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Sample records for mars atmospheric entry

  1. Mars Atmospheric Entry Integrated Navigation with Partial Intermittent Measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tai-shan Lou

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Signal degradation suffered by the vehicle is a combination brownout and blackout during Mars atmospheric entry. The communications brownout means that signal fades and blackout means that the signal is lost completely. The communications brownout and blackout periods are analyzed and predicted with an altitude and velocity profiles. In the brownout period, the range measurements between the vehicle and the orbiters are modeled as intermittent measurements with the radio signal arrival probabilities, which are distributed as a Rayleigh distribution of the electron number density around the entry vehicle. A new integrated navigation strategy during the Mars atmospheric entry phase is proposed to consider the probabilities of the radio measurements in the communications brownout and blackout periods under the IMU/beacon scenario based on the information filter with intermittent measurements. Numerical navigation simulations are designed to show the performance of the proposed navigation strategy under the integrated navigation scenario.

  2. Atmospheric Mars Entry and Landing Investigations & Analysis (AMELIA) by ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli Entry Descent Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, F.; Karatekin, O.; Aboudan, A.; VanHove, B.; Colombatti, C.; Bettanini, C.; Debei, S.; Lewis, S.; Forget, F.

    2017-09-01

    On the 19th October 2016, Schiaparelli, the Entry Demonstrator Module (EDM) of the ESA ExoMars Program entered into the martian atmosphere. Although it did not complete a safe landing on Mars, it transmitted data throughout its descent to the surface, until the loss of signal at 1 minute before the expected touch-down on Mars' surface. From the flight data, we reconstruct the actual dynamics of the vehicle during its descent towards Mars's surface and retrieve the atmospheric profile, in terms of density, pressure and temperature, along its trajectory for atmospheric investigations.

  3. Atmospheric Risk Assessment for the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Allen; Vasavada, Ashwin; Cianciolo, Alicia; Barnes, Jeff; Tyler, Dan; Hinson, David; Lewis, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    In 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission will pioneer the next generation of robotic Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) systems, by delivering the largest and most capable rover to date to the surface of Mars. As with previous Mars landers, atmospheric conditions during entry, descent, and landing directly impact the performance of MSL's EDL system. While the vehicle's novel guided entry system allows it to "fly out" a range of atmospheric uncertainties, its trajectory through the atmosphere creates a variety of atmospheric sensitivities not present on previous Mars entry systems and landers. Given the mission's stringent landing capability requirements, understanding the atmosphere state and spacecraft sensitivities takes on heightened importance. MSL's guided entry trajectory differs significantly from recent Mars landers and includes events that generate different atmospheric sensitivities than past missions. The existence of these sensitivities and general advancement in the state of Mars atmospheric knowledge has led the MSL team to employ new atmosphere modeling techniques in addition to past practices. A joint EDL engineering and Mars atmosphere science and modeling team has been created to identify the key system sensitivities, gather available atmospheric data sets, develop relevant atmosphere models, and formulate methods to integrate atmosphere information into EDL performance assessments. The team consists of EDL engineers, project science staff, and Mars atmospheric scientists from a variety of institutions. This paper provides an overview of the system performance sensitivities that have driven the atmosphere modeling approach, discusses the atmosphere data sets and models employed by the team as a result of the identified sensitivities, and introduces the tools used to translate atmospheric knowledge into quantitative EDL performance assessments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. The effects of the diurnal atmospheric variability on entry, descent and landing on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marčeta D.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Landing on Mars is extremely challenging task due to the fact that the Martian atmosphere is the most hostile environment in the Solar system to perform the entry, descent and landing (EDL process, because it is thick enough to create substantial heating of the entry vehicle but not thick enough to reduce its velocity to the one necessary for safe landing. Beside this, the atmosphere is very dynamic mainly due to high eccentricity of the Martian orbit, obliquity of the orbital to the equatorial plane and close alignment of the winter solstice and the orbital perihelion. Although seasonal variations of atmospheric parameters are significantly larger than the diurnal, it is very important to analyze diurnal cycles as they can significantly change vertical and horizontal atmospheric profiles in very short time intervals. This can present a serious threat to missions which have very precise timings and specific requirements such as the requirement for the daytime landing to enable ground images acquisition during the descent and landing phase. A 3-degrees-of-freedom trajectory integration routine was combined with the Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model (Mars-GRAM to identify the dependence of the EDL profiles on the diurnal cycles of atmospheric parameters throughout the Martian year. The obtained results show that the influence of the diurnal cycles is the largest at the equator and decreases relatively symmetrically towards the poles with a slightly stronger influence in the northern hemisphere. Also, there is a significant influence of the orbital position of Mars on the effect of diurnal atmospheric variations which causes that, around the orbital perihelion and winter solstice, there is some kind of inversion of the dependance of optimal entry timing on latitude of the landing site comparing to the rest of the Martian year. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 176002

  6. Optimization of a Hot Structure Aeroshell and Nose Cap for Mars Atmospheric Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langston, Sarah L.; Lang, Christapher G.; Samareh, Jamshid A.; Daryabeigi, Kamran

    2016-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is preparing to send humans beyond Low Earth Orbit and eventually to the surface of Mars. As part of the Evolvable Mars Campaign, different vehicle configurations are being designed and considered for delivering large payloads to the surface of Mars. Weight and packing volume are driving factors in the vehicle design, and the thermal protection system (TPS) for planetary entry is a technology area which can offer potential weight and volume savings. The feasibility and potential benefits of a ceramic matrix composite hot structure concept for different vehicle configurations are explored in this paper, including the nose cap for a Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) and an aeroshell for a mid lift-to-drag (Mid L/D) concept. The TPS of a planetary entry vehicle is a critical component required to survive the severe aerodynamic heating environment during atmospheric en- try. The current state-of-the-art is an ablative material to protect the vehicle from the heat load. The ablator is bonded to an underlying structure, which carries the mechanical loads associated with entry. The alternative hot structure design utilizes an advanced carbon-carbon material system on the outer surface of the vehicle, which is exposed to the severe heating and acts as a load carrying structure. The preliminary design using the hot structure concept and the ablative concept is determined for the spherical nose cap of the HIAD entry vehicle and the aeroshell of the Mid L/D entry vehicle. The results of the study indicate that the use of hot structures for both vehicle concepts leads to a feasible design with potential weight and volume savings benefits over current state-of-the-art TPS technology that could enable future missions.

  7. Structure of Mars' Atmosphere up to 100 Kilometers from the Entry Measurements of Viking 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiff, A; Kirk, D B

    1976-12-11

    The Viking 2 entry science data on the structure of Mars' atmosphere up to 100 kilometers define a morning atmosphere with an isothermal region near the surface; a surface pressure 10 percent greater than that recorded simultaneously at the Viking 1 site, which implies a landing site elevation lower by 2.7 kilometers than the reference ellipsoid; and a thermal structure to 100 kilometers at least qualitatively consistent with pre-Viking modeling of thermal tides. The temperature profile exhibits waves whose amplitude grows with altitude, to approximately 25 degrees K at 90 kilometers. These waves are believed to be a consequence of layered vertical oscillations and associated heating and cooling by compression and expansion, excited by the daily thermal cycling of the planet surface. As is necessary for gravity wave propagation, the atmosphere is stable against convection, except possibly in some very local regions. Temperature is everywhere appreciably above the carbon dioxide condensation boundary at both landing sites, precluding the occurrence of carbon dioxide hazes in northern summer at latitudes to at least 50 degrees N. Thus, ground level mists seen in these latitudes would appear to be condensed water vapor.

  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. Atmospheric Entry Studies for Uranus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, P.; Allen, G. A.; Hwang, H. H.; Marley, M. S.; McGuire, M. K.; Garcia, J. A.; Sklyanskiy, E.; Huynh, L. C.; Moses, R. W.

    2014-07-01

    To better understand the technology requirements for Uranus atmospheric entry probe, Entry Vehicle Technology project funded an internal study with a multidisciplinary team from NASA Ames, Langley and JPL. The results of this study are communicated.

  10. Atmospheric Entry Experiments at IRS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auweter-Kurtz, M.; Endlich, P.; Herdrich, G.; Kurtz, H.; Laux, T.; Löhle, S.; Nazina, N.; Pidan, S.

    2002-01-01

    Entering the atmosphere of celestial bodies, spacecrafts encounter gases at velocities of several km/s, thereby being subjected to great heat loads. The thermal protection systems and the environment (plasma) have to be investigated by means of computational and ground facility based simulations. For more than a decade, plasma wind tunnels at IRS have been used for the investigation of TPS materials. Nevertheless, ground tests and computer simulations cannot re- place space flights completely. Particularly, entry mission phases encounter challenging problems, such as hypersonic aerothermodynamics. Concerning the TPS, radiation-cooled materials used for reuseable spacecrafts and ablator tech- nologies are of importance. Besides the mentioned technologies, there is the goal to manage guidance navigation, con- trol, landing technology and inflatable technologies such as ballutes that aim to keep vehicles in the atmosphere without landing. The requirement to save mass and energy for planned interplanetary missions such as Mars Society Balloon Mission, Mars Sample Return Mission, Mars Express or Venus Sample Return mission led to the need for manoeuvres like aerocapture, aero-breaking and hyperbolic entries. All three are characterized by very high kinetic vehicle energies to be dissipated by the manoeuvre. In this field flight data are rare. The importance of these manoeuvres and the need to increase the knowledge of required TPS designs and behavior during such mission phases point out the need of flight experiments. As result of the experience within the plasma diagnostic tool development and the plasma wind tunnel data base, flight experiments like the PYrometric RE-entry EXperiment PYREX were developed, fully qualified and successfully flown. Flight experiments such as the entry spectrometer RESPECT and PYREX on HOPE-X are in the conceptual phase. To increase knowledge in the scope of atmospheric manoeuvres and entries, data bases have to be created combining both

  11. ExoMars entry, descent and landing science

    OpenAIRE

    Ferri, F.; Lewis, S. R.; Withers, P.; Aboudan, A.; Bettanini, C.; Colombatti, G.; Debei, S.; Golombek, M.; Harri, A. M.; Komatsu, G.; Leese, M. R.; Mäkinen, T.; Müller-Wodarg, I.; Ori, G. G.; Patel, M. R.

    2011-01-01

    The entry, descent and landing of ExoMars offer a rare (once-per-mission) opportunity to perform in situ investigation of the martian environment over a wide altitude range. Entry, Descent and Landing System (EDLS) measurements can provide essential data for atmospheric scientific investigations.\\ud \\ud We intend to perform atmospheric science measurements by exploiting data from EDLS engineering sensors and exploiting their readings beyond the expected engineering information.

  12. Elaboration of collisional–radiative models for flows related to planetary entries into the Earth and Mars atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bultel, Arnaud; Annaloro, Julien

    2013-01-01

    The most relevant way to predict the excited state number density in a nonequilibrium plasma is to elaborate a collisional–radiative (CR) model taking into account most of the collisional and radiative elementary processes. Three examples of such an elaboration are given in this paper in the case of various plasma flows related to planetary atmospheric entries. The case of theoretical determination of nitrogen atom ionization or recombination global rate coefficients under electron impact is addressed first. The global rate coefficient can be implemented in multidimensional computational fluid dynamics calculations. The case of relaxation after a shock front crossing a gas of N 2 molecules treated in the framework of the Rankine–Hugoniot assumptions is also studied. The vibrational and electronic specific CR model elaborated in this case allows one to understand how the plasma reaches equilibrium and to estimate the role of the radiative losses. These radiative losses play a significant role at low pressure in the third case studied. This case concerns CO 2 plasma jets inductively generated in high enthalpy wind tunnels used as ground test facilities. We focus our attention on the behaviour of CO and C 2 electronic excited states, the radiative signature of which can be particularly significant in this type of plasma. These three cases illustrate the elaboration of CR models and their coupling with balance equations. (paper)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  14. Overview of the Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillman, Robert; Corliss, James

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model 2010 Version: Users Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justh, H. L.

    2014-01-01

    This Technical Memorandum (TM) presents the Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model 2010 (Mars-GRAM 2010) and its new features. Mars-GRAM is an engineering-level atmospheric model widely used for diverse mission applications. Applications include systems design, performance analysis, and operations planning for aerobraking, entry, descent and landing, and aerocapture. Additionally, this TM includes instructions on obtaining the Mars-GRAM source code and data files as well as running Mars-GRAM. It also contains sample Mars-GRAM input and output files and an example of how to incorporate Mars-GRAM as an atmospheric subroutine in a trajectory code.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Radiation Database for Earth and Mars Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-11-17

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

  18. Mars 2020 Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, Deepak; Wright, Henry; White, Todd; Schoenenberger, Mark; Santos, Jose; Karlgaard, Chris; Kuhl, Chris; Oishi, TOmo; Trombetta, Dominic

    2016-01-01

    This paper will introduce Mars Entry Descent and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI2) on NASA's Mars2020 mission. Mars2020 is a flagship NASA mission with science and technology objectives to help answer questions about possibility of life on Mars as well as to demonstrate technologies for future human expedition. Mars2020 is scheduled for launch in 2020. MEDLI2 is a suite of instruments embedded in the heatshield and backshell thermal protection systems of Mars2020 entry vehicle. The objectives of MEDLI2 are to gather critical aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics and TPS performance data during EDL phase of the mission. MEDLI2 builds up the success of MEDLI flight instrumentation on Mars Science Laboratory mission in 2012. MEDLI instrumentation suite measured surface pressure and TPS temperature on the heatshield during MSL entry into Mars. MEDLI data has since been used for unprecedented reconstruction of aerodynamic drag, vehicle attitude, in-situ atmospheric density, aerothermal heating, transition to turbulence, in-depth TPS performance and TPS ablation. [1,2] In addition to validating predictive models, MEDLI data has highlighted extra margin available in the MSL forebody TPS, which can potentially be used to reduce vehicle parasitic mass. MEDLI2 expands the scope of instrumentation by focusing on quantities of interest not addressed in MEDLI suite. The type the sensors are expanded and their layout on the TPS modified to meet these new objectives. The paper will provide key motivation and governing requirements that drive the choice and the implementation of the new sensor suite. The implementation considerations of sensor selection, qualification, and demonstration of minimal risk to the host mission will be described. The additional challenges associated with mechanical accommodation, electrical impact, data storage and retrieval for MEDLI2 system, which extends sensors to backshell will also be described.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. Entry, Descent, and Landing for Human Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munk, Michelle M.; DwyerCianciolo, Alicia M.

    2012-01-01

    One of the most challenging aspects of a human mission to Mars is landing safely on the Martian surface. Mars has such low atmospheric density that decelerating large masses (tens of metric tons) requires methods that have not yet been demonstrated, and are not yet planned in future Mars missions. To identify the most promising options for Mars entry, descent, and landing, and to plan development of the needed technologies, NASA's Human Architecture Team (HAT) has refined candidate methods for emplacing needed elements of the human Mars exploration architecture (such as ascent vehicles and habitats) on the Mars surface. This paper explains the detailed, optimized simulations that have been developed to define the mass needed at Mars arrival to accomplish the entry, descent, and landing functions. Based on previous work, technology options for hypersonic deceleration include rigid, mid-L/D (lift-to-drag ratio) aeroshells, and inflatable aerodynamic decelerators (IADs). The hypersonic IADs, or HIADs, are about 20% less massive than the rigid vehicles, but both have their technology development challenges. For the supersonic regime, supersonic retropropulsion (SRP) is an attractive option, since a propulsive stage must be carried for terminal descent and can be ignited at higher speeds. The use of SRP eliminates the need for an additional deceleration system, but SRP is at a low Technology Readiness Level (TRL) in that the interacting plumes are not well-characterized, and their effect on vehicle stability has not been studied, to date. These architecture-level assessments have been used to define the key performance parameters and a technology development strategy for achieving the challenging mission of landing large payloads on Mars.

  2. Improved Mars Upper Atmosphere Climatology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.

    2004-01-01

    The detailed characterization of the Mars upper atmosphere is important for future Mars aerobraking activities. Solar cycle, seasonal, and dust trends (climate) as well as planetary wave activity (weather) are crucial to quantify in order to improve our ability to reasonably depict the state of the Mars upper atmosphere over time. To date, our best information is found in the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Accelerometer (ACC) database collected during Phase 1 (Ls = 184 - 300; F10.7 = 70 - 90) and Phase 2 (Ls = 30 - 90; F10.7 = 90 - 150) of aerobraking. This database (100 - 170 km) consists of thermospheric densities, temperatures, and scale heights, providing our best constraints for exercising the coupled Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) and the Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MTGCM). The Planetary Data System (PDS) contains level 0 and 2 MGS Accelerometer data, corresponding to atmospheric densities along the orbit track. Level 3 products (densities, temperatures, and scale heights at constant altitudes) are also available in the PDS. These datasets provide the primary model constraints for the new MGCM-MTGCM simulations summarized in this report. Our strategy for improving the characterization of the Mars upper atmospheres using these models has been three-fold : (a) to conduct data-model comparisons using the latest MGS data covering limited climatic and weather conditions at Mars, (b) to upgrade the 15-micron cooling and near-IR heating rates in the MGCM and MTGCM codes for ad- dressing climatic variations (solar cycle and seasonal) important in linking the lower and upper atmospheres (including migrating tides), and (c) to exercise the detailed coupled MGCM and MTGCM codes to capture and diagnose the planetary wave (migrating plus non-migrating tidal) features throughout the Mars year. Products from this new suite of MGCM-MTGCM coupled simulations are being used to improve our predictions of the structure of the Mars upper atmosphere for the

  3. Trading Robustness Requirements in Mars Entry Trajectory Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafleur, Jarret M.

    2009-01-01

    One of the most important metrics characterizing an atmospheric entry trajectory in preliminary design is the size of its predicted landing ellipse. Often, requirements for this ellipse are set early in design and significantly influence both the expected scientific return from a particular mission and the cost of development. Requirements typically specify a certain probability level (6-level) for the prescribed ellipse, and frequently this latter requirement is taken at 36. However, searches for the justification of 36 as a robustness requirement suggest it is an empirical rule of thumb borrowed from non-aerospace fields. This paper presents an investigation into the sensitivity of trajectory performance to varying robustness (6-level) requirements. The treatment of robustness as a distinct objective is discussed, and an analysis framework is presented involving the manipulation of design variables to effect trades between performance and robustness objectives. The scenario for which this method is illustrated is the ballistic entry of an MSL-class Mars entry vehicle. Here, the design variable is entry flight path angle, and objectives are parachute deploy altitude performance and error ellipse robustness. Resulting plots show the sensitivities between these objectives and trends in the entry flight path angles required to design to these objectives. Relevance to the trajectory designer is discussed, as are potential steps for further development and use of this type of analysis.

  4. Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Mars planetary surface access is one of NASA's biggest technical challenges involving advanced entry, descent, and landing (EDL) technologies and methods. This NASA...

  5. Terminal altitude maximization for Mars entry considering uncertainties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Pingyuan; Zhao, Zeduan; Yu, Zhengshi; Dai, Juan

    2018-04-01

    Uncertainties present in the Mars atmospheric entry process may cause state deviations from the nominal designed values, which will lead to unexpected performance degradation if the trajectory is designed merely based on the deterministic dynamic model. In this paper, a linear covariance based entry trajectory optimization method is proposed considering the uncertainties presenting in the initial states and parameters. By extending the elements of the state covariance matrix as augmented states, the statistical behavior of the trajectory is captured to reformulate the performance metrics and path constraints. The optimization problem is solved by the GPOPS-II toolbox in MATLAB environment. Monte Carlo simulations are also conducted to demonstrate the capability of the proposed method. Primary trading performances between the nominal deployment altitude and its dispersion can be observed by modulating the weights on the dispersion penalty, and a compromised result referring to maximizing the 3σ lower bound of the terminal altitude is achieved. The resulting path constraints also show better satisfaction in a disturbed environment compared with the nominal situation.

  6. Disturbance observer based model predictive control for accurate atmospheric entry of spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chao; Yang, Jun; Li, Shihua; Li, Qi; Guo, Lei

    2018-05-01

    Facing the complex aerodynamic environment of Mars atmosphere, a composite atmospheric entry trajectory tracking strategy is investigated in this paper. External disturbances, initial states uncertainties and aerodynamic parameters uncertainties are the main problems. The composite strategy is designed to solve these problems and improve the accuracy of Mars atmospheric entry. This strategy includes a model predictive control for optimized trajectory tracking performance, as well as a disturbance observer based feedforward compensation for external disturbances and uncertainties attenuation. 500-run Monte Carlo simulations show that the proposed composite control scheme achieves more precise Mars atmospheric entry (3.8 km parachute deployment point distribution error) than the baseline control scheme (8.4 km) and integral control scheme (5.8 km).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abilleira, Fernando; Shidner, Jeremy D.

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Entry, Descent, and Landing Performance for a Mid-Lift-to-Drag Ratio Vehicle at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Breanna J.; Braden, Ellen M.; Sostaric, Ronald R.; Cerimele, Christopher J.; Lu, Ping

    2018-01-01

    In an effort to mature the design of the Mid-Lift-to-Drag ratio Rigid Vehicle (MRV) candidate of the NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) architecture study, end-to-end six-degree-of-freedom (6DOF) simulations are needed to ensure a successful entry, descent, and landing (EDL) design. The EMC study is assessing different vehicle and mission architectures to determine which candidate would be best to deliver a 20 metric ton payload to the surface of Mars. Due to the large mass payload and the relatively low atmospheric density of Mars, all candidates of the EMC study propose to use Supersonic Retro-Propulsion (SRP) throughout the descent and landing phase, as opposed to parachutes, in order to decelerate to a subsonic touchdown. This paper presents a 6DOF entry-to-landing performance and controllability study with sensitivities to dispersions, particularly in the powered descent and landing phases.

  10. The Electrostatic Environments of Mars: Atmospheric Discharges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.; Mackey, Paul J.; Johansen, Michael R.; Hogue, Michael D.; Phillips, James, III; Cox, Rachel E.

    2016-01-01

    The electrostatic environment on Mars is controlled by its ever present atmospheric dust. Dust devils and dust storms tribocharge this dust. Theoretical studies predict that lightning and/or glow discharges should be present on Mars, but none have been directly observed. Experiments are planned to shed light on this issue.

  11. Radio/FADS/IMU integrated navigation for Mars entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xiuqiang; Li, Shuang; Huang, Xiangyu

    2018-03-01

    Supposing future orbiting and landing collaborative exploration mission as the potential project background, this paper addresses the issue of Mars entry integrated navigation using radio beacon, flush air data sensing system (FADS), and inertial measurement unit (IMU). The range and Doppler information sensed from an orbiting radio beacon, the dynamic pressure and heating data sensed from flush air data sensing system, and acceleration and attitude angular rate outputs from an inertial measurement unit are integrated in an unscented Kalman filter to perform state estimation and suppress the system and measurement noise. Computer simulations show that the proposed integrated navigation scheme can enhance the navigation accuracy, which enables precise entry guidance for the given Mars orbiting and landing collaborative exploration mission.

  12. Aerothermodynamic Environments Definition for the Mars Science Laboratory Entry Capsule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edquist, Karl T.; Dyakonov, Artem A.; Wright, Michael J.; Tang, Chun Y.

    2007-01-01

    An overview of the aerothermodynamic environments definition status is presented for the Mars Science Laboratory entry vehicle. The environments are based on Navier-Stokes flowfield simulations on a candidate aeroshell geometry and worst-case entry heating trajectories. Uncertainties for the flowfield predictions are based primarily on available ground data since Mars flight data are scarce. The forebody aerothermodynamics analysis focuses on boundary layer transition and turbulent heating augmentation. Turbulent transition is expected prior to peak heating, a first for Mars entry, resulting in augmented heat flux and shear stress at the same heatshield location. Afterbody computations are also shown with and without interference effects of reaction control system thruster plumes. Including uncertainties, analysis predicts that the heatshield may experience peaks of 225 W/sq cm for turbulent heat flux, 0.32 atm for stagnation pressure, and 400 Pa for turbulent shear stress. The afterbody heat flux without thruster plume interference is predicted to be 7 W/sq cm on the backshell and 10 W/sq cm on the parachute cover. If the reaction control jets are fired near peak dynamic pressure, the heat flux at localized areas could reach as high as 76 W/sq cm on the backshell and 38 W/sq cm on the parachute cover, including uncertainties. The final flight environments used for hardware design will be updated for any changes in the aeroshell configuration, heating design trajectories, or uncertainties.

  13. Nonlinear unbiased minimum-variance filter for Mars entry autonomous navigation under large uncertainties and unknown measurement bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Mengli; Zhang, Yongbo; Fu, Huimin; Wang, Zhihua

    2018-05-01

    High-precision navigation algorithm is essential for the future Mars pinpoint landing mission. The unknown inputs caused by large uncertainties of atmospheric density and aerodynamic coefficients as well as unknown measurement biases may cause large estimation errors of conventional Kalman filters. This paper proposes a derivative-free version of nonlinear unbiased minimum variance filter for Mars entry navigation. This filter has been designed to solve this problem by estimating the state and unknown measurement biases simultaneously with derivative-free character, leading to a high-precision algorithm for the Mars entry navigation. IMU/radio beacons integrated navigation is introduced in the simulation, and the result shows that with or without radio blackout, our proposed filter could achieve an accurate state estimation, much better than the conventional unscented Kalman filter, showing the ability of high-precision Mars entry navigation algorithm. Copyright © 2018 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. MAVEN Observations of Atmospheric Loss at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Shannon; Luhmann, Janet; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Brain, David; LeBlanc, Francis; Modolo, Ronan; Halekas, Jasper S.; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Deighan, Justin; McFadden, James; Espley, Jared R.; Mitchell, David L.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Dong, Yaxue; Dong, Chuanfei; Ma, Yingjuan; Cohen, Ofer; Fränz, Markus; Holmström, Mats; Ramstad, Robin; Hara, Takuya; Lillis, Robert J.

    2016-06-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission has been making observations of the Martian upper atmosphere and its escape to space since November 2014. The subject of atmospheric loss at terrestrial planets is a subject of intense interest not only because of the implications for past and present water reservoirs, but also for its impacts on the habitability of a planet. Atmospheric escape may have been especially effective at Mars, relative to Earth or Venus, due to its smaller size as well as the lack of a global dynamo magnetic field. Not only is the atmosphere less gravitationally bound, but also the lack of global magnetic field allows the impinging solar wind to interact directly with the Martian atmosphere. When the upper atmosphere is exposed to the solar wind, planetary neutrals can be ionized and 'picked up' by the solar wind and swept away.Both neutral and ion escape have played significant roles the long term climate change of Mars, and the MAVEN mission was designed to directly measure both escaping planetary neutrals and ions with high energy, mass, and time resolution. We will present 1.5 years of observations of atmospheric loss at Mars over a variety of solar and solar wind conditions, including extreme space weather events. We will report the average ion escape rate and the spatial distribution of escaping ions as measured by MAVEN and place them in context both with previous measurements of ion loss by other spacecraft (e.g. Phobos 2 and Mars Express) and with estimates of neutral escape rates by MAVEN. We will then report on the measured variability in ion escape rates with different drivers (e.g. solar EUV, solar wind pressure, etc.) and the implications for the total ion escape from Mars over time. Additionally, we will also discuss the implications for atmospheric escape at exoplanets, particularly weakly magnetized planetary bodies orbiting M-dwarfs, and the dominant escape mechanisms that may drive atmospheric erosion in other

  15. Human Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Architecture Study Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia D.; Polsgrove, Tara T.

    2016-01-01

    The Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Architecture Study is a multi-NASA center activity to analyze candidate EDL systems as they apply to human Mars landing in the context of the Evolvable Mars Campaign. The study, led by the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), is performed in conjunction with the NASA's Science Mission Directorate and the Human Architecture Team, sponsored by NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The primary objective is to prioritize future STMD EDL technology investments by (1) generating Phase A-level designs for selected concepts to deliver 20 t human class payloads, (2) developing a parameterized mass model for each concept capable of examining payloads between 5 and 40 t, and (3) evaluating integrated system performance using trajectory simulations. This paper summarizes the initial study results.

