include development of the X-ray Telescope (with CCDs from the University of Leicester and X-ray mirrors from OAB); the UV/Optical Telescope (with instrument fabrication at MSSL and SwRI); and development of the Mission Operations Center at PSU (with support from Omitron Corp.). After launch Swift will be operated from Penn State, with data analysis pipelines and data archives at Goddard Space Flight Center, Leicester and the Italian Science Data Center. The mission, lead by Neil Gehrels of GSFC, has successfully concluded the Preliminary Design Review process, including the spacecraft to be built by SpectrumAstro. We show the current status of the PSU lead portions of the mission. Funding for the Swift project at PSU is provided by NASA Contract NAS5-00136.

  13. Mars Rover/Sample Return - Phase A cost estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stancati, Michael L.; Spadoni, Daniel J.

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents a preliminary cost estimate for the design and development of the Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) mission. The estimate was generated using a modeling tool specifically built to provide useful cost estimates from design parameters of the type and fidelity usually available during early phases of mission design. The model approach and its application to MRSR are described.

  14. Electrical power technology for robotic planetary rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bankston, C. P.; Shirbacheh, M.; Bents, D. J.; Bozek, J. M.

    1993-01-01

    Power technologies which will enable a range of robotic rover vehicle missions by the end of the 1990s and beyond are discussed. The electrical power system is the most critical system for reliability and life, since all other on board functions (mobility, navigation, command and data, communications, and the scientific payload instruments) require electrical power. The following are discussed: power generation, energy storage, power management and distribution, and thermal management.

  15. Rover waste assay system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akers, D.W.; Stoots, C.M.; Kraft, N.C.; Marts, D.J. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    1997-11-01

    The Rover Waste Assay System (RWAS) is a nondestructive assay system designed for the rapid assay of highly-enriched {sup 235}U contaminated piping, tank sections, and debris from the Rover nuclear rocket fuel processing facility at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant. A scanning system translates a NaI(Tl) detector/collimator system over the structural components where both relative and calibrated measurements for {sup 137}Cs are made. Uranium-235 concentrations are in operation and is sufficiently automated that most functions are performed by the computer system. These functions include system calibration, problem identification, collimator control, data analysis, and reporting. Calibration of the system was done through a combination of measurements on calibration standards and benchmarked modeling. A description of the system is presented along with the methods and uncertainties associated with the calibration and analysis of the system for components from the Rover facility. 4 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  16. Planetary mission summaries. Volume 1: Introduction and overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-01-01

    Tabular synopses of twelve missions are presented along with the Mariner Jupiter/Saturn 1977 mission for comparison. Mission definitions considered include: Mars Polar Orbiter; Mars Surface Sample Return; Mars Rover; Marine Jupiter/Uranus 1979 with Uranus Entry Probe; Mariner Jupiter Orbiter; Mariner Mercury Orbiter 1978; Early Mariner Comet Flyby Solar Electric Encke Slow Flyby; Mariner Encke Ballistic Flyby; Solar Electric Encke Rendezvous 1981; Venus Orbital Imaging Radar; Solar Electric Out-of-the-Eliptic Probe 1979. Technical conclusions of mission studies are given in order that these results may interact with the broader questions of scope, pace, and priorities in the planetary exploration program.

  17. Managing PV Power on Mars - MER Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, Paul M.; Chin, Keith; Wood, Eric; Herman, Jennifer; Ewell, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The MER Rovers have recently completed over 5 years of operation! This is a remarkable demonstration of the capabilities of PV power on the Martian surface. The extended mission required the development of an efficient process to predict the power available to the rovers on a day-to-day basis. The performance of the MER solar arrays is quite unlike that of any other Space array and perhaps more akin to Terrestrial PV operation, although even severe by that comparison. The impact of unpredictable factors, such as atmospheric conditions and dust accumulation (and removal) on the panels limits the accurate prediction of array power to short time spans. Based on the above, it is clear that long term power predictions are not sufficiently accurate to allow for detailed long term planning. Instead, the power assessment is essentially a daily activity, effectively resetting the boundary points for the overall predictive power model. A typical analysis begins with the importing of the telemetry from each rover's previous day's power subsystem activities. This includes the array power generated, battery state-of-charge, rover power loads, and rover orientation, all as functions of time. The predicted performance for that day is compared to the actual performance to identify the extent of any differences. The model is then corrected for these changes. Details of JPL's MER power analysis procedure are presented, including the description of steps needed to provide the final prediction for the mission planners. A dust cleaning event of the solar array is also highlighted to illustrate the impact of Martian weather on solar array performance

  18. Space Resource Utilization: Near-Term Missions and Long-Term Plans for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.

    2015-01-01

    A primary goal of all major space faring nations is to explore space: from the Earth with telescopes, with robotic probes and space telescopes, and with humans. For the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), this pursuit is captured in three important strategic goals: 1. Ascertain the content, origin, and evolution of the solar system and the potential for life elsewhere, 2. Extend and sustain human activities across the solar system (especially the surface of Mars), and 3. Create innovative new space technologies for exploration, science, and economic future. While specific missions and destinations are still being discussed as to what comes first, it is imperative for NASA that it foster the development and implementation of new technologies and approaches that make space exploration affordable and sustainable. Critical to achieving affordable and sustainable human exploration beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) is the development of technologies and systems to identify, extract, and use resources in space instead of bringing everything from Earth. To reduce the development and implementation costs for space resource utilization, often called In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), it is imperative to work with terrestrial mining companies to spin-in/spin-off technologies and capabilities, and space mining companies to expand our economy beyond Earth orbit. In the last two years, NASA has focused on developing and implementing a sustainable human space exploration program with the ultimate goal of exploring the surface of Mars with humans. The plan involves developing technology and capability building blocks critical for sustained exploration starting with the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew spacecraft and utilizing the International Space Station as a springboard into the solar system. The evolvable plan develops and expands human exploration in phases starting with missions that are reliant on Earth, to performing ever more challenging and

  19. Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter and Trojan Asteroid Explorer in EJSM (Europa Jupiter System Mission)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Sho; Fujimoto, Masaki; Takashima, Takeshi; Yano, Hajime; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Takahashi, Yukihiro; Kimura, Jun; Tsuda, Yuichi; Funase, Ryu; Mori, Osamu

    2010-05-01

    Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) is an international mission to explore and Jupiter, its satellites and magnetospheric environment in 2020s. EJSM consists of (1) The Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) by NASA, (2) the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) by ESA, and (3) the Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter (JMO) studied by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). In February 2009, NASA and ESA decided to continue the study of EJSM as a candidate of the outer solar system mission. JMO will have magnetometers, low-energy plasma spectrometers, medium energy particle detectors, energetic particle detectors, electric field / plasma wave instruments, an ENA imager, an EUV spectrometer, and a dust detector. Collaborating with plasma instruments on board JEO and JGO, JMO will investigate the fast and huge rotating magnetosphere to clarify the energy procurement from Jovian rotation to the magnetosphere, to clarify the interaction between the solar wind the magnetosphere. Especially when JEO and JGO are orbiting around Europa and Ganymede, respectively, JMO will measure the outside condition in the Jovian magnetosphere. JMO will clarify the characteristics of the strongest accelerator in the solar system with the investigation of the role of Io as a source of heavy ions in the magnetosphere. JAXA started a study of a solar power sail for deep space explorations. Together with a solar sail (photon propulsion), it will have very efficient ion engines where electric power is produced solar panels within the sail. JAXA has already experienced ion engine in the successful Hayabusa mission, which was launched in 2003 and is still in operation in 2010. For the purpose of testing solar power sail technology, an engineering mission IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) will be launched in 2010 together with Venus Climate Orbiter PLANET-C. The shape of the IKAROS' membrane is square, with a diagonal distance of 20m. It is made of polyimide film only 0.0075mm

  20. Impact of the Columbia Supercomputer on NASA Space and Exploration Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Rupak; Kwak, Dochan; Kiris, Cetin; Lawrence, Scott

    2006-01-01

    NASA's 10,240-processor Columbia supercomputer gained worldwide recognition in 2004 for increasing the space agency's computing capability ten-fold, and enabling U.S. scientists and engineers to perform significant, breakthrough simulations. Columbia has amply demonstrated its capability to accelerate NASA's key missions, including space operations, exploration systems, science, and aeronautics. Columbia is part of an integrated high-end computing (HEC) environment comprised of massive storage and archive systems, high-speed networking, high-fidelity modeling and simulation tools, application performance optimization, and advanced data analysis and visualization. In this paper, we illustrate the impact Columbia is having on NASA's numerous space and exploration applications, such as the development of the Crew Exploration and Launch Vehicles (CEV/CLV), effects of long-duration human presence in space, and damage assessment and repair recommendations for remaining shuttle flights. We conclude by discussing HEC challenges that must be overcome to solve space-related science problems in the future.

  1. Architecture Synthesis and Reduced-Cost Architectures for Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Gordon

    2004-01-01

    Development of architectures for human exploration missions has been pursued in the international aerospace community for a long time. This paper attempts a different approach and way of looking at architectures. Most of the emphasis is on lunar architectures with a brief look at Mars. The first step is to set forth overarching gods in order to understand origins of requirements. Then, principles and guidelines are developed for architecture formulation. It is argued that safety and cost are the primary factors. Alternative mission profiles are examined for adherence to the principles, and specific architectures formulated according to the guidelines. The guidelines themselves indicate preferred evolution paths from lunar to Mars architectures. Results of example calculations are given to illustrate the process, and an evolution path is recommended. Safety and cost criteria tend to conflict, but it is shown that cost-efficient architectures can be enhanced for good safety ratings at modest cost.

  2. Curiosity rover LEGO® version could land soon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

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

  3. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM): Exploration of a Former Binary NEA?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Reeves, D. M.; Chodas, P. W.; Gates, M. M.; Johnson, L. N.; Ticker, R. L.

    2016-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) as a capability demonstration for future human exploration, including use of high-power solar electric propulsion, which allows for the efficient movement of large masses through deep space. The ARM will also demonstrate the capability to conduct proximity operations with natural space objects and crewed operations beyond the security of quick Earth return. The Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), currently in formulation, will visit a large near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface, conduct a demonstration of a slow push planetary defense technique, and redirect the multi-ton boulder into a stable orbit around the Moon. Once returned to cislunar space in the mid-2020s, astronauts aboard an Orion spacecraft will dock with the robotic vehicle to explore the boulder and return samples to Earth. The ARM is part of NASA's plan to advance technologies, capabilities, and spaceflight experience needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s. The ARM and subsequent availability of the asteroidal material in cis-lunar space, provide significant opportunities to advance our knowledge of small bodies in the synergistic areas of science, planetary defense, and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). The current reference target for the ARM is NEA (341843) 2008 EV5, which may have been the primary body of a former binary system (Busch et al., 2011; Tardivel et al., 2016). The ARRM will perform several close proximity operations to investigate the NEA and map its surface. A detailed investigation of this object may allow a better understanding of binary NEA physical characteristics and the possible outcomes for their evolution. An overview of the ARM robotic and crewed segments, including mission operations, and a discussion of potential opportunities for participation with the ARM will be provided in this presentation.

  4. Parametric Analysis of Life Support Systems for Future Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swickrath, Michael J.; Anderson, Molly S.; Bagdigian, Bob M.

    2011-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is in a process of evaluating future targets for space exploration. In order to maintain the welfare of a crew during future missions, a suite of life support technology is responsible for oxygen and water generation, carbon dioxide control, the removal of trace concentrations of organic contaminants, processing and recovery of water, and the storage and reclamation of solid waste. For each particular life support subsystem, a variety competing technologies either exist or are under aggressive development efforts. Each individual technology has strengths and weaknesses with regard to launch mass, power and cooling requirements, volume of hardware and consumables, and crew time requirements for operation. However, from a system level perspective, the favorability of each life support architecture is better assessed when the sub-system technologies are analyzed in aggregate. In order to evaluate each specific life support system architecture, the measure of equivalent system mass (ESM) was employed to benchmark system favorability. Moreover, the results discussed herein will be from the context of loop-closure with respect to the air, water, and waste sub-systems. Specifically, closure relates to the amount of consumables mass that crosses the boundary of the vehicle over the lifetime of a mission. As will be demonstrated in this manuscript, the optimal level of loop closure is heavily dependent upon mission requirements such as duration and the level of extra-vehicular activity (EVA) performed. Sub-system level trades were also considered as a function of mission duration to assess when increased loop closure is practical. Although many additional factors will likely merit consideration in designing life support systems for future missions, the ESM results described herein provide a context for future architecture design decisions toward a flexible path program.

  5. Science and Reconnaissance from the Europa Clipper Mission Concept: Exploring Europa's Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappalardo, Robert; Senske, David; Prockter, Louise; Paczkowski, Brian; Vance, Steve; Goldstein, Barry; Magner, Thomas; Cooke, Brian

    2015-04-01

    Europa is recognized by the Planetary Science De-cadal Survey as a prime candidate to search for a pre-sent-day habitable environment in our solar system. As such, NASA has pursued a series of studies, facilitated by a Europa Science Definition Team (SDT), to define a strategy to best advance our scientific understanding of this icy world with the science goal: Explore Europa to investigate its habitability. (In June of 2014, the SDT completed its task of identifying the overarching science objectives and investigations.) Working in concert with a technical team, a set of mission archi-tectures were evaluated to determine the best way to achieve the SDT defined science objectives. The fa-vored architecture would consist of a spacecraft in Ju-piter orbit making many close flybys of Europa, con-centrating on remote sensing to explore the moon. In-novative mission design would use gravitational per-turbations of the spacecraft trajectory to permit flybys at a wide variety of latitudes and longitudes, enabling globally distributed regional coverage of Europa's sur-face, with nominally 45 close flybys, typically at alti-tudes from 25 to 100 km. This concept has become known as the Europa Clipper. The Europa SDT recommended three science ob-jectives for the Europa Clipper: Ice Shell and Ocean: Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; Composition: Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry; and Geology: Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize high science interest localities. The Europa SDT also considered implications of the Hubble Space Telescope detection of possible plumes at Europa. To feed forward to potential subsequent future ex-ploration that could be enabled by a lander, it was deemed that the Europa Clipper mission concept should provide the

  6. European Venus Explorer: An in-situ mission to Venus using a balloon platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefière, E.; Korablev, O.; Imamura, T.; Baines, K. H.; Wilson, C. F.; Titov, D. V.; Aplin, K. L.; Balint, T.; Blamont, J. E.; Cochrane, C. G.; Ferencz, Cs.; Ferri, F.; Gerasimov, M.; Leitner, J. J.; Lopez-Moreno, J.; Marty, B.; Martynov, M.; Pogrebenko, S. V.; Rodin, A.; Whiteway, J. A.; Zasova, L. V.; the EVE Team

    2009-07-01

    Planetary balloons have a long history already. A small super-pressure balloon was flown in the atmosphere of Venus in the eighties by the Russian-French VEGA mission. For this mission, CNES developed and fully tested a 9 m diameter super-pressure balloon, but finally replaced it by a smaller one due to mass constraints (when it was decided to send Vega to Halley's Comet). Furthermore, several kinds of balloons have been proposed for planetary exploration [Blamont, J., in: Maran, S.P. (Ed.), The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia. Cambridge University Press, p. 494, 1991]. A Mars balloon has been studied for the Mars-94 Russian-French mission, which was finally cancelled. Mars and Venus balloons have also been studied and ground tested at JPL, and a low atmosphere Venus balloon is presently under development at JAXA (the Japanese Space Agency). Balloons have been identified as a key element in an ongoing Flagship class mission study at NASA, with an assumed launch date between 2020 and 2025. Recently, it was proposed by a group of scientists, under European leadership, to use a balloon to characterize - by in-situ measurements - the evolution, composition and dynamics of the Venus atmosphere. This balloon is part of a mission called EVE (European Venus Explorer), which has been proposed in response to the ESA AO for the first slice of the Cosmic Vision program by a wide international consortium including Europe, Russia, Japan and USA. The EVE architecture consists of one balloon platform floating at an altitude of 50-60 km, one short lived probe provided by Russia, and an orbiter with a polar orbit to relay data from the balloon and probe, and to perform remote sensing science observations. The balloon type preferred for scientific goals is one, which would oscillate in altitude through the cloud deck. To achieve this flight profile, the balloon envelope would contain a phase change fluid. While this proposal was not selected for the first slice of Cosmic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.

    2005-05-01

    The miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) has provided remote measurements of the mineralogy and thermophysical properties of outcrops, rocks, spherules, and soils surrounding the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers [1, 2]. The composition of surface materials provides insight into the origin and evolution of the martian crust and the nature of igneous and sedimentary processes. At Gusev, undisturbed soil spectra closely match MGS TES bright-regions dust spectra, with features interpreted to be due to minor carbonates and bound water. Dark-toned soils observed on rover-disturbed surfaces are likely derived from rocks and have a derived mineralogy, with uncertainties of 5-10 vol.%, of 45% pyroxene (20% high-Ca pyroxene, 25% pigeonite), 40% sodic/intermediate plagioclase, and 15% olivine (Fo35-Fo55). Aeolian drift material has a unique spectral character with higher oxide abundances than disturbed soil. Along the rover's traverse from the lander into the Columbia Hills, at least three distinct rock types have been recognized: olivine rich basalt, a volcaniclastic rock dominated by an amorphous component (possibly basaltic glass and/or shocked plagioclase), and a second volcaniclastic rock dominated by plagioclase of intermediate composition with lesser pyroxene and olivine components. One (or possibly two) spectrally distinct coatings are observed on rocks, a possible indicator of the interaction of water, rock, and airfall dust. At Meridiani, the Mini-TES has identified coarse crystalline hematite and olivine basaltic sands as predicted from orbital TES spectroscopy [3, 4]. Basaltic materials have more plagioclase than pyroxene, contain olivine, and are similar in inferred mineral composition to basalt mapped by TES from orbit. Light-toned outcrops of aqueous origin exposed in crater walls are composed of 20 to 40% Mg and Ca sulfates, a high-silica component that is modeled as glass/feldspar/sheet silicates (~20-30%), and hematite. The Fe-bearing sulfate

  8. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Stereo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Multiple images taken with Spirit's panoramic camera are combined here into a stereo view that appears three-dimensional when seen through red-blue glasses, with the red lens on the left.

  9. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Vertical)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here as a vertical projection, as if looking straight down, and in false color, which brings out subtle color differences.

  10. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (False Color)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here in false color that is used to bring out subtle differences in color.

