WorldWideScience

Sample records for lunar mars life

  1. Closure of Regenerative Life Support Systems: Results of the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel; Henninger, D.; Edeen, M.; Lewis, J.; Smth, F.; Verostko, C.

    2006-01-01

    Future long duration human exploration missions away from Earth will require closed-loop regenerative life support systems to reduce launch mass, reduce dependency on resupply and increase the level of mission self sufficiency. Such systems may be based on the integration of biological and physiocochemical processes to produce potable water, breathable atmosphere and nutritious food from metabolic and other mission wastes. Over the period 1995 to 1998 a series of ground-based tests were conducted at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center, to evaluate the performance of advanced closed-loop life support technologies with real human metabolic and hygiene loads. Named the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP), four integrated human tests were conducted with increasing duration, complexity and closure. The first test, LMLSTP Phase I, was designed to demonstrate the ability of higher plants to revitalize cabin atmosphere. A single crew member spent 15 days within an atmospherically closed chamber containing 11.2 square meters of actively growing wheat. Atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen levels were maintained by control of the rate of photosynthesis through manipulation of light intensity or the availability of carbon dioxide and included integrated physicochemical systems. During the second and third tests, LMLSTP Phases II & IIa, four crew members spent 30 days and 60 days, respectively, in a larger sealed chamber. Advanced physicochemical life support hardware was used to regenerate the atmosphere and produce potable water from wastewater. Air revitalization was accomplished by using a molecular sieve and a Sabatier processor for carbon dioxide absorption and reduction, respectively, with oxygen generation performed by water hydrolysis. Production of potable water from wastewater included urine treatment (vapor compression distillation), primary treatment (ultrafiltration/reverse osmosis and multi-filtration) and post

  2. Environmental Monitoring as Part of Life Support for the Crew Habitat for Lunar and Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jan, Darrell L.

    2010-01-01

    Like other crewed space missions, future missions to the moon and Mars will have requirements for monitoring the chemical and microbial status of the crew habitat. Monitoring the crew habitat becomes more critical in such long term missions. This paper will describe the state of technology development for environmental monitoring of lunar lander and lunar outpost missions, and the state of plans for future missions.

  3. Conducting Closed Habitation Experiments: Experience from the Lunar Mars Life Support Test Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel J.; Edeen, Marybeth A.; Henninger, Donald L.

    2006-01-01

    The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP) was conducted from 1995 through 1997 at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) to demonstrate increasingly longer duration operation of integrated, closed-loop life support systems that employed biological and physicochemical techniques for water recycling, waste processing, air revitalization, thermal control, and food production. An analog environment for long-duration human space travel, the conditions of isolation and confinement also enabled studies of human factors, medical sciences (both physiology and psychology) and crew training. Four tests were conducted, Phases I, II, IIa and III, with durations of 15, 30, 60 and 91 days, respectively. The first phase focused on biological air regeneration, using wheat to generate enough oxygen for one experimental subject. The systems demonstrated in the later phases were increasingly complex and interdependent, and provided life support for four crew members. The tests were conducted using two human-rated, atmospherically-closed test chambers, the Variable Pressure Growth Chamber (VPGC) and the Integrated Life Support Systems Test Facility (ILSSTF). Systems included test articles (the life support hardware under evaluation), human accommodations (living quarters, kitchen, exercise equipment, etc.) and facility systems (emergency matrix system, power, cooling, etc.). The test team was managed by a lead engineer and a test director, and included test article engineers responsible for specific systems, subsystems or test articles, test conductors, facility engineers, chamber operators and engineering technicians, medical and safety officers, and science experimenters. A crew selection committee, comprised of psychologists, engineers and managers involved in the test, evaluated male and female volunteers who applied to be test subjects. Selection was based on the skills mix anticipated for each particular test, and utilized

  4. Exercise Countermeasures Demonstration Project During the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project Phase 2A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Stuart M. C.; Guilliams, Mark E.; Moore, Alan D., Jr.; Williams, W. Jon; Greenisen, M. C.; Fortney, S. M.

    1998-01-01

    This demonstration project assessed the crew members' compliance to a portion of the exercise countermeasures planned for use onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and the outcomes of their performing these countermeasures. Although these countermeasures have been used separately in other projects and investigations, this was the first time they'd been used together for an extended period (60 days) in an investigation of this nature. Crew members exercised every day for six days, alternating every other day between aerobic and resistive exercise, and rested on the seventh day. On the aerobic exercise days, subjects exercised on an electronically braked cycle ergometer using a protocol that has been previously shown to maintain aerobic capacity in subjects exposed to a space flight analogue. On the resistive exercise days, crew members performed five major multijoint resistive exercises in a concentric mode, targeting those muscle groups and bones we believe are most severely affected by space flight. The subjects favorably tolerated both exercise protocols, with a 98% compliance to aerobic exercise prescription and a 91% adherence to the resistive exercise protocol. After 60 days, the crew members improved their peak aerobic capacity by an average 7%, and strength gains were noted in all subjects. These results suggest that these exercise protocols can be performed during ISS, lunar, and Mars missions, although we anticipate more frequent bouts with both protocols for long-duration spaceflight. Future projects should investigate the impact of increased exercise duration and frequency on subject compliance, and the efficacy of such exercise prescriptions.

  5. Drilling Automation Tests At A Lunar/Mars Analog Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, B.; Cannon, H.; Hanagud, S.; Lee, P.; Paulsen, G.

    2006-01-01

    Future in-situ lunar/martian resource utilization and characterization, as well as the scientific search for life on Mars, will require access to the subsurface and hence drilling. Drilling on Earth is hard - an art form more than an engineering discipline. The limited mass, energy and manpower in planetary drilling situations makes application of terrestrial drilling techniques problematic. The Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) project is developing drilling automation and robotics for projected use in missions to the Moon and Mars in the 2011-15 period. This has been tested recently, drilling in permafrost at a lunar/martian analog site (Haughton Crater, Devon Island, Canada).

  6. Cryogenic propulsion for lunar and Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redd, Larry

    1988-01-01

    Future missions to the moon and Mars have been investigated with regard to propulsion system selection. The results of this analysis show that near state-of-the-art LO2/LH2 propulsion technology provides a feasible means of performing lunar missions and trans-Mars injections. In other words, existing cryogenic space engines with certain modifications and product improvements would be suitable for these missions. In addition, present day cryogenic system tankage and structural weights appear to scale reasonably when sizing for large payload and high energy missions such as sending men to Mars.

  7. Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  8. Planned Environmental Microbiology Aspects of Future Lunar and Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, C. Mark; Castro, Victoria A.; Pierson, Duane L.

    2006-01-01

    With the establishment of the Constellation Program, NASA has initiated efforts designed similar to the Apollo Program to return to the moon and subsequently travel to Mars. Early lunar sorties will take 4 crewmembers to the moon for 4 to 7 days. Later missions will increase in duration up to 6 months as a lunar habitat is constructed. These missions and vehicle designs are the forerunners of further missions destined for human exploration of Mars. Throughout the planning and design process, lessons learned from the International Space Station (ISS) and past programs will be implemented toward future exploration goals. The standards and requirements for these missions will vary depending on life support systems, mission duration, crew activities, and payloads. From a microbiological perspective, preventative measures will remain the primary techniques to mitigate microbial risk. Thus, most of the effort will focus on stringent preflight monitoring requirements and engineering controls designed into the vehicle, such as HEPA air filters. Due to volume constraints in the CEV, in-flight monitoring will be limited for short-duration missions to the measurement of biocide concentration for water potability. Once long-duration habitation begins on the lunar surface, a more extensive environmental monitoring plan will be initiated. However, limited in-flight volume constraints and the inability to return samples to Earth will increase the need for crew capabilities in determining the nature of contamination problems and method of remediation. In addition, limited shelf life of current monitoring hardware consumables and limited capabilities to dispose of biohazardous trash will drive flight hardware toward non-culture based methodologies, such as hardware that rapidly distinguishes biotic versus abiotic surface contamination. As missions progress to Mars, environmental systems will depend heavily on regeneration of air and water and biological waste remediation and

  9. ''Fast track'' lunar NTR systems assessment for NASA's first lunar outpost and its evolvability to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borowski, S.K.; Alexander, S.W.

    1993-01-01

    Integrated systems and missions studies are presented for an evolutionary lunar-to-Mars space transportion system (STS) based on nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) technology. A ''standardized'' set of engine and stage components are identified and used in a ''building block'' fashion to configure a variety of piloted and cargo, lunar and Mars vehicles. The reference NTR characteristics include a thrust of 50 thousand pounds force (klbf), specific impulse (I sp ) of 900 seconds, and an engine thrust-to-weight ratio of 4.3. For the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) First Lunar Outpost (FLO) mission, an expendable NTR stage powered by two such engines can deliver ∼96 metric tonnes (t) to trans-lunar injection (TLI) conditions for an initial mass in low Earth orbit (IMLEO) of ∼198 t compared to 250 t for a cryogenic chemical system. The stage liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ) tank has a diameter, length, and capacity of 10 m, 14.5 m and 66 t, respectively. By extending the stage length and LH 2 capacity to ∼20 m and 96 t, a single launch Mars cargo vehicle could deliver to an elliptical Mars parking orbit a 63 t Mars excursion vehicle (MEV) with a 45 t surface payload. Three 50 klbf engines and the two standardized LH 2 tanks developed for the lunar and Mars cargo vehicles are used to configure the vehicles supporting piloted Mars missions as early as 2010. The ''modular'' NTR vehicle approach forms the basis for an efficient STS able to handle the needs of a wide spectrum of lunar and Mars missions

  10. Nuclear thermal propulsion transportation systems for lunar/Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, J.S.; Borowski, S.K.; Mcilwain, M.C.; Pellaccio, D.G.

    1992-09-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion technology development is underway at NASA and DoE for Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) missions to Mars, with initial near-earth flights to validate flight readiness. Several reactor concepts are being considered for these missions, and important selection criteria will be evaluated before final selection of a system. These criteria include: safety and reliability, technical risk, cost, and performance, in that order. Of the concepts evaluated to date, the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) derivative (NDR) is the only concept that has demonstrated full power, life, and performance in actual reactor tests. Other concepts will require significant design work and must demonstrate proof-of-concept. Technical risk, and hence, development cost should therefore be lowest for the concept, and the NDR concept is currently being considered for the initial SEI missions. As lighter weight, higher performance systems are developed and validated, including appropriate safety and astronaut-rating requirements, they will be considered to support future SEI application. A space transportation system using a modular nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) system for lunar and Mars missions is expected to result in significant life cycle cost savings. Finally, several key issues remain for NTR's, including public acceptance and operational issues. Nonetheless, NTR's are believed to be the next generation of space propulsion systems - the key to space exploration

  11. Fossil life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, M. R.

    1989-01-01

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

  12. Life on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venkatavaradan, V S [Tata Inst. of Fundamental Research, Bombay (India)

    1976-10-01

    The miniature biological laboratory of the Viking-1 lander had three experiments to determine, whether the micro-organisms of the Martian soil has: (1) photo-synthetic activity (2) metabolic process activity (utilisation of nutrients) and (3) respiration. The Martian soil was warmed in an incubator and exposed to carbon dioxide (containing C/sup 14/) in presence of xenon arc lamp to simulate the Sun. If the Martian organisms of the expected type are present in the soil, the gas released during the heating would be radio-active which can be detected by a radiation counter. The three experiments had given positive signals denoting the presence of micro-organisms on the surface of Mars. The presence of superoxide in the soil would be poisonous to life but it is likely that organisms may survive deeper below the soil, where the chemicals would not be formed. The Viking-2 results also offered similar results. However, the basic question whether there is life on Mars still remains unanswered.

  13. Life on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venkatavaradan, V.S.

    1976-01-01

    The miniature biological laboratory of the Viking-1 lander had three experiments to determine, whether the micro-organisms of the Martian soil has: (1) photo-synthetic activity (2) metabolic process activity (utilisation of nutrients) and (3) respiration. The Martian soil was warmed in an incubator and exposed to carbon dioxide (containing C 14 ) in presence of xenon arc lamp to simulate the Sun. If the Martian organisms of the expected type are present in the soil, the gas released during the heating would be radio-active which can be detected by a radiation counter. The three experiments had given positive signals denoting the presence of micro-organisms on the surface of Mars. The presence of superoxide in the soil would be poisonous to life but it is likely that organisms may survive deeper below the soil, where the chemicals would not be formed. The Viking-2 results also offered similar results. However, the basic question whether there is life on Mars still remains unanswered. (K.M.)

  14. Lunar Quest in Second Life, Lunar Exploration Island, Phase II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ireton, F. M.; Day, B. H.; Mitchell, B.; Hsu, B. C.

    2010-12-01

    Linden Lab’s Second Life is a virtual 3D metaverse created by users. At any one time there may be 40,000-50,000 users on line. Users develop a persona and are seen on screen as a human figure or avatar. Avatars move through Second Life by walking, flying, or teleporting. Users form communities or groups of mutual interest such as music, computer graphics, and education. These groups communicate via e-mail, voice, and text within Second Life. Information on downloading the Second Life browser and joining can be found on the Second Life website: www.secondlife.com. This poster details Phase II in the development of Lunar Exploration Island (LEI) located in Second Life. Phase I LEI highlighted NASA’s LRO/LCROSS mission. Avatars enter LEI via teleportation arriving at a hall of flight housing interactive exhibits on the LRO/ LCROSS missions including full size models of the two spacecraft and launch vehicle. Storyboards with information about the missions interpret the exhibits while links to external websites provide further information on the mission, both spacecraft’s instrument suites, and related EPO. Other lunar related activities such as My Moon and NLSI EPO programs. A special exhibit was designed for International Observe the Moon Night activities with links to websites for further information. The sim includes several sites for meetings, a conference stage to host talks, and a screen for viewing NASATV coverage of mission and other televised events. In Phase II exhibits are updated to reflect on-going lunar exploration highlights, discoveries, and future missions. A new section of LEI has been developed to showcase NASA’s Lunar Quest program. A new exhibit hall with Lunar Quest information has been designed and is being populated with Lunar Quest information, spacecraft models (LADEE is in place) and kiosks. A two stage interactive demonstration illustrates lunar phases with static and 3-D stations. As NASA’s Lunar Quest program matures further

  15. Lunar COTS: An Economical and Sustainable Approach to Reaching Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuniga, Allison F.; Rasky, Daniel; Pittman, Robert B.; Zapata, Edgar; Lepsch, Roger

    2015-01-01

    The NASA COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) Program was a very successful program that developed and demonstrated cost-effective development and acquisition of commercial cargo transportation services to the International Space Station (ISS). The COTS acquisition strategy utilized a newer model than normally accepted in traditional procurement practices. This new model used Space Act Agreements where NASA entered into partnerships with industry to jointly share cost, development and operational risks to demonstrate new capabilities for mutual benefit. This model proved to be very beneficial to both NASA and its industry partners as NASA saved significantly in development and operational costs while industry partners successfully expanded their market share of the global launch transportation business. The authors, who contributed to the development of the COTS model, would like to extend this model to a lunar commercial services program that will push development of technologies and capabilities that will serve a Mars architecture and lead to an economical and sustainable pathway to transporting humans to Mars. Over the past few decades, several architectures for the Moon and Mars have been proposed and studied but ultimately halted or not even started due to the projected costs significantly exceeding NASA's budgets. Therefore a new strategy is needed that will fit within NASA's projected budgets and takes advantage of the US commercial industry along with its creative and entrepreneurial attributes. The authors propose a new COTS-like program to enter into partnerships with industry to demonstrate cost-effective, cis-lunar commercial services, such as lunar transportation, lunar ISRU operations, and cis-lunar propellant depots that can enable an economical and sustainable Mars architecture. Similar to the original COTS program, the goals of the proposed program, being notionally referred to as Lunar Commercial Orbital Transfer Services (LCOTS

  16. Water and Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  17. Life sciences and Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulzman, Frank M.; Rummel, John D.; Leveton, Lauren B.; Teeter, Ron

    1990-01-01

    The major life science considerations for Mars exploration missions are discussed. Radiation protection and countermeasures for zero gravity are discussed. Considerations of crew psychological health considerations and life support systems are addressed. Scientific opportunities presented by manned Mars missions are examined.

  18. Benefits of Using a Mars Forward Strategy for Lunar Surface Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulqueen, Jack; Griffin, Brand; Smitherman, David; Maples, Dauphne

    2009-01-01

    This paper identifies potential risk reduction, cost savings and programmatic procurement benefits of a Mars Forward Lunar Surface System architecture that provides commonality or evolutionary development paths for lunar surface system elements applicable to Mars surface systems. The objective of this paper is to identify the potential benefits for incorporating a Mars Forward development strategy into the planned Project Constellation Lunar Surface System Architecture. The benefits include cost savings, technology readiness, and design validation of systems that would be applicable to lunar and Mars surface systems. The paper presents a survey of previous lunar and Mars surface systems design concepts and provides an assessment of previous conclusions concerning those systems in light of the current Project Constellation Exploration Architectures. The operational requirements for current Project Constellation lunar and Mars surface system elements are compared and evaluated to identify the potential risk reduction strategies that build on lunar surface systems to reduce the technical and programmatic risks for Mars exploration. Risk reduction for rapidly evolving technologies is achieved through systematic evolution of technologies and components based on Moore's Law superimposed on the typical NASA systems engineering project development "V-cycle" described in NASA NPR 7120.5. Risk reduction for established or slowly evolving technologies is achieved through a process called the Mars-Ready Platform strategy in which incremental improvements lead from the initial lunar surface system components to Mars-Ready technologies. The potential programmatic benefits of the Mars Forward strategy are provided in terms of the transition from the lunar exploration campaign to the Mars exploration campaign. By utilizing a sequential combined procurement strategy for lunar and Mars exploration surface systems, the overall budget wedges for exploration systems are reduced and the

  19. Is There Life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Bruce C.; Herreid, Clyde Freeman

    1998-01-01

    Presents a conflict scenario for a case study on whether there is evidence of past life on Mars. Includes details about the use of this case study in developing an interdisciplinary approach to scientific ethics. (DDR)

  20. Life Sciences Implications of Lunar Surface Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappell, Steven P.; Norcross, Jason R.; Abercromby, Andrew F.; Gernhardt, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to document preliminary, predicted, life sciences implications of expected operational concepts for lunar surface extravehicular activity (EVA). Algorithms developed through simulation and testing in lunar analog environments were used to predict crew metabolic rates and ground reaction forces experienced during lunar EVA. Subsequently, the total metabolic energy consumption, the daily bone load stimulus, total oxygen needed, and other variables were calculated and provided to Human Research Program and Exploration Systems Mission Directorate stakeholders. To provide context to the modeling, the report includes an overview of some scenarios that have been considered. Concise descriptions of the analog testing and development of the algorithms are also provided. This document may be updated to remain current with evolving lunar or other planetary surface operations, assumptions and concepts, and to provide additional data and analyses collected during the ongoing analog research program.

  1. Past, present, and future life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.

    1998-01-01

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

  2. Life On Mars: Past, Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. High Mobility, High Life Wheels for Mars

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GRC will build Mars spring tires based on JPL requirements. GRC will evaluate tractive performance. JPL will conduct life cycle testing and load analysis.

  4. An origin of life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P

    2010-04-01

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

  5. An Origin of Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Cis-Lunar Reusable In-Space Transportation Architecture for the Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, Eric S.; Jones, Christopher A.; Merrill, Raymond G.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars or other destinations in the solar system require large quantities of propellant to enable the transportation of required elements from Earth's sphere of influence to Mars. Current and proposed launch vehicles are incapable of launching all of the requisite mass on a single vehicle; hence, multiple launches and in-space aggregation are required to perform a Mars mission. This study examines the potential of reusable chemical propulsion stages based in cis-lunar space to meet the transportation objectives of the Evolvable Mars Campaign and identifies cis-lunar propellant supply requirements. These stages could be supplied with fuel and oxidizer delivered to cis-lunar space, either launched from Earth or other inner solar system sources such as the Moon or near Earth asteroids. The effects of uncertainty in the model parameters are evaluated through sensitivity analysis of key parameters including the liquid propellant combination, inert mass fraction of the vehicle, change in velocity margin, and change in payload masses. The outcomes of this research include a description of the transportation elements, the architecture that they enable, and an option for a campaign that meets the objectives of the Evolvable Mars Campaign. This provides a more complete understanding of the propellant requirements, as a function of time, that must be delivered to cis-lunar space. Over the selected sensitivity ranges for the current payload and schedule requirements of the 2016 point of departure of the Evolvable Mars Campaign destination systems, the resulting propellant delivery quantities are between 34 and 61 tonnes per year of hydrogen and oxygen propellant, or between 53 and 76 tonnes per year of methane and oxygen propellant, or between 74 and 92 tonnes per year of hypergolic propellant. These estimates can guide future propellant manufacture and/or delivery architectural analysis.

  7. The Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been regarded as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for the signatures of life began in the 19th century, and continue via telescopic investigations and landed missions. While early work focused on phenomenology and bordered on fantasy, modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and the search for biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Living systems produce more than 90% of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. The discovery of methane on Mars will be described, along with the ongoing extended search for clues to its origins. The possible origins of Mars methane will be discussed in the context of terrestrial analogue sites where geologic and biologic methane production now occurs - ranging from sub-permafrost zones in the arctic to hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. Terrestrial organisms that could prosper on Mars today will be mentioned. I will briefly touch upon experiments conducted by landed spacecraft, ranging from the Viking Life Science Experiments in 1976 to the impending Mars Science laboratory, and the Trace Gas Orbiter and ExoMars missions now being developed for flight in the coming decade.

  8. Life on Mars? II. Physical restrictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancinelli, R. L.; Banin, A.

    1995-01-01

    The primary physical factors important to life's evolution on a planet include its temperature, pressure and radiation regimes. Temperature and pressure regulate the presence and duration of liquid water on the surface of Mars. The prolonged presence of liquid water is essential for the evolution and sustained presence of life on a planet. It has been postulated that Mars has always been a cold dry planet; it has also been postulated that early mars possessed a dense atmosphere of CO2 (> or = 1 bar) and sufficient water to cut large channels across its surface. The degree to which either of these postulates is true correlates with the suitability of Mars for life's evolution. Although radiation can destroy living systems, the high fluxes of UV radiation on the martian surface do not necessarily stop the origin and early evolution of life. The probability for life to have arisen and evolved to a significant degree on Mars, based on the postulated ranges of early martian physical factors, is almost solely related to the probability of liquid water existing on the planet for at least hundreds of millions to billions of years.

  9. Biomedical Aspects of Lunar and Mars Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John B.

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Moonstruck how lunar cycles affect life

    CERN Document Server

    Naylor, Ernest

    2015-01-01

    Throughout history, the influence of the full Moon on humans and animals has featured in folklore and myths. Yet it has become increasingly apparent that many organisms really are influenced indirectly, and in some cases directly, by the lunar cycle. Breeding behaviour among some marine animals has been demonstrated to be controlled by internal circalunar biological clocks, to the point where lunar-daily and lunar-monthly patterns of Moon-generated tides are embedded in their genes. Yet, intriguingly, Moon-related behaviours are also found in dry land and fresh water species living far beyond the influence of any tides. In Moonstruck, Ernest Naylor dismisses the myths concerning the influence of the Moon, but shows through a range of fascinating examples the remarkable real effects that we are now finding through science. He suggests that since the advent of evolution on Earth, which occurred shortly after the formation of the Moon, animals evolved adaptations to the lunar cycle, and considers whether, if Moo...

  11. Development of Life on Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K.; McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keprta, Kathie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    Exploration of Mars has begun to unveil the history of the planet. Combinations of remote sensing, in situ compositional measurements and photographic observations have shown Mars had a dynamic and active geologic evolution. Mars geologic evolution encompassed conditions that were suitable for supporting life. A habitable planet must have water, carbon and energy sources along with a dynamic geologic past. Mars meets all of these requirements. The first 600 My of Martian history were ripe for life to develop because of the abundance of (i) Water- as shown by carved canyons and oceans or lakes with the early presence of near surface water shown by precipitated carbonates in ALH84001, well-dated at 3.9 Gy, (ii) Energy from the original accretional processes, a molten core which generated a strong magnetic field leaving a permanent record in the early crust, active volcanism continuing throughout Martian history, and continuing impact processes, (iii) Carbon, water and a likely thicker atmosphere from extensive volcanic outgassing (i.e. H20, CO2, CH4, CO, O2, N2, H2S, SO2, etc.) and (iv) crustal tectonics as revealed by faulting and possible plate movement reflected by the magnetic pattern in the crust [1]. The question arises: "Why would life not develop from these favorable conditions on Mars in its first 600 My?" During this period, environmental near-surface conditions on Mars were more favorable to life than at any later time. Standing bodies of water, precipitation and flowing surface water, and possibly abundant hydrothermal energy would favor the formation of early life. (Even if life developed elsewhere on Earth, Venus, or on other bodies-it was transported to Mars where surface conditions were suitable for life to evolve). The commonly stated requirement that life would need hundreds of millions of year to get started is only an assumption; we know of no evidence that requires such a long interval for the development of life, if the proper habitable

  12. Did Viking discover life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, H. P.

    1999-01-01

    A major argument in the claim that life had been discovered during the Viking mission to Mars is that the results obtained in the Labeled Release (LR) experiment are analogous to those observed with terrestrial microorganisms. This assertion is critically examined and found to be implausible.

  13. Mars, clays and the origins of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Hyman

    1989-01-01

    To detect life in the Martian soil, tests were designed to look for respiration and photosynthesis. Both tests (labeled release, LR, and pyrolytic release, PR) for life in the Martian soils were positive. However, when the measurement for organic molecules in the soil of Mars was made, none were found. The interpretation given is that the inorganic constituents of the soil of Mars were responsible for these observations. The inorganic analysis of the soil was best fitted by a mixture of minerals: 60 to 80 percent clay, iron oxide, quartz, and soluble salts such as halite (NaCl). The minerals most successful in simulating the PR and LR experiments are iron-rich clays. There is a theory that considers clays as the first organisms capable of replication, mutation, and catalysis, and hence of evolving. Clays are formed when liquid water causes the weathering of rocks. The distribution of ions such as aluminum, magnesium, and iron play the role of bases in the DNA. The information was stored in the distribution of ions in the octahedral and tetrahedral molecules, but that they could, like RNA and DNA, replicate. When the clays replicated, each sheet of clay would be a template for a new sheet. The ion substitutions in one clay sheet would give rise to a complementary or similar pattern on the clay synthesized on its surface. It was theorized that it was on the surface of replicating iron-rich clays that carbon dioxide would be fixed in the light into organic acids such as formic or oxalic acid. If Mars had liquid water during a warm period in its past, clay formation would have been abundant. These clays would have replicated and evolved until the liquid water was removed due to cooling of Mars. It is entirely possible that the Viking mission detected life on Mars, but it was clay life that awaits the return of water to continue its evolution into life based on organic molecules.

  14. Bioregenerative life support system for a lunar base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, H.; Wang, J.; Manukovsky, N. S.; Kovalev, V. S.; Gurevich, Yu. L.

    We have studied a modular approach to construction of bioregenerative life support system BLSS for a lunar base using soil-like substrate SLS for plant cultivation Calculations of massflow rates in BLSS were based mostly on a vegetarian diet and biological conversion of plant residues in SLS Plant candidate list for lunar BLSS includes the following basic species rice Oryza sativa soy Glycine max sweet potato Ipomoea batatas and wheat Triticum aestivum To reduce the time necessary for transition of the system to steady state we suggest that the first seeding and sprouting could be made on Earth

  15. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 20th, Houston, TX, Mar. 13-17, 1989, Proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharpton, V.L.; Ryder, G.

    1990-01-01

    Topics discussed include the petrology and geochemistry of the moon, the geology of the moon, lunar regolith processes and resources, the petrology and geochemistry of achondrites, comets and interplanetary dust, shock and terrestrial cratering, the geology of Mars, and the geology of Venus. Papers are presented on silicate liquid immiscibility in isothermal crystallization experiments; highly evolved and ultramafic lithologies from Apollo 14 soils; the relationship between orbital, earth-based, and sample data for lunar landing sites; and the volcanotectonic evolution of Mare Frigoris. Attention is also given to glass variants and multiple HASP trends in Apollo 14 regolith breccias, the characterization of lunar ilmenite resources, the U-Th-Pb systematics of the Estherville mesosiderite, and the extraterrestrial halogen and sulfur contents of the stratosphere. Other papers are on argon-40/argon-39 dating of impact craters; the outliers of dust along the southern margin of the Tharsis region, Mars; and the geology of southern Guinevere Planitia, Venus, based on analyses of Goldstone radar data

  16. Challenges to Life on Mars --- Ecological Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, H.; McKay, C.; Friedmann, I.; McDonald, G.

    2003-12-01

    This talk will address the habitability of Mars by considering major environmental challenges against the tolerance limits of microorganisms from extreme terrestrial environments including the Antarctic desert and permafrost. At the planet surface, the combination of low atmospheric pressure (below the triple point of water), high fluxes of ultraviolet radiation, and one or more powerful oxidants are likely to create sterilizing conditions that will be a barrier to the colonization and dispersal of microorganisms. In the subsurface below, long-term survival is dependent upon the frequency and duration of warm, metabolically active periods that are needed to repair cellular damages. Low temperature itself does little harm to microorganisms, but a long dormant period will accrue lethal dosages of ionizing radiation and amino acid racemization. It is probable that within the depth range of current sampling technologies, there are no conditions for extant life, leaving organic or inorganic fossils as the only legitimate target in the search for life on Mars.

  17. Biological life-support systems for Mars mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitelson, J I

    1992-01-01

    Mars mission like the Lunar base is the first venture to maintain human life beyond earth biosphere. So far, all manned space missions including the longest ones used stocked reserves and can not be considered egress from biosphere. Conventional path proposed by technology for Martian mission LSS is to use physical-chemical approaches proved by the experience of astronautics. But the problem of man living beyond the limits of the earth biosphere can be fundamentally solved by making a closed ecosystem for him. The choice optimum for a Mars mission LSS can be substantiated by comparing the merits and demerits of physical-chemical and biological principles without ruling out possible compromise between them. The work gives comparative analysis of ecological and physical-chemical principles for LSS. Taking into consideration universal significance of ecological problems with artificial LSS as a particular case of their solution, complexity and high cost of large-scale experiments with manned LSS, it would be expedient for these works to have the status of an International Program open to be joined. A program of making artificial biospheres based on preceding experience and analysis of current situation is proposed.

  18. Radar studies of the planets. [radar measurements of lunar surface, Mars, Mercury, and Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingalls, R. P.; Pettengill, G. H.; Rogers, A. E. E.; Sebring, P. B. (Editor); Shapiro, I. I.

    1974-01-01

    The radar measurements phase of the lunar studies involving reflectivity and topographic mapping of the visible lunar surface was ended in December 1972, but studies of the data and production of maps have continued. This work was supported by Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston. Topographic mapping of the equatorial regions of Mars has been carried out during the period of each opposition since that of 1967. The method comprised extended precise traveling time measurements to a small area centered on the subradar point. As measurements continued, planetary motions caused this point to sweep out extensive areas in both latitude and longitude permitting the development of a fairly extensive topographical map in the equatorial region. Radar observations of Mercury and Venus have also been made over the past few years. Refinements of planetary motions, reflectivity maps and determinations of rotation rates have resulted.

  19. Developing Reliable Life Support for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Harry W.

    2017-01-01

    A human mission to Mars will require highly reliable life support systems. Mars life support systems may recycle water and oxygen using systems similar to those on the International Space Station (ISS). However, achieving sufficient reliability is less difficult for ISS than it will be for Mars. If an ISS system has a serious failure, it is possible to provide spare parts, or directly supply water or oxygen, or if necessary bring the crew back to Earth. Life support for Mars must be designed, tested, and improved as needed to achieve high demonstrated reliability. A quantitative reliability goal should be established and used to guide development t. The designers should select reliable components and minimize interface and integration problems. In theory a system can achieve the component-limited reliability, but testing often reveal unexpected failures due to design mistakes or flawed components. Testing should extend long enough to detect any unexpected failure modes and to verify the expected reliability. Iterated redesign and retest may be required to achieve the reliability goal. If the reliability is less than required, it may be improved by providing spare components or redundant systems. The number of spares required to achieve a given reliability goal depends on the component failure rate. If the failure rate is under estimated, the number of spares will be insufficient and the system may fail. If the design is likely to have undiscovered design or component problems, it is advisable to use dissimilar redundancy, even though this multiplies the design and development cost. In the ideal case, a human tended closed system operational test should be conducted to gain confidence in operations, maintenance, and repair. The difficulty in achieving high reliability in unproven complex systems may require the use of simpler, more mature, intrinsically higher reliability systems. The limitations of budget, schedule, and technology may suggest accepting lower and

  20. Enabling Global Lunar Sample Return and Life-Detection Studies Using a Deep-Space Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, B. A.; Eigenbrode, J. A.; Young, K. E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Trainer, M. E.

    2018-02-01

    The Deep Space Gateway could uniquely enable a lunar robotic sampling campaign that would provide incredible science return as well as feed forward to Mars and Europa by testing instrument sterility and ability to distinguish biogenic signals.

  1. Extraterrestrial Life: Life on Mars - Then and Now

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrhenius, Gustaf; Mojzsis, Stephen

    1996-01-01

    The recent claim to have identified possible signs of ancient life on Mars has been widely publicized and discussed. The authors conceded that none of the half-dozen pieces of evidence adduced in their paper individually provided strong support for extraterrestrial life, though they argued that the pieces added up to a case worth considering. Most - perhaps all - of the observed phenomena have counterparts in the inorganic world, so even the combination does not make a compelling case that there was ever life on Mars. Nevertheless, the importance of the problem has justified bringing the results to general attention. The paper has focussed interest on the origin and possible ubiquity of life, and on how we can design techniques capable of giving a more definitive answer to the question of whether there is, or has ever been, life elsewhere in the Universe.

  2. Model systems for life processes on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitz, M. A.

    1974-01-01

    In the evolution of life forms nonphotosynthetic mechanisms are developed. The question remains whether a total life system could evolve which is not dependent upon photosynthesis. In trying to visualize life on other planets, the photosynthetic process has problems. On Mars, the high intensity of light at the surface is a concern and alternative mechanisms need to be defined and analyzed. In the UV search for alternate mechanisms, several different areas may be identified. These involve activated inorganic compounds in the atmosphere, such as the products of photodissociation of carbon dioxide and the organic material which may be created by natural phenomena. In addition, a life system based on the pressure of the atmospheric constituents, such as carbon dioxide, is a possibility. These considerations may be important for the understanding of evolutionary processes of life on another planet. Model systems which depend on these alternative mechanisms are defined and related to presently planned and future planetary missions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  4. A Study of Parallels Between Antarctica South Pole Traverse Equipment and Lunar/Mars Surface Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Robert P.; Hoffman, Stephen, J.; Thur, Paul

    2010-01-01

    The parallels between an actual Antarctica South Pole re-supply traverse conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs in 2009 have been studied with respect to the latest mission architecture concepts being generated by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for lunar and Mars surface systems scenarios. The challenges faced by both endeavors are similar since they must both deliver equipment and supplies to support operations in an extreme environment with little margin for error in order to be successful. By carefully and closely monitoring the manifesting and operational support equipment lists which will enable this South Pole traverse, functional areas have been identified. The equipment required to support these functions will be listed with relevant properties such as mass, volume, spare parts and maintenance schedules. This equipment will be compared to space systems currently in use and projected to be required to support equivalent and parallel functions in Lunar and Mars missions in order to provide a level of realistic benchmarking. Space operations have historically required significant amounts of support equipment and tools to operate and maintain the space systems that are the primary focus of the mission. By gaining insight and expertise in Antarctic South Pole traverses, space missions can use the experience gained over the last half century of Antarctic operations in order to design for operations, maintenance, dual use, robustness and safety which will result in a more cost effective, user friendly, and lower risk surface system on the Moon and Mars. It is anticipated that the U.S Antarctic Program (USAP) will also realize benefits for this interaction with NASA in at least two areas: an understanding of how NASA plans and carries out its missions and possible improved efficiency through factors such as weight savings, alternative technologies, or modifications in training and

  5. An Accelerated Development, Reduced Cost Approach to Lunar/Mars Exploration Using a Modular NTR-Based Space Transportation System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, S.; Clark, J.; Sefcik, R.; Corban, R.; Alexander, S.

    1995-01-01

    The results of integrated systems and mission studies are presented which quantify the benefits and rationale for developing a common, modular lunar/Mars space transportation system (STS) based on nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) technology. At present NASA's Exploration Program Office (ExPO) is considering chemical propulsion for an 'early return to the Moon' and NTR propulsion for the more demanding Mars missions to follow. The time and cost to develop these multiple systems are expected to be significant. The Nuclear Propulsion Office (NPO) has examined a variety of lunar and Mars missions and heavy lift launch vehicle (HLLV) options in an effort to determine a 'standardized' set of engine and stage components capable of satisfying a wide range of Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) missions. By using these components in a 'building block' fashion, a variety of single and multi-engine lunar and Mars vehicles can be configured. For NASA's 'First Lunar Outpost' (FLO) mission, an expendable NTR stage powered by two 50 klbf engines can deliver approximately 96 metric tons (t) to translunar injection (TLI) conditions for an initial mass in low earth orbit (IMLEO) of approximately 198 t compared to 250 t for a cryogenic chemical TLI stage. The NTR stage liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank has a 10 m diameter, 14.5 m length, and 66 t LH2 capacity. The NTR utilizes a UC-ZrC-graphite 'composite' fuel with a specific impulse (Isp) capability of approximately 900 s and an engine thrust-to-weight ratio of approximately 4.3. By extending the size and LH2 capacity of the lunar NTR stage to approximately 20 m and 96 t, respectively, a single launch Mars cargo vehicle capable of delivering approximately 50 t of surface payload is possible. Three 50 klbf NTR engines and the two standardized LH2 tank sizes developed for lunar and Mars cargo vehicle applications would be used to configure the Mars piloted vehicle for a mission as early as 2010. The paper describes the features of the 'common

  6. Foundations for the post 2030 space economy: Cislunar and lunar infrastructure, Moon Village, Mars and planetary missions as markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldavs, Vid; Dunlop, David; Crisafulli, Jim; Bernard, Foing

    2016-04-01

    Introduction: The International Lunar Decade (ILD)[1] is a framework for international collaboration from 2020 to 2030 to achieve the ultimate goal in space -- to open the space frontier. Key to opening a frontier is the capacity to "live off the land" through in situ resource utilization (ISRU). Activities in space will remain limited to exploration until ISRU becomes possible on an industrial scale. ISRU, the mining and use of resources on the Moon, asteroids, comets and other cosmic bodies will enable the opening of the space frontier for permanent occupancy and settlement. The capacity for ISRU creates the basis for a space economy where products and services are traded for resources, and increasingly sophisticated products can be produced from mined resources to help sustain life indefinitely. Enabling ISRU will require infrastructure - energy, transportation, and communications systems, as well as navigation, storage and other support services. However, regolith or other lunar/asteroid material will remain regolith until converted to a form useful to customers that will enable the development of markets. NASA's Mars journey, various planetary missions, and emerging operations on the lunar surface and at EML1 and EML2 will provide initial markets for ISRU. This paper will explore a scenario explaining how a self-sustaining space economy can be achieved by 2030, what kind of infrastructure will need to be developed, the role of NASA's Mars Journey in the creation of markets for ISRU, and the role of private-public partnership for financing the various building blocks of a self-sustaining space economy. Also dis-cussed will be the potential for a Moon Village to serve as a formative structure for the nucleation of elements of an emerging space economy, including its potential role as a forum for actors to play a role in the development of governance mechanisms that eventually would enable commercial and industrial development of the Moon. References: [1] Beldavs

  7. Atmospheric energy for subsurface life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, B. P.; Yung, Y. L.; Nealson, K. H.

    2000-01-01

    The location and density of biologically useful energy sources on Mars will limit the biomass, spatial distribution, and organism size of any biota. Subsurface Martian organisms could be supplied with a large energy flux from the oxidation of photochemically produced atmospheric H(2) and CO diffusing into the regolith. However, surface abundance measurements of these gases demonstrate that no more than a few percent of this available flux is actually being consumed, suggesting that biological activity driven by atmospheric H(2) and CO is limited in the top few hundred meters of the subsurface. This is significant because the available but unused energy is extremely large: for organisms at 30-m depth, it is 2,000 times previous estimates of hydrothermal and chemical weathering energy and far exceeds the energy derivable from other atmospheric gases. This also implies that the apparent scarcity of life on Mars is not attributable to lack of energy. Instead, the availability of liquid water may be a more important factor limiting biological activity because the photochemical energy flux can only penetrate to 100- to 1,000-m depth, where most H(2)O is probably frozen. Because both atmospheric and Viking lander soil data provide little evidence for biological activity, the detection of short-lived trace gases will probably be a better indicator of any extant Martian life.

  8. What Questions Should We ask About the Health Effect of Mars Dust? Lessons from the Lunar Dust Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerschmann, R. L.

    2017-06-01

    The toxicology of lunar dust has been studied over the last decade and standards set by NASA for exposure. This summary reviews that data and proposes to reapply the strategy employed there to future research on the health effects of Mars dust.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiss, Johannes; Rossi, Angelo Pio

    2013-11-01

    terrestrial planets, including Mars and possibly early Earth. The Moon holds a historic record of Galactic cosmic-ray intensity, solar wind composition and fluxes and composition of solids of any size in the region of the terrestrial planets. Some of this record has been deciphered. Secular mixing of the Sun was constrained by determining 3He/4He of solar wind helium stored in lunar fines and ancient breccias. For checking the presumed constancy of the impact rate over the past ≈3.1 Ga, samples of the youngest mare basalts would be needed for determining their radiometric ages. Radiometric dating and stratigraphy has revealed that many of the large basins on the near side of the Moon were created by impacts about 4.1 to 3.8 Ga ago. The apparent clustering of ages called "Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB)" is thought to result from migration of planets several 100 million years after their accretion. The bombardment, unexpectedly late in solar system history, must have had a devastating effect on the atmosphere, hydrosphere and habitability on Earth during and following this epoch, but direct traces of this bombardment have been eradicated on our planet by plate tectonics. Indirect evidence about the course of bombardment during this epoch on Earth must therefore come from the lunar record, especially from additional data on the terminal phase of the LHB. For this purpose, documented samples are required for measuring precise radiometric ages of the Orientale Basin and the Nectaris and/or Fecunditatis Basins in order to compare these ages with the time of the earliest traces of life on Earth. A crater count chronology is presently being built up for planet Mars and its surface features. The chronology is based on the established lunar chronology whereby differences between the impact rates for Moon and Mars are derived from local fluxes and impact energies of projectiles. Direct calibration of the Martian chronology will have to come from radiometric ages and cosmic-ray exposure

  10. Life Support for Deep Space and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Harry W.; Hodgson, Edward W.; Kliss, Mark H.

    2014-01-01

    How should life support for deep space be developed? The International Space Station (ISS) life support system is the operational result of many decades of research and development. Long duration deep space missions such as Mars have been expected to use matured and upgraded versions of ISS life support. Deep space life support must use the knowledge base incorporated in ISS but it must also meet much more difficult requirements. The primary new requirement is that life support in deep space must be considerably more reliable than on ISS or anywhere in the Earth-Moon system, where emergency resupply and a quick return are possible. Due to the great distance from Earth and the long duration of deep space missions, if life support systems fail, the traditional approaches for emergency supply of oxygen and water, emergency supply of parts, and crew return to Earth or escape to a safe haven are likely infeasible. The Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) maintenance approach used by ISS is unsuitable for deep space with ORU's as large and complex as those originally provided in ISS designs because it minimizes opportunities for commonality of spares, requires replacement of many functional parts with each failure, and results in substantial launch mass and volume penalties. It has become impractical even for ISS after the shuttle era, resulting in the need for ad hoc repair activity at lower assembly levels with consequent crew time penalties and extended repair timelines. Less complex, more robust technical approaches may be needed to meet the difficult deep space requirements for reliability, maintainability, and reparability. Developing an entirely new life support system would neglect what has been achieved. The suggested approach is use the ISS life support technologies as a platform to build on and to continue to improve ISS subsystems while also developing new subsystems where needed to meet deep space requirements.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

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

  12. Where on Mars Should We Search for Life?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  13. Why, from a Life Sciences Perspective, This Mission to Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

    Mars may have had water and life early in its history and this make it a key target for robotic and human exploration. Extensive human exploration of Mars will of necessity depend on life support systems that rely on agricultural plants. If current concept for recreating, a biosphere on Mars are implemented this would involve widespread use of plants, particularly species from Arctic and alpine environments.

  14. Life support approaches for Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drysdale, A. E.; Ewert, M. K.; Hanford, A. J.

    Life support approaches for Mars missions are evaluated using an equivalent system mass (ESM) approach, in which all significant costs are converted into mass units. The best approach, as defined by the lowest mission ESM, depends on several mission parameters, notably duration, environment and consequent infrastructure costs, and crew size, as well as the characteristics of the technologies which are available. Generally, for the missions under consideration, physicochemical regeneration is most cost effective. However, bioregeneration is likely to be of use for producing salad crops for any mission, for producing staple crops for medium duration missions, and for most food, air and water regeneration for long missions (durations of a decade). Potential applications of in situ resource utilization need to be considered further.

  15. Exploration Life Support Technology Development for Lunar Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewert, Michael K.; Barta, Daniel J.; McQuillan, Jeffrey

    2009-01-01

    Exploration Life Support (ELS) is one of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Projects. ELS plans, coordinates and implements the development of new life support technologies for human exploration missions as outlined in NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. ELS technology development currently supports three major projects of the Constellation Program - the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the Altair Lunar Lander and Lunar Surface Systems. ELS content includes Air Revitalization Systems (ARS), Water Recovery Systems (WRS), Waste Management Systems (WMS), Habitation Engineering, Systems Integration, Modeling and Analysis (SIMA), and Validation and Testing. The primary goal of the ELS project is to provide different technology options to Constellation which fill gaps or provide substantial improvements over the state-of-the-art in life support systems. Since the Constellation missions are so challenging, mass, power, and volume must be reduced from Space Shuttle and Space Station technologies. Systems engineering analysis also optimizes the overall architecture by considering all interfaces with the life support system and potential for reduction or reuse of resources. For long duration missions, technologies which aid in closure of air and water loops with increased reliability are essential as well as techniques to minimize or deal with waste. The ELS project utilizes in-house efforts at five NASA centers, aerospace industry contracts, Small Business Innovative Research contracts and other means to develop advanced life support technologies. Testing, analysis and reduced gravity flight experiments are also conducted at the NASA field centers. This paper gives a current status of technologies under development by ELS and relates them to the Constellation customers who will eventually use them.

  16. Mars exploration program analysis group goal one: determine if life ever arose on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori M; Westall, Frances

    2010-11-01

    The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) maintains a standing document that articulates scientific community goals, objectives, and priorities for mission-enabled Mars science. Each of the goals articulated within the document is periodically revisited and updated. The astrobiology-related Goal One, "Determine if life ever arose on Mars," has recently undergone such revision. The finalized revision, which appears in the version of the MEPAG Goals Document posted on September 24, 2010, is presented here.

  17. Nontronite and Montmorillonite as Nutrient Sources for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, P. I.; Mickol, R. L.; Archer, P. D.; Kral, T. A.

    2017-01-01

    Clay minerals have been identified on Mars' oldest (Noachian) terrain and their presence suggests long-term water-rock interactions. The most commonly identified clay minerals on Mars to date are nontronite (Fe-smectite) and montmorillonite (Al-smectite) [1], both of which contain variable amounts of water both adsorbed on their surface and within their structural layers. Over Mars' history, these clay miner-al-water assemblages may have served as nutrient sources for microbial life.

  18. 100 kWe lunar/Mars surface power utilizing the SP-100 reactor with dynamic conversion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harty, R.B.; Mason, L.S.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports on an integration study which was performed coupling an SP-100 reactor with either a Brayton of Stirling power conversion subsystem. a power level of 100 kWe was selected for the study. The power system was to be compatible with both the lunar and Mars surface environment and require no site preparation. In addition, the reactor was to have integral shielding and be completely self-contained, including its own auxiliary power for start-up. Initial reliability studies were performed to determine power conversion redundancy and engine module size. For the lunar environment, the reactor and primary coolant loop would be contained in a guard vessel to protect from a loss of primary loop containment. For the Mars environment, all refractory components including the reactor, primary coolant, and power conversion components would be contained in a vacuum vessel for protection against the CO 2 environment

  19. Searching for Life on Mars Before It Is Too Late.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairén, Alberto G; Parro, Victor; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Whyte, Lyle

    2017-10-01

    Decades of robotic exploration have confirmed that in the distant past, Mars was warmer and wetter and its surface was habitable. However, none of the spacecraft missions to Mars have included among their scientific objectives the exploration of Special Regions, those places on the planet that could be inhabited by extant martian life or where terrestrial microorganisms might replicate. A major reason for this is because of Planetary Protection constraints, which are implemented to protect Mars from terrestrial biological contamination. At the same time, plans are being drafted to send humans to Mars during the 2030 decade, both from international space agencies and the private sector. We argue here that these two parallel strategies for the exploration of Mars (i.e., delaying any efforts for the biological reconnaissance of Mars during the next two or three decades and then directly sending human missions to the planet) demand reconsideration because once an astronaut sets foot on Mars, Planetary Protection policies as we conceive them today will no longer be valid as human arrival will inevitably increase the introduction of terrestrial and organic contaminants and that could jeopardize the identification of indigenous martian life. In this study, we advocate for reassessment over the relationships between robotic searches, paying increased attention to proactive astrobiological investigation and sampling of areas more likely to host indigenous life, and fundamentally doing this in advance of manned missions. Key Words: Contamination-Earth Mars-Planetary Protection-Search for life (biosignatures). Astrobiology 17, 962-970.

  20. On the possibility of life on early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberbeck, V. R.; Fogleman, G.

    1990-01-01

    Prebiotic reactants, liquid water, and temperatures low enough for organic compounds to be stable are requirements for the origination of life as we know it. Prebiotic reactants and sufficiently low temperatures were present on Mars before liquid water vanished. Early in this time period, however, large planetesimal impacts may have periodically sterilized Mars, pyrolyzed organic compounds, and interrupted chemical origination of life. However, the calculated time interval between such impacts on Mars was larger just before liquid water vanished 3.8 Gyr (billion years) ago than it was on earth just before life originated. Therefore, there should have been sufficient time for life to originate on Mars. Ideal sites to search for microfossils are in the heavily cratered terrain of Upper Noachian age. Craters and channels in this terrain may have been the sites of ancient lakes and streams that could have provided habitats for the first microorganisms.

  1. A Comparison of Fission Power System Options for Lunar and Mars Surface Applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents a comparison of reactor and power conversion design options for 50 kWe class lunar and Mars surface power applications with scaling from 25 to 200 kWe. Design concepts and integration approaches are provided for three reactor-converter combinations: gas-cooled Brayton, liquid-metal Stirling, and liquid-metal thermoelectric. The study examines the mass and performance of low temperature, stainless steel based reactors and higher temperature refractory reactors. The preferred system implementation approach uses crew-assisted assembly and in-situ radiation shielding via installation of the reactor in an excavated hole. As an alternative, self-deployable system concepts that use earth-delivered, on-board radiation shielding are evaluated. The analyses indicate that among the 50 kWe stainless steel reactor options, the liquid-metal Stirling system provides the lowest mass at about 5300 kg followed by the gas-cooled Brayton at 5700 kg and the liquid-metal thermoelectric at 8400 kg. The use of a higher temperature, refractory reactor favors the gas-cooled Brayton option with a system mass of about 4200 kg as compared to the Stirling and thermoelectric options at 4700 kg and 5600 kg, respectively. The self-deployed concepts with on-board shielding result in a factor of two system mass increase as compared to the in-situ shielded concepts

  2. Early Mars: A Warm Wet Niche for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K.; McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keprta, Kathie L.; Clemett, Simon J.

    2010-01-01

    Exploration of Mars has begun to unveil the history of the planet. Combinations of remote sensing, in situ compositional measurements and photographic observations have shown Mars had a dynamic and active geologic evolution. Mars geologic evolution had conditions that were suitable for supporting life. A habitable planet must have water, carbon and energy sources along with a dynamic geologic past. Mars meets all of these requirements. The first 600 Ma of Martian history were ripe for life to develop because of the abundance of: (i) Water-as shown by carved canyons and oceans or lakes with the early presence of near surface water shown by precipitated carbonates in ALH84001, well-dated at approx.3.9 Ga, (ii) Energy from the original accretional processes, a molten core which generated a strong magnetic field leaving a permanent record in the early crust, active volcanism continuing throughout Martian history, and continuing impact processes, (iii) Carbon, water and a likely thicker atmosphere from extensive volcanic outgassing (i.e. H2O, CO2, CH4, CO, O2, N2, H2S, SO2, etc.) and (iv) crustal tectonics as revealed by faulting and possible plate movement reflected by the magnetic patterns in the crust [1]. The question arises: "Why would life not develop from these favorable conditions on Mars in its first 600 Ma?" During this period, environmental near-surface conditions on Mars were more favorable to life than at any later time. Standing bodies of water, precipitation and flowing surface water, and possibly abundant hydrothermal energy would favor the formation of early life. (Even if life developed elsewhere on Earth, Venus, or on other bodies-it was transported to Mars where surface conditions were suitable for life to evolve)

  3. Did Viking discover life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guaita, Cesare

    2017-08-01

    The last analytical results of SAM laboratory onboard of Curiosity offer a new insight on the interpretation of the Label Release (LR) experiment performed on Mars by the two Viking landers about 40 years ago. The fundamental action of perchlorate salt, able to decompose all organic compounds at high temperature ( > 300°C) is discussed.

  4. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Payment, Simone

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE): An Experimental Demonstration of Key Technologies for Searching for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol

    2004-01-01

    The discovery of near surface ground ice by the Mars Odyssey mission and the abundant evidence for recent Gulley features observed by the Mars Global Surveyor mission support longstanding theoretical arguments for subsurface liquid water on Mars. Thus, implementing the Mars program goal to search for life points to drilling on Mars to reach liquid water, collecting samples and analyzing them with instrumentation to detect in situ organisms and biomarker compounds. Searching for life in the subsurface of Mars will require drilling, sample extraction and handling, and new technologies to find and identify biomarker compounds and search for living organisms.

  6. Survival of methanogens during desiccation: implications for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendrick, Michael G; Kral, Timothy A

    2006-08-01

    The relatively recent discoveries that liquid water likely existed on the surface of past Mars and that methane currently exists in the martian atmosphere have fueled the possibility of extant or extinct life on Mars. One possible explanation for the existence of the methane would be the presence of methanogens in the subsurface. Methanogens are microorganisms in the domain Archaea that can metabolize molecular hydrogen as an energy source and carbon dioxide as a carbon source and produce methane. One factor of importance is the arid nature of Mars, at least at the surface. If one is to assume that life exists below the surface, then based on the only example of life that we know, liquid water must be present. Realistically, however, that liquid water may be seasonal just as it is at some locations on our home planet. Here we report on research designed to determine how long certain species of methanogens can survive desiccation on a Mars soil simulant, JSC Mars-1. Methanogenic cells were grown on JSC Mars-1, transferred to a desiccator within a Coy anaerobic environmental chamber, and maintained there for varying time periods. Following removal from the desiccator and rehydration, gas chromatographic measurements of methane indicated survival for varying time periods. Methanosarcina barkeri survived desiccation for 10 days, while Methanobacterium formicicum and Methanothermobacter wolfeii were able to survive for 25 days.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Stoker, Carol R.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palkovic, Lawrence A.; Wilson, Thomas J.

    2005-01-01

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

  9. Searching for Life on Early Mars: Lessons from the Pilbara

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, J. D. A.; Stoker, C. R.

    2016-01-01

    Stromatolites in the Pilbara region of Western Australia constitute the earliest outcrop-scale evidence of life on Earth (Figure 1). The stromatolites in the 3.4 Ga Strelley Pool Formation (SPF) provide an important analog for searching for fossil evidence of early life on Mars, as Noachian aged sediments on Mars were formed under similar environmental conditions. Stromatolites represent possibly the best evidence that could be collected by a rover because they form recognizable macroscopic structures and are often associated with chemical and microscopic evidence.