  16. Mars atmosphere. Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Atreya, Sushil K; Flesch, Gregory J; Mischna, Michael A; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Farley, Kenneth A; Conrad, Pamela G; Christensen, Lance E; Pavlov, Alexander A; Martín-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, María-Paz; McConnochie, Timothy H; Owen, Tobias; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Glavin, Daniel P; Steele, Andrew; Malespin, Charles A; Archer, P Douglas; Sutter, Brad; Coll, Patrice; Freissinet, Caroline; McKay, Christopher P; Moores, John E; Schwenzer, Susanne P; Bridges, John C; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Gellert, Ralf; Lemmon, Mark T

    2015-01-23

    Reports of plumes or patches of methane in the martian atmosphere that vary over monthly time scales have defied explanation to date. From in situ measurements made over a 20-month period by the tunable laser spectrometer of the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on Curiosity at Gale crater, we report detection of background levels of atmospheric methane of mean value 0.69 ± 0.25 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) at the 95% confidence interval (CI). This abundance is lower than model estimates of ultraviolet degradation of accreted interplanetary dust particles or carbonaceous chondrite material. Additionally, in four sequential measurements spanning a 60-sol period (where 1 sol is a martian day), we observed elevated levels of methane of 7.2 ± 2.1 ppbv (95% CI), implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  17. Vehicle Staging Analysis of the Transition to Supersonic Retropropulsion During Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The landing of the Mars Science Laboratory represents the upper limit of current Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) capabilities for Mars exploration. The succession...

  18. Adaptable Deployable Entry & Placement Technology (ADEPT) for Cubesat Delivery to Mars Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wercinski, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The Adaptable, Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT), uses a mechanical skeleton to deploy a revolutionary carbon fabric system that serves as both heat shield and primary structure during atmospheric entry. The NASA ADEPT project, currently funded by the Game Changing Development Program in STMD is currently focused on 1m class hypersonic decelerators for the delivery of very small payloads ( 5 kg) to locations of interest in an effort to leverage low-cost platforms to rapidly mature the technology while simultaneously delivering high-value science. Preliminary mission design and aerothermal performance testing in arcjets have shown the ADEPT system is quite capable of safe delivery of cubesats to Mars surface. The ability of the ADEPT to transit to Mars in a stowed configuration (similar to an umbrella) provides options for integration with the Mars 2020 cruise stage, even to consider multiple ADEPTs. System-level test campaigns are underway for FY15 execution or planning for FY16. These include deployment testing, wind tunnel testing, system-level arc jet testing, and a sounding rocket flight test. The goal is system level maturation (TRL 6) at a 1m class Mars design reference mission configuration.

  19. The atmosphere and climate of Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Clancy, R Todd; Forget, François; Smith, Michael D; Zurek, Richard W

    2017-01-01

    Humanity has long been fascinated by the planet Mars. Was its climate ever conducive to life? What is the atmosphere like today and why did it change so dramatically over time? Eleven spacecraft have successfully flown to Mars since the Viking mission of the 1970s and early 1980s. These orbiters, landers and rovers have generated vast amounts of data that now span a Martian decade (roughly eighteen years). This new volume brings together the many new ideas about the atmosphere and climate system that have emerged, including the complex interplay of the volatile and dust cycles, the atmosphere-surface interactions that connect them over time, and the diversity of the planet's environment and its complex history. Including tutorials and explanations of complicated ideas, students, researchers and non-specialists alike are able to use this resource to gain a thorough and up-to-date understanding of this most Earth-like of planetary neighbours.

  20. Assessment of environments for Mars Science Laboratory entry, descent, and surface operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Chen, Allen; Barnes, Jeffrey R.; Burkhart, P. Daniel; Cantor, Bruce A.; Dwyer-Cianciolo, Alicia M.; Fergason, Robini L.; Hinson, David P.; Justh, Hilary L.; Kass, David M.; Lewis, Stephen R.; Mischna, Michael A.; Murphy, James R.; Rafkin, Scot C.R.; Tyler, Daniel; Withers, Paul G.

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission aims to land a car-sized rover on Mars' surface and operate it for at least one Mars year in order to assess whether its field area was ever capable of supporting microbial life. Here we describe the approach used to identify, characterize, and assess environmental risks to the landing and rover surface operations. Novel entry, descent, and landing approaches will be used to accurately deliver the 900-kg rover, including the ability to sense and "fly out" deviations from a best-estimate atmospheric state. A joint engineering and science team developed methods to estimate the range of potential atmospheric states at the time of arrival and to quantitatively assess the spacecraft's performance and risk given its particular sensitivities to atmospheric conditions. Numerical models are used to calculate the atmospheric parameters, with observations used to define model cases, tune model parameters, and validate results. This joint program has resulted in a spacecraft capable of accessing, with minimal risk, the four finalist sites chosen for their scientific merit. The capability to operate the landed rover over the latitude range of candidate landing sites, and for all seasons, was verified against an analysis of surface environmental conditions described here. These results, from orbital and model data sets, also drive engineering simulations of the rover's thermal state that are used to plan surface operations.

  1. Atmospheric Tides in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzewich, Scott D,; Newman, C. E; de la Torre Juarez, M.; Wilson, R. J.; Lemmon, M.; Smith, M. D.; Kahanpaa, H.; Harri, A.-M.

    2015-01-01

    Atmospheric tides are the primary source of daily air pressure variation at the surface of Mars. These tides are forced by solar heating of the atmosphere and modulated by the presence of atmospheric dust, topography, and surface albedo and thermal inertia. This results in a complex mix of sun-synchronous and nonsun- synchronous tides propagating both eastward and westward around the planet in periods that are integer fractions of a solar day. The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station on board the Mars Science Laboratory has observed air pressure at a regular cadence for over 1 Mars year and here we analyze and diagnose atmospheric tides in this pressure record. The diurnal tide amplitude varies from 26 to 63 Pa with an average phase of 0424 local true solar time, while the semidiurnal tide amplitude varies from 5 to 20 Pa with an average phase of 0929. We find that both the diurnal and semidiurnal tides in Gale Crater are highly correlated to atmospheric opacity variations at a value of 0.9 and to each other at a value of 0.77, with some key exceptions occurring during regional and local dust storms. We supplement our analysis with MarsWRF general circulation modeling to examine how a local dust storm impacts the diurnal tide in its vicinity. We find that both the diurnal tide amplitude enhancement and regional coverage of notable amplitude enhancement linearly scales with the size of the local dust storm. Our results provide the first long-term record of surface pressure tides near the martian equator.

  2. Small Spacecraft Constellation Concept for Mars Atmospheric Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmar, S. W.; Mannucci, A. J.; Ao, C. O.; Kobayashi, M. M.; Lazio, J.; Marinan, A.; Massone, G.; McCandless, S. E.; Preston, R. A.; Seubert, J.; Williamson, W.

    2017-12-01

    First demonstrated in 1965 when Mariner IV flew by Mars and determined the salient features of its atmosphere, radio occultation experiments have been carried out on numerous planetary missions with great discoveries. These experiments utilize the now classic configuration of a signal from a single planetary spacecraft to Earth receiving stations, where the science data are acquired. The Earth science community advanced the technique to utilizing a constellation of spacecraft with the radio occultation links between the spacecraft, enabled by the infrastructure of the Global Positioning System. With the advent of small and less costly spacecraft, such as planetary CubeSats and other variations, such as the anticipated innovative Mars Cube One mission, crosslinks among small spacecraft can be used to study other planets in the near future. Advantages of this type of experiment include significantly greater geographical coverage, which could reach global coverage over a few weeks with a small number of spacecraft. Repeatability of the global coverage can lead to examining temperature-pressure profiles and ionospheric electron density profiles, on daily, seasonal, annual, or other time scales of interest. The higher signal-to-noise ratio for inter-satellite links, compared to a link to Earth, decreases the design demands on the instrumentation (smaller antennas and transmitters, etc.). After an actual Mars crosslink demonstration, this concept has been in development using Mars as a possible target. Scientific objectives, delivery methods, operational scenarios and end-to-end configuration have been documented. Science objectives include determining the state and variability of the lower Martian atmosphere, which has been an identified as a high priority objective by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, particularly as it relates to entry, descent, and landing and ascent for future crewed and robotic missions. This paper will present the latest research on the

  3. Aerodynamic Interactions of Propulsive Deceleration and Reaction Control System Jets on Mars-Entry Aeroshells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkandry, Hicham

    Future missions to Mars, including sample-return and human-exploration missions, may require alternative entry, descent, and landing technologies in order to perform pinpoint landing of heavy vehicles. Two such alternatives are propulsive deceleration (PD) and reaction control systems (RCS). PD can slow the vehicle during Mars atmospheric descent by directing thrusters into the incoming freestream. RCS can provide vehicle control and steering by inducing moments using thrusters on the hack of the entry capsule. The use of these PD and RCS jets, however, involves complex flow interactions that are still not well understood. The fluid interactions induced by PD and RCS jets for Mars-entry vehicles in hypersonic freestream conditions are investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The effects of central and peripheral PD configurations using both sonic and supersonic jets at various thrust conditions are examined in this dissertation. The RCS jet is directed either parallel or transverse to the freestream flow at different thrust conditions in order to examine the effects of the thruster orientation with respect to the center of gravity of the aeroshell. The physical accuracy of the computational method is also assessed by comparing the numerical results with available experimental data. The central PD configuration decreases the drag force acting on the entry capsule due to a shielding effect that prevents mass and momentum in the hypersonic freestream from reaching the aeroshell. The peripheral PD configuration also decreases the drag force by obstructing the flow around the aeroshell and creating low surface pressure regions downstream of the PD nozzles. The Mach number of the PD jets, however, does not have a significant effect on the induced fluid interactions. The reaction control system also alters the flowfield, surface, and aerodynamic properties of the aeroshell, while the jet orientation can have a significant effect on the control effectiveness

  4. 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.

  5. Calibration OGSEs for multichannel radiometers for Mars atmosphere studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, J. J.; J Álvarez, F.; Gonzalez-Guerrero, M.; Apéstigue, V.; Martín, I.; Fernández, J. M.; Fernán, A. A.; Arruego, I.

    2018-06-01

    This work describes several Optical Ground Support Equipment (OGSEs) developed by INTA (Spanish Institute of Aerospace Technology—Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) for the calibration and characterization of their self-manufactured multichannel radiometers (solar irradiance sensors—SIS) developed for working on the surface of Mars and studying the atmosphere of that planet. Nowadays, INTA is developing two SIS for the ESA ExoMars 2020 and for the JPL/NASA Mars 2020 missions. These calibration OGSEs have been improved since the first model in 2011 developed for Mars MetNet Precursor mission. This work describes the currently used OGSE. Calibration tests provide an objective evidence of the SIS performance, allowing the conversion of the electrical sensor output into accurate physical measurements (irradiance) with uncertainty bounds. Calibration results of the SIS on board of the Dust characterisation, Risk assessment, and Environment Analyzer on the Martian Surface (DREAMS) on board the ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli module (EDM—entry and descent module) are also presented, as well as their error propagation. Theoretical precision and accuracy of the instrument are determined by these results. Two types of OGSE are used as a function of the pursued aim: calibration OGSEs and Optical Fast Verification (OFV) GSE. Calibration OGSEs consist of three setups which characterize with the highest possible accuracy, the responsivity, the angular response and the thermal behavior; OFV OGSE verify that the performance of the sensor is close to nominal after every environmental and qualification test. Results show that the accuracy of the calibrated sensors is a function of the accuracy of the optical detectors and of the light conditions. For normal direct incidence and diffuse light, the accuracy is in the same order of uncertainty as that of the reference cell used for fixing the irradiance, which is about 1%.

  6. Calibration OGSEs for multichannel radiometers for Mars atmosphere studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, J. J.; J Álvarez, F.; Gonzalez-Guerrero, M.; Apéstigue, V.; Martín, I.; Fernández, J. M.; Fernán, A. A.; Arruego, I.

    2018-02-01

    This work describes several Optical Ground Support Equipment (OGSEs) developed by INTA (Spanish Institute of Aerospace Technology—Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) for the calibration and characterization of their self-manufactured multichannel radiometers (solar irradiance sensors—SIS) developed for working on the surface of Mars and studying the atmosphere of that planet. Nowadays, INTA is developing two SIS for the ESA ExoMars 2020 and for the JPL/NASA Mars 2020 missions. These calibration OGSEs have been improved since the first model in 2011 developed for Mars MetNet Precursor mission. This work describes the currently used OGSE. Calibration tests provide an objective evidence of the SIS performance, allowing the conversion of the electrical sensor output into accurate physical measurements (irradiance) with uncertainty bounds. Calibration results of the SIS on board of the Dust characterisation, Risk assessment, and Environment Analyzer on the Martian Surface (DREAMS) on board the ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli module (EDM—entry and descent module) are also presented, as well as their error propagation. Theoretical precision and accuracy of the instrument are determined by these results. Two types of OGSE are used as a function of the pursued aim: calibration OGSEs and Optical Fast Verification (OFV) GSE. Calibration OGSEs consist of three setups which characterize with the highest possible accuracy, the responsivity, the angular response and the thermal behavior; OFV OGSE verify that the performance of the sensor is close to nominal after every environmental and qualification test. Results show that the accuracy of the calibrated sensors is a function of the accuracy of the optical detectors and of the light conditions. For normal direct incidence and diffuse light, the accuracy is in the same order of uncertainty as that of the reference cell used for fixing the irradiance, which is about 1%.

  7. Hypersonic and Supersonic Static Aerodynamics of Mars Science Laboratory Entry Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyakonov, Artem A.; Schoenenberger, Mark; Vannorman, John W.

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes the analysis of continuum static aerodynamics of Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry vehicle (EV). The method is derived from earlier work for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and Mars Path Finder (MPF) and the appropriate additions are made in the areas where physics are different from what the prior entry systems would encounter. These additions include the considerations for the high angle of attack of MSL EV, ablation of the heatshield during entry, turbulent boundary layer, and other aspects relevant to the flight performance of MSL. Details of the work, the supporting data and conclusions of the investigation are presented.

  8. Atmospheric Entry Studies for Venus Missions: 45 Sphere-Cone Rigid Aeroshells and Ballistic Entries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhu, Dinesh K.; Spilker, Thomas R.; Allen, Gary A., Jr.; Hwang, Helen H.; Cappuccio, Gelsomina; Moses, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    The present study considers direct ballistic entries into the atmosphere of Venus using a 45deg sphere-cone rigid aeroshell, a legacy shape that has been used successfully in the past in the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe Mission. For a number of entry mass and heatshield diameter combinations (i.e., various ballistic coefficients) and entry velocities, the trajectory space in terms of entry flight path angles between skip out and -30deg is explored with a 3DoF trajectory code, TRAJ. From these trajectories, the viable entry flight path angle space is determined through the use of mechanical and thermal performance limits on the thermal protection material and science payload; the thermal protection material of choice is entry-grade carbon phenolic, for which a material thermal response model is available. For mechanical performance, a 200 g limit is placed on the peak deceleration load experienced by the science instruments, and 10 bar is assumed as the pressure limit for entry-grade carbon-phenolic material. For thermal performance, inflection points in the total heat load distribution are used as cut off criteria. Analysis of the results shows the existence of a range of critical ballistic coefficients beyond which the steepest possible entries are determined by the pressure limit of the material rather than the deceleration load limit.

  9. Meteorological Predictions in Support of the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothchild, A.; Rafkin, S. C.; Pielke, R. A., Sr.

    2010-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry, descent, and landing (EDL) system employs a standard parachute strategy followed by a new sky crane concept where the rover is lowered to the ground via a tether from a hovering entry vehicle. As with previous missions, EDL system performance is sensitive to atmospheric conditions. While some observations characterizing the mean, large-scale atmospheric temperature and density data are available, there is effectively no information on the atmospheric conditions and variability at the scale that directly affects the spacecraft. In order to evaluate EDL system performance and to assess landing hazards and risk, it is necessary to simulate the atmosphere with a model that provides data at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Models also permit the study of the impact of the highly variable atmospheric dust loading on temperature, density and winds. There are four potential MSL landing sites: Mawrth Valle (22.3 N, 16.5W) , Gale Crater (5.4S, 137.7E), Holden Crater (26.1S, 34W), and Eberswalde Crater (24S, 33W). The final selection of the landing site will balance potential science return against landing and operational risk. Atmospheric modeling studies conducted with the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) is an integral part of the selection process. At each of the landing sites, a variety of simulations are conducted. The first type of simulations provide baseline predictions under nominal atmospheric dust loading conditions within the landing site window of ~Ls 150-170. The second type of simulation explores situations with moderate and high global atmospheric dust loading. The final type of simulation investigates the impact of local dust disturbances at the landing site. Mean and perturbation fields from each type of simulation at each of the potential landing sites are presented in comparison with the engineering performance limitations for the MSL EDL system. Within the lowest scale height, winds

  10. Analytical design of sensors for measuring during terminal phase of atmospheric temperature planetary entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millard, J. P.; Green, M. J.; Sommer, S. C.

    1972-01-01

    An analytical study was conducted to develop a sensor for measuring the temperature of a planetary atmosphere from an entry vehicle traveling at supersonic speeds and having a detached shock. Such a sensor has been used in the Planetary Atmosphere Experiments Test Probe (PAET) mission and is planned for the Viking-Mars mission. The study specifically considered butt-welded thermocouple sensors stretched between two support posts; however, the factors considered are sufficiently general to apply to other sensors as well. This study included: (1) an investigation of the relation between sensor-measured temperature and free-stream conditions; (2) an evaluation of the effects of extraneous sources of heat; (3) the development of a computer program for evaluating sensor response during entry; and (4) a parametric study of sensor design characteristics.

  11. 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.

  12. Mars Atmospheric Capture and Gas Separation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony; Santiago-Maldonado, Edgardo; Gibson, Tracy; Devor, Robert; Captain, James

    2011-01-01

    The Mars atmospheric capture and gas separation project is selecting, developing, and demonstrating techniques to capture and purify Martian atmospheric gases for their utilization for the production of hydrocarbons, oxygen, and water in ISRU systems. Trace gases will be required to be separated from Martian atmospheric gases to provide pure C02 to processing elements. In addition, other Martian gases, such as nitrogen and argon, occur in concentrations high enough to be useful as buffer gas and should be captured as welL To achieve these goals, highly efficient gas separation processes will be required. These gas separation techniques are also required across various areas within the ISRU project to support various consumable production processes. The development of innovative gas separation techniques will evaluate the current state-of-the-art for the gas separation required, with the objective to demonstrate and develop light-weight, low-power methods for gas separation. Gas separation requirements include, but are not limited to the selective separation of: (1) methane and water from un-reacted carbon oxides (C02- CO) and hydrogen typical of a Sabatier-type process, (2) carbon oxides and water from unreacted hydrogen from a Reverse Water-Gas Shift process, (3) carbon oxides from oxygen from a trash/waste processing reaction, and (4) helium from hydrogen or oxygen from a propellant scavenging process. Potential technologies for the separations include freezers, selective membranes, selective solvents, polymeric sorbents, zeolites, and new technologies. This paper and presentation will summarize the results of an extensive literature review and laboratory evaluations of candidate technologies for the capture and separation of C02 and other relevant gases.

  13. Analysis of entry accelerometer data: A case study of Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Withers, Paul; Towner, M. C.; Hathi, B.; Zarnecki, J. C.

    2003-08-01

    Accelerometers are regularly flown on atmosphere-entering spacecraft. Using their measurements, the spacecraft trajectory and the vertical structure of density, pressure, and temperature in the atmosphere through which it descends can be calculated. We review the general procedures for trajectory and atmospheric structure reconstruction and outline them here in detail. We discuss which physical properties are important in atmospheric entry, instead of working exclusively with the dimensionless numbers of fluid dynamics. Integration of the equations of motion governing the spacecraft trajectory is carried out in a novel and general formulation. This does not require an axisymmetric gravitational field or many of the other assumptions that are present in the literature. We discuss four techniques - head-on, drag-only, acceleration ratios, and gyroscopes - for constraining spacecraft attitude, which is the critical issue in the trajectory reconstruction. The head-on technique uses an approximate magnitude and direction for the aerodynamic acceleration, whereas the drag-only technique uses the correct magnitude and an approximate direction. The acceleration ratios technique uses the correct magnitude and an indirect way of finding the correct direction and the gyroscopes technique uses the correct magnitude and a direct way of finding the correct direction. The head-on and drag-only techniques are easy to implement and require little additional information. The acceleration ratios technique requires extensive and expensive aerodynamic modelling. The gyroscopes technique requires additional onboard instrumentation. The effects of errors are briefly addressed. Our implementations of these trajectory reconstruction procedures have been verified on the Mars Pathfinder dataset. We find inconsistencies within the published work of the Pathfinder science team, and in the PDS archive itself, relating to the entry state of the spacecraft. Our atmospheric structure

  14. A Rigid Mid-Lift-to-Drag Ratio Approach to Human Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerimele, Christopher J.; Robertson, Edward A.; Sostaric, Ronald R.; Campbell, Charles H.; Robinson, Phil; Matz, Daniel A.; Johnson, Breanna J.; Stachowiak, Susan J.; Garcia, Joseph A.; Bowles, Jeffrey V.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Current NASA Human Mars architectures require delivery of approximately 20 metric tons of cargo to the surface in a single landing. A proposed vehicle type for performing the entry, descent, and landing at Mars associated with this architecture is a rigid, enclosed, elongated lifting body shape that provides a higher lift-to-drag ratio (L/D) than a typical entry capsule, but lower than a typical winged entry vehicle (such as the Space Shuttle Orbiter). A rigid Mid-L/D shape has advantages for large mass Mars EDL, including loads management, range capability during entry, and human spaceflight heritage. Previous large mass Mars studies have focused more on symmetric and/or circular cross-section Mid-L/D shapes such as the ellipsled. More recent work has shown performance advantages for non-circular cross section shapes. This paper will describe efforts to design a rigid Mid-L/D entry vehicle for Mars which shows mass and performance improvements over previous Mid-L/D studies. The proposed concept, work to date and evolution, forward path, and suggested future strategy are described.

  15. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Siikonen, Timo; Palin, Matti

    2017-04-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested. 1. MetNet Lander The MetNet landing vehicles are using an inflatable entry and descent system instead of rigid heat shields and parachutes as earlier semi-hard landing devices have used. This way the ratio of the payload mass to the overall mass is optimized. The landing impact will burrow the payload container into the Martian soil providing a more favorable thermal environment for the electronics and a suitable orientation of the telescopic boom with external sensors and the radio link antenna. It is planned to deploy several tens of MNLs on the Martian surface operating at least partly at the same time to allow meteorological network science. 2. Strawman Scientific Payload The strawman payload of the two MNL precursor models includes the following instruments: Atmospheric instruments: - MetBaro Pressure device - MetHumi Humidity device - MetTemp Temperature sensors Optical devices: - PanCam Panoramic - MetSIS Solar irradiance sensor with OWLS optical wireless system for data transfer - DS Dust sensor Composition and Structure Devices: Tri-axial magnetometer MOURA Tri-axial System Accelerometer The descent processes dynamic properties are monitored by a special 3-axis

  16. Atmospheric Entry Studies for Venus Missions: 45 deg Sphere-Cone Rigid Aeroshells and Ballistic Entries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabu, Dinesh K.; Allen, Gary A., Jr.; Cappuccio, Gelsomina; Spilker, Thomas R.; Hwang, Helen H.; Moses, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    The present study considers ballistic entries into the atmosphere of Venus using a 45deg sphere-cone rigid aeroshell, a legacy shape that has been used successfully in the past in the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe Mission. For a number of entry mass and capsule diameter combinations (i.e., various ballistic coefficients) and entry velocities, the trajectory space in terms of entry flight path angles between skip out and -30 is explored with a 3DOF trajectory code, TRAJ. Assuming that the thermal protection material of choice is carbon phenolic of flight heritage, the entry flight path angle space is constrained a posteriori by the mechanical and thermal performance parameters of the material. For mechanical performance, a 200 g limit is placed on the peak deceleration load and 10 bar is assumed as the limit for heritage carbon-phenolic material. It is shown that both constraints cannot be active simultaneously. For thermal performance, a heat flux 2.5 kW/sq cm is utilized as a threshold below which the heritage carbon phenolic is considered mass inefficient. Using these constraints, viable entry flight path angle corridors are determined. Analysis of the results also hints at the existence of a range of "critical" ballistic coefficients beyond which the steepest possible entries are determined by the pressure limit of 10 bar. The results are verified against known performance of the various probes used in the Pioneer Venus mission. It is anticipated that the results presented here will serve as a baseline in the development of a new class of ablative materials for future Venus missions.

  17. Mars entry-to-landing trajectory optimization and closed loop guidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilgen, Marc R.; Manning, Raymund A.; Cruz, Manuel I.

    1991-01-01

    The guidance strategy of the Mars Rover Sample Return mission is presented in detail. Aeromaneuver versus aerobrake trades are examined, and an aerobrake analysis is presented which takes into account targeting, guidance, flight control, trajectory profile, delivery accuracy. An aeromaneuver analysis is given which includes the entry corridor, maneuver footprint, guidance, preentry phase, constant drag phase, equilibrium guide phase, variable drag phase, influence of trajectory profile on the entry flight loads, parachute deployment conditions and strategies, and landing accuracy. The Mars terminal descent phase is analyzed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Nonthermal atmospheric escape from Mars and Titan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lammer, H.; Bauer, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    Energy flux spectra and particle concentrations of the hot O and N coronae from Mars and Titan, respectively, resulting primarily from dissociative recombination of molecular ions, have been calculated by means of a Monte Carlo method. The calculated energy flux spectra lead to an escape flux null esc ∼ 6 x 10 6 cm -2 s -1 for Mars and null esc ∼ 2 x 10 6 cm -2 s -1 for Titan, corresponding to a mass loss of about 0.14 kg/s for Mars and about 0.3 kg/s for Titan. (The contribution of electron impact ionization on N 2 amounts to only about 25% of Titan's mass loss.) Mass loss via solar and magnetospheric wind is also estimated using newly calculated mass loading limits. The mass loss via ion pickup from the extended hot atom corona for Mars amounts to about 0.25 kg/s (O + ) and for Titan to about 50 g/s (N 2 + or H 2 CN + ). Thus, the total mass loss rate from Mars and Titan is about the same, i.e., 0.4 kg/s

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodi, Faranak

    2013-01-01

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

  2. RITD — Adapting Mars Entry, Descent and Landing System for Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    The EDLS applicability to Earth’s atmosphere is studied by the EU/RITD project. Project focuses to the analysis and tests of the transonic behaviour of this compact and light weight payload entry system at the Earth re-entry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Design and Simulation Tools for Planetary Atmospheric Entry Vehicles, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Atmospheric entry is one of the most critical phases of flight during planetary exploration missions. During the design of an entry vehicle, experimental and...