  11. The Planned Europa Clipper Mission: Exploring Europa to Investigate its Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappalardo, Robert T.; Senske, David A.; Korth, Haje; Blaney, Diana L.; Blankenship, Donald D.; Christensen, Philip R.; Kempf, Sascha; Raymond, Carol Anne; Retherford, Kurt D.; Turtle, Elizabeth P.; Waite, J. Hunter; Westlake, Joseph H.; Collins, Geoffrey; Gudipati, Murthy; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Paty, Carol; Rathbun, Julie A.; Roberts, James; E Schmidt, Britney; Soderblom, Jason M.; Europa Clipper Science Team

    2017-10-01

    A key driver of planetary exploration is to understand the processes that lead to habitability across the solar system. In this context, the science goal of the planned Europa Clipper mission is: Explore Europa to investigate its habitability. Following from this goal are three Mission Objectives: 1) Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; 2) Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry; and 3) Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize localities of high science interest. Folded into these three objectives is the desire to search for and characterize any current activity.To address the Europa science objectives, a highly capable and synergistic suite of nine instruments comprise the mission's scientific payload. This payload includes five remote-sensing instruments that observe the wavelength range from ultraviolet through radar, specifically: Europa UltraViolet Spectrograph (Europa-UVS), Europa Imaging System (EIS), Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE), Europa THErMal Imaging System (E-THEMIS), and Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON). In addition, four in-situ instruments measure fields and particles: Interior Characterization of Europa using MAGnetometry (ICEMAG), Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS), MAss Spectrometer for Planetary EXploration (MASPEX), and SUrface Dust Analyzer (SUDA). Moreover, gravity science can be addressed via the spacecraft's telecommunication system, and scientifically valuable engineering data from the radiation monitoring system would augment the plasma dataset. Working together, the planned Europa mission’s science payload would allow testing of hypotheses relevant to the composition, interior, and geology of Europa, to address the potential habitability of this

  12. Development of Carbon Dioxide Removal Systems for NASA's Deep Space Human Exploration Missions 2016-2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, James C.

    2017-01-01

    NASA has embarked on an endeavor that will enable humans to explore deep space, with the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars. This journey will require significant developments in a wide range of technical areas, as resupply is unavailable in the Mars transit phase and early return is not possible. Additionally, mass, power, volume, and other resources must be minimized for all subsystems to reduce propulsion needs. Among the critical areas identified for development are life support systems, which will require increases in reliability and reductions in resources. This paper discusses current and planned developments in the area of carbon dioxide removal to support crewed Mars-class missions.

  13. The Planetary Science Archive (PSA): Exploration and discovery of scientific datasets from ESA's planetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallat, C.; Besse, S.; Barbarisi, I.; Arviset, C.; De Marchi, G.; Barthelemy, M.; Coia, D.; Costa, M.; Docasal, R.; Fraga, D.; Heather, D. J.; Lim, T.; Macfarlane, A.; Martinez, S.; Rios, C.; Vallejo, F.; Said, J.

    2017-09-01

    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific datasets through various interfaces at http://psa.esa.int. All datasets are scientifically peer-reviewed by independent scientists, and are compliant with the Planetary Data System (PDS) standards. The PSA has started to implement a number of significant improvements, mostly driven by the evolution of the PDS standards, and the growing need for better interfaces and advanced applications to support science exploitation.

  14. Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer Mission Attitude Determination and Control Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bladt, Jeff; Deininger, William D.; Kalinowski, William C.; Boysen, Mary; Bygott, Kyle; Guy, Larry; Pentz, Christina; Seckar, Chris; Valdez, John; Wedmore, Jeffrey; hide

    2018-01-01

    The goal of the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) Mission is to expand understanding of high-energy astrophysical processes and sources, in support of NASA's first science objective in Astrophysics: "Discover how the universe works." X-ray polarimetry is the focus of the IXPE science mission. Polarimetry uniquely probes physical anisotropies-ordered magnetic fields, aspheric matter distributions, or general relativistic coupling to black-hole spin-that are not otherwise measurable. The IXPE Observatory consists of Spacecraft and Payload modules. The Payload includes three polarization sensitive, X-ray detector units (DU), each paired with its corresponding grazing incidence mirror module assemblies (MMA). A deployable boom provides the correct separation (focal length) between the DUs and MMAs. These Payload elements are supported by the IXPE Spacecraft. A star tracker is mounted directly with the deployed Payload to minimize alignment errors between the star tracker line of sight (LoS) and Payload LoS. Stringent pointing requirements coupled with a flexible structure and a non-collocated attitude sensor-actuator configuration requires a thorough analysis of control-structure interactions. A non-minimum phase notch filter supports robust control loop stability margins. This paper summarizes the IXPE mission science objectives and Observatory concepts, and then it describes IXPE attitude determination and control implementation. IXPE LoS pointing accuracy, control loop stability, and angular momentum management are discussed.

  15. Building and Executing Rover Plans with Contingent Tasks Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — During recent robotic field tests, NASA investigated the use of intelligent planetary rovers to improve the productivity of human explorers on planetary surfaces....

  16. Mars Methane Analogue Mission (M3): Near Subsurface Electromagnetic Techniques and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boivin, A.; Samson, C.; Holladay, J. S.; Cloutis, E. A.; Ernst, R. E.

    2012-03-01

    As part of the Canadian Space Agency's Mars Methane Analogue Mission, a micro-rover mission, an Electromagnetic Induction Sounder (EMIS) was used with the goal of demonstrating its value as a potential science instrument onboard future rovers.

  17. Ultra Long-Life Spacecraft for Long Duration Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chau, Savio

    2002-01-01

    After decades of Solar System exploration, NASA has almost completed the initial reconnaissance, and has been planning for landing and sample return missions on many planets, satellites, comets, and asteroids. The next logical step of space exploration is to expand the frontier into other missions within and outside the solar system. These missions can easily last for more than 30 to 50 years. Most of the current technologies and spacecraft design techniques are not adequate to support such long life missions. Many breakthrough technologies and non-conventional system architecture have to develop in order to sustain such long life missions.Some of these technologies are being developed by the NASA Exploration Team (neXt). Based on the projected requirements for ultra long life missions, the costs and benefits of the required technologies can be quantified. The ultra long-life space system should have four attributes: long-term survivability, administration of consumable resources, evolvability and adaptability, and low-cost long-term operations of the spacecraft. The discussion of survivability is the focus of this paper. Conventional fault tolerant system design has to tolerate only random failures, which can be handled effectively by dual or triple redundancy for a relatively short time. In contrast, the predominant failure mode in an ultra long-life system is the wear-out of components. All active components in the system are destined to fail before the end of the mission. Therefore, an ultra long-life system would require a large number of redundant components. This would be impractical in conventional fault tolerant systems because their fault tolerance techniques are very inefficient. For instance, a conventional dual-string avionics system duplicates the all the components including the processor, memory, and I/O controllers on a spacecraft. However, when the same component in both strings fail (e.g., the processor), the system will fail although all other

  18. Lunar and Planetary Robotic Exploration Missions in the 20th Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntress, W. T., Jr.; Moroz, V. I.; Shevalev, I. L.

    2003-07-01

    The prospect of traveling to the planets was science fiction at the beginning of the 20th Century and science fact at its end. The space age was born of the Cold War in the 1950s and throughout most of the remainder of the century it provided not just an adventure in the exploration of space but a suspenseful drama as the US and USSR competed to be first and best. It is a tale of patience to overcome obstacles, courage to try the previously impossible and persistence to overcome failure, a tale of both fantastic accomplishment and debilitating loss. We briefly describe the history of robotic lunar and planetary exploration in the 20th Century, the missions attempted, their goals and their fate. We describe how this enterprise developed and evolved step by step from a politically driven competition to intense scientific investigations and international cooperation.

  19. Building on 50 Years of Mission Operations Experience for a New Era of Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onken, Jay F.; Singer, Christopher E.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. National Space Policy, I the 14-nation Global Exploration Strategy,2 and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) 2006 Strategic Plan3 provide foundational direction for far-ranging missions, from safely flying the Space Shuttle and completing construction of the International Space Station by 2010, to fielding a next generation space transportation system consisting of the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle!Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle!Altair Lunar Lander (fig. 1). Transportation beyond low-Earth orbit will open the frontier for a lunar outpost, where astronauts will harness in-situ resources while exploring this 4 billion-year-old archaeological site, which may hold answers to how the Earth and its satellite were formed. Ultimately, this experience will pave the way for the first human footprint on Mars. In October 2007, NASA" announced assignments for this lunar exploration work.4 The Marshall Space Flight Center is responsible for designing, developing, testing, and evaluating the Ares I and Ares V, which are Space Shuttle derived launch vehicles, along with a number of lunar tasks. The Marshall Center's Engineering Directorate provides the skilled workforce and unique manufacturing, testing, and operational infrastructure needed to deliver space transportation solutions that meet the requirements stated in the Constellation Architecture Requirements Document (CARD). While defining design reference missions to the Station and the Moon, the CARD includes goals that include reducing recurring and nonrecurring costs, while increasing safety and reliability. For this reason, future systems are being designed with operability considerations and lifecycle expenses as independent variables in engineering trade studies.

  20. Adams-Based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Simulator - ARTEMIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trease, Brian P.; Lindeman, Randel A.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Bennett, Keith; VanDyke, Lauren P.; Zhou, Feng; Iagnemma, Karl; Senatore, Carmine

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs), Spirit and Opportunity, far exceeded their original drive distance expectations and have traveled, at the time of this reporting, a combined 29 kilometers across the surface of Mars. The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP), the current program used to plan drives for MERs, is only a kinematic simulator of rover movement. Therefore, rover response to various terrains and soil types cannot be modeled. Although sandbox experiments attempt to model rover-terrain interaction, these experiments are time-intensive and costly, and they cannot be used within the tactical timeline of rover driving. Imaging techniques and hazard avoidance features on MER help to prevent the rover from traveling over dangerous terrains, but mobility issues have shown that these methods are not always sufficient. ARTEMIS, a dynamic modeling tool for MER, allows planned drives to be simulated before commands are sent to the rover. The deformable soils component of this model allows rover-terrain interactions to be simulated to determine if a particular drive path would take the rover over terrain that would induce hazardous levels of slip or sink. When used in the rover drive planning process, dynamic modeling reduces the likelihood of future mobility issues because high-risk areas could be identified before drive commands are sent to the rover, and drives planned over these areas could be rerouted. The ARTEMIS software consists of several components. These include a preprocessor, Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), Adams rover model, wheel and soil parameter files, MSC Adams GUI (commercial), MSC Adams dynamics solver (commercial), terramechanics subroutines (FORTRAN), a contact detection engine, a soil modification engine, and output DEMs of deformed soil. The preprocessor is used to define the terrain (from a DEM) and define the soil parameters for the terrain file. The Adams rover model is placed in this terrain. Wheel and soil parameter files

  1. Low Mass Printable Devices for Energy Capture, Storage, and Use for Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frazier, Donald O.; Singer, Christopher E.; Ray, William J.; Fuller, Kirk A.

    2010-01-01

    The energy-efficient, environmentally friendly technology that will be presented is the result of a Space Act Agreement between -Technologies Worldwide, Inc., and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA s) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). This work combines semiconductor and printing technologies to advance lightweight electronic and photonic devices having excellent potential for commercial and exploration applications, and is an example of industry and government cooperation that leads to novel inventions. Device development involves three energy generation and consumption projects: 1) a low mass efficient (low power, low heat emission) micro light-emitting diode (LED) area lighting device; 2) a low-mass omni-directional efficient photovoltaic (PV) device with significantly improved energy capture; and 3) a new approach to building supercapacitors. These three technologies - energy capture, storage, and usage (e.g., lighting) - represent a systematic approach for building efficient local micro-grids that are commercially feasible; furthermore, these same technologies will be useful for lightweight power generation that enables inner planetary missions using smaller launch vehicles and facilitates surface operations. The PV device model is a two-sphere, light-trapped sheet approximately 2-mm thick. The model suggests a significant improvement over current thin film systems. All three components may be printed in line by printing sequential layers on a standard screen or flexographic direct impact press using the threedimensional printing technique (3DFM) patented by NthDegree. MSFC is testing the robustness of prototype devices in the harsh space and lunar surface environments, and available results will be reported. Unlike many traditional light sources, this device does not contain toxic compounds, and the LED component has passed stringent off-gassing tests required for potential manifesting on spacecraft such as the International Space

  2. Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI) Overview from the Emirates Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    AlShamsi, Maryam; Wolff, Michael; Khoory, Mohammad; AlMheiri, Suhail; Jones, Andrew; Drake, Ginger; Osterloo, Mikki; Reed, Heather

    2017-04-01

    The Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI) instrument is one of three scientific instruments abroad the Emirate Mars Mission (EMM) spacecraft, "Hope". The planned launch window opens in the summer of 2020, with the goal of this United Arab Emirates (UAE) mission to explore the dynamics of the Martian atmosphere through global spatial sampling which includes both diurnal and seasonal timescales. A particular focus of the mission is the improvement of our understanding of the global circulation in the lower atmosphere and the connections to the upward transport of energy of the escaping atmospheric particles from the upper atmosphere. This will be accomplished using three unique and complementary scientific instruments. The subject of this presentation, EXI, is a multi-band camera capable of taking 12 megapixel images, which translates to a spatial resolution of better than 8 km with a well calibrated radiometric performance. EXI uses a selector wheel mechanism consisting of 6 discrete bandpass filters to sample the optical spectral region: 3 UV bands and 3 visible (RGB) bands. Atmospheric characterization will involve the retrieval of the ice optical depth using the 300-340 nm band, the dust optical depth in the 205-235nm range, and the column abundance of ozone with a band covering 245-275 nm. Radiometric fidelity is optimized while simplifying the optical design by separating the UV and VIS optical paths. The instrument is being developed jointly by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), University of California, Boulder, USA, and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), Dubai, UAE.

  3. MATISSE: A novel tool to access, visualize and analyse data from planetary exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinzi, A.; Capria, M. T.; Palomba, E.; Giommi, P.; Antonelli, L. A.

    2016-04-01

    The increasing number and complexity of planetary exploration space missions require new tools to access, visualize and analyse data to improve their scientific return. ASI Science Data Center (ASDC) addresses this request with the web-tool MATISSE (Multi-purpose Advanced Tool for the Instruments of the Solar System Exploration), allowing the visualization of single observation or real-time computed high-order products, directly projected on the three-dimensional model of the selected target body. Using MATISSE it will be no longer needed to download huge quantity of data or to write down a specific code for every instrument analysed, greatly encouraging studies based on joint analysis of different datasets. In addition the extremely high-resolution output, to be used offline with a Python-based free software, together with the files to be read with specific GIS software, makes it a valuable tool to further process the data at the best spatial accuracy available. MATISSE modular structure permits addition of new missions or tasks and, thanks to dedicated future developments, it would be possible to make it compliant to the Planetary Virtual Observatory standards currently under definition. In this context the recent development of an interface to the NASA ODE REST API by which it is possible to access to public repositories is set.

  4. Learning to behave: adaptive behavior for planetary surface rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntsberger, Terry; Aghazarian, Hrand

    2004-01-01

    Robotic missions to planetary surfaces are becoming more ambitious and of longer duration. The nominal mission timeline for the MER called Spirit currently on the Martian surface is 90 days, with extensions to 180 days depending on rover health. The upcoming 2009 MSL mission is planned to be 300-500 days and will possibly involve traverses on the order of a kilometer or more.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Towards improved quantification of vegetation photosynthetic activity at global scale: the FLuorescence EXplorer (FLEX) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Jose

    2014-05-01

    The fluorescence signal, originated from the core complexes of the photosynthetic machinery, is a sensitive indicator of the actual photosynthesis in both healthy and physiologically stressed vegetation, which can be used as a powerful non-invasive marker to track the status, resilience, and recovery of photochemical processes. This is of particular interest for the improvements in the predictive capability of global carbon cycle models through new parameterizations for canopy photosynthesis and the corresponding exchange processes of energy, water and carbon between the surface and the atmosphere. The shape of the fluorescence emission spectrum consists of two peaks having broad bands with maxima around 685 nm and 740 nm. The variations in amplitude and shape of the emission reflect the efficiency of photosynthetic electron transport. The integral of the overall fluorescence emission provides information about actual photosynthetic light conversion. The shape of the emission spectrum provides additional information about the vegetation health status. While most of the information that has been acquired by remote sensing of the Earth's surface about vegetation conditions and photosynthetic activity has come from "reflected" light in the solar domain, the ESA's Earth Explorer candidate FLEX (Fluorescence EXplorer) mission is the first space mission focused on the estimation of fluorescence emission by terrestrial vegetation on a global scale with high spatial resolution and resolving the spectral shape of fluorescence emission. The FLEX mission also includes explicit measurement of photochemical changes in reflectance (i.e., PRI), canopy temperature measurements and all the relevant variables (chlorophyll content, Leaf Area Index, etc.) needed to asses the actual physiological status of vegetation and to provide quantitative estimates of photosynthetic rates and gross primary production. FLEX is one of two candidate Earth Explorer-8 missions currently under Phase A

  9. In-situ soil sensing for planetary micro-rovers with hybrid wheel-leg systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comin Cabrera, Francisco Jose

    Rover missions exploring other planets are tightly constrained regarding the trade-off between safety and traversal speed. Detecting and avoiding hazards during navigation is capital to preserve the mobility of a rover. Low traversal speeds are often enforced to assure that wheeled rovers do not become stuck in challenging terrain, hindering the performance and scientific return of the mission. Even such precautions do not guarantee safe navigation due to non-geometric hazards hidden in the terrain, such as sand traps beneath thin duricrusts. These issues motivate the research of the interaction with rough and sandy planetary terrains of conventional and innovative robot locomotion concepts. Hybrid wheel-legs combine the mechanical and control simplicity of wheeled locomotion with the enhanced mobility of legged locomotion. This concept has been rarely proposed for planetary exploration and the study of its interaction with granular terrains is at a very early stage. This research focuses on advancing the state-of-the-art of wheel-leg-soil interaction analysis and applying it through in-situ sensing to simultaneously improve the speed and safety of planetary rover missions. The semi-empirical approach used combines both theoretical modelling and experimental analysis of data obtained in laboratory and field analogues. A novel light-weight, low-power sensor system, capable of reliably detecting wheel-leg sinkage and slippage phenomena on-the-fly, is designed, implemented and tested both as part of a simplified single-wheel-leg test bed and integrated in a fully mobile micro-rover. Moreover, existing analytical models for the interaction between deformable terrain and heavily-loaded wheels or lightly-loaded legs are adapted to the generalised medium-loaded multi-legged wheel-leg case and combined into hybrid approaches for better accuracy, as validated against experimental data. Finally, the soil sensor system and analytical models proposed are used to develop and

  10. The ExoMars Rover Science Archive: Status and Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather, D.; Lim, T.; Metcalfe, L.

    2017-09-01

    The ExoMars program is a co-operation between ESA and Roscosmos comprising two missions: the first, launched on 14 March 2016, included the Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander; the second, due for launch in 2020, will be a Rover and Surface Platform (RSP). The ExoMars Rover and Surface Platform deliveries will be among the first data in the PSA to be formatted according to the new PDS4 Standards, and will be the first rover data to be hosted within the archive at all. The archiving and management of the science data to be returned from ExoMars will require a significant development effort for the new Planetary Science Archive (PSA). This presentation will outline the current plans for archiving of the ExoMars Rover and Surface Platform science data.