  10. The water treatment and recycling in 105-day bioregenerative life support experiment in the Lunar Palace 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Beizhen; Zhu, Guorong; Liu, Bojie; Su, Qiang; Deng, Shengda; Yang, Lige; Liu, Guanghui; Dong, Chen; Wang, Minjuan; Liu, Hong

    2017-11-01

    In the bioregenerative life support system (BLSS), water recycling is one of the essential issues. The Lunar Palace 1, a ground-based bioregenerative life support system experimental facility, has been developed by our team and a 105-day closed bioregenerative life support experiment with multi-crew involved has been accomplished within this large-scale facility. During the 105-day experiment, activated carbon-absorption/ultra-filtration, membrane-biological activated carbon reactor and reduced pressure distillation technology have been used to purify the condensate water, sanitary & kitchen wastewater and urine, respectively. The results demonstrated that the combination of those technologies can achieve 100% regeneration of the water inside the Lunar Palace 1. The purified condensate water (the clean water) could meet the standards for drinking water quality in China (GB5749-2006). The treatment capacity of the membrane-biological activated carbon reactor for sanitary & kitchen wastewater could reach 150 kg/d. During the 105-d experiment, the average volume loading of the bioreactor was 0.441 kgCOD/(m3d), and the average COD removal efficiency was about 85.3%. The quality of the purified sanitary & kitchen wastewater (the greywater) could meet the standards for irrigation water quality (GB 5084-2005). In addition, during the 105-day experiment, the total excreted urine volume of three crew members was 346 L and the contained water was totally treated and recovered. The removal efficiency of ion from urine was about 88.12%. Moreover, partial nitrogen within the urine was recovered as well and the average recovery ratio was about 20.5%. The study laid a foundation for the water recycling technologies which could be used in BLSS for lunar or Mars bases.

  11. The Last Possible Outposts for Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davila, Alfonso F; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2016-02-01

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

  12. Human presence impacts fungal diversity of inflated lunar/Mars analog habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blachowicz, A; Mayer, T; Bashir, M; Pieber, T R; De León, P; Venkateswaran, K

    2017-07-11

    An inflatable lunar/Mars analog habitat (ILMAH), simulated closed system isolated by HEPA filtration, mimics International Space Station (ISS) conditions and future human habitation on other planets except for the exchange of air between outdoor and indoor environments. The ILMAH was primarily commissioned to measure physiological, psychological, and immunological characteristics of human inhabiting in isolation, but it was also available for other studies such as examining its microbiological aspects. Characterizing and understanding possible changes and succession of fungal species is of high importance since fungi are not only hazardous to inhabitants but also deteriorate the habitats. Observing the mycobiome changes in the presence of human will enable developing appropriate countermeasures with reference to crew health in a future closed habitat. Succession of fungi was characterized utilizing both traditional and state-of-the-art molecular techniques during the 30-day human occupation of the ILMAH. Surface samples were collected at various time points and locations to observe both the total and viable fungal populations of common environmental and opportunistic pathogenic species. To estimate the cultivable fungal population, potato dextrose agar plate counts method was utilized. The internal transcribed spacer region-based iTag Illumina sequencing was employed to measure the community structure and fluctuation of the mycobiome over time in various locations. Treatment of samples with propidium monoazide (PMA; a DNA intercalating dye for selective detection of viable microbial populations) had a significant effect on the microbial diversity compared to non-PMA-treated samples. Statistical analysis confirmed that viable fungal community structure changed (increase in diversity and decrease in fungal burden) over the occupation time. Samples collected at day 20 showed distinct fungal profiles from samples collected at any other time point (before or after

  13. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs" included the following:Physical Meaning of the Hapke Parameter for Macroscopic Roughness: Experimental Determination for Planetary Regolith Surface Analogs and Numerical Approach; Near-Infrared Spectra of Martian Pyroxene Separates: First Results from Mars Spectroscopy Consortium; Anomalous Spectra of High-Ca Pyroxenes: Correlation Between Ir and M ssbauer Patterns; THEMIS-IR Emissivity Spectrum of a Large Dark Streak near Olympus Mons; Geomorphologic/Thermophysical Mapping of the Athabasca Region, Mars, Using THEMIS Infrared Imaging; Mars Thermal Inertia from THEMIS Data; Multispectral Analysis Methods for Mapping Aqueous Mineral Depostis in Proposed Paleolake Basins on Mars Using THEMIS Data; Joint Analysis of Mars Odyssey THEMIS Visible and Infrared Images: A Magic Airbrush for Qualitative and Quantitative Morphology; Analysis of Mars Thermal Emission Spectrometer Data Using Large Mineral Reference Libraries ; Negative Abundance : A Problem in Compositional Modeling of Hyperspectral Images; Mars-LAB: First Remote Sensing Data of Mineralogy Exposed at Small Mars-Analog Craters, Nevada Test Site; A Tool for the 2003 Rover Mini-TES: Downwelling Radiance Compensation Using Integrated Line-Sight Sky Measurements; Learning About Mars Geology Using Thermal Infrared Spectral Imaging: Orbiter and Rover Perspectives; Classifying Terrestrial Volcanic Alteration Processes and Defining Alteration Processes they Represent on Mars; Cemented Volcanic Soils, Martian Spectra and Implications for the Martian Climate; Palagonitic Mars: A Basalt Centric View of Surface Composition and Aqueous Alteration; Combining a Non Linear Unmixing Model and the Tetracorder Algorithm: Application to the ISM Dataset; Spectral Reflectance Properties of Some Basaltic Weathering Products; Morphometric LIDAR Analysis of Amboy Crater, California: Application to MOLA Analysis of Analog Features on Mars; Airborne Radar Study of Soil Moisture at

  14. Life on Mars: Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keptra, Katie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Spencer, Lauren; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    New data on martian meteorite 84001 as well as new experimental studies show that thermal or shock decomposition of carbonate, the leading alternative non-biologic explanation for the unusual nanophase magnetite found in this meteorite, cannot explain the chemistry of the actual martian magnetites. This leaves the biogenic explanation as the only remaining viable hypothesis for the origin of these unique magnetites. Additional data from two other martian meteorites show a suite of biomorphs which are nearly identical between meteorites recovered from two widely different terrestrial environments (Egyptian Nile bottomlands and Antarctic ice sheets). This similarity argues against terrestrial processes as the cause of these biomorphs and supports an origin on Mars for these features.

  15. Beagle 2: Seeking the signatures of life on Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Gibson Jr., E. K.; Pillinger, Colin T.; Wright, Ian P.; Morse, Andy; Stewart, Jenny; Morgan, G.; Praine, Ian; Leigh, Dennis; Sims, Mark R.; Pullan, Derek

    2003-01-01

    ESA's Beagle 2 lander will land on Mars to search for signatures of present and past life. A Gas Analysis Package (GAP) with a mass spectrometer, XRF, Mossbauer, stereo cameras, microscope, environmental sensors, rock corer/grinder, and a Mole attachment are on the lander.

  16. Life on Mars: Headteachers before the National College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunter, Helen M.; Thomson, Patricia

    2010-01-01

    In the hit BBC TV drama "Life on Mars" Sam Tyler had an accident and woke up in 1973. Is he mad, in a coma or actually back in time? As the drama unfolds he experiences a world without performance audits but also one without the safeguards for arrest, detention and the interviewing of suspects mandated by the Police and Criminal Evidence…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. The implantation of life on Mars - Feasibility and motivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynes, Robert H.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1992-01-01

    Scientific concepts are reviewed regarding the potential formation and development of a life-bearing environment on Mars, and a potential ecopoiesis scenario is given. The development of the earth's biosphere is defined, and the major assumptions related to the formation of Martian life are listed. Three basic phases are described for the life-implantation concept which include determining whether sufficient quantities of volatiles are available, engineering the warming of the planet, and implanting microbial communities if necessary. Warming the planet theoretically releases liquid H2O and produces a thick CO2 atmosphere, and the implantation of biological communities is only necessary if no indigenous microbes emerge. It is concluded that a feasibility study is required to assess the possibilities of implanting life on Mars more concretely.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Alavipanah

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  1. Viking mission and the search for life on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klein, H.P.

    1979-01-01

    Results of the Viking experiments to search for life on Mars are reviewed. Search for metabolic processes was made with a pyrolytic release experiment which required synthesis of organic material from CO or CO 2 . A gas exchange experiment looked for the production of oxidized and reduced gases. The labeled release experiment required decomposition of simple organic molecules with the release of a carbon gas. Results and their implications are discussed

  2. MoonMars Astronaut and CapCom Protocols: ESTEC and LunAres PMAS Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Authier, L.; Blanc, A.; Foing, B. H.; Lillo, A.; Evellin, P.; Kołodziejczyk, A.; Heinicke, C.; Harasymczuk, M.; Chahla, C.; Tomic, A.; Hettrich, S.; PMAS Astronauts

    2017-10-01

    ILEWG developed since 2008 a Mobile Laboratory Habitat (ExoHab) at ESTEC which was tested during a short simulation in July. It was a foretaste of the PMAS mission on 31 July-14 August in LunAres base at Pila, with mission control in Torun, Poland.

  3. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology: Analogs and Applications to the Search for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Astrobiology: Analogs and Applications to the Search for Life" included the folowing reports:The Search for Life on Mars Using Macroscopically Visible Microbial Mats (Stromatolites) in 3.5/3.3 Ga Cherts from the Pilbara in Australia and Barberton in South Africa as Analogues; Life in a Mars Analog: Microbial Activity Associated with Carbonate Cemented Lava Breccias from NW Spitsbergen; Groundwater-fed Iron-rich Microbial Mats in a Freshwater Creek: Growth Cycles and Fossilization Potential of Microbial Features; Episodic Fossilization of Microorganisms on an Annual Timescale in an Anthropogenically Modified Natural Environment: Geochemical Controls and Implications for Astrobiology; Proterozoic Microfossils and Their Implications for Recognizing Life on Mars; Microbial Alteration of Volcanic Glass in Modern and Ancient Oceanic Crust as a Proxy for Studies of Extraterrestrial Material ; Olivine Alteration on Earth and Mars; Searching for an Acidic Aquifer in the R!o Tinto Basin. First Geobiology Results of MARTE Project; In-Field Testing of Life Detection Instruments and Protocols in a Mars Analogue Arctic Environment; Habitability of the Shallow Subsurface on Mars: Clues from the Meteorites; Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE): 2003 Drilling Campaign to Search for a Subsurface Biosphere at Rio Tinto Spain; Characterization of the Organic Matter in an Archean Chert (Warrawoona, Australia); and The Solfatara Crater, Italy: Characterization of Hydrothermal Deposits, Biosignatures and Their Astrobiological Implication.

  4. In Situ Techniques for Life Detection on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, L.; Brinckerhoff, W.; Cotter, R.

    2006-12-01

    The search for organic matter on Mars is rapidly emerging as a result of technological advancements and the study of early "life" on our own planet. As we learned from the Viking missions and the examination of martian meteorites, the criteria for establishing life require the appropriate strategy. One such approach would require careful mapping of the surface from orbit for the selection of the appropriate landing sites, robotic space missions equipped with several life detection in situ techniques for selection of samples, and sample return missions for additional verification of in situ results and laboratory measurements. It may, however, be possible to obtain critical information about the organic matter and associated mineral assemblages present on Mars, in situ, in a single measurement that is both capable of flight and is nondestructive to the sample. We discuss a new multi-source mass spectrometer, `MOMA' (Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer) that incorporates multiple methods of volatilizing and ionizing chemical compounds from intact samples without further processing or manipulation. Moreover, MOMA is capable of detecting a broad range of organics enabling the evaluation of the origin of the organics and the presence of terrestrial contaminants.

  5. Sustainable life support on Mars - the potential roles of cyanobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verseux, Cyprien; Baqué, Mickael; Lehto, Kirsi; de Vera, Jean-Pierre P.; Rothschild, Lynn J.; Billi, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    Even though technological advances could allow humans to reach Mars in the coming decades, launch costs prohibit the establishment of permanent manned outposts for which most consumables would be sent from Earth. This issue can be addressed by in situ resource utilization: producing part or all of these consumables on Mars, from local resources. Biological components are needed, among other reasons because various resources could be efficiently produced only by the use of biological systems. But most plants and microorganisms are unable to exploit Martian resources, and sending substrates from Earth to support their metabolism would strongly limit the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of their cultivation. However, resources needed to grow specific cyanobacteria are available on Mars due to their photosynthetic abilities, nitrogen-fixing activities and lithotrophic lifestyles. They could be used directly for various applications, including the production of food, fuel and oxygen, but also indirectly: products from their culture could support the growth of other organisms, opening the way to a wide range of life-support biological processes based on Martian resources. Here we give insights into how and why cyanobacteria could play a role in the development of self-sustainable manned outposts on Mars.

  6. Developing Ultra Reliable Life Support for the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Harry W.

    2009-01-01

    Recycling life support systems can achieve ultra reliability by using spares to replace failed components. The added mass for spares is approximately equal to the original system mass, provided the original system reliability is not very low. Acceptable reliability can be achieved for the space shuttle and space station by preventive maintenance and by replacing failed units, However, this maintenance and repair depends on a logistics supply chain that provides the needed spares. The Mars mission must take all the needed spares at launch. The Mars mission also must achieve ultra reliability, a very low failure rate per hour, since it requires years rather than weeks and cannot be cut short if a failure occurs. Also, the Mars mission has a much higher mass launch cost per kilogram than shuttle or station. Achieving ultra reliable space life support with acceptable mass will require a well-planned and extensive development effort. Analysis must define the reliability requirement and allocate it to subsystems and components. Technologies, components, and materials must be designed and selected for high reliability. Extensive testing is needed to ascertain very low failure rates. Systems design should segregate the failure causes in the smallest, most easily replaceable parts. The systems must be designed, produced, integrated, and tested without impairing system reliability. Maintenance and failed unit replacement should not introduce any additional probability of failure. The overall system must be tested sufficiently to identify any design errors. A program to develop ultra reliable space life support systems with acceptable mass must start soon if it is to produce timely results for the moon and Mars.

  7. The Icebreaker Mission to Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C.; Mckay, C.; Brinckerhoff, W.; Davila, A.; Parro, V.; Quinn, R.

    2015-01-01

    The search for evidence of life on Mars is the ultimate motivation for its scientific exploration. The results from the Phoenix mission indicate that the high N. latitude ice-rich regolith at low elevations is likely to be a recently habitable place on Mars [Stoker et al., 2010]. The near-surface ice likely provided adequate water activity during periods of high obliquity, 3 to 10 Myr ago. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen are present in the atmosphere, and nitrates may be present in the soil. Together with iron in basaltic rocks and perchlorate in the soil they provide carbon and energy sources, and oxidative power to drive metabolism. Furthermore, the presence of organics is possible, as thermally reactive perchlorate would have prevented their detection by Viking and Phoenix. The Mars Icebreaker Life mission [McKay et al., 2013] focuses on the following science goals: (1) Search for biomolecular evidence of life; (2) Search for organic matter from either exogeneous or endogeneous sources using methods that are not effected by the presence of perchlorate; (3) Characterize oxidative species that produced reactivity of soils seen by Viking; and 4) Assess the habitability of the ice bearing soils. The Icebreaker Life payload (Figure 1) includes a 1-m rotary percussive drill that brings cuttings samples to the surface where they are delivered to three instruments (Fig. 1), the Signs of Life Detector (SOLID) [Parro et al., 2011] for biomolecular analysis, Laser Desorption Mass Spectrometer (LDMS) [??? 2015]) for broad spectrum organic analysis, and Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) [Hecht et al., 2009] for detecting soluble species of nutrients and reactive oxidants. The Icebreaker payload fits on the Phoenix spacecraft and can land at the well-characterized Phoe-nix landing site in 2020 in a Discovery-class mission.

  8. An Evidence-based Approach to Developing a Management Strategy for Medical Contingencies on the Lunar Surface: The NASA/Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) 2006 Lunar Medical Contingency Simulation at Devon Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheuring, R. A.; Jones, J. A.; Lee, P.; Comtois, J. M.; Chappell, S.; Rafiq, A.; Braham, S.; Hodgson, E.; Sullivan, P.; Wilkinson, N.; hide

    2007-01-01

    The lunar architecture for future sortie and outpost missions will require humans to serve on the lunar surface considerably longer than the Apollo moon missions. Although the Apollo crewmembers sustained few injuries during their brief lunar surface activity, injuries did occur and are a concern for the longer lunar stays. Interestingly, lunar medical contingency plans were not developed during Apollo. In order to develop an evidence-base for handling a medical contingency on the lunar surface, a simulation using the moon-Mars analog environment at Devon Island, Nunavut, high Canadian Arctic was conducted. Objectives of this study included developing an effective management strategy for dealing with an incapacitated crewmember on the lunar surface, establishing audio/visual and biomedical data connectivity to multiple centers, testing rescue/extraction hardware and procedures, and evaluating in suit increased oxygen consumption. Methods: A review of the Apollo lunar surface activities and personal communications with Apollo lunar crewmembers provided the knowledge base of plausible scenarios that could potentially injure an astronaut during a lunar extravehicular activity (EVA). Objectives were established to demonstrate stabilization and transfer of an injured crewmember and communication with ground controllers at multiple mission control centers. Results: The project objectives were successfully achieved during the simulation. Among these objectives were extraction from a sloped terrain by a two-member crew in a 1 g analog environment, establishing real-time communication to multiple centers, providing biomedical data to flight controllers and crewmembers, and establishing a medical diagnosis and treatment plan from a remote site. Discussion: The simulation provided evidence for the types of equipment and methods for performing extraction of an injured crewmember from a sloped terrain. Additionally, the necessary communications infrastructure to connect

  9. Evidence for Ancient Life in Mars Meteorites: Lessons Learned

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, D. S.

    1998-01-01

    The lines of evidence we first proposed as supporting a hypothesis of early life on Mars are discussed by Treiman, who presents pros and cons of our hypothesis in the light of subsequent research by many groups. Our assessment of the current status of the many controversies over our hypothesis is given in reports by Gibson et al. Rather than repeat or elaborate on that information, I prefer to take an overview and present what I think are some of the "lessons learned" by our team in particular, and by the science community in general.

  10. On the search for extant life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, H. P.

    1996-01-01

    Proposals for continuing the search for extant life on Mars are primarily predicated on the assumption that specialized environmental niches that could support a biota may exist on the planet. Before attempting any critical tests for extant organisms, either in situ or on returned samples, it is imperative to determine whether any such sites actually exist. If, through remote sensing and landed instrumentation, sites of potential biological interest are discovered and characterized, biological tests can then more effectively be planned to elicit the presence of organisms that are adapted to living in these particular environments.

  11. Life as a planetary phenomenon: the colonization of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, L.; Guerrero, R.

    1995-01-01

    Life is a planet-wide phenomenon in which its components incessantly move and interact. Life imperatively recycles its parts at the surface of the Earth in a chemical transformation and physical transport that depends utterly on the energy from a recent star, the Sun. Humanity, entirely dependent on other beings, plays a recent and relatively small part in the great phenomenon of life that transports and transforms the surface of the Earth. Our species accelerates but does not dominate the metabolism of the Earth system. Ironically, during the Apollo days of the sixties, fears were rampant that Martian or other extraterrestrial "germs" might "contaminate" our planet. After Viking, such fears are seen as the manifestation of cultural paranoia. The Viking missions complemented ground-based astronomical observation and yielded definitive evidence for the lack of life on the red planet. The Gaia hypothesis states that the surface temperature, composition of the reactive gases, oxidation state, alkalinity-acidity on today's Earth are kept homeorrhetically at values set by the sum of the activities of the current biota. Life, in other words, not only produces and maintains its immediate environment, but appears on Earth only as a planetary phenomenon. Since the natural tendency of all life is to grow exponentially to fill proximal volume, the question now "can life ecopoietically expand to Mars?" is entirely equivalent to the query of "can Gaia reproduce?".

  12. Mars polar cap: a habitat for elementary life1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    2009-04-01

    Ices in the Martian polar caps are potential habitats for various species of microorganisms. Salts in the ice and biological anti-freeze polymers maintain liquid in cracks in the ices far below 0°C, possibly down to the mean 220-240 K. Sub-surface microbial life is shielded from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, but could potentially be activated on south-facing slopes under the midday, midsummer Sun. Such life would be limited by low levels of vapour, little transport of nutrients, low light levels below a protective dirt-crust, frost accumulation at night and in shadows, and little if any active translocation of organisms. As in the Antarctic and in permafrost, movement to new habitats depends on geo-climatic changes, which for Mars's north polar cap occur on a 50 000 year scale, except for rare meteorite impacts.

  13. Exploring Mars for Evidence of Habitable Environments and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The climate of Mars has been more similar to that of Earth than has the climate of any other planet in our Solar System. But Mars still provides a valuable alternative example of how planetary processes and environments can affect the potential presence of life elsewhere. For example, although Mars also differentiated very early into a core, mantle and crust, it then evolved mostly if not completely without plate tectonics and has lost most of its early atmosphere. The Martian crust has been more stable than that of Earth, thus it has probably preserved a more complete record of its earliest history. Orbital observations determined that near-surface water was once pervasive. Orbiters have identified the following diverse aqueous sedimentary deposits: layered phyllosilicates, phyllosilicates in intracrater fans, plains sediments potentially harboring evaporitic minerals, deep phyllosilicates, carbonate-bearing deposits, intracrater clay-sulfate deposits, Meridiani-type layered deposits, valles-type layered deposits, hydrated silica-bearing deposits, and gypsum plains. These features, together with evidence of more vigorous past geologic activity, indicate that early climates were wetter and perhaps also somewhat warmer. The denser atmosphere that was required for liquid water to be stable on the surface also provided more substantial protection from radiation. Whereas ancient climates might have favored habitable environments at least in some localities, clearly much of the Martian surface for most of its history has been markedly less favorable for life. The combination of dry conditions, oxidizing surface environments and typically low rates of sedimentation are not conducive to the preservation of evidence of ancient environments and any biota. Thus a strategy is required whereby candidate sites are first identified and then characterized for their potential to preserve evidence of past habitable environments. Rovers are then sent to explore the most promising

  14. Power requirements assessment for lunar and Mars scientific and experimental payloads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kotas, J.F.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports on an evaluation of prospective scientific payloads and surface experiments for future manned missions to the moon and Mars which determined that overall mission objectives and requirements influence the selection of candidate power systems. A generic classification of these science missions was developed to examine these relationships. Scientific missions were defined for the four Synthesis Report architectures and cumulative power load and payload mix computed. Approximately half of all deployed science payloads were sited within the main surface outpost and powered by the central power generation facility. The remaining remote science payloads require either autonomous or smaller central power facilities

  15. Lunar horticulture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walkinshaw, C. H.

    1971-01-01

    Discussion of the role that lunar horticulture may fulfill in helping establish the life support system of an earth-independent lunar colony. Such a system is expected to be a hybrid between systems which depend on lunar horticulture and those which depend upon the chemical reclamation of metabolic waste and its resynthesis into nutrients and water. The feasibility of this approach has been established at several laboratories. Plants grow well under reduced pressures and with oxygen concentrations of less than 1% of the total pressure. The carbon dioxide collected from the lunar base personnel should provide sufficient gas pressure (approx. 100 mm Hg) for growing the plants.

  16. Detecting Life and Biology-Related Parameters on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Gilbet V.; Miller, Joseph D.; Straat, Patricia A.; Lodder, Robert; Hoover, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    An integrated, miniaturized, low-power instrument capable of the detection and early characterization of microbial life in the soil of Mars is proposed. Based on the detection apd monitoring of on-going metabolism as being the surest evidence for extant life, the experiments will probe for chirality in metabolism, for circadian rhythm, and for photosynthesis. However, the instrument package will also be able to detect biosignatures and a variety of other physical and chemical parameters of the Martian surface that have significance for life. These include the presence and the physical state of water, the existence of an oxidant, the pH and the penetrability of the soil. Using the legacy of the 1976 Viking Labeled Release (LR) life detection experiment in conjunction with state-of-the-art laser diode spectral analysis, the instrument can be flown stand-alone, with or without a rover, or as part of an MSL-type mission. Sterility for experiment integrity and for planetary protection is provided.

  17. The Viking mission search for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, H. P.; Lederberg, J.; Rich, A.; Horowitz, N. H.; Oyama, V. I.; Levin, G. V.

    1976-01-01

    The scientific payload on the Viking Mars landers is described. Shortly after landing, two facsimile cameras capable of stereoscopic imaging will scan the landing site area in black and white, color, and infrared to reveal gross evidence of past or present living systems. A wide range mass spectrometer will record a complete mass spectrum for soil samples from mass 12 to mass 200 every 10.3 sec. Three experiments based on different assumptions on the nature of life on Mars, if it exists, will be carried out by the bio-lab. A pyrolytic release experiment is designed to measure photosynthetic or dark fixation of carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide into organic compounds. A labelled release experiment will test for metabolic activity during incubation of a surface sample moistened with a solution of radioactively labelled simple organic compounds. A gas exchange experiment will detect changes in the gaseous medium surrounding a soil sample as the result of metabolic activity. The hardware, function, and terrestrial test results of the bio-lab experiments are discussed.

  18. Lunar Exploration Island, NASA’s Return to the Moon in Second Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ireton, F. M.; Bleacher, L.; Day, B.; Hsu, B. C.; Mitchell, B. K.

    2009-12-01

    Second Life is a metaverse—a massively multi-user virtual world (MMVR) community. With over 9 million users worldwide, there are 40,000-50,000 users on line at any one time. Second Life hosts over 200 educational and institutional simulation locations termed “islands” or sims that are developed by users providing support for education and business endeavors. On-line tools are provided to construct structures and landforms simulating a real world in a virtual three-dimensional environment. Users develop a persona and are seen on screen as a human figure or avatar. Avatars move in Second Life by walking, flying, or teleporting and interact with other users via text or voice chat. This poster details the design and creation of the Second Life exhibit hall for NASA’s Lunar Precursor Robotics Program and the LRO/LCROSS missions. The hall has been placed on the Lunar Exploration Island (LEI) in Second Life. Avatars enter via teleportation to an orientation room with information about the project, a simulator map, and other information. A central hall of flight houses exhibits pertaining to the LRO/ LCROSS missions and includes full size models of the two spacecraft and launch vehicle. Storyboards with information about the missions interpret the exhibits while links to external websites provide further information on the missions, both spacecraft instrument suites, and EPO directed to support the missions. The sim includes several sites for meetings, a conference amphitheater with a stage and screen for video links such as live broadcasts of conferences and speakers. A link is provided to NASATV for live viewing LRO/LCROSS launch and impact activities and other NASA events. Recently visitors have viewed the Hubble servicing mission and several shuttle launches as well as the LRO/LCROSS launch. Lunar Exploration Island in Second Life

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2017-10-01

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

  20. Multi-physics design and analyses of long life reactors for lunar outposts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schriener, Timothy M.

    Future human exploration of the solar system is likely to include establishing permanent outposts on the surface of the Moon. These outposts will require reliable sources of electrical power in the range of 10's to 100's of kWe to support exploration and resource utilization activities. This need is best met using nuclear reactor power systems which can operate steadily throughout the long ˜27.3 day lunar rotational period, irrespective of location. Nuclear power systems can potentially open up the entire lunar surface for future exploration and development. Desirable features of nuclear power systems for the lunar surface include passive operation, the avoidance of single point failures in reactor cooling and the integrated power system, moderate operating temperatures to enable the use of conventional materials with proven irradiation experience, utilization of the lunar regolith for radiation shielding and as a supplemental neutron reflector, and safe post-operation decay heat removal and storage for potential retrieval. In addition, it is desirable for the reactor to have a long operational life. Only a limited number of space nuclear reactor concepts have previously been developed for the lunar environment, and these designs possess only a few of these desirable design and operation features. The objective of this research is therefore to perform design and analyses of long operational life lunar reactors and power systems which incorporate the desirable features listed above. A long reactor operational life could be achieved either by increasing the amount of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel in the core or by improving the neutron economy in the reactor through reducing neutron leakage and parasitic absorption. The amount of fuel in surface power reactors is constrained by the launch safety requirements. These include ensuring that the bare reactor core remains safely subcritical when submerged in water or wet sand and flooded with seawater in the unlikely

  1. Field Simulation of a Drilling Mission to Mars to Search for Subsurface Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Lemke, L. G.; Cannon, H.; Glass, B.; Dunagan, S.; Zavaleta, J.; Miller, D.; Gomez-Elvira, J.

    2005-01-01

    The discovery of near surface ground ice by the Mars Odyssey mission and the abundant evidence for recent Gulley features observed by the Mars Global Surveyor mission support longstanding theoretical arguments for subsurface liquid water on Mars. Thus, implementing the Mars program goal to search for life points to drilling on Mars to reach liquid water, collecting samples and analyzing them with instrumentation to detect in situ organisms and biomarker compounds. Searching for life in the subsurface of Mars will require drilling, sample extraction and handling, and new technologies to find and identify biomarker compounds and search for living organisms. In spite of its obvious advantages, robotic drilling for Mars exploration is in its technological infancy and has yet to be demonstrated in even a terrestrial field environment.

  2. Fluid Expulsion, Habitability, and the Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2012-01-01

    Habitability assessments are critical for identifying settings in which potential biosignatures could exist in quantities large enough to be detected by rovers. Habitability depends on 1) the potential for long-lived liquid water, 2) conditions affording protection from surface processes destructive to organic biomolecules, and 3) a source of renewing nutrients and energy. Of these criteria, the latter is often overlooked. Here we present an analysis of a large "ghost" crater in northern Chryse Planitia [1] that appears to have satisfied each of these requirements, with several processes providing potential sources of nutrient/energy renewal [1-2]. This analysis can serve as a model for identifying other localities that could provide similarly favorable settings in which to seek evidence of life on Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  4. Special Exhibit on Meteorites and Minerals Associated with the Origin of Life on Earth or Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, R. B.

    2017-10-01

    This exhibit has been shown at eight conferences: 2014 Gordon Origin of Life, 2014 8th International Mars, 2015 2nd Mars2020 L S, 2016 Gordon Origin of Life, 2016 Biosignature, 2016 European Astrobiology, 2017 Exomars 2020 L S, 2017 AbSciCon.

  5. The Sample Handling System for the Mars Icebreaker Life Mission: from Dirt to Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dave, Arwen; Thompson, Sarah J.; McKay, Christopher P.; Stoker, Carol R.; Zacny, Kris; Paulsen, Gale; Mellerowicz, Bolek; Glass, Brian J.; Wilson, David; Bonaccorsi, Rosalba; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Mars icebreaker life mission will search for subsurface life on mars. It consists of three payload elements: a drill to retrieve soil samples from approx. 1 meter below the surface, a robotic sample handling system to deliver the sample from the drill to the instruments, and the instruments themselves. This paper will discuss the robotic sample handling system.

  6. Life Beyond the Planet of Origin and Implications for the Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    2015-01-01

    Outer space is vast, cold, devoid of matter, radiation filled with essentially no gravity. These factors present an environmental challenge for any form of life. Earth's biosphere has evolved for more than 3 billion years shielded from the hostile environment of outer space by the protective blanket of the atmosphere and magnetosphere. Space is a nutritional wasteland with no liquid water and readily available organic carbon. Moving beyond a life's planet of origin requires a means for transport, the ability to withstand transport, and the ability to colonize, thrive and ultimately evolve in the new environment. Can life survive beyond its home planet? The key to answering this question is to identify organisms that first have the ability to withstand space radiation, space vacuum desiccation and time in transit, and second the ability to grow in an alien environment. Within the last 60 years space technology allowed us to transport life beyond Earth's protective shield so we may study, in situ, their responses to selected conditions of space. To date a variety of microbes ranging from viruses, to Bacteria, to Archaea, to Eukarya have been tested in the space environment. Most died instantly, but not all. These studies revealed that ultraviolet radiation is the near-term lethal agent, while hard radiation is the long-term lethal agent when the organism is shielded from ultraviolet radiation. In fact, bacterial spores, halophilic cyanobacteria and Archaea as well as some lichens survive very well if protected from ultraviolet radiation [1]. Some microbes, then, may be able to survive the trip in outer space to Mars on a spacecraft or in a meteorite. Once on Mars can a terrestrial microbe survive? Although the conditions on Mars are not as harsh as those in space, they are not hospitable for a terrestrial microbe. Studies, however, have shown that certain microbes that can survive in space for several years may also be able to survive on Mars if protected from

  7. Potassium Rankine cycle power conversion systems for lunar-Mars surface power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holcomb, R.S.

    1992-01-01

    The potassium Rankine cycle has good potential for application to nuclear power systems for surface power on the moon and Mars. A substantial effort on the development of the power conversion system was carried out in the 1960's which demonstrated successful operation of components made of stainless steel at moderate temperatures. This technology could be applied in the near term to produce a 360 kW(e) power system by coupling a stainless steel power conversion system to the SP-100 reactor. Improved performance could be realized in later systems by utilizing niobium or tantalum refractory metal alloys in the reactor and power conversion system. The design characteristics and estimated mass of power systems for each of three technology levels are presented in the paper

  8. The Icebreaker Life Mission to Mars: A Search for Biomolecular Evidence for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Stoker, Carol R.; Glass, Brian J.; Dave, Arwen I.; Davila, Alfonso F.; Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Marinova, Margarita M.; Fairen, Alberto G; Quinn, Richard C; Zacny, Kris A.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The search for evidence of life on Mars is the primary motivation for the exploration of that planet. The results from previous missions, and the Phoenix mission in particular, indicate that the ice-cemented ground in the north polar plains is likely to be the most recently habitable place that is currently known on Mars. The near-surface ice likely provided adequate water activity during periods of high obliquity, 5 Myr ago. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen is present in the atmosphere, and nitrates may be present in the soil. Perchlorate in the soil together with iron in basaltic rock provides a possible energy source for life. Furthermore, the presence of organics must once again be considered, as the results of the Viking GCMS are now suspect given the discovery of the thermally reactive perchlorate. Ground-ice may provide a way to preserve organic molecules for extended periods of time, especially organic biomarkers. The Mars Icebreaker Life mission focuses on the following science goals: 1. Search for specific biomolecules that would be conclusive evidence of life. 2. A general search for organic molecules in the ground ice. 3. Determine the processes of ground ice formation and the role of liquid water. 4. Understand the mechanical properties of the Mars polar ice-cemented soil. 5. Assess the recent habitability of the environment with respect to required elements to support life, energy sources, and possible toxic elements. And 6. Compare the elemental composition of the northern plains with mid-latitude sites. The Icebreaker Life payload has been designed around the Phoenix spacecraft and is targeted to a site near the Phoenix landing site. However, the Icebreaker payload could be supported on other Mars landing systems. Preliminary studies of the SpaceX Dragon lander show that it could support the Icebreaker payload for a landing either at the Phoenix site or at mid-latitudes. Duplicate samples could be cached as a target for possible return by a Mars Sample

  9. Extension of the quantum-kinetic model to lunar and Mars return physics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liechty, D. S. [Aerothermodynamics Branch, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia 23681 (United States); Lewis, M. J. [Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742 (United States)

    2014-02-15

    The ability to compute rarefied, ionized hypersonic flows is becoming more important as missions such as Earth reentry, landing high-mass payloads on Mars, and the exploration of the outer planets and their satellites are being considered. A recently introduced molecular-level chemistry model, the quantum-kinetic, or Q-K, model that predicts reaction rates for gases in thermal equilibrium and non-equilibrium using only kinetic theory and fundamental molecular properties, is extended in the current work to include electronic energy level transitions and reactions involving charged particles. Like the Q-K procedures for neutral species chemical reactions, these new models are phenomenological procedures that aim to reproduce the reaction/transition rates but do not necessarily capture the exact physics. These engineering models are necessarily efficient due to the requirement to compute billions of simulated collisions in direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) simulations. The new models are shown to generally agree within the spread of reported transition and reaction rates from the literature for near equilibrium conditions.

  10. Integrated Bio-ISRU and Life Support Systems at the Lunar Outpost: Concept and Preliminary Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, I. I.; Garrison, D. H.; Allen, C. C.; Pickering, K.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Galindo, C., Jr.; Pan, D.; Foraker, E.; Mckay, D. S.

    2009-01-01

    We continue the development of our concept of a biotechnological loop for in-situ resource extraction along with propellant and food production at a future lunar outpost, based on the cultivation of litholytic cyanobacteria (LCB) with lunar regolith (LR) in a geobioreactor energized by sunlight. Our preliminary studies have shown that phototropic cultivation of LCB with simulants of LR in a low-mineralized medium supplemented with CO2 leads to rock dissolution (bioweathering) with the resulting accumulation of Fe, Mg and Al in cyanobacterial cells and in the medium. LCB cultivated with LR simulants produces more O2 than the same organisms cultivated in a high-mineralized medium. The loss of rock mass after bioweathering with LCB suggests the release of O from regolith. Further studies of chemical pathways of released O are required. The bioweathering process is limited by the availability of CO2, N, and P. Since lunar regolith is mainly composed of O, Si, Ca, Al and Mg, we propose to use organic waste to supply a geobioreactor with C, N and P. The recycling of organic waste, including urine, through a geobioreactor will allow for efficient element extraction as well as oxygen and biomass production. The most critical conclusion is that a biological life support system tied to a geobioreactor might be more efficient for supporting an extraterrestrial outpost than a closed environmental system.

  11. The Icebreaker Life Mission to Mars: a search for biomolecular evidence for life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P; Stoker, Carol R; Glass, Brian J; Davé, Arwen I; Davila, Alfonso F; Heldmann, Jennifer L; Marinova, Margarita M; Fairen, Alberto G; Quinn, Richard C; Zacny, Kris A; Paulsen, Gale; Smith, Peter H; Parro, Victor; Andersen, Dale T; Hecht, Michael H; Lacelle, Denis; Pollard, Wayne H

    2013-04-01

    The search for evidence of life on Mars is the primary motivation for the exploration of that planet. The results from previous missions, and the Phoenix mission in particular, indicate that the ice-cemented ground in the north polar plains is likely to be the most recently habitable place that is currently known on Mars. The near-surface ice likely provided adequate water activity during periods of high obliquity, ≈ 5 Myr ago. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen are present in the atmosphere, and nitrates may be present in the soil. Perchlorate in the soil together with iron in basaltic rock provides a possible energy source for life. Furthermore, the presence of organics must once again be considered, as the results of the Viking GCMS are now suspect given the discovery of the thermally reactive perchlorate. Ground ice may provide a way to preserve organic molecules for extended periods of time, especially organic biomarkers. The Mars Icebreaker Life mission focuses on the following science goals: (1) Search for specific biomolecules that would be conclusive evidence of life. (2) Perform a general search for organic molecules in the ground ice. (3) Determine the processes of ground ice formation and the role of liquid water. (4) Understand the mechanical properties of the martian polar ice-cemented soil. (5) Assess the recent habitability of the environment with respect to required elements to support life, energy sources, and possible toxic elements. (6) Compare the elemental composition of the northern plains with midlatitude sites. The Icebreaker Life payload has been designed around the Phoenix spacecraft and is targeted to a site near the Phoenix landing site. However, the Icebreaker payload could be supported on other Mars landing systems. Preliminary studies of the SpaceX Dragon lander show that it could support the Icebreaker payload for a landing either at the Phoenix site or at midlatitudes. Duplicate samples could be cached as a target for possible return by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  13. Advanced extravehicular protective systems for shuttle, space station, lunar base and Mars missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimlich, P. F.; Sutton, J. G.; Tepper, E. H.

    1972-01-01

    Advances in extravehicular life support system technology will directly influence future space mission reliability and maintainability considerations. To identify required new technology areas, an appraisal of advanced portable life support system and subsystem concepts was conducted. Emphasis was placed on thermal control and combined CO2 control/O2 supply subsystems for both primary and emergency systems. A description of study methodology, concept evaluation techniques, specification requirements, and selected subsystems and systems are presented. New technology recommendations encompassing thermal control, CO2 control and O2 supply subsystems are also contained herein.

  14. Lunar Surface Scenarios: Habitation and Life Support Systems for a Pressurized Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Molly; Hanford, Anthony; Howard, Robert; Toups, Larry

    2006-01-01

    Pressurized rovers will be a critical component of successful lunar exploration to enable safe investigation of sites distant from the outpost location. A pressurized rover is a complex system with the same functions as any other crewed vehicle. Designs for a pressurized rover need to take into account significant constraints, a multitude of tasks to be performed inside and out, and the complexity of life support systems to support the crew. In future studies, pressurized rovers should be given the same level of consideration as any other vehicle occupied by the crew.

  15. Space Radiation Heart Disease Risk Estimates for Lunar and Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.; Chappell, Lori; Kim, Myung-Hee

    2010-01-01

    The NASA Space Radiation Program performs research on the risks of late effects from space radiation for cancer, neurological disorders, cataracts, and heart disease. For mortality risks, an aggregate over all risks should be considered as well as projection of the life loss per radiation induced death. We report on a triple detriment life-table approach to combine cancer and heart disease risks. Epidemiology results show extensive heterogeneity between populations for distinct components of the overall heart disease risks including hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, stroke, and cerebrovascular diseases. We report on an update to our previous heart disease estimates for Heart disease (ICD9 390-429) and Stroke (ICD9 430-438), and other sub-groups using recent meta-analysis results for various exposed radiation cohorts to low LET radiation. Results for multiplicative and additive risk transfer models are considered using baseline rates for US males and female. Uncertainty analysis indicated heart mortality risks as low as zero, assuming a threshold dose for deterministic effects, and projections approaching one-third of the overall cancer risk. Medan life-loss per death estimates were significantly less than that of solid cancer and leukemias. Critical research questions to improve risks estimates for heart disease are distinctions in mechanisms at high doses (>2 Gy) and low to moderate doses (<2 Gy), and data and basic understanding of radiation doserate and quality effects, and individual sensitivity.

  16. Earth analogs for Martian life - Microbes in evaporites, a new model system for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    1990-01-01

    It is suggested that 'oases' in which life forms may persist on Mars could occur, by analogy with terrestrial cases, in (1) rocks, as known in endolithic microorganisms, (2) polar ice caps, as seen in snow and ice algae, and (3) volcanic regions, as witnessed in the chemoautotrophs which live in ocean-floor hydrothermal vents. Microorganisms, moreover, have been known to survive in salt crystals, and it has even been shown that organisms can metabolize while encrusted in evaporites. Evaporites which may occur on Mars would be able to attenuate UV light, while remaining more transparent to the 400-700 nm radiation useful in photosynthesis. Suggestions are made for the selection of Martian exobiological investigation sites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Launius, Roger D

    2012-09-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger D. Launius

    2012-09-01

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

  20. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Day, Trevor

    2006-01-01

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

  1. Lunar resource base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulley, John; Wise, Todd K.; Roy, Claude; Richter, Phil

    A lunar base that exploits local resources to enhance the productivity of a total SEI scenario is discussed. The goals were to emphasize lunar science and to land men on Mars in 2016 using significant amounts of lunar resources. It was assumed that propulsion was chemical and the surface power was non-nuclear. Three phases of the base build-up are outlined, the robotic emplacement of the first elements is detailed and a discussion of future options is included.

  2. Stable carbon isotope fractionation in the search for life on early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, L. J.; Desmarais, D.

    1989-01-01

    The utility of measurements of C-13/C-12 ratios in organic vs inorganic deposits for searching for signs of life on early Mars is considered. It is suggested that three assumptions are necessary. First, if there was life on Mars, it caused the fractionation of carbon isotopes in analogy with past biological activity on earth. Second, the fractionation would be detectable. Third, if a fractionation would be observed, there exist no abiotic explanations for the observed fractionation pattern.

  3. Life on Mars - How it disappeared (if it was ever there)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, E. Imre; Koriem, Ali M.

    1989-01-01

    Information available on Mars chemistry suggest that conditions on early Mars may have been suitable for life. This paper examines the possible events that led to the disappearance of life, assuming it existed, from the surface of Mars. The sequence of events leading to life extinction on early Mars assumes the following steps: (1) a decrease of temperature and humidity levels, leading to a selection of microorganisms for tolerance of low temperatures and arid conditions; (2) further deterioration of environment leading to withdrawal of cold-adapted organisms to protected niches under the surface; (3) further cooling producing heavy stresses in these organisms; and (4) further deterioration of the environment resulting in extinction. This sequence of events is considered parallel events documented for the microbial community in the Ross Desert of Antarctica, where TEM examinations of the material detected progressive stages of cell damage and death.

  4. Mars Mapping Technology Brings Main Street to Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Bioregenerative Life Support Experiment for 90-days in a Closed Integrative Experimental Facility LUNAR PALACE 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hong

    A 90-day bioregenerative life support experiment with three-member crew was carried out in the closed integrative experimental facility, LUNAR PALACE 1 regenerating basic living necessities and disposing wastes to provide life support for crew. It was composed of higher plant module, animal module, and waste treatment module. The higher plant module included wheat, chufa, pea, carrot and green leafy vegetables, with aim to satisfy requirement of 60% plant food and 100% O2 and water for crew. The yellow mealworm was selected as animal module to provide partial animal protein for crew, and reared on plant inedible biomass. The higher plant and yellow mealworm were both cultivated and harvested in the conveyor-type manner. The partial plant inedible biomass and human feces were mixed and co- fermented in the waste treatment module for preparation of soil-like substrate by bioconversion, maintaining gas balance and increasing closure degree. Meanwhile, in the waste treatment module, the water and partial nitrogen from human urine were recovered by physical-chemical means. Circulation of O2 and water as well as food supply from crops cultivated in the LUNAR PALACE 1 were investigated and calculated, and simultaneously gas exchange, mass flow among different components and system closure degree were also analyzed, respectively. Furthermore, the system robustness with respect to internal variation was tested and evaluated by sensitivity analysis of the aggregative index consisting of key performance indicators like crop yield, gaseous equilibrium concentration, microbial community composition, biogenic elements dynamics, etc., and comprehensively evaluating the operating state, to number change of crew from 2 to 4 during the 90-day closed experiment period.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-13

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joost W. Aerts

    2014-10-01

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

  8. Conditions on Early Mars Might Have Fostered Rapid and Early Development of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K.; McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keprta, Kathie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2007-01-01

    The exploration of Mars during the past decades has begun to unveil the history of the planet. The combinations of remote sensing, in situ geochemical compositional measurements and photographic observations from both above and on the surface have shown Mars to have a dynamic and active geologic evolution. Mars geologic evolution clearly had conditions that were suitable for supporting life. For a planet to be able to be habitable, it must have water, carbon sources, energy sources and a dynamic geologic past. Mars meets all of these requirements. The first 600 My of Martian history were ripe for life to develop because of the abundance of (i) Water-carved canyons and oceans or lakes with the early presence of near surface water shown by precipitated carbonates in ALH84001 well-dated at approx.3.9 Gy., (ii) Energy from the original accretional processes, a molten core which generated a strong magnetic field leaving a permanent record in the early crust, early active volcanism continuing throughout Martian history, and, and continuing impact processes, (iii) Carbon and water from possibly extensive volcanic outgassing (i.e. H2O, CO2, CH4, CO, O2, N2, H2S, SO2, etc.) and (iv) some crustal tectonics as revealed by faulting and possible plate movement reflected by the magnetic pattern in the crust. The question arises: "Why would life not evolve from these favorable conditions on early Mars in its first 600 My?" During this period, it seems likely that environmental near-surface conditions on Mars were more favorable to life than at any later time. Standing bodies of water, precipitation and flowing surface water, and possibly abundant hydrothermal energy would all favor the formation of early life. Even if life developed elsewhere (on Earth, Venus, or on other solar systems) and was transported to Mars, the surface conditions were likely very hospitable for that introduced life to multiply and evolve.

  9. Mars Analog Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE): A Simulated Mars Drilling Mission to Search for Subsurface Life at the Rio Tinto, Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol; Lemke, Larry; Mandell, Humboldt; McKay, David; George, Jeffrey; Gomez-Alvera, Javier; Amils, Ricardo; Stevens, Todd; Miller, David

    2003-01-01

    The MARTE (Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment) project was selected by the new NASA ASTEP program, which supports field experiments having an equal emphasis on Astrobiology science and technology development relevant to future Astrobiology missions. MARTE will search for a hypothesized subsurface anaerobic chemoautotrophic biosphere in the region of the Tinto River in southwestern Spain while also demonstrating technology needed to search for a subsurface biosphere on Mars. The experiment is informed by the strategy for searching for life on Mars.

  10. Searching for signatures of life on Mars: an Fe-isotope perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, M; Russell, S S; Blackhurst, R L; Grady, M M

    2006-10-29

    Recent spacecraft and lander missions to Mars have reinforced previous interpretations that Mars was a wet and warm planet in the geological past. The role of liquid water in shaping many of the surface features on Mars has long been recognized. Since the presence of liquid water is essential for survival of life, conditions on early Mars might have been more favourable for the emergence and evolution of life. Until a sample return mission to Mars, one of the ways of studying the past environmental conditions on Mars is through chemical and isotopic studies of Martian meteorites. Over 35 individual meteorite samples, believed to have originated on Mars, are now available for lab-based studies. Fe is a key element that is present in both primary and secondary minerals in the Martian meteorites. Fe-isotope ratios can be fractionated by low-temperature processes which includes biological activity. Experimental investigations of Fe reduction and oxidation by bacteria have produced large fractionation in Fe-isotope ratios. Hence, it is considered likely that if there is/were any form of life present on Mars then it might be possible to detect its signature by Fe-isotope studies of Martian meteorites. In the present study, we have analysed a number of Martian meteorites for their bulk-Fe-isotope composition. In addition, a set of terrestrial analogue material has also been analysed to compare the results and draw inferences. So far, our studies have not found any measurable Fe-isotopic fractionation in bulk Martian meteorites that can be ascribed to any low-temperature process operative on Mars.

  11. How Do You Answer the Life on Mars Question? Use Multiple Small Landers Like Beagle 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K.; Pillinger, C. T.; Wright, I. P.; Hurst, S. J.; Richter, L.; Sims, M. R.

    2012-01-01

    To address one of the most important questions in planetary science Is there life on Mars? The scientific community must turn to less costly means of exploring the surface of the Red Planet. The United Kingdom's Beagle 2 Mars lander concept was a small meter-size lander with a scientific payload constituting a large proportion of the flown mass designed to supply answers to the question about life on Mars. A possible reason why Beagle 2 did not send any data was that it was a one-off attempt to land. As Steve Squyres said at the time: "It's difficult to land on Mars - if you want to succeed you have to send two of everything".

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Life support systems analysis and technical trades for a lunar outpost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrall, J. F.; Ganapathi, G. B.; Rohatgi, N. K.; Seshan, P. K.

    1994-01-01

    The NASA/JPL life support systems analysis (LISSA) software tool was used to perform life support system analysis and technology trades for a Lunar Outpost. The life support system was modeled using a chemical process simulation program on a steady-state, one-person, daily basis. Inputs to the LiSSA model include metabolic balance load data, hygiene load data, technology selection, process operational assumptions and mission parameter assumptions. A baseline set of technologies has been used against which comparisons have been made by running twenty-two cases with technology substitutions. System, subsystem, and technology weights and powers are compared for a crew of 4 and missions of 90 and 600 days. By assigning a weight value to power, equivalent system weights are compared. Several less-developed technologies show potential advantages over the baseline. Solid waste treatment technologies show weight and power disadvantages but one could have benefits associated with the reduction of hazardous wastes and very long missions. Technology development towards reducing the weight of resupplies and lighter materials of construction was recommended. It was also recommended that as technologies are funded for development, contractors should be required to generate and report data useful for quantitative technology comparisons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  16. Hygroscopic salts and the potential for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davila, Alfonso F; Duport, Luis Gago; Melchiorri, Riccardo; Jänchen, Jochen; Valea, Sergio; de Los Rios, Asunción; Fairén, Alberto G; Möhlmann, Diedrich; McKay, Christopher P; Ascaso, Carmen; Wierzchos, Jacek

    2010-01-01

    Hygroscopic salts have been detected in soils in the northern latitudes of Mars, and widespread chloride-bearing evaporitic deposits have been detected in the southern highlands. The deliquescence of hygroscopic minerals such as chloride salts could provide a local and transient source of liquid water that would be available for microorganisms on the surface. This is known to occur in the Atacama Desert, where massive halite evaporites have become a habitat for photosynthetic and heterotrophic microorganisms that take advantage of the deliquescence of the salt at certain relative humidity (RH) levels. We modeled the climate conditions (RH and temperature) in a region on Mars with chloride-bearing evaporites, and modeled the evolution of the water activity (a(w)) of the deliquescence solutions of three possible chloride salts (sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride) as a function of temperature. We also studied the water absorption properties of the same salts as a function of RH. Our climate model results show that the RH in the region with chloride-bearing deposits on Mars often reaches the deliquescence points of all three salts, and the temperature reaches levels above their eutectic points seasonally, in the course of a martian year. The a(w) of the deliquescence solutions increases with decreasing temperature due mainly to the precipitation of unstable phases, which removes ions from the solution. The deliquescence of sodium chloride results in transient solutions with a(w) compatible with growth of terrestrial microorganisms down to 252 K, whereas for calcium chloride and magnesium chloride it results in solutions with a(w) below the known limits for growth at all temperatures. However, taking the limits of a(w) used to define special regions on Mars, the deliquescence of calcium chloride deposits would allow for the propagation of terrestrial microorganisms at temperatures between 265 and 253 K, and for metabolic activity (no growth) at

  17. Concepts of Life in the Contexts of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D. J.

    2014-01-01

    The search for habitable environments and life requires a working concept of life's fundamental attributes. This concept helps to identify the "services" that an environment must provide to sustain life. We must consider the possibility that extraterrestrial life might differ fundamentally from our own, but it is still worthwhile to begin by hypothesizing attributes of life that might be universal versus ones that reflect local solutions to survival on Earth.

  18. How Do Lessons Learned on the International Space Station (ISS) Help Plan Life Support for Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Harry W.; Hodgson, Edward W.; Gentry, Gregory J.; Kliss, Mark H.

    2016-01-01

    How can our experience in developing and operating the International Space Station (ISS) guide the design, development, and operation of life support for the journey to Mars? The Mars deep space Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) must incorporate the knowledge and experience gained in developing ECLSS for low Earth orbit, but it must also meet the challenging new requirements of operation in deep space where there is no possibility of emergency resupply or quick crew return. The understanding gained by developing ISS flight hardware and successfully supporting a crew in orbit for many years is uniquely instructive. Different requirements for Mars life support suggest that different decisions may be made in design, testing, and operations planning, but the lessons learned developing the ECLSS for ISS provide valuable guidance.

  19. A Search for Life in the Subsurface At Rio Tinto Spain, An Analog To Searching For Life On Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.

    2003-12-01

    Most familiar life forms on Earth live in the surface biosphere where liquid water, sunlight, and the essential chemical elements for life are abundant. However, such environments are not found on Mars or anywhere else in the solar system. On Mars, the surface environmental conditions of pressure and temperature prevent formation of liquid water. Furthermore, conditions at the Martian surface are unfavorable to life due to intense ultraviolet radiation and strong oxidizing compounds that destroy organic compounds. However, subsurface liquid water on Mars has been predicted on theoretical grounds. The recent discovery of near surface ground ice by the Mars Odyssey mission, and the abundant evidence for recent Gully features observed by the Mars Global Surveyor mission strengthen the case for subsurface liquid water on Mars. Thus, the strategy for searching for life on Mars points to drilling to the depth of liquid water, bringing samples to the surface and analyzing them with instrumentation to detect in situ organisms and biomarker compounds. The MARTE (Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment) project is a field experiment focused on searching for a hypothesized subsurface anaerobic chemoautotrophic biosphere in the region of the Rio Tinto, a river in southwestern Spain while also demonstrating technology relevant to searching for a subsurface biosphere on Mars. The Tinto river is located in the Iberian Pyrite belt, one of the largest deposits of sulfide minerals in the world. The surface (river) system is an acidic extreme environment produced and maintained by microbes that metabolize sulfide minerals and produce sulfuric acid as a byproduct. Evidence suggests that the river is a surface manifestation of an underground biochemical reactor. Organisms found in the river are capable of chemoautotrophic metabolism using sulfide and ferric iron mineral substrates, suggesting these organisms could thrive in groundwater which is the source of the Rio Tinto

  20. Lunar Water Resource Demonstration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony C.

    2008-01-01

    In cooperation with the Canadian Space Agency, the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology, Inc., the Carnegie-Mellon University, JPL, and NEPTEC, NASA has undertaken the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project called RESOLVE. This project is a ground demonstration of a system that would be sent to explore permanently shadowed polar lunar craters, drill into the regolith, determine what volatiles are present, and quantify them in addition to recovering oxygen by hydrogen reduction. The Lunar Prospector has determined these craters contain enhanced hydrogen concentrations averaging about 0.1%. If the hydrogen is in the form of water, the water concentration would be around 1%, which would translate into billions of tons of water on the Moon, a tremendous resource. The Lunar Water Resource Demonstration (LWRD) is a part of RESOLVE designed to capture lunar water and hydrogen and quantify them as a backup to gas chromatography analysis. This presentation will briefly review the design of LWRD and some of the results of testing the subsystem. RESOLVE is to be integrated with the Scarab rover from CMIJ and the whole system demonstrated on Mauna Kea on Hawaii in November 2008. The implications of lunar water for Mars exploration are two-fold: 1) RESOLVE and LWRD could be used in a similar fashion on Mars to locate and quantify water resources, and 2) electrolysis of lunar water could provide large amounts of liquid oxygen in LEO, leading to lower costs for travel to Mars, in addition to being very useful at lunar outposts.

  1. Water activity and the challenge for life on early Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosca, Nicholas J; Knoll, Andrew H; McLennan, Scott M

    2008-05-30

    In situ and orbital exploration of the martian surface has shown that acidic, saline liquid water was intermittently available on ancient Mars. The habitability of these waters depends critically on water activity (aH2O), a thermodynamic measure of salinity, which, for terrestrial organisms, has sharply defined limits. Using constraints on fluid chemistry and saline mineralogy based on martian data, we calculated the maximum aH2O for Meridiani Planum and other environments where salts precipitated from martian brines. Our calculations indicate that the salinity of well-documented surface waters often exceeded levels tolerated by known terrestrial organisms.