  8. Mars Atmosphere Effects on Arc Welds: Phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA has been unprecedented in achieving its goals related to space exploration and furthering the understanding of our solar system. In keeping with this trend, NASA's current mission is to land a team of astronauts on Mars and return them safely to Earth. In addition to comprising much of the structure and life support systems that will be brought to Mars for the habitat and vehicle, titanium and aluminum can be found and mined on Mars and may be used when building structures.Where metals are present, there will be a need for welding capabilities. For welds that need to be made quickly and are located far from heavy resistance or solid state welding machinery, there will be a need for basic arc welding. Arc welding has been a major cornerstone of manufacturing throughout the 20th century, and the portability and capability of gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) will be necessary for repair, manufacturing, and survival on Mars. The two primary concerns for welding on Mars are that the Martian atmosphere contains high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), and the atmospheric pressure is much lower than it is on Earth. The high levels of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere may dissociate and produce oxygen in the arc and therefore increase the risk of oxidation. For simplification, atmospheric pressure will not be taken into account for this experiment. For survival on Mars during this mission, the life support and water filtration systems must be kept operational at all times. In order to ensure that water filtration systems can be repaired in the event of an emergency, it is very important to have the capability to weld. The Orion capsule and Mars lander must also remain operational throughout the duration of the mission to ensure the safe return of the astronauts on the mission to Mars. A better understanding of welding in a Mars environment is important to ensure that repair welds are possible if the Orion capsule/Mars lander or water filtration system is damaged at any point

  9. Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllector/PrOcessor for Lander Ops (MARCO POLO) Atmospheric Processing Module

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The multi-NASA center Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllector/PrOcessor for Lander Operations (MARCO POLO) project was established to build and demonstrate a...

  10. Cometary origin of atmospheric methane variations on Mars unlikely

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roos-Serote, M.; Atreya, S. K.; Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2016-10-01

    The detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars was first reported in 2004. Since then a number of independent observations of methane have been reported, all showing temporal variability. Up until recently, the origin of methane was attributed to sources either indigenous to Mars or exogenous, where methane is a UV degradation byproduct of organics falling on to the surface. Most recently, a new hypothesis has been proposed that argues that the appearance and variation of methane are correlated with specific meteor events at Mars. Indeed, extraplanetary material can be brought to a planet when it passes through a meteoroid stream left behind by cometary bodies orbiting the Sun. This occurs repeatedly at specific times in a planet's year as streams tend to be fairly stable in space. In this paper, we revisit this latest hypothesis by carrying out a complete analysis of all available data on Mars atmospheric methane, including the very recent data not previously published, together with all published predicted meteor events for Mars. Whether we consider the collection of individual data points and predicted meteor events, whether we apply statistical analysis, or whether we consider different time spans between high methane measurements and the occurrence of meteor events, we find no compelling evidence for any correlation between atmospheric methane and predicted meteor events.

  11. Gravity Waves in the Atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Bird, M. K.; Tyler, G. L.; Hinson, D. P.

    2016-12-01

    Gravity waves are atmospheric waves whose restoring force is the buoyancy. They are known to play an essential role in the redistribution of energy, momentum and atmospheric constituents in all stably stratified planetary atmospheres. Possible excitation mechanisms comprise convection in an adjacent atmospheric layer, other atmospheric instabilities like wind shear instabilities, or air flow over orographic obstacles especially in combination with the strong winter jets on Mars. Gravity waves on Mars were observed in the lower atmosphere [1,2] but are also expected to play a major role in the cooling of the thermosphere [3] and the polar warming [4]. A fundamental understanding of the possible source mechanisms is required to reveal the influence of small scale gravity waves on the global atmospheric circulation. Radio occultation profiles from the MaRS experiment on Mars Express [5] with their exceptionally high vertical resolution can be used to study small-scale vertical gravity waves and their global distribution in the lower atmosphere from the planetary boundary layer up to 40 km altitude. Atmospheric instabilities, which are clearly identified in the data, are used to gain further insight into possible atmospheric processes contributing to the excitation of gravity waves. [1] Creasey, J. E., et al.,(2006), Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L01803, doi:10.1029/2005GL024037. [2]Tellmann, S., et al.(2013), J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 118, 306-320, doi:10.1002/jgre.20058. [3]Medvedev, A. S., et al.(2015), J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 120, 913-927. doi:10.1002/2015JE004802.[4] Barnes, J. R. (1990), J. Geophys. Res., 95, B2, 1401-1421. [5] Pätzold, M., et al. (2016), Planet. Space Sci., 127, 44 - 90.

  12. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Siikonen, T.; Palin, M.

    2017-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  13. Dissociative recombination in reactive flows related to planetary atmospheric entries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bultel Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The Dissociative Recombination (DR processes play a significant role in plasma chemistry. This article illustrates this role from the modeling point of view in the case of reactive flows related to atmospheric entry plasmas. Two situations are investigated, for which the studied plasma is nitrogen. The first configuration corresponds to the relaxation process behind a strong shock wave moving at high Mach number in a shock tube, the second one to the recombination taking place in an expanding plasma flowing in a diverging nozzle. In both cases, the collisional-radiative model CoRaM-N2, involving N2, N, N2+, N+ and electrons, is implemented in an Eulerian 1D code able to compute the aerodynamic fields; calculations are performed in standard conditions. We show that, according to the rate coefficients used for the DR processes, the population density of the charged species especially N2+ is strongly modified only for the post-shock flow.

  14. Mars atmospheric escape and evolution; interaction with the solar wind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefière, Eric; Leblanc, François

    2004-09-01

    This tutorial deals with the question of atmospheric escape on Mars. After a brief introduction describing the general context of Mars escape studies, we will present in Section 2 a simplified theory of thermal escape, of both Jeans and hydrodynamic types. The phenomenon of hydrodynamic escape, still hypothetical and not proved to have ever existed on terrestrial planets, will be treated with the help of two well known examples: (i) the isotopic fractionation of xenon in Mars and Earth atmospheres, (ii) the paradox of missing oxygen in Venus atmosphere. In Section 3, a simplified approach of non-thermal escape will be developed, treating in a specific way the different kinds of escape (photochemical escape, ion sputtering, ion escape and ionospheric outflow). As a matter of illustration, some calculations of the relative contributions of these mechanisms, and of their time evolutions, will be given, and the magnitude of the total amount of atmosphere lost by non-thermal escape will be estimated. Section 4 will present the state of knowledge concerning the constraints derived from Mars isotopic geochemistry in terms of past escape and evolution. Finally, a few conclusions, which are more interrogations, will be proposed.

  15. The atmosphere of Mars - Detection of krypton and xenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, T.; Biemann, K.; Biller, J. E.; Lafleur, A. L.; Rushneck, D. R.; Howarth, D. W.

    1976-01-01

    Krypton and xenon have been discovered in the Martian atmosphere with the mass spectrometer on the second Viking lander. Krypton is more abundant than xenon. The relative abundances of the krypton isotopes appear normal, but the ratio of xenon-129 to xenon-132 is enhanced on Mars relative to the terrestrial value for this ratio. Some possible implications of these findings are discussed.

  16. The dynamics in the upper atmospheres of Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Jared M.

    2008-06-01

    This thesis explores the dynamics of two terrestrial bodies: Mars and Titan. At Mars, the coupled Mars General Circulation Model - Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MGCM-MTGCM) is employed to investigate the phenomenon known as Mars winter polar warming. At Titan, a new theoretical model, the Titan Global Ionosphere - Thermosphere Model (T-GITM), is developed, based upon previous work by Ridley et al. [2006]. Using this new model, three separate numerical studies quantify the impacts of solar cycle, seasons, and lower boundary zonal winds on the Titan thermosphere structure and dynamics. At Mars, this thesis investigates thermospheric winter polar warming through three major studies: (1) a systematic analysis of vertical dust mixing in the lower atmosphere and its impact upon the dynamics of the lower thermosphere (100-130 km), (2) an interannual investigation utilizing three years of lower atmosphere infrared (IR) dust optical depth data acquired by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on board Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), and finally (3) a brief study of the MTGCM's response to variations in upward propagating waves and tides from the lower atmosphere. Ultimately, this investigation suggests that an interhemispheric summer-to-winter Hadley circulation, originating in the lower atmosphere and extending into the upper atmosphere, is responsible for thermospheric winter polar warming [ Bell etal. , 2007]. A major branch of this thesis builds upon the previous work of Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000], Müller-Wodarg et al. [2003], M7uuml;ller-Wodarg et al. [2006], and Yelle et al. [2006] as it attempts to explain the structures in Titan's upper atmosphere, between 500-1500 km. Building also upon the recent development of GITM by Ridley et al. [2006], this thesis presents a new theoretical framework, T-GITM. This model is then employed to conduct a series of numerical experiments to quantify the impacts of the solar cycle, the season, and the

  17. Reliability-based trajectory optimization using nonintrusive polynomial chaos for Mars entry mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yuechen; Li, Haiyang

    2018-06-01

    This paper presents the reliability-based sequential optimization (RBSO) method to settle the trajectory optimization problem with parametric uncertainties in entry dynamics for Mars entry mission. First, the deterministic entry trajectory optimization model is reviewed, and then the reliability-based optimization model is formulated. In addition, the modified sequential optimization method, in which the nonintrusive polynomial chaos expansion (PCE) method and the most probable point (MPP) searching method are employed, is proposed to solve the reliability-based optimization problem efficiently. The nonintrusive PCE method contributes to the transformation between the stochastic optimization (SO) and the deterministic optimization (DO) and to the approximation of trajectory solution efficiently. The MPP method, which is used for assessing the reliability of constraints satisfaction only up to the necessary level, is employed to further improve the computational efficiency. The cycle including SO, reliability assessment and constraints update is repeated in the RBSO until the reliability requirements of constraints satisfaction are satisfied. Finally, the RBSO is compared with the traditional DO and the traditional sequential optimization based on Monte Carlo (MC) simulation in a specific Mars entry mission to demonstrate the effectiveness and the efficiency of the proposed method.

  18. The atmospheric escape at Mars: complementing the scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilensten, Jean; Simon, Cyril; Barthélémy, Mathieu; Thissen, Roland; Ehrenreich, David; Gronoff, Guillaume; Witasse, Olivier

    2013-04-01

    In the recent years, the presence of dications in the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, Earth and Titan has been modeled and assessed. These studies also suggested that these ions could participate to the escape of the planetary atmospheres because a large fraction of them is unstable and highly ener- getic. When they dissociate, their internal energy is transformed into kinetic energy which may be larger than the escape energy. This study assesses the impact of the doubly-charged ions in the escape of CO2-dominated planetary atmospheres and to compare it to the escape of thermal photo-ions.We solve a Boltzmann transport equation at daytime taking into account the dissociative states of CO++ for a simplified single constituent atmosphere of a 2 case-study planet. We compute the escape of fast ions using a Beer-Lambert approach. We study three test-cases. On a Mars-analog planet in today's conditions, we retrieve the measured electron escape flux. When comparing the two mechanisms (i.e. excluding solar wind effects, sputtering ...), the escape due to the fast ions issuing from the dissociation of dications may account for up to 6% of the total and the escape of thermal ions for the remaining. We show that these two mechanisms cannot explain the escape of the atmosphere since the magnetic field vanished but complement the other processes and allow writing the scenario of the Mars escape. We show that the atmosphere of a Mars analog planet would empty in another giga years and a half. At Venus orbit, the contribution of the dications in the escape rate is negligible.When simulating the hot Jupiter HD209458b, the two processes cannot explain the measured escape flux of C+.

  19. Noble gases in Mars atmosphere: new precise analysis with Paloma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarda, Ph.; Paloma Team

    2003-04-01

    The Viking mission embarked a mass spectrometer designed by Alfred O. Nier that yielded the first determination of the elemental and isotopic composition of noble gases in Mars atmosphere. For example, the 40Ar/36Ar ratio in martian air is roughly 10 fold that in terrestrial air. This extraordinary accomplishment, however, has furnished only partial results with large analytical uncertainties. For example, we do not know the isotopic composition of helium, and only very poorly that of Ne, Kr and Xe. In planetary science, it is fundamental to have a good knowledge of the atmosphere because this serves as a reference for all further studies of volatiles. In addition, part of our present knowledge of Mars atmosphere is based on the SNC meteorites, and again points to important differences between the atmospheres of Earth and Mars. For example the 129Xe/132Xe ratio of martian atmosphere would be twice that of terrestrial air and the 36Ar/38Ar ratio strongly different from the terrestrial or solar value. There is a need for confirming that the atmospheric components found in SNC meteorites actually represents the atmosphere of Mars, or to determine how different they are. Paloma is an instrument designed to generate elemental and isotopic data for He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe (and other gases) using a mass spectrometer with a purification and separation line. Gas purification and separation did not exist on the Vicking instrument. Because Paloma includes purification and separation, we expect strong improvement in precision. Ne, Ar and Xe isotope ratios should be obtained with an accuracy of better than 1%. Determination of the presently unknown ^3He/^4He ratio is also awaited from this experiment. Knowledge of noble gas isotopes in Mars atmosphere will allow some insight into major planetary processes such as degassing (^3He/^4He, 40Ar/36Ar, 129Xe/130Xe, 136Xe/130Xe), gravitational escape to space (^3He/^4He, 20Ne/22Ne), hydrodynamic escape and/or impact erosion of the

  20. Titan Lifting Entry & Atmospheric Flight (T-LEAF) Science Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, G.; Sen, B.; Ross, F.; Sokol, D.

    2016-12-01

    Northrop Grumman has been developing the Titan Lifting Entry & Atmospheric Flight (T-LEAF) sky rover to roam the lower atmosphere and observe at close quarters the lakes and plains of Saturn's ocean moon, Titan. T-LEAF also supports surface exploration and science by providing precision delivery of in-situ instruments to the surface of Titan. T-LEAF is a highly maneuverable sky rover and its aerodynamic shape (i.e., a flying wing) does not restrict it to following prevailing wind patterns on Titan, but allows mission operators to chart its course. This freedom of mobility allows T-LEAF to follow the shorelines of Titan's methane lakes, for example, or to target very specific surface locations. We will present a straw man concept of T-LEAF, including size, mass, power, on-board science payloads and measurement, and surface science dropsonde deployment CONOPS. We will discuss the various science instruments and their vehicle level impacts, such as meteorological and electric field sensors, acoustic sensors for measuring shallow depths, multi-spectral imagers, high definition cameras and surface science dropsondes. The stability of T-LEAF and its long residence time on Titan will provide for time to perform a large aerial survey of select prime surface targets deployment of dropsondes at selected locations surface measurements that are coordinated with on-board remote measurements communication relay capabilities to orbiter (or Earth). In this context, we will specifically focus upon key factors impacting the design and performance of T-LEAF science: science payload accommodation, constraints and opportunities characteristics of flight, payload deployment and measurement CONOPS in the Titan atmosphere. This presentation will show how these factors provide constraints as well as enable opportunities for novel long duration scientific studies of Titan's surface.

  1. Seasonal Water Transport in the Atmosphere of Mars: Applications of a Mars General Circulation Model Using Mars Global Surveyor Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, Jeffery L.; Bridger, Alison F. C.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1999-01-01

    This is a Final Report for a Joint Research Interchange (JRI) between NASA Ames Research Center and San Jose State University, Department of Meteorology. We present below a summary of progress made during the duration of this JRI. The focus of this JRI has been to investigate seasonal water vapor transport in the atmosphere of Mars and its effects on the planet's present climate. To this end, the primary task has been to adapt a new dynamical processor for the adiabatic tendencies of the atmospheric circulation into the NASA Ames Mars general circulation model (MGCM). Using identical boundary and initial conditions, several comparative tests between the new and old MGCMs have been performed and the nature of the simulated circulations have been diagnosed. With confidence that the updated version of the Ames MGCM produces quite similar mean and eddy circulation statistics, the new climate model is well poised as a tool to pursue fundamental questions related to the spatial and seasonal variations of atmospheric water vapor on Mars, and to explore exchanges of water with non-atmospheric reservoirs and transport within its atmosphere. In particular, the role of surface sources and sinks can be explored, the range of water-vapor saturation altitudes can be investigated, and plausible precipitation mechanisms can be studied, for a range of atmospheric dust loadings. Such future investigations can contribute to a comprehensive study of surface inventories, exchange mechanisms, and the relative importance of atmospheric transport Mars' water cycle. A listing of presentations made and manuscripts submitted during the course of this project is provided.

  2. A carbon dioxide/methane greenhouse atmosphere on early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, L. L.; Kasting, J. F.

    1993-01-01

    One explanation for the formation of fluvial surface features on early Mars is that the global average surface temperature was maintained at or above the freezing point of water by the greenhouse warming of a dense CO2 atmosphere; however, Kasting has shown that CO2 alone is insufficient because the formation of CO2 clouds reduces the magnitude of the greenhouse effect. It is possible that other gases, such as NH3 and CH4, were present in the early atmosphere of Mars and contributed to the greenhouse effect. Kasting et al. investigated the effect of NH3 in a CO2 atmosphere and calculated that an NH3 mixing ratio of approximately 5 x 10 (exp -4) by volume, combined with a CO2 partial pressure of 4-5 bar, could generate a global average surface temperature of 273 K near 3.8 b.y. ago when the fluvial features are believed to have formed. Atmospheric NH3 is photochemically converted to N2 by ultraviolet radiation at wavelengths shortward of 230 nm; maintenance of sufficient NH3 concentrations would therefore require a source of NH3 to balance the photolytic destruction. We have used a one-dimensional photochemical model to estimate the magnitude of the NH3 source required to maintain a given NH3 concentration in a dense CO2 atmosphere. We calculate that an NH3 mixing ratio of 10(exp -4) requires a flux of NH3 on the order of 10(exp 12) molecules /cm-s. This figure is several orders of magnitude greater than estimates of the NH3 flux on early Mars; thus it appears that NH3 with CO2 is not enough to keep early Mars warm.

  3. Effects of meteorite impacts on the atmospheric evolution of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Lê Binh San; Karatekin, Ozgür; Dehant, Véronique

    2009-01-01

    Early in its history, Mars probably had a denser atmosphere with sufficient greenhouse gases to sustain the presence of stable liquid water at the surface. Impacts by asteroids and comets would have played a significant role in the evolution of the martian atmosphere, not only by causing atmospheric erosion but also by delivering material and volatiles to the planet. We investigate the atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles with an analytical model that takes into account the impact simulation results and the flux of impactors given in the literature. The atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles are calculated to obtain the atmospheric pressure evolution. Our results suggest that the impacts alone cannot satisfactorily explain the loss of significant atmospheric mass since the Late Noachian (approximately 3.7-4 Ga). A period with intense bombardment of meteorites could have increased the atmospheric loss; but to explain the loss of a speculative massive atmosphere in the Late Noachian, other factors of atmospheric erosion and replenishment also need to be taken into account.

  4. Trajectory Guidance for Mars Robotic Precursors: Aerocapture, Entry, Descent, and Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sostaric, Ronald R.; Zumwalt, Carlie; Garcia-Llama, Eduardo; Powell, Richard; Shidner, Jeremy

    2011-01-01

    Future crewed missions to Mars require improvements in landed mass capability beyond that which is possible using state-of-the-art Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) systems. Current systems are capable of an estimated maximum landed mass of 1-1.5 metric tons (MT), while human Mars studies require 20-40 MT. A set of technologies were investigated by the EDL Systems Analysis (SA) project to assess the performance of candidate EDL architectures. A single architecture was selected for the design of a robotic precursor mission, entitled Exploration Feed Forward (EFF), whose objective is to demonstrate these technologies. In particular, inflatable aerodynamic decelerators (IADs) and supersonic retro-propulsion (SRP) have been shown to have the greatest mass benefit and extensibility to future exploration missions. In order to evaluate these technologies and develop the mission, candidate guidance algorithms have been coded into the simulation for the purposes of studying system performance. These guidance algorithms include aerocapture, entry, and powered descent. The performance of the algorithms for each of these phases in the presence of dispersions has been assessed using a Monte Carlo technique.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Mars atmospheric water vapor abundance: 1996-1997

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprague, A. L.; Hunten, D. M.; Doose, L. R.; Hill, R. E.

    2003-05-01

    Measurements of martian atmospheric water vapor made throughout Ls = 18.0°-146.4° (October 3, 1996-July 12, 1997) show changes in Mars humidity on hourly, daily, and seasonal time scales. Because our observing program during the 1996-1997 Mars apparition did not include concomitant measurement of nearby CO 2 bands, high northern latitude data were corrected for dust and aerosol extinction assuming an optical depth of 0.8, consistent with ground-based and HST imaging of northern dust storms. All other measurements with airmass greater than 3.5 were corrected using a total optical depth of 0.5. Three dominant results from this data set are as follows: (1) pre- and post-opposition measurements made with the slit crossing many hours of local time on Mars' Earth-facing disk show a distinct diurnal pattern with highest abundances around and slightly after noon with low abundances in the late afternoon, (2) measurements of water vapor over the Mars Pathfinder landing site (Carl Sagan Memorial Station) on July 12, 1997, found 21 ppt μm in the spatial sector centered near 19° latitude, 36° longitude while abundances around the site varied from as low as 6 to as high as 28 ppt μm, and (3) water vapor abundance is patchy on hourly and daily time scales but follows the usual seasonal trends.

  8. Wave phenomena comparison between Mars and Titan upper atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elrod, Meredith K.; Bell, J. M.

    2013-10-01

    We will examine the presence of waves in the neutral atmospheres of two terrestrial bodies: Mars and Titan. We will examine the aerobraking datasets from both the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Odyssey (ODY) missions, analyzing the neutral densities to characterize the planetary tides and/or smaller-scale internal gravity waves present in the data. While several studies have examined these features before at Mars (e.g., Forbes et al. [2002] and Fritts and Tolson [2006]), we will be focusing on examining whether or not the wave features observed in the thermosphere could be explained primarily with planetary tides, as posted recently in Klienbohl et al. [2013]. In addition to this, we will also examine the neutral densities obtained by the Cassini Ion-Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) in order to determine if planetary tides can explain the numerous wave-like features that have been interpreted as gravity waves propagating vertically (cf., Mueller-Wodarg et al. [2008], Cui et al. [2013], and Snowden et al. [2013]).

  9. Polar warming in the middle atmosphere of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, D.; Mumma, M. J.; Espenak, F.; Kostiuk, T.; Zipoy, D.

    1986-01-01

    During the 1984 Mars opposition, ground-based laser heterodyne spectroscopy was obtained for the nonthermal core emission of the 10.33-micron R(8) and 10.72-micron P(32) lines of C-12(O-16)2 at 23 locations on the Martian disk. It is deduced on the basis of these data that the temperature of the middle Martian atmosphere varies with latitude, and a meridional gradient of 0.4-0.9 K/deg latitude is indicated. The highest temperatures are noted to lie at high latitudes in the winter hemisphere; as in the terrestrial case of seasonal effects at the menopause, this winter polar warming in the Martian middle atmosphere requires departures from radiative equilibrium. Two-dimensional circulation model comparisons with these results indicate that atmospheric dust may enhance this dynamical heating at high winter latitudes.

  10. Studying the Mars atmosphere using a SOIR Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, R.; Vandaele, A.; Daerden, F.; Neefs, E.; Mahieux, A.; Wilquet, V.; Montmessin, F.; Bertaux, J.; McConnell, J. C.; Kaminski, J. W.

    2009-05-01

    SOIR (Solar Occultation InfraRed spectrometer) is currently part of the SPICAV/SOIR instrument on board the Venus Express orbiter (VEX). SOIR, an Echelle infrared spectrometer using an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) for the order selection, is probing the atmosphere by solar occultation, operating between 2.2 and 4.3 μm, with a resolution of 0.15 cm-1. This spectral range is suitable for the detection of several key components of planetary atmospheres, including H2O and its isotopologue HDO, CH4 and other trace species. The SOIR instrument was designed to have a minimum of moving parts, to be light and compact in order to fit on top of the SPICAV instrument. The AOTF allows a narrow range of wavelengths to pass, according to the radio frequency applied to the TeO2 crystal; this selects the order. The advantage of the AOTF is that different orders can be observed quickly and easily during one occultation. To obtain a compact optical scheme, a Littrow configuration was implemented in which the usual collimating and imaging lenses are merged into a single off-axis parabolic mirror. The light is diffracted on the echelle grating, where orders overlap and addition occurs, and finally is recorded by the detector. The detector is 320x256 pixels and is cooled to 88K during an occultation measurement, to maximise the signal to noise ratio. SOIR on VEX has been in orbit around Venus since April 2006, allowing us to characterise the instrument and study its performance. These data have allowed the engineering team to devise several instrumental improvements. The next step in further improving the readiness for Martian atmospheric studies comes in close collaboration with the Mars Atmospheric Modelling group at BIRA-IASB. A General Circulation Model is used to simulate the Martian atmosphere. Currently work is underway with SPICAM data to verify the GCM inputs and outputs. Later the GCM output will be used as feedback for instrumental design of both an improved version

  11. Guidance and Control Algorithms for the Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jody L.; CwyerCianciolo, Alicia M.; Powell, Richard W.; Shidner, Jeremy D.; Garcia-Llama, Eduardo

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of the Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis (EDL-SA) study was to identify feasible technologies that will enable human exploration of Mars, specifically to deliver large payloads to the Martian surface. This paper focuses on the methods used to guide and control two of the contending technologies, a mid- lift-to-drag (L/D) rigid aeroshell and a hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (HIAD), through the entry portion of the trajectory. The Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST2) is used to simulate and analyze the trajectories of the contending technologies and guidance and control algorithms. Three guidance algorithms are discussed in this paper: EDL theoretical guidance, Numerical Predictor-Corrector (NPC) guidance and Analytical Predictor-Corrector (APC) guidance. EDL-SA also considered two forms of control: bank angle control, similar to that used by Apollo and the Space Shuttle, and a center-of-gravity (CG) offset control. This paper presents the performance comparison of these guidance algorithms and summarizes the results as they impact the technology recommendations for future study.

  12. Evaluation of the Atmospheric Chemical Entropy Production of Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Delgado-Bonal

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Thermodynamic disequilibrium is a necessary situation in a system in which complex emergent structures are created and maintained. It is known that most of the chemical disequilibrium, a particular type of thermodynamic disequilibrium, in Earth’s atmosphere is a consequence of life. We have developed a thermochemical model for the Martian atmosphere to analyze the disequilibrium by chemical reactions calculating the entropy production. It follows from the comparison with the Earth atmosphere that the magnitude of the entropy produced by the recombination reaction forming O3 (O + O2 + CO2 ⥦ O3 + CO2 in the atmosphere of the Earth is larger than the entropy produced by the dominant set of chemical reactions considered for Mars, as a consequence of the low density and the poor variety of species of the Martian atmosphere. If disequilibrium is needed to create and maintain self-organizing structures in a system, we conclude that the current Martian atmosphere is unable to support large physico-chemical structures, such as those created on Earth.

  13. Ablation and chemical alteration of cosmic dust particles during entry into the earth`s atmosphere

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rudraswami, N.G.; ShyamPrasad, M.; Dey, S.; Plane, J.M.C.; Feng, W.; Carrillo-Sanchez, J.D.; Fernandes, D.

    Most dust-sized cosmic particles undergo ablation and chemical alteration during atmospheric entry, which alters their original properties. A comprehensive understanding of this process is essential in order to decipher their pre...