  11. Reuniting the Solar System: Integrated Education and Public Outreach Projects for Solar System Exploration Missions and Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowes, Leslie; Lindstrom, Marilyn; Stockman, Stephanie; Scalice, Daniela; Klug, Sheri

    2003-01-01

    The Solar System Exploration Education Forum has worked for five years to foster Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) cooperation among missions and programs in order to leverage resources and better meet the needs of educators and the public. These efforts are coming together in a number of programs and products and in '2004 - The Year of the Solar System.' NASA's practice of having independent E/PO programs for each mission and its public affairs emphasis on uniqueness has led to a public perception of a fragmented solar system exploration program. By working to integrate solar system E/PO, the breadth and depth of the solar system exploration program is revealed. When emphasis is put on what missions have in common, as well as their differences, each mission is seen in the context of the whole program.

  12. Assessing the Biohazard Potential of Putative Martian Organisms for Exploration Class Human Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warmflash, David; Larios-Sanz, Maia; Jones, Jeffrey; Fox, George E.; McKay, David S.

    2007-01-01

    Exploration Class missions to Mars will require precautions against potential contamination by any native microorganisms that may be incidentally pathogenic to humans. While the results of NASA's Viking biology experiments of 1976 have been generally interpreted as inconclusive for surface organisms, the possibility of native surface life has never been ruled out and more recent studies suggest that the case for biological interpretation of the Viking Labeled Release data may now be stronger than it was when the experiments were originally conducted. It is possible that, prior to the first human landing on Mars, robotic craft and sample return missions will provide enough data to know with certainty whether or not future human landing sites harbor extant life forms. However, if native life is confirmed, it will be problematic to determine whether any of its species may present a medical risk to astronauts. Therefore, it will become necessary to assess empirically the risk that the planet contains pathogens based on terrestrial examples of pathogenicity and to take a reasonably cautious approach to bio-hazard protection. A survey of terrestrial pathogens was conducted with special emphasis on those pathogens whose evolution has not depended on the presence of animal hosts. The history of the development and implementation of Apollo anticontamination protocol and recent recommendations of the NRC Space Studies Board regarding Mars were reviewed. Organisms can emerge in nature in the absence of indigenous animal hosts and both infectious and non-infectious human pathogens are theoretically possible on Mars. The prospect of Martian surface life, together with the existence of a diversity of routes by which pathogenicity has emerged on Earth, suggests that the possibility of human pathogens on Mars, while low, is not zero. Since the discovery and study of Martian life can have long-term benefits for humanity, the risk that Martian life might include pathogens should not

  13. Advanced Aero-Propulsive Mid-Lift-to-Drag Ratio Entry Vehicle for Future Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, C. H.; Stosaric, R. R; Cerimele, C. J.; Wong, K. A.; Valle, G. D.; Garcia, J. A.; Melton, J. E.; Munk, M. M.; Blades, E.; Kuruvila, G.; hide

    2012-01-01

    NASA is currently looking well into the future toward realizing Exploration mission possibilities to destinations including the Earth-Moon Lagrange points, Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the Moon. These are stepping stones to our ultimate destination Mars. New ideas will be required to conquer the significant challenges that await us, some just conceptions and others beginning to be realized. Bringing these ideas to fruition and enabling further expansion into space will require varying degrees of change, from engineering and integration approaches used in spacecraft design and operations, to high-level architectural capabilities bounded only by the limits of our ideas. The most profound change will be realized by paradigm change, thus enabling our ultimate goals to be achieved. Inherent to achieving these goals, higher entry, descent, and landing (EDL) performance has been identified as a high priority. Increased EDL performance will be enabled by highly-capable thermal protection systems (TPS), the ability to deliver larger and heavier payloads, increased surface access, and tighter landing footprints to accommodate multiple asset, single-site staging. In addition, realizing reduced cost access to space will demand more efficient approaches and reusable launch vehicle systems. Current operational spacecraft and launch vehicles do not incorporate the technologies required for these far-reaching missions and goals, nor what is needed to achieve the desired launch vehicle cost savings. To facilitate these missions and provide for safe and more reliable capabilities, NASA and its partners will need to make ideas reality by gaining knowledge through the design, development, manufacturing, implementation and flight testing of robotic and human spacecraft. To accomplish these goals, an approach is recommended for integrated development and implementation of three paradigm-shifting capabilities into an advanced entry vehicle system with additional application to launch

  14. ISECG Mission Scenarios and Their Role in Informing Next Steps for Human Exploration Beyond Low Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culbert, Christopher J.; Mongrard, Olivier; Satoh, Naoki; Goodliff, Kandyce; Seaman, Calvin H.; Troutman, Patrick; Martin, Eric

    2011-01-01

    The International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) was established in response to The Global Exploration Strategy (GES): The Framework for Coordination developed by fourteen space agencies* and released in May 2007. This GES Framework Document recognizes that preparing for human space exploration is a stepwise process, starting with basic knowledge and culminating in a sustained human presence in deep space. ISECG has developed several optional global exploration mission scenarios enabling the phased transition from human operations in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) to human missions beyond LEO leading ultimately to human missions to cis-lunar space, the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, Mars and its environs. Mission scenarios provide the opportunity for judging various exploration approaches in a manner consistent with agreed international goals and strategies. Each ISECG notional mission scenario reflects a series of coordinated human and robotic exploration missions over a 25-year horizon. Mission scenarios are intended to provide insights into next steps for agency investments, following on the success of the ISS. They also provide a framework for advancing the definition of Design Reference Missions (DRMs) and the concepts for capabilities contained within. Each of the human missions contained in the scenarios has been characterized by a DRM which is a top level definition of mission sequence and the capabilities needed to execute that mission. While DRMs are generally destination focused, they will comprise capabilities which are reused or evolved from capabilities used at other destinations. In this way, an evolutionary approach to developing a robust set of capabilities to sustainably explore our solar system is defined. Agencies also recognize that jointly planning for our next steps, building on the accomplishments of ISS, is important to ensuring the robustness and sustainability of any human

  15. The Saturn Probe Interior and aTmosphere Explorer (SPRITE) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Amy; Banfield, Donald; Atkinson, David; SPRITE Science Team

    2018-01-01

    A key question in planetary science is how the planets formed in our Solar System, and, by extension, in exoplanet systems. The abundances of the noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe), heavy elements (C, N, O, S), and their isotopes provide important forensic clues as to location and time of formation in the early Solar System. Jupiter and Saturn contain most of the planetary mass in our solar system, and their chemical fingerprints will distinguish between competing models of the formation of all the planets. After the end of the Cassini mission, some of these elements have only ambiguous values above the cloud tops, while others (particularly the noble gases) have not been measured at all. Resolving this requires direct in situ measurements. The proposed NASA New Frontiers Saturn PRobe Interior and aTmosphere Explorer (SPRITE) mission delivers an instrumented entry probe from a carrier relay spacecraft that also provides context imaging. The powerful probe instrument suite is comprised of a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer, a Tunable Laser Spectrometer, and an Atmospheric Structure Instrument including a Doppler Wind Experiment and a simple backscatter nephelometer. These instruments measure the elemental and isotopic abundances of helium, the heavier noble gases, and the major elements, as well as constraining cloud properties, 3-D atmospheric dynamics, and disequilibrium chemistry to at least 10 bars in Saturn's troposphere. In situ measurements of Saturn's atmosphere by SPRITE will provide a significantly improved context for interpreting the results from the Galileo probe, Juno, and Cassini missions. SPRITE will revolutionize our understanding of the formation and evolution of the gas giant planets, and ultimately the present-day structure of the Solar System.

  16. The Magnetic INduction Ocean Sounder (MINOS) Concept Mission: Exploring Small Ocean Worlds With Nanosatellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steuer, C. J.

    2016-12-01

    Nanosatellite capabilities continue to steadily increase, showcasing ongoing advancement in key systems including GNC, communications, and power utilization. With focused high impact payloads, these small spacecraft can produce extraordinarily valuable planetary science datasets previously only retrievable by large, expensive, flagship science missions. The new capabilities provided by these nano-class spacecraft, in conjunction with, or even in lieu of, more traditional large monolithic spacecraft, can clear the way for a paradigm shift in the logistics and architecture of planetary science missions. Key near term targets for this technology are the icy moons of the outer solar system where advances in propulsion technology coupled with the low mass of nanosatellites and the shallow gravity wells of the moons allow for orbital capture. As part of a JPL funded study, the authors investigated the feasibility of placing a nanosatellite with magnetometer payload in Europa orbit to enhance and compliment the upcoming flagship mission to Europa through multi-frequency magnetic induction sounding. The study concluded that the enhanced dataset provided by coordinated observation between flagship, in Jovian orbit, and nanosatellite, in Europa orbit, using a fluxgate magnetometer of Rosetta heritage, would enable a more complete understanding of Europa's induction response by providing synchronous datasets between the Jovian plasma torus and the induced magnetosphere of Europa. We propose that these Magnetic INduction Ocean Sounders or MINOS spacecraft can play a similar role for all of the icy moons of the Jovian and Saturnian systems, providing close proximity multi-period magnetic induction sounding to compliment plasma suites and ice penetrating radar while setting the stage for alternative payloads and enhanced exploration of these potentially habitable worlds.

  17. Starting a European Space Agency Sample Analogue Collection (ESA2C) and Curation Facility for Exploration Missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, C. L.; Rumsey, M. S.; Manick, K.; Gill, S.-J.; Mavris, C.; Schroeven-Deceuninck, H.; Duvet, L.

    2017-09-01

    The ESA2C will support current and future technology development activities that are required for human and robotic exploration of Mars, Phobos, Deimos, C-Type Asteroids and the Moon.The long-term goal of this work is to produce a useful, useable and sustainable resource for engineers and scientists developing technologies for ESA space exploration missions.

  18. Life Support and Habitation Systems: Crew Support and Protection for Human Exploration Missions Beyond Low Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel J.; McQuillan, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently expanded its mission set for possible future human exploration missions. With multiple options there is interest in identifying technology needs across these missions to focus technology investments. In addition to the Moon and other destinations in cis-lunar space, other destinations including Near Earth Objects and Mars have been added for consideration. Recently, technology programs and projects have been re-organizing to better meet the Agency s strategic goals and address needs across these potential future missions. Life Support and Habitation Systems (LSHS) is one of 10 Foundational Domains as part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s Exploration Technology Development Program. The chief goal of LSHS is to develop and mature advanced technologies to sustain human life on missions beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to increase reliability, reduce dependency on resupply and increase vehicle self-sufficiency. For long duration exploration missions, further closure of life support systems is of interest. Focus includes key technologies for atmosphere revitalization, water recovery, waste management, thermal control and crew accommodations. Other areas of focus include technologies for radiation protection, environmental monitoring and fire protection. The aim is to recover additional consumable mass, reduce requirements for power, volume, heat rejection, crew involvement, and meet exploration vehicle requirements. This paper provides a brief description of the LSHS Foundational Domain as defined for fiscal year 2011.

  19. Evaluation of an Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem for Deep Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Jay L.; Abney, Morgan B.; Conrad, Ruth E.; Frederick, Kenneth R.; Greenwood, Zachary W.; Kayatin, Matthew J.; Knox, James C.; Newton, Robert L.; Parrish, Keith J.; Takada, Kevin C.; hide

    2015-01-01

    An Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem (ARS) suitable for deployment aboard deep space exploration mission vehicles has been developed and functionally demonstrated. This modified ARS process design architecture was derived from the International Space Station's (ISS) basic ARS. Primary functions considered in the architecture include trace contaminant control, carbon dioxide removal, carbon dioxide reduction, and oxygen generation. Candidate environmental monitoring instruments were also evaluated. The process architecture rearranges unit operations and employs equipment operational changes to reduce mass, simplify, and improve the functional performance for trace contaminant control, carbon dioxide removal, and oxygen generation. Results from integrated functional demonstration are summarized and compared to the performance observed during previous testing conducted on an ISS-like subsystem architecture and a similarly evolved process architecture. Considerations for further subsystem architecture and process technology development are discussed.

  20. Propulsion Controls and Diagnostics Research in Support of NASA Aeronautics and Exploration Mission Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Sanjay

    2011-01-01

    The Controls and Dynamics Branch (CDB) at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, Ohio, is leading and participating in various projects in partnership with other organizations within GRC and across NASA, the U.S. aerospace industry, and academia to develop advanced propulsion controls and diagnostics technologies that will help meet the challenging goals of NASA programs under the Aeronautics Research and Exploration Systems Missions. This paper provides a brief overview of the various CDB tasks in support of the NASA programs. The programmatic structure of the CDB activities is described along with a brief overview of each of the CDB tasks including research objectives, technical challenges, and recent accomplishments. These tasks include active control of propulsion system components, intelligent propulsion diagnostics and control for reliable fault identification and accommodation, distributed engine control, and investigations into unsteady propulsion systems.

  1. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission - Six years of science and exploration at the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, J. W.; Petro, N. E.; Vondrak, R. R.

    2016-07-01

    Since entering lunar orbit on June 23, 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has made comprehensive measurements of the Moon and its environment. The seven LRO instruments use a variety of primarily remote sensing techniques to obtain a unique set of observations. These measurements provide new information regarding the physical properties of the lunar surface, the lunar environment, and the location of volatiles and other resources. Scientific interpretation of these observations improves our understanding of the geologic history of the Moon, its current state, and what its history can tell us about the evolution of the Solar System. Scientific results from LRO observations overturned existing paradigms and deepened our appreciation of the complex nature of our nearest neighbor. This paper summarizes the capabilities, measurements, and some of the science and exploration results of the first six years of the LRO mission.

  2. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Six Years of Science and Exploration at the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, J. W.; Petro, N. E.; Vondrak, R. R.

    2015-01-01

    Since entering lunar orbit on June 23, 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has made comprehensive measurements of the Moon and its environment. The seven LRO instruments use a variety of primarily remote sensing techniques to obtain a unique set of observations. These measurements provide new information regarding the physical properties of the lunar surface, the lunar environment, and the location of volatiles and other resources. Scientific interpretation of these observations improves our understanding of the geologic history of the Moon, its current state, and what its history can tell us about the evolution of the Solar System. Scientific results from LRO observations overturned existing paradigms and deepened our appreciation of the complex nature of our nearest neighbor. This paper summarizes the capabilities, measurements, and some of the science and exploration results of the first six years of the LRO mission.

  3. Application of Emerging Pharmaceutical Technologies for Therapeutic Challenges of Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putcha, Lakshmi

    2011-01-01

    An important requirement of therapeutics for extended duration exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit will be the development of pharmaceutical technologies suitable for sustained and preventive health care in remote and adverse environmental conditions. Availability of sustained, stable and targeted delivery pharmaceuticals for preventive health of major organ systems including gastrointestinal, hepato-renal, musculo-skeletal and immune function are essential to offset adverse effects of space environment beyond low Earth orbit. Specifically, medical needs may include multi-drug combinations for hormone replacement, radiation protection, immune enhancement and organ function restoration. Additionally, extended stability of pharmaceuticals dispensed in space must be also considered in future drug development. Emerging technologies that can deliver stable and multi-therapy pharmaceutical preparations and delivery systems include nanotechnology based drug delivery platforms, targeted-delivery systems in non-oral and non-parenteral formulation matrices. Synthetic nanomaterials designed with molecular precision offer defined structures, electronics, and chemistries to be efficient drug carriers with clear advantages over conventional materials of drug delivery matricies. Nano-carrier materials like the bottle brush polymers may be suitable for systemic delivery of drug cocktails while Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles or (SPIONS) have great potential to serve as carriers for targeted drug delivery to a specific site. These and other emerging concepts of drug delivery and extended shelf-life technologies will be reviewed in light of their application to address health-care challenges of exploration missions. Innovations in alternate treatments for sustained immune enhancement and infection control will be also discussed.

  4. Mini-MITEE: Ultra Small, Ultra Light NTP Engines for Robotic Science and Manned Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, James; Maise, George; Paniagua, John

    2006-01-01

    A compact, ultra lightweight Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) engine design is described with the capability to carry out a wide range of unique and important robotic science missions that are not possible using chemical or Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP). The MITEE (MInature ReacTor EnginE) reactor uses hydrogeneous moderator, such as solid lithium-7 hydride, and high temperature cermet tungsten/UO2 nuclear fuel. The reactor is configured as a modular pressure tube assembly, with each pressure tube containing an outer annual shell of moderator with an inner annular region of W/UO2 cermet fuel sheets. H2 propellant flows radially inwards through the moderator and fuel regions, exiting at ~3000 K into a central channel that leads to a nozzle at the end of the pressure tube. Power density in the fuel region is 10 to 20 megawatts per liter, depending on design, producing a thrust output on the order of 15,000 Newtons and an Isp of ~1000 seconds. 3D Monte Carlo neutronic analyses are described for MITEE reactors utilizing various fissile fuel options (U-235, U-233, and Am242m) and moderators (7LiH and BeH2). Reactor mass ranges from a maximum of 100 kg for the 7LiH/U-235 option to a minimum of 28 kg for the BeH2/Am-242 m option. Pure thrust only and bi-modal (thrust plus electric power generation) MITEE designs are described. Potential unique robotic science missions enabled by the MITEE engine are described, including landing on Europa and exploring the ice sheet interior with return of samples to Earth, hopping to and exploring multiple sites on Mars, unlimited ramjet flight in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and landing on, and sample return from Pluto.

  5. Future NASA mission applications of space nuclear power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Mankins, John; Mcconnell, Dudley G.; Reck, Gregory M.

    1990-01-01

    Recent studies sponsored by NASA show a continuing need for space nuclear power. A recently completed study considered missions (such as a Jovian grand tour, a Uranus or Neptune orbiter and probe, and a Pluto flyby) that can only be done with nuclear power. There are also studies for missions beyond the outer boundaries of the solar system at distances of 100 to 1000 astronomical units. The NASA 90-day study on the Space Exploration Initiative identified a need for nuclear reactors to power lunar surface bases and radioisotope power sources for use in lunar or Martian rovers, as well as considering options for advanced, nuclear propulsion systems for human missions to Mars.

  6. Task Adaptive Walking Robots for Mars Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntsberger, Terry; Hickey, Gregory; Kennedy, Brett; Aghazarian, Hrand

    2000-01-01

    There are exciting opportunities for robot science that lie beyond the reach of current manipulators, rovers, balloons, penetrators, etc. Examples include mobile explorations of the densely cratered Mars highlands, of asteroids, and of moons. These sites are believed to be rich in geologic history and mineralogical detail, but are difficult to robotically access and sample. The surface terrains are rough and changeable, with variable porosity and dust layering; and the small bodies present further challenges of low-temperature, micro-gravity environments. Even the more benign areas of Mars are highly variegated in character (>VL2 rock densities), presenting significant risk to conventional rovers. The development of compact walking robots would have applications to the current mission set for Mars surface exploration, as well as enabling future Mars Outpost missions, asteroid rendezvous missions for the Solar System Exploration Program (SSE) and the mechanical assembly/inspection of large space platforms for the Human Exploration and Development of Spaces (HEDS).

  7. Implications of Wind-Assisted Aerial Navigation for Titan Mission Planning and Science Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elfes, A.; Reh, K.; Beauchamp, P.; Fathpour, N.; Blackmore, L.; Newman, C.; Kuwata, Y.; Wolf, M.; Assad, C.