  2. Nucleic Acid Extraction from Synthetic Mars Analog Soils for in situ Life Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojarro, Angel; Ruvkun, Gary; Zuber, Maria T; Carr, Christopher E

    2017-08-01

    Biological informational polymers such as nucleic acids have the potential to provide unambiguous evidence of life beyond Earth. To this end, we are developing an automated in situ life-detection instrument that integrates nucleic acid extraction and nanopore sequencing: the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG) instrument. Our goal is to isolate and determine the sequence of nucleic acids from extant or preserved life on Mars, if, for example, there is common ancestry to life on Mars and Earth. As is true of metagenomic analysis of terrestrial environmental samples, the SETG instrument must isolate nucleic acids from crude samples and then determine the DNA sequence of the unknown nucleic acids. Our initial DNA extraction experiments resulted in low to undetectable amounts of DNA due to soil chemistry-dependent soil-DNA interactions, namely adsorption to mineral surfaces, binding to divalent/trivalent cations, destruction by iron redox cycling, and acidic conditions. Subsequently, we developed soil-specific extraction protocols that increase DNA yields through a combination of desalting, utilization of competitive binders, and promotion of anaerobic conditions. Our results suggest that a combination of desalting and utilizing competitive binders may establish a "universal" nucleic acid extraction protocol suitable for analyzing samples from diverse soils on Mars. Key Words: Life-detection instruments-Nucleic acids-Mars-Panspermia. Astrobiology 17, 747-760.

  3. Costs and benefits of lunar oxygen: Engineering, operations, and economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Brent; Woodcock, Gordon R.

    1991-01-01

    Oxygen is the most commonly discussed lunar resource. It will certainly not be the easiest to retrieve, but oxygen's fundamental place in propulsion and life support guarantees it continued attention as a prime candidate for early in situ resource utilization (ISRU). The findings are reviewed of recent investigation, sponsored by NASA-Ames, into the kinds of technologies, equipment, and scenarios (the engineering and operations costs) that will be required even to initiate lunar oxygen production. The infrastructure necessary to surround and support a viable oxygen-processing operation is explained. Selected details are used to illustrate the depth of technology challenges, extent of operations burdens, and complexity of decision linkages. Basic assumptions, and resulting timelines and mass manifests, are listed. These findings are combined with state-of-the-art knowledge of lunar and Mars propulsion options in simple economic input/output and internal-rate-of-return models, to compare production costs with performance benefits. Implications for three realistic scales of exploration architecture - expeditionary, aggressive science, and industrialization/settlement - are discussed. Conclusions are reached regarding the contextual conditions within which production of lunar oxygen (LLOX) is a reasonable activity. LLOX appears less useful for Mars missions than previously hoped. Its economical use in low Earth orbit hinges on production of lunar hydrogen as well. LLOX shows promise for lunar ascent/descent use, but that depends strongly on the plant mass required.

  4. Preservation of biological information in thermal spring deposits - Developing a strategy for the search for fossil life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, M. R.; Des Marais, David J.

    1993-01-01

    Paleobiological experience on earth is used here to develop a search strategy for fossil life on Mars. In particular, the exploration of thermal spring deposits is proposed as a way to maximize the chance of finding fossil life on Mars. As a basis for this suggestion, the characteristics of thermal springs are discussed in some detail.

  5. Atmospheric Energy Limits on Subsurface Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, B. P.; Yung, Y. L.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    It has been suggested that the terrestrial biomass of subterranean organisms may equal or exceed that at the surface. Taken as a group, these organisms can live in heavily saline conditions at temperatures from 115 C to as low as -20 C. Such conditions might exist on Mars beneath the surface oxidant in an aquifer or hydrothermal system, where the surrounding rock would also protect against the solar ultraviolet radiation. The way that such systems could obtain energy and carbon is not completely clear, although it is believed that on Earth, energy flows from the interaction of highly reduced basalt with groundwater produce H2, while carbon is derived from CO2 dissolved in the groundwater. Another potential source is the Martian atmosphere, acting as a photochemical conduit of solar insolation.

  6. Biosignatures on Mars: What, Where, and How? Implications for the Search for Martian Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, Frances; Foucher, Frédéric; Bost, Nicolas; Bertrand, Marylène; Loizeau, Damien; Vago, Jorge L; Kminek, Gerhard; Gaboyer, Frédéric; Campbell, Kathleen A; Bréhéret, Jean-Gabriel; Gautret, Pascale; Cockell, Charles S

    2015-11-01

    The search for traces of life is one of the principal objectives of Mars exploration. Central to this objective is the concept of habitability, the set of conditions that allows the appearance of life and successful establishment of microorganisms in any one location. While environmental conditions may have been conducive to the appearance of life early in martian history, habitable conditions were always heterogeneous on a spatial scale and in a geological time frame. This "punctuated" scenario of habitability would have had important consequences for the evolution of martian life, as well as for the presence and preservation of traces of life at a specific landing site. We hypothesize that, given the lack of long-term, continuous habitability, if martian life developed, it was (and may still be) chemotrophic and anaerobic. Obtaining nutrition from the same kinds of sources as early terrestrial chemotrophic life and living in the same kinds of environments, the fossilized traces of the latter serve as useful proxies for understanding the potential distribution of martian chemotrophs and their fossilized traces. Thus, comparison with analog, anaerobic, volcanic terrestrial environments (Early Archean >3.5-3.33 Ga) shows that the fossil remains of chemotrophs in such environments were common, although sparsely distributed, except in the vicinity of hydrothermal activity where nutrients were readily available. Moreover, the traces of these kinds of microorganisms can be well preserved, provided that they are rapidly mineralized and that the sediments in which they occur are rapidly cemented. We evaluate the biogenicity of these signatures by comparing them to possible abiotic features. Finally, we discuss the implications of different scenarios for life on Mars for detection by in situ exploration, ranging from its non-appearance, through preserved traces of life, to the presence of living microorganisms. Mars-Early Earth-Anaerobic chemotrophs

  7. Studies of Life on Earth are Important for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, D. J.

    1998-01-01

    The search for evidence of the early martian environment and a martian biosphere is benefitted by diverse studies of life on Earth. Most fundamentally, origin-of-life research highlights the challenge in formulating a rigorous definition of life. Because such definitions typically list several of life's most basic properties, they also help to define those observable features that distinguish life and thus might be sought through telescopes, spacecraft, and analyses of extraterrestrial samples. Studies of prebiotic chemistry also help by defining the range of environments and processes that sustain prebiotic organic synthesis. These studies might indicate if and where prebiotic processes occur today on Earth and elsewhere. Such studies should also help to identify which localities are good candidates for the origin of life. A better understanding of the most fundamental principles by which molecules are assembled into living systems will help us to appreciate possible alternatives to the path followed by life on Earth. These perspectives will sharpen our ability to recognize exotic life and/or those environments that can sustain it.

  8. Shallow transient liquid water environments on present-day mars, and their implications for life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Eriita G.

    2018-05-01

    The identification and characterisation of subsurface liquid water environments on Mars are of high scientific interest. Such environments have the potential to support microbial life, and, more broadly, to develop our understanding of the habitability of planets and moons beyond Earth. Given our current state of knowledge of life on Earth, three pre-requisites are necessary for an environment to be considered 'habitable' and therefore capable of supporting terrestrial-like life: energy, biogenic elements, and liquid water with a sufficiently high water activity. The surface of Mars today is predominately cold and dry, and any liquid water exposed to the atmosphere will vaporise or freeze on timescales of hours to days. These conditions have likely persisted for much of the last 10 million years, and perhaps longer. Despite this, briny liquid water flows (Recurrent Slope Linea) have been observed in a number of locations in the present-day. This review examines evidence from the Phoenix Lander (2008) and the Mars Science Laboratory (2012-current), to assess the occurrence of habitable conditions in the shallow Martian regolith. It will be argued that shallow, transient, liquid water brines are potentially habitable by microbial life, are likely a widespread occurrence on Mars, and that future exploration aimed at finding present-day habitable conditions and potential biology should 'follow the salt'.

  9. Investigation of Bio-Regenerative Life Support and Trash-to-Gas Experiment on a 4-Month Mars Simulation Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraccio, Anne; Poulet, Lucie; Hintze, Paul E.; Miles, John D.

    2014-01-01

    Future crewed missions to other planets or deep space locations will require regenerative Life Support Systems (LSS) as well as recycling processes for mission waste. Constant resupply of many commodity materials will not be a sustainable option for deep space missions, nor will stowing trash on board a vehicle or at a lunar or Martian outpost. The habitable volume will decline as the volume of waste increases. A complete regenerative environmentally controlled life support system (ECLSS) on an extra-terrestrial outpost will likely include physico-chemical and biological technologies, such as bioreactors and greenhouse modules. Physico-chemical LSS do not enable food production and bio-regenerative LSS are not stable enough to be used alone in space. Mission waste that cannot be recycled into the bio-regenerative ECLSS can include excess food, food packaging, clothing, tape, urine and fecal waste. This waste will be sent to a system for converting the trash into high value products. Two crew members on a 120 day Mars analog simulation, in collaboration with Kennedy Space Centers (KSC) Trash to Gas (TtG) project investigated a semi-closed loop system that treated non-edible biomass and other logistical waste for volume reduction and conversion into useful commodities. The purpose of this study is to show how plant growth affects the amount of resources required by the habitat and how spent plant material can be recycled. Real-time data was sent to the reactor at KSC in Florida for replicating the analog mission waste for laboratory operation. This paper discusses the 120 day mission plant growth activity, logistical and plant waste management, power and water consumption effects of the plant and logistical waste, and potential energy conversion techniques using KSCs TtG technology.

  10. Investigation of Bio-Regenerative Life Support and Trash-To-Gas Experiment on a 4 Month Mars Simulation Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraccio, Anne; Poulet, Lucie; Hintze, Paul E.; Miles, John D.

    2014-01-01

    Future crewed missions to other planets or deep space locations will require regenerative Life Support Systems (LSS) as well as recycling processes for mission waste. Constant resupply of many commodity materials will not be a sustainable option for deep space missions, nor will storing trash on board a vehicle or at a lunar or Martian outpost. The habitable volume will decline as the volume of waste increases. A complete regenerative environmentally controlled life support system (ECLSS) on an extra-terrestrial outpost will likely include physico-chemical and biological technologies, such as bioreactors and greenhouse modules. Physico-chemical LSS do not enable food production and bio-regenerative LSS are not stable enough to be used alone in space. Mission waste that cannot be recycled into the bio-regenerative ECLSS can include excess food, food packaging, clothing, tape, urine and fecal waste. This waste will be sent to a system for converting the trash into the high value products. Two crew members on a 120 day Mars analog simulation, in collaboration with Kennedy Space Centers (KSC) Trash to Gas (TtG) project investigated a semi-closed loop system that treated non-edible biomass and other logistical waste for volume reduction and conversion into useful commodities. The purposes of this study are to show the how plant growth affects the amount of resources required by the habitat and how spent plant material can be recycled. Real-time data was sent to the reactor at KSC in Florida for replicating the analog mission waste for laboratory operation. This paper discusses the 120 day mission plant growth activity, logistical and plant waste management, power and water consumption effects of the plant and logistical waste, and potential energy conversion techniques using KSCs TtG reactor technology.

  11. Biological life support systems for a Mars mission planetary base: Problems and prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhomirov, A. A.; Ushakova, S. A.; Kovaleva, N. P.; Lamaze, B.; Lobo, M.; Lasseur, Ch.

    The study develops approaches to designing biological life support systems for the Mars mission - for the flight conditions and for a planetary base - using experience of the Institute of Biophysics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBP SB RAS) with the Bios-3 system and ESA's experience with the MELISSA program. Variants of a BLSS based on using Chlorella and/or Spirulina and higher plants for the flight period of the Mars mission are analyzed. It is proposed constructing a BLSS with a closed-loop material cycle for gas and water and for part of human waste. A higher-plant-based BLSS with the mass exchange loop closed to various degrees is proposed for a Mars planetary base. Various versions of BLSS configuration and degree of closure of mass exchange are considered, depending on the duration of the Mars mission, the diet of the crew, and some other conditions. Special consideration is given to problems of reliability and sustainability of material cycling in BLSS, which are related to production of additional oxygen inside the system. Technologies of constructing BLSS of various configurations are proposed and substantiated. Reasons are given for using physicochemical methods in BLSS as secondary tools both during the flight and the stay on Mars.

  12. The Case for Extant Life on Mars and Its Possible Detection by the Viking Labeled Release Experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Gilbert V; Straat, Patricia Ann

    2016-10-01

    The 1976 Viking Labeled Release (LR) experiment was positive for extant microbial life on the surface of Mars. Experiments on both Viking landers, 4000 miles apart, yielded similar, repeatable, positive responses. While the authors eventually concluded that the experiment detected martian life, this was and remains a highly controversial conclusion. Many believe that the martian environment is inimical to life and the LR responses were nonbiological, attributed to an as-yet-unidentified oxidant (or oxidants) in the martian soil. Unfortunately, no further metabolic experiments have been conducted on Mars. Instead, follow-on missions have sought to define the martian environment, mostly searching for signs of water. These missions have collected considerable data regarding Mars as a habitat, both past and present. The purpose of this article is to consider recent findings about martian water, methane, and organics that impact the case for extant life on Mars. Further, the biological explanation of the LR and recent nonbiological hypotheses are evaluated. It is concluded that extant life is a strong possibility, that abiotic interpretations of the LR data are not conclusive, and that, even setting our conclusion aside, biology should still be considered as an explanation for the LR experiment. Because of possible contamination of Mars by terrestrial microbes after Viking, we note that the LR data are the only data we will ever have on biologically pristine martian samples. Key Words: Extant life on Mars-Viking Labeled Release experiment-Astrobiology-Extraterrestrial life-Mars. Astrobiology 16, 798-810.

  13. The Case of the Lacking Carbonates and the Emergence of Early Life on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Amils

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The mineralogical characterization of Mars by different exploration missions, provides a new image of the earliest conditions that prevailed on the planet surface. The detection of extensive deposits of phyllosillicates has been considered to be as a result of the production of hydrated silicates through alteration and precipitation under neutral to sub-alkaline conditions. Although extensive deposits of carbonates should precipitate beneath a thick CO2-bearing atmosphere, only a few outcrops of Mg-rich carbonates have been detected on Mars. Paradoxically those carbonates occur in association with geological units exposed to acidic paleoenvironments. Given such geochemical conditions on Earth, the carbon cycle is intimately associated with life, then, we can assume that the presence or absence of microbial communities should have impacted the distribution of those carbonate compounds on Mars. In this paper, we suggest three potential geobiological scenarios to explain how the emergence of life on Mars would have impacted the carbon cycle and, hence, the formation of carbonates on a planetary scale.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Nucleic Acid Extraction from Synthetic Mars Analog Soils for in situ Life Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojarro, Angel; Ruvkun, Gary; Zuber, Maria T.; Carr, Christopher E.

    2017-08-01

    Biological informational polymers such as nucleic acids have the potential to provide unambiguous evidence of life beyond Earth. To this end, we are developing an automated in situ life-detection instrument that integrates nucleic acid extraction and nanopore sequencing: the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG) instrument. Our goal is to isolate and determine the sequence of nucleic acids from extant or preserved life on Mars, if, for example, there is common ancestry to life on Mars and Earth. As is true of metagenomic analysis of terrestrial environmental samples, the SETG instrument must isolate nucleic acids from crude samples and then determine the DNA sequence of the unknown nucleic acids. Our initial DNA extraction experiments resulted in low to undetectable amounts of DNA due to soil chemistry-dependent soil-DNA interactions, namely adsorption to mineral surfaces, binding to divalent/trivalent cations, destruction by iron redox cycling, and acidic conditions. Subsequently, we developed soil-specific extraction protocols that increase DNA yields through a combination of desalting, utilization of competitive binders, and promotion of anaerobic conditions. Our results suggest that a combination of desalting and utilizing competitive binders may establish a "universal" nucleic acid extraction protocol suitable for analyzing samples from diverse soils on Mars.

  16. Searching for life on Mars: degradation of surfactant solutions used in organic extraction experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Court, Richard W; Sims, Mark R; Cullen, David C; Sephton, Mark A

    2014-09-01

    Life-detection instruments on future Mars missions may use surfactant solutions to extract organic matter from samples of martian rocks. The thermal and radiation environments of space and Mars are capable of degrading these solutions, thereby reducing their ability to dissolve organic species. Successful extraction and detection of biosignatures on Mars requires an understanding of how degradation in extraterrestrial environments can affect surfactant performance. We exposed solutions of the surfactants polysorbate 80 (PS80), Zonyl FS-300, and poly[dimethylsiloxane-co-[3-(2-(2-hydroxyethoxy)ethoxy)propyl]methylsiloxane] (PDMSHEPMS) to elevated radiation and heat levels, combined with prolonged storage. Degradation was investigated by measuring changes in pH and electrical conductivity and by using the degraded solutions to extract a suite of organic compounds spiked onto grains of the martian soil simulant JSC Mars-1. Results indicate that the proton fluences expected during a mission to Mars do not cause significant degradation of surfactant compounds. Solutions of PS80 or PDMSHEPMS stored at -20 °C are able to extract the spiked standards with acceptable recovery efficiencies. Extraction efficiencies for spiked standards decrease progressively with increasing temperature, and prolonged storage at 60°C renders the surfactant solutions ineffective. Neither the presence of ascorbic acid nor the choice of solvent unequivocally alters the efficiency of extraction of the spiked standards. Since degradation of polysorbates has the potential to produce organic compounds that could be mistaken for indigenous martian organic matter, the polysiloxane PDMSHEPMS may be a superior choice of surfactant for the exploration of Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  18. Gypsum-permineralized microfossils and their relevance to the search for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J William; Farmer, Jack D; Foster, Ian S; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B; Gallardo, Victor A; Espinoza, Carola

    2012-07-01

    Orbital and in situ analyses establish that aerially extensive deposits of evaporitic sulfates, including gypsum, are present on the surface of Mars. Although comparable gypsiferous sediments on Earth have been largely ignored by paleontologists, we here report the finding of diverse fossil microscopic organisms permineralized in bottom-nucleated gypsums of seven deposits: two from the Permian (∼260 Ma) of New Mexico, USA; one from the Miocene (∼6 Ma) of Italy; and four from Recent lacustrine and saltern deposits of Australia, Mexico, and Peru. In addition to presenting the first report of the widespread occurrence of microscopic fossils in bottom-nucleated primary gypsum, we show the striking morphological similarity of the majority of the benthic filamentous fossils of these units to the microorganisms of a modern sulfuretum biocoenose. Based on such similarity, in morphology as well as habitat, these findings suggest that anaerobic sulfur-metabolizing microbial assemblages have changed relatively little over hundreds of millions of years. Their discovery as fossilized components of the seven gypsiferous units reported suggests that primary bottom-nucleated gypsum represents a promising target in the search for evidence of past life on Mars. Key Words: Confocal laser scanning microscopy-Gypsum fossils-Mars sample return missions-Raman spectroscopy-Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument-Sulfuretum.

  19. Studies in matter antimatter separation and in the origin of lunar magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, W. A.; Greeley, R.; Parkin, C.; Aggarwal, H.; Schultz, P.

    1975-01-01

    A progress report, covering lunar and planetary research is introduced. Data cover lunar ionospheric models, lunar and planetary geology, and lunar magnetism. Wind tunnel simulations of Mars aeolian problems and a comparative study of basaltic analogs of Lunar and Martial volcanic features was discussed.

  20. Lunar CATALYST

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) is a NASA initiative to encourage the development of U.S. private-sector robotic lunar...

  1. The sample handling system for the Mars Icebreaker Life mission: from dirt to data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davé, Arwen; Thompson, Sarah J; McKay, Christopher P; Stoker, Carol R; Zacny, Kris; Paulsen, Gale; Mellerowicz, Bolek; Glass, Brian J; Willson, David; Bonaccorsi, Rosalba; Rask, Jon

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Icebreaker Life mission will search for subsurface life on Mars. It consists of three payload elements: a drill to retrieve soil samples from approximately 1 m below the surface, a robotic sample handling system to deliver the sample from the drill to the instruments, and the instruments themselves. This paper will discuss the robotic sample handling system. Collecting samples from ice-rich soils on Mars in search of life presents two challenges: protection of that icy soil--considered a "special region" with respect to planetary protection--from contamination from Earth, and delivery of the icy, sticky soil to spacecraft instruments. We present a sampling device that meets these challenges. We built a prototype system and tested it at martian pressure, drilling into ice-cemented soil, collecting cuttings, and transferring them to the inlet port of the SOLID2 life-detection instrument. The tests successfully demonstrated that the Icebreaker drill, sample handling system, and life-detection instrument can collectively operate in these conditions and produce science data that can be delivered via telemetry--from dirt to data. Our results also demonstrate the feasibility of using an air gap to prevent forward contamination. We define a set of six analog soils for testing over a range of soil cohesion, from loose sand to basalt soil, with angles of repose of 27° and 39°, respectively. Particle size is a key determinant of jamming of mechanical parts by soil particles. Jamming occurs when the clearance between moving parts is equal in size to the most common particle size or equal to three of these particles together. Three particles acting together tend to form bridges and lead to clogging. Our experiments show that rotary-hammer action of the Icebreaker drill influences the particle size, typically reducing particle size by ≈ 100 μm.

  2. The Rhynie Chert, Scotland, and the search for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Louisa J; Genge, Matthew J

    2010-06-01

    Knowledge of ancient terrestrial hydrothermal systems-how they preserve biological information and how this information can be detected-is important in unraveling the history of life on Earth and, perhaps, that of extinct life on Mars. The Rhynie Chert in Scotland was originally deposited as siliceous sinter from Early Devonian hot springs and contains exceptionally well-preserved fossils of some of the earliest plants and animals to colonize the land. The aim of this study was to identify biomolecules within the samples through Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and aid current techniques in identification of ancient hot spring deposits and their biological components on Mars. Floral and faunal fossils within the Rhynie Chert are commonly known; but new, FTIR spectroscopic analyses of these fossils has allowed for identification of biomolecules such as aliphatic hydrocarbons and OH molecules that are potentially derived from the fossilized biota and their environment. Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GCMS) data were used to identify n-alkanes; however, this alone cannot be related to the samples' biota. Silicified microfossils are more resistant to weathering or dissolution, which renders them more readily preservable over time. This is of particular interest in astropaleontological research, considering the similarities in the early evolution of Mars and Earth.

  3. Aseptically Sampled Organics in Subsurface Rocks From the Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment: An Analog For The Search for Deep Subsurface Life on Mars.}

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaccorsi, R.; Stoker, C. R.

    2005-12-01

    The subsurface is the key environment for searching for life on planets lacking surface life. Subsurface ecosystems are of great relevance to astrobiology including the search for past/present life on Mars. The surface of Mars has conditions preventing current life but the subsurface might preserve organics and even host some life [1]. The Mars-Analog-Rio-Tinto-Experiment (MARTE) is performing a simulation of a Mars drilling experiment. This comprises conventional and robotic drilling of cores in a volcanically-hosted-massive-pyrite deposit [2] from the Iberian Pyritic Belt (IBP) and life detection experiments applying anti-contamination protocols (e.g., ATP Luminometry assay). The RT is considered an important analog of the Sinus Meridiani site on Mars and an ideal model analog for a deep subsurface Martian environment. Former results from MARTE suggest the existence of a relatively complex subsurface life including aerobic and anaerobic chemoautotrophs and strict anaerobic methanogens sustained by Fe and S minerals in anoxic conditions. A key requirement for the analysis of a subsurface sample on Mars is a set of simple tests that can help determine if the sample contains organic material of biological origin, and its potential for retaining definitive biosignatures. We report here on the presence of bulk organic matter Corg (0.03-0.05 Wt%), and Ntot (0.01-0.04 Wt%) and amount of measured ATP (Lightning MVP, Biocontrol) in weathered rocks (tuffs, gossan, pyrite stockwork from Borehole #8; >166m). This provides key insight on the type of trophic system sustaining the subsurface biosphere (i.e., heterotrophs vs. autotrophs) at RT. ATP data (Relative-Luminosity-Units, RLU) provide information on possible contamination and distribution of viable biomass with core depth (BH#8, and BH#7, ~3m). Avg. 153 RLU, i.e., surface vs. center of core, suggest that cleaness/sterility can be maintained when using a simple sterile protocol under field conditions. Results from this

  4. A Proof of Concept for In-Situ Lunar Dating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, F. S.; Whitaker, T.; Levine, J.; Draper, D. S.; Harris, W.; Olansen, J.; Devolites, J.

    2015-12-01

    We have obtained improved 87Rb-87Sr isochrons for the Duluth Gabbro, an analog for lunar KREEP rocks, using a prototype spaceflight laser ablation resonance ionization mass spectrometer (LARIMS). The near-side of the Moon comprises previously un-sampled, KREEP rich, young-lunar basalts critical for calibrating the dating to constrain lunar history. Using a novel normalization approach, and by correcting for matrix-dependent isotope effects, we have been able to obtain a date of 1100 ± 200 Ma (Figure 1), compared to the previously established thermal ionization mass spectrometry measurement of 1096 ± 14 Ma. The precision of LARIMS is sufficient to constrain the current 1 Ga uncertainty of the lunar flux curve, allowing us to reassess the timing of peak lunar volcanism, and constrain lunar thermal evolution. Furthermore, an updated lunar flux curve has implications throughout the solar system. For example, Mars could have undergone a longer epoch of voluminous, shield-forming volcanism and associated mantle evolution, as well as a longer era of abundant volatiles and hence potential habitability. These alternative chronologies could even affect our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth: under the classic chronology, life is thought to have originated after the dwindling of bombardment, but under the alternative chronology, it might have appeared during heavy bombardment. In order to resolve the science questions regarding the history of the Moon, and in light of the Duluth Gabbro results, we recently proposed a Discovery mission called MARE: The Moon Age and Regolith Explorer. MARE would accomplish these goals by landing on a young, nearside lunar basalt flow southwest of Aristarchus that has a crater density corresponding to a highly uncertain absolute age, collecting >10 rock samples, and assessing their radioisotopic age, geochemistry, and mineralogy.

  5. Human life support during interplanetary travel and domicile. III - Mars expedition system trade study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seshan, P. K.; Ferrall, Joseph F.; Rohatgi, Naresh K.

    1991-01-01

    Several alternative configurations of life-support systems (LSSs) for a Mars missions are compared analytically on a quantitative basis in terms of weight, volume, and power. A baseline technology set is utilized for the illustrations of systems including totally open loop, carbon dioxide removal only, partially closed loop, and totally closed loop. The analytical model takes advantage of a modular, top-down hierarchical breakdown of LSS subsystems into functional elements that represent individual processing technologies. The open-loop systems are not competitive in terms of weight for both long-duration orbiters and short-duration lander vehicles, and power demands are lowest with the open loop and highest with the closed loop. The closed-loop system can reduce vehicle weight by over 70,000 lbs and thereby overcome the power penalty of 1600 W; the closed-loop variety is championed as the preferred system for a Mars expedition.

  6. Investigation of bio-regenerative life support and Trash-to-gas experiment on a 4 month mars simulation mission

    OpenAIRE

    Caraccio, A.; Poulet, Lucie; Hintze, P.; Miles, J.D.

    2014-01-01

    Future crewed missions to other planets or deep space locations will require regenerative Life Support Systems (LSS) as well as recycling processes for mission waste. Constant resupply of many commodity materials will not be a sustainable option for deep space missions, nor will stowing trash on board a vehicle or at a lunar or Martian outpost. The habitable volume will decline as the volume of waste increases. A complete regenerative environmentally controlled life support system (ECLSS) on ...

  7. The Effects of Perchlorates on the Permafrost Methanogens: Implication for Autotrophic Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakova, Viktoria; Oshurkova, Viktoria; Yoshimura, Yoshitaka

    2015-09-09

    The terrestrial permafrost represents a range of possible cryogenic extraterrestrial ecosystems on Earth-like planets without obvious surface ice, such as Mars. The autotrophic and chemolithotrophic psychrotolerant methanogens are more likely than aerobes to function as a model for life forms that may exist in frozen subsurface environments on Mars, which has no free oxygen, inaccessible organic matter, and extremely low amounts of unfrozen water. Our research on the genesis of methane, its content and distribution in permafrost horizons of different ages and origin demonstrated the presence of methane in permanently frozen fine-grained sediments. Earlier, we isolated and described four strains of methanogenic archaea of Methanobacterium and Methanosarcina genera from samples of Pliocene and Holocene permafrost from Eastern Siberia. In this paper we study the effect of sodium and magnesium perchlorates on growth of permafrost and nonpermafrost methanogens, and present evidence that permafrost hydogenotrophic methanogens are more resistant to the chaotropic agent found in Martian soil. In this paper we study the effect of sodium and magnesium perchlorates on the growth of permafrost and nonpermafrost methanogens, and present evidence that permafrost hydogenotrophic methanogens are more resistant to the chaotropic agent found in Martian soil. Furthermore, as shown in the studies strain M2(T) M. arcticum, probably can use perchlorate anion as an electron acceptor in anaerobic methane oxidation. Earth's subzero subsurface environments are the best approximation of environments on Mars, which is most likely to harbor methanogens; thus, a biochemical understanding of these pathways is expected to provide a basis for designing experiments to detect autotrophic methane-producing life forms on Mars.

  8. The Effects of Perchlorates on the Permafrost Methanogens: Implication for Autotrophic Life on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viktoria Shcherbakova

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The terrestrial permafrost represents a range of possible cryogenic extraterrestrial ecosystems on Earth-like planets without obvious surface ice, such as Mars. The autotrophic and chemolithotrophic psychrotolerant methanogens are more likely than aerobes to function as a model for life forms that may exist in frozen subsurface environments on Mars, which has no free oxygen, inaccessible organic matter, and extremely low amounts of unfrozen water. Our research on the genesis of methane, its content and distribution in permafrost horizons of different ages and origin demonstrated the presence of methane in permanently frozen fine-grained sediments. Earlier, we isolated and described four strains of methanogenic archaea of Methanobacterium and Methanosarcina genera from samples of Pliocene and Holocene permafrost from Eastern Siberia. In this paper we study the effect of sodium and magnesium perchlorates on growth of permafrost and nonpermafrost methanogens, and present evidence that permafrost hydogenotrophic methanogens are more resistant to the chaotropic agent found in Martian soil. In this paper we study the effect of sodium and magnesium perchlorates on the growth of permafrost and nonpermafrost methanogens, and present evidence that permafrost hydogenotrophic methanogens are more resistant to the chaotropic agent found in Martian soil. Furthermore, as shown in the studies strain M2T M. arcticum, probably can use perchlorate anion as an electron acceptor in anaerobic methane oxidation. Earth’s subzero subsurface environments are the best approximation of environments on Mars, which is most likely to harbor methanogens; thus, a biochemical understanding of these pathways is expected to provide a basis for designing experiments to detect autotrophic methane-producing life forms on Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-04-01

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

  11. Did life exist on Mars? Search for organic and inorganic signatures, one of the goals for ``SAM'' (sample analysis at Mars)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Szopa, C.; Israël, G.; Raulin, F.; Sternberg, R.; Mahaffy, P.; Person, A.; Rodier, C.; Navarro-Gonzàlez, R.; Niemann, H.; Harpold, D.; Brinckerhoff, W.

    2004-01-01

    Observation of Mars shows signs of a past Earth-like climate, and, in that case, there is no objection to the possible development of life, in the underground or at the surface, as in the terrestrial primitive biosphere. Sample analysis at Mars (SAM) is an experiment which may be proposed for atmospheric, ground and underground in situ measurements. One of its goals is to bring direct or indirect information on the possibility for life to have developed on Mars, and to detect traces of past or present biological activity. With this aim, it focuses on the detection of organic molecules: volatile organics are extracted from the sample by simple heating, whereas refractory molecules are made analyzable (i.e. volatile), using derivatization technique or fragmentation by pyrolysis. Gaseous mixtures thus obtained are analyzed by gas chromatography associated to mass spectrometry. Beyond organics, carbonates and other salts are associated to the dense and moist atmosphere necessary to the development of life, and might have formed and accumulated in some places on Mars. They represent another target for SAM. Heating of the samples allows the analysis of structural gases of these minerals (CO2 from carbonates, etc.), enabling to identify them. We also show, in this paper, that it may be possible to discriminate between abiotic minerals, and minerals (shells, etc.) created by living organisms.

  12. 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.

  13. Applications of Surface Penetrating Radar for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.; Li, C.; Ran, S.; Feng, J.; Zuo, W.

    2015-12-01

    Surface Penetrating Radar (SPR) is a geophysical method that uses electromagnetic field probe the interior structure and lithological variations of a lossy dielectric materials, it performs quite well in dry, icy and shallow-soil environments. The first radar sounding of the subsurface of planet was carried out by Apollo Lunar Sounder Experiment (ALSE) of the Apollo 17 in 1972. ALSE provided very precise information about the moon's topography and revealed structures beneath the surface in both Mare Crisium and Mare Serenitatis. Russian Mars'92 was the first Mars exploration mission that tried to use SPR to explore martian surface, subsurface and ionosphere. Although Mars'96 launch failed in 1996, Russia(Mars'98, cancelled in 1998; Phobos-Grunt, launch failed in 2011), ESA(Mars Express, succeeded in 2003; Netlander, cancelled in 2003; ExoMars 2018) and NASA(MRO, succeeded in 2005; MARS 2020) have been making great effects to send SPR to Mars, trying to search for the existence of groundwater and life in the past 20 years. So far, no Ground Penetrating Radar(GPR) has yet provided in situ observations on the surface of Mars. In December 2013, China's CE-3 lunar rover (Yuto) equipped with a GPR made the first direct measurement of the structure and depth of the lunar soil, and investigation of the lunar crust structure along the rover path. China's Mars Exploration Program also plans to carry the orbiting radar sounder and rover GPR to characterize the nature of subsurface water or ices and the layered structure of shallow subsurface of Mars. SPR can provide diversity of applications for Mars exploration , that are: to map the distribution of solid and liquid water in the upper portions of the Mars' crust; to characterize the subsurface geologic environment; to investigate the planet's subsurface to better understand the evolution and habitability of Mars; to perform the martain ionosphere sounding. Based on SPR's history and achievements, combined with the

  14. Seeking Signs of Life on Mars: The Importance of Sedimentary Suites as Part of Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; Mangold, N.; McLennan, S. M.; Czaja, A. D.; Ori, G. G.; Tosca, N. J.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Beaty, D. W.; Benning, L. G.; Bishop, J. L.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Carrier, B. L.; Debaille, V.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Hallis, L. J.; Harrington, A. D.; Hausrath, E. M.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mackelprang, R.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCubbin, F. M.; McCoy, J. T.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Raulin, F.; Rettberg, P.; Rucker, M. A.; Schmitz, N.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Smith, C. L.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Usui, T.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    Sedimentary, and especially lacustrine, depositional environments are high-priority geological/astrobiological settings for Mars Sample Return. We review the detailed investigations, measurements, and sample types required to evaluate such settings.

  15. The Lunar Regolith as a Recorder of Cosmic History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Bonnie; McKay, D.; Riofrio, L.

    2012-01-01

    The Moon can be considered a giant tape recorder containing the history of the solar system and Universe. The lunar regolith (soil) has recorded the early history of the Moon, Earth, the solar system and Universe. A major goal of future lunar exploration should be to find and play back existing fragments of that tape . By reading the lunar tape, we can uncover a record of planetary bombardment, as well as solar and stellar variability. The Moon can tell us much about our place in the Universe. The lunar regolith has likely recorded the original meteoritic bombardment of Earth and Moon, a violent cataclysm that may have peaked around 4 Gyr, and the less intense bombardment occurring since that time. This impact history is preserved on the Moon as regolith layers, ejecta layers, impact melt rocks, and ancient impact breccias. The impact history of the Earth and Moon possibly had profound effects on the origin and development of life. Decrease in meteor bombardment allowed life to develop on Earth. Life may have developed first on another body, such as Mars, then arrived via meteorite on Earth. The solar system may have experienced bursts of severe radiation from the Sun, other stars, or from unknown sources. The lunar regolith has recorded this radiation history in the form of implanted solar wind, solar flare materials and radiation damage. Lunar soil can be found sandwiched between layers of basalt or pyroclastic deposits. This filling constitutes a buried time capsule that is likely to contain well-preserved ancient regolith. Study of such samples will show us how the solar system has evolved and changed over time. The lunar tape recorder can provide detailed information on specific portions of solar and stellar variability. Data from the Moon also offers clues as to whether so-called fundamental constants have changed over time.

  16. Perchlorate and halophilic prokaryotes: implications for possible halophilic life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, Aharon; Elevi Bardavid, Rahel; Mana, Lily

    2014-01-01

    In view of the finding of perchlorate among the salts detected by the Phoenix Lander on Mars, we investigated the relationships of halophilic heterotrophic microorganisms (archaea of the family Halobacteriaceae and the bacterium Halomonas elongata) toward perchlorate. All strains tested grew well in NaCl-based media containing 0.4 M perchlorate, but at the highest perchlorate concentrations, tested cells were swollen or distorted. Some species (Haloferax mediterranei, Haloferax denitrificans, Haloferax gibbonsii, Haloarcula marismortui, Haloarcula vallismortis) could use perchlorate as an electron acceptor for anaerobic growth. Although perchlorate is highly oxidizing, its presence at a concentration of 0.2 M for up to 2 weeks did not negatively affect the ability of a yeast extract-based medium to support growth of the archaeon Halobacterium salinarum. These findings show that presence of perchlorate among the salts on Mars does not preclude the possibility of halophilic life. If indeed the liquid brines that may exist on Mars are inhabited by salt-requiring or salt-tolerant microorganisms similar to the halophiles on Earth, presence of perchlorate may even be stimulatory when it can serve as an electron acceptor for respiratory activity in the anaerobic Martian environment.

  17. Life on Mars: How it disappeared (if it was ever there)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, E. Imre; Koriem, Ali M.

    The cryptoendolithic microbial community in the Ross Desert (McMurdo Dry Valleys) of Antarctica exists at temperatures significantly below the temperature optima of the primary producers. Surviving near the limit of their physiological adaptability, the organisms are under severe environmental stress, so further deterioration in the environment results in cell damage and death. The sequence of events leading to extinction is considered to be a terrestrial analog for disappearance of possible life on early Mars. Progressive stages of cell damage and death in the Ross Desert material are documented with transmission electron microscopy. Present address: Division of Rice Diseases, Plant Pathology Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Giza, Egypt.

  18. Human life support during interplanetary travel and domicile. IV - Mars expedition technology trade study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohatgi, Naresh K.; Ferrall, Joseph F.; Seshan, P. K.

    1991-01-01

    Results of trading processing technologies in a closed-loop configuration, in terms of power and weight for the Mars Expedition Mission, are presented. The technologies were traded and compared to a baseline set for functional elements that include CO2 removal, H2O electrolysis, potable H2O cleanup, and hygiene H2O cleanup. These technologies were selected from those being considered for Space Station Freedom and represent only chemical/physical technologies. Attention is given to the technology trade calculation scheme, technology data and selection, the generic modular flow schematic, and life support system specifications.

  19. An Approach to Searching for Life on Mars, Europa, and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2008-03-01

    Near-term missions may be able to access samples of organic material from Mars, Europa, and Enceladus. The challenge for astrobiology will be to determine if this material is the remains of dead microorganisms or merely abiotic organic material. The remains of life that shares a common origin with life on Earth will be straightforward to detect using sophisticated methods such as DNA amplification. These methods are extremely sensitive but specific to Earth-like life. Detecting the remains of alien life—that does not have a genetic or biochemical commonality with Earth life—will be much more difficult. There is a general property of life that can be used to determine if organic material is of biological origin. This general property is the repeated use of a few specific organic molecules for the construction of biopolymers. For example, Earth-like life uses 20 amino acids to construct proteins, 5 nucleotide bases to construct DNA and RNA, and a few sugars to construct polysaccharides. This selectivity will result in a statistically anomalous distribution of organic molecules distinct from organic material of non-biological origin. Such a distinctive pattern, different from the pattern of Earth-like life, will be persuasive evidence for a second genesis of life.

  20. Licancabur Volcano, Bolivia and life in the Atacama: Environmental physics and analogies to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hock, Andrew Nelson

    Although there is no perfect environmental analog to Mars on Earth, quantitative study of relevant terrestrial field sites can serve as the basis for physical models and technology development to aid future exploration. This dissertation describes original field and laboratory research on two terrestrial analog sites: Licancabur Volcano, Bolivia, and the Atacama Desert, Chile. Atop Licancabur, at an elevation of nearly 6,000 meters above sea level, sits the highest volcanic lake on Earth. Prior to this work, little was known about the lake, its waters, the role of volcanism or its potential relationship to locales on Mars. In the first part of this work, I describe observations of the lake resulting from several years of field study, including data on meteorological conditions and solar irradiance. These and other measurements provide the basis for (1) the first quantitative mass and energy balance model of the lake, and (2) the first determination of the altitude effect on solar visible and ultraviolet flux from the high altitude summit. Under the observed conditions, model results indicate: lake waters are primarily meteoric in origin and evaporating rapidly; volcanic input is not required to explain observations of lake water temperature or year-end model results. Nearby, Chile's Atacama Desert is known to be one of the driest, most inhospitable environments on Earth. There, environmental similarities to Mars provide an apt testing ground for new astrobiological exploration technologies. In the latter part of this work, I present results from my work with the Life In The Atacama (LITA) Mars rover field experiment. In particular, I report on the development of a new data analysis tool named the LITA Data Scoring System (DSS). Subject to the user-defined constraints, the DSS was used to facilitate targeting, analysis and mapping of rover science results relevant to potential habitability and evidence for life at three desert field sites. Although experimental in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2018-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Mars Aqueous Processing System, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Aqueous Processing System (MAPS) is a novel technology for recovering oxygen, iron, and other constituents from lunar and Mars soils. The closed-loop...

  4. Dietary and Food Processing for a 90-day Bioregenerative Life Support Experiment in the Lunar Palace 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhiruo; Fu, Yuming; Dong, Chen; Liu, Guanghui

    A 4-day cycle dietary menu was developed to meet the requirements of balanced diet of the crew within the 90-day closed experiment of bioregenerative life support in the Lunar Palace 1. The menu consisted of items prepared from crops and insect grown inside the system, as well as prestored food. Dairy recipe was composed of breads, vegetables, meats and soups, which provided about 2900 kcal per crew member per day. During food processing, to maximize nutrient recovery and minimize waste production, the whole wheat grains and chufa nuts were milled. Further, the carrot leaves and yellow mealworms were used as salad materials and bread ingredients, respectively. The sensory acceptability of the dishes in the menu was evaluated by flavor, texture, and appearance. Our results show that all dishes in the 4-day cycle menu were highly acceptable, which satisfies nutritional requirement of the crew members in the closed habitation.

  5. Analysis of Phenix end-of-life natural convection test with the MARS-LMR code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, H. Y.; Ha, K. S.; Lee, K. L.; Chang, W. P.; Kim, Y. I.

    2012-01-01

    The end-of-life test of Phenix reactor performed by the CEA provided an opportunity to have reliable and valuable test data for the validation and verification of a SFR system analysis code. KAERI joined this international program for the analysis of Phenix end-of-life natural circulation test coordinated by the IAEA from 2008. The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the capability of existing SFR system analysis code MARS-LMR and to identify any limitation of the code. The analysis was performed in three stages: pre-test analysis, blind posttest analysis, and final post-test analysis. In the pre-test analysis, the design conditions provided by the CEA were used to obtain a prediction of the test. The blind post-test analysis was based on the test conditions measured during the tests but the test results were not provided from the CEA. The final post-test analysis was performed to predict the test results as accurate as possible by improving the previous modeling of the test. Based on the pre-test analysis and blind test analysis, the modeling for heat structures in the hot pool and cold pool, steel structures in the core, heat loss from roof and vessel, and the flow path at core outlet were reinforced in the final analysis. The results of the final post-test analysis could be characterized into three different phases. In the early phase, the MARS-LMR simulated the heat-up process correctly due to the enhanced heat structure modeling. In the mid phase before the opening of SG casing, the code reproduced the decrease of core outlet temperature successfully. Finally, in the later phase the increase of heat removal by the opening of the SG opening was well predicted with the MARS-LMR code. (authors)

  6. Frontiers of Life Sciences: The Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Regina M.; Pellis, Neal R.

    2005-01-01

    The rapid development of the productive processes after World War II extended human settlements into new ecological niches. Advances in Life Sciences played a decisive role supporting the establishment of human presence in areas of the planet where human life could have not existed otherwise. The evolution of life support systems, and the fabrication of new materials and technologies has enabled humans to inhabit Polar Regions, ocean surfaces and depths; and to leave Earth and occupy Low Earth Orbit. By the end of the 20 th Century, stations in the Antarctic and Arctic, off shore oil platforms, submarines, and space stations had become the ultimate demonstration of human ability to engineer habitats at Earth extreme environments and outer space. As we enter the 21st Century, the next development of human settlements will occur through the exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The major risks of space exploration derive from long exposure of humans and other life systems to radiation, microgravity, isolation and confinement, dependence on artificial life support systems, and unknown effects (e.g., altered magnetic fields, ultrahigh vacuum on bacteria, fungi, etc.). Countermeasures will require a complete characterization of human and other biological systems adaptation processes. To sustain life in transit and on the surface of the Moon and Mars will require a balance of spacecraft, cargo, astronaut crews, and the use of in situ resources. Limitations on the number of crewmembers, payloads, and the barrenness of the terrain require a novel design for the capabilities needed in transit and at exploration outpost sites. The planned destinations have resources that may be accessed to produce materials, food, shelter, power, and to provide an environment compatible with successful occupation of longterm exploration sites. Once more, the advancements of Life Sciences will be essential for the design of interplanetary voyages and planetary surface operations. This

  7. Dynamic temperature fields under Mars landing sites and implications for supporting microbial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Richard; Kral, Tim; Chevrier, Vincent; Pilgrim, Robert; Roe, Larry

    2010-01-01

    While average temperatures on Mars may be too low to support terrestrial life-forms or aqueous liquids, diurnal peak temperatures over most of the planet can be high enough to provide for both, down to a few centimeters beneath the surface for some fraction of the time. A thermal model was applied to the Viking 1, Viking 2, Pathfinder, Spirit, and Opportunity landing sites to demonstrate the dynamic temperature fields under the surface at these well-characterized locations. A benchmark temperature of 253 K was used as a lower limit for possible metabolic activity, which corresponds to the minimum found for specific terrestrial microorganisms. Aqueous solutions of salts known to exist on Mars can provide liquid solutions well below this temperature. Thermal modeling has shown that 253 K is reached beneath the surface at diurnal peak heating for at least some parts of the year at each of these landing sites. Within 40 degrees of the equator, 253 K beneath the surface should occur for at least some fraction of the year; and, within 20 degrees , it will be seen for most of the year. However, any life-form that requires this temperature to thrive must also endure daily excursions to far colder temperatures as well as periods of the year where 253 K is never reached at all.

  8. "Long life" DC brush motor for use on the Mars surveyor program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, David; Noon, Don

    1998-01-01

    DC brush motors have several qualities which make them very attractive for space flight applications. Their mechanical commutation is simple and lightweight, requiring no external sensing and control in order to function properly. They are extremely efficient in converting electrical energy into mechanical energy. Efficiencies over 80% are not uncommon, resulting in high power throughput to weight ratios. However, the inherent unreliability and short life of sliding electrical contacts, especially in vacuum, have driven previous programs to utilize complex brushless DC or the less efficient stepper motors. The Mars Surveyor Program (MSP'98) and the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) have developed a reliable "long life" brush type DC motor for operation in low temperature, low pressure CO2 and N2, utilizing silver-graphite brushes. The original intent was to utilize this same motor for SRTM's space operation, but the results thus far have been unsatisfactory in vacuum. This paper describes the design, test, and results of this development.

  9. Characterization of an Electroanalytical Instrument Suite Searching for Water and Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostic, Heidi E.

    2005-01-01

    Seeking the existence of life on other planets is an essential part of NASA's research. Our terrestrial experience suggests that water is a mandatory resource for life to exist and thrive. However, instruments capable of detecting water at the levels likely to be present on Mars are lacking. This project tests the possibility of using electrical measurements of soils, at variable frequencies, as a water detector. Generally, the electrical resistance of soils can be described as a combination of resistance and capacitance, which can be described by a vector including a magnitude and (phase) angle. By specifically studying the impedance measurements and phase angles of different types of soil, spiked with varying concentrations of dissolved ions, measurements can be taken to provide an idea of the behavior of dry Martian soils. The presentation will describe the experimental technique, apparatus and procedures, as well as results conducted to calibrate the instrument and to establish sample preparation protocols.

  10. The Lunar Dust Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szalay, Jamey Robert

    Planetary bodies throughout the solar system are continually bombarded by dust particles, largely originating from cometary activities and asteroidal collisions. Surfaces of bodies with thick atmospheres, such as Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan are mostly protected from incoming dust impacts as these particles ablate in their atmospheres as 'shooting stars'. However, the majority of bodies in the solar system have no appreciable atmosphere and their surfaces are directly exposed to the flux of high speed dust grains. Impacts onto solid surfaces in space generate charged and neutral gas clouds, as well as solid secondary ejecta dust particles. Gravitationally bound ejecta clouds forming dust exospheres were recognized by in situ dust instruments around the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and had not yet been observed near bodies with refractory regolith surfaces before NASA's Lunar Dust and Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission. In this thesis, we first present the measurements taken by the Lunar Dust Explorer (LDEX), aboard LADEE, which discovered a permanently present, asymmetric dust cloud surrounding the Moon. The global characteristics of the lunar dust cloud are discussed as a function of a variety of variables such as altitude, solar longitude, local time, and lunar phase. These results are compared with models for lunar dust cloud generation. Second, we present an analysis of the groupings of impacts measured by LDEX, which represent detections of dense ejecta plumes above the lunar surface. These measurements are put in the context of understanding the response of the lunar surface to meteoroid bombardment and how to use other airless bodies in the solar system as detectors for their local meteoroid environment. Third, we present the first in-situ dust measurements taken over the lunar sunrise terminator. Having found no excess of small grains in this region, we discuss its implications for the putative population of electrostatically lofted dust.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

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

  12. A year on Mars: Life science investigations using a laboratory simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Paul; Kurk, Michael Andy

    2012-07-01

    A planetary environment simulator in Indiana, USA has been in use for about 5 years with visiting investigators having logged nearly one year of exposure time in intervals ranging from 7 days to 5 weeks. More than 20 investigators have studied a similar number of organisms in experiments ranging from the chemistry of the origin of life to the survival of invertebrate organisms in regolith. The simulator allows investigators to canvass several independent planetary variables, including diurnal temperature cycle, solar spectrum, light intensity, daytime shade, day length, depth and compositon of regolith, atmospheric pressure and composition, and moisture level. Gravity and ionizing radiation, of course, are not variable. Many experiments were performed at higher atmospheric pressure and moisture level than found on Mars, for example. The most popular conditions were simulations of light and temperature cycles resembling those at equatiorial and low latitudes and medium altitudes on Mars. Examples of completed and published studies include amino acid evolution, macroscopic microbial viability assays, the role of microbial community relationships in survival in extreme conditions, genomics of microbial communities, biological photoprotection by regolith, adaptability of cyanobacteria, and survival of extremophiles and small invertebrates as a function of regolith depth. Investigators have worked individually and as consortia exposing sometimes a few hundred samples at a time. As a general result, the survival of extremophiles has been found to be highly dependent on regolith cover, which is the dominant factor in affecting ultraviolet radiation exposure and moisture. A summary of the results of these investigations points the way toward further utilization of simulated extreme conditions relevant to the chemical origin of life, cellular evolution, gene expression in environmental adaptation, habitability parameters, life support systems, ecopoiesis and terraforming

  13. Simulated Lunar Testing of Metabolic Heat Regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla, Sebastian A.; Bower, Chad E.; Iacomini, Christie S.; Paul, Heather L.

    2012-01-01

    Metabolic heat regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption (MTSA) technology is being developed for thermal and carbon dioxide (CO2) control for a Portable Life Support System (PLSS), as well as water recycling. An Engineering Development Unit (EDU) of the MTSA Subassembly (MTSAS) was designed and assembled for optimized Martian operations, but also meets system requirements for lunar operations. For lunar operations the MTSA sorption cycle is driven via a vacuum swing between suit ventilation loop pressure and lunar vacuum. The focus of this effort was testing in a simulated lunar environment. This environment was simulated in Paragon's EHF vacuum chamber. The objective of the testing was to evaluate the full cycle performance of the MTSA Subassembly EDU, and to assess CO2 loading and pressure drop of the wash coated aluminum reticulated foam sorbent bed. Lunar environment testing proved out the feasibility of pure vacuum swing operation, making MTSA a technology that can be tested and used on the Moon prior to going to Mars. Testing demonstrated better than expected CO2 Nomenclature loading on the sorbent and nearly replicates the equilibrium data from the sorbent manufacturer. This exceeded any of the previous sorbent loading tests performed by Paragon. Subsequently, the increased performance of the sorbent bed design indicates future designs will require less mass and volume than the current EDU rendering MTSA as very competitive for Martian PLSS applications.

  14. Biosphere 2: a prototype project for a permanent and evolving life system for Mars base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, M; Allen, J P; Dempster, W F

    1992-01-01

    As part of the ground-based preparation for creating long-term life systems needed for space habitation and settlement, Space Biospheres Ventures (SBV) is undertaking the Biosphere 2 project near Oracle, Arizona. Biosphere 2, currently under construction, is scheduled to commence its operations in 1991 with a two-year closure period with a crew of eight people. Biosphere 2 is a facility which will be essentialy materially-closed to exchange with the outside environment. It is open to information and energy flow. Biosphere 2 is designed to achieve a complex life-support system by the integration of seven areas or "biomes"--rainforest, savannah, desert, marsh, ocean, intensive agriculture and human habitat. Unique bioregenerative technologies, such as soil bed reactors for air purification, aquatic waste processing systems, real-time analytic systems and complex computer monitoring and control systems are being developed for the Biosphere 2 project. Its operation should afford valuable insight into the functioning of complex life systems necessary for long-term habitation in space. It will serve as an experimental ground-based prototype and testbed for the stable, permanent life systems needed for human exploration of Mars.

  15. Biosphere 2: A prototype project for a permanent and evolving life system for Mars base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Allen, John P.; Dempster, William F.

    As part of the ground-based preparation for creating long-term life systems needed for space habitation and settlement, Space Biopsheres Ventures (SBV) is undertaking the Biosphere 2 project near Oracle, Arizona. Biosphere 2, currently under construction, is scheduled to commence its operations in 1991 with a two-year closure period with a crew of eight people. Biosphere 2 is a facility which will be essentially materially-closed to exchange with the outside environment. It is open to information and energy flow. Biosphere 2 is designed to achieve a complex life-support system by the integration of seven areas or ``biomes'' - rainforest, savannah, desert, marsh, ocean, intensive agriculture and human habitat. Unique bioregenerative technologies, such as soil bed reactors for air purification, aquatic waste processing systems, real-time analytic systems and complex computer monitoring and control systems are being developed for the Biosphere 2 project. Its operation should afford valuable insight into the functioning of complex life systems necessary for long-term habitation in space. It will serve as an experimental ground-based prototype and testbed for the stable, permanent life systems needed for human exploration of Mars.

  16. Chemical signatures of life in modern stromatolites from Lake Alchichica, Mexico. Applications for the search of life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Karina F.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Alcocer, Javier; Escobar, Elva; Morales, Pedro; Cienfuegos, Edith; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, Francois; Stalport, Fabien; Cabane, Michel; Person, Alain; McKay, Chris

    Stromatolites are one of the most important forms of fossil evidence for microbial life on early Earth (Schopf et al., 1971). They are formed when layers of microbial organisms at the shallow bottom of a lake or tide pool are periodically covered with sediment or precipitating salts (e.g. carbonate). The photosynthetic organisms that form the basis of the community must migrate through sediment toward the light in order to survive. If life emerged on Mars, it is possible that stromatolites were formed in lakes and marine lagoons. Recently the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mapping found a regional rock layer with near-infrared spectral characteristics that are consistent with the presence of magnesium carbonate in the Nili Fossae region (Ehlmann et al., 2008). The Nili Fossae is a fracture in the surface of Mars that has been eroded and partly filled in by sediments and clay-rich ejecta from a nearby crater. It is located at 22° N, 75° E and has an elevation of 0.6 km. The carbonate-bearing rocks outcrops in the Nili Fossae region could have formed in (1) the subsurface by groundwater percolating through fractures in the ultramafic rock and altering olivine or (2) in shallow lakes from waters enriched in Mg2+ relative to other cations by percolation through ultramafic olivine-bearing rocks. In the latter scenario, it is possible that these carbonate outcrops could have been deposited in association with microbial activity. The purpose of this work is to chemically characterize a modern stromatolite by thermal volatization (TV), a method that has been widely used in past missions (Viking and Phoenix) and will also be used in future missions (Mars Science Laboratory and ExoMars) in the search for life on Mars. Alchichica is a volcanic crater lake situated in an enclosed basin within the El Seco Valley at 19° 24' 13" N, 97° 24' 0" W, and 2.345 km above sea level in Mexico. It has an area of 1.81 km2 , a mean depth of 38.5 m and a maximum depth of 64 m. The lake is

  17. The prospects for life on Mars - A pre-Viking assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, C.; Lederberg, J.