  14. A New Look at Atmospheric Water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Y. L.; Kass, D. M.

    1998-09-01

    Water is a key component of the Martian climate, both at present and over the history of the planet. The current atmosphere averages ~ 10 pr-mu m of water. Its D/H ratio is enriched by a factor of five relative to terrestrial water, presumably due to water loss by escape. Based on H loss rates, H_2O loss is 10(-3) pr-mu m y(-1) . At this rate, the atmospheric reservoir would be depleted in 10(4) years, but there are several other reservoirs of water (the permanent northern polar cap, high latitude ground ice, and adsorbed water in the regolith) that should keep the atmospheric reservoir constant since its size climatologically controlled. Recently, Krasnopolsky et al. (1998) measured the D/H ratio in HD in the upper atmosphere. Their measurement implies that the fractionation factor, F (efficiency of D escape relative to H), is ~ 0.02. Mars has lost ~ 80 m of water via fractionating processes. This implies that Mars has an exchangeable reservoir equivalent to a ~ 13 m global layer, which represents a polar cap 2000 km in diameter (the Martian northern permanent cap is about 1200 km). Thus, while the northern permanent cap may be a significant water reservoir, it is probably not the only one. One of the major issues is the time-scale and mechanism for exchangeable reservoirs to buffer the atmosphere. During periods of high obliquity, high latitude water may be forced to migrate and equilibrate with the atmosphere in the process. But the low F value, combined with the rapid loss, implies that there has to be at least partial exchange on shorter time-scales to avoid extremely high D/H values. Over the last 4 x 10(5) years, since the last period of high obliquity, 40 pr-mu m of water have been lost. In order to keep this from causing more than a factor of 2 change in the atmospheric water D/H, at least 40 pr-mu m needs to have been involved in the hydrological cycle. This requires cycling through the atmosphere the equivalent of a 2 cm thick layer of ice covering the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  16. Waves in the middle and upper atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Hinson, D. P.; Peter, K.; Tyler, G. L.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric waves play a crucial role in the Martian atmosphere. They are responsible for the redistribution of momentum, energy and dust and for the coupling of the different atmospheric regions on Mars. Almost all kinds of waves have been observed in the lower atmosphere (e.g. stationary and transient waves, baroclinic waves as well as migrating and non-migrating thermal tides, gravity waves, etc...). Atmospheric waves are also known to exist in the middle atmosphere of Mars ( 70-120 km, e.g. by the SPICAM instrument on Mars Express). In the thermosphere, thermal tides have been observed e.g. by radio occultation or accelerometer measurements on MGS. Recently, the NGIMS instrument on MAVEN reported gravity waves in the thermosphere of Mars. Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science experiment MaRS on Mars Express can analyse the temperature, pressure and neutral number density profiles in the lower atmosphere (from a few hundred metres above the surface up to 40-50 km) and electron density profiles in the ionosphere of Mars. Wavelike structures have been detected below the main ionospheric layers (M1 & M2) and in the topside of the ionosphere. The two coherent frequencies of the MaRS experiment allow to discriminate between plasma density fluctuations in the ionosphere and Doppler related frequency shifts caused by spacecraft movement. A careful analysis of the observed electron density fluctuations in combination with sensitivity studies of the radio occultation technique will be used to classify the observed fluctuations. The MaRS experiment is funded by DLR under grant 50QM1401.

  17. Analytic Development of a Reference Profile for the First Entry in a Skip Atmospheric Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Llama, Eduardo

    2010-01-01

    This note shows that a feasible reference drag profile for the first entry portion of a skip entry can be generated as a polynomial expression of the velocity. The coefficients of that polynomial are found through the resolution of a system composed of m + 1 equations, where m is the degree of the drag polynomial. It has been shown that a minimum of five equations (m = 4) are required to establish the range and the initial and final conditions on velocity and flight path angle. It has been shown that at least one constraint on the trajectory can be imposed through the addition of one extra equation in the system, which must be accompanied by the increase in the degree of the drag polynomial. In order to simplify the resolution of the system of equations, the drag was considered as being a probability density function of the velocity, with the velocity as a distribution function of the drag. Combining this notion with the introduction of empirically derived constants, it has been shown that the system of equations required to generate the drag profile can be successfully reduced to a system of linear algebraic equations. For completeness, the resulting drag profiles have been flown using the feedback linearization method of differential geometric control as a guidance law with the error dynamics of a second order homogeneous equation in the form of a damped oscillator. Satisfactory results were achieved when the gains in the error dynamics were changed at a certain point along the trajectory that is dependent on the velocity and the curvature of the drag as a function of the velocity. Future work should study the capacity to update the drag profile in flight when dispersions are introduced. Also, future studies should attempt to link the first entry, as presented and controlled in this note, with a more standard control concept for the second entry, such as the Apollo entry guidance, to try to assess the overall skip entry performance. A guidance law that includes

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1976-03-01

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

  19. Size Scales for Thermal Inhomogeneities in Mars' Atmosphere Surface Layer: Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihalov, John D.; Haberle, Robert M.; Seiff, Alvin; Murphy, James R.; Schofield, John T.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Atmospheric temperature measurement at three heights with thin wire thermocouples on the 1.1 m Mars Pathfinder meteorology must allow estimates of the integral scale of the atmospheric thermal turbulence during an 83 sol period that begins in the summer. The integral scale is a measure for regions of perturbations. In turbulent media that roughly characterizes locations where the perturbations are correlated. Excluding some to intervals with violent excursions of the mean temperatures, integral scale values are found that increase relatively rapidly from a few tenths meters or less near down to several meters by mid-morning. During mid-morning, the diurnal and shorter time scale wind direction variations often place the meteorology mast in the thermal wake of the Lander.

  20. High performance modeling of atmospheric re-entry vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Alexandre; Scalabrin, Leonardo C; Boyd, Iain D

    2012-01-01

    Re-entry vehicles designed for space exploration are usually equipped with thermal protection systems made of ablative material. In order to properly model and predict the aerothermal environment of the vehicle, it is imperative to account for the gases produced by ablation processes. In the case of charring ablators, where an inner resin is pyrolyzed at a relatively low temperature, the composition of the gas expelled into the boundary layer is complex and may lead to thermal chemical reactions that cannot be captured with simple flow chemistry models. In order to obtain better predictions, an appropriate gas flow chemistry model needs to be included in the CFD calculations. Using a recently developed chemistry model for ablating carbon-phenolic-in-air species, a CFD calculation of the Stardust re-entry at 71 km is presented. The code used for that purpose has been designed to take advantage of the nature of the problem and therefore remains very efficient when a high number of chemical species are involved. The CFD result demonstrates the need for such chemistry model when modeling the flow field around an ablative material. Modeling of the nonequilibrium radiation spectra is also presented, and compared to the experimental data obtained during Stardust re-entry by the Echelle instrument. The predicted emission from the CN lines compares quite well with the experimental results, demonstrating the validity of the current approach.

  1. Risk-Constrained Dynamic Programming for Optimal Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Masahiro; Kuwata, Yoshiaki

    2013-01-01

    A chance-constrained dynamic programming algorithm was developed that is capable of making optimal sequential decisions within a user-specified risk bound. This work handles stochastic uncertainties over multiple stages in the CEMAT (Combined EDL-Mobility Analyses Tool) framework. It was demonstrated by a simulation of Mars entry, descent, and landing (EDL) using real landscape data obtained from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Although standard dynamic programming (DP) provides a general framework for optimal sequential decisionmaking under uncertainty, it typically achieves risk aversion by imposing an arbitrary penalty on failure states. Such a penalty-based approach cannot explicitly bound the probability of mission failure. A key idea behind the new approach is called risk allocation, which decomposes a joint chance constraint into a set of individual chance constraints and distributes risk over them. The joint chance constraint was reformulated into a constraint on an expectation over a sum of an indicator function, which can be incorporated into the cost function by dualizing the optimization problem. As a result, the chance-constraint optimization problem can be turned into an unconstrained optimization over a Lagrangian, which can be solved efficiently using a standard DP approach.

  2. Experimental Modeling of Sterilization Effects for Atmospheric Entry Heating on Microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Wayne W.; Spry, James A.; Ronney, Paul D.; Pandian, Nathan R.; Welder, Eric

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this research was to design, build, and test an experimental apparatus for studying the parameters of atmospheric entry heating, and the inactivation of temperature-resistant bacterial spores. The apparatus is capable of controlled, rapid heating of sample coupons to temperatures of 200 to 350 C and above. The vacuum chamber permits operation under vacuum or special atmospheric gas mixtures.

  3. 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.

  4. Mid-Lift-to-Drag Ratio Rigid Vehicle Control System Design and Simulation for Human Mars Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Breanna J.; Cerimele, Christopher J.; Stachowiak, Susan J.; Sostaric, Ronald R.; Matz, Daniel A.; Lu, Ping

    2018-01-01

    The Mid-Lift-to-Drag Ratio Rigid Vehicle (MRV) is a proposed candidate in the NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign's (EMC) Pathfinder Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) architecture study. The purpose of the study is to design a mission and vehicle capable of transporting a 20mt payload to the surface of Mars. The MRV is unique in its rigid, asymmetrical lifting-body shape which enables a higher lift-to-drag ratio (L/D) than the typical robotic Mars entry capsule vehicles that carry much less mass. This paper presents the formulation and six-degree-of-freedom (6DOF) performance of the MRV's control system, which uses both aerosurfaces and a propulsive reaction control system (RCS) to affect longitudinal and lateral directional behavior.

  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. Atmospheric and surface properties of Mars obtained by infrared spectroscopy on Mariner 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrath, B.; Curran, R.; Hanel, R.; Kunde, V.; Maguire, W.; Pearl, J.; Pirraglia, J.; Welker, J.; Burke, T.

    1973-01-01

    The infrared spectroscopy experiment on Mariner 9 obtained data over much of Mars. Interpretation of the thermal emission of Mars in terms of atmospheric temperatures, wind fields and dynamics, surface temperatures, surface pressure and topography, mineral composition, and minor atmospheric constituents including isotopic ratios, as well as a search for unexpected phenomena are reported.

  7. RITD - Re-entry: Inflatable Technology Development in Russian Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

    A new generation of inflatable Entry, Descent and Landing System (EDLS) for Mars has been developed. It is used in both the initial atmospheric entry and atmospheric descent before the semi-hard impact of the penetrator into Martian surface. The EDLS applicability to Earth's atmosphere is studied by the EU/RITD [1] project. Project focuses on the analysis and tests of the transonic behaviour of this compact and light weight payload entry system at the Earth re-entry.

  8. Evidence of water vapor in excess of saturation in the atmosphere of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltagliati, L; Montmessin, F; Fedorova, A; Korablev, O; Forget, F; Bertaux, J-L

    2011-09-30

    The vertical distribution of water vapor is key to the study of Mars' hydrological cycle. To date, it has been explored mainly through global climate models because of a lack of direct measurements. However, these models assume the absence of supersaturation in the atmosphere of Mars. Here, we report observations made using the SPICAM (Spectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars) instrument onboard Mars Express that provide evidence of the frequent presence of water vapor in excess of saturation, by an amount far surpassing that encountered in Earth's atmosphere. This result contradicts the widespread assumption that atmospheric water on Mars cannot exist in a supersaturated state, directly affecting our long-term representation of water transport, accumulation, escape, and chemistry on a global scale.

  9. 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.

  10. Radon entry into buildings: Effects of atmospheric pressure fluctuations and building structural factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, A.L.

    1996-05-01

    An improved understanding of the factors that control radon entry into buildings is needed in order to reduce the public health risks caused by exposure to indoor radon. This dissertation examines three issues associated with radon entry into buildings: (1) the influence of a subslab gravel layer and the size of the openings between the soil and the building interior on radon entry; (2) the effect of atmospheric pressure fluctuations on radon entry; and (3) the development and validation of mathematical models which simulate radon and soil-gas entry into houses. Experiments were conducted using two experimental basements to examine the influence of a subslab gravel layer on advective radon entry driven by steady indoor-outdoor pressure differences. These basement structures are identical except that in one the floor slab lies directly on native soil whereas in the other the slab lies on a high-permeability gravel layer. The measurements indicate that a high permeability subslab gravel layer increases the advective radon entry rate into the structure by as much as a factor of 30. The magnitude of the enhancement caused by the subslab gravel layer depends on the area of the openings in the structure floor; the smaller the area of these openings the larger the enhancement in the radon entry rate caused by the subslab gravel layer. A three-dimensional, finite-difference model correctly predicts the effect of a subslab gravel layer and open area configuration on advective radon entry driven by steady indoor-outdoor pressure differences; however, the model underpredicts the absolute entry rate into each structure by a factor of 1.5

  11. Radon entry into buildings: Effects of atmospheric pressure fluctuations and building structural factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robinson, Allen Lantham [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

    1996-05-01

    An improved understanding of the factors that control radon entry into buildings is needed in order to reduce the public health risks caused by exposure to indoor radon. This dissertation examines three issues associated with radon entry into buildings: (1) the influence of a subslab gravel layer and the size of the openings between the soil and the building interior on radon entry; (2) the effect of atmospheric pressure fluctuations on radon entry; and (3) the development and validation of mathematical models which simulate radon and soil-gas entry into houses. Experiments were conducted using two experimental basements to examine the influence of a subslab gravel layer on advective radon entry driven by steady indoor-outdoor pressure differences. These basement structures are identical except that in one the floor slab lies directly on native soil whereas in the other the slab lies on a high-permeability gravel layer. The measurements indicate that a high permeability subslab gravel layer increases the advective radon entry rate into the structure by as much as a factor of 30. The magnitude of the enhancement caused by the subslab gravel layer depends on the area of the openings in the structure floor; the smaller the area of these openings the larger the enhancement in the radon entry rate caused by the subslab gravel layer. A three-dimensional, finite-difference model correctly predicts the effect of a subslab gravel layer and open area configuration on advective radon entry driven by steady indoor-outdoor pressure differences; however, the model underpredicts the absolute entry rate into each structure by a factor of 1.5.

  12. Preentry communication design elements for outer planets atmospheric entry probe

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    Four related tasks are discussed for data transmission from a probe prior to entering the atmosphere of Jupiter to an orbiting spacecraft in a trajectory past the planet: (1) link analysis and design; (2) system conceptual design; (3) Doppler measurement analysis; and (4) an electronically despun antenna. For tasks 1, 3, and 4, an analytical approach was developed and combined with computational capability available to produce quantitative results corresponding to requirements and constraints given by NASA, ARC. One constraint having a major impact on the numerical results of the link analysis was the assumption of a nonsteerable antenna on a spinning orbiter. Other constraints included the interplanetary trajectory and the approach trajectory. Because the Jupiter Orbiter Probe (JOP) program is currently in a state of evolution, all requirements and constraints applied during this study are subject to change. However, the relationships of parameters as developed will remain valid and will aid in planning Jupiter missions.

  13. Separation and Conditioning of Mars Atmospheric Gases via TSA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finn, John E.; Luna, Bernadette (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Space and planetary exploration almost always presents interesting and unusual engineering challenges. Separations engineering for chemical processes that are critical to humans working in space is no exception. The challenges are becoming clearer as we make the transition from concepts and planning to hardware development, and as we understand better the constraints and environments in which the processes must perform. The coming decade will see a robotic Mars exploration program that has recovered from recent setbacks and is building a knowledge and technology base for human exploration. One of the missions will carry a small chemical pilot plant for demonstrating the manufacture of rocket propellants and life support consumables from the low-pressure (0.01 atm) Martian atmosphere. By manufacturing and storing the fuel and consumables needed for human-return missions in situ, launch mass and landed mass are reduced by tons and missions become far less expensive. The front-end to the pilot plant is a solid-state atmosphere acquisition and separation unit based on temperature-swing adsorption (TSA). The unit produces purified and pressurized (to 1.0 atm) carbon dioxide to downstream reactors that will make methane and oxygen. The unit also produces a nitrogen-argon mixture as a valuable by-product for life support, inflatable structures, and propellant pressurization. With nighttime temperatures falling to -100 degrees C, power availability restricted to a few watts, and flawless operation critical to success, the dusty Martian surface is a difficult place to operate a remote plant. This talk will focus on how this TSA separation process is designed and implemented for this application, and how it might be used in the more distant future for human exploration.

  14. Atmospheric origins of perchlorate on Mars and in the Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, D. C.; Claire, M. W.; Zahnle, K. J.; Quinn, R. C.; Clark, B. C.; Hecht, M. H.; Kounaves, S.

    2010-01-01

    Isotopic studies indicate that natural perchlorate is produced on Earth in arid environments by the oxidation of chlorine species through pathways involving ozone or its photochemical products. With this analogy, we propose that the arid environment on Mars may have given rise to perchlorate through the action of atmospheric oxidants. A variety of hypothetical pathways can be proposed including photochemical reactions, electrostatic discharge, and gas-solid reactions. Because perchlorate-rich deposits in the Atacama desert are closest in abundance to perchlorate measured at NASA's Phoenix Lander site, we made a preliminary study of the means to produce Atacama perchlorate to help shed light on the origin of Martian perchlorate. We investigated gas phase pathways using a 1-D photochemical model. We found that perchlorate can be produced in sufficient quantities to explain the abundance of perchlorate in the Atacama from a proposed gas phase oxidation of chlorine volatiles to perchloric acid. The feasibility of gas phase production for the Atacama provides justification for future investigations of gas phase photochemistry as a possible source for Martian perchlorate.

  15. Effects of Mars Atmosphere on Arc Welds: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2018-01-01

    Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is a vital fusion welding process widely used throughout the aerospace industry. Its use may be critical for the repair or manufacture of systems, rockets, or facilities on the Martian surface. Aluminum alloy AA2219-T87 and titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V butt welds have been investigated for weldability and weld properties in a simulated Martian gas environment. The resulting simulated Martian welds were compared to welds made in a terrestrial atmosphere, all of which used argon shielding gas. It was found that GTAW is a process that may be used in a Martian gas environment, not accounting for pressure and gravitational effects, as long as adequate argon shielding gas is used to protect the weld metal. Simulated Martian welds exhibited higher hardness in all cases and higher tensile strength in the case of AA2219-T87. This has been attributed to the absorption of carbon into the fusion zone, causing carbide precipitates to form. These precipitates may act to pin dislocations upon tensile testing of AA2219-T87. Dissolved carbon may have also led to carburization, which may have caused the increase in hardness within the fusion zone of the welds. Based on the results of this experiment and other similar experiments, GTAW appears to be a promising process for welding in a Martian gas environment. Additional funding and experimentation is necessary to determine the effects of the low pressure and low gravity environment found on Mars on GTAW.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. MGS Radio Science Measurements of Atmospheric Dynamics on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.

    2001-12-01

    The Sun-synchronous, polar orbit of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) provides frequent opportunities for radio occultation sounding of the neutral atmosphere. The basic result of each experiment is a profile of pressure and temperature versus planetocentric radius and geopotential. More than 4000 profiles were obtained during the 687-day mapping phase of the mission, and additional observations are underway. These measurements allow detailed characterization of planetary-scale dynamics, including stationary planetary (or Rossby) waves and transient waves produced by instability. For example, both types of dynamics were observed near 67° S during midwinter of the southern hemisphere (Ls=134° --160° ). Planetary waves are the most prominent dynamical feature in this subset of data. At zonal wave number s=1, both the temperature and geopotential fields tilt westward with increasing height, as expected for vertically-propagating planetary waves forced at the surface. The wave-2 structure is more nearly barotropic. The amplitude in geopotential height at Ls=150° increases from ~200 m near the surface to ~700 m at 10 Pa. The corresponding meridional wind speed increases from ~5 m s-1 near the surface to ~20 m s-1 at 10 Pa. Traveling ``baroclinic'' waves also appear intermittently during this interval. The dominant mode has a period of ~2 sols, s=3, and a peak amplitude of ~7 K at 300 Pa. Stong zonal variations in eddy amplitude signal the presence of a possible ``storm zone'' at 150° --330° E longitude. This talk will include other examples of these phenomena as well as comparisons with computer simulations by a Martian general circulation model (MGCM).

  18. The Variability of Atmospheric Deuterium Brightness at Mars: Evidence for Seasonal Dependence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayyasi, Majd; Clarke, John; Bhattacharyya, Dolon; Deighan, Justin; Jain, Sonal; Chaffin, Michael; Thiemann, Edward; Schneider, Nick; Jakosky, Bruce

    2017-10-01

    The enhanced ratio of deuterium to hydrogen on Mars has been widely interpreted as indicating the loss of a large column of water into space, and the hydrogen content of the upper atmosphere is now known to be highly variable. The variation in the properties of both deuterium and hydrogen in the upper atmosphere of Mars is indicative of the dynamical processes that produce these species and propagate them to altitudes where they can escape the planet. Understanding the seasonal variability of D is key to understanding the variability of the escape rate of water from Mars. Data from a 15 month observing campaign, made by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph high-resolution echelle channel, are used to determine the brightness of deuterium as observed at the limb of Mars. The D emission is highly variable, with a peak in brightness just after southern summer solstice. The trends of D brightness are examined against extrinsic as well as intrinsic sources. It is found that the fluctuations in deuterium brightness in the upper atmosphere of Mars (up to 400 km), corrected for periodic solar variations, vary on timescales that are similar to those of water vapor fluctuations lower in the atmosphere (20-80 km). The observed variability in deuterium may be attributed to seasonal factors such as regional dust storm activity and subsequent circulation lower in the atmosphere.

  19. Global structure and composition of the martian atmosphere with SPICAM on Mars express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Korablev, O.; Fonteyn, D.; Guibert, S.; Chassefière, E.; Lefèvre, F.; Dimarellis, E.; Dubois, J. P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Cabane, M.; Rannou, P.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Cernogora, G.; Quémerais, E.; Hermans, C.; Kockarts, G.; Lippens, C.; de Maziere, M.; Moreau, D.; Muller, C.; Neefs, E.; Simon, P. C.; Forget, F.; Hourdin, F.; Talagrand, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Rodin, A.; Sandel, B.; Stern, A.

    SPectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) Light, a light-weight (4.7 kg) UV-IR instrument to be flown on Mars Express orbiter, is dedicated to the study of the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. A UV spectrometer (118-320 nm, resolution 0.8 nm) is dedicated to nadir viewing, limb viewing and vertical profiling by stellar and solar occultation (3.8 kg). It addresses key issues about ozone, its coupling with H2O, aerosols, atmospheric vertical temperature structure and ionospheric studies. UV observations of the upper atmosphere will allow studies of the ionosphere through the emissions of CO, CO+, and CO2+, and its direct interaction with the solar wind. An IR spectrometer (1.0-1.7 μm, resolution 0.5-1.2 nm) is dedicated primarily to nadir measurements of H2O abundances simultaneously with ozone measured in the UV, and to vertical profiling during solar occultation of H2O, CO2, and aerosols. The SPICAM Light near-IR sensor employs a pioneering technology acousto-optical tunable filter (AOTF), leading to a compact and light design. Overall, SPICAM Light is an ideal candidate for future orbiter studies of Mars, after Mars Express, in order to study the interannual variability of martian atmospheric processes. The potential contribution to a Mars International Reference Atmosphere is clear.

  20. ABLATION AND CHEMICAL ALTERATION OF COSMIC DUST PARTICLES DURING ENTRY INTO THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudraswami, N. G.; Prasad, M. Shyam; Dey, S.; Fernandes, D. [National Institute of Oceanography (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research), Dona Paula, Goa 403004 (India); Plane, J. M. C.; Feng, W.; Carrillo-Sánchez, J. D., E-mail: rudra@nio.org [School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT (United Kingdom)

    2016-12-01

    Most dust-sized cosmic particles undergo ablation and chemical alteration during atmospheric entry, which alters their original properties. A comprehensive understanding of this process is essential in order to decipher their pre-entry characteristics. The purpose of the study is to illustrate the process of vaporization of different elements for various entry parameters. The numerical results for particles of various sizes and various zenith angles are treated in order to understand the changes in chemical composition that the particles undergo as they enter the atmosphere. Particles with large sizes (> few hundred μ m) and high entry velocities (>16 km s{sup −1}) experience less time at peak temperatures compared to those that have lower velocities. Model calculations suggest that particles can survive with an entry velocity of 11 km s{sup −1} and zenith angles (ZA) of 30°–90°, which accounts for ∼66% of the region where particles retain their identities. Our results suggest that the changes in chemical composition of MgO, SiO{sub 2}, and FeO are not significant for an entry velocity of 11 km s{sup −1} and sizes <300 μ m, but the changes in these compositions become significant beyond this size, where FeO is lost to a major extent. However, at 16 km s{sup −1} the changes in MgO, SiO{sub 2}, and FeO are very intense, which is also reflected in Mg/Si, Fe/Si, Ca/Si, and Al/Si ratios, even for particles with a size of 100 μ m. Beyond 400 μ m particle sizes at 16 km s{sup −1}, most of the major elements are vaporized, leaving the refractory elements, Al and Ca, suspended in the troposphere.

  1. ABLATION AND CHEMICAL ALTERATION OF COSMIC DUST PARTICLES DURING ENTRY INTO THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rudraswami, N. G.; Prasad, M. Shyam; Dey, S.; Fernandes, D.; Plane, J. M. C.; Feng, W.; Carrillo-Sánchez, J. D.

    2016-01-01

    Most dust-sized cosmic particles undergo ablation and chemical alteration during atmospheric entry, which alters their original properties. A comprehensive understanding of this process is essential in order to decipher their pre-entry characteristics. The purpose of the study is to illustrate the process of vaporization of different elements for various entry parameters. The numerical results for particles of various sizes and various zenith angles are treated in order to understand the changes in chemical composition that the particles undergo as they enter the atmosphere. Particles with large sizes (> few hundred μ m) and high entry velocities (>16 km s −1 ) experience less time at peak temperatures compared to those that have lower velocities. Model calculations suggest that particles can survive with an entry velocity of 11 km s −1 and zenith angles (ZA) of 30°–90°, which accounts for ∼66% of the region where particles retain their identities. Our results suggest that the changes in chemical composition of MgO, SiO 2 , and FeO are not significant for an entry velocity of 11 km s −1 and sizes <300 μ m, but the changes in these compositions become significant beyond this size, where FeO is lost to a major extent. However, at 16 km s −1 the changes in MgO, SiO 2 , and FeO are very intense, which is also reflected in Mg/Si, Fe/Si, Ca/Si, and Al/Si ratios, even for particles with a size of 100 μ m. Beyond 400 μ m particle sizes at 16 km s −1 , most of the major elements are vaporized, leaving the refractory elements, Al and Ca, suspended in the troposphere.

  2. Attitude determination with three-axis accelerometer for emergency atmospheric entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Llama, Eduardo (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    Two algorithms are disclosed that, with the use of a 3-axis accelerometer, will be able to determine the angles of attack, sideslip and roll of a capsule-type spacecraft prior to entry (at very high altitudes, where the atmospheric density is still very low) and during entry. The invention relates to emergency situations in which no reliable attitude and attitude rate are available. Provided that the spacecraft would not attempt a guided entry without reliable attitude information, the objective of the entry system in such case would be to attempt a safe ballistic entry. A ballistic entry requires three controlled phases to be executed in sequence: First, cancel initial rates in case the spacecraft is tumbling; second, maneuver the capsule to a heat-shield-forward attitude, preferably to the trim attitude, to counteract the heat rate and heat load build up; and third, impart a ballistic bank or roll rate to null the average lift vector in order to prevent prolonged lift down situations. Being able to know the attitude, hence the attitude rate, will allow the control system (nominal or backup, automatic or manual) to cancel any initial angular rates. Also, since a heat-shield forward attitude and the trim attitude can be specified in terms of the angles of attack and sideslip, being able to determine the current attitude in terms of these angles will allow the control system to maneuver the vehicle to the desired attitude. Finally, being able to determine the roll angle will allow for the control of the roll ballistic rate during entry.

  3. Mars atmosphere studies with the OMEGA/Mars Express experiment: I. Overview and detection of lfuorescent emission by CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drossart, P.; Combes, M.; Encrenaz, T.; Melchiorri, R.; Fouchet, T.; Forget, F.; Moroz, V.; Ignatiev, N.; Bibring, J.-P.; Langevin, Y.; OMEGA Team

    Observations of Mars by the OMEGA/Mars Express experiment provide extended maps of the martian disk at all latitudes, and with various conditions of illumination, between 0.4 to 5 micron. The atmospheric investigations so far conducted by our team are focussed on the infrared part of the spectrum (1-5 micron), and include: the development of a correction algorithm for atmospheric gaseous absorption, to give access to fine mineralogic studies, largely decorrelated from atmospheric effects the study of dust opacity effects in the near infrared, with the aim to correct also the rough spectra from dust opacity perturbation the study of minor constituents like CO, to search for regional or global variations the study of CO2 emission at 4.3 micron related to fluorescent emission This last effect is prominently detected in limb observations obtained in 3-axis stabilized mode of Mars Express, with high altitude emission in the CO2 fundamental at 4.3 micron, usually seen in absorption in nadir observations. These emissions are related to non-LTE atmospheric layers, well above the solid surface in the mesosphere. Such emissions are also present in Earth and Venus limb observations. They are present also in nadir observations, but are reinforced in limb viewing geometry due to the tangential view. A numerical model of these emission will be presented.