    2010-01-01

    The recent Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) proposal incorporates a montgolfiere (hot air balloon) as part of its architecture. Standard montgolfiere balloons generate lift through heating of the atmospheric gases inside the envelope, and use a vent valve for altitude control. A Titan aerobot (robotic aerial vehicle) would have to use radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) for electric power, and the excess heat generated can be used to provide thermal lift for a montgolfiere. A hybrid montgolfiere design could have propellers mounted on the gondola to generate horizontal thrust; in spite of the unfavorable aerodynamic drag caused by the shape of the balloon, a limited amount of lateral controllability could be achieved. In planning an aerial mission at Titan, it is extremely important to assess how the moon-wide wind field can be used to extend the navigation capabilities of an aerobot and thereby enhance the scientific return of the mission. In this paper we explore what guidance, navigation and control capabilities can be achieved by a vehicle that uses the Titan wind field. The control planning approach is based on passive wind field riding. The aerobot would use vertical control to select wind layers that would lead it towards a predefined science target, adding horizontal propulsion if available. The work presented in this paper is based on aerodynamic models that characterize balloon performance at Titan, and on TitanWRF (Weather Research and Forecasting), a model that incorporates heat convection, circulation, radiation, Titan haze properties, Saturn's tidal forcing, and other planetary phenomena. Our results show that a simple unpropelled montgolfiere without horizontal actuation will be able to reach a broad array of science targets within the constraints of the wind field. The study also indicates that even a small amount of horizontal thrust allows the balloon to reach any area of interest on Titan, and to do so in a fraction of the time needed

  8. In-motion initial alignment and positioning with INS/CNS/ODO integrated navigation system for lunar rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jiazhen; Lei, Chaohua; Yang, Yanqiang; Liu, Ming

    2017-06-01

    Many countries have been paying great attention to space exploration, especially about the Moon and the Mars. Autonomous and high-accuracy navigation systems are needed for probers and rovers to accomplish missions. Inertial navigation system (INS)/celestial navigation system (CNS) based navigation system has been used widely on the lunar rovers. Initialization is a particularly important step for navigation. This paper presents an in-motion alignment and positioning method for lunar rovers by INS/CNS/odometer integrated navigation. The method can estimate not only the position and attitude errors, but also the biases of the accelerometers and gyros using the standard Kalman filter. The differences between the platform star azimuth, elevation angles and the computed star azimuth, elevation angles, and the difference between the velocity measured by odometer and the velocity measured by inertial sensors are taken as measurements. The semi-physical experiments are implemented to demonstrate that the position error can reduce to 10 m and attitude error is within 2″ during 5 min. The experiment results prove that it is an effective and attractive initialization approach for lunar rovers.

  9. A Sustainable, Reliable Mission-Systems Architecture that Supports a System of Systems Approach to Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Steve; Orr, Jim; O'Neil, Graham

    2004-01-01

    A mission-systems architecture based on a highly modular "systems of systems" infrastructure utilizing open-standards hardware and software interfaces as the enabling technology is absolutely essential for an affordable and sustainable space exploration program. This architecture requires (a) robust communication between heterogeneous systems, (b) high reliability, (c) minimal mission-to-mission reconfiguration, (d) affordable development, system integration, and verification of systems, and (e) minimum sustaining engineering. This paper proposes such an architecture. Lessons learned from the space shuttle program are applied to help define and refine the model.

  10. Drilling, sampling, and sample-handling system for China's asteroid exploration mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Zhang, Wenming; Wang, Kang; Gao, Sheng; Hou, Liang; Ji, Jianghui; Ding, Xilun

    2017-08-01

    Asteroid exploration has a significant importance in promoting our understanding of the solar system and the origin of life on Earth. A unique opportunity to study near-Earth asteroid 99942 Apophis will occur in 2029 because it will be at its perigee. In the current work, a drilling, sampling, and sample-handling system (DSSHS) is proposed to penetrate the asteroid regolith, collect regolith samples at different depths, and distribute the samples to different scientific instruments for in situ analysis. In this system, a rotary-drilling method is employed for the penetration, and an inner sampling tube is utilized to collect and discharge the regolith samples. The sampling tube can deliver samples up to a maximum volume of 84 mm3 at a maximum penetration depth of 300 mm to 17 different ovens. To activate the release of volatile substances, the samples will be heated up to a temperature of 600 °C by the ovens, and these substances will be analyzed by scientific instruments such as a mass spectrometer, an isotopic analyzer, and micro-cameras, among other instruments. The DSSHS is capable of penetrating rocks with a hardness value of six, and it can be used for China's asteroid exploration mission in the foreseeable future.

  11. Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cell Powerplants Developed and Tested for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.; Pham, Nang T.

    2005-01-01

    Proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology has received major attention for terrestrial applications, such as the automotive and residential markets, for the past 20 years. This attention has significantly advanced the maturity of the technology, resulting in ever more compact, efficient, reliable, and inexpensive PEMFC designs. In comparison to the terrestrial operating environment, the space operating environment is much more demanding. Microgravity to high-gravity loads and the need to use pure oxygen (rather than air) as the fuel cell oxidizer place more stringent demands on PEMFC technology. NASA and its partners from industry are leveraging terrestrial PEMFC advancements by conducting parallel space technology development for future exploration missions. A team from the NASA Glenn Research Center, NASA Johnson Space Center, and NASA Kennedy Space Center recently completed the first phase of a PEMFC powerplant development effort for exploration missions. The industry partners for this phase of the development effort were ElectroChem, Inc., and Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc. Under contract to Glenn, both of these industry partners successfully designed, fabricated, and tested a breadboard PEMFC powerplant in the 1- to 5-kW power range. These powerplants were based on existing company-proprietary fuel cell stack designs, combined with off-the-shelf components, which formed the balance of the powerplant design. Subsequent to the contractor development efforts, both powerplants were independently tested at Johnson to verify operational and performance characteristics, and to determine suitability for further technology development in the second phase of the NASA-led effort. Following the independent NASA testing, Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc., was selected to develop an engineering model PEMFC powerplant. This effort was initiated by the 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Program Office in 2001; it transitioned to the Next Generation Launch

  12. Acquisition of Skill Proficiency Over Multiple Sessions of a Novel Rover Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, S. L.; DeDios,Y. E.; MacDougall, H. G.; Moore, S. T.; Wood, S. J.

    2011-01-01

    surface operations and what countermeasures are needed. Learning Objective: The use of a motion-based simulation to investigate decrements in the proficiency to operate pressurized rovers during early surface operations of space exploration missions, along with the acquisition of skill proficiency needed during the preflight phase of the mission.

  13. Exploration of the Saturn System by the Cassini Mission: Observations with the Cassini Infrared Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Mian M.

    2014-01-01

    Outline: Introduction to the Cassini mission, and Cassini mission Objectives; Cassini spacecraft, instruments, launch, and orbit insertion; Saturn, Rings, and Satellite, Titan; Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS); and Infrared observations of Saturn and titan.

  14. Ice Dragon: A Mission to Address Science and Human Exploration Objectives on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Davila, A.; Sanders, G.; Glass, Brian; Gonzales, A.; Heldmann, Jennifer; Karcz, J.; Lemke, L.; Sanders, G.

    2012-01-01

    We present a mission concept where a SpaceX Dragon capsule lands a payload on Mars that samples ground ice to search for evidence of life, assess hazards to future human missions, and demonstrate use of Martian resources.

  15. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred; Shirbacheh, M; Sankarankandath, V

    2012-01-19

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

  16. Human Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: An Update on NASA's Current Status and Proposed Activities for Small Body Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Larman, K. T.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. Dynamical Assessment: The current near-term NASA human spaceflight capability is in the process of being defined while the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Space Launch System (SLS) are still in development. Hence, those NEAs in more accessible heliocentric orbits relative to a minimal interplanetary exploration capability will be considered for the first missions. If total mission durations for the first voyages to NEAs are to be kept to less than one year, with minimal velocity changes, then NEA rendezvous missions ideally will take place within 0.1 AU of Earth (approx about 5 million km or 37 lunar distances). Human Exploration Considerations: These missions would be the first human expeditions to inter-planetary bodies beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars, Phobos and Deimos, and other Solar System destinations. Missions to NEAs would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting detailed scientific investigations of these primitive objects. Current analyses of operational concepts suggest that stay times of 15 to 30 days may be possible at these destinations. In addition, the

  17. Rover Radar for Surface Navigation, Hazard Detection and Negative Obstacle Avoidance Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In Topic X1.03 NASA (JPL) is seeking to extend and implement long distance exploratory surface rover missions to gain knowledge of surface topology and roughness....

  18. Next Generation Life Support Project: Development of Advanced Technologies for Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel J.

    2012-01-01

    Next Generation Life Support (NGLS) is one of several technology development projects sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s Game Changing Development Program. NGLS is developing life support technologies (including water recovery, and space suit life support technologies) needed for humans to live and work productively in space. NGLS has three project tasks: Variable Oxygen Regulator (VOR), Rapid Cycle Amine (RCA) swing bed, and Alternative Water Processing. The selected technologies within each of these areas are focused on increasing affordability, reliability, and vehicle self sufficiency while decreasing mass and enabling long duration exploration. The RCA and VOR tasks are directed at key technology needs for the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) for an Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), with focus on prototyping and integrated testing. The focus of the Rapid Cycle Amine (RCA) swing-bed ventilation task is to provide integrated carbon dioxide removal and humidity control that can be regenerated in real time during an EVA. The Variable Oxygen Regulator technology will significantly increase the number of pressure settings available to the space suit. Current spacesuit pressure regulators are limited to only two settings while the adjustability of the advanced regulator will be nearly continuous. The Alternative Water Processor efforts will result in the development of a system capable of recycling wastewater from sources expected in future exploration missions, including hygiene and laundry water, based on natural biological processes and membrane-based post treatment. The technologies will support a capability-driven architecture for extending human presence beyond low Earth orbit to potential destinations such as the Moon, near Earth asteroids and Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  20. Development of an Integrated Countermeasure Device for Long Duration Space Flight and Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S. M. C.; Streeper, T.; Spiering, B. A.; Loehr, J. A.; Guilliams, M. E.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Cavanagh, P. R.; Lang, T.

    2010-01-01

    Musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and sensorimotor deconditioning have been observed consistently in astronauts and cosmonauts following long-duration spaceflight. Studies in bed rest, a spaceflight analog, have shown that high intensity resistive or aerobic exercise attenuates or prevents musculoskeletal and cardiovascular deconditioning, respectively, but complete protection has not been achieved during spaceflight. Exercise countermeasure hardware used during earlier International Space Station (ISS) missions included a cycle ergometer, a treadmill, and the interim resistive exercise device (iRED). Effectiveness of the countermeasures may have been diminished by limited loading characteristics of the iRED as well as speed restrictions and subject harness discomfort during treadmill exercise. The Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) and the second generation treadmill were designed to address many of the limitations of their predecessors, and anecdotal reports from ISS crews suggest that their conditioning is better preserved since the new hardware was delivered in 2009. However, several countermeasure devices to protect different physiologic systems will not be practical during exploration missions when the available volume and mass will be severely restricted. The combined countermeasure device (CCD) integrates a suite of hardware into one device intended to prevent spaceflight-induced musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and sensorimotor deconditioning. The CCD includes pneumatic loading devices with attached cables for resistive exercise, a cycle for aerobic exercise, and a 6 degree of freedom motion platform for balance training. In a proof of concept test, ambulatory untrained subjects increased muscle strength (58%) as well as aerobic capacity (26%) after 12-weeks of exercise training with the CCD (without balance training), improvements comparable to those observed with traditional exercise training. These preliminary results suggest that this CCD can

  1. Cooperation and dialogical modeling for designing a safe Human space exploration mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grès, Stéphane; Tognini, Michel; Le Cardinal, Gilles; Zalila, Zyed; Gueydan, Guillaume

    2014-11-01

    This paper proposes an approach for a complex and innovative project requiring international contributions from different communities of knowledge and expertise. Designing a safe and reliable architecture for a manned mission to Mars or the Asteroids necessitates strong cooperation during the early stages of design to prevent and reduce risks for the astronauts at each step of the mission. The stake during design is to deal with the contradictions, antagonisms and paradoxes of the involved partners for the definition and modeling of a shared project of reference. As we see in our research which analyses the cognitive and social aspects of technological risks in major accidents, in such a project, the complexity of the global organization (during design and use) and the integration of a wide and varie d range of sciences and innovative technologies is likely to increase systemic risks as follows: human and cultural mistakes, potential defaults, failures and accidents. We identify as the main danger antiquated centralized models of organization and the operational limits of interdisciplinarity in the sciences. Beyond this, we can see that we need to take carefully into account human cooperation and the quality of relations between heterogeneous partners. Designing an open, self-learning and reliable exploration system able to self-adapt in dangerous and unforeseen situations implies a collective networked intelligence led by a safe process that organizes interaction between the actors and the aims of the project. Our work, supported by the CNES (French Space Agency), proposes an innovative approach to the coordination of a complex project.

  2. Gas Cromatography In Solar System Exploration:decoding Complex Chromatograms Recovered From Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietrogrande, M. C.; Tellini, I.; Dondi, F.; Felinger, A.; Sternberg, R.; Szopa, C.; Vidal-Madjar, C.

    GC plays a predominant role in solar system explorations: it has been applied to space research related to exobiology: i.e., Cassini-Huygens mission devoted to characterize chemical composition of TitanSs atmosphere [2], Rosetta mission to investigate the nucleus of comet p/Wirtamen (COSAC experiments) [1]. GC analysis of planetary atmosphere is a difficult analytical task because of the unknown and low level of an- alytes present in the sample, the high degree of automatization required, the strong constraints due to the flight (short analysis time, low power consumption, high accu- racy and reliability under extreme space conditions). In these circumstances the use of a signal processing procedure is practically mandatory to efficiently extract useful in- formation from the raw chromatogram ­ i.e. to decode the complex chromatogram to determine the number of components, the separation efficiency and the retention pat- tern. In this work a chemometric approach based on the Fourier analysis is applied to complex chromatograms related to space research: from the autocovariance function (ACVF) computed on the digitized chromatogram, the chromatographic parameters ­ number of components, peak shape parameters, retention pattern ­ can be estimated [3-7]. The procedure, originally developed for constant peak width [3], was extended to variable peak width [4], in order to describe chromatograms obtained in isother- mal conditions, i.e., analysis condition compatible with space flight constraints. The chemometric procedure was applied to chromatograms of standard mixtures repre- sentative of planetary atmospheres ­ hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds with carbon atom number ranging from 2 to 8 ­ obtained in flight simulating conditions ­ isothermal or pseudo-isothermal conditions. Both the simplified graphic procedure, based on the assumption of constant peak width [3], and the complete approach de- veloped for variable peak width [4], were applied and the results

  3. Planning For Multiple NASA Missions With Use Of Enabling Radioisotope Power

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    S.G. Johnson; K.L. Lively; C.C. Dwight

    2013-02-01

    Since the early 1960’s the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies have provided radioisotope power systems (RPS) to NASA as an enabling technology for deep space and various planetary missions. They provide reliable power in situations where solar and/or battery power sources are either untenable or would place an undue mass burden on the mission. In the modern era of the past twenty years there has been no time that multiple missions have been considered for launching from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) during the same year. The closest proximity of missions that involved radioisotope power systems would be that of Galileo (October 1989) and Ulysses (October 1990). The closest that involved radioisotope heater units would be the small rovers Spirit and Opportunity (May and July 2003) used in the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission. It can be argued that the rovers sent to Mars in 2003 were essentially a special case since they staged in the same facility and used a pair of small launch vehicles (Delta II). This paper examines constraints on the frequency of use of radioisotope power systems with regard to launching them from Kennedy Space Center using currently available launch vehicles. This knowledge may be useful as NASA plans for its future deep space or planetary missions where radioisotope power systems are used as an enabling technology. Previous descriptions have focused on single mission chronologies and not analyzed the timelines with an emphasis on multiple missions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P.

    2004-12-01

    The Mini-TES instruments on Spirit and Opportunity have studied the mineral composition and abundance of the outcrops, rocks, spherules, and soils at Gusev Crater and the Meridiani Plains. At Gusev undisturbed soil spectra closely match MGS TES bright-region dust spectra, with features interpreted to be due to minor carbonates and bound water. Dark-toned soils observed on rover-disturbed surfaces are likely derived from rocks and has a derived mineralogy, with uncertainties of 5-10 percent, of 45 percent pyroxene (20 percent Ca-rich pyroxene, 25 percent pigeonite), 40 percent sodic/intermediate plagioclase, and 15 percent olivine (Fo45 ±~10). Rocks have complex spectra that are influenced by coatings and atmospheric downwelling radiance, as these high-thermal-inertia rocks are typically colder during the day than the atmosphere. Their Mini-TES spectra are consistent with olivine-rich basalts with varying degrees of dust and other coatings. Aeolian drift material has a unique spectral character with higher oxide abundances than disturbed soil. One (or possibly two) spectrally distinct coatings are observed on rocks, a possible indicator of the interaction of water, rock, and airfall dust. At Meridiani, the Mini-TES has identified coarse crystalline hematite and olivine basalt sands as predicted from orbital TES spectroscopy. Light-toned outcrops of aqueous origin exposed in crater walls are composed of 20 to 40 percent Mg and Ca sulfates, a high-silica component that is modeled as glass/feldspar/sheet silicates (~20-30 percent), and hematite. The Fe sulfate jarosite is not reliably identified in Mini-TES spectra. The mm-sized spherules appear from analysis of Mini-TES spectra to be dominated by hematite, with no other components detected. Basaltic materials have more plagioclase than pyroxene, contain olivine, and are similar in inferred mineral composition to basalt mapped by TES from orbit. Bounce Rock is dominated by clinopyroxene and is closer in inferred

  5. Conformal Ablative Thermal Protection System for Planetary and Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, R.; Arnold, J.; Gasch, M.; Stackpole, M.; Wercinski, R.; Venkatapathy, E.; Fan, W.; Thornton, J; Szalai, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Office of Chief Technologist (OCT), NASA has identified the need for research and technology development in part from NASAs Strategic Goal 3.3 of the NASA Strategic Plan to develop and demonstrate the critical technologies that will make NASAs exploration, science, and discovery missions more affordable and more capable. Furthermore, the Game Changing Development Program (GCDP) is a primary avenue to achieve the Agencys 2011 strategic goal to Create the innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future. In addition, recently released NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities, by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences stresses the need for NASA to invest in the very near term in specific EDL technologies. The report points out the following challenges (Page 2-38 of the pre-publication copy released on February 1, 2012): Mass to Surface: Develop the ability to deliver more payload to the destination. NASA's future missions will require ever-greater mass delivery capability in order to place scientifically significant instrument packages on distant bodies of interest, to facilitate sample returns from bodies of interest, and to enable human exploration of planets such as Mars. As the maximum mass that can be delivered to an entry interface is fixed for a given launch system and trajectory design, the mass delivered to the surface will require reductions in spacecraft structural mass more efficient, lighter thermal protection systems more efficient lighter propulsion systems and lighter, more efficient deceleration systems. Surface Access: Increase the ability to land at a variety of planetary locales and at a variety of times. Access to specific sites can be achieved via landing at a specific location(s) or transit from a single designated landing location, but it is currently infeasible to transit long distances and through extremely rugged terrain, requiring landing close to the site of

  6. The Penn state lunar lion: A university mission to explore the moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Michael V.; Spencer, David B.; Lego, Sara E.; Muncks, John P.