    1976-01-01

    The paper considers implications of the Mariner 9 findings for the investigation of Martian biology in the next decade, beginning with the Viking mission. Previous claims for observations of Martian biological activity are reviewed and refuted or reinterpreted. The question is raised of whether there are combinations of environmental temperature and water activity on Mars that are suitable for a conceivable Martian biology. Four possible classes of Martian organisms associated with temperature/water ecological niches in the external environment are proposed: organisms requiring high temperatures and high water activity, those inhabiting niches with low temperatures and high water activity, those inhabiting niches of high temperature and low water activity, and those which can survive under conditions of low temperature and low water activity. It is noted that organisms of the last two classes may extract water from minerals or from ice and may be of large dimensions. The possible surface distribution of Martian organisms is discussed along with future search strategies for life on Mars.

  18. Development of a Mars Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henninger, Donald L.

    2016-01-01

    ECLS systems for very long-duration human missions to Mars will be designed to operate reliably for many years and will never be returned to Earth. The need for high reliability is driven by unsympathetic abort scenarios. Abort from a Mars mission could be as long as 450 days to return to Earth. Simply put, the goal of an ECLSS is to duplicate the functions the Earth provides in terms of human living and working on our home planet but without the benefit of the Earth's large buffers - the atmospheres, the oceans and land masses. With small buffers a space-based ECLSS must operate as a true dynamic system rather than independent processors taking things from tanks, processing them, and then returning them to product tanks. Key is a development process that allows for a logical sequence of validating successful development (maturation) in a stepwise manner with key performance parameters (KPPs) at each step; especially KPPs for technologies evaluated in a full systems context with human crews on Earth and on space platforms such as the ISS. This paper will explore the implications of such an approach to ECLSS development and the roles of ground and space-based testing necessary to develop a highly reliable life support system for long duration human exploration missions. Historical development and testing of ECLS systems from Mercury to the International Space Station (ISS) will be reviewed. Current work as well as recommendations for future work will be described.

  19. Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Ebbe Norskov; Goul, Michael; Rasmussen, Martin

    , a release of electrical discharges with a concomitant production of reactive oxygen species. While the effects of low water availability, low pressure and radiation have been extensively studied in relation to the habitability of the Martian surface and the preservation of organic biosignatures, the effects...... in a Mars-like atmosphere in sealed quartz ampoules. The effects on bacterial survival and structure were evaluated by colony forming unit counts in combination with scanning electron microscopy, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and life/dead-staining with flow cytometry. The viability of vegetative...... to abraded basalt, which indicates that the resistance of spores is not associated with any specific spore component. We found a significant but reduced effect of abraded quartz and we suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates is induced by a production of reactive oxygen species and hydroxyl...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A.

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Blind post-test analysis of Phenix End-of-Life natural circulation test with the MARS-LMR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Hae Yong; Ha, Kwi Seok; Kwon, Young Min; Chang, Won Pyo; Suk, Su Dong; Lee, Kwi Lim

    2010-01-01

    KAERI is developing a system analysis code, MARS-LMR, for the application to a sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR). This code will be used as a basic tool in the design and analysis of future SFR systems in Korea. Before wide application of a system analysis code, it is required to verify and validate the code models through analyses for appropriate experimental data or analytical results. The MARS-LMR code has been developed from MARS code which had been well verified and validated for a pressurized water reactor (PWR) system. The MARS-LMR code shares the same form of governing equations and solution schemes with MARS code, which eliminates the need of independent verification procedure. However, it is required to validate the applicability of the code to an SFR system because it adopts some dedicated heat transfer models, pressure drop models, and material properties models for a sodium system. Phenix is a medium-sized pool-type SFR successfully operated for 35 years since 1973. This reactor reached its final shutdown in February 2009. An international program of Phenix end-of-life (EOL) test was followed and some valuable information was obtained from the test, which will be useful for the validation of SFR system analysis code. In the present study, the performance of MARS-LMR code is evaluated through a blind calculation with the boundary conditions measured in the real test. The post-test analysis results are also compared with the test data generated in the test

  2. How to Establish a Bioregenerative Life Support System for Long-Term Crewed Missions to the Moon or Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yuming; Li, Leyuan; Xie, Beizhen; Dong, Chen; Wang, Mingjuan; Jia, Boyang; Shao, Lingzhi; Dong, Yingying; Deng, Shengda; Liu, Hui; Liu, Guanghui; Liu, Bojie; Hu, Dawei; Liu, Hong

    2016-12-01

    To conduct crewed simulation experiments of bioregenerative life support systems on the ground is a critical step for human life support in deep-space exploration. An artificial closed ecosystem named Lunar Palace 1 was built through integrating efficient higher plant cultivation, animal protein production, urine nitrogen recycling, and bioconversion of solid waste. Subsequently, a 105-day, multicrew, closed integrative bioregenerative life support systems experiment in Lunar Palace 1 was carried out from February through May 2014. The results show that environmental conditions as well as the gas balance between O 2 and CO 2 in the system were well maintained during the 105-day experiment. A total of 21 plant species in this system kept a harmonious coexistent relationship, and 20.5% nitrogen recovery from urine, 41% solid waste degradation, and a small amount of insect in situ production were achieved. During the 105-day experiment, oxygen and water were recycled, and 55% of the food was regenerated. Key Words: Bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS)-Space agriculture-Space life support-Waste recycle-Water recycle. Astrobiology 16, 925-936.

  3. NASA Mars Conference

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reiber, D.B.

    1988-01-01

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

  4. Life: Here? There? Elsewhere? The Search for Life on Venus and Mars. Life in the Universe Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996

    This classroom kit, designed by curriculum developers working with teachers and scientists from the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, helps teachers guide students in the exploration of life through the multidisciplinary sciences of paleontology and exobiology. It reflects the real-life methods of science: making…

  5. A Methane-Rich Early Mars: Implications for Habitability and the Emergence of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Michael L.; Friedson, Andrew James; Willacy, Karen; Shia, Run-Lie; Yung, Yuk; Russell, Michael J.

    2017-10-01

    We investigate the radiation and chemistry of a ~4.0 Ga, CH4-rich martian atmosphere in an effort to assess whether or not Mars was once habitable and suitable for the emergence of life. High atmospheric CH4 may be consistent with a mantle that does not reach the requisite pressure (24 GPa) and temperature (1900 K) for the silicate spinel-to-perovskite transition (Dale et al., 2012; McCammon, 1997; Wadhwa, 2001; Wood et al., 2006). Impact degassing from chondritic material can also contribute substantial amounts of CH4 to the atmosphere (Schaefer and Fegley, 2007). CH4 plays an important role in atmospheric radiation. Atmospheric models have demonstrated that a purely CO2 atmosphere, even one as massive as 7 bars, is incapable of heating Mars above an annual-mean surface temperature of 273 K (Forget et al., 2013), although recent studies show that recurring wet states could have been induced in an H2-rich atmosphere (Batalha et al., 2015, 2016). We show that CH4 alone is insufficient to warm early Mars above freezing—in fact it produces an anti-greenhouse effect—but it substantially raises middle atmospheric temperatures. We determine whether or not such high temperatures could prolong the photochemical lifetime of SO2, another potent greenhouse gas. We use RC1D, a non-gray 1-D radiative-convective equilibrium model, to calculate the atmospheric thermal structure consistent with the radiative heating and cooling associated with the composition computed at each chemical model time step. KINETICS, the Caltech/JPL chemistry transport model (e.g. Nair et al., 1994), determines the chemical makeup of the atmosphere, evaluating steady-state chemical profiles and the synthesis of astrobiologically relevant molecules. H2O is in vapor pressure equilibrium at the surface. We consider conditions forced by the faint-young Sun’s spectrum and luminosity. By coupling RC1D and KINETICS, we are able to paint a more realistic picture of Mars’s early climate, calculating the

  6. Iberian Pyrite Belt Subsurface Life (IPBSL), a drilling project in a geochemical Mars terrestrial analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amils, R.; Fernández-Remolar, D. C.; Parro, V.; Manfredi, J. A.; Timmis, K.; Oggerin, M.; Sánchez-Román, M.; López, F. J.; Fernández, J. P.; Omoregie, E.; Gómez-Ortiz, D.; Briones, C.; Gómez, F.; García, M.; Rodríguez, N.; Sanz, J. L.

    2012-09-01

    Iberian Pyrite Belt Subsurface Life (IPBSL) is a drilling project specifically designed to characterize the subsurface ecosystems operating in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), in the area of Peña de Hierro, and responsible of the extreme acidic conditions existing in the Rio Tinto basin [1]. Rio Tinto is considered a good geochemical terrestrial analogue of Mars [2, 3]. A dedicated geophysical characterization of the area selected two drilling sites (4) due to the possible existence of water with high ionic content (low resistivity). Two wells have been drilled in the selected area, BH11 and BH10, of depths of 340 and 620 meters respectively, with recovery of cores and generation of samples in anaerobic and sterile conditions. Preliminary results showed an important alteration of mineral structures associated with the presence of water, with production of expected products from the bacterial oxidation of pyrite (sulfates and ferric iron). Ion chromatography of water soluble compounds from uncontaminated samples showed the existence of putative electron donors (ferrous iron, nitrite in addition of the metal sulfides), electron acceptors (sulfate, nitrate, ferric iron) as well as variable concentration of metabolic organic acids (mainly acetate, formate, propionate and oxalate), which are strong signals of the presence of active subsurface ecosystem associated to the high sulfidic mineral content of the IPB. The system is driven by oxidants that appear to be provided by the rock matrix, only groundwater is needed to launch microbial metabolism. The geological, geomicrobiological and molecular biology analysis which are under way, should allow the characterization of this ecosystem of paramount interest in the design of an astrobiological underground Mars exploration mission in the near future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  8. Low Pressure Tolerance by Methanogens in an Aqueous Environment: Implications for Subsurface Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickol, R. L.; Kral, T. A.

    2017-12-01

    The low pressure at the surface of Mars (average: 6 mbar) is one potentially biocidal factor that any extant life on the planet would need to endure. Near subsurface life, while shielded from ultraviolet radiation, would also be exposed to this low pressure environment, as the atmospheric gas-phase pressure increases very gradually with depth. Few studies have focused on low pressure as inhibitory to the growth or survival of organisms. However, recent work has uncovered a potential constraint to bacterial growth below 25 mbar. The study reported here tested the survivability of four methanogen species ( Methanothermobacter wolfeii, Methanosarcina barkeri, Methanobacterium formicicum, Methanococcus maripaludis) under low pressure conditions approaching average martian surface pressure (6 mbar - 143 mbar) in an aqueous environment. Each of the four species survived exposure of varying length (3 days - 21 days) at pressures down to 6 mbar. This research is an important stepping-stone to determining if methanogens can actively metabolize/grow under these low pressures. Additionally, the recently discovered recurring slope lineae suggest that liquid water columns may connect the surface to deeper levels in the subsurface. If that is the case, any organism being transported in the water column would encounter the changing pressures during the transport.

  9. Low Pressure Tolerance by Methanogens in an Aqueous Environment: Implications for Subsurface Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickol, R L; Kral, T A

    2017-12-01

    The low pressure at the surface of Mars (average: 6 mbar) is one potentially biocidal factor that any extant life on the planet would need to endure. Near subsurface life, while shielded from ultraviolet radiation, would also be exposed to this low pressure environment, as the atmospheric gas-phase pressure increases very gradually with depth. Few studies have focused on low pressure as inhibitory to the growth or survival of organisms. However, recent work has uncovered a potential constraint to bacterial growth below 25 mbar. The study reported here tested the survivability of four methanogen species (Methanothermobacter wolfeii, Methanosarcina barkeri, Methanobacterium formicicum, Methanococcus maripaludis) under low pressure conditions approaching average martian surface pressure (6 mbar - 143 mbar) in an aqueous environment. Each of the four species survived exposure of varying length (3 days - 21 days) at pressures down to 6 mbar. This research is an important stepping-stone to determining if methanogens can actively metabolize/grow under these low pressures. Additionally, the recently discovered recurring slope lineae suggest that liquid water columns may connect the surface to deeper levels in the subsurface. If that is the case, any organism being transported in the water column would encounter the changing pressures during the transport.

  10. The Importance of Sample Return in Establishing Chemical Evidence for Life on Mars or Other Solar System Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    The search for evidence of life on Mars and elsewhere will continue to be one of the primary goals of NASA s robotic exploration program over the next decade. NASA and ESA are currently planning a series of robotic missions to Mars with the goal of understanding its climate, resources, and potential for harboring past or present life. One key goal will be the search for chemical biomarkers including complex organic compounds important in life on Earth. These include amino acids, the monomer building blocks of proteins and enzymes, nucleobases and sugars which form the backbone of DNA and RNA, and lipids, the structural components of cell membranes. Many of these organic compounds can also be formed abiotically as demonstrated by their prevalence in carbonaceous meteorites [1], though, their molecular characteristics may distinguish a biological source [2]. It is possible that in situ instruments may reveal such characteristics, however, return of the right sample (i.e. one with biosignatures or having a high probability of biosignatures) to Earth would allow for more intensive laboratory studies using a broad array of powerful instrumentation for bulk characterization, molecular detection, isotopic and enantiomeric compositions, and spatially resolved chemistry that may be required for confirmation of extant or extinct Martian life. Here we will discuss the current analytical capabilities and strategies for the detection of organics on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite and how sample return missions from Mars and other targets of astrobiological interest will help advance our understanding of chemical biosignatures in the solar system.

  11. Studies of biominerals relevant to the search for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Armando; D'Elia, Marcella; Licchelli, Domenico; Orofino, Vincenzo; Fonti, Sergio

    2006-12-01

    The evidence of the water erosion on Mars is particularly interesting since present climatic conditions are such that liquid water cannot exist at the surface. But, if water was present on the planet in the past, there may have been life, too. Since the discovery of carbonates on Mars also may have very important implications on the possibility that life developed there, we are studying minerals that can have biotic or abiotic origin: calcite (CaCO(3)) and aragonite, a metastable state of calcite.We have analysed biomineral aragonite, in the form of recent sea shells, as well as crystals of mineral aragonite. Infrared spectroscopy in the 2-25 mum wavelength range reveals that, after thermal processing, the biotic samples have a different spectral behaviour from the abiotic ones. As a result, it is possible to distinguish abiotic mineral aragonite from aragonite of recent biological origin.Obviously, if life existed in the past on the Red Planet, we could expect to find "ancient" biotic carbonates, which should therefore be investigated, in order to search for a way of discriminating them from abiotic minerals. For this reason, at the beginning we have considered samples of crushed fossil shells of aragonite composition. Afterwards, in order to take into account that fossilization processes almost always produce a transformation of metastable form (aragonite) into more stable form (calcite), we also studied samples of mineral calcite and different types of fossils completely transformed into calcite. All these biotic fossil samples show the same spectral behaviour as the fresh biotic material after thermal annealing at 485 degrees C. Instead, the calcite behaves like abiotic aragonite.Furthermore, it is known that seashells and other biominerals are formed through an intimate association of inorganic materials with organic macromolecules. The macromolecules control the nucleation, structure, morphology, crystal orientation and spatial confinement of the inorganic

  12. The International Lunar Decade Declaration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldavs, V.; Foing, B.; Bland, D.; Crisafulli, J.

    2015-10-01

    needed for lunar operations (robotic and human), lunar mining, materials processing, manufacturing, transportation, life support and other.

  13. Studies in matter antimatter separation and in the origin of lunar magnetism. Annual progress report, 1 Sep 1974--31 Aug 1975

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barker, W.A.; Greeley, R.; Parkin, C.; Aggarwal, H.; Schultz, P.

    1975-01-01

    A progress report covering lunar and planetary research is introduced. Data cover lunar ionospheric models, lunar and planetary geology, and lunar magnetism. Wind tunnel simulations of Mars aeolian problems and a comparative study of basaltic analogs of Lunar and Martial volcanic features was discussed

  14. Wind driven saltation: a hitherto overlooked challenge for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe; Goul, Michael; Rasmussen, Martin; Moeller, Ralf; Nørnberg, Per; Knak Jensen, Svend; Finster, Kai

    2017-04-01

    The Martian surface is a hostile environment characterized by low water availability, low atmospheric pressure and high UV and ionizing radiation. Furthermore, wind-driven saltation leads to abrasion of silicates with a production of reactive surface sites and, through triboelectric charging, a release of electrical discharges with a concomitant production of reactive oxygen species. While the effects of low water availability, low pressure and radiation have been extensively studied in relation to the habitability of the Martian surface and the preservation of organic biosignatures, the effects of wind-driven saltation have hitherto been ignored. In this study, we have investigated the effect of exposing bacteria to wind-abraded silicates and directly to wind-driven saltation on Mars in controlled laboratory simulation experiments. Wind-driven saltation was simulated by tumbling mineral samples in a Mars-like atmosphere in sealed quartz ampoules. The effects on bacterial survival and structure were evaluated by colony forming unit counts in combination with scanning electron microscopy, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and life/dead-staining with flow cytometry. The viability of vegetative cells of P. putida, B. subtilis and D. radiodurans in aqueous suspensions was reduced by more than 99% by exposure to abraded basalt, while the viability of B. subtilis endospores was unaffected. B. subtilis mutants lacking different spore components were likewise highly resistant to the exposure to abraded basalt, which indicates that the resistance of spores is not associated with any specific spore component. We found a significant but reduced effect of abraded quartz and we suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates is induced by a production of reactive oxygen species and hydroxyl radicals produced by Fenton-like reactions in the presence of transition metals. Direct exposure to simulated saltation had a dramatic effect on both D. radiodurans cells and B

  15. Beneficiation of lunar ilmenite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Joaquin

    1991-01-01

    One of the most important commodities lacking in the moon is free oxygen which is required for life and used extensively for propellent. Free oxygen, however, can be obtained by liberating it from the oxides and silicates that form the lunar rocks and regolith. Ilmenite (FeTiO3) is considered one of the leading candidates for production of oxygen because it can be reduced with a reasonable amount of energy and it is an abundant mineral in the lunar regolith and many mare basalts. In order to obtain oxygen from ilmenite, a method must be developed to beneficiate ilmenite from lunar material. Two possible techniques are electrostatic or magnetic methods. Both methods have complications because lunar ilmenite completely lacks Fe(3+). Magnetic methods were tested on eucrite meteorites, which are a good chemical simulant for low Ti mare basalts. The ilmenite yields in the experiments were always very low and the eucrite had to be crushed to xxxx. These data suggest that magnetic separation of ilmenite from fine grain lunar basalts would not be cost effective. Presently, experiments are being performed with electrostatic separators, and lunar regolith is being waited for so that simulants do not have to be employed.

  16. Engineering a lunar photolithoautotroph to thrive on the moon - life or simulacrum?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellery, A. A.

    2018-07-01

    Recent work in developing self-replicating machines has approached the problem as an engineering problem, using engineering materials and methods to implement an engineering analogue of a hitherto uniquely biological function. The question is - can anything be learned that might be relevant to an astrobiological context in which the problem is to determine the general form of biology independent of the Earth. Compared with other non-terrestrial biology disciplines, engineered life is more demanding. Engineering a self-replicating machine tackles real environments unlike artificial life which avoids the problem of physical instantiation altogether by examining software models. Engineering a self-replicating machine is also more demanding than synthetic biology as no library of functional components exists. Everything must be constructed de novo. Biological systems already have the capacity to self-replicate but no engineered machine has yet been constructed with the same ability - this is our primary goal. On the basis of the von Neumann analysis of self-replication, self-replication is a by-product of universal construction capability - a universal constructor is a machine that can construct anything (in a functional sense) given the appropriate instructions (DNA/RNA), energy (ATP) and materials (food). In the biological cell, the universal construction mechanism is the ribosome. The ribosome is a biological assembly line for constructing proteins while DNA constitutes a design specification. For a photoautotroph, the energy source is ambient and the food is inorganic. We submit that engineering a self-replicating machine opens up new areas of astrobiology to be explored in the limits of life.

  17. Methane as a biomarker in the search for extraterrestrial life: Lessons learned from Mars analog hypersaline environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, B.; Tazaz, A.; Kelley, C. A.; Poole, J. A.; Davila, A.; Chanton, J.

    2010-12-01

    Methane released from discrete regions on Mars, together with previous reports of methane determined with ground-based telescopes, has revived the possibility of past or even extant life near the surface on Mars, since 90% of the methane on Earth has a biological origin. This intriguing possibility is supported by the abundant evidence of large bodies of liquid water, and therefore of conditions conducive to the origin of life, early in the planet's history. The detection and analysis of methane is at the core of NASA’s strategies to search for life in the solar system, and on extrasolar planets. Because methane is also produced abiotically, it is important to generate criteria to unambiguously assess biogenicity. The stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signature of methane, as well as its ratio to other low molecular weight hydrocarbons (the methane/(ethane + propane) ratio: C1/(C2 + C3)), has been suggested to be diagnostic for biogenic methane. We report measurements of the concentrations and stable isotopic signature of methane from hypersaline environments. We focus on hypersaline environments because spectrometers orbiting Mars have detected widespread chloride bearing deposits resembling salt flats. Other evaporitic minerals, e.g., sulfates, are also abundant in several regions, including those studied by the Mars Exploration Rovers. The presence of evaporitic minerals, together with the known evolution of the Martian climate, from warmer and wetter to cold and hyper-arid, suggest that evaporitic and hypersaline environments were common in the past. Hypersaline environments examined to date include salt ponds located in Baja California, the San Francisco Bay, and the Atacama Desert. Methane was found in gas produced both in the sediments, and in gypsum- and halite-hosted (endolithic) microbial communities. Maximum methane concentrations were as high as 40% by volume. The methane carbon isotopic (δ13C) composition showed a wide range of values, from about

  18. Destruction of Raman biosignatures by ionising radiation and the implications for life detection on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dartnell, Lewis R; Page, Kristian; Jorge-Villar, Susana E; Wright, Gary; Munshi, Tasnim; Scowen, Ian J; Ward, John M; Edwards, Howell G M

    2012-04-01

    Raman spectroscopy has proven to be a very effective approach for the detection of microorganisms colonising hostile environments on Earth. The ExoMars rover, due for launch in 2018, will carry a Raman laser spectrometer to analyse samples of the martian subsurface collected by the probe's 2-m drill in a search for similar biosignatures. The martian surface is unprotected from the flux of cosmic rays, an ionising radiation field that will degrade organic molecules and so diminish and distort the detectable Raman signature of potential martian microbial life. This study employs Raman spectroscopy to analyse samples of two model organisms, the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and the extremely radiation resistant polyextremophile Deinococcus radiodurans, that have been exposed to increasing doses of ionising radiation. The three most prominent peaks in the Raman spectra are from cellular carotenoids: deinoxanthin in D. radiodurans and β-carotene in Synechocystis. The degradative effect of ionising radiation is clearly seen, with significant diminishment of carotenoid spectral peak heights after 15 kGy and complete erasure of Raman biosignatures by 150 kGy of ionising radiation. The Raman signal of carotenoid in D. radiodurans diminishes more rapidly than that of Synechocystis, believed to be due to deinoxanthin acting as a superior scavenger of radiolytically produced reactive oxygen species, and so being destroyed more quickly than the less efficient antioxidant β-carotene. This study highlights the necessity for further experimental work on the manner and rate of degradation of Raman biosignatures by ionising radiation, as this is of prime importance for the successful detection of microbial life in the martian near subsurface.

  19. Life at extreme elevations on Atacama volcanoes: the closest thing to Mars on Earth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, S K; Gendron, E M S; Vincent, K; Solon, A J; Sommers, P; Schubert, Z R; Vimercati, L; Porazinska, D L; Darcy, J L; Sowell, P

    2018-03-20

    Here we describe recent breakthroughs in our understanding of microbial life in dry volcanic tephra ("soil") that covers much of the surface area of the highest elevation volcanoes on Earth. Dry tephra above 6000 m.a.s.l. is perhaps the best Earth analog for the surface of Mars because these "soils" are acidic, extremely oligotrophic, exposed to a thin atmosphere, high UV fluxes, and extreme temperature fluctuations across the freezing point. The simple microbial communities found in these extreme sites have among the lowest alpha diversity of any known earthly ecosystem and contain bacteria and eukaryotes that are uniquely adapted to these extreme conditions. The most abundant eukaryotic organism across the highest elevation sites is a Naganishia species that is metabolically versatile, can withstand high levels of UV radiation and can grow at sub-zero temperatures, and during extreme diurnal freeze-thaw cycles (e.g. - 10 to + 30 °C). The most abundant bacterial phylotype at the highest dry sites sampled (6330 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Llullaillaco) belongs to the enigmatic B12-WMSP1 clade which is related to the Ktedonobacter/Thermosporothrix clade that includes versatile organisms with the largest known bacterial genomes. Close relatives of B12-WMSP1 are also found in fumarolic soils on Volcán Socompa and in oligotrophic, fumarolic caves on Mt. Erebus in Antarctica. In contrast to the extremely low diversity of dry tephra, fumaroles found at over 6000 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Socompa support very diverse microbial communities with alpha diversity levels rivalling those of low elevation temperate soils. Overall, the high-elevation biome of the Atacama region provides perhaps the best "natural experiment" in which to study microbial life in both its most extreme setting (dry tephra) and in one of its least extreme settings (fumarolic soils).

  20. Immunological detection of small organic molecules in the presence of perchlorates: relevance to the life marker chip and life detection on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rix, Catherine S; Sims, Mark R; Cullen, David C

    2011-11-01

    The proposed ExoMars mission, due to launch in 2018, aims to look for evidence of extant and extinct life in martian rocks and regolith. Previous attempts to detect organic molecules of biological or abiotic origin on Mars have been unsuccessful, which may be attributable to destruction of these molecules by perchlorate salts during pyrolysis sample extraction techniques. Organic molecules can also be extracted and measured with solvent-based systems. The ExoMars payload includes the Life Marker Chip (LMC) instrument, capable of detecting biomarker molecules of extant and extinct Earth-like life in liquid extracts of martian samples with an antibody microarray assay. The aim of the work reported here was to investigate whether the presence of perchlorate salts, at levels similar to those at the NASA Phoenix landing site, would compromise the LMC extraction and detection method. To test this, we implemented an LMC-representative sample extraction process with an LMC-representative antibody assay and used these to extract and analyze a model sample that consisted of a Mars analog sample matrix (JSC Mars-1) spiked with a representative organic molecular target (pyrene, an example of abiotic meteoritic infall targets) in the presence of perchlorate salts. We found no significant change in immunoassay function when using pyrene standards with added perchlorate salts. When model samples spiked with perchlorate salts were subjected to an LMC-representative liquid extraction, immunoassays functioned in a liquid extract and detected extracted pyrene. For the same model sample matrix without perchlorate salts, we observed anomalous assay signals that coincided with yellow coloration of the extracts. This unexpected observation is being studied further. This initial study indicates that the presence of perchlorate salts, at levels similar to those detected at the NASA Phoenix landing site, is unlikely to prevent the LMC from extracting and detecting organic molecules from

  1. Anaerobic Psychrophiles from Alaska, Antarctica, and Patagonia: Implications to Possible Life on Mars and Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Pikuta, Elena V.; Marsic, Damien; Ng, Joseph

    2002-01-01

    Microorganisms preserved within the permafrost, glaciers, and polar ice sheets of planet Earth provide analogs for microbial life forms that may be encountered in ice or permafrost of Mars, Europa, Callisto, Ganymede, asteroids, comets or other frozen worlds in the Cosmos. The psychrophilic and psychrotolerant microbes of the terrestrial cryosphere help establish the thermal and temporal limitations of life on Earth and provide clues to where and how we should search for evidence of life elsewhere in the Universe. For this reason, the cold-loving microorganisms are directly relevant to Astrobiology. Cryopreserved microorganisms can remain viable (in deep anabiosis) in permafrost and ice for millions of years. Permafrost, ice wedges, pingos, glaciers, and polar ice sheets may contain intact ancient DNA, lipids, enzymes, proteins, genes, and even frozen and yet viable ancient microbiota. Some microorganisms carry out metabolic processes in water films and brine, acidic, or alkaline channels in permafrost or ice at temperatures far below 0 C. Complex microbial communities live in snow, ice-bubbles, cryoconite holes on glaciers and ancient microbial ecosystems are cryopreserved within the permafrost, glaciers, and polar caps. In the Astrobiology group of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the University of Alabama at Huntsville, we have employed advanced techniques for the isolation, culture, and phylogenetic analysis of many types of microbial extremophiles. We have also used the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope to study the morphology, ultra-microstructure and chemical composition of microorganisms in ancient permafrost and ice. We discuss several interesting and novel anaerobic microorganisms that we have isolated and cultured from the Pleistocene ice of the Fox Tunnel of Alaska, guano of the Magellanic Penguin, deep-sea sediments from the vicinity of the Rainbow Hydrothermal Vent and enrichment cultures from ice of the Patriot Hills of Antarctica

  2. Effects of Mars Regolith Analogs, UVC radiation, Temperature, Pressure, and pH on the Growth and Survivability of Methanogenic Archaea and Stable Carbon Isotope Fractionation: Implications for Surface and Subsurface Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Navita

    Mars is one of the suitable bodies in our solar system that can accommodate extraterrestrial life. The detection of plumes of methane in the Martian atmosphere, geochemical evidence, indication of flow of intermittent liquid water on the Martian surface, and geomorphologies of Mars have bolstered the plausibility of finding extant or evidence of extinct life on its surface and/or subsurface. However, contemporary Mars has been considered as an inhospitable planet for several reasons, such as low atmospheric surface pressure, low surface temperature, and intense DNA damaging radiation. Despite the hostile conditions of Mars, a few strains of methanogenic archaea have shown survivability in limited surface and subsurface conditions of Mars. Methanogens, which are chemolithoautotrophic non-photosynthetic anaerobic archaea, have been considered ideal models for possible Martian life forms for a long time. The search for biosignatures in the Martian atmosphere and possibility of life on the Martian surface under UVC radiation and deep subsurface under high pressure, temperature, and various pHs are the motivations of this research. Analogous to Earth, Martian atmospheric methane could be biological in origin. Chapter 1 provides relevant information about Mars' habitability, methane on Mars, and different strains of methanogens used in this study. Chapter 2 describes the interpretation of the carbon isotopic data of biogenic methane produced by methanogens grown on various Mars analogs and the results provide clues to determine ambiguous sources of methane on Mars. Chapter 3 illustrates the sensitivity of hydrated and desiccated cultures of halophilic and non-halophilic methanogens to DNA-damaging ultraviolet radiations, and the results imply that UVC radiation may not be an enormous constraint for methanogenic life forms on the surface of Mars. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 discuss the data for the survivability, growth, and morphology of methanogens in presumed deep subsurface

  3. Lunar Riometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, J.; Jones, D. L.; MacDowall, R. J.; Burns, J. O.; Kasper, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    The lunar exosphere is the exemplar of a plasma near the surface of an airless body. Exposed to both the solar and interstellar radiation fields, the lunar exosphere is mostly ionized, and enduring questions regarding its properties include its density and vertical extent and its behavior over time, including modification by landers. Relative ionospheric measurements (riometry) are based on the simple physical principle that electromagnetic waves cannot propagate through a partially or fully ionized medium below the plasma frequency, and riometers have been deployed on the Earth in numerous remote and hostile environments. A multi-frequency riometer on the lunar surface would be able to monitor, in situ, the peak plasma density of the lunar exosphere over time. We describe a concept for a riometer implemented as a secondary science payload on future lunar landers, such as those recommended in the recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report. While the prime mission of such a riometer would be probing the lunar exosphere, our concept would also be capable to measuring the properties of nanometer- to micron-scale dust. The LUNAR consortium is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

  4. Nutritional Status Assessment During the Phase IIA and Phase III Lunar/Mars Life Support Test Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Scott M.; Block, Gladys; Davis-Street, Janis E.; DeKerlegand, Diane E.; Fanselow, Stephanie A.; Fesperman, J. Vernell; Gillman, Patricia L.; Nillen, Jeannie I.; Rice, Barbara L.; Smith, Myra D.

    2000-01-01

    Nutrition is a critical concern for extended-duration space missions (Smith and Lane, 1999). Loss of body weight is a primary consequence of altered nutrition, and is frequently observed during space flight (Smith and Lane; 1999). Other existing dietary concerns for space flight include excessive intakes of sodium and iron, and insufficient intakes of water and vitamin D (Smith and Lane, 1999). Furthermore, dependence on closed or semi-closed food systems increases the likelihood of inadequate intakes of key nutrients. This is a significant concern for extended-duration space missions. Space nutrition research often necessitates detailed recording of all food consumption. While this yields extremely accurate data, it requires considerable time and effort, and thus is not suitable for routine medical monitoring during space flight. To alleviate this problem, a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was designed to provide a quick and easy, yet reasonably accurate, method for crewmembers to provide dietary intake information to the ground. We report here a study which was designed to assess nutritional status before, during, and after the 60-d and 91-d chamber stays. An additional goal of the study was to validate a food frequency questionnaire designed specifically for use with space flight food systems.

  5. First lunar outpost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andino, Aureo F.; Silva, Daniel; Ortiz, Nelson; Alvarez, Omar; Colon, Julio A.; Colon, Myrelle; Diaz, Alicia; Escobar, Xochiquetzal Y.; Garcia, Alberto; Gonzalez, Isabel C.

    1992-01-01

    Design and research efforts at the University of Puerto Rico have focused on the evaluation and refinement of the Habitability Criteria for a prolonged human presence in space during the last four years. Living quarters for a Mars mission and a third generation lunar base concept were proposed. This academic year, 1991-92, work on further refinement of the habitability criteria and design of partial gravity furniture was carried on. During the first semester, design alternatives for furniture necessary in a habitat design optimized for lunar and Martian environments were developed. Designs are based on recent research data from lunar and Mars gravity simulations, and current NASA standards. Artifacts will be submitted to NASA architects to be tested in KC-135 flights. Test findings will be submitted for incorporation in future updates to NASA habitat design standards. Second semester work was aimed at integrating these findings into the First Lunar Outpost (FLO), a mission scenario currently being considered by NASA. The mission consists of a manned return to the moon by crews of four astronauts for periods of 45 days. The major hardware components of the mission are as follows: (1) a Crew Module for the delivery of the crew and their supplies, and (2) the Habitat Module, which will arrive on the Moon unmanned. Our design efforts concentrated on this Habitat Module and on application of habitability criteria. Different geometries for the pressure vessel and their impact on the interior architecture were studied. Upon the selection of a geometry, a more detailed analysis of the interior design was performed, taking into consideration the reduced gravity, and the protection against radiation, micrometeorites, and the extreme temperature variation. A proposal for a FLO was submitted by the students, consisting essentially of a 24-feet (7.3 m.) by 35-feet (10.67 m) high vertical cylinder with work areas, crew quarters, galley, wardroom, leisure facilities, health

  6. Key science questions from the second conference on early Mars: geologic, hydrologic, and climatic evolution and the implications for life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaty, David W; Clifford, Stephen M; Borg, Lars E; Catling, David C; Craddock, Robert A; Des Marais, David J; Farmer, Jack D; Frey, Herbert V; Haberle, Robert M; McKay, Christopher P; Newsom, Horton E; Parker, Timothy J; Segura, Teresa; Tanaka, Kenneth L

    2005-12-01

    In October 2004, more than 130 terrestrial and planetary scientists met in Jackson Hole, WY, to discuss early Mars. The first billion years of martian geologic history is of particular interest because it is a period during which the planet was most active, after which a less dynamic period ensued that extends to the present day. The early activity left a fascinating geological record, which we are only beginning to unravel through direct observation and modeling. In considering this time period, questions outnumber answers, and one of the purposes of the meeting was to gather some of the best experts in the field to consider the current state of knowledge, ascertain which questions remain to be addressed, and identify the most promising approaches to addressing those questions. The purpose of this report is to document that discussion. Throughout the planet's first billion years, planetary-scale processes-including differentiation, hydrodynamic escape, volcanism, large impacts, erosion, and sedimentation-rapidly modified the atmosphere and crust. How did these processes operate, and what were their rates and interdependencies? The early environment was also characterized by both abundant liquid water and plentiful sources of energy, two of the most important conditions considered necessary for the origin of life. Where and when did the most habitable environments occur? Did life actually occupy them, and if so, has life persisted on Mars to the present? Our understanding of early Mars is critical to understanding how the planet we see today came to be.

  7. Lunar cement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agosto, William N.

    1992-01-01

    With the exception of water, the major oxide constituents of terrestrial cements are present at all nine lunar sites from which samples have been returned. However, with the exception of relatively rare cristobalite, the lunar oxides are not present as individual phases but are combined in silicates and in mixed oxides. Lime (CaO) is most abundant on the Moon in the plagioclase (CaAl2Si2O8) of highland anorthosites. It may be possible to enrich the lime content of anorthite to levels like those of Portland cement by pyrolyzing it with lunar-derived phosphate. The phosphate consumed in such a reaction can be regenerated by reacting the phosphorus product with lunar augite pyroxenes at elevated temperatures. Other possible sources of lunar phosphate and other oxides are discussed.

  8. Evaluation of light transmission and distribution materials for Lunar and Martian bioregenerative life support.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuello, J L; Sadler, P; Jack, D; Ono, E; Jordan, K A

    1998-01-01

    The materials that were selected and evaluated in this study in the context of bioregenerative advanced life support included polymer optical cables, for transmission of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), and light pipe, woven optical pad and light-emitting fiber (LEF) for PPF distribution. All materials exhibited significant fidelity in transmitting the spectral characteristics of the artificial lluminator's Xenon-Metal Halide lamp. The PPF attenuation values for the polymer cables EL-200, EL-300, EL-400, and EL-500 were not significantly distinguishable from one another nor from that of the fused-silica cable of 0.34 dB/m. With the exception of EL-100 and EL-700, which had significantly lower PPF transmission efficiencies of 54.9%/m and 66.6%/m, respectively, all the other polymer cables had PPF transmission efficiencies of over 85%/m which, except for EL-300, were not significantly different from one another nor from that of the fused-silica cable of 93.2%/m. The highest PPF output efficiency achieved for the 7.1-cm light pipe 14.7%, for its maximum pipe length of 100 cm. At a constant pipe length of 50 cm, the PPF output efficiency of the 10-cm light pipe of 0.71% was significantly lower than that of the 7.1-cm light pipe of 10.54%. The PPF output for the woven optical pad was determined to be 36.3%. The PPF output efficiency for the LEF without the optic fastener was determined to be 27.1%, whereas that for the LEF with the optic fastener was 50.3%, that is, the maximum value of PPF output efficiency in the study. The polymer optical cables, light pipe, woven optical pad, and LEF exhibited significant regularity and symmetry in their PPF output spatial distributions.

  9. A unified metabolism for Mars: A new approach developed from research on extraterrestrial life detection by enzymatically induced exchange of O 18

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    A general graded life detection approach ranging from environmental and in situ observations to specific metabolic experiments on Mars is reported. A zero dead volume leak and computer mediated data acquisition system is also discussed. Soil analyses were also conducted.

  10. Development of a lunar infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, J. D.

    1988-01-01

    The problem of building an infrastructure on the moon is discussed, assuming that earth-to-moon and moon-to-earth transport will be available. The sequence of events which would occur in the process of building an infrastructure is examined. The human needs which must be met on a lunar base are discussed, including minimal life support, quality of life, and growth stages. The technology available to meet these needs is reviewed and further research in fields related to a lunar base, such as the study of the moon's polar regions and the limits of lunar agriculture, is recommended.

  11. What should we look for when we return to Mars?. [possibility of extraterrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soffen, G. A.

    1988-01-01

    The current state of knowledge about Mars is examined, and the details of current planned missions (Phobos and the Mars Orbiter) are considered. Speculations on some of the major future avenues of Mars research are presented; particular attention is given to questions relating to the early geological processes that resulted in Martian surface features, the effect liquid water has had on the planet, the volatile dynamics and chemistry, the chemistry of the iron-rich clays, the organic-compound mystery, and the biological issue.

  12. In Situ Biological Contamination Studies of the Moon: Implications for Future Planetary Protection and Life Detection Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Lupisella, Mark; Kminek, Gerhard; Rummel, John D.

    2010-01-01

    NASA and ESA have outlined visions for solar system exploration that will include a series of lunar robotic precursor missions to prepare for, and support a human return to the Moon, and future human exploration of Mars and other destinations. One of the guiding principles for exploration is to pursue compelling scientific questions about the origin and evolution of life. The search for life on objects such as Mars will require that all spacecraft and instrumentation be sufficiently cleaned and sterilized prior to launch to ensure that the scientific integrity of extraterrestrial samples is not jeopardized by terrestrial organic contamination. Under the Committee on Space Research's (COSPAR's) current planetary protection policy for the Moon, no sterilization procedures are required for outbound lunar spacecraft, nor is there yet a planetary protection category for human missions. Future in situ investigations of a variety of locations on the Moon by highly sensitive instruments designed to search for biologically derived organic compounds would help assess the contamination of the Moon by lunar spacecraft. These studies could also provide valuable "ground truth" data for Mars sample return missions and help define planetary protection requirements for future Mars bound spacecraft carrying life detection experiments. In addition, studies of the impact of terrestrial contamination of the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts could provide valuable data to help refine future Mars surface exploration plans for a human mission to Mars.

  13. A lunar polar expedition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Richard; Staehle, Robert L.; Svitek, Tomas

    1992-09-01

    Advanced exploration and development in harsh environments require mastery of basic human survival skill. Expeditions into the lethal climates of Earth's polar regions offer useful lessons for tommorrow's lunar pioneers. In Arctic and Antarctic exploration, 'wintering over' was a crucial milestone. The ability to establish a supply base and survive months of polar cold and darkness made extensive travel and exploration possible. Because of the possibility of near-constant solar illumination, the lunar polar regions, unlike Earth's may offer the most hospitable site for habitation. The World Space Foundation is examining a scenario for establishing a five-person expeditionary team on the lunar north pole for one year. This paper is a status report on a point design addressing site selection, transportation, power, and life support requirements.

  14. Lunar magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, L. L.; Sonett, C. P.; Srnka, L. J.

    1984-01-01

    Aspects of lunar paleomagnetic and electromagnetic sounding results which appear inconsistent with the hypothesis that an ancient core dynamo was the dominant source of the observed crustal magnetism are discussed. Evidence is summarized involving a correlation between observed magnetic anomalies and ejecta blankets from impact events which indicates the possible importance of local mechanisms involving meteoroid impact processes in generating strong magnetic fields at the lunar surface. A reply is given to the latter argument which also presents recent evidence of a lunar iron core.

  15. MARS-LMR modeling for the post-test analysis of Phenix End-of-Life natural circulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Hae Yong; Ha, Kwi Seok; Chang, Won Pyo; Lee, Kwi Lim

    2011-01-01

    For a successful design and analysis of Sodium cooled Fast Reactor (SFR), it is required to have a reliable and well-proven system analysis code. To achieve this purpose, KAERI is enhancing the modeling capability of MARS code by adding the SFR-specific models such as pressure drop model, heat transfer model and reactivity feedback model. This version of MARS-LMR will be used as a basic tool in the design and analysis of future SFR systems in Korea. Before wide application of MARS-LMR code, it is required to verify and validate the code models through analyses for appropriate experimental data or analytical results. The end-of-life test of Phenix reactor performed by the CEA provided a unique opportunity to have reliable test data which is very valuable in the validation and verification of a SFR system analysis code. The KAERI joined this international program of the analysis of Phenix end-of-life natural circulation test coordinated by the IAEA from 2008. The main test of natural circulation was completed in 2009. Before the test the KAERI performed the pre-test analysis based on the design condition provided by the CEA. Then, the blind post-test analysis was also performed based on the test conditions measured during the test before the CEA provide the final test results. Finally, the final post-test analysis was performed recently to predict the test results as accurate as possible. This paper introduces the modeling approach of the MARS-LMR used in the final post-test analysis and summarizes the major results of the analysis

  16. SOLID2: an antibody array-based life-detector instrument in a Mars Drilling Simulation Experiment (MARTE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parro, Víctor; Fernández-Calvo, Patricia; Rodríguez Manfredi, José A; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; Rivas, Luis A; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Bonaccorsi, Rosalba; González-Pastor, José Eduardo; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Schuerger, Andrew C; Davidson, Mark; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    A field prototype of an antibody array-based life-detector instrument, Signs Of LIfe Detector (SOLID2), has been tested in a Mars drilling mission simulation called MARTE (Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment). As one of the analytical instruments on the MARTE robotic drilling rig, SOLID2 performed automatic sample processing and analysis of ground core samples (0.5 g) with protein microarrays that contained 157 different antibodies. Core samples from different depths (down to 5.5 m) were analyzed, and positive reactions were obtained in antibodies raised against the Gram-negative bacterium Leptospirillum ferrooxidans, a species of the genus Acidithiobacillus (both common microorganisms in the Río Tinto area), and extracts from biofilms and other natural samples from the Río Tinto area. These positive reactions were absent when the samples were previously subjected to a high-temperature treatment, which indicates the biological origin and structural dependency of the antibody-antigen reactions. We conclude that an antibody array-based life-detector instrument like SOLID2 can detect complex biological material, and it should be considered as a potential analytical instrument for future planetary missions that search for life.

  17. Lunar Plants

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We present an open design for a first plant growth module on the Moon (LPX). The primary science goal of lunar habitat is to investigate germination and initial...

  18. Lunar Flashlight

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Lunar Flashlight (LF) is an innovative cubesat mission sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division to be launched on the Space Launch System...

  19. Exploration of the Moon to Enable Lunar and Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, C. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Moon represents an enabling Solar System exploration asset because of its proximity, resources, and size. Its location has facilitated robotic missions from 5 different space agencies this century. The proximity of the Moon has stimulated commercial space activity, which is critical for sustainable space exploration. Since 2000, a new view of the Moon is coming into focus, which is very different from that of the 20th century. The documented presence of volatiles on the lunar surface, coupled with mature ilmenite-rich regolith locations, represent known resources that could be used for life support on the lunar surface for extended human stays, as well as fuel for robotic and human exploration deeper into the Solar System. The Moon also represents a natural laboratory to explore the terrestrial planets and Solar System processes. For example, it is an end-member in terrestrial planetary body differentiation. Ever since the return of the first lunar samples by Apollo 11, the magma ocean concept was developed and has been applied to both Earth and Mars. Because of the small size of the Moon, planetary differentiation was halted at an early (primary?) stage. However, we still know very little about the lunar interior, despite the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments, and to understand the structure of the Moon will require establishing a global lunar geophysical network, something Apollo did not achieve. Also, constraining the impact chronology of the Moon allows the surfaces of other terrestrial planets to be dated and the cratering history of the inner Solar System to be constrained. The Moon also represents a natural laboratory to study space weathering of airless bodies. It is apparent, then, that human and robotic missions to the Moon will enable both science and exploration. For example, the next step in resource exploration is prospecting on the surface those deposits identified from orbit to understand the yield that can be expected. Such prospecting will also

  20. Lunar planetary exploration of Japan; Nippon no tsuki wakusei tansa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haruyama, J. [Research Development Corporation of Japan, Tokyo (Japan)

    1996-05-01

    This paper describes lunar planetary exploration of Japan as a result of success in launching the H-II rocket. Under the cooperation between the Space Chemistry Research Institute (ISAS) of the Ministry of Education and the National Aerospace Development Association (NASDA), discussions have begun on launching an orbital satellite for lunar planetary exploration early in the 2000`s. The objective includes a study on origin and evolution of the moon, feasibility study on moon utilization, and learning the moon surface soft landing technology. Explorations on objects other than moon may be conceived by using such a large rocket as H-II. Exploration on living organisms on Mars may be one of them. Light emitting monitors that operate on the living organism dying identification method could be used on places where living organisms are likely to exist on Mars. Then, samples may be brought back, and it might be possible to pursue the mystery of life origin. A comet has no internal melting by heat as in planets, and keeps composing substances as they have been generated. In other words, it could be said a fossil in the solar system that retains initial substances in the solar system. Samples, if they can be brought back, could be keys to solve the mystery of the solar system formation. The Halley comet is said covered with organic substances. There is a theory that life originating substances on the earth were made on a comet, which were supplied to the earth as a result of collision.

  1. Do the Garfield and Uley nontronites hold the key to life on Mars?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frost, R.L.; Kloprogge, J.T.; Ruan, H.; Gates, W.P.

    1998-01-01

    Full text: The existence of life on planets such as Mars may depend upon the presence of water. This water may not necessarily be as liquid or crystalline water but may be as interlayer water such as is found in smectitic clays. One group of smectites, relevant to the search for interplanetary life are those which have a high iron content, known as nontronites. Near-IR reflectance spectroscopy has been used to show the presence of water and hydroxyls in these minerals. Three near -IR spectral regions are identified: (a) the high frequency region between 6400 and 7400 cm -1 attributed to the first overtone of the hydroxyl stretching mode (b) the 4800-5400 cm -1 region attributed to water combination modes and (c) the 4000-4800 cm -1 region attributed to the combination of the stretching and deformation modes of the FeFeOH units of nontronite. Two types of hydroxyl groups were identified using near-IR spectroscopy: hydroxyl units coordinated to the iron and hydroxyl groups from water in the nontronite structure. The first hydroxyls are characterised by several bands: firstly in the 7055 to 7098 cm -1 region assigned to the first overtone of the AlFeOH stretching unit, secondly in the 6958-6878 cm -1 region attributed to the FeFeOH unit. The overtone of the hydroxyl stretching frequency of water was observed at around 6800 cm -1 . These observations show that nontronites can be a source of water that may support life. Other techniques may also be used to characterise the Martian clays. Techniques such as Raman spectroscopy and emission spectroscopy as well as reflectance spectroscopy come to mind. Smectites including the iron bearing smectites have proved difficult to measure using the techniques of Raman spectroscopy. The use of FT-Raman spectrometers using INGAS detectors has enabled the spectra of a selection of high iron-bearing smectites and nontronites to be measured. Low intensity hydroxyl-stretching Raman bands were found at 3436 and 3355 cm -1 and are

  2. Would Current International Space Station (ISS) Recycling Life Support Systems Save Mass on a Mars Transit?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Harry W.

    2017-01-01

    The oxygen and water are recycled on the International Space Station (ISS) to save the cost of launching their mass into orbit. Usually recycling systems are justified by showing that their launch mass would be much lower than the mass of the oxygen or water they produce. Short missions such as Apollo or space shuttle directly provide stored oxygen and water, since the needed total mass of oxygen and water is much less than that of there cycling equipment. Ten year or longer missions such as the ISS or a future moon base easily save mass by recycling while short missions of days or weeks do not. Mars transit and long Mars surface missions have an intermediate duration, typically one to one and a half years. Some of the current ISS recycling systems would save mass if used on a Mars transit but others would not.

  3. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria—A Challenge for Life on Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Ebbe Norskov; Larsen, Michael G.; Moeller, Ralf

    2017-01-01

    The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors......, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model...... of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions...

  4. A microbial oasis in the hypersaline Atacama subsurface discovered by a life detector chip: implications for the search for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parro, Victor; de Diego-Castilla, Graciela; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; Blanco, Yolanda; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José A; Fernández-Remolar, David; Gómez, Felipe; Gómez, Manuel J; Rivas, Luis A; Demergasso, Cecilia; Echeverría, Alex; Urtuvia, Viviana N; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Postigo, Marina; Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Chong-Díaz, Guillermo; Gómez-Elvira, Javier

    2011-12-01

    The Atacama Desert has long been considered a good Mars analogue for testing instrumentation for planetary exploration, but very few data (if any) have been reported about the geomicrobiology of its salt-rich subsurface. We performed a Mars analogue drilling campaign next to the Salar Grande (Atacama, Chile) in July 2009, and several cores and powder samples from up to 5 m deep were analyzed in situ with LDChip300 (a Life Detector Chip containing 300 antibodies). Here, we show the discovery of a hypersaline subsurface microbial habitat associated with halite-, nitrate-, and perchlorate-containing salts at 2 m deep. LDChip300 detected bacteria, archaea, and other biological material (DNA, exopolysaccharides, some peptides) from the analysis of less than 0.5 g of ground core sample. The results were supported by oligonucleotide microarray hybridization in the field and finally confirmed by molecular phylogenetic analysis and direct visualization of microbial cells bound to halite crystals in the laboratory. Geochemical analyses revealed a habitat with abundant hygroscopic salts like halite (up to 260 g kg(-1)) and perchlorate (41.13 μg g(-1) maximum), which allow deliquescence events at low relative humidity. Thin liquid water films would permit microbes to proliferate by using detected organic acids like acetate (19.14 μg g(-1)) or formate (76.06 μg g(-1)) as electron donors, and sulfate (15875 μg g(-1)), nitrate (13490 μg g(-1)), or perchlorate as acceptors. Our results correlate with the discovery of similar hygroscopic salts and possible deliquescence processes on Mars, and open new search strategies for subsurface martian biota. The performance demonstrated by our LDChip300 validates this technology for planetary exploration, particularly for the search for life on Mars.

  5. A Hybrid PCA-CART-MARS-Based Prognostic Approach of the Remaining Useful Life for Aircraft Engines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Sánchez Lasheras

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Prognostics is an engineering discipline that predicts the future health of a system. In this research work, a data-driven approach for prognostics is proposed. Indeed, the present paper describes a data-driven hybrid model for the successful prediction of the remaining useful life of aircraft engines. The approach combines the multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS technique with the principal component analysis (PCA, dendrograms and classification and regression trees (CARTs. Elements extracted from sensor signals are used to train this hybrid model, representing different levels of health for aircraft engines. In this way, this hybrid algorithm is used to predict the trends of these elements. Based on this fitting, one can determine the future health state of a system and estimate its remaining useful life (RUL with accuracy. To evaluate the proposed approach, a test was carried out using aircraft engine signals collected from physical sensors (temperature, pressure, speed, fuel flow, etc.. Simulation results show that the PCA-CART-MARS-based approach can forecast faults long before they occur and can predict the RUL. The proposed hybrid model presents as its main advantage the fact that it does not require information about the previous operation states of the input variables of the engine. The performance of this model was compared with those obtained by other benchmark models (multivariate linear regression and artificial neural networks also applied in recent years for the modeling of remaining useful life. Therefore, the PCA-CART-MARS-based approach is very promising in the field of prognostics of the RUL for aircraft engines.

  6. Exploring Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuil, Stéphanie

    2016-04-01

    Mars is our neighbour planet and has always fascinated humans as it has been seen as a potential abode for life. Knowledge about Mars is huge and was constructed step by step through numerous missions. It could be difficult to describe these missions, the associated technology, the results, the questions they raise, that's why an activity is proposed, that directly interests students. Their production is presented in the poster. Step 1: The main Mars feature and the first Mars explorations using telescope are presented to students. It should be really interesting to present "Mars Canals" from Percival Lowell as it should also warn students against flawed interpretation. Moreover, this study has raised the big question about extra-terrestrial life on Mars for the first time. Using Google Mars is then a good way to show the huge knowledge we have on the planet and to introduce modern missions. Step 2: Students have to choose and describe one of the Mars mission from ESA and NASA. They should work in pairs. Web sites from ESA and NASA are available and the teacher makes sure the main missions will be studied. Step 3: Students have to collect different pieces of information about the mission - When? Which technology? What were the main results? What type of questions does it raise? They prepare an oral presentation in the form they want (role play, academic presentation, using a poster, PowerPoint). They also have to produce playing cards about the mission that could be put on a timeline. Step 4: As a conclusion, the different cards concerning different missions are mixed. Groups of students receive cards and they have to put them on a timeline as fast as possible. It is also possible to play the game "timeline".

  7. The Significance of Microbe-Mineral-Biomarker Interactions in the Detection of Life on Mars and Beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röling, Wilfred F M; Aerts, Joost W; Patty, C H Lucas; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Direito, Susana O L

    2015-06-01

    The detection of biomarkers plays a central role in our effort to establish whether there is, or was, life beyond Earth. In this review, we address the importance of considering mineralogy in relation to the selection of locations and biomarker detection methodologies with characteristics most promising for exploration. We review relevant mineral-biomarker and mineral-microbe interactions. The local mineralogy on a particular planet reflects its past and current environmental conditions and allows a habitability assessment by comparison with life under extreme conditions on Earth. The type of mineral significantly influences the potential abundances and types of biomarkers and microorganisms containing these biomarkers. The strong adsorptive power of some minerals aids in the preservation of biomarkers and may have been important in the origin of life. On the other hand, this strong adsorption as well as oxidizing properties of minerals can interfere with efficient extraction and detection of biomarkers. Differences in mechanisms of adsorption and in properties of minerals and biomarkers suggest that it will be difficult to design a single extraction procedure for a wide range of biomarkers. While on Mars samples can be used for direct detection of biomarkers such as nucleic acids, amino acids, and lipids, on other planetary bodies remote spectrometric detection of biosignatures has to be relied upon. The interpretation of spectral signatures of photosynthesis can also be affected by local mineralogy. We identify current gaps in our knowledge and indicate how they may be filled to improve the chances of detecting biomarkers on Mars and beyond.