  4. The Mars Pathfinder atmospheric structure investigation/meteorology (ASI/MET) experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schofield, J.T.; Barnes, J.R.; Crisp, D.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder atmospheric structure investigation/meteorology (ASI/MET) experiment measured the vertical density, pressure, and temperature structure of the martian atmosphere from the surface to 160 km, and monitored surface meteorology and climate for 83 sols (1 sol = 1 martian day = 24...

  5. EntrySat: A 3U CubeStat to study the reentry atmospheric environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Sournac; Raphael, Garcia; David, Mimoun; Jeremie, Chaix

    2016-04-01

    ISAE France Entrysat has for main scientific objective the study of uncontrolled atmospheric re-entry. This project, is developed by ISAE in collaboration with ONERA and University of Toulouse, is funded by CNES, in the overall frame of the QB50 project. This nano-satellite is a 3U Cubesat measuring 34*10*10 cm3, similar to secondary debris produced during the break up of a spacecraft. EntrySat will collect the external and internal temperatures, pressure, heat flux, attitude variations and drag force of the satellite between ≈150 and 90 km before its destruction in the atmosphere, and transmit them during the re-entry using the IRIDIUM satellite network. The result will be compared with the computations of MUSIC/FAST, a new 6-degree of freedom code developed by ONERA to predict the trajectory of space debris. In order to fulfil the scientific objectives, the satellite will acquire 18 re-entry sensors signals, convert them and compress them, thanks to an electronic board developed by ISAE students in cooperation with EREMS. In order to transmit these data every second during the re-entry phase, the satellite will use an IRIDIUM connection. In order to keep a stable enough attitudes during this phase, a simple attitude orbit and control system using magnetotorquers and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) is developed at ISAE by students. A commercial GPS board is also integrated in the satellite into Entry Sat to determine its position and velocity which are necessary during the re-entry phase. This GPS will also be used to synchronize the on-board clock with the real-time UTC data. During the orbital phase (≈2 year) EntrySat measurements will be recorded transmitted through a more classical "UHF/VHF" connection. Preference for presentation: Poster Most suitable session: Author for correspondence: Dr Raphael F. Garcia ISAE 10, ave E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France Raphael.GARCIA@isae.fr +33 5 61 33 81 14

  6. Comparative pick-up ion distributions at Mars and Venus: Consequences for atmospheric deposition and escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Shannon M.; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan; Liemohn, Michael; Dong, Chuanfei; Hara, Takuya

    2015-09-01

    Without the shielding of a substantial intrinsic dipole magnetic field, the atmospheres of Mars and Venus are particularly susceptible to similar atmospheric ion energization and scavenging processes. However, each planet has different attributes and external conditions controlling its high altitude planetary ion spatial and energy distributions. This paper describes analogous test particle simulations in background MHD fields that allow us to compare the properties and fates, precipitation or escape, of the mainly O+ atmospheric pick-up ions at Mars and Venus. The goal is to illustrate how atmospheric and planetary scales affect the upper atmospheres and space environments of our terrestrial planet neighbors. The results show the expected convection electric field-related hemispheric asymmetries in both precipitation and escape, where the degree of asymmetry at each planet is determined by the planetary scale and local interplanetary field strength. At Venus, the kinetic treatment of O+ reveals a strong nightside source of precipitation while Mars' crustal fields complicate the simple asymmetry in ion precipitation and drive a dayside source of precipitation. The pickup O+ escape pattern at both Venus and Mars exhibits low energy tailward escape, but Mars exhibits a prominent, high energy 'polar plume' feature in the hemisphere of the upward convection electric field while the Venus ion wake shows only a modest poleward concentration. The overall escape is larger at Venus than Mars (2.1 ×1025 and 4.3 ×1024 at solar maximum, respectively), but the efficiency (likelihood) of O+ escaping is 2-3 times higher at Mars. The consequences of these comparisons for pickup ion related atmospheric energy deposition, loss rates, and detection on spacecraft including PVO, VEX, MEX and MAVEN are considered. In particular, both O+ precipitation and escape show electric field controlled asymmetries that grow with energy, while the O+ fluxes and energy spectra at selected spatial

  7. Effect of Mars Atmospheric Loss on Snow Melt Potential in a 3.5 Gyr Mars Climate Evolution Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansfield, Megan; Kite, Edwin S.; Mischna, Michael A.

    2018-04-01

    Post-Noachian Martian paleochannels indicate the existence of liquid water on the surface of Mars after about 3.5 Gya (Irwin et al., 2015, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.10.012; Palucis et al., 2016, https://doi.org/10.1002/2015JE004905). In order to explore the effects of variations in CO2 partial pressure and obliquity on the possibility of surface water, we created a zero-dimensional surface energy balance model. We combine this model with physically consistent orbital histories to track conditions over the last 3.5 Gyr of Martian history. We find that melting is allowed for atmospheric pressures corresponding to exponential loss rates of dP/dt∝t-3.73 or faster, but this rate is within 0.5σ of the rate calculated from initial measurements made by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, if we assume all the escaping oxygen measured by MAVEN comes from atmospheric CO2 (Lillis et al., 2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JA023525; Tu et al., 2015, https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201526146). Melting at this loss rate matches selected key geologic constraints on the formation of Hesperian river networks, assuming optimal melt conditions during the warmest part of each Mars year (Irwin et al., 2015, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.10.012; Kite, Gao, et al., 2017, https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo3033; Kite, Sneed et al., 2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL072660; Stopar et al., 2006, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2006.07.039). The atmospheric pressure has a larger effect on the surface energy than changes in Mars's mean obliquity. These results show that initial measurements of atmosphere loss by MAVEN are consistent with atmospheric loss being the dominant process that switched Mars from a melt-permitting to a melt-absent climate (Jakosky et al., 2017, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aai7721), but non-CO2 warming will be required if <2 Gya paleochannels are confirmed or if most of the escaping oxygen measured by MAVEN comes from H2O.

  8. Effects of periodic atmospheric pressure variation on radon entry into buildings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, Y. W.; Narasimhan, T. N.

    1992-06-01

    Using a mathematical model, we have investigated the temporal variations of radon entry into a house basement in the presence of time-dependent periodic variations of barometric pressure as well as a persistent small steady depressurization within the basement. The tool for our investigation is an integral finite difference numerical code which can solve for both diffusive and advective flux of radon in the soil gas which is treated as a slightly compressible fluid. Two different boundary conditions at the house basement are considered: (1) a dirt floor basement so that diffusion is equally or more important than advective transport, and (2) an "impermeable" cement basement except for a 1-cm-wide crack near the perimeter of the basement floor; in which case, advective transport of radon flux dominates. Two frequencies of barometric pressure fluctuation with representative values of amplitudes, based on a Fourier decomposition of barometric pressure data, were chosen in this study: one with a short period of 0.5 hour with pressure amplitude of 50 Pa, the other a diurnal variation with a period of 24 hours with the typical pressure amplitude of 250 Pa. For a homogeneous soil medium with soil permeability to air between 10-13 and 10-10 m2, we predict that the barometric fluctuations increase the radon entry into the basement by up to 120% of the steady radon inflow into the basement owing to a steady depressurization of 5 Pa. If soil permeability heterogeneity is present, such as the presence of a thin layer of higher permeability aggregate immediately below the basement floor, radon flux due to atmospheric pumping is further increased. Effects of pressure pumping on radon entry are also compared to diffusion-only transport when the steady depressurization is absent. It is found that contribution to radon entry is significant for the basement crack configuration. In particular, for pressure pumping at 0.5-hour period and for a homogeneous medium of permeability of 10

  9. Seasonal and global behavior of water vapor in the Mars atmosphere: Complete global results of the Viking atmospheric water detector experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jakosky, B.M.; Farmer, C.B.

    1982-01-01

    The water vapor content of the Mars atmosphere was measured from the Viking Orbiter Mars Atmospheric Water Detectors (MAWD) for a period of more than 1 Martian year, from June 1976 through April 1979. Results are presented in the form of global maps of column abundance for 24 periods throughout each Mars year. The data reduction incorporates spatial and seasonal variations in surface pressure and supplements earlier published versions of less complete data

  10. Composition of the earth's atmosphere by shock-layer radiometry during the PAET entry probe experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiting, E. E.; Arnold, J. O.; Page, W. A.; Reynolds, R. M.

    1973-01-01

    A determination of the composition of the earth's atmosphere obtained from onboard radiometer measurements of the spectra emitted from the bow shock layer of a high-speed entry probe is reported. The N2, O2, CO2, and noble gas concentrations in the earth's atmosphere were determined to good accuracy by this technique. The results demonstrate unequivocally the feasibility of determining the composition of an unknown planetary atmosphere by means of a multichannel radiometer viewing optical emission from the heated atmospheric gases in the region between the bow shock wave and the vehicle surface. The spectral locations in this experiment were preselected to enable the observation of CN violet, N2(+) first negative and atomic oxygen emission at 3870, 3910, and 7775 A, respectively. The atmospheric gases were heated and compressed by the shock wave to a peak temperature of about 6100 K and a corresponding pressure of 0.4 atm. Complete descriptions of the data analysis technique and the onboard radiometer and its calibration are given.

  11. Formation of a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere on Mars accreting in the solar nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Hiroaki; Kuramoto, Kiyoshi

    2018-03-01

    Recent studies of the chronology of Martian meteorites suggest that the growth of Mars was almost complete within a few Myr after the birth of the Solar system. During such rapid accretion, proto-Mars likely gravitationally maintained both the solar nebula component and the impact degassing component, containing H2O vapour and reduced gas species, as a proto-atmosphere to be called a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere. Here we numerically analyse the mass and composition of the degassed component and the atmospheric thermal structure sustained by accretional heating. Our results predict that a growing Mars possibly acquired a massive and hot hybrid-type proto-atmosphere with surface pressure and temperature greater than several kbar and 2000 K, respectively, which is sufficient to produce a deep magma ocean. In such a high-temperature and high-pressure environment, a significant amount of H2O, CH4, CO, and H2 is expected to be partitioned into the planetary interior, although this would strongly depend on the dynamics of the magma ocean and mantle solidification. The dissolved H2O may explain the wet Martian mantle implied from basaltic Martian meteorites. Along with the remnant reduced atmosphere after the hydrodynamic atmospheric escape, dissolved reduced gas species may have maintained an earliest Martian surface environment that allowed prebiotic chemical evolution and liquid H2O activities.

  12. Paloma: In-situ Measurement of The Elemental and Isotopic Composition of The Mars Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefiere, E.; Jambon, A.; Berthelier, J.-J.; Correia, J.-J.; Covinhes, J.; Goulpeau, G.; Leblanc, F.; Malique, Ch.; Sarda, P.; Schaetzel, P.; Sabroux, J.-C.; Ferry, C.; Richon, P.; Pineau, J.-F.; Desjean, M.-C.

    The PALOMA instrument, presently under study in the frame of the NASA/CNES Mars exploration program, is devoted to the accurate measurement of isotopic and el- emental ratios in Mars atmosphere. It consists of a mass spectrometer coupled with a gas preparation line for separation of reactive and noble gas species, and noble gas species (and reactive gases) from each other, by chemical and cryogenic trapping, and possibly permeation techniques. This instrument, ranked among the most important four types of measurement recommended by the US Committee on Planetary and Lu- nar Exploration (COMPLEX), will be proposed as a part of the payload of the 07 NASA smart landers. The general objectives of PALOMA are to provide instanta- neous and time-varying patterns of noble gas isotopic spectra, and stable isotopes. Such measurements will allow to improve our general understanding of volatile cy- cles on Mars, and to better decipher the history of the atmosphere and climate. Past escape processes, exchanges between solid planet and atmosphere, post-accretional addition of volatil-rich matter from comets, are expected to have imprinted specific isotopic signatures. Although these signatures are strongly interlocked, a compara- tive Earth-Mars approach may allow to discriminate between them, and therefore to reconstruct the history of Martian volatiles. The evolution of atmospheric mass and composition may have had a major impact on climate evolution, e.g. through massive escape of carbon dioxide and water. In addition, precise measurements of isotopes in the present Mars atmosphere are the most promising way on the short term to confirm that SNC meteorites are from Martian origin. PALOMA also includes a small separate device for measuring ambient natural radioactivity, which might provide information about the presence of a near subsurface permafrost, possible residual volcanic activity, vertical mixing rate in the boundary layer.

  13. Calibration OGSE for a multichannel radiometer for Mars atmosphere studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, J. J.; Álvarez, F. J.; Gonzalez-Guerrero, M.; Apéstigue, V.; Martin, I.; Fernández, J. M.; Fernán, A. A.; Arruego, I.

    2017-09-01

    This work describes several OGSEs (Optical Ground Support Equipment) developed by INTA (Spanish Institute of Aerospace Technology - Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) for the calibration and characterization of their self-manufactured multichannel radiometers (Solar Irradiance Sensors - SIS) for planetary atmospheric studies in the frame of some Martian missions at which INTA is participating.

  14. Atmospheric Production of Perchlorate on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claire, M.; Catling, D. C.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2009-12-01

    Natural production and preservation of perchlorate on Earth occurs only in arid environments. Isotopic evidence suggests a strong role for atmospheric oxidation of chlorine species via pathways including ozone or its photochemical derivatives. As the Martian atmosphere is both oxidizing and drier than the driest places on Earth, we propose an atmospheric origin for the Martian perchlorates measured by NASA's Phoenix Lander. A variety of hypothetical formation pathways can be proposed including atmospheric photochemical reactions, electrostatic discharge, and gas-solid reactions. Here, we investigate gas phase formation pathways using a 1-D photochemical model (Catling et al. 2009, accepted by JGR). Because perchlorate-rich deposits in the Atacama desert are closest in abundance to perchlorate measured at NASA's Phoenix Lander site, we start with a study of the means to produce Atacama perchlorate. We found that perchlorate can be produced in sufficient quantities to explain the abundance of perchlorate in the Atacama from a proposed gas phase oxidation of chlorine volatiles to perchloric acid. These results are sensitive to estimated reaction rates for ClO3 species. The feasibility of gas phase production for the Atacama provides justification for further investigations of gas phase photochemistry as a possible source for Martian perchlorate. In addition to the Atacama results, we will present a preliminary study incorporating chlorine chemistry into an existing Martian photochemical model (Zahnle et al. JGR 2008).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Gone with the Wind: Three Years of MAVEN Measurements of Atmospheric Loss at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, David; MAVEN Team

    2017-10-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission is making measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere and near space environment, and their interactions with energy inputs from the Sun. A major goal of the mission is to evaluate the loss of atmospheric gases to space in the present epoch, and over Martian history. MAVEN is equipped with instruments that measure both the neutral and charged upper atmospheric system (thermosphere, ionosphere, exosphere, and magnetosphere), inputs from the Sun (extreme ultraviolet flux, solar wind and solar energetic particles, and interplanetary magnetic field), and escaping atmospheric particles. The MAVEN instruments, coupled with models, allow us to more completely understand the physical processes that control atmospheric loss and the particle reservoirs for loss.Here, we provide an overview of the significant results from MAVEN over approximately 1.5 Mars years (nearly three Earth years) of observation, from November 2014 to present. We argue that the MAVEN measurements tell us that the loss of atmospheric gases to space was significant over Martian history, and present the seasonal behavior of the upper atmosphere and magnetosphere. We also discuss the influence of extreme events such as solar storms, and a variety of new discoveries and observations of the Martian system made by MAVEN.

  17. A simulation of the OMEGA/Mars Express observations: Analysis of the atmospheric contribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchiorri, R.; Drossart, P.; Fouchet, T.; Bézard, B.; Forget, F.; Gendrin, A.; Bibring, J. P.; Manaud, N.; OMEGA Team; Berthé, M.; Bibring, J.-P.; Langevin, Y.; Forni, O.; Gendrin, A.; Gondet, B.; Manaud, N.; Poulet, F.; Poulleau, G.; Soufflot, A.; Mangold, N.; Bonello, G.; Forget, F.; Bezard, B.; Combes, M.; Drossart, P.; Encrenaz, T.; Fouchet, T.; Melchiorri, R.; Erard, S.; Bellucci, G.; Altieri, F.; Formisano, V.; Fonti, S.; Capaccioni, F.; Cerroni, P.; Coradini, A.; Kottsov, V.; Ignatiev, N.; Moroz, V.; Titov, D.; Zasova, L.; Pinet, P.; Schmitt, B.; Sotin, C.; Hauber, E.; Hoffmann, H.; Jaumann, R.; Keller, U.; Arvidson, R.; Mustard, J.; Duxbary, T.

    2006-08-01

    Spectral images of Mars obtained by the Mars Express/OMEGA experiment in the near infrared are the result of a complex combination of atmospheric, aerosol and ground features. Retrieving the atmospheric information from the data is important, not only to decorrelate mineralogical against atmospheric features, but also to retrieve the atmospheric variability. Once the illumination conditions have been taken into account, the main source of variation on the CO2 absorption is due to the altitude of the surface, which governs atmospheric pressure variation by more than an order of magnitude between the summit of Olympus Mons down to the bottom of Valles Marineris. In this article we present a simplified atmospheric spectral model without scattering, specially developed for the OMEGA observations, which is used to retrieve the local topography through the analysis of the 2.0μmCO2 band. OMEGA atmospheric observations increase the horizontal resolution compared to MOLA altimetry measurements, and therefore complement the mineralogical studies from the same instrument. Finally, residual variations of the pressure can be related to atmospheric structure variation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  19. CO2 non-LTE limb emissions in Mars' atmosphere as observed by OMEGA/Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccialli, A.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Määttänen, A.; González-Galindo, F.; Audouard, J.; Altieri, F.; Forget, F.; Drossart, P.; Gondet, B.; Bibring, J. P.

    2016-06-01

    We report on daytime limb observations of Mars upper atmosphere acquired by the OMEGA instrument on board the European spacecraft Mars Express. The strong emission observed at 4.3 μm is interpreted as due to CO2 fluorescence of solar radiation and is detected at a tangent altitude in between 60 and 110 km. The main value of OMEGA observations is that they provide simultaneously spectral information and good spatial sampling of the CO2 emission. In this study we analyzed 98 dayside limb observations spanning over more than 3 Martian years, with a very good latitudinal and longitudinal coverage. Thanks to the precise altitude sounding capabilities of OMEGA, we extracted vertical profiles of the non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) emission at each wavelength and we studied their dependence on several geophysical parameters, such as the solar illumination and the tangent altitude. The dependence of the non-LTE emission on solar zenith angle and altitude follows a similar behavior to that predicted by the non-LTE model. According to our non-LTE model, the tangent altitude of the peak of the CO2 emission varies with the thermal structure, but the pressure level where the peak of the emission is found remains constant at ˜0.03 ± 0.01 Pa, . This non-LTE model prediction has been corroborated by comparing SPICAM and OMEGA observations. We have shown that the seasonal variations of the altitude of constant pressure levels in SPICAM stellar occultation retrievals correlate well with the variations of the OMEGA peak emission altitudes, although the exact pressure level cannot be defined with the spectroscopy for the investigation of the characteristics of the atmosphere of Venus (SPICAM) nighttime data. Thus, observed changes in the altitude of the peak emission provide us information on the altitude of the 0.03 Pa pressure level. Since the pressure at a given altitude is dictated by the thermal structure below, the tangent altitude of the peak emission represents

  20. Atmosphere-entry behavior of a modular, disk-shaped, isotope heat source.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorreiter, J. W.; Pitts, W. C.; Stine, H. A.; Burns, J. J.

    1973-01-01

    The authors have studied the entry and impact behavior of an isotope heat source for space nuclear power that disassembles into a number of modules which would enter the earth's atmosphere separately if a flight aborted. These modules are disk-shaped units, each with its own reentry heat shield and protective impact container. In normal operation, the disk modules are stacked inside the generator, but during a reentry abort they separate and fly as individual units of low ballistic coefficient. Flight tests at hypersonic speeds have confirmed that a stack of disks will separate and assume a flat-forward mode of flight. Free-fall tests of single disks have demonstrated a nominal impact velocity of 30 m/sec at sea level for a practical range of ballistic coefficients.

  1. Long-life mission reliability for outer planet atmospheric entry probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccall, M. T.; Rouch, L.; Maycock, J. N.

    1976-01-01

    The results of a literature analysis on the effects of prolonged exposure to deep space environment on the properties of outer planet atmospheric entry probe components are presented. Materials considered included elastomers and plastics, pyrotechnic devices, thermal control components, metal springs and electronic components. The rates of degradation of each component were determined and extrapolation techniques were used to predict the effects of exposure for up to eight years to deep space. Pyrotechnic devices were aged under accelerated conditions to an equivalent of eight years in space and functionally tested. Results of the literature analysis of the selected components and testing of the devices indicated that no severe degradation should be expected during an eight year space mission.

  2. Stationary Planetary Waves in the Mars Winter Atmosphere as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, Silvia; Pätzold, Martin; Häusler, Bernd; Tyler, Leonard G.; Hinson, David P.

    2015-11-01

    Stationary (Rossby) Waves are excited by the interaction of the zonally varying topography with the strong eastward winter jets. They lead to distinctive longitudinal temperature variations which contribute significantly to the asymmetry of the seasonal polar CO2 ice caps and are also important for the dust redistribution in the planetary atmosphere.Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science Experiment MaRS at northern and southern high latitudes are used to gain insight into winter stationary wave structures on both hemispheres.Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) radio occultation measurements from the same season and year with their exceptionally good longitudinal and temporal coverage can be used to estimate the influence of transient eddies. Transient waves are especially important in the northern winter hemisphere.Wave number 2 stationary waves, driven by topography, are dominant in the northern winter latitudes while the wave number 1 wave is the most significant wave number during southern winter. The wave amplitudes peak around winter solstice on both hemispheres.Radio occultation measurements provide the unique opportunity to determine simultaneous measurements of temperature and geopotential height structures. Assuming geostrophic balance, these measurements can be used to determine meridional winds and eddy heat fluxes which provide further insight into the contribution of stationary waves to the heat exchange between the poles and the lower latitudes.

  3. Primordial clays on Mars formed beneath a steam or supercritical atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, Kevin M; Parman, Stephen W; Mustard, John F

    2017-12-06

    On Mars, clay minerals are widespread in terrains that date back to the Noachian period (4.1 billion to 3.7 billion years ago). It is thought that the Martian basaltic crust reacted with liquid water during this time to form hydrated clay minerals. Here we propose, however, that a substantial proportion of these clays was formed when Mars' primary crust reacted with a dense steam or supercritical atmosphere of water and carbon dioxide that was outgassed during magma ocean cooling. We present experimental evidence that shows rapid clay formation under conditions that would have been present at the base of such an atmosphere and also deeper in the porous crust. Furthermore, we explore the fate of a primordial clay-rich layer with the help of a parameterized crustal evolution model; we find that the primordial clay is locally disrupted by impacts and buried by impact-ejected material and by erupted volcanic material, but that it survives as a mostly coherent layer at depth, with limited surface exposures. These exposures are similar to those observed in remotely sensed orbital data from Mars. Our results can explain the present distribution of many clays on Mars, and the anomalously low density of the Martian crust in comparison with expectations.

  4. Pressure Balance at Mars and Solar Wind Interaction with the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krymskii, A. M.; Ness, N. F.; Crider, D. H.; Breus, T. K.; Acuna, M. H.; Hinson, D.

    2003-01-01

    The strongest crustal fields are located in certain regions in the Southern hemisphere. In the Northern hemisphere, the crustal fields are rather weak and usually do not prevent direct interaction between the SW and the Martian ionosphere/atmosphere. Exceptions occur in the isolated mini-magnetospheres formed by the crustal anomalies. Electron density profiles of the ionosphere of Mars derived from radio occultation data obtained by the Radio Science Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) experiment have been compared with the crustal magnetic fields measured by the MGS Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer (MAG/ER) experiment. A study of 523 electron density profiles obtained at latitudes from +67 deg. to +77 deg. has been conducted. The effective scale-height of the electron density for two altitude ranges, 145-165 km and 165-185 km, and the effective scale-height of the neutral atmosphere density in the vicinity of the ionization peak have been derived for each of the profiles studied. For the regions outside of the potential mini-magnetospheres, the thermal pressure of the ionospheric plasma for the altitude range 145-185 km has been estimated. In the high latitude ionosphere at Mars, the total pressure at altitudes 160 and 180 km has been mapped. The solar wind interaction with the ionosphere of Mars and origin of the sharp drop of the electron density at the altitudes 200-210 km will be discussed.

  5. Computer Interactives for the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Mission through NASA's "Project Spectra!"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2014-12-01

    "Project Spectra!" is a standards-based E-M spectrum and engineering program that includes paper and pencil activities as well as Flash-based computer games that help students solidify understanding of high-level planetary and solar physics. Using computer interactive games, students experience and manipulate information making abstract concepts accessible, solidifying understanding and enhancing retention of knowledge. Since students can choose what to watch and explore, the interactives accommodate a broad range of learning styles. Students can go back and forth through the interactives if they've missed a concept or wish to view something again. In the end, students are asked critical thinking questions and conduct web-based research. As part of the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission education programming, we've developed two new interactives. The MAVEN mission will study volatiles in the upper atmosphere to help piece together Mars' climate history. In the first interactive, students explore black body radiation, albedo, and a simplified greenhouse effect to establish what factors contribute to overall planetary temperature. Students design a planet that is able to maintain liquid water on the surface. In the second interactive, students are asked to consider conditions needed for Mars to support water on the surface, keeping some variables fixed. Ideally, students will walk away with the very basic and critical elements required for climate studies, which has far-reaching implications beyond the study of Mars. These interactives were pilot tested at Arvada High School in Colorado.

  6. An Extended Kalman filter (EKF) for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) entry, descent, and landing reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisano, M. E.

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes the design and initial test results of an extended Kalman filter that has been developed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for post-flight reconstruction of the trajectory and attitude history of a spacecraft entering a planetary atmosphere and descending upon a parachute.

  7. Mars Atmospheric In Situ Resource Utilization Projects at the Kennedy Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, A. C.; Hintze, P. E.; Caraccio, A. J.; Bayliss, J. A.; Karr, L. J.; Paley, M. S.; Marone, M. J.; Gibson, T. L.; Surma, J. M.; Mansell, J. M.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The atmosphere of Mars, which is approximately 95% carbon dioxide (CO2), is a rich resource for the human exploration of the red planet, primarily by the production of rocket propellants and oxygen for life support. Three recent projects led by NASA's Kennedy Space Center have been investigating the processing of CO2. The first project successfully demonstrated the Mars Atmospheric Processing Module (APM), which freezes CO2 with cryocoolers and combines sublimated CO2 with hydrogen to make methane and water. The second project absorbs CO2 with Ionic Liquids and electrolyzes it with water to make methane and oxygen, but with limited success so far. A third project plans to recover up to 100% of the oxygen in spacecraft respiratory CO2. A combination of the Reverse Water Gas Shift reaction and the Boudouard reaction eventually fill the reactor up with carbon, stopping the process. A system to continuously remove and collect carbon is under construction.

  8. Mars Atmospheric In Situ Resource Utilization Projects at the Kennedy Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony; Hintze, Paul; Meier, Anne; Bayliss, Jon; Karr, Laurel; Paley, Steve; Marone, Matt; Gibson, Tracy; Surma, Jan; Mansell, Matt; hide

    2016-01-01

    The atmosphere of Mars, which is 96 percent carbon dioxide (CO2), is a rich resource for the human exploration of the red planet, primarily by the production of rocket propellants and oxygen for life support. Three recent projects led by NASAs Kennedy Space Center have been investigating the processing of CO2. The first project successfully demonstrated the Mars Atmospheric Processing Module (APM), which freezes CO2 with cryocoolers and combines sublimated CO2 with hydrogen to make methane and water. The second project absorbs CO2 with Ionic Liquids and electrolyzes it with water to make methane and oxygen, but with limited success so far. A third project plans to recover up to 100 of the oxygen in spacecraft respiratory CO2. A combination of the Reverse Water Gas Shift reaction and the Boudouard reaction eventually fill the reactor up with carbon, stopping the process. A system to continuously remove and collect carbon has been tested with encouraging results.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. Discovering Parameters for Ancient Mars Atmospheric Profiles by Modeling Volcanic Eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, A.; Clarke, A. B.; Van Eaton, A. R.; Mastin, L. G.