    2014-03-01

    The Penn State Lunar Lion Team plans to send a robotic explorer to the surface of the Moon and, by applying 30 years of technological advancements, win the Google Lunar X Prize. The Google Lunar X Prize aims to showcase the ability of the growing private space industry by having teams pursue the goal of becoming the first private entity to land a spacecraft on another body in the solar system. Through the Team's pursuit of this Prize, Penn State will establish itself as a leader in space exploration. The Lunar Lion Team will win this Prize through the collaboration of faculty and students from multiple disciplines, and the engineering and technical staff at the Penn State Applied Research Lab, as well as strategic collaborations with industry partners. The diversity of technical disciplines required to build a system that can land on the Moon can be found at Penn State. This multidisciplinary project will be not only a means for bringing together personnel from around the University, but also a way to attract faculty and students to these fields. The baseline concept for the Lunar Lion will strictly follow the requirements of the Grand Prize and the Grand Prize only, leading to the simplest possible system for the mission. By achieving the Grand Prize, Penn State will have accomplished what once took the large-scale effort of NASA's early robotic lunar landers or the USSR's space program. While the Bonus Prizes are noteworthy, ensuring their accomplishment will add development and operational risk to the flight system that could jeopardize the Team's ability to win the Grand Prize. The Team will build the simplest spacecraft, with the fewest number of systems and components. This philosophy will shorten the development timeline and result in a robust flight system that is of minimum cost. Wherever possible, the Team will use commercially available products to satisfy the needs of the system. The work of the Team will be efficient systems integration, careful

  7. Robotic vehicles for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Brian; Matthies, Larry; Gennery, Donald; Cooper, Brian; Nguyen, Tam; Litwin, Todd; Mishkin, Andrew; Stone, Henry

    1992-01-01

    A program to develop planetary rover technology is underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under sponsorship of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Developmental systems with the necessary sensing, computing, power, and mobility resources to demonstrate realistic forms of control for various missions have been developed, and initial testing has been completed. These testbed systems and the associated navigation techniques used are described. Particular emphasis is placed on three technologies: Computer-Aided Remote Driving (CARD), Semiautonomous Navigation (SAN), and behavior control. It is concluded that, through the development and evaluation of such technologies, research at JPL has expanded the set of viable planetary rover mission possibilities beyond the limits of remotely teleoperated systems such as Lunakhod. These are potentially applicable to exploration of all the solid planetary surfaces in the solar system, including Mars, Venus, and the moons of the gas giant planets.

  8. Conformal Ablative Thermal Protection System for Small and Large Scale Missions: Approaching TRL 6 for Planetary and Human Exploration Missions and TRL 9 for Small Probe Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, R. A. S.; Gasch, M. J.; Milos, F. S.; Stackpoole, M. M.; Smith, B. P.; Switzer, M. R.; Venkatapathy, E.; Wilder, M. C.; Boghhozian, T.; Chavez-Garcia, J. F.

    2015-01-01

    In 2011, NASAs Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) funded an effort to develop an ablative thermal protection system (TPS) material that would have improved properties when compared to Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA) and AVCOAT. Their goal was a conformal material, processed with a flexible reinforcement that would result in similar or better thermal characteristics and higher strain-to-failure characteristics that would allow for easier integration on flight aeroshells than then-current rigid ablative TPS materials. In 2012, NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) began funding the maturation of the best formulation of the game changing conformal ablator, C-PICA. Progress has been reported at IPPW over the past three years, describing C-PICA with a density and recession rates similar to PICA, but with a higher strain-to-failure which allows for direct bonding and no gap fillers, and even more important, with thermal characteristics resulting in half the temperature rise of PICA. Overall, C-PICA should be able to replace PICA with a thinner, lighter weight, less complicated design. These characteristics should be particularly attractive for use as backshell TPS on high energy planetary entry vehicles. At the end of this year, the material should be ready for missions to consider including in their design, in fact, NASAs Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is considering incentivizing the use of C-PICA in the next Discovery Proposal call. This year both scale up of the material to large (1-m) sized pieces and the design and build of small probe heatshields for flight tests will be completed. NASA, with an industry partner, will build a 1-m long manufacturing demonstration unit (MDU) with a shape based on a mid LD lifting body. In addition, in an effort to fly as you test and test as you fly, NASA, with a second industry partner, will build a small probe to test in the Interactive Heating Facility (IHF) arc jet and, using nearly the

  9. Planning Mars Memory: Learning from the Mer Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2004-01-01

    Knowledge management for space exploration is part of a multi-generational effort at recognizing, preserving and transmitting learning. Each mission should be built on the learning, of both successes and failures, derived from previous missions. Knowledge management begins with learning, and the recognition that this learning has produced knowledge. The Mars Exploration Rover mission provides us with an opportunity to track how learning occurs, how it is recorded, and whether the representations of this learning will be optimally useful for subsequent missions. This paper focuses on the MER science and engineering teams during Rover operations. A NASA team conducted an observational study of the ongoing work and learning of the these teams. Learning occurred in a wide variety of areas: how to run two teams on Mars time for three months; how to use the instruments within the constraints of the martian environment, the deep space network and the mission requirements; how to plan science strategy; how best to use the available software tools. This learning is preserved in many ways. Primarily it resides in peoples memories, to be carried on to the next mission. It is also encoded in stones, in programming sequences, in published reports, and in lessons learned activities, Studying learning and knowledge development as it happens allows us to suggest proactive ways of capturing and using it across multiple missions and generations.

  10. Radar Sounding Investigations of the Martian Subsurface by the 2018 ExoMars-C Rover

    OpenAIRE

    Ciarletti, Valérie; Plettemeier, Dirk; Cais, Ph.; Clifford, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    International audience; The WISDOM (Water Ice Subsurface Deposit Observation on Mars) Ground Penetrating Radar will fly on the ESA-NASA 2018 ExoMars-C mission, which combines the science payload of the original ESA ExoMars Rover with the robotic arm and sample cache of NASA's Max-C Rover into a single rover, whose samples will ult imately be retrieved by a future Mars Sample Return mission. WISDOM was designed to investigate the nearsubsurface down to a depth of ~2-3 m, commensurate with the ...

  11. Mission to the Moon: Europe's priorities for the scientific exploration and utilisation of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battrick, Bruce; Barron, C.

    1992-06-01

    A study to determine Europe's potential role in the future exploration and utilization of the Moon is presented. To establish the scientific justifications the Lunar Study Steering Group (LSSG) was established reflecting all scientific disciplines benefitting from a lunar base (Moon studies, astronomy, fusion, life sciences, etc.). Scientific issues were divided into three main areas: science of the Moon, including all investigations concerning the Moon as a planetary body; science from the Moon, using the Moon as a platform and therefore including observatories in the broadest sense; science on the Moon, including not only questions relating to human activities in space, but also the development of artificial ecosystems beyond the Earth. Science of the Moon focuses on geographical, geochemical and geological observations of the Earth-Moon system. Science from the Moon takes advantage of the stable lunar ground, its atmosphere free sky and, on the far side, its radio quiet environment. The Moon provides an attractive platform for the observation and study of the Universe. Two techniques that can make unique cause of the lunar platform are ultraviolet to submillimeter interferometric imaging, and very low frequency astronomy. One of the goals of life sciences studies (Science on the Moon) is obviously to provide the prerequisite information for establishing a manned lunar base. This includes studies of human physiology under reduced gravity, radiation protection and life support systems, and feasibility studies based on existing hardware. The overall recommendations are essentially to set up specific study teams for those fields judged to be the most promising for Europe, with the aim of providing more detailed scientific and technological specifications. It is also suggested that the scope of the overall study activities be expanded in order to derive mission scenarios for a viable ESA lunar exploration program and to consider economic, legal and policy matters

  12. Exploration Mission Particulate Matter Filtration Technology Performance Testing in a Simulated Spacecraft Cabin Ventilation System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agui, Juan H.; Vijayakumar, R.; Perry, Jay L.; Frederick, Kenneth R.; Mccormick, Robert M.

    2017-01-01

    Human deep space exploration missions will require advances in long-life, low maintenance airborne particulate matter filtration technology. As one of the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations (NASA) developments in this area, a prototype of a new regenerable, multi-stage particulate matter filtration technology was tested in an International Space Station (ISS) module simulation facility. As previously reported, the key features of the filter system include inertial and media filtration with regeneration and in-place media replacement techniques. The testing facility can simulate aspects of the cabin environment aboard the ISS and contains flight-like cabin ventilation system components. The filtration technology test article was installed at the inlet of the central ventilation system duct and instrumented to provide performance data under nominal flow conditions. In-place regeneration operations were also evaluated. The real-time data included pressure drop across the filter stages, process air flow rate, ambient pressure, humidity and temperature. In addition, two video cameras positioned at the filtration technology test articles inlet and outlet were used to capture the mechanical performance of the filter media indexing operation under varying air flow rates. Recent test results are presented and future design recommendations are discussed.

  13. Traverses for lunar rovers and sample return teleoperated from Earth or cislunar orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamps, Oscar; Foing, Bernard H.; Flahaut, Jessica

    2016-07-01

    Most interesting sites for exploration are near the poles of the Moon where water and other ices and volatiles could be stable in the permanent shaded regions. Several instruments on multiple orbiters have indicated the presence of hydrogen or hydration but the relation with the illumination conditions are not as clear. Which other variables are involved to trap water near the poles is not known. This ignorance makes it of high interest to do in-situ research on the Moon. ESA, NASA and other agencies are studying a teleoperated mission from cislunar orbit with Orion (eg. HERACLES international lunar exploration architecture) with the possibility of long rover traverses, and human assisted sample return. This mission concept was used for this study on a rover traverse. This study focuses on both the North as South Pole. The site selection for a traverse was based on the temperature map from Diviner. Regions of interests were made as primary selection and cover areas where the maximum temperature is lower than the sublimation temperature of CO2. Data from neutron spectrometer from the Prospector, and crater epoch according to the USGS were used to make a selection of regions of interest. These selected sites where studied on their accessibility for a rover, based on the slope map made from the LOLA elevation model. A landing site was selected based on assumptions that it should be at least one kilometre in diameter and have a slope lower than 5 degrees. The temperature difference (Tmax-Tmin from the Diviner measurements) was used select a scientifically interesting site between the landing site and destination inside a PSR. It was thought that a site with a temperature difference larger than 150K is interesting to study volatile migration processes. Eventually for the traverse planning a tool in ArcGIS was used which calculates the easiest from one location to another where the slope is used as limiting factor. We give the example study of rover traverse planning

  14. Hot-Fire Test of Liquid Oxygen/Hydrogen Space Launch Mission Injector Applicable to Exploration Upper Stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Greg; Turpin, Jason; Nettles, Mindy

    2015-01-01

    This task is to hot-fire test an existing Space Launch Mission (SLM) injector that is applicable for all expander cycle engines being considered for the exploration upper stage. The work leverages investment made in FY 2013 that was used to additively manufacture three injectors (fig. 1) all by different vendors..

  15. Roll over, Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Mike

    2011-04-01

    Here's a quick, simple, and inexpensive demonstration of an induced static charge. Everyone has probably demonstrated static induction by first rubbing a balloon across his or her hair or animal fur and then sticking it on a wall, whiteboard, or chalkboard. Now you can add a humorous twist to that golden oldie. You will need two balloons (the type clowns use to make animal shapes), an animal fur friction pad or your hair, and a marking pen. Inflate both balloons to their full length and tie off the openings. Along the center of one balloon, in large letters write the word "Rover." Allow the ink to dry and you are ready for the demonstration.

  16. Transmission Grating and Optics Technology Development for the Arcus Explorer Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilmann, Ralf; Arcus Team

    2018-01-01

    Arcus is a high-resolution x-ray spectroscopy MIDEX mission selected for a Phase A concept study. It is designed to explore structure formation through measurements of hot baryon distributions, feedback from black holes, and the formation and evolution of stars, disks, and exoplanet atmospheres. The design provides unprecedented sensitivity in the 1.2-5 nm wavelength band with effective area above 450 sqcm and spectral resolution R > 2500. The Arcus technology is based on 12 m-focal length silicon pore optics (SPO) developed for the European Athena mission, and critical-angle transmission (CAT) x-ray diffraction gratings and x-ray CCDs developed at MIT. The modular design consists of four parallel channels, each channel holding an optics petal, followed by a grating petal. CAT gratings are lightweight, alignment insensitive, high-efficiency x-ray transmission gratings that blaze into high diffraction orders, leading to high spectral resolution. Each optics petal represents an azimuthal sub-aperture of a full Wolter optic. The sub-aperturing effect increases spectral resolving power further. Two CCD readout strips receive photons from each channel, including higher-energy photons in 0th order. Each optics petal holds 34 SPO modules. Each grating petal holds 34 grating windows, and each window holds 4-6 grating facets. A grating facet consists of a silicon grating membrane, bonded to a flexure frame that interfaces with the grating window. We report on a sequence of tests with increasing complexity that systematically increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) for the combination of CAT gratings and SPOs towards TLR 6. CAT gratings have been evaluated in x rays for diffraction efficiency (> 30% at 2.5 nm) and for resolving power (R> 10,000). A CAT grating/SPO combination was measured at R ~ 3100 at blaze angles smaller than design values, exceeding Arcus requirements. Efficiency and resolving power were not impacted by vibration and thermal testing of gratings. A

  17. ICARUS mission, next step of coronal exploration after Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnoselskikh, Vladimir; Tsurutani, Bruce T.; Velli, Marco; Maksimovic, Milan; Balikhin, Mikhael; Dudok de Wit, Thierry; Kretzschmar, Matthieu

    2017-04-01

    , collect and store information transmitted from ICARUS I during its closest approach to the Sun. It will also perform preliminary data processing before transmitting it to the Earth. Performing such unique in situ measurements in the region where presumably deadly solar energetic particles are energized, ICARUS will make fundamental contributions to our ability to monitor and forecast the space radiation environment. Such a knowledge is extremely important for future space explorations, especially for long-term manned space missions.

  18. Autonomous Vision-Based Tethered-Assisted Rover Docking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Dorian; Nesnas, Issa A.D.; Zarzhitsky, Dimitri

    2013-01-01

    Many intriguing science discoveries on planetary surfaces, such as the seasonal flows on crater walls and skylight entrances to lava tubes, are at sites that are currently inaccessible to state-of-the-art rovers. The in situ exploration of such sites is likely to require a tethered platform both for mechanical support and for providing power and communication. Mother/daughter architectures have been investigated where a mother deploys a tethered daughter into extreme terrains. Deploying and retracting a tethered daughter requires undocking and re-docking of the daughter to the mother, with the latter being the challenging part. In this paper, we describe a vision-based tether-assisted algorithm for the autonomous re-docking of a daughter to its mother following an extreme terrain excursion. The algorithm uses fiducials mounted on the mother to improve the reliability and accuracy of estimating the pose of the mother relative to the daughter. The tether that is anchored by the mother helps the docking process and increases the system's tolerance to pose uncertainties by mechanically aligning the mating parts in the final docking phase. A preliminary version of the algorithm was developed and field-tested on the Axel rover in the JPL Mars Yard. The algorithm achieved an 80% success rate in 40 experiments in both firm and loose soils and starting from up to 6 m away at up to 40 deg radial angle and 20 deg relative heading. The algorithm does not rely on an initial estimate of the relative pose. The preliminary results are promising and help retire the risk associated with the autonomous docking process enabling consideration in future martian and lunar missions.

  19. The Saturn PRobe Interior and aTmosphere Explorer (SPRITE) Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, David H.; Simon, Amy; Banfield, Don

    2017-04-01

    The proposed NASA New Frontiers Saturn PRobe Interior and aTmosphere Explorer (SPRITE) mission would measure the abundance of helium and the other noble gases, elemental and isotopic abundances, the clouds, dynamics, and processes within Saturn's troposphere. In situ measurements of Saturn's atmosphere by SPRITE would provide a significantly improved context for understanding the results from the Galileo Jupiter probe, and the formation and evolution of the gas giant planets, resulting in a paradigm shift in our understanding of the formation, evolution, and ultimately the present day structure of the solar system. The proposed SPRITE concept carries an instrument payload to measure Saturn's atmospheric structure, dynamics, composition, chemistry, and clouds to at least 10 bars. A Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer measures noble gases and noble gas isotopes to accuracies that exceed the Galileo probe measurements at Jupiter and allows for discrimination between competing theories of giant planet formation, evolution, and possible migration. Of particular importance are measurements of helium, key to understanding Saturn's thermal evolution. A Tunable Laser Spectrometer measures molecular abundances and isotope ratios to determine the chemical structure of Saturn's atmosphere, and disequilibrium species such as PH3 and CO which can be used to predict Saturn's deep water abundance. An Atmospheric Structure Instrument provides the pressure/temperature profile of Saturn's atmosphere to determine the altitude profile of static stability, and when combined with cloud measurements from the SPRITE Nephelometer, would elucidate processes that determine the location and structure of Saturn's multiple cloud layers. Coupled with the measurement of atmospheric vertical velocities from the Atmospheric Structure Instrument, a Doppler Wind Experiment provides a measure of the 3-dimensional dynamics of the Saturn atmosphere, including the profile of zonal winds with depth and vertical

  20. Applications for Mission Operations Using Multi-agent Model-based Instructional Systems with Virtual Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancey, William J.

    2004-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides an overview of past and possible future applications for artifical intelligence (AI) in astronaut instruction and training. AI systems have been used in training simulation for the Hubble Space Telescope repair, the International Space Station, and operations simulation for the Mars Exploration Rovers. In the future, robots such as may work as partners with astronauts on missions such as planetary exploration and extravehicular activities.

  1. Investigation of Life in the Atacama Desert by Astrobiology Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wettergreen, D.; Cabrol, N.