  8. Simulated Lunar Testing of Metabolic Heat Regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla, Sebastian A.; Bower, Chad; Iacomini, Christie S.; Paul, H.

    2011-01-01

    Metabolic heat regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption (MTSA) technology is being developed for thermal and carbon dioxide (CO2) control for a Portable Life Support System (PLSS), as well as water recycling. An Engineering Development Unit (EDU) of the MTSA subassembly was designed and assembled for optimized Martian operations, but also meets system requirements for lunar operations. For lunar operations the MTSA sorption cycle is driven via a vacuum swing between suit ventilation loop pressure and lunar vacuum. The focus of this effort is operations and testing in a simulated lunar environment. This environment was simulated in Paragon s EHF vacuum chamber. The objective of this testing was to evaluate the full cycle performance of the MTSA Subassembly EDU, and to assess CO2 loading and pressure drop of the wash coated aluminum reticulated foam sorbent bed. The lunar testing proved out the feasibility of pure vacuum swing operation, making MTSA a technology that can be tested and used on the Moon prior to going to Mars. Testing demonstrated better than expected CO2 loading on the sorbent and nearly replicates the equilibrium data from the sorbent manufacturer. This had not been achieved in any of the previous sorbent loading tests performed by Paragon. Subsequently, the increased performance of the sorbent bed design indicates future designs will require less mass and volume than the current EDU rendering MTSA as very competitive for Martian PLSS applications.

  9. The case of the lacking carbonates and the emergence of early life on mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fernández-Remolar, David Carlos; Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Amils, Ricardo

    2010-01-01

    The mineralogical characterization of Mars by different exploration missions, provides a new image of the earliest conditions that prevailed on the planet surface. The detection of extensive deposits of phyllosillicates has been considered to be as a result of the production of hydrated silicates

  10. Mars Aqueous Processing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Mark; Wilson, Cherie; Carrera, Stacy; Rose, Heather; Muscatello, Anthony; Kilgore, James; Zubrin, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The goal of the Mars Aqueous Processing System (MAPS) is to establish a flexible process that generates multiple products that are useful for human habitation. Selectively extracting useful components into an aqueous solution, and then sequentially recovering individual constituents, can obtain a suite of refined or semi-refined products. Similarities in the bulk composition (although not necessarily of the mineralogy) of Martian and Lunar soils potentially make MAPS widely applicable. Similar process steps can be conducted on both Mars and Lunar soils while tailoring the reaction extents and recoveries to the specifics of each location. The MAPS closed-loop process selectively extracts, and then recovers, constituents from soils using acids and bases. The emphasis on Mars involves the production of useful materials such as iron, silica, alumina, magnesia, and concrete with recovery of oxygen as a byproduct. On the Moon, similar chemistry is applied with emphasis on oxygen production. This innovation has been demonstrated to produce high-grade materials, such as metallic iron, aluminum oxide, magnesium oxide, and calcium oxide, from lunar and Martian soil simulants. Most of the target products exhibited purities of 80 to 90 percent or more, allowing direct use for many potential applications. Up to one-fourth of the feed soil mass was converted to metal, metal oxide, and oxygen products. The soil residue contained elevated silica content, allowing for potential additional refining and extraction for recovery of materials needed for photovoltaic, semiconductor, and glass applications. A high-grade iron oxide concentrate derived from lunar soil simulant was used to produce a metallic iron component using a novel, combined hydrogen reduction/metal sintering technique. The part was subsequently machined and found to be structurally sound. The behavior of the lunar-simulant-derived iron product was very similar to that produced using the same methods on a Michigan iron

  11. Variable g- Mars environmental chamber: a small window of the martian environment for life science investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgambati, Antonella; Slenzka, Klaus; Schmeyers, Bernd; Di Capua, Massimiliano; Harting, Benjamin

    Human exploration and permanent settlement on the Martian surface is the one of the most attractive and ambitious endeavors mankind has ever faced. As technology and research progress, solutions and information that were before unavailable are slowly making the dream become everyday more feasible. In the past years a huge amount of knowledge was gathered by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity and now, even more insight is being gathered through the latest rover of the family, Curiosity. In this work, data from the various missions will be used to define and reproduce on Earth the characteristic Martian atmospheric conditions. A small Mars environmental chamber has been designed and built with the objective of studying the effects of the Martian environment on biological systems. The Variable gravity Mars Environmental Chamber (VgMEC) will allow researchers to replicate atmospheric pressure, gas composition, temperature and UVA/B exposure typical of the equatorial regions of Mars. By exposing biological systems to a controllable set of stressor it will be possible to identify both multi and single stressor effects on the system of interest. While several Mars environment simulation facilities exist, due to their size and mass, all are confined to floor-fixed laboratory settings. The VgMEC is an OHB funded project that wishes to bring together the scientific community and the industry. Collaborations will be enabled by granting low cost access to cutting-edge instrumentation and services. Developed at OHB System AG, VgMEC has been designed from the ground up to be a 28L, compact and lightweight test volume capable of being integrated in existing centrifuges (such as the ESA-ESTEC LCD), gimbal systems and parabolic flight aircraft. The VgMEC support systems were designed to accommodate continuous operations of virtually unlimited duration through the adoption of solutions such as: hot swappable gas/liquid consumables bottles, low power requirements, an

  12. New Age for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.; Martel, L. M. V.

    2018-04-01

    Lunar-focused research and plans to return to the lunar surface for science and exploration have reemerged since the Space Policy Directive-1 of December 11, 2017 amended the National Space Policy to include the following, "Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations." In response to this revision, NASA proposes a Lunar Exploration and Discovery Program in the U.S. fiscal year 2019 Budget Request. It supports NASA's interests in commercial and international partnerships in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), long-term exploration in Cislunar space beyond LEO, and research and exploration conducted on the Moon to inform future crewed missions, even to destinations beyond the Moon. (Cislunar refers to the volume of space between LEO and the Moon's orbital distance.) The lunar campaign strengthens the integration of human and robotic activities on the lunar surface with NASA's science, technology, and exploration goals.

  13. The humanation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L. W.

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

  14. Experimental Simulations to Understand the Lunar and Martian Surficial Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Y. Y. S.; Li, X.; Tang, H.; Li, Y.; Zeng, X.; Chang, R.; Li, S.; Zhang, S.; Jin, H.; Mo, B.; Li, R.; Yu, W.; Wang, S.

    2016-12-01

    In support with China's Lunar and Mars exploration programs and beyond, our center is dedicated to understand the surficial processes and environments of planetary bodies. Over the latest several years, we design, build and optimize experimental simulation facilities and utilize them to test hypotheses and evaluate affecting mechanisms under controlled conditions particularly relevant to the Moon and Mars. Among the fundamental questions to address, we emphasize on five major areas: (1) Micrometeorites bombardment simulation to evaluate the formation mechanisms of np-Fe0 which was found in lunar samples and the possible sources of Fe. (2) Solar wind implantation simulation to evaluate the alteration/amorphization/OH or H2O formation on the surface of target minerals or rocks. (3) Dusts mobility characteristics on the Moon and other planetary bodies by excitation different types of dust particles and measuring their movements. (4) Mars basaltic soil simulant development (e.g., Jining Martian Soil Simulant (JMSS-1)) and applications for scientific/engineering experiments. (5) Halogens (Cl and Br) and life essential elements (C, H, O, N, P, and S) distribution and speciation on Mars during surficial processes such as sedimentary- and photochemical- related processes. Depending on the variables of interest, the simulation systems provide flexibility to vary source of energy, temperature, pressure, and ambient gas composition in the reaction chambers. Also, simulation products can be observed or analyzed in-situ by various analyzer components inside the chamber, without interrupting the experimental conditions. In addition, behavior of elements and isotopes during certain surficial processes (e.g., evaporation, dissolution, etc.) can be theoretically predicted by our theoretical geochemistry group with thermodynamics-kinetics calculation and modeling, which supports experiment design and result interpretation.

  15. Fourier transform infrared spectral detection of life in polar subsurface environments and its application to Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Louisa J; Johnson, Diane; Cockell, Charles S; Grady, Monica M

    2015-09-01

    Cryptoendolithic lichen communities of the Dry Valleys, Antarctica, survive in an extremely inhospitable environment, finding refuge in microscopic niches where conditions suitable for life exist. Such "within-rock" communities may have evolved on Mars when conditions for life on the surface deteriorated to such an extent that they could no longer survive. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of unprepared whole-rock Antarctic Beacon sandstones was used to vertically profile molecular vibrations of fatty acids, proteins, and carboxylic acids created by endolithic communities. Spectral biosignatures were found localized to lichen-rich areas and were absent in crustal regions and the bulk rock substrate. These cryptoendolithic profiles will aid similar spectroscopic investigations of organic biosignatures during future Martian subsurface studies and will help in the identification of similar communities in other localities across the Earth.

  16. Human life support during interplanetary travel and domicile. V - Mars expedition technology trade study for solid waste management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrall, Joe; Rohatgi, Naresh K.; Seshan, P. K.

    1992-01-01

    A model has been developed for NASA to quantitatively compare and select life support systems and technology options. The model consists of a modular, top-down hierarchical breakdown of the life support system into subsystems, and further breakdown of subsystems into functional elements representing individual processing technologies. This paper includes the technology trades for a Mars mission, using solid waste treatment technologies to recover water from selected liquid and solid waste streams. Technologies include freeze drying, thermal drying, wet oxidation, combustion, and supercritical-water oxidation. The use of these technologies does not have any significant advantages with respect to weight; however, significant power penalties are incurred. A benefit is the ability to convert hazardous waste into a useful resource, namely water.

  17. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria-A Challenge for Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N; Larsen, Michael G; Moeller, Ralf; Nissen, Silas B; Jensen, Lasse R; Nørnberg, Per; Jensen, Svend J K; Finster, Kai

    2017-01-01

    The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model organisms Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis , and Deinococcus radiodurans upon exposure to the abraded silicates. We found that abraded basalt that had not been in contact with oxygen after abrasion killed more than 99% of the vegetative cells while endospores were largely unaffected. Exposure of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions in the basalt leading to hydroxyl radicals through Fenton-like reactions. The low survivability of the usually highly resistant D. radiodurans indicates that the effect of abraded silicates, as is ubiquitous on the Martian surface, would limit the habitability of Mars as well as the risk of forward contamination. Furthermore, the reactivity of abraded silicates could have implications for future manned missions, although the lower effect of abraded silicates exposed to oxygen suggests that the effects would be reduced in human habitats.

  18. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria—A Challenge for Life on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebbe N. Bak

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model organisms Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis, and Deinococcus radiodurans upon exposure to the abraded silicates. We found that abraded basalt that had not been in contact with oxygen after abrasion killed more than 99% of the vegetative cells while endospores were largely unaffected. Exposure of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions in the basalt leading to hydroxyl radicals through Fenton-like reactions. The low survivability of the usually highly resistant D. radiodurans indicates that the effect of abraded silicates, as is ubiquitous on the Martian surface, would limit the habitability of Mars as well as the risk of forward contamination. Furthermore, the reactivity of abraded silicates could have implications for future manned missions, although the lower effect of abraded silicates exposed to oxygen suggests that the effects would be reduced in human habitats.

  19. Classification of Modern and Old Río Tinto Sedimentary Deposits Through the Biomolecular Record Using a Life Marker Biochip: Implications for Detecting Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parro, Victor; Fernández-Remolar, David; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José A.; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Rivas, Luis A.; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Gómez-Ortiz, David; Blanco-López, Yolanda; Menor-Salván, César; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Gómez-Elvira, Javier

    2011-01-01

    The particular mineralogy formed in the acidic conditions of the Río Tinto has proven to be a first-order analogue for the acid-sulfate aqueous environments of Mars. Therefore, studies about the formation and preservation of biosignatures in the Río Tinto will provide insights into equivalent processes on Mars. We characterized the biomolecular patterns recorded in samples of modern and old fluvial sediments along a segment of the river by means of an antibody microarray containing more than 200 antibodies (LDCHIP200, for Life Detector Chip) against whole microorganisms, universal biomolecules, or environmental extracts. Samples containing 0.3-0.5g of solid material were automatically analyzed in situ by the Signs Of LIfe Detector instrument (SOLID2), and the results were corroborated by extensive analysis in the laboratory. Positive antigen-antibody reactions indicated the presence of microbial strains or high-molecular-weight biopolymers that originated from them. The LDCHIP200 results were quantified and subjected to a multivariate analysis for immunoprofiling. We associated similar immunopatterns, and biomolecular markers, to samples with similar sedimentary age. Phyllosilicate-rich samples from modern fluvial sediments gave strong positive reactions with antibodies against bacteria of the genus Acidithiobacillus and against biochemical extracts from Río Tinto sediments and biofilms. These samples contained high amounts of sugars (mostly polysaccharides) with monosaccharides like glucose, rhamnose, fucose, and so on. By contrast, the older deposits, which are a mix of clastic sands and evaporites, showed only a few positives with LDCHIP200, consistent with lower protein and sugar content. We conclude that LDCHIP200 results can establish a correlation between microenvironments, diagenetic stages, and age with the biomarker profile associated with a sample. Our results would help in the search for putative martian biomarkers in acidic deposits with similar

  20. Classification of modern and old Río Tinto sedimentary deposits through the biomolecular record using a life marker biochip: implications for detecting life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parro, Victor; Fernández-Remolar, David; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José A; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Rivas, Luis A; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Gómez-Ortiz, David; Blanco-López, Yolanda; Menor-Salván, César; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Gómez-Elvira, Javier

    2011-01-01

    The particular mineralogy formed in the acidic conditions of the Río Tinto has proven to be a first-order analogue for the acid-sulfate aqueous environments of Mars. Therefore, studies about the formation and preservation of biosignatures in the Río Tinto will provide insights into equivalent processes on Mars. We characterized the biomolecular patterns recorded in samples of modern and old fluvial sediments along a segment of the river by means of an antibody microarray containing more than 200 antibodies (LDCHIP200, for Life Detector Chip) against whole microorganisms, universal biomolecules, or environmental extracts. Samples containing 0.3-0.5 g of solid material were automatically analyzed in situ by the Signs Of LIfe Detector instrument (SOLID2), and the results were corroborated by extensive analysis in the laboratory. Positive antigen-antibody reactions indicated the presence of microbial strains or high-molecular-weight biopolymers that originated from them. The LDCHIP200 results were quantified and subjected to a multivariate analysis for immunoprofiling. We associated similar immunopatterns, and biomolecular markers, to samples with similar sedimentary age. Phyllosilicate-rich samples from modern fluvial sediments gave strong positive reactions with antibodies against bacteria of the genus Acidithiobacillus and against biochemical extracts from Río Tinto sediments and biofilms. These samples contained high amounts of sugars (mostly polysaccharides) with monosaccharides like glucose, rhamnose, fucose, and so on. By contrast, the older deposits, which are a mix of clastic sands and evaporites, showed only a few positives with LDCHIP200, consistent with lower protein and sugar content. We conclude that LDCHIP200 results can establish a correlation between microenvironments, diagenetic stages, and age with the biomarker profile associated with a sample. Our results would help in the search for putative martian biomarkers in acidic deposits with similar

  1. Thermodynamics of lunar ilmenite reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altenberg, B. H.; Franklin, H. A.; Jones, C. H.

    1993-01-01

    With the prospect of returning to the moon, the development of a lunar occupation would fulfill one of the goals of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) of the late 1980's. Processing lunar resources into useful products, such as liquid oxygen for fuel and life support, would be one of many aspects of an active lunar base. ilmenite (FeTiO3) is found on the lunar surface and can be used as a feed stock to produce oxygen. Understanding the various ilmenite-reduction reactions elucidates many processing options. Defining the thermodynamic chemical behavior at equilibrium under various conditions of temperature and pressures can be helpful in specifying optimal operating conditions. Differences between a previous theoretical analysis and experimentally determined results has sparked interest in trying to understand the effect of operating pressure on the hydrogen-reduction-of-ilmenite reaction. Various aspects of this reduction reaction are discussed.

  2. Selenia: A habitability study for the development of a third generation lunar base

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    When Apollo astronauts landed on the Moon, the first generation of lunar bases was established. They consisted essentially of a lunar module and related hardware capable of housing two astronauts for not more than several days. Second generation lunar bases are being developed, and further infrastructure, such as space station, orbital transfer, and reusable lander vehicles will be necessary, as prolonged stay on the Moon is required for exploration, research, and construction for the establishment of a permanent human settlement there. Human life in these habitats could be sustained for months, dependent on a continual flow of life-support supplies from Earth. Third-generation lunar bases will come into being as self sufficiency of human settlements becomes feasible. Regeneration of water, oxygen production, and development of indigenous construction materials from lunar resources will be necessary. Greenhouses will grow food supplies in engineered biospheres. Assured protection from solar flares and cosmic radiation must be provided, as well as provision for survival under meteor showers, or the threat of meteorite impact. All these seem to be possible within the second decade of the next century. Thus, the builders of Selenia, the first of the third-generation lunar bases are born today. During the last two years students from the School of Architecture of the University of Puerto Rico have studied the problems that relate to habitability for prolonged stay in extraterrestrial space. An orbital personnel transport to Mars developed originally by the Aerospace Engineering Department of the University of Michigan was investigated and habitability criteria for evaluation of human space habitats were proposed. An important finding from that study was that the necessary rotational diameter of the vessel has to be on the order of two kilometers to ensure comfort for humans under the artificial gravity conditions necessary to maintain physiological well being of

  3. Analysis of Phenix End-of-Life asymmetry test with multi-dimensional pool modeling of MARS-LMR code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, H.-Y.; Ha, K.-S.; Choi, C.-W.; Park, M.-G.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Pool behaviors under asymmetrical condition in an SFR were evaluated with MARS-LMR. • The Phenix asymmetry test was analyzed one-dimensionally and multi-dimensionally. • One-dimensional modeling has limitation to predict the cold pool temperature. • Multi-dimensional modeling shows improved prediction of stratification and mixing. - Abstract: The understanding of complicated pool behaviors and its modeling is essential for the design and safety analysis of a pool-type Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor. One of the remarkable recent efforts on the study of pool thermal–hydraulic behaviors is the asymmetrical test performed as a part of Phenix End-of-Life tests by the CEA. To evaluate the performance of MARS-LMR code, which is a key system analysis tool for the design of an SFR in Korea, in the prediction of thermal hydraulic behaviors during an asymmetrical condition, the Phenix asymmetry test is analyzed with MARS-LMR in the present study. Pool regions are modeled with two different approaches, one-dimensional modeling and multi-dimensional one, and the prediction results are analyzed to identify the appropriateness of each modeling method. The prediction with one-dimensional pool modeling shows a large deviation from the measured data at the early stage of the test, which suggests limitations to describe the complicated thermal–hydraulic phenomena. When the pool regions are modeled multi-dimensionally, the prediction gives improved results quite a bit. This improvement is explained by the enhanced modeling of pool mixing with the multi-dimensional modeling. On the basis of the results from the present study, it is concluded that an accurate modeling of pool thermal–hydraulics is a prerequisite for the evaluation of design performance and safety margin quantification in the future SFR developments

  4. (abstract) Generic Modeling of a Life Support System for Process Technology Comparisons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrall, J. F.; Seshan, P. K.; Rohatgi, N. K.; Ganapathi, G. B.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes a simulation model called the Life Support Systems Analysis Simulation Tool (LiSSA-ST), the spreadsheet program called the Life Support Systems Analysis Trade Tool (LiSSA-TT), and the Generic Modular Flow Schematic (GMFS) modeling technique. Results of using the LiSSA-ST and the LiSSA-TT will be presented for comparing life support systems and process technology options for a Lunar Base and a Mars Exploration Mission.

  5. The Use of Returned Martian Samples to Evaluate the Possibility of Extant Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; ten Kate, I. L.; Mackelprang, R.; Rettberg, P.; Smith, C. L.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Beaty, D. W.; Benning, L. G.; Bishop, J. L.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Carrier, B. L.; Czaja, A. D.; Debaille, V.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Hallis, L. J.; Harrington, A. D.; Hausrath, E. M.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mangold, N.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCoy, J. T.; McCubbin, F. M.; McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Ori, G. G.; Raulin, F.; Rucker, M. A.; Schmitz, N.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; Tosca, N. J.; Usui, T.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    The astrobiological community is highly interested in interrogating returned martian samples for evidence of extant life. A single observation with one method will not constitute evidence of extant life — it will require a suite of investigations.

  6. Mars Geochemical Instrument (MarGI): An instrument for the analysis of the Martian surface and the search for evidence of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Mancinelli, Rocco; Martin, Joe; Holland, Paul M.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Geochemical Instrument, MarGI, was developed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the rocks and surface material on Mars. The instrument combines Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) with miniature Gas Chromatography-Ion Mobility Spectrometry (GC-IMS) to identify minerals, the presence and state of water, and organic compounds. Miniature pyrolysis ovens are used to both, conduct DTA analysis of soil or crushed rocks samples, and pyrolyze the samples at temperatures up to 1000 degrees C for GC-IMS analysis of the released gases. This combination of analytical processes and techniques, which can characterize the mineralogy of the rocks and soil, and identify and quantify volatiles released during pyrolysis, has applications across a wide range of target sites including comets, planets, asteroids, and moons such as Titan and Europa. The MarGI analytical approach evolved from the Cometary Ice and Dust Experiment (CIDEX) selected to fly on the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby Mission (CRAF).

  7. Design and Construction of Manned Lunar Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhijie

    2016-07-01

    the condition of the same volume it has less weight than rigid module, but based on durable, high hermetic, low density and elastic modulus advanced materials. 3.The construction habitation has high expansibility and various configurations by using in situ resources as construction materials, but this technique is difficult to implement since it involves deep exploitation of lunar resources. Aiming at different missions' objects and development periods, three different patterns talked above can be chosen as the scheme of lunar base habitation establishments. But each of them is too simple to adapt high-level lunar base during a long period. Thereby, based on the design of rigid module and flexible module, this paper brings out an assumed scheme of an integrated lunar base, and the exterior part of lunar base is built by using construction technique. The design of lunar base follows the principle of crew-robot coordinated exploration, which functions automatically in a long period and short period with attention by astronauts. The technique characteristics are as follows: life period ≥ 8 years; 6 astronauts; single lunar surface mission period ≥ 3 months. The inner main body of integrated manned lunar base consists of habitation module, laboratory module and support module. In order to afford security and comfortableness, the habitation module provides astronauts kitchen, bedroom, gymnasium, toilet, and so on. The laboratory module is used for science experiments, which involves plant cultivation devices and animal cultivation devices of bioregenerative life support system. The communication system, main computer, central control system and backup powers are arranged in the support module. For convenience of outside working and emergency rescue, every module with two exports is connected with other modules or lunar rovers. In order to solve the problems of waste treatment, atmosphere/water regeneration and food supply, this paper designed a bioregenerative life

  8. Glycine identification in natural jarosites using laser desorption Fourier transform mass spectrometry: implications for the search for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotler, J Michelle; Hinman, Nancy W; Yan, Beizhan; Stoner, Daphne L; Scott, Jill R

    2008-04-01

    The jarosite group minerals have received increasing attention since the discovery of jarosite on the martian surface by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Given that jarosite can incorporate foreign ions within its structure, we have investigated the use of jarosite as an indicator of aqueous and biological processes on Earth and Mars. The use of laser desorption Fourier transform mass spectrometry has revealed the presence of organic matter in several jarosite samples from various locations worldwide. One of the ions from the natural jarosites has been attributed to glycine because it was systematically observed in combinations of glycine with synthetic ammonium and potassium jarosites, Na(2)SO(4) and K(2)SO(4). The ability to observe these organic signatures in jarosite samples with an in situ instrumental technique, such as the one employed in this study, furthers the goals of planetary geologists to determine whether signs of life (e.g., the presence of biomolecules or biomolecule precursors) can be detected in the rock record of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples.

  9. Carbon Dioxide Control System for a Mars Space Suit Life Support System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alptekin, Gokhan; Jayaraman, Ambalavanan; Copeland, Robert; Parker, Amanda; Paul, Heather L.

    2011-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) control during Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) on Mars will be challenging. Lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters have impractical logistics penalties, and regenerable metal oxide (MetOx) canisters weigh too much. Cycling bed systems and permeable membranes that are regenerable in space vacuum cannot vent on Mars due to the high partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere. Although sweep gas regeneration is under investigation, the feasibility, logistics penalties, and failure modes associated with this technique have not been fully determined. TDA Research, Inc. is developing a durable, high-capacity regenerable adsorbent that can remove CO2 from the space suit ventilation loop. The system design allows sorbent regeneration at or above 6 torr, eliminating the potential for Martian atmosphere to leak into the regeneration bed and into the ventilation loop. Regeneration during EVA minimizes the amount of consumables to be brought from Earth and makes the mission more affordable, while providing great operational flexibility during EVA. The feasibility of the concept has been demonstrated in a series of bench-scale experiments and a preliminary system analysis. This paper presents the latest results from these sorbent and system development efforts.

  10. Haughton-Mars Project/NASA 2006 Lunar Medical Contingency Simulation: Equipment and Methods for Medical Evacuation of an Injured Crewmember

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappell, S. P.; Scheuring, R. A.; Jones, J. A.; Lee, P.; Comtois, J. M.; Chase, T.; Gernhardt M.; Wilkinson, N.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction: Achieving NASA's Space Exploration Vision scientific objectives will require human access into cratered and uneven terrain for the purpose of sample acquisition to assess geological, and perhaps even biological features and experiments. Operational risk management is critical to safely conduct the anticipated tasks. This strategy, along with associated contingency plans, will be a driver of EVA system requirements. Therefore, a medical contingency EVA scenario was performed with the Haughton-Mars Project/NASA to develop belay and medical evacuation techniques for exploration and rescue respectively. Methods: A rescue system to allow two rescuer astronauts to evacuate one in incapacitated astronaut was evaluated. The systems main components were a hard-bottomed rescue litter, hand-operated winch, rope, ground picket anchors, and a rover-winch attachment adapter. Evaluation was performed on 15-25deg slopes of dirt with embedded rock. The winch was anchored either by adapter to the rover or by pickets hammered into the ground. The litter was pulled over the surface by rope attached to the winch. Results: The rescue system was utilized effectively to extract the injured astronaut up a slope and to a waiting rover for transport to a simulated habitat for advanced medical care, although several challenges to implementation were identified and overcome. Rotational stabilization of the winch was found to be important to get maximize mechanical advantage from the extraction system. Discussion: Further research and testing needs to be performed to be able to fully consider synergies with the other Exploration surface systems, in conducting contingency operations. Structural attachment points on the surface EVA suits may be critical to assist in incapacitated evacuation. Such attach points could be helpful in microgravity incapacitated crewmember transport as well. Wheeled utility carts or wheels that may be attachable to a litter may also aid in extraction and

  11. Lunar and Planetary Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basilevsky, Alexander T.

    2018-05-01

    Lunar and planetary geology can be described using examples such as the geology of Earth (as the reference case) and geologies of the Earth's satellite the Moon; the planets Mercury, Mars and Venus; the satellite of Saturn Enceladus; the small stony asteroid Eros; and the nucleus of the comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Each body considered is illustrated by its global view, with information given as to its position in the solar system, size, surface, environment including gravity acceleration and properties of its atmosphere if it is present, typical landforms and processes forming them, materials composing these landforms, information on internal structure of the body, stages of its geologic evolution in the form of stratigraphic scale, and estimates of the absolute ages of the stratigraphic units. Information about one body may be applied to another body and this, in particular, has led to the discovery of the existence of heavy "meteoritic" bombardment in the early history of the solar system, which should also significantly affect Earth. It has been shown that volcanism and large-scale tectonics may have not only been an internal source of energy in the form of radiogenic decay of potassium, uranium and thorium, but also an external source in the form of gravity tugging caused by attractions of the neighboring bodies. The knowledge gained by lunar and planetary geology is important for planning and managing space missions and for the practical exploration of other bodies of the solar system and establishing manned outposts on them.

  12. Pre-analysis of Phenix End-of-Life Thermal-hydraulic tests with the MARS-LMR Code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Hae Yong; Ha, Kwi Seok; Kwon, Young Min; Chang, Won Pyo; Suk, Su Dong; Lee, Yong Bum

    2009-01-01

    A prototype SFR, PHENIX has been operated by the French Commissariat a l'energie atomique (CEA) and the Electricite de France (EdF) since 1973. Through the successful operation for 35 years, PHENIX has achieved its original objective to demonstrate a fast breeder reactor technology and also played an important role as an irradiation facility for innovative fuels and materials. Since its first operation, PHENIX has accumulated about 4,300 equivalent full power days (EFPDs) of operational experience and it reached its final shutdown in 2009. Before the decommissioning of PHENIX, the CEA started a PHENIX end-of-life (EOL) test program and opened it for international collaboration to share the valuable information from the test. The KAERI joined this program to utilize the unique opportunity to validate its SFR system analysis code, MARS-LMR which will be a basic tool in future SFR development

  13. Carbon Dioxide Control System for a Mars Space Suit Life Support System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alptekin, Gokhan; Jayaraman, Ambalavanan; Copeland, Robert; Parker, amanda; Paul, Heather L.

    2010-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) control during Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) on Mars will be challenging. Lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters have impractical logistics penalties, and regenerable metal oxide (MetOx) canisters weigh too much. Cycling bed systems and permeable membranes that are regenerable in space vacuum cannot vent on Mars due to the high partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere. Although sweep gas regeneration is under investigation, the feasibility, logistics penalties, and failure modes associated with this technique have not been fully determined. TDA Research, Inc. is developing a durable, high-capacity regenerable adsorbent that can remove CO2 from the space suit ventilation loop. The system design allows sorbent regeneration at or above 6 torr, eliminating the potential for Martian atmosphere to leak into the regeneration bed and into the ventilation loop. Regeneration during EVA eliminates the consumable requirement related to the use of LiOH canisters and the mission duration limitations imposed by MetOx system. The concept minimizes the amount of consumable to be brought from Earth and makes the mission more affordable, while providing great operational flexibility during EVA. The feasibility of the concept has been demonstrated in a series of bench-scale experiments and a preliminary system analysis. Results indicate that sorbent regeneration can be accomplished by applying a 14 C temperature swing, while regenerating at 13 torr (well above the Martian atmospheric pressure), withstanding over 1,000 adsorption/regeneration cycles. This paper presents the latest results from these sorbent and system development efforts.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aerts, J.W.; Roling, W.F.M.; Elsaesser, A.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2014-01-01

    The three main requirements for life as we know it are the presence of organic compounds, liquid water, and free energy. Several groups of organic compounds (e.g., amino acids, nucleobases, lipids) occur in all life forms on Earth and are used as diagnostic molecules, i.e., biomarkers, for the

  15. 'Mars-shine'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] 'Mars-shine' Composite NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to take advantage of favorable solar power conditions to conduct occasional nighttime astronomical observations from the summit region of 'Husband Hill.' Spirit has been observing the martian moons Phobos and Deimos to learn more about their orbits and surface properties. This has included observing eclipses. On Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's orbit takes it exactly between the Sun and Earth, casting parts of Earth into shadow. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is exactly between the Sun and the Moon, casting the Moon into shadow and often giving it a ghostly orange-reddish color. This color is created by sunlight reflected through Earth's atmosphere into the shadowed region. The primary difference between terrestrial and martian eclipses is that Mars' moons are too small to completely block the Sun from view during solar eclipses. Recently, Spirit observed a 'lunar' eclipse on Mars. Phobos, the larger of the two martian moons, was photographed while slipping into the shadow of Mars. Jim Bell, the astronomer in charge of the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam), suggested calling it a 'Phobal' eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse as a way of identifying which of the dozens of moons in our solar system was being cast into shadow. With the help of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's navigation team, the Pancam team planned instructions to Spirit for acquiring the views shown here of Phobos as it entered into a lunar eclipse on the evening of the rover's 639th martian day, or sol (Oct. 20, 2005) on Mars. This image is a time-lapse composite of eight Pancam images of Phobos moving across the martian sky. The entire eclipse lasted more than 26 minutes, but Spirit was able to observe only in the first 15 minutes. During the time closest to the shadow crossing, Spirit's cameras were programmed to take images every 10 seconds. In the first three

  16. Evidence relevant to the life on Mars debate. I - C-14 results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, I. P.; Grady, M. M.; Pillinger, C. T.

    1997-03-01

    The Martian meteorite EET A79001 contains, in localized concentrations, a relatively high proportion of organic materials, equivalent to about 1000 ppm carbon (compared to a maximum of 200 ppm which could be ascribed to terrestrial contamination). The organic compounds are associated with carbonate minerals, for which arguments have been made to substantiate a preterrestrial (i.e., Martian) origin. However, measurements of C-14 have cast aspersions on the provenance of the carbonates, suggesting instead a terrestrial origin. Herein we show that these results are misleading and conclude that the minerals are indeed Martian. What we are left with now are putative Martian organic materials with a carbon isotopic composition that is very similar to that of the Earth's biomass. More importantly there is a large isotopic difference between the carbon in the organic fraction compared with that of Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide (and subsequently formed carbonates). It is tempting to equate this with the effect of vital processes on Earth. For this to be true it would be necessary to accept that biological activity had occurred on Mars in the very recent past (i.e., between 0.6 x 10 exp 6 and 0.18 x 10 exp 9 yr ago).

  17. Lunar Plants Prototype for Moon Express

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The goal of our project is to bring the first full life cycle to the moon: to demonstrate germination of plants in lunar gravity and radiation.The Moon Express...

  18. Exploring Regolith Depth and Cycling on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassett, C.; Needham, D. H.; Watters, W. A.; Hundal, C.

    2017-12-01

    Regolith or loose sediment is ubiquitous on the surface of Mars, but our understanding of how this fragmental layer forms and evolves with time is limited. In particular, how regolith thickness varies spatially on Mars is not well known. A common perspective is to start from the canonical model for lunar regolith, which is not unreasonable, given that both Mars and the Moon are heavily cratered surfaces. However, this lunar-like paradigm is not supported by observations of Mars from recent missions. On Mars, bedrock exposures are more common and bedrock is generally closer to the surface than on the Moon, and the processes modifying the regolith differ substantially on the two bodies. Moreover, boulders on the Moon have much shorter lifetimes than on Mars, so boulders are much less common on the lunar surface. The sediment transport processes infilling craters differs dramatically on these two bodies as well. On Mars, fine-grained sediment is efficiently transported (advectively) by wind and trapped in craters rapidly after they form. Lateral transport of lunar regolith is comparatively inefficient and dominated by slow impact-driven (diffusive) transport of regolith. The goal of this contribution is to discuss observational constraints on Mars' regolith depth, and to place observations into a model for Mars landform evolution and regolith cycle. Our operating hypothesis is that the inter-crater surface on Mars is comparatively starved of fine-grained sediment (compared to the Moon), because transport and trapping of fines in craters out-competes physical weathering. Moreover, thick sedimentary bodies on Mars often get (weakly) cemented and lithified due to interactions with fluids, even in the most recent, Amazonian epoch. This is consistent with what is observed at the MER and MSL landing sites and what is known from the SNC meteorites.

  19. Mars Drilling Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, Humboldt, C., Jr.

    2002-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the current status of work to explore Mars beneath the surface of planet. One of the objective of this work is to enable further exploration of Mars by humans. One of the requirements for this is to find water on Mars. The presences of water is critical for Human Exploration and a permanent presence on Mars. If water is present beneath the surface it is the best chance of finding life on Mars. The presentation includes a timeline showing the robotic missions, those that have already been on Mars, and planned missions, an explanation of why do we want to drill on Mars, and some of the challenges, Also include are reviews of a missions that would drill 200 and 4,000 to 6,000 meters into the Martian bedrock, and a overview description of the drill. There is a view of some places where we have hopes of finding water.

  20. The influence of lunar propellant production on the cost-effectiveness of cislunar transportation systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelle, H. H.

    1992-01-01

    It is well known that propellants produced at the points of destination such as the Moon or Mars will help the economy of space transportation, particularly if round trips with a crew are involved. The construction and operation of a lunar base shortly after the turn of the century is one of the space programs under serious consideration at the present time. Space transportation is one of the major cost drivers. With present technology, if expendable launchers were employed, the specific transportation costs of one-way cargo flights would be approximately 10,000 dollars/kg (1985) at life-cycle cumulative 100,000 ton payload to the lunar surface. A fully reusable space transportation system using lunar oxygen and Earth-produced liquid hydrogen (LH2) would reduce the specific transportation costs by one order of magnitude to less than 1000 dollars/kg at the same payload volume. Another case of primary interest is the delivery of construction material and consumables from the lunar surface to the assembly site of space solar power plants in geostationary orbit (GEO). If such a system were technically and economically feasible, a cumulative payload of about 1 million tons or more would be required. At this level a space freighter system could deliver this material from Earth for about 300 dollars/kg (1985) to GEO. A lunar space transportation system using lunar oxygen and a fuel mixture of 50 percent Al and 50 percent LH2 (that has to come from Earth) could reduce the specific transportation costs to less than half, approximately 150 dollars/kg. If only lunar oxygen were available, these costs would come down to 200 dollars/kg. This analysis indicates a sizable reduction of the transportation burden on this type of mission. It should not be overlooked, however, that there are several uncertainties in such calculations. It is quite difficult at this point to calculate the cost of lunar-produced O and/or Al. This will be a function of production rate and life

  1. NASA Lunar Mining and Construction Activities and Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.; Larson, William E.; Sacksteder, Kurt R.

    2009-01-01

    The Space Exploration Policy enacted by the US Congress in 2005 calls for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to implement a sustained and affordable human and robotic program to explore the solar system and beyond; Extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations; Develop the innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures both to explore and to support decisions about the destinations for human exploration; and Promote international and commercial participation in exploration to further U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests. In 2006, NASA released the Lunar Architecture Study, which proposed establishing a lunar Outpost on the Moon with international participation to extend human presence beyond Earth's orbit, pursue scientific activities, use the Moon to prepare for future human missions to Mars, and expand Earth s economic sphere. The establishment of sustained human presence on the Moon for science and exploration combines the design, integration, and operation challenges experienced from both the short Apollo lunar missions and the build-up and sustained crew operations of the International Space Station (ISS). Apollo experience reminds developers and mission planners that hardware must operate under extremely harsh environmental and abrasive conditions and every kilogram of mass and payload must be critical to achieve the mission s objectives due to the difficulty and cost of reaching the lunar surface. Experience from the ISS reminds developers and mission planners that integration of all hardware must be designed and planned from the start of the program, operations and evolution of capabilities on a continuous basis are important, and long-term life-cycle costs and logistical needs are equally or more important than minimizing early development and test costs. Overarching all of this is

  2. NASA Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, B. H.; Law, E.

    2016-12-01

    NASA's Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling Portals provide web-based suites of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, planetary scientists, students, and the general public to access mapped lunar data products from past and current missions for the Moon, Mars, and Vesta. New portals for additional planetary bodies are being planned. This presentation will recap significant enhancements to these toolsets during the past year and look forward to the results of the exciting work currently being undertaken. Additional data products and tools continue to be added to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP). These include both generalized products as well as polar data products specifically targeting potential sites for the Resource Prospector mission. Current development work on LMMP also includes facilitating mission planning and data management for lunar CubeSat missions, and working with the NASA Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office's Lunar Apollo Sample database in order to help better visualize the geographic contexts from which samples were retrieved. A new user interface provides, among other improvements, significantly enhanced 3D visualizations and navigation. Mars Trek, the project's Mars portal, has now been assigned by NASA's Planetary Science Division to support site selection and analysis for the Mars 2020 Rover mission as well as for the Mars Human Landing Exploration Zone Sites. This effort is concentrating on enhancing Mars Trek with data products and analysis tools specifically requested by the proposing teams for the various sites. Also being given very high priority by NASA Headquarters is Mars Trek's use as a means to directly involve the public in these upcoming missions, letting them explore the areas the agency is focusing upon, understand what makes these sites so fascinating, follow the selection process, and get caught up in the excitement of exploring Mars. The portals also serve as

  3. Photometric Lunar Surface Reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nefian, Ara V.; Alexandrov, Oleg; Morattlo, Zachary; Kim, Taemin; Beyer, Ross A.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate photometric reconstruction of the Lunar surface is important in the context of upcoming NASA robotic missions to the Moon and in giving a more accurate understanding of the Lunar soil composition. This paper describes a novel approach for joint estimation of Lunar albedo, camera exposure time, and photometric parameters that utilizes an accurate Lunar-Lambertian reflectance model and previously derived Lunar topography of the area visualized during the Apollo missions. The method introduced here is used in creating the largest Lunar albedo map (16% of the Lunar surface) at the resolution of 10 meters/pixel.

  4. Lunar architecture and urbanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Brent

    1992-01-01

    Human civilization and architecture have defined each other for over 5000 years on Earth. Even in the novel environment of space, persistent issues of human urbanism will eclipse, within a historically short time, the technical challenges of space settlement that dominate our current view. By adding modern topics in space engineering, planetology, life support, human factors, material invention, and conservation to their already renaissance array of expertise, urban designers can responsibly apply ancient, proven standards to the exciting new opportunities afforded by space. Inescapable facts about the Moon set real boundaries within which tenable lunar urbanism and its component architecture must eventually develop.

  5. Midlatitude ice-rich ground on mars as a target in the search for evidence of life and for in situ resource utilization on human missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, J L; Schurmeier, L; McKay, C; Davila, A; Stoker, C; Marinova, M; Wilhelm, M B

    2014-02-01

    Midlatitude ground ice on Mars is of significant scientific interest for understanding the history and evolution of ice stability on Mars and is relevant for human exploration as a possible in situ resource. For both science and exploration, assessing the astrobiological potential of the ice is important in terms of (1) understanding the potential for life on Mars and (2) evaluating the presence of possible biohazards in advance of human exploration. In the present study, we review the evidence for midlatitude ground ice on Mars, discuss the possible explanations for its occurrence, and assess its potential habitability. During the course of study, we systematically analyzed remote-sensing data sets to determine whether a viable landing site exists in the northern midlatitudes to enable a robotic mission that conducts in situ characterization and searches for evidence of life in the ice. We classified each site according to (1) presence of polygons as a proxy for subsurface ice, (2) presence and abundance of rough topographic obstacles (e.g., large cracks, cliffs, uneven topography), (3) rock density, (4) presence and abundance of large boulders, and (5) presence of craters. We found that a suitable landing site exists within Amazonis Planitia near ground ice that was recently excavated by a meteorite impact.

  6. Mars Trek: An Interactive Web Portal for Current and Future Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-09-01

    NASA's Mars Trek (https://marstrek.jpl.nasa.gov) provides a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, lunar scientists, and engineers to access mapped data products from past and current missions to Mars. During the past year, the capabilities and data served by Mars Trek have been significantly expanded beyond its original design as a public outreach tool. At the request of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate, Mars Trek's technology and capabilities are now being extended to support site selection and analysis activities for the first human missions to Mars.

  7. Mars Trek: An Interactive Web Portal for Current and Future Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's Mars Trek (https://marstrek.jpl.nasa.gov) provides a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, lunar scientists, and engineers to access mapped data products from past and current missions to Mars. During the past year, the capabilities and data served by Mars Trek have been significantly expanded beyond its original design as a public outreach tool. At the request of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate, Mars Trek's technology and capabilities are now being extended to support site selection and analysis activities for the first human missions to Mars.

  8. Proceedings of the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    The 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference included sessions on: Phoenix: Exploration of the Martian Arctic; Origin and Early Evolution of the Moon; Comet Wild 2: Mineralogy and More; Astrobiology: Meteorites, Microbes, Hydrous Habitats, and Irradiated Ices; Phoenix: Soil, Chemistry, and Habitability; Planetary Differentiation; Presolar Grains: Structures and Origins; SPECIAL SESSION: Venus Atmosphere: Venus Express and Future Missions; Mars Polar Caps: Past and Present; SPECIAL SESSION: Lunar Missions: Results from Kaguya, Chang'e-1, and Chandrayaan-1, Part I; 5 Early Nebula Processes and Models; SPECIAL SESSION: Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn: Cosmic Gymnasts; Mars: Ground Ice and Climate Change; SPECIAL SESSION: Lunar Missions: Results from Kaguya, Chang'e-1, and Chandrayaan-1, Part II; Chondrite Parent-Body Processes; SPECIAL SESSION: Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn: Salubrious Surfaces; SNC Meteorites; Ancient Martian Crust: Primary Mineralogy and Aqueous Alteration; SPECIAL SESSION: Messenger at Mercury: A Global Perspective on the Innermost Planet; CAIs and Chondrules: Records of Early Solar System Processes; Small Bodies: Shapes of Things to Come; Sulfur on Mars: Rocks, Soils, and Cycling Processes; Mercury: Evolution and Tectonics; Venus Geology, Volcanism, Tectonics, and Resurfacing; Asteroid-Meteorite Connections; Impacts I: Models and Experiments; Solar Wind and Genesis: Measurements and Interpretation; Mars: Aqueous Processes; Magmatic Volatiles and Eruptive Conditions of Lunar Basalts; Comparative Planetology; Interstellar Matter: Origins and Relationships; Impacts II: Craters and Ejecta Mars: Tectonics and Dynamics; Mars Analogs I: Geological; Exploring the Diversity of Lunar Lithologies with Sample Analyses and Remote Sensing; Chondrite Accretion and Early History; Science Instruments for the Mars Science Lander; . Martian Gullies: Morphology and Origins; Mars: Dunes, Dust, and Wind; Mars: Volcanism; Early Solar System Chronology

  9. Impact of Mars sand on dust on the design of space suits and life support equipment: A technology assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonds, Charles H.

    1991-01-01

    Space suits and life support equipment will come in intimate contact with Martian soil as aerosols, wind blown particles and material thrown up by men and equipment on the Martian surface. For purposes of this discussion the soil is assumed to consist of a mixture of cominuted feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, quartz, titanomagnetite and other anhydrous and hydrous iron bearing oxides, clay minerals, scapolite and water soluble chlorides and sulfates. The soil may have photoactivated surfaces that acts as a strong oxidizer with behavior similar to hydrogen peroxide. The existing data about the Mars soil suggests that the dust and sand will require designs analogous to those uses on equipment exposed to salty air and blowing sand and dust. The major design challenges are in developing high performance radiators which can be cleaned after each EVA without degradation, designing seals that are readily cleaned and possibly in selecting materials which will not be degraded by any strong oxidants in the soil. The magnitude of the dust filtration challenge needs careful evaluation in terms of the trade off between fine-particle dust filters with low pressure drop that are either physically large and heavy, like filter baghouses require frequent replacement of filter elements, of low volume high pressure thus power consumption approaches, or washable filters. In the latter, filter elements are cleaned with water, as could the outsides of the space suits in the airlock.

  10. Impact of Mars sand on dust on the design of space suits and life support equipment: A technology assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonds, Charles H.

    1991-05-01

    Space suits and life support equipment will come in intimate contact with Martian soil as aerosols, wind blown particles and material thrown up by men and equipment on the Martian surface. For purposes of this discussion the soil is assumed to consist of a mixture of cominuted feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, quartz, titanomagnetite and other anhydrous and hydrous iron bearing oxides, clay minerals, scapolite and water soluble chlorides and sulfates. The soil may have photoactivated surfaces that acts as a strong oxidizer with behavior similar to hydrogen peroxide. The existing data about the Mars soil suggests that the dust and sand will require designs analogous to those uses on equipment exposed to salty air and blowing sand and dust. The major design challenges are in developing high performance radiators which can be cleaned after each EVA without degradation, designing seals that are readily cleaned and possibly in selecting materials which will not be degraded by any strong oxidants in the soil. The magnitude of the dust filtration challenge needs careful evaluation in terms of the trade off between fine-particle dust filters with low pressure drop that are either physically large and heavy, like filter baghouses require frequent replacement of filter elements, of low volume high pressure thus power consumption approaches, or washable filters. In the latter, filter elements are cleaned with water, as could the outsides of the space suits in the airlock.

  11. Multi-dimensional approach of MARS-LMR for the analysis of Phenix End-of-Life natural circulation test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Hae Yong; Ha, Kwi Seok; Chang, Won Pyo; Lee, Kwi Lim

    2012-01-01

    Phenix is one of the important prototype sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFR) in nuclear reactor development history. It had been operated successfully for 35 years by the French Commissariat a l'energie atomique (CEA) and the Electricite de France (EdF) achieving its original objectives of demonstrating a fast breeder reactor technology and of playing the role of irradiation facility for innovative fuels and materials. After its final shutdown in 2009, CEA launched the Phenix End-of-life (EOL) test program. It provided a unique opportunity to generate reliable test data which is inevitable in the validation and verification of a SFR system analysis code. KAERI joined this international collaboration program of IAEA CRP and has performed the pretest analysis and post-test analysis utilizing the one-dimensional modeling of the MARS-LMR code, which had been developed by KAERI for the transient analysis of SFR systems. Through the previous studies, it has been identified that there are some limitations in the modeling of complicated thermal-hydraulic behaviors in the large pool volumes with the one-dimensional modeling. Recently, KAERI performed the analysis of Phenix EOL natural circulation test with multi-dimensional pool modeling, which is detailed below

  12. Multi-dimensional approach of MARS-LMR for the analysis of Phenix End-of-Life natural circulation test

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Hae Yong; Ha, Kwi Seok; Chang, Won Pyo; Lee, Kwi Lim [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2012-05-15

    Phenix is one of the important prototype sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFR) in nuclear reactor development history. It had been operated successfully for 35 years by the French Commissariat a l'energie atomique (CEA) and the Electricite de France (EdF) achieving its original objectives of demonstrating a fast breeder reactor technology and of playing the role of irradiation facility for innovative fuels and materials. After its final shutdown in 2009, CEA launched the Phenix End-of-life (EOL) test program. It provided a unique opportunity to generate reliable test data which is inevitable in the validation and verification of a SFR system analysis code. KAERI joined this international collaboration program of IAEA CRP and has performed the pretest analysis and post-test analysis utilizing the one-dimensional modeling of the MARS-LMR code, which had been developed by KAERI for the transient analysis of SFR systems. Through the previous studies, it has been identified that there are some limitations in the modeling of complicated thermal-hydraulic behaviors in the large pool volumes with the one-dimensional modeling. Recently, KAERI performed the analysis of Phenix EOL natural circulation test with multi-dimensional pool modeling, which is detailed below

  13. The overprotection of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairén, Alberto G.; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2013-07-01

    Planetary protection policies aim to guard Solar System bodies from biological contamination from spacecraft. Costly efforts to sterilize Mars spacecraft need to be re-evaluated, as they are unnecessarily inhibiting a more ambitious agenda to search for extant life on Mars.

  14. Enviromnental Control and Life Support Systems for Mars Missions - Issues and Concerns for Planetary Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel J.; Anderson, Molly S.; Lange, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Planetary protection represents an additional set of requirements that generally have not been considered by developers of technologies for Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS). Planetary protection guidelines will affect the kind of operations, processes, and functions that can take place during future human planetary exploration missions. Ultimately, there will be an effect on mission costs, including the mission trade space when planetary protection requirements begin to drive vehicle deisgn in a concrete way. Planetary protection requirements need to be considered early in technology development and mission programs in order to estimate these impacts and push back on requirements or find efficient ways to perform necessary functions. It is expected that planetary protection will be a significant factor during technology selection and system architecture design for future missions.

  15. The use of mineral crystals as bio-markers in the search for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

    It is proposed that minerals resulting from biologically controlled mineralization processes be utilized as biomarkers because of their favorable qualities. Universal signatures of life (biomarkers) are discussed in terms of their terrestrial forms and hypothetical Martian counterparts including organics, suites of specific inorganic and organic compounds, and isotopic ratios. It is emphasized that minerals produced under biologic control have morphological and isotopic compositions that are not found in their abiotic counterparts. Other biomarkers are not necessarily indicative of biological origin and are therefore unreliable resources for scientific study. Mineral crystals are also stable over long geological periods, and the minerals from Martian fluvial features can therefore be employed to search for fossils and biomarkers of early biological activity.

  16. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumrall, John P.

    2007-01-01

    America is returning to the Moon in preparation for the first human footprint on Mars, guided by the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration. This presentation will discuss NASA's mission today, the reasons for returning to the Moon and going to Mars, and how NASA will accomplish that mission. The primary goals of the Vision for Space Exploration are to finish the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed to return people to the Moon and go to Mars. Unlike the Apollo program of the 1960s, this phase of exploration will be a journey, not a race. In 1966, the NASA's budget was 4 percent of federal spending. Today, with 6/10 of 1 percent of the budget, NASA must incrementally develop the vehicles, infrastructure, technology, and organization to accomplish this goal. Fortunately, our knowledge and experience are greater than they were 40 years ago. NASA's goal is a return to the Moon by 2020. The Moon is the first step to America's exploration of Mars. Many questions about the Moon's history and how its history is linked to that of Earth remain even after the brief Apollo explorations of the 1960s and 1970s. This new venture will carry more explorers to more diverse landing sites with more capable tools and equipment. The Moon also will serve as a training ground in several respects before embarking on the longer, more perilous trip to Mars. The journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Lunar Surface Access Module. The architecture for the lunar missions will use one launch to ferry the crew into orbit on the Ares I and a second launch to orbit the lunar lander and the Earth Departure Stage to send the lander and crew vehicle to the Moon. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within a lifetime and within budget, NASA is building on proven hardware and decades of experience derived from

  17. Electrostatic Beneficiation of Lunar Regolith: Applications in In-Situ Resource Utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigwell, Steve; Captain, James; Weis, Kyle; Quinn, Jacqueline

    2011-01-01

    Upon returning to the moon, or further a field such as Mars, presents enormous challenges in sustaining life for extended periods of time far beyond the few days the astronauts experienced on the moon during the Apollo missions. A stay on Mars is envisioned to last several months, and it would be cost prohibitive to take all the requirements for such a stay from earth. Therefore, future exploration missions will be required to be self-sufficient and utilize the resources available at the mission site to sustain human occupation. Such an exercise is currently the focus of intense research at NASA under the In-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) program. As well as oxygen and water necessary for human life, resources for providing building materials for habitats, radiation protection, and landing/launch pads are required. All these materials can be provided by the regolith present on the surface as it contains sufficient minerals and metals oxides to meet the requirements. However, before processing, it would be cost effective if the regolith could be enriched in the mineral(s) of interest. This can be achieved by electrostatic beneficiation in which tribocharged mineral particles are separated out and the feedstock enriched or depleted as required. The results of electrostatic beneficiation of lunar simulants and actual Apollo regolith, in lunar high vacuum are reported in which various degrees of efficient particle separation and mineral enrichment up to a few hundred percent were achieved.

  18. The miniaturized Raman system and detection of traces of life in halite from the Atacama Desert: some considerations for the search for life signatures on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vítek, Petr; Jehlička, Jan; Edwards, Howell G M; Hutchinson, Ian; Ascaso, Carmen; Wierzchos, Jacek

    2012-12-01

    Raman spectroscopy is being adopted as a nondestructive instrumentation for the robotic exploration of Mars to search for traces of life in the geological record. Here, miniaturized Raman spectrometers of two different types equipped with 532 and 785 nm lasers for excitation, respectively, were compared for the detection of microbial biomarkers in natural halite from the hyperarid region of the Atacama Desert. Measurements were performed directly on the rock as well as on the homogenized, powdered samples prepared from this material-the effects of this sample preparation and the excitation wavelength employed in the analysis are compared and discussed. From these results, 532 nm excitation was found to be superior for the analysis of powdered specimens due to its high sensitivity toward carotenoids and hence a higher capability for their detection at relatively low concentration in bulk powdered specimens. For the same reason, this wavelength was a better choice for the detection of carotenoids in direct measurements made on the rock samples. The 785 nm excitation wavelength, in contrast, proved to be more sensitive toward the detection of scytonemin.

  19. Development of a Lunar Surface Architecture Using the Deep Space Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrigan, A. M.; Kitmanyen, V. A.; Prakash, A.

    2018-02-01

    Prior to sending crews to Mars, the ability to perform activities intended for martian missions must first be thoroughly tested and successfully demonstrated in a similar environment. This paper outlines a lunar surface architecture to meet this goal.

  20. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

    Mars is one of the most fascinating planets in the solar system, featuring an atmosphere, water, and enormous volcanoes and canyons. The Mars Pathfinder, Global Surveyor, and Odyssey missions mark the first wave of the Planet Earth's coming invasion of the red planet, changing our views of the past and future of the planet and the possibilities of life. Scientist and science-fiction writer Geoffrey A. Landis will present experiences on the Pathfinder mission, the challenges of using solar power on the surface of Mars, and present future missions to Mars such as the upcoming Mars Twin Rovers, which will launch two highly-capable vehicles in 2003 to explore the surface of Mars.