    2017-12-01

    Evidence of explosive volcanic deposits on Mars motivates questions about the behavior of eruption plumes in the Ancient and current Martian atmosphere. Early modeling studies suggested that Martian plumes may rise significantly higher than their terrestrial equivalents (Wilson and Head, 1994, Rev. Geophys., 32, 221-263). We revisit the issue using a steady-state 1-D model of volcanic plumes (Plumeria: Mastin, 2014, JGR, doi:10.1002/2013JD020604) along with a range of reasonable temperature and pressures. The model assumes perfect coupling of particles with the gas phase in the plume, and Stokes number analysis indicates that this is a reasonable assumption for particle diameters less than 5 mm to 1 micron. Our estimates of Knudsen numbers support the continuum assumption. The tested atmospheric profiles include an estimate of current Martian atmosphere based on data from voyager mission (Seif, A., Kirk, D.B., (1977) Geophys., 82,4364-4378), a modern Earth-like atmosphere, and several other scenarios based on variable tropopause heights and near-surface atmospheric density estimates from the literature. We simulated plume heights using mass eruption rates (MER) ranging from 1 x 103 to 1 x 1010 kg s-1 to create a series of new theoretical MER-plume height scaling relationships that may be useful for considering plume injection heights, climate impacts, and global-scale ash dispersal patterns in Mars' recent and ancient geological past. Our results show that volcanic plumes in a modern Martian atmosphere may rise up to three times higher than those on Earth. We also find that the modern Mars atmosphere does not allow eruption columns to collapse, and thus does not allow for the formation of column-collapse pyroclastic density currents, a phenomenon thought to have occurred in Mars' past based on geological observations. The atmospheric density at the surface, and especially the height of the tropopause, affect the slope of the MER-plume height curve and control

  12. Mars - CO2 adsorption and capillary condensation on clays: Significance for volatile storage and atmospheric history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanale, F. P.; Cannon, W. A.

    1979-01-01

    Results on the adsorbate-adsorbent system CO2-nontronite are reported at 230, 196, and 158 deg K, covering the range of subsurface regolith temperature on Mars. A three-part regolith-atmosphere-cap model reveals that cold nontronite, and expanding clays in general, are far better but far more complex CO2 adsorbers than cold pulverized basalt. In addition, the layered terrain, and possibly the adjacent debris mantle, contains about 2% or more by mass of atmosphere-exchangeable CO2 and the total regolith inventory of available adsorbed CO2 is estimated to be 400 g/ sq cm.

  13. ACS experiment for atmospheric studies on "ExoMars-2016" Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O. I.; Montmessin, F.; Fedorova, A. A.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Shakun, A. V.; Trokhimovskiy, A. V.; Grigoriev, A. V.; Anufreichik, K. A.; Kozlova, T. O.

    2015-12-01

    ACS is a set of spectrometers for atmospheric studies (Atmospheric Chemistry Suite). It is one of the Russian instruments for the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of the Russian-European "ExoMars" program. The purpose of the experiment is to study the Martian atmosphere by means of two observations regimes: sensitive trace gases measurements in solar occultations and by monitoring the atmospheric state during nadir observations. The experiment will allow us to approach global problems of Mars research such as current volcanism, and the modern climate status and its evolution. Also, the experiment is intended to solve the mystery of methane presence in the Martian atmosphere. Spectrometers of the ACS set cover the spectral range from the near IR-range (0.7 μm) to the thermal IR-range (17 μm) with spectral resolution λ/Δλ reaching 50000. The ACS instrument consists of three independent IR spectrometers and an electronics module, all integrated in a single unit with common mechanical, electrical and thermal interfaces. The article gives an overview of scientific tasks and presents the concept of the experiment.

  14. Oxygen in the Martian atmosphere: Regulation of PO2 by the deposition of iron formations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Roger G.

    1992-01-01

    During Earth's early history, and prior to the evolution of its present day oxygenated atmosphere, extensive iron rich siliceous sedimentary rocks were deposited, consisting of alternating layers of silica (chert) and iron oxide minerals (hematite and magnetite). The banding in iron formations recorded changes of atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions near sea level in the ancient ocean, which induced the oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron, precipitation of insoluble ferric oxides and silica, and regulation of oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere. Similarities between the Archean Earth and the composition of the present day atmosphere on Mars, together with the pervasive presence of ferric oxides in the Martian regolith suggest that iron formation might also have been deposited on Mars and influenced the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere. Such a possibility is discussed here with a view to assessing whether the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere has been regulated by the chemical precipitation of iron formations on Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  16. Designing of deployment sequence for braking and drift systems in atmosphere of Mars and Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorontsov, Victor

    2006-07-01

    Analysis of project development and space research using contact method, namely, by means of automatic descent modules and balloons shows that designing formation of entry, descent and landing (EDL) sequence and operation in the atmosphere are of great importance. This process starts at the very beginning of designing, has undergone a lot of iterations and influences processing of normal operation results. Along with designing of descent module systems, including systems of braking in the atmosphere, designing of flight operation sequence and trajectories of motion in the atmosphere is performed. As the entire operation sequence and transfer from one phase to another was correctly chosen, the probability of experiment success on the whole and efficiency of application of various systems vary. By now the most extensive experience of Russian specialists in research of terrestrial planets has been gained with the help of automatic interplanetary stations “Mars”, “Venera”, “Vega” which had descent modules and drifting in the atmosphere balloons. Particular interest and complicity of formation of EDL and drift sequence in the atmosphere of these planets arise from radically different operation conditions, in particular, strongly rarefied atmosphere of the one planet and extremely dense atmosphere of another. Consequently, this determines the choice of braking systems and their parameters and method of EDL consequence formation. At the same time there are general fundamental methods and designed research techniques that allowed taking general technical approach to designing of EDL and drift sequence in the atmosphere.

  17. Atmosphere Processing Module Automation and Catalyst Durability Analysis for Mars ISRU Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Elspeth M.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars In-Situ Resource Utilization Pathfinder was designed to create fuel using components found in the planet’s atmosphere and regolith for an ascension vehicle to return a potential sample return or crew return vehicle from Mars. The Atmosphere Processing Module (APM), a subunit of the pathfinder, uses cryocoolers to isolate and collect carbon dioxide from Mars simulant gas. The carbon dioxide is fed with hydrogen into a Sabatier reactor where methane is produced. The APM is currently undergoing the final stages of testing at Kennedy Space Center prior to process integration testing with the other subunits of the pathfinder. The automation software for the APM cryocoolers was tested and found to perform nominally. The catalyst used for the Sabatier reactor was investigated to determine the factors contributing to catalyst failure. The results from the catalyst testing require further analysis, but it appears that the rapid change in temperature during reactor start up or the elevated operating temperature is responsible for the changes observed in the catalyst.

  18. Overview of the Atmosphere and Environment within Gale Crater on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, A. R.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Crisp, J. A.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Webster, C. R.

    2012-12-01

    Curiosity's mission at Gale Crater places a number of highly capable atmospheric and environmental sensors within a dynamic setting: next to a 5-km mountain within a 150-km diameter impact crater whose floor is -4.5 km. Curiosity's scientific payload was chosen primarily to allow a geologic and geochemical investigation of Mars' environmental history and habitability, as preserved in the layered sediments on the crater floor and mound. Atmospheric and environmental sensors will contribute by measuring the bulk atmospheric chemical and isotopic composition, the flux of high-energy particle and ultraviolet radiation after modification by the atmosphere, and modern processes related to meteorology and climate over at least one Mars year. The Sample Analysis at Mars instrument will analyze the atmosphere with its mass spectrometer and tunable laser spectrometer. The former is capable of providing bulk composition and isotopic ratios of relevance to planetary evolution, such as nitrogen and noble gases. The latter is designed to acquire high-precision measurements of atmospheric species including CH4, CO2, and H2O, and key isotope ratios in H, C, and O. An important goal will be to compare CH4 abundance and time variability over the mission with the reported detections from the Mars Express orbiter and ground-based observations. The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) measures a broad spectrum of high-energy radiation incident at the surface, including secondary particles created via interactions of galactic cosmic rays and solar protons with Mars' atmospheric constituents. Curiosity's Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) carries six ultraviolet sensors, spanning 200-380 nm. For the first time, both the high-energy and ultraviolet radiation measured at the surface can be compared with measurements above the atmosphere, acquired by other platforms. Modern meteorology and the climatology of dust and water will be studied using the rover's cameras and REMS

  19. A non-LTE retrieval scheme for sounding the upper atmosphere of Mars in the infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Valverde, Miguel Angel; García-Comas, Maya; Funke, Bernd; Jimenez-Monferrer, Sergio; Lopez-Puertas, Manuel

    2016-04-01

    Several instruments on board Mars Express have been sounding the upper atmosphere of Mars systematically in a limb geometry in the IR part of the spectrum. Two of them in particular, OMEGA and PFS, performed emission measurements during daytime and detected the strongest IR bands of species like CO2 and CO (Piccialli et al, JGRE, submitted). Similarly on Venus, the instrument VIRTIS carried out observations of CO2 and CO bands at 2.7, 4.3 and 4.7 um at high altitudes (Gilli et al, JGRE, 2009). All these daylight atmospheric emissions respond to fluorescent situations, a case of non-local thermodynamic equilibrum conditions (non-LTE), well understood nowadays using comprehensive non-LTE theoretical models and tools (Lopez-Valverde et al., Planet. Space Sci., 2011). However, extensive exploitation of these emissions has only been done in optically thin conditions to date (Gilli et al, Icarus, 2015) or in a broad range of altitudes if in nadir geometry (Peralta et al, Apj, 2015). Within the H2020 project UPWARDS we aim at performing retrievals under non-LTE conditions including optically thick cases, like those of the CO2 and CO strongest bands during daytime in the upper atmosphere of Mars. Similar effort will also be applied eventually to Venus. We will present the non-LTE scheme used for such retrievals, based on similar efforts performed recently in studies of the Earth's upper atmosphere using data from the MIPAS instrument, on board Envisat (Funke et al., Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2009; Jurado-Navarro, PhD Thesis, Univ. Granada, 2015). Acknowledgemnt: This work is supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement UPWARDS-633127

  20. Impact of assimilation window length on diurnal features in a Mars atmospheric analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongjing Zhao

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Effective simulation of diurnal variability is an important aspect of many geophysical data assimilation systems. For the Martian atmosphere, thermal tides are particularly prominent and contribute much to the Martian atmospheric circulation, dynamics and dust transport. To study the Mars diurnal variability and Mars thermal tides, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Mars Global Climate Model with the 4D-local ensemble transform Kalman filter (4D-LETKF is used to perform an analysis assimilating spacecraft temperature retrievals. We find that the use of a ‘traditional’ 6-hr assimilation cycle induces spurious forcing of a resonantly enhanced semi-diurnal Kelvin waves represented in both surface pressure and mid-level temperature by forming a wave 4 pattern in the diurnal averaged analysis increment that acts as a ‘topographic’ stationary forcing. Different assimilation window lengths in the 4D-LETKF are introduced to remove the artificially induced resonance. It is found that short assimilation window lengths not only remove the spurious resonance, but also push the migrating semi-diurnal temperature variation at 50 Pa closer to the estimated ‘true’ tides even in the absence of a radiatively active water ice cloud parameterisation. In order to compare the performance of different assimilation window lengths, short-term to mid-range forecasts based on the hour 00 and 12 assimilation are evaluated and compared. Results show that during Northern Hemisphere summer, it is not the assimilation window length, but the radiatively active water ice clouds that influence the model prediction. A ‘diurnal bias correction’ that includes bias correction fields dependent on the local time is shown to effectively reduce the forecast root mean square differences between forecasts and observations, compensate for the absence of water ice cloud parameterisation and enhance Martian atmosphere prediction. The implications of these results for

  1. Dynamic Mesh CFD Simulations of Orion Parachute Pendulum Motion During Atmospheric Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstrom, Logan D.; Schwing, Alan M.; Robinson, Stephen K.

    2016-01-01

    This paper demonstrates the usage of computational fluid dynamics to study the effects of pendulum motion dynamics of the NASAs Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle parachute system on the stability of the vehicles atmospheric entry and decent. Significant computational fluid dynamics testing has already been performed at NASAs Johnson Space Center, but this study sought to investigate the effect of bulk motion of the parachute, such as pitching, on the induced aerodynamic forces. Simulations were performed with a moving grid geometry oscillating according to the parameters observed in flight tests. As with the previous simulations, OVERFLOW computational fluid dynamics tool is used with the assumption of rigid, non-permeable geometry. Comparison to parachute wind tunnel tests is included for a preliminary validation of the dynamic mesh model. Results show qualitative differences in the flow fields of the static and dynamic simulations and quantitative differences in the induced aerodynamic forces, suggesting that dynamic mesh modeling of the parachute pendulum motion may uncover additional dynamic effects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Som, Sanjoy M.

    2010-11-01

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

  3. 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

  4. The study of the martian atmosphere from top to bottom with SPICAM light on mars express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Fonteyn, D.; Korablev, O.; Chassefière, E.; Dimarellis, E.; Dubois, J. P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Cabane, M.; Rannou, P.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Cernogora, G.; Quemerais, E.; Hermans, C.; Kockarts, G.; Lippens, C.; de Maziere, M.; Moreau, D.; Muller, C.; Neefs, B.; Simon, P. C.; Forget, F.; Hourdin, F.; Talagrand, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Rodin, A.; Sandel, B.; Stern, A.

    2000-10-01

    SPICAM Light is a small UV-IR instrument selected for Mars Express to recover most of the science that was lost with the demise of Mars 96, where the SPICAM set of sensors was dedicated to the study of the atmosphere of Mars (Spectroscopy for the investigation of the characteristics of the atmosphere of mars). The new configuration of SPICAM Light includes optical sensors and an electronics block. A UV spectrometer (118-320 nm, resolution 0.8 nm) is dedicated to Nadir viewing, limb viewing and vertical profiling by stellar occultation (3.8 kg). It addresses key issues about ozone, its coupling with H 2O, aerosols, atmospheric vertical temperature structure and ionospheric studies. An IR spectrometer (1.2- 4.8 μm, resolution 0.4-1 nm) is dedicated to vertical profiling during solar occultation of H 2O, CO 2, CO, aerosols and exploration of carbon compounds (3.5 kg). A nadir looking sensor for H 2O abundances (1.0- 1.7 μm, resolution 0.8 nm) is recently included in the package (0.8 kg). A simple data processing unit (DPU, 0.9 kg) provides the interface of these sensors with the spacecraft. In nadir orientation, SPICAM UV is essentially an ozone detector, measuring the strongest O 3 absorption band at 250 nm in the spectrum of the solar light scattered back from the ground. In the stellar occultation mode the UV Sensor will measure the vertical profiles of CO 2, temperature, O 3, clouds and aerosols. The density/temperature profiles obtained with SPICAM Light will constrain and aid in the development of the meteorological and dynamical atmospheric models, from the surface to 160 km in the atmosphere. This is essential for future missions that will rely on aerocapture and aerobraking. UV observations of the upper atmosphere will allow study of the ionosphere through the emissions of CO, CO +, and CO 2+, and its direct interaction with the solar wind. Also, it will allow a better understanding of escape mechanisms and estimates of their magnitude, crucial for insight

  5. Liquid Rocket Propulsion for Atmospheric Flight in the Proposed ARES Mars Scout Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhl, Christopher A.; Wright, Henry S.; Hunter, Craig A.; Guernsey, Carl S.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2004-01-01

    Flying above the Mars Southern Highlands, an airplane will traverse over the terrain of Mars while conducting unique science measurements of the atmosphere, surface, and interior. This paper describes an overview of the ARES (Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey) mission with an emphasis on airplane propulsion needs. The process for selecting a propulsion system for the ARES airplane is also included. Details of the propulsion system, including system schematics, hardware and performance are provided. The airplane has a 6.25 m wingspan with a total mass of 149 kg and is propelled by a bi-propellant liquid rocket system capable of carrying roughly 48 kg of MMH/MON3 propellant.

  6. The Imprint of Atmospheric Evolution in the D/H of Hesperian Clay Minerals on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Webster, C. R.; Stern, J. C.; Brunner, A. E.; Atreya, S. K.; Conrad, P. G.; Domagal-Goldman, S.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Flesch, G. J.; Christensen, L. E.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio in strongly bound water or hydroxyl groups in ancient Martian clays retains the imprint of the water of formation of these minerals. Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment measured thermally evolved water and hydrogen gas released between 550 degrees Centigrade and 950 degrees Centigrade from samples of Hesperian-era Gale crater smectite to determine this isotope ratio. The D/H value is 3.0 (plus or minus 0.2) times the ratio in standard mean ocean water. The D/H ratio in this approximately 3-billion-year-old mudstone, which is half that of the present Martian atmosphere but substantially higher than that expected in very early Mars, indicates an extended history of hydrogen escape and desiccation of the planet.

  7. Non-thermal escape rates of atmospheric H and D from Mars using MAVEN data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gacesa, M.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2017-12-01

    Geological evidence suggests that an ocean of liquid water existed on Mars until at least middle to late Noachian era (4.1 to 3.8 Ga) and possibly, at least episodically, as late as Hesperian. Between 67% and 87% of the total primordial amount of water, equal to about 70 to 110 meters equivalent (spread over the entire Mars' surface), is believed to have escape to space, while about 35 meters remains on or beneath the surface as water ice. Establishing better constraints on these numbers and identifying the responsible atmospheric loss processes remains the major objective of NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. The ratio of atmospheric Deuterium and Hydrogen (D/H) on Mars is one of the best indicators of water loss to space. While majority of H and D escape through thermal Jeans escape, up to 10% of D can escape to space via non-thermal mechanisms, such as collisions with superthermal neutral atoms. In this study, we present new estimates of non-thermal escape rates of light molecules of interest to the water evolution, including H2, HD, OH, and OD, based on recent measurements of atmospheric density and temperature profiles by MAVEN. The escape mechanisms considered include photochemical sources of hot O, as well as collisions with energetic neutral atoms produced in charge-exchange of solar wind ions with atmospheric gases1,2. Energy transport and escape rates are modeled using quantum reactive scattering formalism3 and seasonal variations are illustrated. Finally, a simple estimate of the role of the non-thermal escape mechanisms in previous eras is given. We conclude that D escape rates can be affected by the non-thermal processes with consequences on the estimates of primordial water inventory based on the D/H ratio. [1] N. Lewkow and V. Kharchenko, Astroph. J., 790, 98 (2014) [2] M. Gacesa, N. Lewkow, V. Kharchenko, Icarus 284, 90 (2017) [3] M. Gacesa and V. Kharchenko, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L10203 (2012)

  8. In Situ Atmospheric Pressure Measurements in the Martian Southern Polar Region: Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor Meteorology Package on the Mars Polar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Polkko, J.; Siili, T.; Crisp, D.

    1998-01-01

    Pressure observations are crucial for the success of the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) Meteorology (MET) package onboard the Mars Polar Lander (MPL), due for launch early next year. The spacecraft is expected to land in December 1999 (L(sub s) = 256 degrees) at a high southern latitude (74 degrees - 78 degrees S). The nominal period of operation is 90 sols but may last up to 210 sols. The MVACS/MET experiment will provide the first in situ observations of atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind, and humidity in the southern hemisphere of Mars and in the polar regions. The martian atmosphere goes through a large-scale atmospheric pressure cycle due to the annual condensation/sublimation of the atmospheric CO2. Pressure also exhibits short period variations associated with dust storms, tides, and other atmospheric events. A series of pressure measurements can hence provide us with information on the large-scale state and dynamics of the atmosphere, including the CO2 and dust cycles as well as local weather phenomena. The measurements can also shed light on the shorter time scale phenomena (e.g., passage of dust devils) and hence be important in contributing to our understanding of mixing and transport of heat, dust, and water vapor.

  9. Network science landers for Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  10. A Survey of the Rapidly Emerging Field of Nanotechnology: Potential Applications for Scientific Instruments and Technologies for Atmospheric Entry Probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyyappan, M.; Arnold, J. O.

    2005-01-01

    The field of Nanotechnology is well funded worldwide and innovations applicable to Solar System Exploration are emerging much more rapidly than thought possible just a few years ago. This presentation will survey recent innovations from nanotechnololgy with a focus on novel applications to atmospheric entry science and probe technology, in a fashion similar to that presented by Arnold and Venkatapathy at the previous workshop forum at Lisbon Portugal, October 6-9, 2003. Nanotechnology is a rapidly emerging field that builds systems, devices and materials from the bottom up, atom by atom, and in so doing provides them with novel and remarkable macro-scale performance. This technology has the potential to revolutionize space exploration by reducing mass and simultaneously increasing capability. Thermal, Radiation, Impact Protective Shields: Atmospheric probes and humans on long duration deep space missions involved in Solar System Exploration must safely endure 3 significant hazards: (i) atmospheric entry; (ii) radiation; and (iii) micrometeorite or debris impact. Nanostructured materials could be developed to address all three hazards with a single protective shield, which would involve much less mass than a traditional approach. The concept can be ready in time for incorporation into NASA s Crew Exploration Vehicle, and possible entry probes to fly on the Jupiter Icy Moons

  11. Paloma: In-Situ Measurement of the Isotopic Composition of Mars Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jambon, A.; Quemerais, E.; Chassiefiere, E.; Berthelier, J. J.; Agrinier, P.; Cartigny, P.; Javoy, M.; Moreira, M.; Sabroux, J. -C.; Sarda, P.; Pineau, J. -F.

    2000-07-01

    Scientific objectives for an atmospheric analysis of Mars are presented in the DREAM project. Among the information presently available most are fragmentary or limited in their precision for both major element (H, C, O, N) and noble gas isotopes. These data are necessary for the understanding and modelling of Mars atmospheric formation and evolution, and consequently for other planets, particularly the Earth. To fulfill the above requirements, two approaches can be envisonned: 1) analysis of a returned sample (DREAM project) or 2) in situ analysis, e.g. PALOMA project presented here. Among the advantages of in situ analysis, we notice: the minimal terrestrial contamination, the unlimited availability of gas to be analyzed and the possibility of multiple analyses (replicates, daynight... ). Difficulties specific to in situ analyses are of a very different kind to those of returned samples. In situ analysis could also be viewed as a preparation to future analysis of returned samples. Finally, some of the measurements will not be possible on Earth: for instance, radon and its short lived decay products, will provide complementary information to 4-He analysis and can only be obtained in situ, independently of analytical capabilities.

  12. A Coupled Soil-Atmosphere Model of H2O2 on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullock, Mark A.; Stoker, Carol R.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Zent, Aaron P.

    1994-01-01

    The Viking Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer failed to detect organic compounds on Mars, and both the Viking Labeled Release and the Viking Gas Exchange experiments indicated a reactive soil surface. These results have led to the widespread belief that there are oxidants in the martian soil. Since H2O2 is produced by photochemical processes in the atmosphere of Mars, and has been shown in the laboratory to reproduce closely the Viking LR results, it is a likely candidate for a martian soil oxidant. Here, we report on the results of a coupled soil/atmosphere transport model for H202 on Mars. Upon diffusing into the soil, its concentration is determined by the extent to which it is adsorbed and by the rate at which it is catalytically destroyed. An analytical model for calculating the distribution of H202 in the martian atmosphere and soil is developed. The concentration of H202 in the soil is shown to go to zero at a finite depth, a consequence of the nonlinear soil diffusion equation. The model is parameterized in terms of an unknown quantity, the lifetime of H202 against heterogeneous catalytic destruction in the soil. Calculated concentrations are compared with a H202 concentration of 30 nmoles/cu cm, inferred from the Viking Labeled Release experiment. A significant result of this model is that for a wide range of H202 lifetimes (up to 105 years), the extinction depth was found to be less than 3 m. The maximum possible concentration in the top 4 cm is calculated to be approx. 240 nmoles/cu cm, achieved with lifetimes of greater than 1000 years. Concentrations higher than 30 nmoles/cu cm require lifetimes of greater than 4.3 terrestrial years. For a wide range of H202 lifetimes, it was found that the atmospheric concentration is only weakly coupled with soil loss processes. Losses to the soil become significant only when lifetimes are less than a few hours. If there are depths below which H202 is not transported, it is plausible that organic compounds

  13. Guidance and Control Architecture Design and Demonstration for Low Ballistic Coefficient Atmospheric Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swei, Sean

    2014-01-01

    We propose to develop a robust guidance and control system for the ADEPT (Adaptable Deployable Entry and Placement Technology) entry vehicle. A control-centric model of ADEPT will be developed to quantify the performance of candidate guidance and control architectures for both aerocapture and precision landing missions. The evaluation will be based on recent breakthroughs in constrained controllability/reachability analysis of control systems and constrained-based energy-minimum trajectory optimization for guidance development operating in complex environments.

  14. The Relationship of the MOLA Topography of Mars to the Mean Atmospheric Pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    1999-01-01

    The MOLA topography of Mars is based on a new mean radius of the planet and new equipotential surface for the areoid. The mean atmospheric pressure surface of 6.1mbars that has been used in the past as a reference level for topography does not apply to the zero level of MOLA elevations. The MOLA mean radius of the planet is 3389508 meters and the mean equatorial radius is 339600 meters. The areoid of the zero level of the MOLA altimetry is defined to be the potential surface with the same potential as the mean equatorial radius. The MOLA topography differs from the USGS digital elevation data by approximately 1.6 km, with MOLA higher. The average pressure on the MOLA reference surface for Ls =0 is approximately 5.1 mbars and has been derived from occultation data obtained from the tracking of Viking, Mariner, and MGS spacecraft and interpolated with the aid of the Ames Mars GCM. The new topography and the new occultation data are providing a more reliable relationship between elevation and surface pressure.

  15. Transport of Mars atmospheric water into high northern latitudes during a polar warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, J. R.; Hollingsworth, J. L.

    1988-01-01

    Several numerical experiments were conducted with a simplified tracer transport model in order to attempt to examine the poleward transport of Mars atmospheric water during a polar warming like that which occurred during the winter solstice dust storm of 1977. The flow for the transport experiments was taken from numerical simulations with a nonlinear beta-plane dynamical model. Previous studies with this model have demonstrated that a polar warming having essential characteristics like those observed during the 1977 dust storm can be produced by a planetary wave mechanism analogous to that responsible for terrestrial sudden stratospheric warmings. Several numerical experiments intended to simulate water transport in the absence of any condensation were carried out. These experiments indicate that the flow during a polar warming can transport very substantial amounts of water to high northern latitudes, given that the water does not condense and fall out before reaching the polar region.

  16. Atmospheric Constraints on the Surface UV Environment of Mars at 3.9 Ga Relevant to Prebiotic Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjan, Sukrit; Wordsworth, Robin; Sasselov, Dimitar D.