    2005-12-01

    The Atacama Desert is the most arid region on Earth and in several ways analogous to Mars. It has been suggested that the interior of the desert is the most lifeless place on Earth, yet it is known that microorganisms exist on rocks and in soils where the desert meets the coastal range. The Life in the Atacama (LITA) project is investigating the distribution and diversity of life and habitats in the desert using an rover guided by a remote science team. The Atacama Desert presents an excellent analogue to Mars because it is extremely dry, but also, like Mars it experiences high levels of ultraviolet radiation due to its altitude and atmospheric transparency. The soils in the Atacama have been found to be particularly high in oxidants, which lead to the rapid breakdown of organic material. The result is that in some regions of desert almost no biogenic material can be found on the surface. To the benefit of analogue studies for Mars exploration, the desert visually resembles Mars as seen through rover cameras. For these reasons: aridity, ultraviolet radiation and soil composition we believe the Atacama is analogous to Mars and an excellent location for rover field experiments. To support our astrobiologic investigation, we have created a mobile robot, Zo, that makes the measurement of the distribution and diversity of microorganisms possible. Mobility is crucial as habitats are hypothesized to depend on locally variable conditions including moisture, solar flux, and rock/soil composition. The ability to traverse tens to hundreds of kilometers while deploying sensors is a fundamental requirement because only by visiting many sites will the few in which organisms exist be found. Many observations provide the basis for statistically valid analysis of distribution. Zo's instrument payload combines complementary elements, some directed towards remote sensing of the environment (geology, morphology, mineralogy, climate) for the detection of conditions favorable to

  2. FLEX (Fluorescence Explorer mission: Observation fluorescence as a new remote sensing technique to study the global terrestrial vegetation state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Moreno

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available FLEX (Fluorescence EXplorer is a candidate for the 8th ESA’s Earth Explorer mission. Is the first space mission specifically designed for the estimation of vegetation fluorescence on a global scale. The mission is proposed to fly in tandem with the future ESA´s Sentinel-3 satellite. It is foreseen that the information obtained by Sentinel-3 will be supplemented with that provided by FLORIS (Fluorescence Imaging Spectrometer onboard FLEX. FLORIS will measure the radiance between 500 and 800 nm with a bandwidth between 0.1 nm and 2 nm, providing images with a 150 km swath and 300 m pixel size. This information will allow a detailed monitoring of vegetation dynamics, by improving the methods for the estimation of classical biophysical parameters, and by introducing a new one: fluorescence. This paper presents the current status of FLEX mission in A/B1 phase and the different ongoing studies, campaigns and projects carried out in support of the FLEX mission.

  3. The ESA-JAXA EarthCARE clouds, aerosol and radiation explorer mission: overview and development status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lajas, Dulce; Eisinger, M.; Wehr, T.; Koopman, Robert; Lefebvre, A.

    2015-10-01

    The EarthCARE, Earth Clouds, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer, is a joint European-Japanese mission (ESA/JAXA/NICT) which has been defined with the objective of improving the understanding of cloud-aerosol-radiation interactions so as to include them correctly and reliably in climate and numerical weather prediction models. The EarthCARE Mission has been approved for implementation as ESA's third Earth Explorer Core Mission. It is currently in its Detailed Design Phase (phase C/D) with a launch scheduled for 2018 [1]. This paper presents the EarthCARE programmatic status, the current instrument design and mission performance. The mission end-to-end simulator (E3SIM) and data processing up to level 2 (geophysical products) and related science activities will be discussed. The E3SIM supports end-to-end simulations from a scene definition to synergistic level 2 products. Level 2 retrieval algorithms can be tested in the full chain (provision of input data, algorithm performance tests by comparison of outputs with known inputs) by using a single framework with well-defined interfaces helping to harmonise algorithm developments.

  4. Assessing Gale Crater as an Exploration Zone for the First Human Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calef, A. F. J., III; Archer, D.; Clark, B.; Day, M.; Goetz, W.; Lasue, J.; Martin-Torres, J.; Zorzano-Mier, M.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.

    2016-01-01

    Mars is the "horizon goal" for human space flight [1]. Towards that endeavor, one must consider several factors in regards to choosing a landing site suitable for a human-rated mission including: entry, descent, and landing (EDL) characteristics, scientific diversity, and possible insitu resources [2]. Selecting any one place is a careful balance of reducing risks and increasing scientific return for the mission.

  5. Circolo enogastronomico "Della Rovere" = The Della Rovere Club

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2012-01-01

    Della Rovere Klubist, mis on Itaalia Önogastronoomiliste Ühenduste Föderatsiooni ja Euroopa Önogastronoomia Vennaskondade Nõukogu liige ja mille missiooniks on kohalike traditsioonide säilitamine, erinevate toiduainete omaduste tutvustamine, veinikultuuri õpetamine jne

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-07-01

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

  7. Guiding Requirements for Designing Life Support System Architectures for Crewed Exploration Missions Beyond Low-Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Jay L.; Sargusingh, Miriam J.; Toomarian, Nikzad

    2016-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) technology development roadmaps provide guidance to focus technological development in areas that enable crewed exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. Specifically, the technology area roadmap on human health, life support and habitation systems describes the need for life support system (LSS) technologies that can improve reliability and in-flight maintainability within a minimally-sized package while enabling a high degree of mission autonomy. To address the needs outlined by the guiding technology area roadmap, NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program has commissioned the Life Support Systems (LSS) Project to lead technology development in the areas of water recovery and management, atmosphere revitalization, and environmental monitoring. A notional exploration LSS architecture derived from the International Space has been developed and serves as the developmental basis for these efforts. Functional requirements and key performance parameters that guide the exploration LSS technology development efforts are presented and discussed. Areas where LSS flight operations aboard the ISS afford lessons learned that are relevant to exploration missions are highlighted.

  8. Human Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: An Update on NASA's Current Status and Proposed Activities for Small Body Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Larman, K. T.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010.

  9. Research on Life Science and Life Support Engineering Problems of Manned Deep Space Exploration Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Bin; Guo, Linli; Zhang, Zhixian

    2016-07-01

    Space life science and life support engineering are prominent problems in manned deep space exploration mission. Some typical problems are discussed in this paper, including long-term life support problem, physiological effect and defense of varying extraterrestrial environment. The causes of these problems are developed for these problems. To solve these problems, research on space life science and space medical-engineering should be conducted. In the aspect of space life science, the study of space gravity biology should focus on character of physiological effect in long term zero gravity, co-regulation of physiological systems, impact on stem cells in space, etc. The study of space radiation biology should focus on target effect and non-target effect of radiation, carcinogenicity of radiation, spread of radiation damage in life system, etc. The study of basic biology of space life support system should focus on theoretical basis and simulating mode of constructing the life support system, filtration and combination of species, regulation and optimization method of life support system, etc. In the aspect of space medical-engineering, the study of bio-regenerative life support technology should focus on plants cultivation technology, animal-protein production technology, waste treatment technology, etc. The study of varying gravity defense technology should focus on biological and medical measures to defend varying gravity effect, generation and evaluation of artificial gravity, etc. The study of extraterrestrial environment defense technology should focus on risk evaluation of radiation, monitoring and defending of radiation, compound prevention and removal technology of dust, etc. At last, a case of manned lunar base is analyzed, in which the effective schemes of life support system, defense of varying gravity, defense of extraterrestrial environment are advanced respectively. The points in this paper can be used as references for intensive study on key

  10. A Focus on Cryogenic Engineering for the Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas, Rogelio; Weston, Amy

    2011-01-01

    Cryogenic engineering involves design and modification of equipment that is used under boiling point of nitrogen which is 77 K. The focus of this paper will be on the design of hardware for cryogenic use and a retrofit that was done to the main laboratory cryostat used to test flight components for the Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer balloon-borne mission. Data from prior tests showed that there was a superfluid helium leak and a total disassemble of the cryostat was conducted in order to localize and fix the leak. To improve efficiency new fill tubes and clamps with modifications were added to the helium tank. Upon removal of the tank, corrosion was found on the flange face that connects to the helium cold plate and therefore had to be fully replaced and copper plated to prevent future corrosion. Indium seals were also replaced for the four fill tubes, a helium level sensor, and the nitrogen and helium tanks. Four additional shielded twisted pairs of cryogenic wire and a wire harness for the Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) were added. Finally, there was also design work done for multiple pieces that went inside the cryostat and a separate probe used to test the SQUIDs. Upon successful completion of the cryostat upgrade, tests were run to check the effectiveness and stability of the upgrades. The post-retrofit tests showed minor leaks were still present and due to this, superfluidity has still not been attained. As such there could still be a possibility of a superfluid leak appearing in the future. Regardless, the copper plating on the helium tank has elongated the need to service it by three to five years.

  11. Experimental Results of Rover-Based Coring and Caching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backes, Paul G.; Younse, Paulo; DiCicco, Matthew; Hudson, Nicolas; Collins, Curtis; Allwood, Abigail; Paolini, Robert; Male, Cason; Ma, Jeremy; Steele, Andrew; hide

    2011-01-01

    Experimental results are presented for experiments performed using a prototype rover-based sample coring and caching system. The system consists of a rotary percussive coring tool on a five degree-of-freedom manipulator arm mounted on a FIDO-class rover and a sample caching subsystem mounted on the rover. Coring and caching experiments were performed in a laboratory setting and in a field test at Mono Lake, California. Rock abrasion experiments using an abrading bit on the coring tool were also performed. The experiments indicate that the sample acquisition and caching architecture is viable for use in a 2018 timeframe Mars caching mission and that rock abrasion using an abrading bit may be feasible in place of a dedicated rock abrasion tool.

  12. A Battery Health Monitoring Framework for Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daigle, Matthew J.; Kulkarni, Chetan Shrikant

    2014-01-01

    Batteries have seen an increased use in electric ground and air vehicles for commercial, military, and space applications as the primary energy source. An important aspect of using batteries in such contexts is battery health monitoring. Batteries must be carefully monitored such that the battery health can be determined, and end of discharge and end of usable life events may be accurately predicted. For planetary rovers, battery health estimation and prediction is critical to mission planning and decision-making. We develop a model-based approach utilizing computaitonally efficient and accurate electrochemistry models of batteries. An unscented Kalman filter yields state estimates, which are then used to predict the future behavior of the batteries and, specifically, end of discharge. The prediction algorithm accounts for possible future power demands on the rover batteries in order to provide meaningful results and an accurate representation of prediction uncertainty. The framework is demonstrated on a set of lithium-ion batteries powering a rover at NASA.

  13. Mars Stratigraphy Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  14. Synergies between human space exploration and science in the asteroid redirect mission and the potential Italian participation in the asteroid redirect robotic mission phase⋆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tantardini, Marco; Flamini, Enrico

    2017-07-01

    In 2010, the study proposal called Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM) was selected by the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). ARM had, as its main goal, the ambition to give a feasible, and realistic from a budget standpoint, destination to NASA Human Space Exploration (HSE) after the International Space Station (ISS), fulfilling President Obama's goal to have astronaut reach and interact with an asteroid (NEO) by 2025. ARM was formulated exploiting synergies between HSE and science, and with benefits also for technology development and in-space validation. In 2013, ARM, renamed Asteroid Redirect Mission, became a NASA program with the support of the White House. The Italian Space Agency (ASI) expressed interest to participate in the robotic phase of ARM, called Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM). This presentation, given at the XIII National (Italian) Congress of Planetary Sciences, had the goal to introduce ARM to the Italian scientific community to gather proposals for the possible Italian participation in NASA ARRM, such as ASI payloads that could be possibly hosted on NASA ARRM.

  15. Positive-Buoyancy Rover for Under Ice Mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leichty, John M.; Klesh, Andrew T.; Berisford, Daniel F.; Matthews, Jaret B.; Hand, Kevin P.

    2013-01-01

    A buoyant rover has been developed to traverse the underside of ice-covered lakes and seas. The rover operates at the ice/water interface and permits direct observation and measurement of processes affecting freeze- over and thaw events in lake and marine environments. Operating along the 2- D ice-water interface simplifies many aspects of underwater exploration, especially when compared to submersibles, which have difficulty in station-keeping and precision mobility. The buoyant rover consists of an all aluminum body with two aluminum sawtooth wheels. The two independent body segments are sandwiched between four actuators that permit isolation of wheel movement from movement of the central tether spool. For normal operations, the wheels move while the tether spool feeds out line and the cameras on each segment maintain a user-controlled fixed position. Typically one camera targets the ice/water interface and one camera looks down to the lake floor to identify seep sources. Each wheel can be operated independently for precision turning and adjustments. The rover is controlled by a touch- tablet interface and wireless goggles enable real-time viewing of video streamed from the rover cameras. The buoyant rover was successfully deployed and tested during an October 2012 field campaign to investigate methane trapped in ice in lakes along the North Slope of Alaska.

  16. Electrical and computer architecture of an autonomous Mars sample return rover prototype

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie, Caleb Thomas

    Space truly is the final frontier. As man looks to explore beyond the confines of our planet, we use the lessons learned from traveling to the Moon and orbiting in the International Space Station, and we set our sights upon Mars. For decades, Martian probes consisting of orbiters, landers, and even robotic rovers have been sent to study Mars. Their discoveries have yielded a wealth of new scientific knowledge regarding the Martian environment and the secrets it holds. Armed with this knowledge, NASA and others have begun preparations to send humans to Mars with the ultimate goal of colonization and permanent human habitation. The ultimate success of any long term manned mission to Mars will require in situ resource utilization techniques and technologies to both support their stay and make a return trip to Earth viable. A sample return mission to Mars will play a pivotal role in developing these necessary technologies to ensure such an endeavor to be a successful one. This thesis describes an electrical and computer architecture for autonomous robotic applications. The architecture is one that is modular, scalable, and adaptable. These traits are achieved by maximizing commonality and reusability within modules that can be added, removed, or reconfigured within the system. This architecture, called the Modular Architecture for Autonomous Robotic Systems (MAARS), was implemented on the University of Alabama's Collection and Extraction Rover for Extraterrestrial Samples (CERES). The CERES rover competed in the 2016 NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge where robots were tasked with autonomously finding, collecting, and returning samples to the landing site.

  17. Safety Characteristics in System Application of Software for Human Rated Exploration Missions for the 8th IAASS Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mango, Edward J.

    2016-01-01

    NASA and its industry and international partners are embarking on a bold and inspiring development effort to design and build an exploration class space system. The space system is made up of the Orion system, the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) system. All are highly coupled together and dependent on each other for the combined safety of the space system. A key area of system safety focus needs to be in the ground and flight application software system (GFAS). In the development, certification and operations of GFAS, there are a series of safety characteristics that define the approach to ensure mission success. This paper will explore and examine the safety characteristics of the GFAS development. The GFAS system integrates the flight software packages of the Orion and SLS with the ground systems and launch countdown sequencers through the 'agile' software development process. A unique approach is needed to develop the GFAS project capabilities within this agile process. NASA has defined the software development process through a set of standards. The standards were written during the infancy of the so-called industry 'agile development' movement and must be tailored to adapt to the highly integrated environment of human exploration systems. Safety of the space systems and the eventual crew on board is paramount during the preparation of the exploration flight systems. A series of software safety characteristics have been incorporated into the development and certification efforts to ensure readiness for use and compatibility with the space systems. Three underlining factors in the exploration architecture require the GFAS system to be unique in its approach to ensure safety for the space systems, both the flight as well as the ground systems. The first are the missions themselves, which are exploration in nature, and go far beyond the comfort of low Earth orbit operations. The second is the current exploration

  18. Atmosphere explorer /AE-C/ adaptive mission design and trajectory performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbieri, R. W.; Cooley, J. L.; Nickerson, K. G.

    1975-01-01

    The preflight mission design and in-flight execution are presented to illustrate the actual utilization of the adaptive nature of this mission. Spacecraft systems (propulsion, attitude, accelerometer) and software (maneuver program) features which contribute to the adaptive trajectory flexibility are discussed. Descriptions of procedures used to handle low perigee maneuver operations (to 130 km), for achieving ground track control and orbit phasing, for making a transition from elliptical to circular orbits, and for circular orbit restoration and maintenance are presented in detail. The 85 maneuvers made during the first 17 months of the mission are summarized.

  19. Exploring Habitable Worlds: Science Questions for Future Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apai, D.

    2017-11-01

    We report on the SAG15 team's comprehensive effort to compile community input on key science questions for future exoplanet imaging missions, many of which are essential to recognizing habitable planets and for correcting interpreting biosignatures.

  20. Augmented Shared Reality Tools for Collaborative Science on a Planetary Exploration Analogue Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binsted, K. A.

    2010-04-01

    An astronaut with field-geology tasks must collaborate with Earth-bound scientists, via an augmented reality system. We are investigating this scenario via an analogue mission in Hawaii, and will present the results.

  1. A Virtual Social Support System for Long-Duration Space Exploration Missions Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Our overall goal is to enhance the overall behavior health and performance of personnel on (future potential) long-duration missions. We propose to use a local...

  2. Design of Photovoltaic Power System for a Precursor Mission for Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcnatt, Jeremiah; Landis, Geoffrey; Fincannon, James

    2016-01-01

    This project analyzed the viability of a photovoltaic power source for technology demonstration mission to demonstrate Mars in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) to produce propellant for a future human mission, based on technology available within the next ten years. For this assessment, we performed a power-system design study for a scaled ISRU demonstrator lander on the Mars surface based on existing solar array technologies.

  3. Robotic exploration of the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Ulivi, Paolo

    In Robotic Exploration of the Solar System, Paolo Ulivi and David Harland provide a comprehensive account of the design and managment of deep-space missions, the spacecraft involved - some flown, others not - their instruments, and their scientific results. This third volume in the series covers launches in the period 1997 to 2003 and features: - a chapter entirely devoted to the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn; - coverage of planetary missions of the period, including the Deep Space 1 mission and the Stardust and Hayabusa sample returns from comets and asteroids; - extensive coverage of Mars exploration, the failed 1999 missions, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The story will continue in Part 4.

  4. The Miniaturized Moessbauer Spectrometer MIMOS II for the Asteroid Redirect Mission(ARM): Quantative Iron Mineralogy And Oxidation States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, C.; Klingelhoefer, G; Morris, R. V.; Yen, A. S.; Renz, F.; Graff, T. G.

    2016-01-01

    The miniaturized Moessbauer spectrometer MIMOS II is an off-the-shelf instrument with proven flight heritage. It has been successfully deployed during NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission and was on-board the UK-led Beagle 2 Mars lander and the Russian Phobos-Grunt sample return mission. A Moessbauer spectrometer has been suggested for ASTEX, a DLR Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) mission study, and the potential payload to be hosted by the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). Here we make the case for in situ asteroid characterization with Moessbauer spectroscopy on the ARM employing one of three available fully-qualified flight-spare Moessbauer instruments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. 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)).

  7. A Small Lunar Rover for Reconnaissance in the Framework of ExoGeoLab Project, System Level Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noroozi, A.; Ha, L.; van Dalen, P.; Maas, A.; de Raedt, S.; Poulakis, P.; Foing, B. H.