  1. A microbial oasis in the hypersaline atacama subsurface discovered by a life detector chip : Implications for the search for life on mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parro, Victor; De Diego-Castilla, Graciela; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; Blanco, Yolanda; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José Antonio; Fernández-Remolar, David; Gómez, Felipe; Gómez, Manuel J.; Rivas, Luis A.; Demergasso, Cecilia; Echeverría, Alex; Urtuvia, Viviana N.; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Postigo, Marina; Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Chong-Díaz, Guillermo; Gómez-Elvira, Javier

    2011-01-01

    The Atacama Desert has long been considered a good Mars analogue for testing instrumentation for planetary exploration, but very few data (if any) have been reported about the geomicrobiology of its salt-rich subsurface. We performed a Mars analogue drilling campaign next to the Salar Grande

  2. Lunar Flashlight and Other Lunar Cubesats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara

    2017-01-01

    Water is a human-exploitable resource. Lunar Flashlight is a Cubesat mission to detect and map lunar surface ice in permanently-shadowed regions of the lunar south pole. EM-1 will carry 13 Cubesat-class missions to further smallsat science and exploration capabilities; much room to infuse LEO cubesat methodology, models, and technology. Exploring the value of concurrent measurements to measure dynamical processes of water sources and sinks.

  3. Lunar plant biology--a review of the Apollo era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferl, Robert J; Paul, Anna-Lisa

    2010-04-01

    Recent plans for human return to the Moon have significantly elevated scientific interest in the lunar environment with emphasis on the science to be done in preparation for the return and while on the lunar surface. Since the return to the Moon is envisioned as a dedicated and potentially longer-term commitment to lunar exploration, questions of the lunar environment and particularly its impact on biology and biological systems have become a significant part of the lunar science discussion. Plants are integral to the discussion of biology on the Moon. Plants are envisioned as important components of advanced habitats and fundamental components of advanced life-support systems. Moreover, plants are sophisticated multicellular eukaryotic life-forms with highly orchestrated developmental processes, well-characterized signal transduction pathways, and exceedingly fine-tuned responses to their environments. Therefore, plants represent key test organisms for understanding the biological impact of the lunar environment on terrestrial life-forms. Indeed, plants were among the initial and primary organisms that were exposed to returned lunar regolith from the Apollo lunar missions. This review discusses the original experiments involving plants in association with the Apollo samples, with the intent of understanding those studies within the context of the first lunar exploration program and drawing from those experiments the data to inform the studies critical within the next lunar exploration science agenda.

  4. Cis-Lunar Base Camp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Raymond G.; Goodliff, Kandyce E.; Mazanek, Daniel D.; Reeves, John D., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    Historically, when mounting expeditions into uncharted territories, explorers have established strategically positioned base camps to pre-position required equipment and consumables. These base camps are secure, safe positions from which expeditions can depart when conditions are favorable, at which technology and operations can be tested and validated, and facilitate timely access to more robust facilities in the event of an emergency. For human exploration missions into deep space, cis-lunar space is well suited to serve as such a base camp. The outer regions of cis-lunar space, such as the Earth-Moon Lagrange points, lie near the edge of Earth s gravity well, allowing equipment and consumables to be aggregated with easy access to deep space and to the lunar surface, as well as more distant destinations, such as near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and Mars and its moons. Several approaches to utilizing a cis-lunar base camp for sustainable human exploration, as well as some possible future applications are identified. The primary objective of the analysis presented in this paper is to identify options, show the macro trends, and provide information that can be used as a basis for more detailed mission development. Compared within are the high-level performance and cost of 15 preliminary cis-lunar exploration campaigns that establish the capability to conduct crewed missions of up to one year in duration, and then aggregate mass in cis-lunar space to facilitate an expedition from Cis-Lunar Base Camp. Launch vehicles, chemical propulsion stages, and electric propulsion stages are discussed and parametric sizing values are used to create architectures of in-space transportation elements that extend the existing in-space supply chain to cis-lunar space. The transportation options to cis-lunar space assessed vary in efficiency by almost 50%; from 0.16 to 0.68 kg of cargo in cis-lunar space for every kilogram of mass in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). For the 15 cases, 5-year campaign

  5. Liquid Crystal Membrane Dust Mitigation System for Lunar or Martian Operations, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Lunar dust creates a number of hazards to lunar operations including, effect on human health, degradation of life support systems, wear to mechanical systems and...

  6. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  7. Nuclear propulsion: the way to mars is open

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jamet, Ph.

    2005-01-01

    A manned mission to mars will require the use of nuclear propulsion because of the efficiency of this technique in terms of high values for the momentum/weight ratio and the thrust. A period of 10 years will be necessary to develop nuclear-thermal or nuclear-electric propulsion systems able to bring a 5 member crew on mars. The go and return trip has to be optimized in terms of energy consumption: it may last 250 days and a time period of about 500 days, spent on mars, may be necessary before undertaking the return trip. The long stay on mars implies the existence of important structure so that life may be possible for the astronauts. The weight of equipment needed to be carried is assessed to reach 20 or 30 tonnes. Different scenarios have been considered by the Nasa in order to reduce the constraints on the launching: launching from either a lunar station or a space station has been proposed. (A.C.)

  8. Benefit of Lunar Regolith on Reflector Mass Savings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hatton, Steven A.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2007-01-01

    The 2004 NASA Vision for Space Exploration calls for the return of mankind to the moon by no later than 2020, in preparation for an adventure to Mars and beyond. An envisioned lunar outpost will provide living quarters for initially 5- 10 astronauts for up to 2 weeks, and latter for science experiments, and recovery of mineral and indigenous resources for the day-to-day operation and production of propellant. These activities would require electrical and thermal powers in the order of 10's - 100's of kilowatts 24/7. Potential power options include photovoltaic, requiring massive batteries or fuel cells for energy storage during the long nights on the moon, and nuclear reactor power systems, which are much more compact and operate independent of the sun. This paper examines the benefit of using the lunar regolith as a supplemental neutron reflector on decreasing the launch mass of the Sectored Compact Reactor (SCoRe-S), developed at the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies. In addition to providing at least $2.00 of hot-clean excess reactivity at the beginning of life, various SCoRe-S concepts investigated in this paper are at least $1.00 sub-critical when shutdown, and when the bare reactor cores are submerged in wet sand and flooded with seawater, following a launch abort accident. Design calculations performed using MCNP5 confirmed that using lunar regolith as supplementary reflector reduces the launch mass of the SCoRe-S cores by ∼ 34% - 35%, or 150 - 200 kg, while satisfying the above reactivity requirements

  9. LADEE LUNAR DUST EXPERIMENT

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This archive bundle includes data taken by the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) instrument aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft....

  10. Endogenous Lunar Volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Liu, Y.; Barnes, J. J.; Anand, M.; Boyce, J. W.; Burney, D.; Day, J. M. D.; Elardo, S. M.; Hui, H.; Klima, R. L.; Magna, T.; Ni, P.; Steenstra, E.; Tartèse, R.; Vander Kaaden, K. E.

    2018-04-01

    This abstract discusses numerous outstanding questions on the topic of endogenous lunar volatiles that will need to be addressed in the coming years. Although substantial insights into endogenous lunar volatiles have been gained, more work remains.

  11. Critical Robotic Lunar Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plescia, J. B.

    2018-04-01

    Perhaps the most critical missions to understanding lunar history are in situ dating and network missions. These would constrain the volcanic and thermal history and interior structure. These data would better constrain lunar evolution models.

  12. Environmental Control and Life Support Systems for Mars Exploration: Issues and Concerns for Planetary Protection and the Protection of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel J.; Lange, Kevin; Anderson, Molly; Vonau, Walter

    2016-07-01

    Planetary protection represents an additional set of requirements that generally have not been considered by developers of technologies for Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS). Forward contamination concerns will affect release of gases and discharge of liquids and solids, including what may be left behind after planetary vehicles are abandoned upon return to Earth. A crew of four using a state of the art ECLSS could generate as much as 4.3 metric tons of gaseous, liquid and solid wastes and trash during a 500-day surface stay. These may present issues and concerns for both planetary protection and planetary science. Certainly, further closure of ECLSS systems will be of benefit by greater reuse of consumable products and reduced generation of waste products. It can be presumed that planetary protection will affect technology development by constraining how technologies can operate: limiting or prohibiting certain kinds of operations or processes (e.g. venting); necessitating that other kinds of operations be performed (e.g. sterilization; filtration of vent lines); prohibiting what can be brought on a mission (e.g. extremophiles); creating needs for new capabilities/ technologies (e.g. containment). Although any planned venting could include filtration to eliminate micro-organisms from inadvertently exiting the spacecraft, it may be impossible to eliminate or filter habitat structural leakage. Filtration will add pressure drops impacting size of lines and ducts, affect fan size and energy requirements, and add consumable mass. Technologies that may be employed to remove biomarkers and microbial contamination from liquid and solid wastes prior to storage or release may include mineralization technologies such as incineration, super critical wet oxidation and pyrolysis. These technologies, however, come with significant penalties for mass, power and consumables. This paper will estimate the nature and amounts of materials generated during Mars

  13. 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

  14. Kickstarting a New Era of Lunar Industrialization via Campaign of Lunar COTS Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuniga, Allison F.; Turner, Mark; Rasky, Daniel; Pittman, Robert B.; Zapata, Edgar

    2016-01-01

    To support the goals of expanding our human presence and current economic sphere beyond LEO, a new plan was constructed for NASA to enter into partnerships with industry to foster and incentivize a new era of lunar industrialization. For NASA to finally be successful in achieving sustainable human exploration missions beyond LEO, lessons learned from our space history have shown that it is essential for current program planning to include affordable and economic development goals as well as address top national priorities to obtain much needed public support. In the last 58 years of NASA's existence, only Apollo's human exploration missions beyond LEO were successful since it was proclaimed to be a top national priority during the 1960's. However, the missions were not sustainable and ended abruptly in 1972 due to lack of funding and insufficient economic gain. Ever since Apollo, there have not been any human missions beyond LEO because none of the proposed program plans were economical or proclaimed a top national priority. The proposed plan outlines a new campaign of low-cost, commercial-enabled lunar COTS (Commercial Orbital Transfer Services) missions which is an update to the Lunar COTS plan previously described. The objectives of this new campaign of missions are to prospect for resources, determine the economic viability of extracting those resources and assess the value proposition of using these resources in future exploration architectures such as Mars. These missions would be accomplished in partnership with commercial industry using the wellproven COTS Program acquisition model. This model proved to be very beneficial to both NASA and its industry partners as NASA saved significantly in development and operational costs, as much as tenfold, while industry partners successfully expanded their market share and demonstrated substantial economic gain. Similar to COTS, the goals for this new initiative are 1) to develop and demonstrate cost-effective, cis-lunar

  15. Human life support for advanced space exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartzkopf, S. H.

    1997-01-01

    -term technologies are adequate to implement a Lunar Base CELSS. There are no apparent "show-stoppers" which require the development of new technologies. However, there are several areas in which new materials and technologies could be used for a more efficient implementation of the system, e.g., by decreasing mass or power requirement and increasing recycling efficiency. These areas must be further addressed through research and development. Finally, although this study focused on the development of a Lunar Base CELSS, the same technologies and a nearly identical design would be appropriate for a Mars base. Actually, except for the distance of transportation, the implementation of a CELSS on Mars would even be easier than it would be on the Moon. The presence of atmospheric CO2 on Mars, although in low concentration, coupled with the fact that the day/night cycle on Mars is very similar to that on Earth, makes the use of light-weight, greenhouse-like structures for growing food plants even more feasible than on the Moon. There are some environmental problems, which would have to be dealt with, like dust storms and the large amount of the ultraviolet radiation incident on the planet's surface. However, the materials and methods are largely available today to develop such a life support system for a Mars base.

  16. Our Lunar Destiny: Creating a Lunar Economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohwer, Christopher J.

    2000-01-01

    "Our Lunar Destiny: Creating a Lunar Economy" supports a vision of people moving freely and economically between the earth and the Moon in an expansive space and lunar economy. It makes the economic case for the creation of a lunar space economy and projects the business plan that will make the venture an economic success. In addition, this paper argues that this vision can be created and sustained only by private enterprise and the legal right of private property in space and on the Moon. Finally, this paper advocates the use of lunar land grants as the key to unleashing the needed capital and the economic power of private enterprise in the creation of a 21st century lunar space economy. It is clear that the history of our United States economic system proves the value of private property rights in the creation of any new economy. It also teaches us that the successful development of new frontiers-those that provide economic opportunity for freedom-loving people-are frontiers that encourage, respect and protect the possession of private property and the fruits of labor and industry. Any new 21st century space and lunar economy should therefore be founded on this same principle.

  17. High Temperature Life Testing of 80Ni-20Cr Wire in a Simulated Mars Atmosphere for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suit Gas Processing System (GPS) Carbon Dioxide Scrubber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gundersen, Cynthia; Hoffman, Christopher; Munoz, Bruno; Steohenson, Timothy; Thomas, Walter

    2008-01-01

    In support of the GPS for the SAM instrument suite built by GSFC, a life test facility was developed to test the suitability of 80Ni-20Cr wire, 0.0056 inches in diameter, for use as a heater element for the carbon dioxide scrubber. The wire would be required to operate at 1000 C in order to attain the 800 C required for regeneration of the getter. The wire also would need to operate in the Mars atmosphere, which consists mostly of CO2 at pressures between 4 and 12 torr. Data on the high temperature degradation mechanism of 80Ni-20Cr in low pressure CO2, together with the effects of thermal cycling, were unknown. In addition, the influence of work hardening of the wire during assembly and the potential for catastrophic grain growth also were unknown. Verification of the wire reliability as defined by the mission goals required the construction of a test facility that would accurately simulate the duty cycles in a simulated Mars atmosphere. The experimental set-up, along with the test protocol and results will be described.

  18. High Temperature Life Testing of 80Ni-20Cr Wire in a Simulated Mars Atmosphere for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite Gas Processing System (GPS) Carbon Dioxide Scrubber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Christopher; Munoz, Bruno; Gundersen, Cynthia; Thomas, Walter, III; Stephenson, Timothy

    2008-01-01

    In support of the GPS for the SAM instrument suite built by NASA/GSFC, a life test facility was developed to test the suitability of 80Ni-20Cr alloy wire, 0.0142 cm diameter, for use as a heater element for the carbon dioxide scrubber. The element would be required to operate at 1000 C in order to attain the 800 C required for regeneration of the getter. The element also would need to operate in the Mars atmosphere, which consists mostly of CO2 at pressures between 4 and 12 torr. Data on the high temperature degradation mechanism of 80Ni- 20Cr in low pressure CO2, coupled with the effects of thermal cycling, were unknown. In addition, the influence of work hardening of the wire during assembly and the potential for catastrophic grain growth also were unknown. Verification of the element reliability as defined by the mission goals required the construction of a test facility that would accurately simulate the duty cycles in a simulated Mars atmosphere. The experimental set-up, along with the test protocol and results will be described.

  19. LIFE experiment: isolation of cryptoendolithic organisms from Antarctic colonized sandstone exposed to space and simulated Mars conditions on the international space station.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalzi, Giuliano; Selbmann, Laura; Zucconi, Laura; Rabbow, Elke; Horneck, Gerda; Albertano, Patrizia; Onofri, Silvano

    2012-06-01

    Desiccated Antarctic rocks colonized by cryptoendolithic communities were exposed on the International Space Station (ISS) to space and simulated Mars conditions (LiFE-Lichens and Fungi Experiment). After 1.5 years in space samples were retrieved, rehydrated and spread on different culture media. Colonies of a green alga and a pink-coloured fungus developed on Malt-Agar medium; they were isolated from a sample exposed to simulated Mars conditions beneath a 0.1 % T Suprasil neutral density filter and from a sample exposed to space vacuum without solar radiation exposure, respectively. None of the other flight samples showed any growth after incubation. The two organisms able to grow were identified at genus level by Small SubUnit (SSU) and Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) rDNA sequencing as Stichococcus sp. (green alga) and Acarospora sp. (lichenized fungal genus) respectively. The data in the present study provide experimental information on the possibility of eukaryotic life transfer from one planet to another by means of rocks and of survival in Mars environment.

  20. Effect of UVC Radiation on Hydrated and Desiccated Cultures of Slightly Halophilic and Non-Halophilic Methanogenic Archaea: Implications for Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Navita; Kral, Timothy A

    2018-05-12

    Methanogens have been considered models for life on Mars for many years. In order to survive any exposure at the surface of Mars, methanogens would have to endure Martian UVC radiation. In this research, we irradiated hydrated and desiccated cultures of slightly halophilic Methanococcus maripaludis and non-halophilic Methanobacterium formicicum for various time intervals with UVC (254 nm) radiation. The survivability of the methanogens was determined by measuring methane concentrations in the headspace gas samples of culture tubes after re-inoculation of the methanogens into their growth-supporting media following exposure to UVC radiation. Hydrated M. maripaludis survived 24 h of UVC exposure, while in a desiccated condition they endured for 16 h. M. formicicum also survived UVC radiation for 24 h in a liquid state; however, in a desiccated condition, the survivability of M. formicicum was only 12 h. Some of the components of the growth media could have served as shielding agents that protected cells from damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Overall, these results suggest that limited exposure (12⁻24 h) to UVC radiation on the surface of Mars would not necessarily be a limiting factor for the survivability of M. maripaludis and M. formicicum .

  1. Nineteenth lunar and planetary science conference. Press abstracts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    Topics addressed include: origin of the moon; mineralogy of rocks; CO2 well gases; ureilites; antarctic meteorites; Al-26 decay in a Semarkona chondrule; meteorite impacts on early earth; crystal structure and density of helium; Murchison carbonaceous chondrite composition; greenhouse effect and dinosaurs; Simud-Tiu outflow system of Mars; and lunar radar images

  2. Super-long Anabiosis of Ancient Microorganisms in Ice and Terrestrial Models for Development of Methods to Search for Life on Mars, Europa and other Planetary Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abyzov, S. S.; Duxbury, N. S.; Bobin, N. E.; Fukuchi, M.; Hoover, R. B.; Kanda, H.; Mitskevich, I. N.; Mulyukin, A. L.; Naganuma, T.; Poglazova, M. N.; hide

    2007-01-01

    Successful missions to Mars, Europe and other bodies of the Solar system have created a prerequisite to search for extraterrestrial life. The first attempts of microbial life detection on the Martian surface by the Viking landed missions gave no biological results. Microbiological investigations of the Martian subsurface ground ice layers seem to be more promising. It is well substantiated to consider the Antarctic ice sheet and the Antarctic and Arctic permafrost as terrestrial analogues of Martian habitats. The results of our long-standing microbiological studies of the Antarctic ice would provide the basis for detection of viable microbial cells on Mars. Our microbiological investigations of the deepest and thus most ancient strata of the Antarctic ice sheet for the first time gave evidence for the natural phenomenon of long-term anabiosis (preservation of viability and vitality for millennia years). A combination of classical microbiological methods, epifluorescence microscopy, SEM, TEM, molecular diagnostics, radioisotope labeling and other techniques made it possible for us to obtain convincing proof of the presence of pro- and eukaryotes in the Antarctic ice sheet. In this communication, we will review and discuss some critical issues related to the detection of viable microorganisms in cold terrestrial environments with regard to future searches for microbial life and/or its biological signatures on extraterrestrial objects.

  3. Laser-Induced Fluorescence Emission (L.I.F.E.): searching for Mars organics with a UV-enhanced PanCam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C; Muller, Jan-Peter; Fisk, Martin R; Cousins, Claire; Sattler, Birgit; Griffiths, Andrew D; Coates, Andrew J

    2009-12-01

    The European Space Agency will launch the ExoMars mission in 2016 with a primary goal of surveying the martian subsurface for evidence of organic material. We have recently investigated the utility of including either a 365 nm light-emitting diode or a 375 nm laser light source in the ExoMars rover panoramic camera (PanCam). Such a modification would make it feasible to monitor rover drill cuttings optically for the fluorescence signatures of aromatic organic molecules and map the distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as a function of depth to the 2 m limit of the ExoMars drill. The technique described requires no sample preparation, does not consume irreplaceable resources, and would allow mission control to prioritize deployment of organic detection experiments that require sample destruction, expenditure of non-replaceable consumables, or both. We report here for the first time laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) imaging detection limits for anthracene, pyrene, and perylene targets doped onto a Mars analog granular peridotite with a 375 nm Nichia laser diode in optically uncorrected wide-angle mode. Data were collected via the Beagle 2 PanCam backup filter wheel fitted with original blue (440 nm), green (530 nm), and red (670 nm) filters. All three PAH species can be detected with the PanCam green (530 nm) filter. Detection limits in the green band for signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) > 10 are 49 parts per million (ppm) for anthracene, 145 ppm for pyrene, and 20 ppm for perylene. The anthracene detection limit improves to 7 ppm with use of the PanCam blue filter. We discuss soil-dependent detection limit constraints; use of UV excitation with other rover cameras, which provides higher spatial resolution; and the advantages of focused and wide-angle laser modes. Finally, we discuss application of L.I.F.E. techniques at multiple wavelengths for exploration of Mars analog extreme environments on Earth, including Icelandic hydrothermally

  4. Characterization of a Subsurface Biosphere in a Massive Sulfide Deposits at Rio Tinto, Spain: Implications for Extant Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Stevens, T.; Amils, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Rodriquez, N.; Gomez, F.; Gonzalez-Toril, E.; Aguilera, A.; Fernandez-Remolar, D.; Dunagan, S.

    2005-01-01

    The recent discovery of abundant sulfate minerals, particularly Jarosite by the Opportunity Rover at Sinus Merdiani on Mars has been interpreted as evidence for an acidic lake or sea on ancient Mars [1,2], since the mineral Jarosite is soluble in liquid water at pH above 4. The most likely mechanism to produce sufficient protons to acidify a large body of liquid water is near surface oxidation of pyrite rich deposits [3]. The acidic waters of the Rio Tinto, and the associated deposits of Hematite, Goethite, and Jarosite have been recognized as an important chemical analog to the Sinus Merdiani site on Mars [4]. The Rio Tinto is a river in southern Spain that flows 100 km from its source in the Iberian pyrite belt, one of the Earth s largest Volcanically Hosted Massive Sulfide (VHMS) provinces, into the Atlantic ocean. The river originates in artesian springs emanating from ground water that is acidified by the interaction with subsurface pyrite ore deposits. The Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE) has been investigating the hypothesis that a subsurface biosphere exists at Rio Tinto living within the VHMS deposit living on chemical energy derived from sulfur and iron minerals. Reduced iron and sulfur might provide electron donors for microbial metabolism while in situ oxidized iron or oxidants entrained in recharge water might provide electron acceptors.

  5. Characterization of a Subsurface Biosphere in a Massive Sulfide Deposit At Rio Tinto, Spain: Implications For Extant Life On Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Stevens, T.; Amils, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Rodriguez, N.; Gomez, F.; Gonzalez-Toril, E.; Aguilera, A.; Fernandez-Remolar, D.; Dunagan, S.

    2005-01-01

    The recent discovery of abundant sulfate minerals, particularly Jarosite by the Opportunity Rover at Sinus Merdiani on Mars has been interpreted as evidence for an acidic lake or sea on ancient Mars [1,2], since the mineral Jarosite is soluble in liquid water at pH above 4. The most likely mechanism to produce sufficient protons to acidify a large body of liquid water is near surface oxidation of pyrite rich deposits [3]. The acidic waters of the Rio Tinto, and the associated deposits of Hematite, Goethite, and Jarosite have been recognized as an important chemical analog to the Sinus Merdiani site on Mars [4]. The Rio Tinto is a river in southern Spain that flows 100 km from its source in the Iberian pyrite belt, one of the Earth's largest Volcanically Hosted Massive Sulfide (VHMS) provinces, into the Atlantic ocean. The river originates in artesian springs emanating from ground water that is acidified by the interaction with subsurface pyrite ore deposits. The Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE) has been investigating the hypothesis that a subsurface biosphere exists at Rio Tinto living within the VHMS deposit living on chemical energy derived from sulfur and iron minerals. Reduced iron and sulfur might provide electron donors for microbial metabolism while in situ oxidized iron or oxidants entrained in recharge water might provide electron acceptors.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. An analysis of near-circular lunar mapping orbits

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Numerical investigations have been carried out to analyse the evolution of lunar circular orbits and the influence of the higher order harmonics of the lunar gravity field. The aim is to select the appropriate near-circular orbit characteristics, which extend orbit life through passive orbit maintenance. The spherical harmonic ...

  8. 2007 Lunar Regolith Simulant Workshop Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLemore, Carole A.; Fikes, John C.; Howell, Joe T.

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) vision has as a cornerstone, the establishment of an Outpost on the Moon. This Lunar Outpost will eventually provide the necessary planning, technology development, and training for a manned mission to Mars in the future. As part of the overall activity, NASA is conducting Earth-based research and advancing technologies to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 maturity under the Exploration Technology Development Program that will be incorporated into the Constellation Project as well as other projects. All aspects of the Lunar environment, including the Lunar regolith and its properties, are important in understanding the long-term impacts to hardware, scientific instruments, and humans prior to returning to the Moon and living on the Moon. With the goal of reducing risk to humans and hardware and increasing mission success on the Lunar surface, it is vital that terrestrial investigations including both development and verification testing have access to Lunar-like environments. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is supporting this endeavor by developing, characterizing, and producing Lunar simulants in addition to analyzing existing simulants for appropriate applications. A Lunar Regolith Simulant Workshop was conducted by MSFC in Huntsville, Alabama, in October 2007. The purpose of the Workshop was to bring together simulant developers, simulant users, and program and project managers from ETDP and Constellation with the goals of understanding users' simulant needs and their applications. A status of current simulant developments such as the JSC-1A (Mare Type Simulant) and the NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Lunar Highlands-Type Pilot Simulant (NU-LHT-1 M) was provided. The method for evaluating simulants, performed via Figures of Merit (FoMs) algorithms, was presented and a demonstration was provided. The four FoM properties currently being assessed are: size, shape, density, and composition. Some of the

  9. Conceptual design of a lunar oxygen pilot plant Lunar Base Systems Study (LBSS) task 4.2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-01-01

    The primary objective was to develop conceptual designs of two pilot plants to produce oxygen from lunar materials. A lunar pilot plant will be used to generate engineering data necessary to support an optimum design of a larger scale production plant. Lunar oxygen would be of primary value as spacecraft propellant oxidizer. In addition, lunar oxygen would be useful for servicing nonregenerative fuel cell power systems, providing requirements for life support, and to make up oxygen losses from leakage and airlock cycling. Thirteen different lunar oxygen production methods are described. Hydrogen reduction of ilmenite and extraction of solar-wind hydrogen from bulk lunar soil were selected for conceptual design studies. Trades and sensitivity analyses were performed with these models.

  10. Orbital studies of lunar magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcleod, M. G.; Coleman, P. J., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    Limitations of present lunar magnetic maps are considered. Optimal processing of satellite derived magnetic anomaly data is also considered. Studies of coastal and core geomagnetism are discussed. Lunar remanent and induced lunar magnetization are included.

  11. Advanced Mars Water Acquisition System, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Advanced Mars Water Acquisition System (AMWAS) recovers and purifies water from Mars soils for oxygen and fuel production, life support, food production, and...

  12. Community Report and Recommendations from International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    2016-07-01

    The International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) was established in April 1995 at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany. As established in its charter, this working group reports to COSPAR and is charged with developing an international strategy for the exploration of the Moon. It discusses coordination between missions, and a road map for future international lunar exploration and utilisation. It fosters information exchange or potential and real future lunar robotic and human missions, as well as for new scientific and exploration information about the Moon. We refer to COSPAR and ILEWG ICEUM and lunar conferences and declarations [1-18], present the GLUC/ICEUM11 declaration and give a report on ongoing relevant ILEWG community activities. ILEWG supported community forums, ILEWG EuroMoonMars field campaigns and technology validation activities, as well as Young Lunar Explorers events, and activities with broad stakeholders. We discuss how lunar missions SMART-1, Kaguya, Chang'E1&2, Chandrayaan-1, LCROSS, LRO, GRAIL, LADEE, Chang'E3 and upcoming missions contribute to lunar exploration objectives & roadmap towards the Moon Village. GLUC/ICEUM11 declaration: "467 International Lunar Explorers, registered delegates from 26 countries, assembled at GLUC Global Lunar Conference including the 11th ILEWG Conference on Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon (ICEUM11) in Beijing. The conference engaged scientists, engineers, enthusiast explorers, agencies and organisations in the discussion of recent results and activities and the review of plans for exploration. Space agencies representatives gave the latest reports on their current lunar activities and programmes. GLUC-ICEUM11 was a truly historical meeting that demonstrated the world-wide interest in lunar exploration, discovery, and science. More than 400 abstracts were accepted for oral and poster presentations in the technical sessions, organised in 32 sessions within 4 symposia: Science and Exploration; Technology

  13. Lunar and interplanetary trajectories

    CERN Document Server

    Biesbroek, Robin

    2016-01-01

    This book provides readers with a clear description of the types of lunar and interplanetary trajectories, and how they influence satellite-system design. The description follows an engineering rather than a mathematical approach and includes many examples of lunar trajectories, based on real missions. It helps readers gain an understanding of the driving subsystems of interplanetary and lunar satellites. The tables and graphs showing features of trajectories make the book easy to understand. .

  14. Survivability and growth kinetics of methanogenic archaea at various pHs and pressures: Implications for deep subsurface life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Navita; Nepal, Sudip; Kral, Timothy; Kumar, Pradeep

    2017-02-01

    Life as we know it requires liquid water and sufficient liquid water is highly unlikely on the surface of present-day Mars. However, according to thermal models there is a possibility of liquid water in the deep subsurface of Mars. Thus, the martian subsurface, where the pressure and temperature is higher, could potentially provide a hospitable environment for a biosphere. Also, methane has been detected in the Mars' atmosphere. Analogous to Earth's atmospheric methane, martian methane could also be biological in origin. The carbon and energy sources for methanogenesis in the subsurface of Mars could be available by downwelling of atmospheric CO2 into the regolith and water-rock reactions such as serpentinization, respectively. Corresponding analogs of the martian subsurface on Earth might be the active sites of serpentinization at depths where methanogenic thermophilic archaea are the dominant species. Methanogens residing in Earth's hydrothermal environments are usually exposed to a variety of physiological stresses including a wide range of pressures, temperatures, and pHs. Martian geochemical models imply that the pH of probable groundwater varies from 4.96 to 9.13. In this work, we used the thermophilic methanogen, Methanothermobacter wolfeii, which grows optimally at 55oC. Therefore, a temperature of 55oC was chosen for these experiments, possibly simulating Mars' subsurface temperature. A martian geophysical model suggests depth and pressure corresponding to a temperature of 55 °C would be between 1-30 km and 100-3,000 atm respectively. Here, we have simulated Mars deep subsurface pH, pressure, and temperature conditions and have investigated the survivability, growth rate, and morphology of M. wolfeii after exposure to a wide range of pH 5-9) and pressure (1-1200 atm) at a temperature of 55 °C. Interestingly, in this study we have found that M. wolfeii was able to survive at all the pressures and pHs tested at 55 °C. In order to understand the effect of

  15. Report from International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) to COSPAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    inputs to future missions, including a gap analysis of needed measurements. Highly resolved global data sets are required. Autonomous landing and hazard avoidance will depend on the best topographic map of the Moon, achievable by combining shared data. - New topics such as life sciences, partial gravity processes on the Moon should be followed in relation to future exploration needs.” http://sci.esa.int/ilewg/ http://sci.esa.int/ilewg/47170-gluc-iceum11-beijing-2010lunar-declaration/ References: [1] 1st International Lunar Workshop, Balsiger H. et al., Editors, European Space Agency, 1994. ESA-SP-1170. [2] 2nd International Lunar Workshop, Kyoto, H. Mizutani, editor, Japan Space Forum Publisher, 1997. [3] 3rd International Lunar Workshop, Moscow 1998, E. Galimov, editor. [4] ICEUM4, ESTEC, 2000, ESA SP-462, B.H. Foing & M. Perry, editors. [5] ICEUM5, Hawaii Nov 2003, Durst S.M. et al, Editors, Vol 108, 1-576 pp, Science and Technology Series, American Astronautical Society, 2004. [6] ICEUM6, Udaipur 2004, Bhandari N., Editor, Journal Earth Sys-tem Science, India, 114, No6, Dec 2005, pp. 573-841. [7] ICEUM7, Toronto Sept 2005, sci.esa.int/ilewg. [8] ICEUM8, Beijing July 2006, Journal of Chinese Society of Astronautics, Vol. 28 Sup., 2007, Ji W., Editor. [9] ICEUM9, Sorrento, Italy, Foing B., Espinasse S., Kosters G., Editors. http://sci.esa.int/iceum9, Dec. 2007), [11] Ehrenfreund, P., Foing, B.H., Cellino, A. Editors, The Moon and Near Earth Objects, ASR Vol 37, 1, 2006. [12] Foing, B.H. et al editors, 'Astronomy and Space Science from the Moon', ASR 14, 6, 1994. [13] Ip W.-H., Foing, B.H., Masson Ph.L., editors, The Moon and Mars, ASR Vol 23, 11, 1999. [14] Foing, B.H. et al, editor, Lunar Exploration, Planetary and Space Science, Vol 50, 14-15, 2002. [15] Foing, B.H., Heather, D. editors, 'Lunar Exploration 2000', ASR Vol 30, Nr 8, 2002. [16] Huntress, W. et al 'The next steps in exploring deep space - A cosmic study by the IAA', Acta Astronautica, Vol 58, Issues 6

  16. Reporting on Strategic Considerations About the Role of Science in Initial Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaty, David; Bass, Deborah; Thronson, Harley; Hays, Lindsay; Carberry, Chris; Cassady, Joe; Craig, Mark; Duggan, Matt; Drake, Bret; Stern, Jennifer; Zucker, Rick

    2016-07-01

    In December 2015, the "Third Community Workshop on Affording and Sustaining Human Mars Exploration" (AM III) was held, which was designed to provide community recommendations on the potential human exploration of Mars. To facilitate the workshop, we focused on two key questions: 1) From the dual and interrelated perspectives of affordability and sustainability, what are the strengths/challenges of Mars exploration scenarios?; and 2) From the perspective of prioritized scientific objectives for the martian system (the planet's surface or its moons), what are the most enabling capabilities of the different exploration architecture(s) and why? Group discussion over three days resulted in the following findings and observations: 1. NASA's incremental approach to deep-space exploration defines the so-called "Proving Ground," specifically in cis-lunar space, generally occurring in the 2020s and prior to human journeys to Mars. We concluded that there are capabilities directly related to, and on the critical path to, human exploration of Mars that could be developed in cis-lunar space. However, we also concluded that the Proving Ground should best be viewed as a campaign that occurs within a certain timeframe (including activities at Mars), rather than merely occurring at a specific location. 2. The workshop participants agreed that the most valuable purposes of sending humans to the martian system would be accomplished only by surface operations. We concluded that specific benefits, both technical and cost, of sending humans to the Mars system without landing on the martian surface should be assessed in depth. We discussed - although were unable to conclude - whether Mars orbit or Phobos/Deimos as a destination would make sufficient contributions towards humans landing on the martian surface or to answering high-priority science questions (as identified by the Decadal Survey) to justify their associated costs and possible risks. Further study on the value of an orbital

  17. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Workshops for Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A. P.; Hsu, B. C.; Hessen, K.; Bleacher, L.

    2012-12-01

    The Lunar Workshops for Educators (LWEs) are a series of weeklong professional development workshops, accompanied by quarterly follow-up sessions, designed to educate and inspire grade 6-12 science teachers, sponsored by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Participants learn about lunar science and exploration, gain tools to help address common student misconceptions about the Moon, find out about the latest research results from LRO scientists, work with data from LRO and other lunar missions, and learn how to bring these data to their students using hands-on activities aligned with grade 6-12 National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks and through authentic research experiences. LWEs are held around the country, primarily in locations underserved with respect to NASA workshops. Where possible, workshops also include tours of science facilities or field trips intended to help participants better understand mission operations or geologic processes relevant to the Moon. Scientist and engineer involvement is a central tenant of the LWEs. LRO scientists and engineers, as well as scientists working on other lunar missions, present their research or activities to the workshop participants and answer questions about lunar science and exploration. This interaction with the scientists and engineers is consistently ranked by the LWE participants as one of the most interesting and inspiring components of the workshops. Evaluation results from the 2010 and 2011 workshops, as well as preliminary analysis of survey responses from 2012 participants, demonstrated an improved understanding of lunar science concepts among LWE participants in post-workshop assessments (as compared to identical pre-assessments) and a greater understanding of how to access and effectively share LRO data with students. Teachers reported increased confidence in helping students conduct research using lunar data, and learned about programs that would allow their students to make authentic

  18. A half-century of terrestrial analog studies: From craters on the Moon to searching for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Léveillé, Richard

    2010-03-01

    Terrestrial analogs to the Moon and Mars have been used to advance knowledge in planetary science for over a half-century. They are useful in studies of comparative geology of the terrestrial planets and rocky moons, in astronaut training and testing of exploration technologies, and in developing hypotheses and exploration strategies in astrobiology. In fact, the use of terrestrial analogs can be traced back to the origins of comparative geology and astrobiology, and to the early phases of the Apollo astronaut program. Terrestrial analog studies feature prominently throughout the history of both NASA and the USGS' Astrogeology Research Program. In light of current international plans for a return missions to the Moon, and eventually to send sample return and manned missions to Mars, as well as the recent creation of various analog research and development programs, this historical perspective is timely.

  19. Can identification of a fourth domain of life be made from sequence data alone, and could it be done on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, Anthony M; Willerslev, Eske

    2007-10-01

    A central question in astrobiology is whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. If so, is it related to Earth life? Technologies exist that enable identification of DNA- or RNA-based microbial life directly from environmental samples here on Earth. Such technologies could, in principle, be applied to the search for life elsewhere; indeed, efforts are underway to initiate such a search. However, surveying for nucleic acid-based life on other planets, if attempted, must be carried out with caution, owing to the risk of contamination by Earth-based life. Here we argue that the null hypothesis must be that any DNA discovered and sequenced from samples taken elsewhere in the universe are Earth-based contaminants. Experience from studies of low-biomass ancient DNA demonstrates that some results, by their very nature, will not enable complete rejection of the null hypothesis. In terms of eliminating contamination as an explanation of the data, there may be value in identification of sequences that lie outside the known diversity of the three domains of life. We therefore have examined whether a fourth domain could be readily identified from environmental DNA sequence data alone. We concluded that, even on Earth, this would be far from trivial, and we illustrate this point by way of examples drawn from the literature. Overall, our conclusions do not bode well for planned PCR-based surveys for life on Mars, and we argue that other independent biosignatures will be essential in corroborating any claims for the presence of life based on nucleic acid sequences.

  20. Human Space Exploration: The Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sexton, Jeffrey D.

    2007-01-01

    Crew Launch Vehicle, which transports the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, which transports the Lunar Surface Access Module. The architecture for the lunar missions will use one launch to ferry the crew into orbit, where it will rendezvous with the Lunar Module in the Earth Departure Stage, which will then propel the combination into lunar orbit. The imperative to explore space with the combination of astronauts and robots will be the impetus for inventions such as solar power and water and waste recycling. This next chapter in NASA's history promises to write the next chapter in American history, as well. It will require this nation to provide the talent to develop tools, machines, materials, processes, technologies, and capabilities that can benefit nearly all aspects of life on Earth. Roles and responsibilities are shared between a nationwide Government and industry team. The Exploration Launch Projects Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center manages the design, development, testing, and evaluation of both vehicles and serves as lead systems integrator. A little over a year after it was chartered, the Exploration Launch Projects team is testing engine components, refining vehicle designs, performing wind tunnel tests, and building hardware for the first flight test of Ares I-l, scheduled for spring 2009. The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration lays out a roadmap for a long-term venture of discovery. This endeavor will inspire and attract the best and brightest students to power this nation successfully to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. If one equates the value proposition for space with simple dollars and cents, the potential of the new space economy is tremendous, from orbital space delivery services for the International Space Station to mining and solar energy collection on the Moon and asteroids. The Vision for Space Exploration is fundamentally about bringing the resources of the solar system within the economic sphere of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, James B.

    2007-01-01

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

  2. "The Moon Village and Journey to Mars enable each other"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldavs, Vidvuds

    2016-07-01

    NASA has proposed the Journey to Mars, a multi-decade collaborative international effort to establish permanent manned operations on the Martian surface as well as in orbit, most likely on the Martian moons. NASA's proposed the Journey to Mars has come under politically motivated attack as illusory, as beyond NASA's capabilities and anticipated NASA budgets in the foreseeable future. [1]. Other concerns come from various communities of researchers concerned about securing sustaining funding for their largely robotic research missions. ESA's Director General Dietrich Woerner's proposed Moon Village faces challenges ESA member states concerned about sustaining funding for projects already underway or in planning. Both the Journey to Mars and Moon Village raise the question - who will or who can pay for it? The 2013 US Research Council study suggested potential benefits to a mission to Mars from activities on the Moon [2]. The NASA funded Flexible Lunar Architecture study came to similar conclusions using a different methodology [3]. A logistics analysis by an MIT team suggested the possibility of cost savings through use of lunar water for propellant to reach Mars [4]. The highly promising private-public financing approach has been examined for potential application to funding the costs of reaching Mars [5]. Insofar as the feasibility of utilization of lunar water has not been determined these conclusions are speculative. This study will examine the following alternative scenarios for establishing sustainable, manned operations on Mars and permanent manned operations on the Moon: A. NASA-led Journey to Mars without an ESA-led Moon Village B. ESA-led Moon Village without NASA-led Journey to Mars C. NASA-led Journey to Mars with an ESA-led Moon Village D. Shared Infrastructure scenario - NASA-led Journey to Mars with ESA-led Moon Village and with a potential JAXA-led space-based-solar power initiative E. Space Industrialization scenario - Shared Infrastructure scenario

  3. Japan's exploration of vertical holes and subsurface caverns on the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haruyama, J.; Kawano, I.; Kubota, T.; Yoshida, K.; Kawakatsu, Y.; Kato, H.; Otsuki, M.; Watanabe, K.; Nishibori, T.; Yamamoto, Y.; Iwata, T.; Ishigami, G.; Yamada, T. T.

    2013-12-01

    Recently, gigantic vertical holes exceeding several tens of meters in diameter and depth were discovered on the Moon and Mars. Based on high-resolution image data, lunar holes and some Martian pits (called 'holes' hereafter) are probably skylights of subsurface caverns such as lava tubes or magma chambers. We are starting preparations for exploring the caverns through the vertical holes. The holes and subsurface caverns have high potential as resources for scientific studies. Various important geological and mineralogical processes could be uniquely and effectively observed inside these holes and subsurface caverns. The exposed fresh lava layers on the vertical walls of the lunar and Martian holes would provide information on volcanic eruption histories. The lava layers may also provide information on past magnetic fields of the celestial bodies. The regolith layers may be sandwiched between lava layers and may preserve volatile elements including solar wind protons that could be a clue to understanding past solar activities. Water molecules from solar winds or cometary/meteorite impacts may be stored inside the caverns because of mild temperatures there. The fresh lava materials forming the walls and floors of caverns might trap endogenic volatiles from magma eruptions that will be key materials for revealing the formation and early evolution of the Moon and Mars. Furthermore, the Martian subsurface caverns are highly expected to be life cradles where the temperatures are probably stable and that are free from ultra-violet and other cosmic rays that break chemical bonds, thus avoiding polymerization of molecules. Discovering extraterrestrial life and its varieties is one of our ultimate scientific purposes for exploring the lunar and Martian subsurface caverns. In addition to scientific interests, lunar and Martian subsurface caverns are excellent candidates for future lunar bases. We expect such caverns to have high potential due to stable temperatures; absence

  4. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 7

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Topics discussed include: Lunar Geologic Mapping: Preliminary Mapping of Copernicus Quad High-Resolution Topography of Layers in the Valles Marineris Via Thermoclinometry ; The Critical Importance of Data Reduction Calibrations in the Interpretability of S-type Asteroid Spectra; (sup 238)U-(sup 206)Pb Age and Uranium-Lead Isotope Systematics of Mare Basalt 10017; Morphological Investigations of Martian Spherules, Comparisons to Collected Terrestrial Counterparts; The Vapor Pressure of Palladium at Temperatures up to 1973K; Areas of Favorable Illumination at the Lunar Poles Calculated from Topography; An Indigenous Origin for the South Pole-Aitken Basin Thorium Anomaly; Ar-Ar Ages of Nakhlites Y000593, NWA998, and Nakhla and CRE Ages of NWA998; Experiments on the Acoustic Properties of Titan-like Atmospheres; Analysis of Downstream Transitions in Morphology and Structure of Lava Channels on Mars; Structure and Bonding of Carbon in Clays from CI Carbonaceous Chondrites; Comparison of Three Hydrogen Distributions at the Equator of Mars; An Impact Origin for the Foliation of Ordinary Chondrites; A New Micrometeorite Collection from Antarctica and Its Preliminary Characterization by Microobservation, Microanalysis and Magnetic Methods; Volcanic Plumes and Plume Deposits on Io; Results of the Alpha-Particle-X-Ray Spectrometer on Board of the Mars Exploration Rovers; Effects of Oceans on Atmospheric Loss During the Stage of Giant Impacts; and Identification of Predominant Ferric Signatures in Association to the Martian Sulfate Deposits

  5. Lunar-A

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    penetrators will be transmitted to the earth station via the Lunar-A mother spacecraft orbiting at an altitude of about .... to save the power consumption of the Lunar-A penetrator .... and an origin-time versus tidal-phases correlation. (Toksoz et al ...

  6. Lakes on Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Lunar Polar In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) as a Stepping Stone for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.

    2013-01-01

    A major emphasis of NASA is to extend and expand human exploration across the solar system. While specific destinations are still being discussed as to what comes first, it is imperative that NASA create new technologies and approaches that make space exploration affordable and sustainable. Critical to achieving affordable and sustainable exploration beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) are the development of technologies and approaches for advanced robotics, power, propulsion, habitats, life support, and especially, space resource utilization systems. Space resources and how to use them, often called In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), can have a tremendous beneficial impact on robotic and human exploration of the Moon, Mars, Phobos, and Near Earth Objects (NEOs), while at the same time helping to solve terrestrial challenges and enabling commercial space activities. The search for lunar resources, demonstration of extraterrestrial mining, and the utilization of resource-derived products, especially from polar volatiles, can be a stepping stone for subsequent human exploration missions to other destinations of interest due to the proximity of the Moon, complimentary environments and resources, and the demonstration of critical technologies, processes, and operations. ISRU and the Moon: There are four main areas of development interest with respect to finding, obtaining, extracting, and using space resources: Prospecting for resources, Production of mission critical consumables like propellants and life support gases, Civil engineering and construction, and Energy production, storage, and transfer. The search for potential resources and the production of mission critical consumables are the primary focus of current NASA technology and system development activities since they provide the greatest initial reduction in mission mass, cost, and risk. Because of the proximity of the Moon, understanding lunar resources and developing, demonstrating, and implementing lunar ISRU

  8. Lunar Lava Tube Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Cheryl Lynn; Walden, Bryce; Billings, Thomas L.; Reeder, P. Douglas

    1992-01-01

    Large (greater than 300 m diameter) lava tube caverns appear to exist on the Moon and could provide substantial safety and cost benefits for lunar bases. Over 40 m of basalt and regolith constitute the lava tube roof and would protect both construction and operations. Constant temperatures of -20 C reduce thermal stress on structures and machines. Base designs need not incorporate heavy shielding, so lightweight materials can be used and construction can be expedited. Identification and characterization of lava tube caverns can be incorporated into current precursor lunar mission plans. Some searches can even be done from Earth. Specific recommendations for lunar lava tube search and exploration are (1) an Earth-based radar interferometer, (2) an Earth-penetrating radar (EPR) orbiter, (3) kinetic penetrators for lunar lava tube confirmation, (4) a 'Moon Bat' hovering rocket vehicle, and (5) the use of other proposed landers and orbiters to help find lunar lava tubes.

  9. Introduction to EGU session "Lunar Science and Exploration Towards Moon Village"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2017-04-01

    The EGU PS2.2 session "Lunar Science and Exploration" Towards Moon Village" will address: - Recent lunar results: geochemistry, geophysics in the context of open planetary science and exploration - Synthesis of results from SMART-1, Kaguya, Chang'e 1, 2 and 3, Chandrayaan-1, LCROSS, LADEE, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and, Artemis and GRAIL - Goals and Status of missions under preparation: orbiters, Luna-Glob, Google Lunar X Prize, Luna Resurs polar lander, SLIM, Chandrayaan2, Chang'E 4 & 5, Lunar Resource Prospector, Future landers, Lunar sample return missions - Precursor missions, instruments and investigations for landers, rovers, sample return, and human cis-lunar activities and human lunar surface sorties - Preparation for International Lunar Decade: databases, instruments, missions, terrestrial field campaigns, support studies - ILEWG and Global Exploration roadmaps towards a global robotic/human Moon village - Strategic Knowledge Gaps, and key science Goals relevant to Lunar Global Exploration Lunar science and exploration are developing further with new and exciting missions being developed by China, the US, Japan, India, Russia, Korea and Europe, and with new stakeholders. The Moon Village is an open concept proposed by ESA DG with the goal of a sustainable human and robotic presence on the lunar surface as an ensemble where multiple users can carry out multiple activities. Multiple goals of the Moon Village include planetary science, life sciences, astronomy, fundamental research, resources utilisation, human spaceflight, peaceful cooperation, economical development, inspiration, training and capacity building. ESA director general has revitalized and enhanced the original concept of MoonVillage discussed in the last decade. Space exploration builds on international collaboration. COSPAR and its ILEWG International Lunar Exploration Working Group (created in 1994) have fostered collaboration between lunar missions [4-8]. A flotilla of lunar orbiters has

  10. The timeline of the lunar bombardment: Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, A.; Nesvorny, D.; Laurenz, V.; Marchi, S.; Rubie, D. C.; Elkins-Tanton, L.; Wieczorek, M.; Jacobson, S.

    2018-05-01

    The timeline of the lunar bombardment in the first Gy of Solar System history remains unclear. Basin-forming impacts (e.g. Imbrium, Orientale), occurred 3.9-3.7 Gy ago, i.e. 600-800 My after the formation of the Moon itself. Many other basins formed before Imbrium, but their exact ages are not precisely known. There is an intense debate between two possible interpretations of the data: in the cataclysm scenario there was a surge in the impact rate approximately at the time of Imbrium formation, while in the accretion tail scenario the lunar bombardment declined since the era of planet formation and the latest basins formed in its tail-end. Here, we revisit the work of Morbidelli et al. (2012) that examined which scenario could be compatible with both the lunar crater record in the 3-4 Gy period and the abundance of highly siderophile elements (HSE) in the lunar mantle. We use updated numerical simulations of the fluxes of asteroids, comets and planetesimals leftover from the planet-formation process. Under the traditional assumption that the HSEs track the total amount of material accreted by the Moon since its formation, we conclude that only the cataclysm scenario can explain the data. The cataclysm should have started ∼ 3.95 Gy ago. However we also consider the possibility that HSEs are sequestered from the mantle of a planet during magma ocean crystallization, due to iron sulfide exsolution (O'Neil, 1991; Rubie et al., 2016). We show that this is likely true also for the Moon, if mantle overturn is taken into account. Based on the hypothesis that the lunar magma ocean crystallized about 100-150 My after Moon formation (Elkins-Tanton et al., 2011), and therefore that HSEs accumulated in the lunar mantle only after this timespan, we show that the bombardment in the 3-4 Gy period can be explained in the accretion tail scenario. This hypothesis would also explain why the Moon appears so depleted in HSEs relative to the Earth. We also extend our analysis of the

  11. Glycine Identification in Natural Jarosites Using Laser-Desorption Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry: Implications for the search for life on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Michelle Kotler; Nancy W. Hinman; Beizhan Yan; Daphne L. Stoner; Jill R. Scott

    2008-04-01

    The jarosite group minerals have received increasing attention since the discovery of jarosite by the Mars Exploration Rover-Opportunity on the Martian surface. The mineral group has the ability to incorporate foreign ions in its structure leading to investigations regarding its use as an indicator of aqueous and/or biological activity on Earth and Mars. The use of laser desorption Fourier transform mass spectrometry has revealed the presence of organic matter in several jarosite samples from various worldwide locations. One of the organic cluster ions has been attributed to glycine based on results from combinations of glycine with synthetic jarosite and K2SO4. The ability to observe these organic signatures in jarosite samples with an “in situ” instrumental technique, such as employed in this study, furthers the goals of planetary geologists to determine whether signs of life (e.g., the presence of biomolecules or biomolecule precursors) can be detected in the rock record of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples.

  12. Exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana to hypobaric environments: implications for low-pressure bioregenerative life support systems for human exploration missions and terraforming on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Jeffrey T; Corey, Kenneth A; Paul, Anna-Lisa; Ferl, Robert J; Wheeler, Raymond M; Schuerger, Andrew C

    2006-12-01

    Understanding how hypobaria can affect net photosynthetic (P (net)) and net evapotranspiration rates of plants is important for the Mars Exploration Program because low-pressured environments may be used to reduce the equivalent system mass of near-term plant biology experiments on landers or future bioregenerative advanced life support systems. Furthermore, introductions of plants to the surface of a partially terraformed Mars will be constrained by the limits of sustainable growth and reproduction of plants to hypobaric conditions. To explore the effects of hypobaria on plant physiology, a low-pressure growth chamber (LPGC) was constructed that maintained hypobaric environments capable of supporting short-term plant physiological studies. Experiments were conducted on Arabidopsis thaliana maintained in the LPGC with total atmospheric pressures set at 101 (Earth sea-level control), 75, 50, 25 or 10 kPa. Plants were grown in a separate incubator at 101 kPa for 6 weeks, transferred to the LPGC, and acclimated to low-pressure atmospheres for either 1 or 16 h. After 1 or 16 h of acclimation, CO(2) levels were allowed to drawdown from 0.1 kPa to CO(2) compensation points to assess P (net) rates under different hypobaric conditions. Results showed that P (net) increased as the pressures decreased from 101 to 10 kPa when CO(2) partial pressure (pp) values were below 0.04 kPa (i.e., when ppCO2 was considered limiting). In contrast, when ppCO(2) was in the nonlimiting range from 0.10 to 0.07 kPa, the P (net) rates were insensitive to decreasing pressures. Thus, if CO(2 )concentrations can be kept elevated in hypobaric plant growth modules or on the surface of a partially terraformed Mars, P (net) rates may be relatively unaffected by hypobaria. Results support the conclusions that (i) hypobaric plant growth modules might be operated around 10 kPa without undue inhibition of photosynthesis and (ii) terraforming efforts on Mars might require a surface pressure of at least 10

  13. Exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana to Hypobaric Environments: Implications for Low-Pressure Bioregenerative Life Support Systems for Human Exploration Missions and Terraforming on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Jeffrey T.; Corey, Kenneth A.; Paul, Anna-Lisa; Ferl, Robert J.; Wheeler, Raymond M.; Schuerger, Andrew C.

    2006-12-01

    Understanding how hypobaria can affect net photosynthetic (P net) and net evapotranspiration rates of plants is important for the Mars Exploration Program because low-pressured environments may be used to reduce the equivalent system mass of near-term plant biology experiments on landers or future bioregenerative advanced life support systems. Furthermore, introductions of plants to the surface of a partially terraformed Mars will be constrained by the limits of sustainable growth and reproduction of plants to hypobaric conditions. To explore the effects of hypobaria on plant physiology, a low-pressure growth chamber (LPGC) was constructed that maintained hypobaric environments capable of supporting short-term plant physiological studies. Experiments were conducted on Arabidopsis thaliana maintained in the LPGC with total atmospheric pressures set at 101 (Earth sea-level control), 75, 50, 25 or 10 kPa. Plants were grown in a separate incubator at 101 kPa for 6 weeks, transferred to the LPGC, and acclimated to low-pressure atmospheres for either 1 or 16 h. After 1 or 16 h of acclimation, CO2 levels were allowed to drawdown from 0.1 kPa to CO2 compensation points to assess P net rates under different hypobaric conditions. Results showed that P net increased as the pressures decreased from 101 to 10 kPa when CO2 partial pressure (pp) values were below 0.04 kPa (i.e., when ppCO2 was considered limiting). In contrast, when ppCO2 was in the nonlimiting range from 0.10 to 0.07 kPa, the P net rates were insensitive to decreasing pressures. Thus, if CO2 concentrations can be kept elevated in hypobaric plant growth modules or on the surface of a partially terraformed Mars, P net rates may be relatively unaffected by hypobaria. Results support the conclusions that (i) hypobaric plant growth modules might be operated around 10 kPa without undue inhibition of photosynthesis and (ii) terraforming efforts on Mars might require a surface pressure of at least 10 kPa (100 mb) for

  14. Lunar neutron source function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kornblum, J.J.

    1974-01-01

    The search for a quantitative neutron source function for the lunar surface region is justified because it contributes to our understanding of the history of the lunar surface and of nuclear process occurring on the moon since its formation. A knowledge of the neutron source function and neutron flux distribution is important for the interpretation of many experimental measurements. This dissertation uses the available pertinent experimental measurements together with theoretical calculations to obtain an estimate of the lunar neutron source function below 15 MeV. Based upon reasonable assumptions a lunar neutron source function having adjustable parameters is assumed for neutrons below 15 MeV. The lunar neutron source function is composed of several components resulting from the action of cosmic rays with lunar material. A comparison with previous neutron calculations is made and significant differences are discussed. Application of the results to the problem of lunar soil histories is examined using the statistical model for soil development proposed by Fireman. The conclusion is drawn that the moon is losing mass

  15. Lunar transportation system

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-07-01

    The University Space Research Association (USRA) requested the University of Minnesota Spacecraft Design Team to design a lunar transportation infrastructure. This task was a year long design effort culminating in a complete conceptual design and presentation at Johnson Space Center. The mission objective of the design group was to design a system of vehicles to bring a habitation module, cargo, and crew to the lunar surface from LEO and return either or both crew and cargo safely to LEO while emphasizing component commonality, reusability, and cost effectiveness. During the course of the design, the lunar transportation system (LTS) has taken on many forms. The final design of the system is composed of two vehicles, a lunar transfer vehicle (LTV) and a lunar excursion vehicle (LEV). The LTV serves as an efficient orbital transfer vehicle between the earth and the moon while the LEV carries crew and cargo to the lunar surface. Presented in the report are the mission analysis, systems layout, orbital mechanics, propulsion systems, structural and thermal analysis, and crew systems, avionics, and power systems for this lunar transportation concept.