    2017-08-01

    Recent findings suggest that Mars may have been a clement environment for the emergence of life and may even have compared favorably to Earth in this regard. These findings have revived interest in the hypothesis that prebiotically important molecules or even nascent life may have formed on Mars and been transferred to Earth. UV light plays a key role in prebiotic chemistry. Characterizing the early martian surface UV environment is key to understanding how Mars compares to Earth as a venue for prebiotic chemistry. Here, we present two-stream, multilayer calculations of the UV surface radiance on Mars at 3.9 Ga to constrain the surface UV environment as a function of atmospheric state. We explore a wide range of atmospheric pressures, temperatures, and compositions that correspond to the diversity of martian atmospheric states consistent with available constraints. We include the effects of clouds and dust. We calculate dose rates to quantify the effect of different atmospheric states on UV-sensitive prebiotic chemistry. We find that, for normative clear-sky CO2-H2O atmospheres, the UV environment on young Mars is comparable to young Earth. This similarity is robust to moderate cloud cover; thick clouds (τcloud ≥ 100) are required to significantly affect the martian UV environment, because cloud absorption is degenerate with atmospheric CO2. On the other hand, absorption from SO2, H2S, and dust is nondegenerate with CO2, meaning that, if these constituents build up to significant levels, surface UV fluence can be suppressed. These absorbers have spectrally variable absorption, meaning that their presence affects prebiotic pathways in different ways. In particular, high SO2 environments may admit UV fluence that favors pathways conducive to abiogenesis over pathways unfavorable to it. However, better measurements of the spectral quantum yields of these pathways are required to evaluate this hypothesis definitively.

  17. Theoretical Investigations of Dielectric Breakdown in CO2: Implications for Atmospheric Discharges on Mars (and Venus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riousset, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    The detection of an atmospheric discharge in the Martian atmosphere by Ruf et al. [GRL, 36, L13202, 2009] supports the idea of a Martian atmospheric electric circuit [Farrell and Desch, JGR, 106, E4, 2001]. However, the lack of subsequent detection of similar events raises the question of the conditions of their initiation, and the existence of Martian lightning remains a controversial question. On Earth, atmospheric electricity manifests itself in the form of glow, corona, streamer, and leader discharges observed as Saint Elmo's fire, sprites, lightning and jets discharges, and other Transient Luminous Events (TLEs). All of these are dielectric breakdown governed by different physics. Their initiation is associated with the crossing of specific electric field thresholds: relativistic runaway, streamer propagation, conventional breakdown, or thermal runaway thresholds, some better understood than others. For example, the initiation of a lightning discharge is known to occur when the local electric field exceeds a value similar to relativistic runaway field, but the exact threshold, as well as the physical mechanisms at work, remain unclear to date. Scaling laws for electric fields (and other quantities) have been established by Pasko et al. [GRL, 25(12), 2123-2126, 1998] and Pasko [NATO Sci. Series, Springer, 253-311, 2006]. In this work, we develop profiles for initiation criteria in air and in other atmospheric environments. We further calculate their associated scaling laws to determine the ability to trigger lightning flashes and TLEs on Mars. This lets us predict the likelihood of electrical discharges and calculate the expected electric field conditions, under which discharges could be observed. We develop the analogy between Earth sand storm [Nicoll et al., Env. Res. Lett., 6, 014001, 2001] and Martian dust storms [Melnik and Parrot, JGR, 103(A12), 1998] to investigate the charge structure and resulting electric fields necessary to initiate dielectric

  18. Atmospheric Modeling of the Martian Polar Regions: One Mars Year of CRISM EPF Observations of the South Pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, A. J.; Wolff, M. J.

    2009-03-01

    We have used CRISM Emission Phase Function gimballed observations to investigate atmospheric dust/ice opacity and surface albedo in the south polar region for the first Mars year of MRO operations. This covers the MY28 "dust event" and cap recession.

  19. Retrieving atmospheric dust opacity on Mars by imaging spectroscopy at large angles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douté, S.; Ceamanos, X.; Appéré, T.

    2013-09-01

    We propose a new method to retrieve the optical depth of Martian aerosols (AOD) from OMEGA and CRISM hyperspectral imagery at a reference wavelength of 1 μm. Our method works even if the underlying surface is completely made of minerals, corresponding to a low contrast between surface and atmospheric dust, while being observed at a fixed geometry. Minimizing the effect of the surface reflectance properties on the AOD retrieval is the second principal asset of our method. The method is based on the parametrization of the radiative coupling between particles and gas determining, with local altimetry, acquisition geometry, and the meteorological situation, the absorption band depth of gaseous CO2. Because the last three factors can be predicted to some extent, we can define a new parameter β that expresses specifically the strength of the gas-aerosols coupling while directly depending on the AOD. Combining estimations of β and top of the atmosphere radiance values extracted from the observed spectra within the CO2 gas band at 2 μm, we evaluate the AOD and the surface reflectance by radiative transfer inversion. One should note that practically β can be estimated for a large variety of mineral or icy surfaces with the exception of CO2 ice when its 2 μm solid band is not sufficiently saturated. Validation of the proposed method shows that it is reliable if two conditions are fulfilled: (i) the observation conditions provide large incidence or/and emergence angles (ii) the aerosols are vertically well mixed in the atmosphere. Experiments conducted on OMEGA nadir looking observations as well as CRISM multi-angular acquisitions with incidence angles higher than 65° in the first case and 33° in the second case produce very satisfactory results. Finally in a companion paper the method is applied to monitoring atmospheric dust spring activity at high southern latitudes on Mars using OMEGA.

  20. Mars atmosphere studies with the SPICAM IR emission phase function observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trokhimovskiy, Alexander; Fedorova, Anna; Montmessin, Franck; Korablev, Oleg; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    Emission Phase Function (EPF) observations is a powerful tool for characterization of atmosphere and surface. EPF sequence provides the extensive coverage of scattering angles above the targeted surface location which allow to separate the surface and aerosol scattering, study a vertical distribution of minor species and aerosol properties. SPICAM IR instrument on Mars Express mission provides continuous atmospheric observations in near IR (1-1.7 mu) in nadir and limb starting from 2004. For the first years of SPICAM operation only a very limited number of EPFs was performed. But from the mid 2013 (Ls=225, MY31) SPICAM EPF observations become rather regular. Based on the multiple-scattering radiative transfer model SHDOM, we analyze equivalent depths of carbon dioxide (1,43 mu) and water vapour (1,38 mu) absorption bands and their dependence on airmass during observation sequence to get aerosol optical depths and properties. The derived seasonal dust opacities from near IR can be used to retrieve the size distribution from comparison with simultaneous results of other instruments in different spectral ranges. Moreover, the EPF observations of water vapour band allow to access poorly known H2O vertical distribution for different season and locations.

  1. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars­Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m2 of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  2. DYNAMO: a Mars upper atmosphere package for investigating solar wind interaction and escape processes, and mapping Martian fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chassefiere, E.; Nagy, A.; Mandea, M.

    2004-01-01

    DYNAMO is a small multi-instrument payload aimed at characterizing current atmospheric escape, which is still poorly constrained, and improving gravity and magnetic field representations, in order to better understand the magnetic, geologic and thermal history of Mars. The internal structure...... of periapsis 170 km), and in a lesser extent 2a, offers an unprecedented opportunity to investigate by in situ probing the chemical and dynamical properties of the deep ionosphere, thermosphere, and the interaction between the atmosphere and the solar wind, and therefore the present atmospheric escape rate...

  3. The Mars Crustal Magnetic Field Control of Plasma Boundary Locations and Atmospheric Loss: MHD Prediction and Comparison with MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Xiaohua; Ma, Yingjuan; Masunaga, Kei; Dong, Chuanfei; Brain, David; Halekas, Jasper; Lillis, Robert; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Connerney, Jack; Grebowsky, Joseph; hide

    2017-01-01

    We present results from a global Mars time-dependent MHD simulation under constant solar wind and solar radiation impact considering inherent magnetic field variations due to continuous planetary rotation. We calculate the 3-D shapes and locations of the bow shock (BS) and the induced magnetospheric boundary (IMB) and then examine their dynamic changes with time. We develop a physics-based, empirical algorithm to effectively summarize the multidimensional crustal field distribution. It is found that by organizing the model results using this new approach, the Mars crustal field shows a clear, significant influence on both the IMB and the BS. Specifically, quantitative relationships have been established between the field distribution and the mean boundary distances and the cross-section areas in the terminator plane for both of the boundaries. The model-predicted relationships are further verified by the observations from the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. Our analysis shows that the boundaries are collectively affected by the global crustal field distribution, which, however, cannot be simply parameterized by a local parameter like the widely used subsolar longitude. Our calculations show that the variability of the intrinsic crustal field distribution in Mars-centered Solar Orbital itself may account for approx.60% of the variation in total atmospheric loss, when external drivers are static. It is found that the crustal field has not only a shielding effect for atmospheric loss but also an escape-fostering effect by positively affecting the transterminator ion flow cross-section area.

  4. Assessment of Mars Atmospheric Temperature Retrievals from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer Radiances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Matthew J.; Eluszkiewicz, Janusz; Weisenstein, Deborah; Uymin, Gennady; Moncet, Jean-Luc

    2012-01-01

    Motivated by the needs of Mars data assimilation. particularly quantification of measurement errors and generation of averaging kernels. we have evaluated atmospheric temperature retrievals from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) radiances. Multiple sets of retrievals have been considered in this study; (1) retrievals available from the Planetary Data System (PDS), (2) retrievals based on variants of the retrieval algorithm used to generate the PDS retrievals, and (3) retrievals produced using the Mars 1-Dimensional Retrieval (M1R) algorithm based on the Optimal Spectral Sampling (OSS ) forward model. The retrieved temperature profiles are compared to the MGS Radio Science (RS) temperature profiles. For the samples tested, the M1R temperature profiles can be made to agree within 2 K with the RS temperature profiles, but only after tuning the prior and error statistics. Use of a global prior that does not take into account the seasonal dependence leads errors of up 6 K. In polar samples. errors relative to the RS temperature profiles are even larger. In these samples, the PDS temperature profiles also exhibit a poor fit with RS temperatures. This fit is worse than reported in previous studies, indicating that the lack of fit is due to a bias correction to TES radiances implemented after 2004. To explain the differences between the PDS and Ml R temperatures, the algorithms are compared directly, with the OSS forward model inserted into the PDS algorithm. Factors such as the filtering parameter, the use of linear versus nonlinear constrained inversion, and the choice of the forward model, are found to contribute heavily to the differences in the temperature profiles retrieved in the polar regions, resulting in uncertainties of up to 6 K. Even outside the poles, changes in the a priori statistics result in different profile shapes which all fit the radiances within the specified error. The importance of the a priori statistics prevents

  5. Monitoring the airborne dust and water vapor in the low atmosphere of Mars: the MEDUSA experiment for the ESA ExoMars mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Francesca; Colangeli, Luigi; Palumbo, Pasquale; Della Corte, Vincenzo; Molfese, Cesare; Merrison, Jonathan; Nornberg, Per; Lopez-Moreno, J. J.; Rodriguez Gomez, Julio

    Dust and water vapour are fundamental components of Martian atmosphere. Dust amount varies with seasons and with the presence of local and global dust storms, but never drops entirely to zero. Aerosol dust has always played a fundamental role on the Martian climate. Dust interaction with solar and thermal radiation and the related condensation and evaporation processes influence the thermal structure and balance, and the dynamics (in terms of circulation) of the atmosphere. Water vapour is a minor constituent of the Martian atmosphere but it plays a fundamental role and it is important as indicator of seasonal climate changes. Moreover, the interest about the water cycle on local and global scales is linked to the fundamental function that water could have played in relation to the existence of living organisms on Mars. In view of tracing the past environmental conditions on Mars, that possibly favoured the appearing of life forms, it is important to study the present climate and its evolution, on which dust and water vapour have (and have had) strong influence. Moreover, nowadays, dust is a relevant agent that affects environmental conditions in the lower Martian atmosphere and, thus, may interact / interfere with any instrumentation delivered to Mars surface for in situ analyses. So, information on dust properties and deposition rate is also of great interest for future mission design. Knowledge of how much dust settles on solar arrays and the size and shape of particles will be crucial elements for designing missions that will operate by solar power for periods of several years and will have moving parts which will experience degradation by dust. This information is essential also for proper planning of future manned missions in relation to characterisation of environmental hazardous conditions. Little is known about dust structure and dynamics, so far. Size distribution is known only roughly and the mechanism of settling and rising into the atmosphere, the

  6. Entry Descent and Landing Workshop Proceedings. Volume 1; Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment-3 (IRVE-3) Project Overview & Instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillman, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Entry mass at Mars is limited by the payload size that can be carried by a rigid capsule that can fit inside the launch vehicle fairing. Landing altitude at Mars is limited by ballistic coefficient (mass per area) of entry body. Inflatable technologies allow payload to use full diameter of launch fairing, and deploy larger aeroshell before atmospheric interface, landing more payload at a higher altitude. Also useful for return of large payloads from Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

  7. Gravity Waves in the Martian Atmosphere detected by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Pätzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Tyler, G. L.; Hinson, D. P.

    2013-09-01

    Gravity waves are an ubiquitous feature in all stably stratified planetary atmospheres. They are known to play a significant role in the energy and momentum budget of the Earth, and they are assumed to be of importance for the redistribution of energy and momentum throughout the Martian atmosphere.

  8. Potential of Glassy Carbon and Silicon Carbide Photonic Structures as Electromagnetic Radiation Shields for Atmospheric Re-entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komarevskiy,Nikolay; Shklover, Valery; Braginsky, Leonid; Hafner, Christian; Lawson, John W.

    2012-01-01

    During high-velocity atmospheric entries, space vehicles can be exposed to strong electromagnetic radiation from ionized gas in the shock layer. Glassy carbon (GC) and silicon carbide (SiC) are candidate thermal protection materials due to their high melting point and also their good thermal and mechanical properties. Based on data from shock tube experiments, a significant fraction of radiation at hypersonic entry conditions is in the frequency range from 215 to 415 THz. We propose and analyze SiC and GC photonic structures to increase the reflection of radiation in that range. For this purpose, we performed numerical optimizations of various structures using an evolutionary strategy. Among the considered structures are layered, porous, woodpile, inverse opal and guided-mode resonance structures. In order to estimate the impact of fabrication inaccuracies, the sensitivity of the reflectivity to structural imperfections is analyzed. We estimate that the reflectivity of GC photonic structures is limited to 38% in the aforementioned range, due to material absorption. However, GC material can be effective for photonic reflection of individual, strong spectral line. SiC on the other hand can be used to design a good reflector for the entire frequency range.

  9. Simulation and Spacecraft Design: Engineering Mars Landings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Erik M

    2015-10-01

    A key issue in history of technology that has received little attention is the use of simulation in engineering design. This article explores the use of both mechanical and numerical simulation in the design of the Mars atmospheric entry phases of the Viking and Mars Pathfinder missions to argue that engineers used both kinds of simulation to develop knowledge of their designs' likely behavior in the poorly known environment of Mars. Each kind of simulation could be used as a warrant of the other's fidelity, in an iterative process of knowledge construction.

  10. Digital simulation of a communication link for Pioneer Saturn Uranus atmospheric entry probe, part 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichs, C. A.

    1975-01-01

    A digital simulation study is presented for a candidate modulator/demodulator design in an atmospheric scintillation environment with Doppler, Doppler rate, and signal attenuation typical of the conditions of an outer planet atmospheric probe. The simulation results indicate that the mean channel error rate with and without scintillation are similar to theoretical characterizations of the link. The simulation gives information for calculating other channel statistics and generates a quantized symbol stream on magnetic tape from which error correction decoding is analyzed. Results from the magnetic tape data analyses are also included. The receiver and bit synchronizer are modeled in the simulation at the level of hardware component parameters rather than at the loop equation level and individual hardware parameters are identified. The atmospheric scintillation amplitude and phase are modeled independently. Normal and log normal amplitude processes are studied. In each case the scintillations are low pass filtered. The receiver performance is given for a range of signal to noise ratios with and without the effects of scintillation. The performance is reviewed for critical reciever parameter variations.

  11. An electromagnetic method for removing the communication blackout with a space vehicle upon re-entry into the atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jianjun; Jin, Ke; Kou, Yong; Hu, Ruifeng; Zheng, Xiaojing

    2017-03-01

    When a hypersonic vehicle travels in the Earth and Mars atmosphere, the surface of the vehicle is surrounded by a plasma layer, which is an envelope of ionized air, created from the compression and heat of the atmosphere by the shock wave. The vehicles will lose contact with ground stations known as the reentry communication blackout. Based on the magnetohydrodynamic framework and electromagnetic wave propagation theory, an analytical model is proposed to describe the effect of the effectiveness of electromagnetic mitigation scheme on removing the reentry communication blackout. C and Global Positioning System (GPS) bands, two commonly used radio bands for communication, are taken as the cases to discuss the effectiveness of the electromagnetic field mitigation scheme. The results show that the electron density near the antenna of vehicles can be reduced by the electromagnetic field, and the required external magnetic field strength is far below the one in the magnetic window method. The directions of the external electric field and magnetic field have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the mitigation scheme. Furthermore, the effect of electron collisions on the required applied electromagnetic field is discussed, and the result indicates that electron collisions are a key factor to analyze the electromagnetic mitigation scheme. Finally, the feasible regions of the applied electromagnetic field for eliminating blackout are given. These investigations could have a significant benefit on the design and optimization of electromagnetic mitigation scheme for the blackout problem.

  12. Computer simulations for the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission through NASA's "Project Spectra!"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christofferson, R.; Wood, E. L.; Euler, G.

    2012-12-01

    "Project Spectra!" is a standards-based light science and engineering program on solar system exploration that includes both hands-on paper and pencil activities as well as Flash-based computer games that help students solidify understanding of high-level planetary and solar physics. Using computer interactive games where students experience and manipulate the information makes abstract concepts accessible. Visualizing lessons with multi-media tools solidifies understanding and retention of knowledge. Since students can choose what to watch and explore, the interactives accommodate a broad range of learning styles. Students can go back and forth through the interactives if they've missed a concept or wish to view something again. In the end, students are asked critical thinking questions and conduct web-based research. As a part of the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission education programming, we've developed two new "Project Spectra!" interactives that go hand-in-hand with a paper and pencil activity. The MAVEN mission will study volatiles in the upper atmosphere to help piece together Mars' climate history. In the first interactive, students explore black body radiation, albedo, and a simplified greenhouse effect to establish what factors contribute to overall planetary temperature and how they contribute. Students are asked to create a scenario in which a planet they build and design is able to maintain liquid water on the surface. In the second interactive, students are asked to consider Mars and the conditions needed for Mars to support water on the surface, keeping some variables fixed. Ideally, students will walk away with the very basic and critical elements required for climate studies, which has far-reaching implications beyond the study of Mars. These interactives are currently being pilot tested at Arvada High School in Colorado.

  13. Computer simulations for the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission through NASA's 'Project Spectra!'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2013-12-01

    'Project Spectra!' is a standards-based light science and engineering program on solar system exploration that includes both hands-on paper and pencil activities as well as Flash-based computer games that help students solidify understanding of high-level planetary and solar physics. Using computer interactive games where students experience and manipulate the information makes abstract concepts accessible. Visualizing lessons with multi-media tools solidifies understanding and retention of knowledge. Since students can choose what to watch and explore, the interactives accommodate a broad range of learning styles. Students can go back and forth through the interactives if they've missed a concept or wish to view something again. In the end, students are asked critical thinking questions and conduct web-based research. As a part of the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission education programming, we've developed two new 'Project Spectra!' interactives that go hand-in-hand with a paper and pencil activity. The MAVEN mission will study volatiles in the upper atmosphere to help piece together Mars' climate history. In the first interactive, students explore black body radiation, albedo, and a simplified greenhouse effect to establish what factors contribute to overall planetary temperature and how they contribute. Students are asked to create a scenario in which a planet they build and design is able to maintain liquid water on the surface. In the second interactive, students are asked to consider Mars and the conditions needed for Mars to support water on the surface, keeping some variables fixed. Ideally, students will walk away with the very basic and critical elements required for climate studies, which has far-reaching implications beyond the study of Mars. These interactives were pilot tested at Arvada High School in Colorado.

  14. Atmosphere Re-Entry Simulation Using Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Pellicani

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Hypersonic re-entry vehicles aerothermodynamic investigations provide fundamental information to other important disciplines like materials and structures, assisting the development of thermal protection systems (TPS efficient and with a low weight. In the transitional flow regime, where thermal and chemical equilibrium is almost absent, a new numerical method for such studies has been introduced, the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC numerical technique. The acceptance and applicability of the DSMC method have increased significantly in the 50 years since its invention thanks to the increase in computer speed and to the parallel computing. Anyway, further verification and validation efforts are needed to lead to its greater acceptance. In this study, the Monte Carlo simulator OpenFOAM and Sparta have been studied and benchmarked against numerical and theoretical data for inert and chemically reactive flows and the same will be done against experimental data in the near future. The results show the validity of the data found with the DSMC. The best setting of the fundamental parameters used by a DSMC simulator are presented for each software and they are compared with the guidelines deriving from the theory behind the Monte Carlo method. In particular, the number of particles per cell was found to be the most relevant parameter to achieve valid and optimized results. It is shown how a simulation with a mean value of one particle per cell gives sufficiently good results with very low computational resources. This achievement aims to reconsider the correct investigation method in the transitional regime where both the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC and the computational fluid-dynamics (CFD can work, but with a different computational effort.

  15. Search for Local Variations of Atmospheric H2O and CO on Mars with PFS/Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lellouch, E.; Encrenaz, T.; Fouchet, T.; Billebaud, F.; Formisano, V.; Atreya, S.; Ignatiev, N.; Moroz, V.; Maturilli, A.; Grassi, D.; Pfs Team

    Spectra recorded by the PFS instrument onboard Mars Express include clear spectral signatures due to CO at 4.7 and 2.3 micron, and H2O at 1.38, 2.6 and 30-50 micron. These features can be used to determine the horizontal distribution of these species on global and local scales and to monitor it with time. Here we investigate the local variations of H2O and CO, focussing on the regions of high-altitude volcanoes. Preliminary results suggest a significant decrease of the CO mixing ratio in these regions, as was found from ISM/Phobos observations (Rosenqvist et al. Icarus 98, 254, 1992).

  16. Studies of the mass spectrometer of the PALOMA instrument dedicated to Mars atmosphere analysis from a landed platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulpeau, G.; Berthelier, J.-J.; Covinhes, J.; Chassefière, E.; Jambon, A.; Agrinier, P.; Sarda, Ph.

    2003-04-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (PAyload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe), stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) and trace constituents of astrobiological interest, like CH4, H2CO, N2O, H2S, will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. Isotopic ratios have to be measured with an accuracy of about 1‰, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnostic of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns, finally to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. In order to reach these high sensitivity levels, two spectrometers of complitely different conceptions have been developed. The first one is constituted of conscutive electrostatic and magnetic sectors. It’s an application of E. G. Johnson and A. O. Nier’s previous work in that domain. Theirs parameters have been calculated in a way both angular and energetic optical aberrations from the two fields compensate each other to the second order. Simulated flights of ions in the resulting electromagnetic optic forshadow the effectiveness of the instrument. The second spectrometer is of the time of flight type. Its developpement, as a possible alternative to the magnetic system, shows the TOF spectrometer as an instrument allying great sensitivity and reduiced weight and dimensions.

  17. Thermal infrared sounding observations of lower atmospheric variances at Mars and their implications for gravity wave activity: a preliminary examination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavens, N. G.

    2017-12-01

    It has been recognized for over two decades that the mesoscale statistical variance observed by Earth-observing satellites at temperature-sensitive frequencies above the instrumental noise floor is a measure of gravity wave activity. These types of observation have been made by a variety of satellite instruments have been an important validation tool for gravity wave parameterizations in global and mesoscale models. At Mars, the importance of topographic and non-topographic sources of gravity waves for the general circulation is now widely recognized and the target of recent modeling efforts. However, despite several ingenious studies, gravity wave activity near hypothetical lower atmospheric sources has been poorly and unsystematically characterized, partly because of the difficulty of separating the gravity wave activity from baroclinic wave activity and the thermal tides. Here will be presented a preliminary analysis of calibrated radiance variance at 15.4 microns (635-665 cm-1) from nadir, off-nadir, and limb observations by the Mars Climate Sounder on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The overarching methodology follows Wu and Waters (1996, 1997). Nadir, off-nadir, and lowest detector limb observations should sample variability with vertical weighting functions centered high in the lower atmosphere (20-30 km altitude) and full width half maximum (FWHM) 20 km but be sensitive to gravity waves with different horizontal wavelengths and slightly different vertical wavelengths. This work is supported by NASA's Mars Data Analysis Program (NNX14AM32G). References Wu, D.L. and J.W. Waters, 1996, Satellite observations of atmospheric variances: A possible indication of gravity waves, GRL, 23, 3631-3634. Wu D.L. and J.W. Waters, 1997, Observations of Gravity Waves with the UARS Microwave Limb Sounder. In: Hamilton K. (eds) Gravity Wave Processes. NATO ASI Series (Series I: Environmental Change), vol 50. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Russian contribution to ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter: Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakun, Alexey; Korablev, Oleg; Trokhimovskiy, Alexander; Grigoriev, Alexey; Anufreychik, Konstantin; Fedorova, Anna; Ignatiev, Nikolay; Ivanov, Yuriy; Moshkin, Boris; Kalinnikov, Yuriy; Montmessin, Franck

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS) is a part of science payload of Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), ExoMars mission. This project developed by European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos). Russian contribution to ExoMars TGO is the Proton rocket and two science instruments ACS (three infrared spectrometers) and FREND (neutron detector). ACS consists of three infrared spectrometers (ACS/NIR, ACS/MIR and ACS/TIRVIM) capable to take spectral measurements from near to thermal infrared range simultaneously or separately. Spectrometric channels of ACS share common mechanical, electrical, and thermal interfaces. Electronic box (ACS/BE) provides to spectrometric channels power and data transfer interfaces. SpaceWire link is used for science data transfer and MIL-1553 link - for commanding and housekeeping data transfer. The NIR channel is an echelle spectrometer with acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) for the selection of diffraction orders. ACS NIR is capable to perform nadir and occultation observations. NIR covers the spectral range of 0.7-1.7 μm with resolving power of ~25000. NIR will perform unique for TGO instruments nightglow science (searching for O2, OH, NO nightglow emissions on Mars). From the 1.38 μm band NIR will do water vapour mapping in nadir and H2O vertical profiling in solar occultations. High resolution NIR measurements of 1.27 μm O2(a1Δg) dayglow will supply indirect ozone observations on the dayside on nadir. In solar occultation mode, the O2 vertical profiles will be measured from the surface (in case of low dust activity) to the 40 km altitude based on 0.76 μm absorption band. Together with MIR channel in solar occultation NIR will support the measurements of CO2 density profiles (based on 1.43 μm band) and aerosols characterization from 0.7 to 4 μm. The wide spectral range will allow not just determine aerosol particle sizes and density at different altitudes, but also distinguish between dust and ice particles

  20. Tracking the MSL-SAM methane detection source location Through Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge

    2016-04-01

    1. Introduction: The putative in situ detection of methane by Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on Curiosi-ty at Gale crater has garnered significant attention because of the potential implications for the presence of geological methane sources or indigenous Martian organisms [1, 2]. SAM reported detection of back-ground levels of atmospheric methane of mean value 0.69±0.25 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) at the 95% confidence interval (CI). Additionally, in four sequential measurements spanning a 60-sol period, SAM observed elevated levels of methane of 7.2±2.1 ppbv (95% CI), implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source. There are many major unresolved questions regard-ing this detection: 1) What are the potential sources of the methane release? 2) What causes the rapid decrease in concentration? and 3) Where is the re-lease location? 4) How spatially extensive is the re-lease? 5) For how long is CH4 released? Regarding the first question, the source of methane, is so far not identified. It could be related with geo-logical process like methane release from clathrates [3], serpentinisation [4] and volcanism [5]; or due to biological activity from methanogenesis [6]. To answer the second question, the rapid decrease in concentration, it is important to note that the photo-chemical lifetime of methane is of order 100 years, much longer than the atmospheric mixing time scale, and thus the gas should tend to be well mixed except near a source or shortly after an episodic release. The observed spike of 7 ppb from the background of System (MRAMS). The model was focused on rover locations using nested grids with a spacing of 330 meters on the in-nermost grid that is centered over the landing [8, 9]. MRAMS is ideally suited for this investigation; the model is explicitly designed to simulate Mars' at-mospheric circulations at the mesoscale and smaller with realistic, high-resolution surface properties [10, 11

  1. Mars Atmosphere and Regolith COllector/PrOcessor for Lander Operations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project was established to build and demonstrate a methane/oxygen propellant production system in a Mars analog environment. Proving a propellant production...