    2009-04-01

    Scientific research is based on accurate measurement and so depends on the possibilities of accurate instruments. In planetary science and exploration it is often difficult or even impossible in some cases to gather accurate and direct information from a specified target. It is important to gather as much information as possible to be able to analyze and extract scientific data from them. One possibility to do so is to send equipments to the target and perform the measurements locally. The measurement data is then sent to base station for further analysis. To send measurement instruments to measurement point it is important to have a good estimation of the environmental situation there. This information can be collected by sending a pilot rover to the area of interest to collect visual information. The aim of this work is to develop a tele-operated small rover, Google Lunar X-Prize (GLXP) class, which is capable of surviving in the Moon environment and perform reconnaissance to provide visual information to base station of ExoGeoLab project of ESA/ESTEC. Using the state of the art developments in electronics, software and communication technologies allows us to achieve increase in accuracy while reducing size and power consumption. Target mass of the rover is lees than 5 kg and its target dimension is 300 x 60 x 80 mm3. The small size of the rover gives the possibility of accessing places which are normally out of reach. The required power for operation and the cost of launch is considerably reduced compared to large rovers which makes the mission more cost effective. The mission of the rover is to capture high resolution images and transmit them to base station. Data link between lover and base station is wireless and rover should supply its own energy. The base station can be either a habitat or a relay station. The navigation of the rover is controlled by an operator in a habitat who has a view from the stereo camera on the rover. This stereo camera gives image

  8. Core to Atmosphere Exploration of Ice Giants: A Uranus Mission Concept Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensema, R. J.; Arias-Young, T. M.; Wilkins, A. N.; Ermakov, A.; Bennett, C.; Dietrich, A.; Hemingway, D.; Klein, V.; Mane, P.; Marr, K. D.; Masterson, J.; Siegel, V.; Stober, K. J.; Talpe, M.; Vines, S. K.; Wetteland, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Ice giants remain largely unexplored, as their large distance from the Sun limits both Earth-based observations and spacecraft visits. The significant occurrence of ice giant-sized planets among detected exoplanets presents an impetus to study Uranus to understand planetary formation, dynamics, and evolution. In addition, Uranus is also uniquely interesting, given the large inclination of its rotation axis and magnetospheric configuration. In this work, we design a mission concept that aims to maximize scientific return by measuring Uranus' chemical composition, internal structure, and magnetosphere, the first two being primary indicators of ice giant formation mechanisms. For this study, we analyze the trade space for a Uranus mission constrained by a cost cap of $1B. We discuss the decision making processes behind our choices of the science priorities, instrument suite and orbital configuration. Trade space decisions include a strong onboard instrument suite in lieu of a descent probe, an orbiter instead of a flyby mission, and design constraints on the power and propulsion systems. The mission, CAELUS (Core and Atmospheric Evolution Laboratory for Uranus Science), is designed for an August 2023 launch. Following a 14-year cruise with multiple planetary gravity assists, the spacecraft would begin its science mission, which consists of a series of ten 30-day near-polar orbits around Uranus. The instrument suite would consist of a microwave radiometer, Doppler seismometer, magnetometer, and UV spectrometer. These four instruments, along with a high-gain antenna capable of gravity science, would provide a comprehensive science return that meets the bulk of the scientific objectives of the 2013 NRC Planetary Science Decadal Survey for ice giants, most notably those regarding the chemical composition, interior structure, and dynamo of Uranus. This mission concept was created as part of an educational exercise for the 2014 Planetary Science Summer School at the Jet

  9. Earthbound mission how UK funding fails to match enthusiasm for space exploration

    CERN Multimedia

    Nordling, L

    2004-01-01

    Article discussing the UK governments reluctance to fund space research projects. An example is the ESA Aurora programme which is aiming to put humans on Mars by 2030, with interim visits to the moon and a series of unmanned probes preparing the way for interplanetary manned missions (1 page)

  10. Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals: An Exploration of Key Organizational Statements and Daily Practice in Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurley, D. Keith; Peters, Gary B.; Collins, Loucrecia; Fifolt, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    This article reports findings from a study of graduate level, educational leadership students' familiarity with shared mission, vision, values, and goals statements and the perceived impact these concepts have on their practice as leaders and teachers in schools. The study is primarily qualitative and uses content analysis of responses to…

  11. Mission from Mars - a method for exploring user requirements for children in a narrative space

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dindler, Christian; Ludvigsen, Martin; Lykke-Olesen, Andreas

    2005-01-01

    In this paper a particular design method is propagated as a supplement to existing descriptive approaches to current practice studies especially suitable for gathering requirements for the design of children's technology. The Mission from Mars method was applied during the design of an electronic...

  12. Planetary plasma and atmospheres explored by space missions in Japan: Hisaki, Akatsuki, and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasaba, Y.; Imamura, T.; Tsuchiya, F.; Terada, N.; Miyoshi, Y.; Kasai, Y.; Saito, Y.

    2017-06-01

    Planetary plasma and atmospheres have been challenged by space missions of Japanese science community from 1990s, with ISAS and JAXA. The first trial, a Martian orbiter Nozomi, was launched in July 1998. At the departure from Earth in Dec. 1998, she met an engine trouble but we struggled and found a narrow and long path connecting to the Dec 2003 arrival, which is the simultaneous arrival with ESA Mars Express. Unfortunately, we had an additional power trouble in Apr. 2002 associated with a solar flare event, and we gave up the trial at the gate of Mars in Dec. 2003. In parallel to the Kaguya Lunar orbiter in 2007-2009, a next trial to planets, the Akatsuki orbiter to Venus, was prepared. She departed from Earth in May 2010. However, she got an engine trouble at the arrival to Venus in Dec. 2010, and we again endured another long path, but this road was at last ended by a success of the orbit entry in Dec. 2015. We also created the UV/EUV space telescope, Hisaki, using the sensor and optics technologies extracted from Nozomi. It is going well after the launch in 2013 and actively looking planetary thin atmospheres collaborating with other space missions. This paper summarizes the Hisaki and Akatsuki missions which are now on orbit, with the next missions, Arase (ERG), BepiColombo, JUICE, and beyond.

  13. Getting to the Heart of Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Astronauts for Exploration Class Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgart, S. R.; Shavers, M. R.; Chappell, L.; Milder, C. M.; Huff, J. L.; Semones, E. J.; Simonsen, L. C.; Patel, Z. S.

    2017-01-01

    average expected 70 years of age in the general population. Remarkably, all 41 living early astronauts outlived our calculated expected age at death for members of their birth cohort; furthermore, 13 of the 20 deceased astronauts who did not die in NASA/non-NASA accidents exceeded this age. There was no difference in IHD between the astronaut cohort and the comparison population; therefore, it is not possible to associate IHD mortality with radiation in that astronaut cohort. As NASA looks toward future exploration-class missions, early astronaut cohorts provide a convenient option for assessing these risks and for developing mitigation strategies. However, many challenges still exist when assessing such limited evidence, including small cohort size, health and lifestyle confounders (such as smoking and drinking), the high accident mortality rate, and the fact that many of these astronauts are still alive, outliving many of their birth-cohort peers. Future analysis should include a longitudinal study, monitoring cases as they occur in the cohort. As this cohort is currently followed-up over time, and as more IHD cases are anticipated in a population of this age, this type of study is not as resource-intensive as would normally be the case.

  14. GLXP BMT: Lunar Lander Mission Definition & Opportunistic Science during Nominal Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colmenarejo, P.; Mammarella, M.; Zaballa, M.; Claramunt, X.; García, C.; Martínez, A.

    2012-09-01

    The GLXP BMT "MoonRaise" mission is the Barcelona Moon Team Lunar Lander and Lunar exploration mission within the GLXP initiative. GMV is the mission technical leader and is in charge of the primary mission analysis that will later derive into the different mission subsystems and elements requirements and specifications for design and manufacturing. The classical scientific missions pivot around the scientific requirement and most of the mission elements design have the final purpose of fulfilling with the scientific requirements. This has the advantage of producing a dedicated mission to cope with all the scientific objectives (design-toperformance). The main drawback being the usually high mission complexity and cost. The GLXP BMT "MoonRaise" mission is a low cost mission and, thus, design-to-cost approach is used instead. Even if the "MoonRaise" mission will have some dedicated scientific objectives and dedicated resources, the maximization of the scientific content of the mission is a challenge in itself, and emphasis has to be placed in the imagination and achievement of opportunistic science while in nominal (nonscientific) operational phases. This paper presents the GLXP BMT "MoonRaise" mission architecture and mission approach and will identify potential opportunistic science targets with minimum impact on the Lunar Lander module and Rover module systems and at quasi-zero cost. The first section/s will be devoted to analyse the mission aspects, while the later section/s will be devoted to identification of interesting opportunistic science.

  15. Visualisation of very high resolution Martian topographic data and its application on landing site selection and rover route navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Lin, S.; Hong, J.; Park, D.; Yoon, S.; Kim, Y.

    2010-12-01

    High resolution satellite imagery acquired from orbiters are able to provide detailed topographic information and therefore are recognised as an important tool for investigating planetary and terrestrial topography. The heritage of in-orbit high resolution imaging technology is now implemented in a series of Martian Missions, such as HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and CTX (Context Camera) onboard the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). In order to fully utilise the data derived from image systems carried on various Mars orbiters, the generalised algorithms of image processing and photogrammetric Mars DTM extraction have been developed and implemented by Kim and Muller (2009), in which non-rigorous sensor model and hierarchical geomatics control were employed. Due to the successful “from medium to high” control strategy performed during processing, stable horizontal and vertical photogrammetric accuracy of resultant Mars DTM was achievable when compared with MOLA (Mars Obiter Laser Altimeter) DTM. Recently, the algorithms developed in Kim and Muller (2009) were further updated by employing advanced image matcher and improved sensor model. As the photogrammetric qualities of the updated topographic products are verified and the spatial solution can be up to sub-meter scale, they are of great value to be exploited for Martian rover landing site selection and rover route navigation. To this purpose, the DTMs and ortho-rectified imagery obtained from CTX and HiRISE covering potential future rovers and existing MER (Mars Exploration Rover) landing sites were firstly processed. For landing site selection, the engineering constraints such as slope and surface roughness were computed from DTMs. In addition, the combination of virtual topography and the estimated rover location was able to produce a sophisticated environment simulation of rover’s landing site. Regarding the rover navigation, the orbital DTMs and the images taken from cameras

  16. Observing ice clouds in the submillimeter spectral range: the CloudIce mission proposal for ESA's Earth Explorer 8

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Buehler

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Passive submillimeter-wave sensors are a way to obtain urgently needed global data on ice clouds, particularly on the so far poorly characterized "essential climate variable" ice water path (IWP and on ice particle size. CloudIce was a mission proposal to the European Space Agency ESA in response to the call for Earth Explorer 8 (EE8, which ran in 2009/2010. It proposed a passive submillimeter-wave sensor with channels ranging from 183 GHz to 664 GHz. The article describes the CloudIce mission proposal, with particular emphasis on describing the algorithms for the data-analysis of submillimeter-wave cloud ice data (retrieval algorithms and demonstrating their maturity. It is shown that we have a robust understanding of the radiative properties of cloud ice in the millimeter/submillimeter spectral range, and that we have a proven toolbox of retrieval algorithms to work with these data. Although the mission was not selected for EE8, the concept will be useful as a reference for other future mission proposals.

  17. Looking Back at Arena of Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity climbed out of 'Victoria Crater' following the tracks it had made when it descended into the 800-meter-diameter (half-mile-diameter) bowl nearly a year earlier. The rover's navigation camera captured this view back into the crater just after finishing a 6.8-meter (22-foot) drive that brought Opportunity out onto level ground during the mission's 1,634th Martian day, or sol (Aug. 28, 2008). The rover laid down the first tracks at this entry and exit point during its 1,291st sol (Sept. 11, 2007), after about a year of exploring around the outside of Victoria Crater for the best access route to the interior. On that sol, Opportunity drove a short distance into the crater and then backed out to check that the footing was good enough to trust this point as an exit route when the work in the crater was finished. Two sols later, Opportunity drove in again for its extended investigation of the rock layers exposed inside the crater. While inside, the rover spent several months using the contact instruments on its robotic arm to analyze the composition of the rock layers it could drive across on the surface of the upper slope. Then Opportunity drove close to the base of the 'Cape Verde' promontory that forms part of the crater rim and appears in the upper center of this image. From that perspective, the rover used its panoramic camera to examine details of layering in the 6-meter-tall (20-foot-tall) cliff. For scale, the distance between the parallel tracks left by the rover's wheels is about 1 meter (39 inches) from the middle of one track to the middle of the other. After getting past the top of the inner slope of the crater, the Sol 1634 drive also got through a sand ripple where the tracks appear deepest.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-10-15

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

  19. DRIFTEMSI 1993-1996 - Rehearsing an international space exploration mission in analogous environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novara, M.; Collet, J.; Etienne, J.-L.

    1992-08-01

    The updated status of the DRIFTEMSI project, a campaign of manned Mars mission simulation, is presented. In this project, a mixed crew of six will be isolated for two years on a boat drifting through the Arctic ice pack during 1993-1996, the 100th anniversary of Nansen's voyage. The challenges posed by maintaining telecommunications with the crew at polar latitudes and the projected scientific program are discussed.

  20. Evolutionary Space Communications Architectures for Human/Robotic Exploration and Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasin, Kul; Hayden, Jeffrey L.

    2004-01-01

    NASA enterprises have growing needs for an advanced, integrated, communications infrastructure that will satisfy the capabilities needed for multiple human, robotic and scientific missions beyond 2015. Furthermore, the reliable, multipoint infrastructure is required to provide continuous, maximum coverage of areas of concentrated activities, such as around Earth and in the vicinity of the Moon or Mars, with access made available on demand of the human or robotic user. As a first step, the definitions of NASA's future space communications and networking architectures are underway. Architectures that describe the communications and networking needed between the nodal regions consisting of Earth, Moon, Lagrange points, Mars, and the places of interest within the inner and outer solar system have been laid out. These architectures will need the modular flexibility that must be included in the communication and networking technologies to enable the infrastructure to grow in capability with time and to transform from supporting robotic missions in the solar system to supporting human ventures to Mars, Jupiter, Jupiter's moons, and beyond. The protocol-based networking capability seamlessly connects the backbone, access, inter-spacecraft and proximity network elements of the architectures employed in the infrastructure. In this paper, we present the summary of NASA's near and long term needs and capability requirements that were gathered by participative methods. We describe an integrated architecture concept and model that will enable communications for evolutionary robotic and human science missions. We then define the communication nodes, their requirements, and various options to connect them.

  1. IXPE: The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, Implementing a Dedicated Polarimetry Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Only a few experiments have conducted x-ray polarimetry of cosmic sources since Weisskopf et al confirmed the 19% polarization of the Crab Nebula with the Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO-8) in the 70's center dot The challenge is to measure a faint polarized component against a background of non-polarized signal (as well as the other, typical background components) center dot Typically, for a few % minimum detectable polarization, 106 photons are required. center dot So, a dedicated mission is vital with instruments that are designed specifically to measure polarization (with minimal systematic effects) Over the proposed mission life (2- 3 years), IXPE will first survey representative samples of several categories of targets: magnetars, isolated pulsars, pulsar wind nebula and supernova remnants, microquasars, active galaxies etc. The survey results will guide detailed follow-up observations. Precise calibration of IXPE is vital to ensuring sensitivity goals are met. The detectors will be characterized in Italy, and then a full calibration of the complete instrument will be performed at MSFC's stray light facility. Polarized flux at different energies Heritage: X-ray Optics at MSFC polarimetry mission.

  2. Cryogenic propellant thermal control system design considerations, analyses, and concepts applied to a Mars human exploration mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plachta, David W.; Tucker, Stephen; Hoffman, David J.

    1993-01-01

    This paper analyzes, defines, and sizes cryogenic storage thermal control systems that meet the requirements of future NASA Mars human exploration missions. The design issues of this system include the projection of the existing Multilayer Insulation data base for cryogenic storage to much thicker (10 cm or more) insulation systems, the unknown heat leak from mechanical interfaces, and the thermal and structural performance effects of the large tank sizes required for a Mars mission. Acknowledging these unknown effects, heat loss projections are made based on extrapolation of the existing data base. The results indicate that hydrogen, methane, and oxygen are feasible propellants, and that the best suited thermal control sytems are 'thick' MLI, thermodynamic vent sytems, cryocoolers, and vacuum jackets.

  3. The Mars Surveyor '01 Rover and Robotic Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonitz, Robert G.; Nguyen, Tam T.; Kim, Won S.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander will carry with it both a Robotic Arm and Rover to support various science and technology experiments. The Marie Curie Rover, the twin sister to Sojourner Truth, is expected to explore the surface of Mars in early 2002. Scientific investigations to determine the elemental composition of surface rocks and soil using the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will be conducted along with several technology experiments including the Mars Experiment on Electrostatic Charging (MEEC) and the Wheel Abrasion Experiment (WAE). The Rover will follow uplinked operational sequences each day, but will be capable of autonomous reactions to the unpredictable features of the Martian environment. The Mars Surveyor 2001 Robotic Arm will perform rover deployment, and support various positioning, digging, and sample acquiring functions for MECA (Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment) and Mossbauer Spectrometer experiments. The Robotic Arm will also collect its own sensor data for engineering data analysis. The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) mounted on the forearm of the Robotic Arm will capture various images with a wide range of focal length adjustment during scientific experiments and rover deployment

  4. Human Robotic Systems (HRS): Rover Technologies Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In FY15, the HRS Rover Technologies will begin design of a prototype rover designed for the lunar surface, begin development of resource efficient navigation...

  5. Planetary Protection for the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) Mission Candidate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erd, Christian

    2012-07-01

    The JUICE mission is being studied by ESA in the framework of its Cosmic Vision programme, addressing the topical questions ``What are the conditions for planet formation and emergence of life?'' and ``How does the Solar System work?''. Jupiter can be seen as a paradigm of planetary systems forming a mini-solar system on its own. By investigating its diverse satellites, the understanding of the formation and evolution such of systems would be advanced. The question of whether possible habitats of life are provided underneath the surfaces of the icy satellites Callisto, Ganymede and Europa would be addressed by remote sensing and in situ observations of their surfaces, their compositions and their interiors, including the characterizations of subsurface liquid water oceans, including targeting of recently active regions on Europa for inferring the minimal thickness of the icy crust. JUICE would furthermore provide observations of Jupiter's atmosphere addressing open questions on the circulation at mid-latitudes, and also including coverage of the polar region from a distance of about 29~R_J (see also L. Fletcher et al. in meeting C3.1 "Planetary Atmospheres"). JUICE would study the properties of the magnetosphere and would provide extensive monitoring of Jupiter's plasma environment at distances ranging from more than 100 to 8.5~R_J, which is the distance of Europa. The unique magnetic and plasma interactions between the Jupiter environment and Ganymede would be target to focused investigations, from orbit around Ganymede (see also A. Coates et al in session C3.2 ``Planetary Upper Atmospheres, Ionospheres and Magnetospheres''). The magnetic field and its potential habitability of Ganymede makes it a unique target for specific investigation. The presentation will briefly describe the science objectives of the JUICE mission (see also C.~Erd et al. in session B0.3 ``Active Natural Satellites in the Solar System''), and will then discuss the baseline mission profile

  6. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission: A Robotic Boulder Capture Option for Science, Human Exploration, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P.; Nuth, J.; Mazanek, D.; Merrill, R.; Reeves, D.; Naasz, B.