  16. Generalized Software Architecture Applied to the Continuous Lunar Water Separation Process and the Lunar Greenhouse Amplifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perusich, Stephen; Moos, Thomas; Muscatello, Anthony

    2011-01-01

    This innovation provides the user with autonomous on-screen monitoring, embedded computations, and tabulated output for two new processes. The software was originally written for the Continuous Lunar Water Separation Process (CLWSP), but was found to be general enough to be applicable to the Lunar Greenhouse Amplifier (LGA) as well, with minor alterations. The resultant program should have general applicability to many laboratory processes (see figure). The objective for these programs was to create a software application that would provide both autonomous monitoring and data storage, along with manual manipulation. The software also allows operators the ability to input experimental changes and comments in real time without modifying the code itself. Common process elements, such as thermocouples, pressure transducers, and relative humidity sensors, are easily incorporated into the program in various configurations, along with specialized devices such as photodiode sensors. The goal of the CLWSP research project is to design, build, and test a new method to continuously separate, capture, and quantify water from a gas stream. The application is any In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) process that desires to extract or produce water from lunar or planetary regolith. The present work is aimed at circumventing current problems and ultimately producing a system capable of continuous operation at moderate temperatures that can be scaled over a large capacity range depending on the ISRU process. The goal of the LGA research project is to design, build, and test a new type of greenhouse that could be used on the moon or Mars. The LGA uses super greenhouse gases (SGGs) to absorb long-wavelength radiation, thus creating a highly efficient greenhouse at a future lunar or Mars outpost. Silica-based glass, although highly efficient at trapping heat, is heavy, fragile, and not suitable for space greenhouse applications. Plastics are much lighter and resilient, but are not

  17. Human factor observations of the Biosphere 2, 1991-1993, closed life support human experiment and its application to a long-term manned mission to Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alling, Abigail; Nelson, Mark; Silverstone, Sally; Van Thillo, Mark

    2002-01-01

    Human factors are a key component to the success of long-term space missions such as those necessitated by the human exploration of Mars and the development of bioregenerative and eventually self-sufficient life support systems for permanent space outposts. Observations by participants living inside the 1991-1993 Biosphere 2 closed system experiment provide the following insights. (1) Crew members should be involved in the design and construction of their life support systems to gain maximum knowledge about the systems. (2) Individuals living in closed life support systems should expect a process of physiological and psychological adaptation to their new environment. (3) Far from simply being a workplace, the participants in such extended missions will discover the importance of creating a cohesive and satisfying life style. (4) The crew will be dependent on the use of varied crops to create satisfying cuisine, a social life with sufficient outlets of expression such as art and music, and to have down-time from purely task-driven work. (5) The success of the Biosphere 2 first 2-year mission suggests that crews with high cultural diversity, high commitment to task, and work democracy principles for individual responsibility may increase the probability of both mission success and personal satisfaction. (6) Remaining challenges are many, including the need for far more comprehensive real-time modeling and information systems (a "cybersphere") operating to provide real-time data necessary for decision-making in a complex life support system. (7) And, the aim will be to create a noosphere, or sphere of intelligence, where the people and their living systems are in sustainable balance.

  18. Field Exploration and Life Detection Sampling for Planetary Analogue Research (FELDSPAR): Variability and Correlation in Biomarker and Mineralogy Measurements from Icelandic Mars Analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentry, D.; Amador, E.; Cable, M. L.; Cantrell, T.; Chaudry, N.; Cullen, T.; Duca, Z.; Jacobsen, M.; Kirby, J.; McCaig, H.; hide

    2018-01-01

    In situ exploration of planetary environments allows biochemical analysis of sub-centimeter-scale samples; however, landing sites are selected a priori based on measurable meter- to kilometer-scale geological features. Optimizing life detection mission science return requires both understanding the expected biomarker distributions across sample sites at different scales and efficiently using first-stage in situ geochemical instruments to justify later-stage biological or chemical analysis. Icelandic volcanic regions have an extensive history as Mars analogue sites due to desiccation, low nutrient availability, and temperature extremes, in addition to the advantages of geological youth and isolation from anthropogenic contamination. Many Icelandic analogue sites are also rugged and remote enough to create the same type of instrumentation and sampling constraints typically faced by robotic exploration.

  19. Mars bevares

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendricks, Vincent Fella; Hendricks, Elbert

    2009-01-01

    2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen......2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen...

  20. Plant biology in reduced gravity on the Moon and Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiss, J Z

    2014-01-01

    While there have been numerous studies on the effects of microgravity on plant biology since the beginning of the Space Age, our knowledge of the effects of reduced gravity (less than the Earth nominal 1 g) on plant physiology and development is very limited. Since international space agencies have cited manned exploration of Moon/Mars as long-term goals, it is important to understand plant biology at the lunar (0.17 g) and Martian levels of gravity (0.38 g), as plants are likely to be part of bioregenerative life-support systems on these missions. First, the methods to obtain microgravity and reduced gravity such as drop towers, parabolic flights, sounding rockets and orbiting spacecraft are reviewed. Studies on gravitaxis and gravitropism in algae have suggested that the threshold level of gravity sensing is around 0.3 g or less. Recent experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) showed attenuation of phototropism in higher plants occurs at levels ranging from 0.l g to 0.3 g. Taken together, these studies suggest that the reduced gravity level on Mars of 0.38 g may be enough so that the gravity level per se would not be a major problem for plant development. Studies that have directly considered the impact of reduced gravity and microgravity on bioregenerative life-support systems have identified important biophysical changes in the reduced gravity environments that impact the design of these systems. The author suggests that the current ISS laboratory facilities with on-board centrifuges should be used as a test bed in which to explore the effects of reduced gravity on plant biology, including those factors that are directly related to developing life-support systems necessary for Moon and Mars exploration. © 2013 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  1. Design of a lunar oxygen production plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam

    1990-01-01

    To achieve permanent human presence and activity on the moon, oxygen is required for both life support and propulsion. Lunar oxygen production using resources existing on the moon will reduce or eliminate the need to transport liquid oxygen from earth. In addition, the co-products of oxygen production will provide metals, structural ceramics, and other volatile compounds. This will enable development of even greater self-sufficiency as the lunar outpost evolves. Ilmenite is the most abundant metal-oxide mineral in the lunar regolith. A process involving the reaction of ilmenite with hydrogen at 1000 C to produce water, followed by the electrolysis of this water to provide oxygen and recycle the hydrogen has been explored. The objective of this 1990 Summer Faculty Project was to design a lunar oxygen-production plant to provide 5 metric tons of liquid oxygen per year from lunar soil. The results of this study describe the size and mass of the equipment, the power needs, feedstock quantity and the engineering details of the plant.

  2. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-08-01

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

  3. Technology Development and Advanced Planning for Curation of Returned Mars Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, David J.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2002-01-01

    NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) curates extraterrestrial samples, providing the international science community with lunar rock and soil returned by the Apollo astronauts, meteorites collected in Antarctica, cosmic dust collected in the stratosphere, and hardware exposed to the space environment. Curation comprises initial characterization of new samples, preparation and allocation of samples for research, and clean, secure long-term storage. The foundations of this effort are the specialized cleanrooms (class 10 to 10,000) for each of the four types of materials, the supporting facilities, and the people, many of whom have been doing detailed work in clean environments for decades. JSC is also preparing to curate the next generation of extraterrestrial samples. These include samples collected from the solar wind, a comet, and an asteroid. Early planning and R\\&D are underway to support post-mission sample handling and curation of samples returned from Mars. One of the strong scientific reasons for returning samples from Mars is to search for evidence of current or past life in the samples. Because of the remote possibility that the samples may contain life forms that are hazardous to the terrestrial biosphere, the National Research Council has recommended that all samples returned from Mars be kept under strict biological containment until tests show that they can safely be released to other laboratories. It is possible that Mars samples may contain only scarce or subtle traces of life or prebiotic chemistry that could readily be overwhelmed by terrestrial contamination . Thus, the facilities used to contain, process, and analyze samples from Mars must have a combination of high-level biocontainment and organic / inorganic chemical cleanliness that is unprecedented. JSC has been conducting feasibility studies and developing designs for a sample receiving facility that would offer biocontainment at least the equivalent of current maximum containment BSL-4 (Bio

  4. Subsurface Halophilic Microbial Communities in the Hyperarid Core of the Atacama Desert: An Analog for Possible Subsurface Life in Regolith on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, A.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; Rainey, F. T.; Ewing, S.; McKay, C. P.

    2003-12-01

    The Atacama Desert in its driest portion provides an interesting analog for possible past or present life in the Martian regolith. In the hyperarid core of the Atacama, surface soils are virtually abiotic, with no plants and "near sterile" concentrations of heterotrophic bacteria (i.e., exceedingly low densities of approximately 100 colony forming units per gram soil). The dearth of microbial life at the surface is likely maintained through extremely low water availability, low organic content and the highly oxidizing nature of the soil. In marked contrast to the surface, however, extremely halophilic microorganisms exist in salt layers 1.2-1.5m below the surface. Mineralogical analyses indicate the layers are predominantly halite (70% NaCl) but also contain sodium nitrate (5% NaNO3). Culturing and polar lipid analyses suggest the halophiles are archaeal Halobacterium-like motile rods. Microclimate monitoring at 1m indicates a soil relative humidity of 20% which is stable year-round even during decadal rain events such as that experienced in July 2002. This suggests the layers are isolated from even significant moisture influxes at the surface. Although further research is necessary, important parallels exist between this Earthly desert analog and the possible existence and detection of subsurface life on Mars despite harsh abiotic conditions at the surface.

  5. Hazard Detection Software for Lunar Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huertas, Andres; Johnson, Andrew E.; Werner, Robert A.; Montgomery, James F.

    2011-01-01

    The Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) Project is developing a system for safe and precise manned lunar landing that involves novel sensors, but also specific algorithms. ALHAT has selected imaging LIDAR (light detection and ranging) as the sensing modality for onboard hazard detection because imaging LIDARs can rapidly generate direct measurements of the lunar surface elevation from high altitude. Then, starting with the LIDAR-based Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA) algorithm developed for Mars Landing, JPL has developed a mature set of HDA software for the manned lunar landing problem. Landing hazards exist everywhere on the Moon, and many of the more desirable landing sites are near the most hazardous terrain, so HDA is needed to autonomously and safely land payloads over much of the lunar surface. The HDA requirements used in the ALHAT project are to detect hazards that are 0.3 m tall or higher and slopes that are 5 or greater. Steep slopes, rocks, cliffs, and gullies are all hazards for landing and, by computing the local slope and roughness in an elevation map, all of these hazards can be detected. The algorithm in this innovation is used to measure slope and roughness hazards. In addition to detecting these hazards, the HDA capability also is able to find a safe landing site free of these hazards for a lunar lander with diameter .15 m over most of the lunar surface. This software includes an implementation of the HDA algorithm, software for generating simulated lunar terrain maps for testing, hazard detection performance analysis tools, and associated documentation. The HDA software has been deployed to Langley Research Center and integrated into the POST II Monte Carlo simulation environment. The high-fidelity Monte Carlo simulations determine the required ground spacing between LIDAR samples (ground sample distances) and the noise on the LIDAR range measurement. This simulation has also been used to determine the effect of

  6. Plume Mitigation for Mars Terminal Landing: Soil Stabilization Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hintze, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

    Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has led the efforts for lunar and Martian landing site preparation, including excavation, soil stabilization, and plume damage prediction. There has been much discussion of sintering but until our team recently demonstrated it for the lunar case there was little understanding of the serious challenges. Simplistic sintering creates a crumbly, brittle, weak surface unsuitable for a rocket exhaust plume. The goal of this project is to solve those problems and make it possible to land a human class lander on Mars, making terminal landing of humans on Mars possible for the first time.

  7. Microbial colonization of Ca-sulfate crusts in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert: implications for the search for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierzchos, J; Cámara, B; de Los Ríos, A; Davila, A F; Sánchez Almazo, I M; Artieda, O; Wierzchos, K; Gómez-Silva, B; McKay, C; Ascaso, C

    2011-01-01

    The scarcity of liquid water in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert makes this region one of the most challenging environments for life on Earth. The low numbers of microbial cells in the soils suggest that within the Atacama Desert lies the dry limit for life on our planet. Here, we show that the Ca-sulfate crusts of this hyperarid core are the habitats of lithobiontic micro-organisms. This microporous, translucent substrate is colonized by epilithic lichens, as well as endolithic free-living algae, fungal hyphae, cyanobacteria and non photosynthetic bacteria. We also report a novel type of endolithic community, "hypoendoliths", colonizing the undermost layer of the crusts. The colonization of gypsum crusts within the hyperarid core appears to be controlled by the moisture regime. Our data shows that the threshold for colonization is crossed within the dry core, with abundant colonization in gypsum crusts at one study site, while crusts at a drier site are virtually devoid of life. We show that the cumulative time in 1 year of relative humidity (RH) above 60% is the best parameter to explain the difference in colonization between both sites. This is supported by controlled humidity experiments, where we show that colonies of endolithic cyanobacteria in the Ca-sulfate crust undergo imbibition process at RH >60%. Assuming that life once arose on Mars, it is conceivable that Martian micro-organisms sought refuge in similar isolated evaporite microenvironments during their last struggle for life as their planet turned arid. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Searching for traces of life in subglacial Lake Vostok (Antarctica) in terms of forward contamination: the lessons for exploration of icy environments on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulat, S. A.; Alekhina, I. A.; Lipenkov, V. Ya.; Petit, J.-R.

    Bacterial 16S ribosomal gene analysis guarded by criteria for trace DNA analysis and Ancient DNA research clearly testifies for the very low biomass in accretion ice from giant subglacial Lake Vostok buried beneath 4-km thick East Antarctic ice sheet. It seems that the accretion ice is essentially germ-free indicating that the water body should also be hosting a highly sparse life, if any, unless the lake water lost its biological contents during accretion process. Due to this the search for life in Lake Vostok is constrained by a high chance of contamination similar to forward-contamination upon searching for life on Mars and other icy planets. Of 16 bacterial phylotypes initially recovered from the accretion ice the only one was kept with confident relevance to the lake environment while 15 others were presumed to be contaminants on the basis of indexing contaminant criteria developed for Lake Vostok and similar icy environments. The current way to avoid contamination appears to use stringent ice chemistry-based decontamination procedures and comprehensive biological controls including establishment of contemporary contaminant database as a prerequisite to identify and categorize sources of contaminants. More challenge would be to advance cleanliness and sterilization approaches and procedures in order to achieve and measure the level of cleanliness appropriate for tools exploring environments like Lake Vostok. As a guide for searching for life in (sub)glacial environments on Earth or Mars and Jovian's Europa our recommendations can be summarized as follows: (i) apply stringent ice decontamination procedures to meet chemistry and trace DNA analysis standards, (ii) document biological contents of various environments including humans in contact with ice samples (development of contaminant database), (iii) ensure in using relevant methods to cover both known and expected biodiversity and (iv) verify microbial findings through their possible metabolic profiles

  9. Lunar Map Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Lunar Map Catalog includes various maps of the moon's surface, including Apollo landing sites; earthside, farside, and polar charts; photography index maps; zone...

  10. Consolidated Lunar Atlas

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Consolidated Lunar Atlas is a collection of the best photographic images of the moon, including low-oblique photography, full-moon photography, and tabular and...

  11. Lunar Prospecting With Chandra

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-09-01

    Observations of the bright side of the Moon with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have detected oxygen, magnesium, aluminum and silicon over a large area of the lunar surface. The abundance and distribution of those elements will help to determine how the Moon was formed. "We see X-rays from these elements directly, independent of assumptions about the mineralogy and other complications," said Jeremy Drake of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., at a press conference at the "Four Years with Chandra" symposium in Huntsville, Alabama. "We have Moon samples from the six widely-space Apollo landing sites, but remote sensing with Chandra can cover a much wider area," continued Drake. "It's the next best thing to being there, and it's very fast and cost-effective." The lunar X-rays are caused by fluorescence, a process similar to the way that light is produced in fluorescent lamps. Solar X-rays bombard the surface of the Moon, knock electrons out of the inner parts of the atoms, putting them in a highly unstable state. Almost immediately, other electrons rush to fill the gaps, and in the process convert their energy into the fluorescent X-rays seen by Chandra. According to the currently popular "giant impact" theory for the formation of the Moon, a body about the size of Mars collided with the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. This impact flung molten debris from the mantle of both the Earth and the impactor into orbit around the Earth. Over the course of tens of millions of years, the debris stuck together to form the Moon. By measuring the amounts of aluminum and other elements over a wide area of the Moon and comparing them to the Earth's mantle, Drake and his colleagues plan to help test the giant impact hypothesis. "One early result," quipped Drake, "is that there is no evidence for large amounts of calcium, so cheese is not a major constituent of the Moon." Illustration of Earth's Geocorona Illustration of Earth's Geocorona The same

  12. Life test failure of harmonic gears in a Two-axis Gimbal for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Michael R.; Gehling, Russ; Head, Ray

    2006-01-01

    This paper will present a process for increasing the stiffness of harmonic gear assemblies and recommend a maximum stiffness point that, if exceeded, compromises the reliability of the gear components for long life applications.

  13. Lunar Sample Compendium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Charles

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of the Lunar Sample Compendium will be to inform scientists, astronauts and the public about the various lunar samples that have been returned from the Moon. This Compendium will be organized rock by rock in the manor of a catalog, but will not be as comprehensive, nor as complete, as the various lunar sample catalogs that are available. Likewise, this Compendium will not duplicate the various excellent books and reviews on the subject of lunar samples (Cadogen 1981, Heiken et al. 1991, Papike et al. 1998, Warren 2003, Eugster 2003). However, it is thought that an online Compendium, such as this, will prove useful to scientists proposing to study individual lunar samples and should help provide backup information for lunar sample displays. This Compendium will allow easy access to the scientific literature by briefly summarizing the significant findings of each rock along with the documentation of where the detailed scientific data are to be found. In general, discussion and interpretation of the results is left to the formal reviews found in the scientific literature. An advantage of this Compendium will be that it can be updated, expanded and corrected as need be.

  14. Lunar and planetary cartography in Russia

    CERN Document Server

    Shevchenko, Vladislav; Michael, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    This book is the first to document in depth the history of lunar and planetary cartography in Russia. The first map of the far side of the Moon was made with the participation of Lomonosov Moscow University (Sternberg Astronomical Institute, MSU) in 1960. The developed mapping technologies were then used in preparing the “Complete Map of the Moon” in 1967 as well as other maps and globes. Over the years, various maps of Mars have emerged from the special course “Mapping of extraterrestrial objects” in the MSU Geography Department, including the hypsometric map of Mars at a scale of 1:26,000,000, compiled by J.A. Ilyukhina and published in 2004 in an edition of 5,000 copies. A more detailed version of this map has since been produced with a new hypsometric scale. In addition, maps of the northern and southern hemispheres of Mars have been compiled for the hypsometric globe of Mars.  Relief maps of Venus were made in 2008, 2010, and 2011, and hypsometric maps of Phobos and Deimos at a scale of 1:60,000...

  15. Closer look at lunar volcanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaniman, D.T.; Heiken, G.; Taylor, G.J.

    1984-01-01

    Although the American Apollo and Soviet Luna missions concentrated on mare basalt samples, major questions remain about lunar volcanism. Lunar field work will be indispensable for resolving the scientific questions about ages, compositions, and eruption processes of lunar volcanism. From a utilitarian standpoint, a better knowledge of lunar volcanism will also yield profitable returns in lunar base construction (e.g., exploitation of rille or lava-tube structures) and in access to materials such as volatile elements, pure glass, or ilmenite for lunar industry

  16. The Lunar Space Tug: A sustainable bridge between low Earth orbits and the Cislunar Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammarella, M.; Paissoni, C. A.; Viola, N.; Denaro, A.; Gargioli, E.; Massobrio, F.

    2017-09-01

    The International Space Station is the first space human outpost and over the last 15 years, it has represented a peculiar environment where science, technology and human innovation converge together in a unique microgravity and space research laboratory. With the International Space Station entering the second part of its life and its operations running steadily at nominal pace, the global space community is starting planning how the human exploration could move further, beyond Low-Earth-Orbit. According to the Global Exploration Roadmap, the Moon represents the next feasible path-way for advances in human exploration towards the nal goal, Mars. Based on the experience of the ISS, one of the most widespread ideas is to develop a Cislunar Station in preparation of long duration missions in a deep space environment. Cislunar space is de ned as the area of deep space under the influence of Earth-Moon system, including a set of special orbits, e.g. Earth-Moon Libration points and Lunar Retrograde Orbit. This habitat represents a suitable environment for demonstrating and testing technologies and capabilities in deep space. In order to achieve this goal, there are several crucial systems and technologies, in particular related to transportation and launch systems. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is a reusable transportation capsule designed to provide crew transportation in deep space missions, whereas NASA is developing the Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket ever built, which could provide the necessary heavy-lift launch capability to support the same kind of missions. These innovations would allow quite-fast transfers from Earth to the Cislunar Station and vice versa, both for manned and unmanned missions. However, taking into account the whole Concept of Operations for both the growth and sustainability of the Cislunar Space Station, the Lunar Space Tug can be considered as an additional, new and fundamental element for the mission architecture. The

  17. Architecture Analysis of Wireless Power Transmission for Lunar Outposts

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    continuous supply of electrical power would be required. The primary research was to determine if it is feasible to provide power to a lunar polar...space exploration business wish to go beyond the Moon, to Mars and to the asteroids , the technology for these ventures is not yet adequate for the task...klystron, both 16 developed during World War II, that the use of microwaves became available for effective transmission of energy. However, the

  18. The significance of microbe-mineral-biomarker interactions in the detection of life on Mars and beyond

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Röling, Wilfred F M; Aerts, Joost W.; Patty, C. H Lucas; Ten Kate, Inge Loes; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Direito, Susana O L

    The detection of biomarkers plays a central role in our effort to establish whether there is, or was, life beyond Earth. In this review, we address the importance of considering mineralogy in relation to the selection of locations and biomarker detection methodologies with characteristics most

  19. The Significance of Microbe-Mineral-Biomarker Interactions in the Detection of Life on Mars and Beyond.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roling, W.F.M.; Aerts, J.W.; Patty, C.H.L.; ten Kate, I.L.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Direito, S.O.

    2015-01-01

    The detection of biomarkers plays a central role in our effort to establish whether there is, or was, life beyond Earth. In this review, we address the importance of considering mineralogy in relation to the selection of locations and biomarker detection methodologies with characteristics most

  20. Lunar geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. G.; Dickey, J. O.

    2002-01-01

    Experience with the dynamics and data analyses for earth and moon reveals both similarities and differences. Analysis of Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) data provides information on the lunar orbit, rotation, solid-body tides, and retroreflector locations.

  1. The Future Lunar Flora Colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, E. G.; Guven, U. G.

    2017-10-01

    A constructional design for the primary establishment for a lunar colony using the micrometeorite rich soil is proposed. It highlights the potential of lunar regolith combined with Earth technology for water and oxygen for human outposts on the Moon.

  2. Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

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

  3. Lunar and Vesta Web Portals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; JPL Luna Mapping; Modeling Project Team

    2015-06-01

    The Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project offers Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (http://lmmp.nasa.gov) and Vesta Trek Portal (http://vestatrek.jpl.nasa.gov) providing interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable users to access mapped Lunar and Vesta data products.

  4. Ancient aliens on mars

    CERN Document Server

    Bara, Mike

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Endogenous Lunar Volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Liu, Y.; Barnes, J. J.; Boyce, J. W.; Day, J. M. D.; Elardo, S. M.; Hui, H.; Magna, T.; Ni, P.; Tartese, R.; hide

    2017-01-01

    The chapter will begin with an introduction that defines magmatic volatiles (e.g., H, F, Cl, S) versus geochemical volatiles (e.g., K, Rb, Zn). We will discuss our approach of understanding both types of volatiles in lunar samples and lay the ground work for how we will determine the overall volatile budget of the Moon. We will then discuss the importance of endogenous volatiles in shaping the "Newer Views of the Moon", specifically how endogenous volatiles feed forward into processes such as the origin of the Moon, magmatic differentiation, volcanism, and secondary processes during surface and crustal interactions. After the introduction, we will include a re-view/synthesis on the current state of 1) apatite compositions (volatile abundances and isotopic compositions); 2) nominally anhydrous mineral phases (moderately to highly volatile); 3) volatile (moderately to highly volatile) abundances in and isotopic compositions of lunar pyroclastic glass beads; 4) volatile (moderately to highly volatile) abundances in and isotopic compositions of lunar basalts; 5) volatile (moderately to highly volatile) abundances in and isotopic compositions of melt inclusions; and finally 6) experimental constraints on mineral-melt partitioning of moderately to highly volatile elements under lunar conditions. We anticipate that each section will summarize results since 2007 and focus on new results published since the 2015 Am Min review paper on lunar volatiles [9]. The next section will discuss how to use sample abundances of volatiles to understand the source region and potential caveats in estimating source abundances of volatiles. The following section will include our best estimates of volatile abundances and isotopic compositions (where permitted by available data) for each volatile element of interest in a number of important lunar reservoirs, including the crust, mantle, KREEP, and bulk Moon. The final section of the chapter will focus upon future work, outstanding questions

  6. Microbial Preservation in Sulfates in the Haughton Impact Structure Suggests Target in Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnell, J.; Osinski, G. R.; Lee, P.; Cockell, C. S.

    2005-01-01

    Microbes in Haughton Crater Sulfates: Impact craters are of high interest in planetary exploration because they are viewed as possible sites for evidence of life [1]. Hydrothermal systems in craters are particularly regarded as sites where primitive life could evolve. Evidence from the Miocene Haughton impact structure shows that crater hydrothermal deposits may also be a preferred site for subsequent colonization and hence possible extant life: Hydrothermal sulfates at Haughton are colonized by viable cyanobacteria [2]. The Haughton impact structure, Devon Island, Canadian High Arctic, is a 24 km-diameter crater of mid-Tertiary age. The structure preserves an exceptional record of impact-induced hydrothermal activity, including sulfide, and sulfate mineralization [3]. The target rocks excavated at the site included massive gypsum-bearing carbonate rocks of Ordovician age. Impact-remobilized sulfates occur as metre-scale masses of intergrown crystals of the clear form of gypsum selenite in veins and cavity fillings within the crater s impact melt breccia deposits [4]. The selenite is part of the hydrothermal assemblage as it was precipitated by cooling hot waters that were circulating as a result of the impact. Remobilization of the sulfate continues to the present day, such that it occurs in soil crusts (Fig. 1) including sandy beds with a gypsum cement. The sulfate-cemented beds make an interesting comparison with the sulfate-bearing sandy beds encountered by the Opportunity MER [5]. The selenite crystals are up to 0.3 m in width, of high purity, and transparent. They locally exhibit frayed margins where cleavage surfaces have separated. This exfoliation may be a response to freeze-thaw weathering. The selenite contains traces of rock detritus, newly precipitated gypsum, and microbial colonies. The rock detritus consists of sediment particles which penetrated the opened cleavages by up to 2cm from the crystal margins. Some of the detritus is cemented into place

  7. CisLunar Habitat Internal Architecture Design Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, R.; Kennedy, K.; Howard, R.; Whitmore, M.; Martin, C.; Garate, J.

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In preparation for human exploration to Mars, there is a need to define the development and test program that will validate deep space operations and systems. In that context, a Proving Grounds CisLunar habitat spacecraft is being defined as the next step towards this goal. This spacecraft will operate differently from the ISS or other spacecraft in human history. The performance envelope of this spacecraft (mass, volume, power, specifications, etc.) is being defined by the Future Capabilities Study Team. This team has recognized the need for a human-centered approach for the internal architecture of this spacecraft and has commissioned a CisLunar Phase-1 Habitat Internal Architecture Study Team to develop a NASA reference configuration, providing the Agency with a "smart buyer" approach for future acquisition. THE CISLUNAR HABITAT INTERNAL ARCHITECTURE STUDY: Overall, the CisLunar Habitat Internal Architecture study will address the most significant questions and risks in the current CisLunar architecture, habitation, and operations concept development. This effort is achieved through definition of design criteria, evaluation criteria and process, design of the CisLunar Habitat Phase-1 internal architecture, and the development and fabrication of internal architecture concepts combined with rigorous and methodical Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) evaluations and testing of the conceptual innovations in a controlled test environment. The vision of the CisLunar Habitat Internal Architecture Study is to design, build, and test a CisLunar Phase-1 Habitat Internal Architecture that will be used for habitation (e.g. habitability and human factors) evaluations. The evaluations will mature CisLunar habitat evaluation tools, guidelines, and standards, and will interface with other projects such as the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program integrated Power, Avionics, Software (iPAS), and Logistics for integrated human-in-the-loop testing. The mission of the CisLunar

  8. Use of a Lunar Outpost for Developing Space Settlement Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purves, Lloyd R.

    2008-01-01

    The type of polar lunar outpost being considered in the NASA Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) can effectively support the development of technologies that will not only significantly enhance lunar exploration, but also enable long term crewed space missions, including space settlement. The critical technologies are: artificial gravity, radiation protection, Closed Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). These enhance lunar exploration by extending the time an astronaut can remain on the moon and reducing the need for supplies from Earth, and they seem required for space settlement. A polar lunar outpost provides a location to perform the research and testing required to develop these technologies, as well as to determine if there are viable countermeasures that can reduce the need for Earth-surface-equivalent gravity and radiation protection on long human space missions. The types of spinning space vehicles or stations envisioned to provide artificial gravity can be implemented and tested on the lunar surface, where they can create any level of effective gravity above the 1/6 Earth gravity that naturally exists on the lunar surface. Likewise, varying degrees of radiation protection can provide a natural radiation environment on the lunar surface less than or equal to 1/2 that of open space at 1 AU. Lunar ISRU has the potential of providing most of the material needed for radiation protection, the centrifuge that provides artificial gravity; and the atmosphere, water and soil for a CELSS. Lunar ISRU both saves the cost of transporting these materials from Earth and helps define the requirements for ISRU on other planetary bodies. Biosphere II provides a reference point for estimating what is required for an initial habitat with a CELSS. Previous studies provide initial estimates of what would be required to provide such a lunar habitat with the gravity and radiation environment of the Earth s surface. While much preparatory

  9. The Dust Management Project: Characterizing Lunar Environments and Dust, Developing Regolith Mitigation Technology and Simulants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyatt, Mark J.; Straka, Sharon A.

    2010-01-01

    A return to the Moon to extend human presence, pursue scientific activities, use the Moon to prepare for future human missions to Mars, and expand Earth?s economic sphere, will require investment in developing new technologies and capabilities to achieve affordable and sustainable human exploration. From the operational experience gained and lessons learned during the Apollo missions, conducting long-term operations in the lunar environment will be a particular challenge, given the difficulties presented by the unique physical properties and other characteristics of lunar regolith, including dust. The Apollo missions and other lunar explorations have identified significant lunar dust-related problems that will challenge future mission success. Comprised of regolith particles ranging in size from tens of nanometers to microns, lunar dust is a manifestation of the complex interaction of the lunar soil with multiple mechanical, electrical, and gravitational effects. The environmental and anthropogenic factors effecting the perturbation, transport, and deposition of lunar dust must be studied in order to mitigate it?s potentially harmful effects on exploration systems and human explorers. The Dust Management Project (DMP) is tasked with the evaluation of lunar dust effects, assessment of the resulting risks, and development of mitigation and management strategies and technologies related to Exploration Systems architectures. To this end, the DMP supports the overall goal of the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) of addressing the relevant high priority technology needs of multiple elements within the Constellation Program (CxP) and sister ETDP projects. Project scope, plans, and accomplishments will be presented.

  10. Subsurface microbial habitats on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  11. Mars Conjunction Crewed Missions With a Reusable Hybrid Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Raymond G.; Strange, Nathan J.; Qu, Min; Hatten, Noble

    2015-01-01

    A new crew Mars architecture has been developed that provides many potential benefits for NASA-led human Mars moons and surface missions beginning in the 2030s or 2040s. By using both chemical and electric propulsion systems where they are most beneficial and maintaining as much orbital energy as possible, the Hybrid spaceship that carries crew round trip to Mars is pre-integrated before launch and can be delivered to orbit by a single launch. After check-out on the way to cis-lunar space, it is refueled and can travel round trip to Mars in less than 1100 days, with a minimum of 300 days in Mars vicinity (opportunity dependent). The entire spaceship is recaptured into cis-lunar space and can be reused. The spaceship consists of a habitat for 4 crew attached to the Hybrid propulsion stage which uses long duration electric and chemical in-space propulsion technologies that are in use today. The hybrid architecture's con-ops has no in-space assembly of the crew transfer vehicle and requires only rendezvous of crew in a highly elliptical Earth orbit for arrival at and departure from the spaceship. The crew transfer vehicle does not travel to Mars so it only needs be able to last in space for weeks and re-enter at lunar velocities. The spaceship can be refueled and resupplied for multiple trips to Mars (every other opportunity). The hybrid propulsion stage for crewed transits can also be utilized for cargo delivery to Mars every other opportunity in a reusable manner to pre-deploy infrastructure required for Mars vicinity operations. Finally, the Hybrid architecture provides evolution options for mitigating key long-duration space exploration risks, including crew microgravity and radiation exposure.

  12. Lunar electrostatic effects and protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, Yongwei; Yuan, Qingyun; Xiong, Jiuliang

    2013-01-01

    The space environment and features on the moon surface are factors in strong electrostatic electrification. Static electricity will be produced in upon friction between lunar soil and detectors or astronauts on the lunar surface. Lunar electrostatic environment effects from lunar exploration equipment are very harmful. Lunar dust with electrostatic charge may enter the equipment or even cover the instruments. It can affect the normal performance of moon detectors. Owing to the huge environmental differences between the moon and the earth, the electrostatic protection technology on the earth can not be applied. In this paper, we review the electrostatic characteristics of lunar dust, its effects on aerospace equipment and moon static elimination technologies. It was concluded that the effect of charged lunar dust on detectors and astronauts should be completely researched as soon as possible.

  13. The Sooner Lunar Schooner: Lunar engineering education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, D. P.; Hougen, D. F.; Shirley, D.

    2003-06-01

    The Sooner Lunar Schooner is a multi-disciplinary ongoing project at the University of Oklahoma to plan, design, prototype, cost and (when funds become available) build/contract and fly a robotic mission to the Moon. The goal of the flight will be to explore a small section of the Moon; conduct a materials analysis of the materials left there by an Apollo mission thirty years earlier; and to perform a selenographic survey of areas that were too distant or considered too dangerous to be done by the Apollo crew. The goal of the Sooner Lunar Schooner Project is to improve the science and engineering educations of the hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students working on the project. The participants, while primarily from engineering and physics, will also include representatives from business, art, journalism, law and education. This project ties together numerous existing research programs at the University, and provides a framework for the creation of many new research proposals. The authors were excited and motivated by the Apollo missions to the Moon. When we asked what we could do to similarly motivate students we realized that nothing is as exciting as going to the Moon. The students seem to agree.

  14. Toxicity of lunar dust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Linnarsson, D.; Carpenter, J.; Fubini, B.; Gerde, P.; Loftus, D.; Prisk, K.; Staufer, U.; Tranfield, E.; van Westrenen, W.

    2012-01-01

    The formation, composition and physical properties of lunar dust are incompletely characterised with regard to human health. While the physical and chemical determinants of dust toxicity for materials such as asbestos, quartz, volcanic ashes and urban particulate matter have been the focus of

  15. Lunar Phases Planisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shawl, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a lunar phases planisphere with which a user can answer questions about the rising and setting times of the Moon as well as questions about where the Moon will be at a given phase and time. The article contains figures that can be photocopied to make the planisphere. (Contains 2 figures.)

  16. Lunar magma transport phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spera, Frank J.

    1992-01-01

    An outline of magma transport theory relevant to the evolution of a possible Lunar Magma Ocean and the origin and transport history of the later phase of mare basaltic volcanism is presented. A simple model is proposed to evaluate the extent of fractionation as magma traverses the cold lunar lithosphere. If Apollo green glasses are primitive and have not undergone significant fractionation en route to the surface, then mean ascent rates of 10 m/s and cracks of widths greater than 40 m are indicated. Lunar tephra and vesiculated basalts suggest that a volatile component plays a role in eruption dynamics. The predominant vapor species appear to be CO CO2, and COS. Near the lunar surface, the vapor fraction expands enormously and vapor internal energy is converted to mixture kinetic energy with the concomitant high-speed ejection of vapor and pyroclasts to form lunary fire fountain deposits such as the Apollo 17 orange and black glasses and Apollo 15 green glass.

  17. Science Driven Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2004-01-01

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

  18. Indigenous lunar construction materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Wayne P.; Sture, Stein

    1991-01-01

    The utilization of local resources for the construction and operation of a lunar base can significantly reduce the cost of transporting materials and supplies from Earth. The feasibility of processing lunar regolith to form construction materials and structural components is investigated. A preliminary review of potential processing methods such as sintering, hot-pressing, liquification, and cast basalt techniques, was completed. The processing method proposed is a variation on the cast basalt technique. It involves liquification of the regolith at 1200-1300 C, casting the liquid into a form, and controlled cooling. While the process temperature is higher than that for sintering or hot-pressing (1000-1100 C), this method is expected to yield a true engineering material with low variability in properties, high strength, and the potential to form large structural components. A scenario for this processing method was integrated with a design for a representative lunar base structure and potential construction techniques. The lunar shelter design is for a modular, segmented, pressurized, hemispherical dome which could serve as habitation and laboratory space. Based on this design, estimates of requirements for power, processing equipment, and construction equipment were made. This proposed combination of material processing method, structural design, and support requirements will help to establish the feasibility of lunar base construction using indigenous materials. Future work will refine the steps of the processing method. Specific areas where more information is needed are: furnace characteristics in vacuum; heat transfer during liquification; viscosity, pouring and forming behavior of molten regolith; design of high temperature forms; heat transfer during cooling; recrystallization of basalt; and refinement of estimates of elastic moduli, compressive and tensile strength, thermal expansion coefficient, thermal conductivity, and heat capacity. The preliminary

  19. Developing the "Lunar Vicinity" Scenario of the Global Exploration Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, G.; Neal, C. R.; Crawford, I. A.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2014-04-01

    The Global Exploration Roadmap (GER, [1]) has been developed by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG - comprised of 14 space agencies) to define various pathways to getting humans beyond low Earth orbit and eventually to Mars. Such pathways include visiting asteroids or the Moon before going on to Mars. This document has been written at a very high level and many details are still to be determined. However, a number of important papers regarding international space exploration can form a basis for this document (e.g. [2,3]). In this presentation, we focus on developing the "Lunar Vicinity" scenario by adding detail via mapping a number of recent reports/documents into the GER. Precedence for this scenario is given by Szajnfarber et al. [4] who stated "We find that when international partners are considered endogenously, the argument for a "flexible path" approach is weakened substantially. This is because international contributions can make "Moon first" economically feasible". The documents highlighted here are in no way meant to be all encompassing and other documents can and should be added, (e.g., the JAXA Space Exploration Roadmap). This exercise is intended to demonstrate that existing documents can be mapped into the GER despite the major differences in granularity, and that this mapping is a way to promote broader national and international buy-in to the Lunar Vicinity scenario. The documents used here are: the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Exploration report on developing a global space exploration program [5], the Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs) report from the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) [6], the Lunar Exploration Roadmap developed by LEAG [7], the National Research Council report Scientific Context for the Exploration of the Moon (SCEM) [8], the scientific rationale for resuming lunar surface exploration [9], the astrobiological benefits of human space exploration [9,10].

  20. A Lunar Surface System Supportability Technology Development Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeftering, Richard C.; Struk, Peter M.; Taleghani, barmac K.

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses the establishment of a Supportability Technology Development Roadmap as a guide for developing capabilities intended to allow NASA s Constellation program to enable a supportable, sustainable and affordable exploration of the Moon and Mars. Presented is a discussion of supportability, in terms of space facility maintenance, repair and related logistics and a comparison of how lunar outpost supportability differs from the International Space Station. Supportability lessons learned from NASA and Department of Defense experience and their impact on a future lunar outpost is discussed. A supportability concept for future missions to the Moon and Mars that involves a transition from a highly logistics dependent to a logistically independent operation is discussed. Lunar outpost supportability capability needs are summarized and a supportability technology development strategy is established. The resulting Lunar Surface Systems Supportability Strategy defines general criteria that will be used to select technologies that will enable future flight crews to act effectively to respond to problems and exploit opportunities in an environment of extreme resource scarcity and isolation. This strategy also introduces the concept of exploiting flight hardware as a supportability resource. The technology roadmap involves development of three mutually supporting technology categories, Diagnostics Test and Verification, Maintenance and Repair, and Scavenging and Recycling. The technology roadmap establishes two distinct technology types, "Embedded" and "Process" technologies, with different implementation and thus different criteria and development approaches. The supportability technology roadmap addresses the technology readiness level, and estimated development schedule for technology groups that includes down-selection decision gates that correlate with the lunar program milestones. The resulting supportability technology roadmap is intended to develop a set

  1. Lunar base thermoelectric power station study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Determan, William; Frye, Patrick; Mondt, Jack; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Johnson, Ken; Stapfer, G.; Brooks, Michael D.; Heshmatpour, Ben

    2006-01-01

    Under NASA's Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, and Teledyne Energy Systems have teamed with a number of universities, under the Segmented Thermoelectric Multicouple Converter (STMC) program, to develop the next generation of advanced thermoelectric converters for space reactor power systems. Work on the STMC converter assembly has progressed to the point where the lower temperature stage of the segmented multicouple converter assembly is ready for laboratory testing and the upper stage materials have been identified and their properties are being characterized. One aspect of the program involves mission application studies to help define the potential benefits from the use of these STMC technologies for designated NASA missions such as the lunar base power station where kilowatts of power are required to maintain a permanent manned presence on the surface of the moon. A modular 50 kWe thermoelectric power station concept was developed to address a specific set of requirements developed for this mission. Previous lunar lander concepts had proposed the use of lunar regolith as in-situ radiation shielding material for a reactor power station with a one kilometer exclusion zone radius to minimize astronaut radiation dose rate levels. In the present concept, we will examine the benefits and requirements for a hermetically-sealed reactor thermoelectric power station module suspended within a man-made lunar surface cavity. The concept appears to maximize the shielding capabilities of the lunar regolith while minimizing its handling requirements. Both thermal and nuclear radiation levels from operation of the station, at its 100-m exclusion zone radius, were evaluated and found to be acceptable. Site preparation activities are reviewed and well as transport issues for this concept. The goal of the study was to review the entire life cycle of the unit to assess its technical problems and technology

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J

    2016-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Can nitrification bring us to Mars? The role of microbial interactions on nitrogen recovery in life support systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiaens, Marlies E. R.; Lasseur, Christophe; Clauwaert, Peter; Boon, Nico; Ilgrande, Chiara; Vlaeminck, Siegfried

    2016-07-01

    Human habitation in space requires artificial environment recirculating fundamental elements to enable the highest degree of autonomy . The European Space Agency, supported by a large consortoium of European organisationsdevelop the Micro-Ecological Life Support System (MELiSSA) to transform the mission wastes waste (a.o. organic fibers, CO2, and urine) into water, oxygen, and food (Lasseur et al., 2010). Among these wastes, astronauts' urine has a high potential to provide nitrogen as a fertilizer for food production. As higher plant growth in space is typically proposed to be performed in hydroponics, liquid fertilizer containing nitrates is preferred. An Additional Unit for Water Treatment is developed for urine nitrification by means of a synthetic microbial community. The key players in this consortium are ureolytic bacteria to hydrolyse the main nitrogen source in urine, urea, to ammonium and carbon dioxide as well as oxidation of organic compounds present in urine, ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOB) to convert ammonium to nitrite (nitritation), and the nitrate oxidizing bacteria (NOB) to produce nitrate (nitratation). Pure AOB strains Nitrosomonas ureae Nm10 and Nitrosomonas europaea ATCC 19718, pure NOB strains Nitrobacter winogradskyi Nb-255 and Nitrobacter vulgaris Z, and interactions within synthetic consortia of one AOB and one NOB or all together were tested. As the initial salinity of fresh urine can be as high as 30 mS/cm, the functionality of selected pure strains and synthetic consortia was evaluated by means of the nitritation and nitratation activity at varying NaCl salinities (5, 10, and 30 mS/cm). The nitritation activity of pure AOB strains was compared with the synthetic consortia. Both N. ureae and Ns. europaea benefit from the presence of Nb. winogradskyi as the ammonium oxidation rates of 1.7 ± 0.7 and 6.4 ± 0.6 mg N/L.d at 5 mS/cm, respectively, doubled. These results are in line with the findings of Perez et al (2015) observing a lower

  5. Lunar mission design using nuclear thermal rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stancati, M.L.; Collins, J.T.; Borowski, S.K.

    1991-01-01

    The NERVA-class Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR), with performance nearly double that of advanced chemical engines, has long been considered an enabling technology for human missions to Mars. NTR engines address the demanding trip time and payload delivery needs of both cargo-only and piloted flights. But NTR can also reduce the Earth launch requirements for manned lunar missions. First use of NTR for the Moon would be less demanding and would provide a test-bed for early operations experience with this powerful technology. Study of application and design options indicates that NTR propulsion can be integrated with the Space Exploration Initiative scenarios to deliver performance gains while managing controlled, long-term disposal of spent reactors to highly stable orbits

  6. Developing Fabrication Technologies to Provide On Demand Manufacturing for Exploration of the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Monica S.; Good, James E.; Gilley, Scott D.; Howard, Richard W.

    2006-01-01

    NASA's human exploration initiative poses great opportunity and risk for manned and robotic missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Engineers and scientists at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) are developing technologies for in situ fabrication capabilities during lunar and Martian surface operations utilizing provisioned and locally refined materials. Current fabrication technologies must be advanced to support the special demands and applications of the space exploration initiative such as power, weight and volume constraints. In Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) will advance state-of-the-art technologies in support of habitat structure development, tools, and mechanical part fabrication. The repair and replacement of space mission components, such as life support items or crew exercise equipment, fall within the ISFR scope. This paper will address current fabrication technologies relative to meeting ISFR targeted capabilities, near-term advancement goals, and systematic evaluation of various fabrication methods.

  7. Petrology of lunar rocks and implication to lunar evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridley, W. I.

    1976-01-01

    Recent advances in lunar petrology, based on studies of lunar rock samples available through the Apollo program, are reviewed. Samples of bedrock from both maria and terra have been collected where micrometeorite impact penetrated the regolith and brought bedrock to the surface, but no in situ cores have been taken. Lunar petrogenesis and lunar thermal history supported by studies of the rock sample are discussed and a tentative evolutionary scenario is constructed. Mare basalts, terra assemblages of breccias, soils, rocks, and regolith are subjected to elemental analysis, mineralogical analysis, trace content analysis, with studies of texture, ages and isotopic composition. Probable sources of mare basalts are indicated.

  8. Reflectance conversion methods for the VIS/NIR imaging spectrometer aboard the Chang'E-3 lunar rover: based on ground validation experiment data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Bin; Liu Jian-Zhong; Zhang Guang-Liang; Zou Yong-Liao; Ling Zong-Cheng; Zhang Jiang; He Zhi-Ping; Yang Ben-Yong

    2013-01-01

    The second phase of the Chang'E Program (also named Chang'E-3) has the goal to land and perform in-situ detection on the lunar surface. A VIS/NIR imaging spectrometer (VNIS) will be carried on the Chang'E-3 lunar rover to detect the distribution of lunar minerals and resources. VNIS is the first mission in history to perform in-situ spectral measurement on the surface of the Moon, the reflectance data of which are fundamental for interpretation of lunar composition, whose quality would greatly affect the accuracy of lunar element and mineral determination. Until now, in-situ detection by imaging spectrometers was only performed by rovers on Mars. We firstly review reflectance conversion methods for rovers on Mars (Viking landers, Pathfinder and Mars Exploration rovers, etc). Secondly, we discuss whether these conversion methods used on Mars can be applied to lunar in-situ detection. We also applied data from a laboratory bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) using simulated lunar soil to test the availability of this method. Finally, we modify reflectance conversion methods used on Mars by considering differences between environments on the Moon and Mars and apply the methods to experimental data obtained from the ground validation of VNIS. These results were obtained by comparing reflectance data from the VNIS measured in the laboratory with those from a standard spectrometer obtained at the same time and under the same observing conditions. The shape and amplitude of the spectrum fits well, and the spectral uncertainty parameters for most samples are within 8%, except for the ilmenite sample which has a low albedo. In conclusion, our reflectance conversion method is suitable for lunar in-situ detection.

  9. Nuclear technologies for Moon and Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1991-01-01

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

  10. Remote Assessment of Lunar Resource Potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. Jeffrey

    1992-01-01

    Assessing the resource potential of the lunar surface requires a well-planned program to determine the chemical and mineralogical composition of the Moon's surface at a range of scales. The exploration program must include remote sensing measurements (from both Earth's surface and lunar orbit), robotic in situ analysis of specific places, and eventually, human field work by trained geologists. Remote sensing data is discussed. Resource assessment requires some idea of what resources will be needed. Studies thus far have concentrated on oxygen and hydrogen production for propellant and life support, He-3 for export as fuel for nuclear fusion reactors, and use of bulk regolith for shielding and construction materials. The measurement requirements for assessing these resources are given and discussed briefly.

  11. Laser-powered lunar base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Costen, R.; Humes, D.H.; Walker, G.H.; Williams, M.D.; Deyoung, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    The objective was to compare a nuclear reactor-driven Sterling engine lunar base power source to a laser-to-electric converter with orbiting laser power station, each providing 1 MW of electricity to the lunar base. The comparison was made on the basis of total mass required in low-Earth-orbit for each system. This total mass includes transportation mass required to place systems in low-lunar orbit or on the lunar surface. The nuclear reactor with Sterling engines is considered the reference mission for lunar base power and is described first. The details of the laser-to-electric converter and mass are discussed. The next two solar-driven high-power laser concepts, the diode array laser or the iodine laser system, are discussed with associated masses in low-lunar-orbit. Finally, the payoff for laser-power beaming is summarized

  12. Lunar ash flows - Isothermal approximation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, S. I.; Hsieh, T.; O'Keefe, J. A.

    1972-01-01

    Suggestion of the ash flow mechanism as one of the major processes required to account for some features of lunar soil. First the observational background and the gardening hypothesis are reviewed, and the shortcomings of the gardening hypothesis are shown. Then a general description of the lunar ash flow is given, and a simple mathematical model of the isothermal lunar ash flow is worked out with numerical examples to show the differences between the lunar and the terrestrial ash flow. The important parameters of the ash flow process are isolated and analyzed. It appears that the lunar surface layer in the maria is not a residual mantle rock (regolith) but a series of ash flows due, at least in part, to great meteorite impacts. The possibility of a volcanic contribution is not excluded. Some further analytic research on lunar ash flows is recommended.

  13. Toward an International Lunar Polar Volatiles Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruener, J. E.; Suzuki, N. H.; Carpenter, J. D.

    2015-01-01

    Fourteen international space agencies are participating in the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG), working together to advance a long-range human space exploration strategy. The ISECG is a voluntary, non-binding international coordination mechanism through which individual agencies may exchange information regarding interests, objectives, and plans in space exploration with the goal of strengthening both individual exploration programs as well as the collective effort. The ISECG has developed a Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) that reflects the coordinated international dialog and continued preparation for exploration beyond low-Earth orbit - beginning with the Moon and cis-lunar space, and continuing to near-Earth asteroids, and Mars. Space agencies agree that human space exploration will be most successful as an international endeavor, given the challenges of these missions. The roadmap demonstrates how initial capabilities can enable a variety of missions in the lunar vicinity, responding to individual and common goals and objectives, while contributing to building partnerships required for sustainable human space exploration that delivers value to the public.

  14. Mars manned fusion spaceship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hedrick, J.; Buchholtz, B.; Ward, P.; Freuh, J.; Jensen, E.

    1991-01-01

    Fusion Propulsion has an enormous potential for space exploration in the near future. In the twenty-first century, a usable and efficient fusion rocket will be developed and in use. Because of the great distance between other planets and Earth, efficient use of time, fuel, and payload is essential. A nuclear spaceship would provide greater fuel efficiency, less travel time, and a larger payload. Extended missions would give more time for research, experiments, and data acquisition. With the extended mission time, a need for an artificial environment exists. The topics of magnetic fusion propulsion, living modules, artificial gravity, mass distribution, space connection, and orbital transfer to Mars are discussed. The propulsion system is a magnetic fusion reactor based on a tandem mirror design. This allows a faster, shorter trip time and a large thrust to weight ratio. The fuel proposed is a mixture of deuterium and helium. Helium can be obtained from lunar mining. There will be minimal external radiation from the reactor resulting in a safe, efficient propulsion system

  15. 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.

  16. Using Lunar Module Shadows To Scale the Effects of Rocket Exhaust Plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    Excavating granular materials beneath a vertical jet of gas involves several physical mechanisms. These occur, for example, beneath the exhaust plume of a rocket landing on the soil of the Moon or Mars. We performed a series of experiments and simulations (Figure 1) to provide a detailed view of the complex gas-soil interactions. Measurements taken from the Apollo lunar landing videos (Figure 2) and from photographs of the resulting terrain helped demonstrate how the interactions extrapolate into the lunar environment. It is important to understand these processes at a fundamental level to support the ongoing design of higher fidelity numerical simulations and larger-scale experiments. These are needed to enable future lunar exploration wherein multiple hardware assets will be placed on the Moon within short distances of one another. The high-velocity spray of soil from the landing spacecraft must be accurately predicted and controlled or it could erode the surfaces of nearby hardware. This analysis indicated that the lunar dust is ejected at an angle of less than 3 degrees above the surface, the results of which can be mitigated by a modest berm of lunar soil. These results assume that future lunar landers will use a single engine. The analysis would need to be adjusted for a multiengine lander. Figure 3 is a detailed schematic of the Lunar Module camera calibration math model. In this chart, formulas relating the known quantities, such as sun angle and Lunar Module dimensions, to the unknown quantities are depicted. The camera angle PSI is determined by measurement of the imaged aspect ratio of a crater, where the crater is assumed to be circular. The final solution is the determination of the camera calibration factor, alpha. Figure 4 is a detailed schematic of the dust angle math model, which again relates known to unknown parameters. The known parameters now include the camera calibration factor and Lunar Module dimensions. The final computation is the ejected

  17. Canadian advanced life support capacities and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamsey, M.; Graham, T.; Stasiak, M.; Berinstain, A.; Scott, A.; Vuk, T. Rondeau; Dixon, M.