    2014-01-01

    NASA is examining two options for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will return asteroid material to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (LDRO) using a robotic solar electric propulsion spacecraft, called the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV). Once the ARV places the asteroid material into the LDRO, a piloted mission will rendezvous and dock with the ARV. After docking, astronauts will conduct two extravehicular activities (EVAs) to inspect and sample the asteroid material before returning to Earth. One option involves capturing an entire small (4 - 10 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA) inside a large inflatable bag. However, NASA is also examining another option that entails retrieving a boulder (1 - 5 m) via robotic manipulators from the surface of a larger (100+ m) pre-characterized NEA. The Robotic Boulder Capture (RBC) option can leverage robotic mission data to help ensure success by targeting previously (or soon to be) well- characterized NEAs. For example, the data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa mission has been utilized to develop detailed mission designs that assess options and risks associated with proximity and surface operations. Hayabusa's target NEA, Itokawa, has been identified as a valid target and is known to possess hundreds of appropriately sized boulders on its surface. Further robotic characterization of additional NEAs (e.g., Bennu and 1999 JU3) by NASA's OSIRIS REx and JAXA's Hayabusa 2 missions is planned to begin in 2018. This ARM option reduces mission risk and provides increased benefits for science, human exploration, resource utilization, and planetary defense. Science: The RBC option is an extremely large sample-return mission with the prospect of bringing back many tons of well-characterized asteroid material to the Earth-Moon system. The candidate boulder from the target NEA can be selected based on inputs from the world-wide science community, ensuring that the most scientifically interesting

  7. Nuclear power systems for lunar and Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sovie, R. J.; Bozek, J. M.

    1990-01-01

    Initial studies of a variety of mission scenarios for the new Space Exploration Initiative, and the technologies necessary to enable or significantly enhance them, have identified the development of advanced space power systems whether solar, chemical or nuclear to be of prime importance. Lightweight, compact, reliable power systems for planetary rovers and a variety of surface vehicles, utility surface power, and power for advanced propulsion systems have been identified as critical needs for these missions. These mission scenarios, the concomitant power system requirements, and the power system options considered are discussed. The significant potential benefits of nuclear power are identified for meeting the power needs of the above applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  9. A First Look at the Navigation Design and Analysis for the Orion Exploration Mission 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Chris D.; Zenetti, Renato

    2017-01-01

    This paper will detail the navigation and dispersion design and analysis of the first Orion crewed mission. The optical navigation measurement model will be described. The vehicle noise includes the residual acceleration from attitude deadbanding, attitude maneuvers, CO2 venting, wastewater venting, ammonia sublimator venting and solar radiation pressure. The maneuver execution errors account for the contribution of accelerometer scale-factor on the accuracy of the maneuver execution. Linear covariance techniques are used to obtain the navigation errors and the trajectory dispersions as well as the DV performance. Particular attention will be paid to the accuracy of the delivery at Earth Entry Interface and at the Lunar Flyby.

  10. Solar-electrochemical power system for a Mars mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Withrow, Colleen A.; Morales, Nelson

    1994-12-01

    This report documents a sizing study of a variety of solar electrochemical power systems for the intercenter NASA study known as 'Mars Exploration Reference Mission'. Power systems are characterized for a variety of rovers, habitation modules, and space transport vehicles based on requirements derived from the reference mission. The mission features a six-person crew living on Mars for 500 days. Mission power requirements range from 4 kWe to 120 kWe. Primary hydrogen and oxygen fuel cells, regenerative hydrogen and oxygen fuel cells, sodium sulfur batteries advanced photovoltaic solar arrays of gallium arsenide on germanium with tracking and nontracking mechanisms, and tent solar arrays of gallium arsenide on germanium are evaluated and compared.

  11. Exploring Frameworks to Integrate Globalization, Mission, and Higher Education: Case Study Inquiry at Two Higher Education Institutions in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafson, Jacqueline N.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the merits of three conceptual frameworks that emerged from a synthesis of literature related to globalization, mission, and higher education. The first framework, higher education and mission, included three frames: important, not important, and emergent. The second framework, globalization and higher…

  12. Ship Sensor Observations from missions of the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer from 2008 to present.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Dataset shows measurements made by selected ship sensors on the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer during expeditions from 2008 to the present time. These cruises were...

  13. Noctis Landing: A Proposed Landing Site/Exploration Zone for Human Missions to the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Pascal; Acedillo, Shannen; Braham, Stephen; Brown, Adrian; Elphic, Richard; Fong, Terry; Glass, Brian; Hoftun, Christopher; Johansen, Brage W.; Lorber, Kira; hide

    2015-01-01

    ) offer many such outcrop options. -­- Identifiable stratigraphic contacts and cross-cutting relationships from which relative ages can be determined. In place and collapsed canyon walls in NL, TC, and IC offer such opportunities. -­- Other types of ROIs include access points to surrounding plateau top areas for longer term regional exploration. A key attribute of the proposed Noctic Landing site is its strategic location to allow the shortest possible surface excusions to Tharsis and Valles Marineris (VM). VM is the feature and region on Mars that exposes the longest record of Mars' geology and evolution through time. Tharsis is the region of Mars that has experienced the longest and most extensive volcanic history, and might still be volcanically active. Some of the youngest lava flows on Mars have been identified on the western flanks of the Tharsis Bulge, i.e., within driving range of future longrange (500 - 1000 km) pressurized rover traverses. The proposed site also contains ROIs that offer the following Resources (incl. Civil Engineering) characteristics: -­- Access to raw material that exhibits the potential to (1) be used as feedstock for water-generating in situ resource utilization (ISRU) processes and (2) yield significant quantities (greater than 100 MT) of water. The raw material is likely in the form of hydrated minerals, and possibly ice/regolith mix. The top of the raw material deposit is at the surface. -­- Access to a region where infrastructure can be emplaced or constructed. This region is less than 5 km from the LS and contains flat, stable terrain. The region exhibits evidence for an abundant source of loose regolith. Several deep pits in the area combined with the availability of sand suggests that some natural terrain features can be adapted for construction purposes. -­- Access to raw material that exhibits the potential to be used as metal feedstock for ISRU and construction purposes. Iron and sulfur-rich mineral surface deposits have been

  14. Small Lunar Lander - A Near Term Precursor Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soppa, Uwe; Kyr, Peter; Bolz, Joerg; Bischof, Bernd

    In preparation of the Ministerial Conference in November 2008, the European Space Agency is currently developing a roadmap leading to the capability to sustain long term planetary exploration missions and manned missions to Moon and Mars. Embedded in the cornerstone missions of today's European planetary exploration program, which are marked by the two robotic Exo-Mars and Mars Sample Return missions, ESA has defined a Small Lunar Landing Mission serving as a precursor mission allowing to validate key enabling technologies for planetary exploration, while providing a scientific platform to Lunar exploration at the same time. In reply for the call for missions fitting into the mission time frame ranging from 2014 through 2016, EADS Astrium has proposed a Lunar Lander which can be launched by a Soyuz Fregat, combined with a programmatic planning with the goal being ready to fly within the given time. In the meantime, a European lunar exploration program has gained momentum such that the goals of the proposed mission have been expanded towards the preparation of technologies required for the logistics of lunar exploration including transportation to the Moon and back, building and supporting large scale outposts up to permanently manned bases. These key functions are the capability of autonomous, soft and precision landing, the Rendez-Vous in lunar orbit, plus the provision of surface mobility for science and logistic operations. The paper will first present the concept of the proposed Lunar Landing mission, describe the technical design and programmatic planning, and put it into context of the Mars Sample Return mission. The spacecraft shall be launched into the GTO by a Soyuz Fregat from the Kourou Space Center, and travel to the Moon from there on direct, 5 days transfer trajectory. The spacecraft is a single stage lander with the capability to autonomously perform all operations from launcher separation down to the lunar surface. A lunar rover shall provide

  15. MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    MESSENGER is a scientific mission to Mercury. Understanding this extraordinary planet and the forces that have shaped it is fundamental to understanding the processes that have governed the formation, evolution, and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury for one Earth year after completing two flybys of that planet following two flybys of Venus. The necessary flybys return significant new data early in the mission, while the orbital phase, guided by the flyby data, enables a focused scientific investigation of this least-studied terrestrial planet. Answers to key questions about Mercury's high density, crustal composition and structure, volcanic history, core structure, magnetic field generation, polar deposits, exosphere, overall volatile inventory, and magnetosphere are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments. Our goal is to gain new insight into the formation and evolution of the solar system, including Earth. By traveling to the inner edge of the solar system and exploring a poorly known world, MESSENGER fulfills this quest.

  16. Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) and Mission Support Center (MSC) Design Elements for Future Human Scientific Exploration of Our Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M. J.; Abercromby, A. F. J.; Chappell, S.; Beaton, K.; Kobs Nawotniak, S.; Brady, A. L.; Garry, W. B.; Lim, D. S. S.

    2017-02-01

    For future missions, there is a need to better understand how we can merge EVA operations concepts with the established purpose of performing scientific exploration and examine how human spaceflight could be successful under communication latency.

  17. Integrated Solar System Exploration Education and Public Outreach: Theme, Products and Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowes, Leslie; Lindstrom, Marilyn; Stockman, Stephanie; Scalice, Daniela; Allen, Jaclyn; Tobola, Kay; Klug, Sheri; Harmon, Art

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Solar System Exploration Program is entering an unprecedented period of exploration and discovery. Its goal is to understand the origin and evolution of the solar system and life within it. SSE missions are operating or in development to study the far reaches of our solar system and beyond. These missions proceed in sequence for each body from reconnaissance flybys through orbiters and landers or rovers to sample returns. SSE research programs develop new instruments, analyze mission data or returned samples, and provide experimental or theoretical models to aid in interpretation.

  18. Funding and Strategic Alignment Guidance for Infusing Small Business Innovation Research Technology Into Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Projects for 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2017-01-01

    This report is intended to help NASA program and project managers incorporate Small Business Innovation Research Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) technologies into NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) projects. Other Government and commercial projects managers can also find this useful. Space Transportation; Life Support and Habitation Systems; Extra-Vehicular Activity; High EfficiencySpace Power; Human Exploration and Operations Mission,

  19. Developing Science Operations Concepts for the Future of Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Rogers, A. D.; McAdam, A.; Evans, C. A.; Graff, T. G.; Garry, W. B.; Whelley,; Scheidt, S.; Carter, L.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Through fly-by, orbiter, rover, and even crewed missions, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been extremely successful in exploring planetary bodies throughout our Solar System. The focus on increasingly complex Mars orbiter and rover missions has helped us understand how Mars has evolved over time and whether life has ever existed on the red planet. However, large strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) still exist in our understanding of the evolution of the Solar System (e.g. the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, Small Bodies Analysis Group, and Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group). Sending humans to these bodies is a critical part of addressing these SKGs in order to transition to a new era of planetary exploration by 2050.

  20. Mission Implementation Constraints on Planetary Muon Radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Cathleen E.; Kedar, Sharon; Naudet, Charles; Webb, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Cost: Use heritage hardware, especially use a tested landing system to reduce cost (Phoenix or MSL EDL stage). The sky crane technology delivers higher mass to the surface and enables reaching targets at higher elevation, but at a higher mission cost. Rover vs. Stationary Lander: Rover-mounted instrument enables tomography, but the increased weight of the rover reduces the allowable payload weight. Mass is the critical design constraint for an instrument for a planetary mission. Many factors that are minor factors or do not enter into design considerations for terrestrial operation are important for a planetary application. (Landing site, diurnal temperature variation, instrument portability, shock/vibration)

  1. Human Exploration System Test-Bed for Integration and Advancement (HESTIA) Support of Future NASA Deep-Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marmolejo, Jose; Ewert, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The Engineering Directorate at the NASA - Johnson Space Center is outfitting a 20-Foot diameter hypobaric chamber in Building 7 to support future deep-space Environmental Control & Life Support System (ECLSS) research as part of the Human Exploration System Test-bed for Integration and Advancement (HESTIA) Project. This human-rated chamber is the only NASA facility that has the unique experience, chamber geometry, infrastructure, and support systems capable of conducting this research. The chamber was used to support Gemini, Apollo, and SkyLab Missions. More recently, it was used to conduct 30-, 60-, and 90-day human ECLSS closed-loop testing in the 1990s to support the International Space Station and life support technology development. NASA studies show that both planetary surface and deep-space transit crew habitats will be 3-4 story cylindrical structures driven by human occupancy volumetric needs and launch vehicle constraints. The HESTIA facility offers a 3-story, 20-foot diameter habitat consistent with the studies' recommendations. HESTIA operations follow stringent processes by a certified test team that including human testing. Project management, analysis, design, acquisition, fabrication, assembly and certification of facility build-ups are available to support this research. HESTIA offers close proximity to key stakeholders including astronauts, Human Research Program (who direct space human research for the agency), Mission Operations, Safety & Mission Assurance, and Engineering Directorate. The HESTIA chamber can operate at reduced pressure and elevated oxygen environments including those proposed for deep-space exploration. Data acquisition, power, fluids and other facility resources are available to support a wide range of research. Recently completed HESTIA research consisted of unmanned testing of ECLSS technologies. Eventually, the HESTIA research will include humans for extended durations at reduced pressure and elevated oxygen to demonstrate

  2. A Mars Exploration Discovery Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, C. J.; Paige, D. A.

    2000-07-01

    The Mars Exploration Program should consider following the Discovery Program model. In the Discovery Program a team of scientists led by a PI develop the science goals of their mission, decide what payload achieves the necessary measurements most effectively, and then choose a spacecraft with the capabilities needed to carry the payload to the desired target body. The primary constraints associated with the Discovery missions are time and money. The proposer must convince reviewers that their mission has scientific merit and is feasible. Every Announcement of Opportunity has resulted in a collection of creative ideas that fit within advertised constraints. Following this model, a "Mars Discovery Program" would issue an Announcement of Opportunity for each launch opportunity with schedule constraints dictated by the launch window and fiscal constraints in accord with the program budget. All else would be left to the proposer to choose, based on the science the team wants to accomplish, consistent with the program theme of "Life, Climate and Resources". A proposer could propose a lander, an orbiter, a fleet of SCOUT vehicles or penetrators, an airplane, a balloon mission, a large rover, a small rover, etc. depending on what made the most sense for the science investigation and payload. As in the Discovery program, overall feasibility relative to cost, schedule and technology readiness would be evaluated and be part of the selection process.

  3. Precision ADCS of a spinning spacecraft for the Mars Aeronomy Explorer Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mungas, Greg S.; Shotwell, Robert; Gray, Andrew

    2005-01-01

    This paper discusses a precision attitude and control technique for meeting these requirements utilizing a similar architecture that was adopted for the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) SNOE (Student Nitrous Oxide Explorer) spinning spacecraft; SNOE has been operating with its ADCS architecture in low earth orbit (LEO) for over two years.

  4. Nuclear Energy in Space Exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seaborg, Glenn T.

    1968-01-01

    Nuclear space programs under development by the Atomic Energy Commission are reviewed including the Rover Program, systems for nuclear rocket propulsion and, the SNAP Program, systems for generating electric power in space. The letters S-N-A-P stands for Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power. Some of the projected uses of nuclear systems in space are briefly discussed including lunar orbit, lunar transportation from lunar orbit to lunar surface and base stations; planetary exploration, and longer space missions. The limitations of other sources of energy such as solar, fuel cells, and electric batteries are discussed. The excitement and visionary possibilities of the Age of Space are discussed.

  5. Assessing and Promoting Functional Resilience in Flight Crews During Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelhamer, Mark

    2015-01-01

    NASA plans to send humans to Mars in about 20 years. The NASA Human Research Program supports research to mitigate the major risks to human health and performance on extended missions. However, there will undoubtedly be unforeseen events on any mission of this nature - thus mitigation of known risks alone is not sufficient to ensure optimal crew health and performance. Research should be directed not only to mitigating known risks, but also to providing crews with the tools to assess and enhance resilience, as a group and individually. We can draw on ideas from complexity theory and network theory to assess crew and individual resilience. The entire crew or the individual crewmember can be viewed as a complex system that is composed of subsystems (individual crewmembers or physiological subsystems), and the interactions between subsystems are of crucial importance for overall health and performance. An understanding of the structure of the interactions can provide important information even in the absence of complete information on the component subsystems. This is critical in human spaceflight, since insufficient flight opportunities exist to elucidate the details of each subsystem. Enabled by recent advances in noninvasive measurement of physiological and behavioral parameters, subsystem monitoring can be implemented within a mission and also during preflight training to establish baseline values and ranges. Coupled with appropriate mathematical modeling, this can provide real-time assessment of health and function, and detect early indications of imminent breakdown. Since the interconnected web of physiological systems (and crewmembers) can be interpreted as a network in mathematical terms, we can draw on recent work that relates the structure of such networks to their resilience (ability to self-organize in the face of perturbation). There are many parameters and interactions to choose from. Normal variability is an established characteristic of a healthy

  6. Robotic Lunar Rover Technologies and SEI Supporting Technologies at Sandia National Laboratories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, Paul R.

    1992-01-01

    Existing robotic rover technologies at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) can be applied toward the realization of a robotic lunar rover mission in the near term. Recent activities at the SNL-RVR have demonstrated the utility of existing rover technologies for performing remote field geology tasks similar to those envisioned on a robotic lunar rover mission. Specific technologies demonstrated include low-data-rate teleoperation, multivehicle control, remote site and sample inspection, standard bandwidth stereo vision, and autonomous path following based on both internal dead reckoning and an external position location update system. These activities serve to support the use of robotic rovers for an early return to the lunar surface by demonstrating capabilities that are attainable with off-the-shelf technology and existing control techniques. The breadth of technical activities at SNL provides many supporting technology areas for robotic rover development. These range from core competency areas and microsensor fabrication facilities, to actual space qualification of flight components that are designed and fabricated in-house.

  7. Lunar surface exploration using mobile robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Shin-Ichiro; Wakabayashi, Sachiko

    2012-06-01

    A lunar exploration architecture study is being carried out by space agencies. JAXA is carrying out research and development of a mobile robot (rover) to be deployed on the lunar surface for exploration and outpost construction. The main target areas for outpost construction and lunar exploration are mountainous zones. The moon's surface is covered by regolith. Achieving a steady traversal of such irregular terrain constitutes the major technical problem for rovers. A newly developed lightweight crawler mechanism can effectively traverse such irregular terrain because of its low contact force with the ground. This fact was determined on the basis of the mass and expected payload of the rover. This paper describes a plan for Japanese lunar surface exploration using mobile robots, and presents the results of testing and analysis needed in their development. This paper also gives an overview of the lunar exploration robot to be deployed in the SELENE follow-on mission, and the composition of its mobility, navigation, and control systems.

  8. Conformal Ablative Thermal Protection System for Planetary and Human Exploration Missions:An Overview of the Technology Maturation Effort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Robin A S.; Arnold, James O.; Gasch, Matthew J.; Stackpoole, Margaret M.; Prabhu, Dinesh K.; Szalai, Christine E.; Wercinski, Paul F.; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj

    2013-01-01

    The Office of Chief Technologist, NASA identified the need for research and technology development in part from NASAs Strategic Goal 3.3 of the NASA Strategic Plan to develop and demonstrate the critical technologies that will make NASAs exploration, science, and discovery missions more affordable and more capable. Furthermore, the Game Changing Development Program is a primary avenue to achieve the Agencys 2011 strategic goal to Create the innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future. The National Research Council (NRC) Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities report highlights six challenges and they are: Mass to Surface, Surface Access, Precision Landing, Surface Hazard Detection and Avoidance, Safety and Mission Assurance, and Affordability. In order for NASA to meet these challenges, the report recommends immediate focus on Rigid and Flexible Thermal Protection Systems.