    2009-07-01

    Canada began research on space-relevant biological life support systems in the early 1990s. Since that time Canadian capabilities have grown tremendously, placing Canada among the emerging leaders in biological life support systems. The rapid growth of Canadian expertise has been the result of several factors including a large and technically sophisticated greenhouse sector which successfully operates under challenging climatic conditions, well planned technology transfer strategies between the academic and industrial sectors, and a strong emphasis on international research collaborations. Recent activities such as Canada's contribution of the Higher Plant Compartment of the European Space Agency's MELiSSA Pilot Plant and the remote operation of the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse in the Canadian High Arctic continue to demonstrate Canadian capabilities with direct applicability to advanced life support systems. There is also a significant latent potential within Canadian institutions and organizations with respect to directly applicable advanced life support technologies. These directly applicable research interests include such areas as horticultural management strategies (for candidate crops), growth media, food processing, water management, atmosphere management, energy management, waste management, imaging, environment sensors, thermal control, lighting systems, robotics, command and data handling, communications systems, structures, in-situ resource utilization, space analogues and mission operations. With this background and in collaboration with the Canadian aerospace industry sector, a roadmap for future life support contributions is presented here. This roadmap targets an objective of at least 50% food closure by 2050 (providing greater closure in oxygen, water recycling and carbon dioxide uptake). The Canadian advanced life support community has chosen to focus on lunar surface infrastructure and not low Earth orbit or transit systems (i.e. microgravity

  18. Lunar Dust Mitigation Screens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, Shawn; Holloway, Nancy

    With plans for the United States to return to the moon, and establish a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface many issues must be successfully overcome. Lunar dust is one of a number of issues with the potential to create a myriad of problems if not adequately addressed. Samples of dust brought back from Apollo missions show it to be soft, yet sharp and abrasive. The dust consists of a variety of morphologies including spherical, angular blocks, shards, and a number of irregular shapes. One of the main issues with lunar dust is its attraction to stick to anything it comes in contact with (i.e. astronauts, equipment, habitats, etc.). Ionized radiation from the sun strikes the moon's surface and creates an electrostatic charge on the dust. Further, the dust harbors van der Waals forces making it especially difficult to separate once it sticks to a surface. During the Apollo missions, it was discovered that trying to brush the lunar dust from spacesuits was not effective, and rubbing it caused degradation of the suit material. Further, when entering the lunar module after moonwalks, the astronauts noted that the dust was so prolific inside the cabin that they inhaled and ingested it, causing at least one of them, Harrison "Jack" Schmidt, to report irritation of the throat and lungs. It is speculated that the dust could also harm an astronaut's nervous and cardiovascular systems, especially during an extended stay. In addition to health issues, the dust can also cause problems by scouring reflective coatings off of thermal blankets, and roughening surfaces of windows and optics. Further, panels on solar cells and photovoltaics can also be compromised due to dust sticking on the surfaces. Lunar dust has the capacity to penetrate seals, interfere with connectors, as well as mechanisms on digging machines, all of which can lead to problems and failure. To address lunar dust issues, development of electrostatic screens to mitigate dust on sur-faces is currently

  19. International Lunar Decade Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldavs, VZ; Crisafulli, J.; Dunlop, D.; Foing, B.

    2017-09-01

    The International Lunar Decade is a global decadal event designed to provide a framework for strategically directed international cooperation for permanent return to the Moon. To be launched July 20, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the giant leap for mankind marked by Neil Armstrong's first step on the Moon, the ILD launch will include events around the world to celebrate space exploration, science, and the expansion of humanity into the Solar System. The ILD framework links lunar exploration and space sciences with the development of enabling technologies, infrastructure, means of financing, laws and policies aimed at lowering the costs and risks of venturing into space. Dramatically reduced costs will broaden the range of opportunities available in space and widen access to space for more states, companies and people worldwide. The ILD is intended to bring about the efflorescence of commercial business based on space resources from the Moon, asteroids, comets and other bodies in the Solar System.

  20. Lunar Core and Tides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. G.; Boggs, D. H.; Ratcliff, J. T.

    2004-01-01

    Variations in rotation and orientation of the Moon are sensitive to solid-body tidal dissipation, dissipation due to relative motion at the fluid-core/solid-mantle boundary, and tidal Love number k2 [1,2]. There is weaker sensitivity to flattening of the core-mantle boundary (CMB) [2,3,4] and fluid core moment of inertia [1]. Accurate Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) measurements of the distance from observatories on the Earth to four retroreflector arrays on the Moon are sensitive to lunar rotation and orientation variations and tidal displacements. Past solutions using the LLR data have given results for dissipation due to solid-body tides and fluid core [1] plus Love number [1-5]. Detection of CMB flattening, which in the past has been marginal but improving [3,4,5], now seems significant. Direct detection of the core moment has not yet been achieved.

  1. Lunar Health Monitor (LHM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisy, Frederick J.

    2015-01-01

    Orbital Research, Inc., has developed a low-profile, wearable sensor suite for monitoring astronaut health in both intravehicular and extravehicular activities. The Lunar Health Monitor measures respiration, body temperature, electrocardiogram (EKG) heart rate, and other cardiac functions. Orbital Research's dry recording electrode is central to the innovation and can be incorporated into garments, eliminating the need for conductive pastes, adhesives, or gels. The patented dry recording electrode has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The LHM is easily worn under flight gear or with civilian clothing, making the system completely versatile for applications where continuous physiological monitoring is needed. During Phase II, Orbital Research developed a second-generation LHM that allows sensor customization for specific monitoring applications and anatomical constraints. Evaluations included graded exercise tests, lunar mission task simulations, functional battery tests, and resting measures. The LHM represents the successful integration of sensors into a wearable platform to capture long-duration and ambulatory physiological markers.

  2. The Lunar Sample Compendium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Charles

    2009-01-01

    The Lunar Sample Compendium is a succinct summary of the data obtained from 40 years of study of Apollo and Luna samples of the Moon. Basic petrographic, chemical and age information is compiled, sample-by-sample, in the form of an advanced catalog in order to provide a basic description of each sample. The LSC can be found online using Google. The initial allocation of lunar samples was done sparingly, because it was realized that scientific techniques would improve over the years and new questions would be formulated. The LSC is important because it enables scientists to select samples within the context of the work that has already been done and facilitates better review of proposed allocations. It also provides back up material for public displays, captures information found only in abstracts, grey literature and curatorial databases and serves as a ready access to the now-vast scientific literature.

  3. Lunar concrete for construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullingford, Hatice S.; Keller, M. Dean

    1988-01-01

    Feasibility of using concrete for lunar-base construction has been discussed recently without relevant data for the effects of vacuum on concrete. Experimental studies performed earlier at Los Alamos have shown that concrete is stable in vacuum with no deterioration of its quality as measured by the compressive strength. Various considerations of using concrete successfully on the moon are provided in this paper along with specific conclusions from the existing data base.

  4. Religion and Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pop, V.

    1969: The Eagle lands on the Moon. A moment that would not only mark the highest scientific achievement of all times, but would also have significant religious impli- cations. While the island of Bali lodges a protest at the United Nations against the US for desecrating a sacred place, Hopi Indians celebrate the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy that would reveal the "truth of the Sacred Ways". The plaque fastened to the Eagle - "We Came in Peace for All Mankind" would have contained the words "under God" as directed by the US president, if not for an assistant administrator at NASA that did not want to offend any religion. In the same time, Buzz Aldrin takes the Holy Communion on the Moon, and a Bible is left there by another Apollo mission - not long after the crew of Apollo 8 reads a passage from Genesis while circling the Moon. 1998: Navajo Indians lodge a protest with NASA for placing human ashes aboard the Lunar Prospector, as the Moon is a sacred place in their religion. Past, present and fu- ture exploration of the Moon has significant religious and spiritual implications that, while not widely known, are nonetheless important. Is lunar exploration a divine duty, or a sacrilege? This article will feature and thoroughly analyse the examples quoted above, as well as other facts, as for instance the plans of establishing lunar cemeteries - welcomed by some religions, and opposed by others.

  5. Lunar sample studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-01-01

    Lunar samples discussed and the nature of their analyses are: (1) an Apollo 15 breccia which is thoroughly analyzed as to the nature of the mature regolith from which it derived and the time and nature of the lithification process, (2) two Apollo 11 and one Apollo 12 basalts analyzed in terms of chemistry, Cross-Iddings-Pirsson-Washington norms, mineralogy, and petrography, (3) eight Apollo 17 mare basalts, also analyzed in terms of chemistry, Cross-Iddings-Pirsson-Washington norms, mineralogy, and petrography. The first seven are shown to be chemically similar although of two main textural groups; the eighth is seen to be distinct in both chemistry and mineralogy, (4) a troctolitic clast from a Fra Mauro breccia, analyzed and contrasted with other high-temperature lunar mineral assemblages. Two basaltic clasts from the same breccia are shown to have affinities with rock 14053, and (5) the uranium-thorium-lead systematics of three Apollo 16 samples are determined; serious terrestrial-lead contamination of the first two samples is attributed to bandsaw cutting in the lunar curatorial facility

  6. Modeling lunar volcanic eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Housley, R. M.

    1978-01-01

    Simple physical arguments are used to show that basaltic volcanos on different planetary bodies would fountain to the same height if the mole fraction of gas in the magma scaled with the acceleration of gravity. It is suggested that the actual eruption velocities and fountain heights are controlled by the velocities of sound in the two phase gas/liquid flows. These velocities are in turn determined by the gas contents in the magma. Predicted characteristics of Hawaiian volcanos are in excellent accord with observations. Assuming that the only gas in lunar volcano is the CO which would be produced if the observed Fe metal in lunar basalts resulted from graphite reduction, lunar volcanos would fountain vigorously, but not as spectacularly as their terrestrial counterparts. The volatile trace metals, halogens, and sulfur released would be transported over the entire moon by the transient atmosphere. Orange and black glass type pyroclastic materials would be transported in sufficient amounts to produce the observed dark mantle deposits.

  7. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Astrobiology" included the following reports:The Role of Cometary and Meteoritic Delivery in the Origin and Evolution of Life: Biogeological Evidences Revisited; Hopane Biomarkers Traced from Bedrock to Recent Sediments and Ice at the Haughton Impact Structure, Devon Island: Implications for the Search for Biomarkers on Mars; and Survival of Organic Matter After High Temperature Events (Meteorite Impacts, Igneous Intrusions).

  8. Mars: Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Murdin, P.

    2001-07-01

    The atmosphere of MARS is much thinner than the terrestrial one. However, even the simplest visual telescopic observations show a set of atmospheric events such as seasonal exchange of material between polar caps, temporal appearance of clouds and changes of visibility of dark regions on the disk of the planet. In 1947 the prominent CO2 bands in the near-infrared part of the Martian spectrum were...

  9. Greenhouse Module for Space System: A Lunar Greenhouse Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeidler Conrad

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available In the next 10 to 20 years humankind will return to the Moon and/or travel to Mars. It is likely that astronauts will eventually build permanent settlements there, as a base for long-term crew tended research tasks. It is obvious that the crew of such settlements will need food to survive. With current mission architectures the provision of food for longduration missions away from Earth requires a significant number of resupply flights. Furthermore, it would be infeasible to provide the crew with continuous access to fresh produce, specifically crops with high water content such as tomatoes and peppers, on account of their limited shelf life. A greenhouse as an integrated part of a planetary surface base would be one solution to solve this challenge for long-duration missions. Astronauts could grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables in-situ to be more independent from supply from Earth. This paper presents the results of the design project for such a greenhouse, which was carried out by DLR and its partners within the framework of the Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA program. The consortium performed an extensive system analysis followed by a definition of system and subsystem requirements for greenhouse modules. Over 270 requirements were defined in this process. Afterwards the consortium performed an in-depth analysis of illumination strategies, potential growth accommodations and shapes for the external structure. Five different options for the outer shape were investigated, each of them with a set of possible internal configurations. Using the Analytical Hierarchy Process, the different concept options were evaluated and ranked against each other. The design option with the highest ranking was an inflatable outer structure with a rigid inner core, in which the subsystems are mounted. The inflatable shell is wrapped around the core during launch and transit to the lunar surface. The paper provides an overview of the

  10. Lunar imaging and ionospheric calibration for the Lunar Cherenkov technique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McFadden, R.; Scholten, O.; Mevius, M.

    2013-01-01

    The Lunar Cherenkov technique is a promising method for UHE neutrino and cosmic ray detection which aims to detect nanosecond radio pulses produced during particle interactions in the Lunar regolith. For low frequency experiments, such as NuMoon, the frequency dependent dispersive effect of the

  11. Power system for production, construction, life support and operations in space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sovie, R.J.

    1988-01-01

    As one looks to man's future in space it becomes obvious that unprecedented amounts of power are required for the exploration, colonization, and exploitation of space. Activities envisioned include interplanetary travel and LEO to GEO transport using electric propulsion, Earth and lunar observatories, advance space stations, free-flying manufacturing platforms, communications platforms, and eventually evolutionary lunar and Mars bases. These latter bases would start as camps with modest power requirements (kWes) and evolve to large bases as manufacturing, food production, and life support materials are developed from lunar raw materials. These latter activities require very robust power supplies (MWes). The advanced power system technologies being pursued by NASA to fulfill these future needs are described. Technologies discussed will include nuclear, photovoltaic, and solar dynamic space power systems, including energy storage, power conditioning, power transmission, and thermal management. The state-of-the-art and gains to be made by technology advancements will be discussed. Mission requirements for a variety of applications (LEO, GEO, lunar, and Martian) will be treated, and data for power systems ranging from a few kilowatts to megawatt power systems will be represented. In addition the space power technologies being initiated under NASA's new Civilian Space Technology Initiative (CSTI) and Space Leadership Planning Group Activities will be discussed

  12. Meditations on the new space vision: The moon as a stepping stone to mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendell, W. W.

    2005-07-01

    The Vision for Space Exploration invokes activities on the Moon in preparation for exploration of Mars and also directs International Space Station (ISS) research toward the same goal. Lunar missions will emphasize development of capability and concomitant reduction of risk for future exploration of Mars. Earlier papers identified three critical issues related to the so-called NASA Mars Design Reference Mission (MDRM) to be addressed in the lunar context: (a) safety, health, and performance of the human crew; (b) various modalities of mission operations ranging surface activities to logistics, planning, and navigation; and (c) reliability and maintainability of systems in the planetary environment. In simple terms, lunar expeditions build a résumé that demonstrates the ability to design, construct, and operate an enterprise such as the MDRM with an expectation of mission success. We can evolve from Apollo-like missions to ones that resemble the complexity and duration of the MDRM. Investment in lunar resource utilization technologies falls naturally into the Vision. NASA must construct an exit strategy from the Moon in the third decade. With a mandate for continuing exploration, it cannot assume responsibility for long-term operation of lunar assets. Therefore, NASA must enter into a partnership with some other entity—governmental, international, or commercial—that can responsibly carry on lunar development past the exploration phase.

  13. REE Partitioning in Lunar Minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapp, J. F.; Lapen, T. J.; Draper, D. S.

    2015-01-01

    Rare earth elements (REE) are an extremely useful tool in modeling lunar magmatic processes. Here we present the first experimentally derived plagioclase/melt partition coefficients in lunar compositions covering the entire suite of REE. Positive europium anomalies are ubiquitous in the plagioclase-rich rocks of the lunar highlands, and complementary negative Eu anomalies are found in most lunar basalts. These features are taken as evidence of a large-scale differentiation event, with crystallization of a global-scale lunar magma ocean (LMO) resulting in a plagioclase flotation crust and a mafic lunar interior from which mare basalts were subsequently derived. However, the extent of the Eu anomaly in lunar rocks is variable. Fagan and Neal [1] reported highly anorthitic plagioclase grains in lunar impact melt rock 60635,19 that displayed negative Eu anomalies as well as the more usual positive anomalies. Indeed some grains in the sample are reported to display both positive and negative anomalies. Judging from cathodoluminescence images, these anomalies do not appear to be associated with crystal overgrowths or zones.

  14. 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.

  15. Landscapes of Mars A Visual Tour

    CERN Document Server

    Vogt, Gregory L

    2008-01-01

    Landscapes of Mars is essentially a picture book that provides a visual tour of Mars. All the major regions and topographical features will be shown and supplemented with chapter introductions and extended captions. In a way, think of it as a visual tourist guide. Other topics covered are Martian uplands on the order of the elevation of Mt. Everest, Giant volcanoes and a rift system, the Grand Canyon of Mars, craters and the absence of craters over large regions (erosion), and wind shadows around craters, sand dunes, and dust devils. The book includes discussions on the search for water (braided channels, seepage, sedimentary layering, etc.) as well as on the Viking mission search for life, Mars meteorite fossil bacteria controversy, and planetary protection in future missions. The book concludes with an exciting gallery of the best 3D images of Mars making the book a perfect tool for understanding Mars and its place in the solar system.

  16. Astrobiology and the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Garvin, James B.; Drake, B. G.; Beaty, David

    2010-01-01

    In March 2007, the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) chartered the Human Exploration of Mars Science Analysis Group (HEM-SAG), co-chaired by J. B. Garvin and J. S. Levine and consisting of about 30 Mars scientists from the U.S. and Europe. HEM-SAG was one of a half dozen teams charted by NASA to consider the human exploration of Mars. Other teams included: Mars Entry, Descent and Landing, Human Health and Performance, Flight and Surface Systems, and Heliospheric/Astrophysics. The results of these Mars teams and the development of an architecture for the human exploration of Mars were summarized in two recent publications: Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 (B. G. Drake, Editor), 100 pages, July 2009 and Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 Addendum (B. G. Drake, Editor), 406 pages, July 2009. This presentation summarizes the HEM-SAG conclusions on astrobiology and the search for life on Mars by humans.

  17. Chronology of early lunar crust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dasch, E.J.; Nyquist, L.E.; Ryder, G.

    1988-01-01

    The chronology of lunar rocks is summarized. The oldest pristine (i.e., lacking meteoritic contamination of admixed components) lunar rock, recently dated with Sm-Nd by Lugmair, is a ferroan anorthosite, with an age of 4.44 + 0.02 Ga. Ages of Mg-suite rocks (4.1 to 4.5 Ga) have large uncertainties, so that age differences between lunar plutonic rock suites cannot yet be resolved. Most mare basalts crystallized between 3.1 and 3.9 Ga. The vast bulk of the lunar crust, therefore, formed before the oldest preserved terrestrial rocks. If the Moon accreted at 4.56 Ga, then 120 Ma may have elapsed before lunar crust was formed

  18. Lunar Regolith Particle Shape Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiekhaefer, Rebecca; Hardy, Sandra; Rickman, Douglas; Edmunson, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Future engineering of structures and equipment on the lunar surface requires significant understanding of particle characteristics of the lunar regolith. Nearly all sediment characteristics are influenced by particle shape; therefore a method of quantifying particle shape is useful both in lunar and terrestrial applications. We have created a method to quantify particle shape, specifically for lunar regolith, using image processing. Photomicrographs of thin sections of lunar core material were obtained under reflected light. Three photomicrographs were analyzed using ImageJ and MATLAB. From the image analysis measurements for area, perimeter, Feret diameter, orthogonal Feret diameter, Heywood factor, aspect ratio, sieve diameter, and sieve number were recorded. Probability distribution functions were created from the measurements of Heywood factor and aspect ratio.

  19. Mars @ ASDC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carraro, Francesco

    "Mars @ ASDC" is a project born with the goal of using the new web technologies to assist researches involved in the study of Mars. This project employs Mars map and javascript APIs provided by Google to visualize data acquired by space missions on the planet. So far, visualization of tracks acquired by MARSIS and regions observed by VIRTIS-Rosetta has been implemented. The main reason for the creation of this kind of tool is the difficulty in handling hundreds or thousands of acquisitions, like the ones from MARSIS, and the consequent difficulty in finding observations related to a particular region. This led to the development of a tool which allows to search for acquisitions either by defining the region of interest through a set of geometrical parameters or by manually selecting the region on the map through a few mouse clicks The system allows the visualization of tracks (acquired by MARSIS) or regions (acquired by VIRTIS-Rosetta) which intersect the user defined region. MARSIS tracks can be visualized both in Mercator and polar projections while the regions observed by VIRTIS can presently be visualized only in Mercator projection. The Mercator projection is the standard map provided by Google. The polar projections are provided by NASA and have been developed to be used in combination with APIs provided by Google The whole project has been developed following the "open source" philosophy: the client-side code which handles the functioning of the web page is written in javascript; the server-side code which executes the searches for tracks or regions is written in PHP and the DB which undergoes the system is MySQL.

  20. Lunar Circular Structure Classification from Chang 'e 2 High Resolution Lunar Images with Convolutional Neural Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, X. G.; Liu, J. J.; Zuo, W.; Chen, W. L.; Liu, Y. X.

    2018-04-01

    Circular structures are widely distributed around the lunar surface. The most typical of them could be lunar impact crater, lunar dome, et.al. In this approach, we are trying to use the Convolutional Neural Network to classify the lunar circular structures from the lunar images.

  1. Cataclysm No More: New Views on the Timing and Delivery of Lunar Impactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellner, Nicolle E B

    2017-09-01

    If properly interpreted, the impact record of the Moon, Earth's nearest neighbour, can be used to gain insights into how the Earth has been influenced by impacting events since its formation ~4.5 billion years (Ga) ago. However, the nature and timing of the lunar impactors - and indeed the lunar impact record itself - are not well understood. Of particular interest are the ages of lunar impact basins and what they tell us about the proposed "lunar cataclysm" and/or the late heavy bombardment (LHB), and how this impact episode may have affected early life on Earth or other planets. Investigations of the lunar impactor population over time have been undertaken and include analyses of orbital data and images; lunar, terrestrial, and other planetary sample data; and dynamical modelling. Here, the existing information regarding the nature of the lunar impact record is reviewed and new interpretations are presented. Importantly, it is demonstrated that most evidence supports a prolonged lunar (and thus, terrestrial) bombardment from ~4.2 to 3.4 Ga and not a cataclysmic spike at ~3.9 Ga. Implications for the conditions required for the origin of life are addressed.

  2. NASA Lunar Impact Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suggs, Robert M.; Moser, D. E.

    2015-01-01

    The MSFC lunar impact monitoring program began in 2006 in support of environment definition for the Constellation (return to Moon) program. Work continued by the Meteoroid Environment Office after Constellation cancellation. Over 330 impacts have been recorded. A paper published in Icarus reported on the first 5 years of observations and 126 calibrated flashes. Icarus: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103514002243; ArXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.6458 A NASA Technical Memorandum on flash locations is in press

  3. Automated Maneuver Design and Checkout for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-12-01

    cosmic ray telescope for the effects of radiation DCM direction cosine matrix DLRE diviner lunar radiometer experiment EOL end of life ISS...estimate of the LRO at EOL . The reaction wheel capacities listed are at their operational limits, and represent a value 25 percent lower than design

  4. Hydrogen Distribution in the Lunar Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanin, A. B.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Litvak, M. L.; Bakhtin, B. N.; Bodnarik, J. G.; Boynton, W. V.; Chin, G.; Evans, L. G.; Harshmann, K.; Fedosov, F.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present a method of conversion of the lunar neutron counting rate measured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) instrument collimated neutron detectors, to water equivalent hydrogen (WEH) in the top approximately 1 m layer of lunar regolith. Polar maps of the Moon’s inferred hydrogen abundance are presented and discussed.

  5. Lunar Topography: Results from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Gregory; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Mazarico, Erwan

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been operating nearly continuously since July 2009, accumulating over 6 billion measurements from more than 2 billion in-orbit laser shots. LRO's near-polar orbit results in very high data density in the immediate vicinity of the lunar poles, with full coverage at the equator from more than 12000 orbital tracks averaging less than 1 km in spacing at the equator. LRO has obtained a global geodetic model of the lunar topography with 50-meter horizontal and 1-m radial accuracy in a lunar center-of-mass coordinate system, with profiles of topography at 20-m horizontal resolution, and 0.1-m vertical precision. LOLA also provides measurements of reflectivity and surface roughness down to its 5-m laser spot size. With these data LOLA has measured the shape of all lunar craters 20 km and larger. In the proposed extended mission commencing late in 2012, LOLA will concentrate observations in the Southern Hemisphere, improving the density of the polar coverage to nearly 10-m pixel resolution and accuracy to better than 20 m total position error. Uses for these data include mission planning and targeting, illumination studies, geodetic control of images, as well as lunar geology and geophysics. Further improvements in geodetic accuracy are anticipated from the use of re ned gravity fields after the successful completion of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission in 2012.

  6. Spatial and spectral resolution of carbonaceous material from hematite (α-Fe2O3) using multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) with Raman microspectroscopic mapping: implications for the search for life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph P; Smith, Frank C; Booksh, Karl S

    2017-08-21

    The search for evidence of extant or past life on Mars is a primary objective of both the upcoming Mars 2020 rover (NASA) and ExoMars 2020 rover (ESA/Roscosmos) missions. This search will involve the detection and identification of organic molecules and/or carbonaceous material within the Martian surface environment. For the first time on a mission to Mars, the scientific payload for each rover will include a Raman spectrometer, an instrument well-suited for this search. Hematite (α-Fe 2 O 3 ) is a widespread mineral on the Martian surface. The 2LO Raman band of hematite and the Raman D-band of carbonaceous material show spectral overlap, leading to the potential misidentification of hematite as carbonaceous material. Here we report the ability to spatially and spectrally differentiate carbonaceous material from hematite using multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) applied to Raman microspectroscopic mapping under both 532 nm and 785 nm excitation. For this study, a sample comprised of hematite, carbonaceous material, and substrate-adhesive epoxy in spatially distinct domains was constructed. Principal component analysis (PCA) reveals that both 532 nm and 785 nm excitation produce representative three-phase systems of hematite, carbonaceous material, and substrate-adhesive epoxy in the analyzed sample. MCR-ALS with Raman microspectroscopic mapping using both 532 nm and 785 nm excitation was able to resolve hematite, carbonaceous material, and substrate-adhesive epoxy by generating spatially-resolved chemical maps and corresponding Raman spectra of these spatially distinct chemical species. Moreover, MCR-ALS applied to the combinatorial data sets of 532 nm and 785 nm excitation, which contain hematite and carbonaceous material within the same locations, was able to resolve hematite, carbonaceous material, and substrate-adhesive epoxy. Using multivariate analysis with Raman microspectroscopic mapping, 785 nm excitation more effectively

  7. Sensitvie life detection strategies for low-biomass environments: optimizing extraction of nucleic acids adsorbing to terrestrial and Mars analogue minerals.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Direito, S.O.L.; Marees, A.; Roling, W.F.M.

    2012-01-01

    The adsorption of nucleic acids to mineral matrixes can result in low extraction yields and negatively influences molecular microbial ecology studies, in particular for low-biomass environments on Earth and Mars. We determined the recovery of nucleic acids from a range of minerals relevant to Earth

  8. Nuclear power systems for Lunar and Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sovie, R.J.; Bozek, J.M.

    1994-01-01

    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 were identified as critical needs for these missions. This paper discusses these mission scenarios, the concomitant power system requirements; the power system options considered and identifies the significant potential benefits of nuclear power for meeting the power needs of the above applications

  9. Extending the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal - New Capabilities and New Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, B. H.; Law, E.; Arevalo, E.; Bui, B.; Chang, G.; Dodge, K.; Kim, R. M.; Malhotra, S.; Sadaqathullah, S.

    2015-12-01

    NASA's Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP) provides a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, lunar scientists, and engineers to access mapped lunar data products from past and current lunar missions (http://lmmp.nasa.gov). During the past year, the capabilities and data served by LMMP have been significantly expanded. New interfaces are providing improved ways to access and visualize data. Many of the recent enhancements to LMMP have been specifically in response to the requirements of NASA's proposed Resource Prospector lunar rover, and as such, provide an excellent example of the application of LMMP to mission planning. At the request of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, LMMP's technology and capabilities are now being extended to additional planetary bodies. New portals for Vesta and Mars are the first of these new products to be released. On March 31, 2015, the LMMP team released Vesta Trek (http://vestatrek.jpl.nasa.gov), a web-based application applying LMMP technology to visualizations of the asteroid Vesta. Data gathered from multiple instruments aboard Dawn have been compiled into Vesta Trek's user-friendly set of tools, enabling users to study the asteroid's features. With an initial release on July 1, 2015, Mars Trek replicates the functionality of Vesta Trek for the surface of Mars. While the entire surface of Mars is covered, higher levels of resolution and greater numbers of data products are provided for special areas of interest. Early releases focus on past, current, and future robotic sites of operation. Future releases will add many new data products and analysis tools as Mars Trek has been selected for use in site selection for the Mars 2020 rover and in identifying potential human landing sites on Mars. Other destinations will follow soon. The user community is invited to provide suggestions and requests as the development team continues to expand the capabilities of LMMP

  10. Water and cheese from the lunar desert: Abundances and accessibility of H, C, and N on the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haskin, L. A.

    1992-01-01

    The Moon has been underrated as a source of H, N, C, and other elements essential to support life and to provide fuel for rockets. There is enough of these elements in each cubic meter of typical lunar soil to provide a substantial lunch for two, if converted to edible forms. The average amount of C per square meter of the lunar surface to a depth of 2 m is some 35 percent of the average amount per square meter tied up in living organisms on Earth. The water equivalent of H in the upper 2 m of the regolith averages at least 1.3 million liters per square kilometer. Mining of H from a small fraction of the regolith would provide all the rocket fuel needed for thousands of years. These elements can be removed from the soil by heating it to high temperature. Some favor the unproven resources of Phobos, Deimos, or near-Earth asteroids instead of the Moon as a source of extraterrestrial material for use in space, or Mars over the Moon as a site for habitation, partly on the basis that the chemical elements needed for life support and propellant are readily abundant on those bodies, but not on the Moon. Well, the Moon is not as barren of H, C, and N as is commonly perceived. In fact, the elements needed for life support and for rocket fuel are plentiful there, although the ore grades are low. Furthermore, the proximity of the Moon and consequent lower cost of transportation and shorter trip and communication times favor that body as the logical site for early acquisition of resources and extraterrestrial living.

  11. Astrobiology Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars Analogue Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    We give an update on the astrobiology results from a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme environment of the Utah desert. These are relevant to prepare future lunar landers and polar sample return missions, interpret Moon-Mars data (eg SMART1, LRO, Mars Express, MRO, MER, MSL), study habitability and astrobiology in Moon-Mars environments, or to test human-robotic surface EVA or base operations. In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [0, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from re-mote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geo-chemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Results: Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [0-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. We acknowledge team members and supporting institutes: B.H. Foing (1, 2, 6), C. Stoker (3), P. Ehrenfreund (4, 5), I. Rammos (2), L. Rodrigues (2), A. Svendsen (2), D. Oltheten (2), I. Schlacht (2), K. Nebergall (6), M. Battler (6, 7), H

  12. The resources of Mars for human settlement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Thomas R.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1989-01-01

    Spacecraft exploration of Marshas shown that the essential resources necessary for life support are present on the Martian surface. The key life-support compounds O2, N2, and H2O are available on Mars. The soil could be used as radiation shielding and could provide many useful industrial and construction materials. Compounds with high chemical energy, such as rocket fuels, can be manufactured in-situ on Mars. Solar power, and possibly wind power, are available and practical on Mars. Preliminary engineering studies indicate that fairly autonomous processes can be designed to extract and stockpile Martian consumables.

  13. Rapid degradation of the complex organic molecules in Martian surface rocks due to exposure to cosmic rays. Implications to the search of 'extinct' life on Mars by MSL and ExoMars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Glavin, D. P.; Floyd, M.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    Until recently, long-term exposure to cosmic rays has not been recognized as a major environmental factor, which can alter and destroy organic molecules in the Martian surface rocks. Recent modeling studies (e.g. Pavlov et al., 2012) suggested that organic molecules with masses >100 amu would be degraded in less than 1 billion years in the top 5 cm of the Martian rocks. That poses a serious challenge to the search of ancient molecules in the shallow subsurface of Mars. However, Pavlov et al. calculated the fraction of the survived organic molecules using conservative radiolysis constants derived from the gamma irradiation experiments on pure dry amino acid mixtures (Kminek and Bada, 2006). In this study we conducted a series of gamma irradiations of amino acids and carboxylic acids mixed with silica powder. We report that the addition of silicates dramatically increased the rate of organic degradation under gamma radiation. Using the newly derived radiolysis constants for amino acids and carboxylic acids in mineral mixtures, we recalculated the rate of organic degradation in the Martian rocks as a function of rocks' depth, chemical composition and weathering rates. Our results suggest that isolated organic molecules (acids) are likely to be altered or fully degraded in the surface rocks on Mars by cosmic rays in less than 10 million years unless some additional protective mechanisms are in place. We will discuss possible strategies for the MSL's search of the elusive ancient organic molecules to overcome the adverse effects of cosmic rays in the surface Martian rocks. References. Pavlov et al., 2012 GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, doi:10.1029/2012GL052166 Kminek, G., and J. Bada (2006), Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 245, 1-5, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2006.03.008.

  14. The Potential Impact of Mars' Atmospheric Dust on Future Human Exploration of the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterhalter, D.; Levine, J. S.; Kerschmann, R.; Beaty, D. W.; Carrier, B. L.; Ashley, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    With the increasing focus by NASA and other space agencies on a crewed mission to Mars in the 2039 time-frame, many Mars-specific environmental factors are now starting to be considered by NASA and other engineering teams. Learning from NASA's Apollo Missions to the Moon, where lunar dust turned out to be a significant challenge to mission and crew safety, attention is now turning to the dust in Mars' atmosphere and regolith. To start the process of identifying possible dust-caused challenges to the human presence on Mars, and thus aid early engineering and mission design efforts, the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) Robotic Spacecraft Technical Discipline Team organized and conducted a Workshop on the "Dust in Mars' Atmosphere and Its Impact on the Human Exploration of Mars", held at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), Houston, TX, June 13-15, 2017. The workshop addressed the following general areas: 1. What is known about Mars' dust in terms of its physical and chemical properties, its local and global abundance and composition, and its variability.2. What is the impact of Mars atmospheric dust on human health.3. What is the impact of Mars atmospheric dust on surface mechanical systems (e.g., spacesuits, habitats, mobility systems, etc.). We present the top priority issues identified in the workshop.

  15. Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, S. J. (Editor); Gaddis, L. R.; Joy, K. H.; Petro, N. E.

    2017-01-01

    The announcement of the Vision for Space Exploration in 2004 sparked a resurgence in lunar missions worldwide. Since the publication of the first "New Views of the Moon" volume, as of 2017 there have been 11 science-focused missions to the Moon. Each of these missions explored different aspects of the Moon's geology, environment, and resource potential. The results from this flotilla of missions have revolutionized lunar science, and resulted in a profoundly new emerging understanding of the Moon. The New Views of the Moon II initiative itself, which is designed to engage the large and vibrant lunar science community to integrate the results of these missions into new consensus viewpoints, is a direct outcome of this impressive array of missions. The "Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006" chapter will "set the stage" for the rest of the volume, introducing the planetary community at large to the diverse array of missions that have explored the Moon in the last decade. Content: This chapter will encompass the following missions: Kaguya; ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun); Chang’e-1; Chandrayaan-1; Moon Impact Probe; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS); Chang’e-2; Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL); Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE); Chang’e-3.

  16. Mars expert Edwin, 17, amazes Euro.

    CERN Multimedia

    2001-01-01

    Edwin Kite represented the UK in the 'Life in the Universe' competition held at CERN, Geneva. In his presentation Could Mars Have Supported Advanced Life?, he presented models of the Martian atmosphere over thousands of millions of years and demonstrated how the Red Planet could have sustained algae-like life between 3 and 4 thousand million years ago (1/2 page).

  17. Lunar materials for construction of space manufacturing facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criswell, D. R.

    1977-01-01

    Development of industrial operations in deep space would be prohibitively expensive if most of the construction and expendable masses had to be transported from earth. Use of lunar materials reduces the needed investments by a factor of 15 to 20. It is shown in this paper that judicious selection of lunar materials will allow one to obtain hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, helium and other specific elements critical to the support of life in large space habitats at relatively low costs and lower total investment even further. Necessary selection techniques and extraction schemes are outlined. In addition, tables are presented of the oxide and elemental abundances characteristic of the mare and highland regions of the moon which should be useful in evaluating what can be extracted from the lunar soils.

  18. Tests of the lunar hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, S. R.

    1984-01-01

    The concept that the Moon was fissioned from the Earth after core separation is the most readily testable hypothesis of lunar origin, since direct comparisons of lunar and terrestrial compositions can be made. Differences found in such comparisons introduce so many ad hoc adjustments to the fission hypothesis that it becomes untestable. Further constraints may be obtained from attempting to date the volatile-refractory element fractionation. The combination of chemical and isotopic problems suggests that the fission hypothesis is no longer viable, and separate terrestrial and lunar accretion from a population of fractionated precursor planetesimals provides a more reasonable explanation.

  19. Year 3 LUNAR Annual Report to the NASA Lunar Science Institute

    OpenAIRE

    Burns, Jack; Lazio, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR) is a team of researchers and students at leading universities, NASA centers, and federal research laboratories undertaking investigations aimed at using the Moon as a platform for space science. LUNAR research includes Lunar Interior Physics & Gravitation using Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR), Low Frequency Cosmology and Astrophysics (LFCA), Planetary Science and the Lunar Ionosphere, Radio Heliophysics, and Exploration Science. The LUN...

  20. Radiation protection for human missions to the Moon and Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simonsen, L.C.; Nealy, J.E.

    1991-02-01

    Radiation protection assessments are performed for advanced Lunar and Mars manned missions. The Langley cosmic ray transport code and the nucleon transport code are used to quantify the transport and attenuation of galactic cosmic rays and solar proton flares through various shielding media. Galactic cosmic radiation at solar maximum and minimum, as well as various flare scenarios are considered. Propagation data for water, aluminum, liquid hydrogen, lithium hydride, lead, and lunar and Martian regolith (soil) are included. Shield thickness and shield mass estimates required to maintain incurred doses below 30 day and annual limits (as set for Space Station Freedom and used as a guide for space exploration) are determined for simple geometry transfer vehicles. On the surface of Mars, dose estimates are presented for crews with their only protection being the carbon dioxide atmosphere and for crews protected by shielding provided by Martian regolith for a candidate habitat

  1. Applications for special-purpose minerals at a lunar base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Douglas W.

    1992-01-01

    Maintaining a colony on the Moon will require the use of lunar resources to reduce the number of launches necessary to transport goods from the Earth. It may be possible to alter lunar materials to produce minerals or other materials that can be used for applications in life support systems at a lunar base. For example, mild hydrothermal alteration of lunar basaltic glasses can produce special-purpose minerals (e.g., zeolites, smectites, and tobermorites) that in turn may be used in life support, construction, waste renovation, and chemical processes. Zeolites, smectites, and tobermorites have a number of potential applications at a lunar base. Zeolites are hydrated aluminosilicates of alkali and alkaline earth cations that possess infinite, three-dimensional crystal structures. They are further characterized by an ability to hydrate and dehydrate reversibly and to exchange some of their constituent cations, both without major change of structure. Based on their unique absorption, cation exchange, molecular sieving, and catalytic properties, zeolites may be used as a solid support medium for the growth of plants, as an adsorption medium for separation of various gases (e.g., N2 from O2), as catalysts, as molecular sieves, and as a cation exchanger in sewage-effluent treatment, in radioactive waste disposal, and in pollution control. Smectites are crystalline, hydrated 2:1 layered aluminosilicates that also have the ability to exchange some of their constituent cations. Like zeolites, smectites may be used as an adsorption medium for waste renovation, as adsorption sites for important essential plant growth cations in solid support plant growth mediums (i.e., 'soils'), as cation exchangers, and in other important application. Tobermorites are cystalline, hydrated single-chained layered silicates that have cation-exchange and selectivity properties between those of smectites and most zeolites. Tobermorites may be used as a cement in building lunar base structures, as

  2. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Workshops for Educators, Year 1 Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A. P.; Hsu, B. C.; Bleacher, L.; Shaner, A. J.; Dalton, H.

    2011-12-01

    This past summer, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) sponsored a series of weeklong professional development workshops designed to educate and inspire grade 6-12 science teachers: the Lunar Workshops for Educators. Participants learned about lunar science and exploration, gained tools to help address common student misconceptions about the Moon, heard some of the latest research results from LRO scientists, worked with LRO data, and learned how to bring these data to their students using hands-on activities aligned with grade 6-12 National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks. Where possible, the workshops also included tours of science facilities or field trips intended to help the teachers better understand mission operations or geologic processes relevant to the Moon. The workshops were very successful. Participants demonstrated an improved understanding of lunar science concepts in post-workshop assessments (as compared to identical pre-assessments) and a greater understanding of how to access and productively share data from LRO with their students and provide them with authentic research experiences. Participant feedback on workshop surveys was also enthusiastically positive. 5 additional Lunar Workshops for Educators will be held around the country in the summer of 2012. For more information and to register, visit http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/lwe/index.html.

  3. Spacesuit Integrated Carbon Nanotube Dust Mitigation System for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manyapu, Kavya Kamal

    Lunar dust proved to be troublesome during the Apollo missions. The lunar dust comprises of fine particles, with electric charges imparted by solar winds and ultraviolet radiation. As such, it adheres readily, and easily penetrates through smallest crevices into mechanisms. During Apollo missions, the powdery dust substantially degraded the performance of spacesuits by abrading suit fabric and clogging seals. Dust also degraded other critical equipment such as rovers, thermal control and optical surfaces, solar arrays, and was thus shown to be a major issue for surface operations. Even inside the lunar module, Apollo astronauts were exposed to this dust when they removed their dust coated spacesuits. This historical evidence from the Apollo missions has compelled NASA to identify dust mitigation as a critical path. This important environmental challenge must be overcome prior to sending humans back to the lunar surface and potentially to other surfaces such as Mars and asteroids with dusty environments. Several concepts were successfully investigated by the international research community for preventing deposition of lunar dust on rigid surfaces (ex: solar cells, thermal radiators). However, applying these technologies for flexible surfaces and specifically to spacesuits has remained an open challenge, due to the complexity of the suit design, geometry, and dynamics. The research presented in this dissertation brings original contribution through the development and demonstration of the SPacesuit Integrated Carbon nanotube Dust Ejection/Removal (SPIcDER) system to protect spacesuits and other flexible surfaces from lunar dust. SPIcDER leverages the Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS) concept developed at NASA for use on solar cells. For the SPIcDER research, the EDS concept is customized for application on spacesuits and flexible surfaces utilizing novel materials and specialized design techniques. Furthermore, the performance of the active SPIcDER system is enhanced

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, J. E.

    2005-02-01

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

  5. Early lunar magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, S. K.; Mellema, J. P.

    1976-01-01

    A new method (Shaw, 1974) for investigating paleointensity (the ancient magnetic field) was applied to three subsamples of a single, 1-m homogeneous clast from a recrystallized boulder of lunar breccia. Several dating methods established 4 billion years as the age of boulder assembly. Results indicate that the strength of the ambient magnetic field at the Taurus-Littrow region of the moon was about 0.4 oersted at 4 billion years ago. Values as high as 1.2 oersted have been reported (Collison et al., 1973). The required fields are approximately 10,000 times greater than present interplanetary or solar flare fields. It is suggested that this large field could have arisen from a pre-main sequence T-Tauri sun.

  6. Electrochemistry of lunar rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, D. J.; Haskin, L. A.

    1979-01-01

    Electrolysis of silicate melts has been shown to be an effective means of producing metals from common silicate materials. No fluxing agents need be added to the melts. From solution in melts of diopside (CaMgSi2O6) composition, the elements Si, Ti, Ni, and Fe have been reduced to their metallic states. Platinum is a satisfactory anode material, but other cathode materials are needed. Electrolysis of compositional analogs of lunar rocks initially produces iron metal at the cathode and oxygen gas at the anode. Utilizing mainly heat and electricity which are readily available from sunlight, direct electrolysis is capable of producing useful metals from common feedstocks without the need for expendable chemicals. This simple process and the products obtained from it deserve further study for use in materials processing in space.

  7. Experimental Study of Lunar and SNC Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, Malcolm J.

    1998-01-01

    The research described in this progress report involved the study of petrological, geochemical and volcanic processes that occur on the Moon and the SNC parent body, generally accepted to be Mars. The link between these studies is that they focus on two terrestrial-type parent bodies somewhat smaller than earth, and the fact that they focus on the role of volatiles in magmatic processes and on processes of magma evolution on these planets. The work on the lunar volcanic glasses has resulted in some exciting new discoveries over the years of this grant. We discovered small metal blebs initially in the Al5 green glass, and determined the significant importance of this metal in fixing the oxidation state of the parent magma (Fogel and Rutherford, 1995). More recently, we discovered a variety of metal blebs in the Al7 orange glass. Some of these Fe-Ni metal blebs were in the glass; others were in olivine phenocrysts. The importance of these metal spheres is that they fix the oxidation state of the parent magma during the eruption, and also indicate changes during the eruption (Weitz et al., 1997) They also yield important information about the composition of the gas phase present, the gas which drove the lunar fire-fountaining. One of the more exciting and controversial findings in our research over the past year has been the possible fractionation of H from D during shock (experimental) of hornblende bearing samples (Minitti et al., 1997). This research is directed at explaining some of the low H2O and high D/H observed in hydrous phases in the SNC meteorites.

  8. A single launch lunar habitat derived from an NSTS external tank

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Charles B.; Butterfield, Ansel J.; Hypes, Warren D.; Nealy, John E.; Simonsen, Lisa C.

    1990-01-01

    A concept for using a spent External Tank from the National Space Transportation System (Shuttle) to derive a Lunar habitat is described. The concept is that the External Tank is carried into Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) where the oxygen tank-intertank subassembly is separated from the hydrogen tank, berthed to Space Station Freedom and the subassembly outfitted as a 12-person Lunar habitat using extravehicular activity (EVA) and intravehicular activity (IVA). A single launch of the NSTS Orbiter can place the External Tank in LEO, provide orbiter astronauts for disassembly of the External Tank, and transport the required subsystem hardware for outfitting the Lunar habitat. An estimate of the astronauts' EVA and IVA is provided. The liquid oxygen tank-intertank modifications utilize existing structures and openings for human access without compromising the structural integrity of the tank. The modification includes installation of living quarters, instrumentation, and an air lock. Feasibility studies of the following additional systems include micrometeoroid and radiation protection, thermal-control, environmental-control and life-support, and propulsion. The converted Lunar habitat is designed for unmanned transport and autonomous soft landing on the Lunar surface without need for site preparation. Lunar regolith is used to fill the micrometeoroid shield volume for radiation protection using a conveyor. The Lunar habitat concept is considered to be feasible by the year 2000 with the concurrent development of a space transfer vehicle and a Lunar lander for crew changeover and resupply.

  9. Google Moon Lunar Mapping Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A collection of lunar maps and charts. This tool is an exciting new way to explore the story of the Apollo missions, still the only time mankind has set foot on...

  10. First oxygen from lunar basalt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, M. A.; Knudsen, C. W.; Brueneman, D. J.; Kanamori, H.; Ness, R. O.; Sharp, L. L.; Brekke, D. W.; Allen, C. C.; Morris, R. V.; Keller, L. P.

    1993-01-01

    The Carbotek/Shimizu process to produce oxygen from lunar soils has been successfully demonstrated on actual lunar samples in laboratory facilities at Carbotek with Shimizu funding and support. Apollo sample 70035 containing approximately 25 percent ilmenite (FeTiO3) was used in seven separate reactions with hydrogen varying temperature and pressure: FeTiO3 + H2 yields Fe + TiO2 + H2O. The experiments gave extremely encouraging results as all ilmenite was reduced in every experiment. The lunar ilmenite was found to be about twice as reactive as terrestrial ilmenite samples. Analytical techniques of the lunar and terrestrial ilmenite experiments performed by NASA Johnson Space Center include iron Mossbauer spectroscopy (FeMS), optical microscopy, SEM, TEM, and XRD. The Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota performed three SEM techniques (point count method, morphology determination, elemental mapping), XRD, and optical microscopy.

  11. The enigma of lunar magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, L. L.

    1981-01-01

    Current understandings of the nature and probable origin of lunar magnetism are surveyed. Results of examinations of returned lunar samples are discussed which reveal the main carrier of the observed natural remanent magnetization to be iron, occasionally alloyed with nickel and cobalt, but do not distinguish between thermoremanent and shock remanent origins, and surface magnetometer data is presented, which indicates small-scale magnetic fields with a wide range of field intensities implying localized, near-surface sources. A detailed examination is presented of orbital magnetometer and charged particle data concerning the geologic nature and origin of magnetic anomaly sources and the directional properties of the magnetization, which exhibit a random distribution except for a depletion in the north-south direction. A lunar magnetization survey with global coverage provided by a polar orbiting satellite is suggested as a means of placing stronger constraints on the origin of lunar crustal magnetization.

  12. Lunar Health Monitor, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — During the Phase II Lunar Health Monitor program, Orbital Research will develop a second generation wearable sensor suite for astronaut physiologic monitoring. The...

  13. Prospective Ukrainian lunar orbiter mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shkuratov, Y.; Litvinenko, L.; Shulga, V.; Yatskiv, Y.; Kislyuk, V.

    Ukraine has launch vehicles that are able to deliver about 300 kg to the lunar orbit. Future Ukrainian lunar program may propose a polar orbiter. This orbiter should fill principal information gaps in our knowledge about the Moon after Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions and the future missions, like Smart-1, Lunar-A, and Selene. We consider that this can be provided by radar studies of the Moon with supporting optical polarimetric observations from lunar polar orbit. These experiments allow one to better understand global structure of the lunar surface in a wide range of scales, from microns to kilometers. We propose three instruments for the prospective lunar orbiter. They are: a synthetic aperture imaging radar (SAR), ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and imaging polarimeter (IP). The main purpose of SAR is to study with high resolution (50 m) the permanently shadowed sites in the lunar polar regions. These sites are cold traps for volatiles, and have a potential of resource utilization. Possible presence of water ice in the regolith in the sites makes them interesting for permanent manned bases on the Moon. Radar imaging and mapping of other interesting regions could be also planned. Multi-frequencies multi-polarization soun d ing of the lunar surface with GPR can provide information about internal structure of the lunar surface from meters to several hundred meters deep. GPR can be used for measuring the megaregolith layer properties, detection of cryptomaria, and studies of internal structure of the largest craters. IP will be a CCD camera with an additional suite of polarizers. Modest spatial resolution (100 m) should provide a total coverage or a large portion of the lunar surface in oblique viewing basically at large phase angles. Polarization degree at large (>90°) phase angles bears information about characteristic size of the regolith particles. Additional radiophysical experiments are considered with the use of the SAR system, e.g., bistatic radar

  14. Officine Galileo for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistelli, E.; Tacconi, M.

    1999-09-01

    The interest for Mars's exploration is continuously increasing. Officine Galileo is engaged in this endeavor with several programmes. The exobiology is, of course, a stimulating field; presently Officine Galileo is leading a team with Dasa and Tecnospazio, under ESA contract, for the definition of a facility for the search of extinct life on Mars through the detection of indicators of life. The system, to be embarked on a Mars lander, is based on a drill to take rock samples underneath the oxidised soil layer, on a sample preparation and distribution system devoted to condition and bring the sample to a set of analytical instruments to carry out in-situ chemical and mineralogical investigations. The facility benefits of the presence of optical microscope, gas chromatograph, several spectrometers (Raman, Mass, Mossbauer, APX-Ray), and further instruments. In the frame of planetology, Officine Galileo is collaborating with several Principal Investigators to the definition of a set of instruments to be integrated on the Mars 2003 Lander (a NASA-ASI cooperation). A drill (by Tecnospazio), with the main task to collect Mars soil samples for the subsequent storage and return to Earth, will have the capability to perform several soil analyses, e.g. temperature and near infrared reflectivity spectra down to 50 cm depth, surface thermal and electrical conductivity, sounding of electromagnetic properties down to a few hundreds meter, radioactivity. Moreover a kit of instruments for in-situ soil samples analyses if foreseen; it is based on a dust analyser, an IR spectrometer, a thermofluorescence sensor, and a radioactivity analyser. The attention to the Red Planet is growing, in parallel with the findings of present and planned missions. In the following years the technology of Officine Galileo will carry a strong contribution to the science of Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. Dielectric properties of lunar surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yushkova, O. V.; Kibardina, I. N.

    2017-03-01

    Measurements of the dielectric characteristics of lunar soil samples are analyzed in the context of dielectric theory. It has been shown that the real component of the dielectric permittivity and the loss tangent of rocks greatly depend on the frequency of the interacting electromagnetic field and the soil temperature. It follows from the analysis that one should take into account diurnal variations in the lunar surface temperature when interpreting the radar-sounding results, especially for the gigahertz radio range.

  17. MARS Validation Plan and Status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahn, Seung-hoon; Cho, Yong-jin

    2008-01-01

    The KINS Reactor Thermal-hydraulic Analysis System (KINS-RETAS) under development is directed toward a realistic analysis approach of best-estimate (BE) codes and realistic assumptions. In this system, MARS is pivoted to provide the BE Thermal-Hydraulic (T-H) response in core and reactor coolant system to various operational transients and accidental conditions. As required for other BE codes, the qualification is essential to ensure reliable and reasonable accuracy for a targeted MARS application. Validation is a key element of the code qualification, and determines the capability of a computer code in predicting the major phenomena expected to occur. The MARS validation was made by its developer KAERI, on basic premise that its backbone code RELAP5/MOD3.2 is well qualified against analytical solutions, test or operational data. A screening was made to select the test data for MARS validation; some models transplanted from RELAP5, if already validated and found to be acceptable, were screened out from assessment. It seems to be reasonable, but does not demonstrate whether code adequacy complies with the software QA guidelines. Especially there may be much difficulty in validating the life-cycle products such as code updates or modifications. This paper presents the plan for MARS validation, and the current implementation status

  18. Lunar Navigation Architecture Design Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Christopher; Getchius, Joel; Holt, Greg; Moreau, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The NASA Constellation Program is aiming to establish a long-term presence on the lunar surface. The Constellation elements (Orion, Altair, Earth Departure Stage, and Ares launch vehicles) will require a lunar navigation architecture for navigation state updates during lunar-class missions. Orion in particular has baselined earth-based ground direct tracking as the primary source for much of its absolute navigation needs. However, due to the uncertainty in the lunar navigation architecture, the Orion program has had to make certain assumptions on the capabilities of such architectures in order to adequately scale the vehicle design trade space. The following paper outlines lunar navigation requirements, the Orion program assumptions, and the impacts of these assumptions to the lunar navigation architecture design. The selection of potential sites was based upon geometric baselines, logistical feasibility, redundancy, and abort support capability. Simulated navigation covariances mapped to entry interface flightpath- angle uncertainties were used to evaluate knowledge errors. A minimum ground station architecture was identified consisting of Goldstone, Madrid, Canberra, Santiago, Hartebeeshoek, Dongora, Hawaii, Guam, and Ascension Island (or the geometric equivalent).

  19. The electrostatic environments of Mars and the Moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calle, C I

    2011-01-01

    The electrical activity present in the environment near the surfaces of Mars and the moon has very different origins and presents a challenge to manned and robotic planetary exploration missions. Mars is covered with a layer of dust that has been redistributed throughout the entire planet by global dust storms. Dust, levitated by these storms as well as by the frequent dust devils, is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the multiple grain collisions in the dust-laden atmosphere. Dust covering the surface of the moon is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the solar wind, cosmic rays, and the solar radiation itself through the photoelectric effect. Electrostatically charged dust has a large tendency to adhere to surfaces. NASA's Mars exploration rovers have shown that atmospheric dust falling on solar panels can decrease their efficiency to the point of rendering the rover unusable. And as the Apollo missions to the moon showed, lunar dust adhesion can hinder manned and unmanned lunar exploration activities. Taking advantage of the electrical activity on both planetary system bodies, dust removal technologies are now being developed that use electrostatic and dielectrophoretic forces to produce controlled dust motion. This paper presents a short review of the theoretical and semiempirical models that have been developed for the lunar and Martian electrical environments.

  20. The Electrostatic Environments of Mars and the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2011-01-01

    The electrical activity present in the environment near the surfaces of Mars and the moon has very different origins and presents a challenge to manned and robotic planetary exploration missions. Mars is covered with a layer of dust that has been redistributed throughout the entire planet by global dust storms. Dust, levitated by these storms as well as by the frequent dust devils, is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the multiple grain collisions in the dust-laden atmosphere. Dust covering the surface of the moon is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the solar wind, cosmic rays, and the solar radiation itself through the photoelectric effect. Electrostatically charged dust has a large tendency to adhere to surfaces. NASA's Mars exploration rovers have shown that atmospheric dust falling on solar panels can decrease their efficiency to the point of rendering the rover unusable. And as the Apollo missions to the moon showed, lunar dust adhesion can hinder manned and unmanned lunar exploration activities. Taking advantage of the electrical activity on both planetary system bodies, dust removal technologies are now being developed that use electrostatic and dielectrophoretic forces to produce controlled dust motion. This paper presents a short review of the theoretical and semiempirical models that have been developed for the lunar and Martian electrical environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration, announced in 2004, calls on NASA to finish constructing the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed to return to the Moon and go on the Mars. By exploring space, America continues the tradition of great nations who mastered the Earth, air, and sea, and who then enjoyed the benefits of increased commerce and technological advances. The progress being made today is part of the next chapter in America's history of leadership in space. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within the planned timeline and also within the allowable budget, NASA is building upon the best of proven space transportation systems. Journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Lunar Surface Access Module. What America learns in reaching for the Moon will teach astronauts how to prepare for the first human footprints on Mars. While robotic science may reveal information about the nature of hydrogen on the Moon, it will most likely tale a human being with a rock hammer to find the real truth about the presence of water, a precious natural resource that opens many possibilities for explorers. In this way, the combination of astronauts using a variety of tools and machines provides a special synergy that will vastly improve our understanding of Earth's cosmic neighborhood.

  3. Development and mechanical properties of structural materials from lunar simulant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Chandra S.

    1991-01-01

    Development of versatile engineering materials from locally available materials in space is an important step toward establishment of outposts such as on the moon and Mars. He