  2. A 2D-model of planetary atmospheres based on a collisional approach : application to Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boqueho, V.; Blelly, P. L.; Peymirat, C.

    A 2D model of planetary atmospheres has been developed, based on a collisional approach. The multi-moment multi-species transport equations allow to study the atmospheric regions from the ground to the thermosphere and the exosphere in an only one self-consistent model. A 13-moment approximation is used: concentration, velocities, temperature, heat flows and stress tensor are then solved for each species. On Mars, we consider 8 species in the altitude - longitude plane, from surface to 450 km, the altitude above which atomic hydrogen becomes the major species. Main chemical and photodissociation processes are included, and thermal processes are considered above 80 km. On Titan, 3 species are considered in the altitude range 800 - 3000 km, and UV heating and HCN radiative cooling are accounted for. Different solar conditions have been considered, and simulations have been performed in the equatorial region. Results of the model for Mars are compared to Viking and Mariner data and to Bougher et al. [1988] model. Concerning Titan, the results are compared to Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000] model. Temperature profiles on Mars appear to be consistent with experimental data, but horizontal winds are very different from Bougher et al. [1988]. On Titan, results appear to be close to Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000] in the thermosphere; nevertheless, the change in the behavior above the exobase is as important as on Mars. The differences between models are analyzed, and contributions of a multi-moment multi-species approach in 2D are discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. Thermal History and Volatile Partitioning between Proto-Atmosphere and Interior of Mars Accreted in a Solar Nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Hiroaki; Kuramoto, Kiyoshi

    2015-11-01

    Recent precise Hf-W chronometry of Martian meteorites reveals that Mars had likely reached the half of its present mass within 3 Myr from the birth of the solar system (Dauphas and Pourmand, 2011). Hence, the accretion is considered to almost proceed within the solar nebula associated with the capture of nebula gas components. At the same time, the impact degassing may inevitably occur because impact velocity increases high enough for such degassing when a proto-planet gets larger than around lunar size. Thus, we can expect the formation of a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere that consists of nebula gas and degassed one.This study analyzes the thermal structure of this proto-atmosphere sustained by accretional heating by building a 1D radiative-convective equilibrium model. Raw materials of Mars are supposed to be volatile-rich on the basis of the geochemical systematics of Mars meteorites (Dreibus and Wanke, 1988). The composition of degassed component comprised of H2, H2O, CH4, and CO is determined by chemical equilibrium with silicate and metal under the physical condition of locally heated region generated by each impact (Kuramoto, 1997). Degassed component lies beneath the nebula gas atmosphere at altitudes below the compositional boundary height that would change depending on the amount of degassed component. The accretion time is taken to be from 1 to 6 Myr.Our model predicts that the surface temperature exceeds the liquidus temperature of rock when a proto Mars grows larger than 0.7 times of its present mass for the longest accretion time case. In this case, the magma ocean mass just after the end of accretion is 0.2 times of its present mass if heat transfer and heat sources such as short-lived radionuclides are neglected in the interior. The corresponding amount of water dissolved into the magma ocean would be around 1.8 times the present Earth ocean mass. These results suggest that the earliest Mars would be hot enough to form deep magma oceans, which

  5. Plasma Observations During the Mars Atmospheric Plume Event of March-April 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, D. J.; Barabash, S.; Edberg, N. J. T.; Gurnett, D. A.; Hall, B. E. S.; Holmstrom, M.; Lester, M.; Morgan, D. D.; Opgenoorth, H. J.; Ramstad, R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present initial analysis and conclusions from plasma observations made during the reported Mars Dust plume event of March - April 2012. During this period, multiple independent amateur observers detected a localized, high-altitude plume over the Martian dawn terminator [Sanchez-Lavega7 et al., Nature, 2015, doi:10.1038nature14162], the origin of which remains to be explained. We report on in-situ measurements of ionospheric plasma density and solar wind parameters throughout this interval made by Mars Express, obtained over the surface region, but at the opposing terminator. We tentatively conclude that the formation and/or transport of this plume to the altitudes where it was observed could be due in part the result of a large interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) encountering the Martian system. Interestingly, we note that a similar plume detection in May 1997 may also have been associated with a large ICME impact at Mars.

  6. An instrument to measure turbulent eddy fluxes in the atmosphere of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. Rafkin; D. Banfield; R. Dissly; J. Silver; A. Stanton; E. Wilkinson; W. Massman; J. Ham

    2012-01-01

    Turbulent eddies in the planetary boundary layer of the terrestrial planet atmospheres are the primary mechanism by which energy, momentum, gasses, and aerosols are exchanged between the surface and the atmosphere [1]. The importance of eddies has long been recognized by the Earth atmospheric science community, and turbulent theory for Earth has a long history with a...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-03-05

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

  8. The Effect of the Spin-Forbidden Co((sup 1) Sigma plus) plus O((sup 3) P) Yields CO2 (1 Sigma (sub G) plus) Recombination Reaction on Afterbody Heating of Mars Entry Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lu T.; Jaffe, Richard L.; Schwenke, David W.; Panesi, Marco

    2017-01-01

    Vibrationally excited CO2, formed by two-body recombination from CO((sup 1) sigma plus) and O((sup 3) P) in the wake behind spacecraft entering the Martian atmosphere reaction, is potentially responsible for the higher than anticipated radiative heating of the backshell, compared to pre-flight predictions. This process involves a spin-forbidden transition of the transient triplet CO2 molecule to the longer-lived singlet. To accurately predict the singlet-triplet transition probability and estimate the thermal rate coefficient of the recombination reaction, ab initio methods were used to compute the first singlet and three lowest triplet CO2 potential energy surfaces and the spin-orbit coupling matrix elements between these states. Analytical fits to these four potential energy surfaces were generated for surface hopping trajectory calculations, using Tully's fewest switches surface hopping algorithm. Preliminary results for the trajectory calculations are presented. The calculated probability of a CO((sup 1) sigma plus) and O((sup 3) P) collision leading to singlet CO2 formation is on the order of 10 (sup -4). The predicted flowfield conditions for various Mars entry scenarios predict temperatures in the range of 1000 degrees Kelvin - 4000 degrees Kelvin and pressures in the range of 300-2500 pascals at the shoulder and in the wake, which is consistent with a heavy-particle collision frequency of 10 (sup 6) to 10 (sup 7) per second. Owing to this low collision frequency, it is likely that CO((sup 1) sigma plus) molecules formed by this mechanism will mostly be frozen in a highly nonequilibrium rovibrational energy state until they relax by photoemission.

  9. Cooldown to residual heat removal entry conditions using atmospheric dump valves and auxiliary pressurizer spray following a loss-of-offsite power at Calvert Cliffs, Unit 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jenks, R.P.

    1984-01-01

    An investigation of cooldown using atmospheric dump valves (ADVs) and auxiliary pressurizer spray (APS) following loss-of-offsite power at Calvert Cliffs-1 showed residual heat removal entry conditions could not be reached with the plant ADVs alone. Use of APS with the plant ADVs enhanced depressurization, but still provided insufficient cooldown. Effective cooldown and depressurization was shown to occur when rated steady state flow through the ADVs was increased by a factor of four. 6 refs., 30 figs., 2 tabs

  10. Spore-Forming Thermophilic Bacterium within Artificial Meteorite Survives Entry into the Earth's Atmosphere on FOTON-M4 Satellite Landing Module.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slobodkin, Alexander; Gavrilov, Sergey; Ionov, Victor; Iliyin, Vyacheslav

    2015-01-01

    One of the key conditions of the lithopanspermia hypothesis is that microorganisms situated within meteorites could survive hypervelocity entry from space through the Earth's atmosphere. So far, all experimental proof of this possibility has been based on tests with sounding rockets which do not reach the transit velocities of natural meteorites. We explored the survival of the spore-forming thermophilic anaerobic bacterium, Thermoanaerobacter siderophilus, placed within 1.4-cm thick basalt discs fixed on the exterior of a space capsule (the METEORITE experiment on the FOTON-M4 satellite). After 45 days of orbital flight, the landing module of the space vehicle returned to Earth. The temperature during the atmospheric transit was high enough to melt the surface of basalt. T. siderophilus survived the entry; viable cells were recovered from 4 of 24 wells loaded with this microorganism. The identity of the strain was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequence and physiological tests. This is the first report on the survival of a lifeform within an artificial meteorite after entry from space orbit through Earth's atmosphere at a velocity that closely approached the velocities of natural meteorites. The characteristics of the artificial meteorite and the living object applied in this study can serve as positive controls in further experiments on testing of different organisms and conditions of interplanetary transport.

  11. Spore-Forming Thermophilic Bacterium within Artificial Meteorite Survives Entry into the Earth's Atmosphere on FOTON-M4 Satellite Landing Module.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Slobodkin

    Full Text Available One of the key conditions of the lithopanspermia hypothesis is that microorganisms situated within meteorites could survive hypervelocity entry from space through the Earth's atmosphere. So far, all experimental proof of this possibility has been based on tests with sounding rockets which do not reach the transit velocities of natural meteorites. We explored the survival of the spore-forming thermophilic anaerobic bacterium, Thermoanaerobacter siderophilus, placed within 1.4-cm thick basalt discs fixed on the exterior of a space capsule (the METEORITE experiment on the FOTON-M4 satellite. After 45 days of orbital flight, the landing module of the space vehicle returned to Earth. The temperature during the atmospheric transit was high enough to melt the surface of basalt. T. siderophilus survived the entry; viable cells were recovered from 4 of 24 wells loaded with this microorganism. The identity of the strain was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequence and physiological tests. This is the first report on the survival of a lifeform within an artificial meteorite after entry from space orbit through Earth's atmosphere at a velocity that closely approached the velocities of natural meteorites. The characteristics of the artificial meteorite and the living object applied in this study can serve as positive controls in further experiments on testing of different organisms and conditions of interplanetary transport.

  12. Preliminary Interpretations of Atmospheric Stable Isotopes and Argon from Mars Science Laboratory (SAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, J. H.; Niles, P. B.; Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Flesch, G. J.; Christensen, L. E.; Leshin, L. A.; Franz, H.; Wong, M.; Atreya, S. K.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Given the broad agreement between C, H, and O isotopic ratios in the modern atmosphere and the ALH 84001 meteorite, it is possible that these reservoirs were established after early atmospheric loss prior to 4 Ga. The preservation of these signals over this long period of history can be explained in several slightly different ways: 1) C, O, and H have remained static in the atmosphere and have not exchanged with the surface over the past 4 Ga; 2) C, O, and H in the atmosphere have potentially varied widely over history but have been continually buffered by larger reservoirs in the crust which have remained unchanged over the past 4 Ga. This second possibility allows for potentially large variations in atmospheric pressure to occur as CO2 is recycled back into the atmosphere from crustal reservoirs or degassed from the mantle.

  13. Ertel Potential Vorticity versus Bernoulli Streamfunction in Earth's Southern Ocean: Comparison with the Atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Timothy E.; Stanley, Geoff; Bradley, Mary Elizabeth; Marshall, David P.

    2017-10-01

    We are working to expand the comparative planetology of vorticity-streamfunction correlations established for the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn to include Earth’s Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which is the only oceanic jet that encircles the planet. Interestingly, the ACC and its eddies scale like atmospheric jets and eddies on Jupiter and Saturn---the Southern Ocean is a “giant planet” with a zonal jet stream. Our input is the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE; Mazloff et al 2010, J. Phys. Ocean. 40, 880-899), an optimal combination of observations and primitive-equation model that spans 2005-2010. Two hurdles not encountered in atmospheric work arise from the nonlinear equation of state of ocean water: non-zero helicity, which prevents the existence of truly neutral (analogous to adiabatic) surfaces, and the lack of a geostrophic streamfunction in general. We follow de Szoeke et al (2000, J. Phys. Ocean. 30, 2830-2852) to overcome these hurdles, regionally, by using orthobaric density as the vertical coordinate. In agreement with results for all atmospheres analyzed to date, scatter plots of Ertel potential vorticity, Q, versus Bernoulli streamfunction, B, on orthobaric density surfaces in the Southern Ocean are well correlated. The general shape of the correlation is like a hockey stick, with the “blade” corresponding to a broad horizontal region that spans the ACC, and the “handle” corresponding to shallow water. The same linear-regression Q versus B model employed for Mars is applied to the ACC (“blade”) signal. Results include that the deeper water on the equatorward side of the ACC is most prone to shear instability, and elsewhere the ACC is “supersonic” such that the net propagation of vorticity waves is eastward, not the usual westward. During the 6-year span of the SOSE data, there is a steady drift of the correlation to larger values at the top of the vertical profile, and to smaller values in the middle of

  14. Functional activity of plasmid DNA after entry into the atmosphere of earth investigated by a new biomarker stability assay for ballistic spaceflight experiments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cora S Thiel

    Full Text Available Sounding rockets represent an excellent platform for testing the influence of space conditions during the passage of Earth's atmosphere and re-entry on biological, physical and chemical experiments for astrobiological purposes. We designed a robust functionality biomarker assay to analyze the biological effects of suborbital spaceflights prevailing during ballistic rocket flights. During the TEXUS-49 rocket mission in March 2011, artificial plasmid DNA carrying a fluorescent marker (enhanced green fluorescent protein: EGFP and an antibiotic resistance cassette (kanamycin/neomycin was attached on different positions of rocket exterior; (i circular every 90 degree on the outer surface concentrical of the payload, (ii in the grooves of screw heads located in between the surface application sites, and (iii on the surface of the bottom side of the payload. Temperature measurements showed two major peaks at 118 and 130 °C during the 780 seconds lasting flight on the inside of the recovery module, while outer gas temperatures of more than 1000 °C were estimated on the sample application locations. Directly after retrieval and return transport of the payload, the plasmid DNA samples were recovered. Subsequent analyses showed that DNA could be recovered from all application sites with a maximum of 53% in the grooves of the screw heads. We could further show that up to 35% of DNA retained its full biological function, i.e., mediating antibiotic resistance in bacteria and fluorescent marker expression in eukaryotic cells. These experiments show that our plasmid DNA biomarker assay is suitable to characterize the environmental conditions affecting DNA during an atmospheric transit and the re-entry and constitute the first report of the stability of DNA during hypervelocity atmospheric transit indicating that sounding rocket flights can be used to model the high-speed atmospheric entry of organics-laden artificial meteorites.

  15. Simultaneous Observations of Atmospheric Tides from Combined in Situ and Remote Observations at Mars from the MAVEN Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, Scott L.; Liu, Guiping; Withers, Paul; Yigit, Erdal; Lo, Daniel; Jain, Sonal; Schneider, Nicholas M. (Inventor); Deighan, Justin; McClintock, William E.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report the observations of longitudinal variations in the Martian thermosphere associated with nonmigrating tides. Using the Neutral Gas Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) and the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft, this study presents the first combined analysis of in situ and remote observations of atmospheric tides at Mars for overlapping volumes, local times, and overlapping date ranges. From the IUVS observations, we determine the altitude and latitudinal variation of the amplitude of the nonmigrating tidal signatures, which is combined with the NGIMS, providing information on the compositional impact of these waves. Both the observations of airglow from IUVS and the CO2 density observations from NGIMS reveal a strong wave number 2 signature in a fixed local time frame. The IUVS observations reveal a strong latitudinal dependence in the amplitude of the wave number 2 signature. Combining this with the accurate CO2 density observations from NGIMS, this would suggest that the CO2 density variation is as high as 27% at 0-10 deg latitude. The IUVS observations reveal little altitudinal dependence in the amplitude of the wave number 2 signature, varying by only 20% from 160 to 200 km. Observations of five different species with NGIMS show that the amplitude of the wave number 2 signature varies in proportion to the inverse of the species scale height, giving rise to variation in composition as a function of longitude. The analysis and discussion here provide a roadmap for further analysis as additional coincident data from these two instruments become available.

  16. Measurements in interplanetary space and in the Martian upper atmosphere with a hydrogen absorption-cell spectrophotometer for Lα-radiation on-board Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babichenko, S.I.; Deregusov, E.V.; Kurt, V.G.; Romanova, N.N.; Skljankin, V.A.; Smirnov, A.S.; Bertaux, J.J.; Blamont, J.

    1977-01-01

    An ultraviolet spectrophotometer UFS-2, designed to measure radiation of atomic hydrogen in the Lα-line, was installed onboard the interplanetary Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes launched in August 1973. The absorption cell which was used for the first time outside the hydrogen geocorona allowed direct temperature measurements of neutral interstellar hydrogen near the Sun and in the upper Martian atmosphere. (Auth.)

  17. 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

  18. Mars Global Surveyor Radio Science Electron Density Profiles: Interannual Variability and Implications for the Neutral Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.; Engel, S.; Hinson, D. P.; Murphy, J. R.

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Radio Science (RS) experiment employs an ultrastable oscillator aboard the spacecraft. The signal from the oscillator to Earth is refracted by the Martian ionosphere, allowing retrieval of electron density profiles versus radius and geopotential. The present analysis is carried out on five sets of occultation measurements: (1) four obtained near northern summer solstice (Ls = 74-116, near aphelion) at high northern latitudes (64.7-77.6N), and (2) one set of profiles approaching equinox conditions (Ls = 135- 146) at high southern latitudes (64.7-69.1S). Electron density profiles (95 to 200 km) are examined over a narrow range of solar zenith angles (76.5-86.9 degrees) for local true solar times of (1) 3-4 hours and (2) 12.1 hours. Variations spanning 1-Martian year are specifically examined in the Northern hemisphere.

  19. Mars atmospheric phenomena during major dust storms, as measured at surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryan, J.A.; Henry, R.M.

    1979-01-01

    Meteorological instrumentation aboard the Viking Mars Landers measures wind, temperature, and pressure. Two global dust storms occurred during northern autumn and winter, observed both by the orbiters and by the landers. The meteorological data from the landers has been analyzed for the period just before first storm arrival to just after second storm arrival, with the objectives being definition of meteorological phenomena during the storm period, determination of those associated with storm and dust arrival, and evaluation of effects on synoptic conditions and the general circulation. Times of dust arrival over the sites could be defined fairly closely from optical and pressure (solar tide) data, and dust arrival was also accompanied by changes in diurnal temperature range, temperature maxima, and temperature minima. The arrivals of the storms at VL-1 were accompanied by significant increase in wind speed and pressure. No such changes were observed at VL-2. It is possible that surface material could have been raised locally at VL-1. Throughout the period except following the second dust storm synoptic picture at VL-2 was one of eastward moving cyclonic and anticyclonic systems. These disappeared following the second storm, a phenomenon which may be related to the storm

  20. Paloma: an instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of the mars atmosphere from a landed platform (MSL 09, EXOMARS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabroux, J.Ch

    2003-07-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (Payload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe) and stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. The heaviest, radioactive, noble gas (Rn) and its short-lived daughters will be measured using a small additional device (alpha particle detector). Detailed search for trace constituents of astro-biological interest, like CH{sub 4}, H{sub 2}CO, N{sub 2}O, H{sub 2}S (abundances, isotopic ratios, time variability) will be done on a regular temporal basis during one Martian year. Isotopic ratios will be measured with an accuracy of about 1 ppm, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnosis of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns and, finally, to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. High sensitivity is required for elemental and isotopic compositions of trace gases of interest. Such an accurate monitoring of Mars atmosphere volatile composition is expected to provide the necessary reference for future composition studies of minerals, soils, bio-markers, polar cap material, either by in-situ measurement, or from laboratory analyses of returned samples. (author)

  1. Paloma: an instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of the mars atmosphere from a landed platform (MSL 09, EXOMARS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.

    2003-01-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (Payload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe) and stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. The heaviest, radioactive, noble gas (Rn) and its short-lived daughters will be measured using a small additional device (alpha particle detector). Detailed search for trace constituents of astro-biological interest, like CH 4 , H 2 CO, N 2 O, H 2 S (abundances, isotopic ratios, time variability) will be done on a regular temporal basis during one Martian year. Isotopic ratios will be measured with an accuracy of about 1 ppm, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnosis of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns and, finally, to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. High sensitivity is required for elemental and isotopic compositions of trace gases of interest. Such an accurate monitoring of Mars atmosphere volatile composition is expected to provide the necessary reference for future composition studies of minerals, soils, bio-markers, polar cap material, either by in-situ measurement, or from laboratory analyses of returned samples. (author)

  2. MMPM - Mars MetNet Precursor Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Pichkhadze, K.; Linkin, V.; Vazquez, L.; Uspensky, M.; Polkko, J.; Genzer, M.; Lipatov, A.; Guerrero, H.; Alexashkin, S.; Haukka, H.; Savijarvi, H.; Kauhanen, J.

    2008-09-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2009/2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatology cycles, require simultaneous in-situ measurements by a network of observation posts on the Martian surface. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe technologies have been developed and the critical subsystems have been qualified to meet the Martian environmental and functional conditions. Prototyping of the payload instrumentation with final dimensions was carried out in 2003-2006.This huge development effort has been fulfilled in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Russian Lavoschkin Association (LA) and the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) since August 2001. Currently the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) from Spain is also participating in the MetNet payload development. To understand the behavior and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere, a wealth of simultaneous in situ observations are needed on varying types of Martian orography, terrain and altitude spanning all latitudes and longitudes. This will be performed by the Mars MetNet Mission. In addition to the science aspects the

  3. Atmospheric effects on the remote determination of thermal inertia on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haberle, R.M.; Jakosky, B.M.

    1991-01-01

    Measurements of the IR brightness temperature at the Martian surface at many different times of day are presently compared with temperatures predicted by thermal models which allow sunlight to reach the surface unattenuated, in order to determine the thermal inertia of the uppermost 1-10 cm of the Martian surface. The consequences of the assumptions made are assessed in view of results from a different thermal model which invokes radiation-transfer through a dusty CO2 atmosphere, as well as sensible heat-exchange with the surface. Smaller thermal inertias imply smaller particle sizes; the results obtained suggest that low thermal-inertia regions consist of 5-micron, rather than 50-micron, particle sizes. 52 refs

  4. Water Ice Clouds and Dust in the Martian Atmosphere Observed by Mars Climate Sounder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Jennifer L.; Kass, David; Heavens, Nicholas; Kleinbohl, Armin

    2011-01-01

    The water ice clouds are primarily controlled by the temperature structure and form at the water condensation level. Clouds in all regions presented show day/night differences. Cloud altitude varies between night and day in the SPH and tropics: (1) NPH water ice opacity is greater at night than day at some seasons (2) The diurnal thermal tide controls the daily variability. (3) Strong day/night changes indicate that the amount of gas in the atmosphere varies significantly. See significant mixtures of dust and ice at the same altitude planet-wide (1) Points to a complex radiative and thermal balance between dust heating (in the visible) and ice heating or cooling in the infrared. Aerosol layering: (1) Early seasons reveal a zonally banded spatial distribution (2) Some localized longitudinal structure of aerosol layers (3) Later seasons show no consistent large scale organization

  5. Modeling the Hydrological Cycle in the Atmosphere of Mars: Influence of a Bimodal Size Distribution of Aerosol Nucleation Particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaposhnikov, Dmitry S.; Rodin, Alexander V.; Medvedev, Alexander S.; Fedorova, Anna A.; Kuroda, Takeshi; Hartogh, Paul

    2018-02-01

    We present a new implementation of the hydrological cycle scheme into a general circulation model of the Martian atmosphere. The model includes a semi-Lagrangian transport scheme for water vapor and ice and accounts for microphysics of phase transitions between them. The hydrological scheme includes processes of saturation, nucleation, particle growth, sublimation, and sedimentation under the assumption of a variable size distribution. The scheme has been implemented into the Max Planck Institute Martian general circulation model and tested assuming monomodal and bimodal lognormal distributions of ice condensation nuclei. We present a comparison of the simulated annual variations, horizontal and vertical distributions of water vapor, and ice clouds with the available observations from instruments on board Mars orbiters. The accounting for bimodality of aerosol particle distribution improves the simulations of the annual hydrological cycle, including predicted ice clouds mass, opacity, number density, and particle radii. The increased number density and lower nucleation rates bring the simulated cloud opacities closer to observations. Simulations show a weak effect of the excess of small aerosol particles on the simulated water vapor distributions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. First results of the observations of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard the Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N.; Formisano, V.; Grassi, D.; Giuranna, M.; Maturilli, A.; Piccioni, G.; Moroz, V. I.; Lellouch, E.; Encrenaz, T.; Pfs Team

    High spectral resolution observations of Mars by the PFS/Mars Express provide new insight into the atmospheric composition. Spectral features of atmospheric CO2 and its isotopes at 15, 4.3, 2.7, 1.4 μ m, CO at 4.7 and 2.35 μ m, and H2O at 40, 2.56, and 1.38 μ m as well as solar spectral features are clearly identified in the PFS spectra. HDO spectral details at 3.7 μ m were also tentatively detected. The paper will present qualitative and quantitative analysis of the PFS spectra in the regions of spectral bands of trace gases. Abundance of minor constituents will be determined using complete radiative transfer modeling including possible non-LTE effects. We will also present results of search for other minor species with emphasis on the limb observations that provide higher air mass factor.

  8. PALOMA : An instrument to measure the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform (MSL 09, EXOMARS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefière, E.; Paloma Team

    2003-04-01

    An instrument to analyze the molecular, elemental and isotopic composition of Mars atmosphere from a landed platform is being developed under CNES funding. This instrument, called PALOMA (PAyload for Local Observation of Mars Atmosphere), will be proposed in response to the AO for the instrumentation of the NASA Mars Smart Lander mission, planned to be launched in 2009. It might be part as well of the EXOMARS mission presently studied at ESA in the frame of the Aurora program. Noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xr, Xe) and stable isotopes (C, H, O, N) will be analyzed by using a system of gas purification and separation, coupled with a mass spectrometer. The heaviest, radioactive, noble gas (Rn) and its short-lived daughters will be measured using a small additional device (alpha particle detector). Detailed search for trace constituents of astrobiological interest, like CH_4, H_2CO, N_2O, H_2S (abundances, isotopic ratios, time variability) will be done on a regular temporal basis during one Martian year. Isotopic ratios will be measured with an accuracy of about 1 ppm, or better, in order to provide a clear diagnosis of possible life signatures, to allow a detailed comparison of Earth and Mars atmospheric fractionation patterns and, finally, to accurately disentangle escape, climatic, geochemical and hypothesized biological effects. High sensitivity is required for elemental and isotopic compositions of trace gases of interest (a small fraction of ppbv). Such an accurate monitoring of Mars atmosphere volatile composition is expected to provide the necessary reference for future composition studies of minerals, soils, bio-markers, polar cap material, either by in-situ measurement, or from laboratory analyses of returned samples. The PALOMA instrument consists of : a gas purification and separation line, using techniques of chemical and cryogenic trapping, and possibly membrane permeation, a mass spectrometer working in static mode, a turbo-molecular pump that provides the

  9. Ground Contact Model for Mars Science Laboratory Mission Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Way, David

    2012-01-01

    The Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST 2) has been successful in simulating the flight of launch vehicles and entry bodies on earth and other planets. POST 2 has been the primary simulation tool for the Entry Descent, and Landing (EDL) phase of numerous Mars lander missions such as Mars Pathfinder in 1997, the twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MER-A and MER-B) in 2004, Mars Phoenix lander in 2007, and it is now the main trajectory simulation tool for Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) in 2012. In all previous missions, the POST 2 simulation ended before ground impact, and a tool other than POST 2 simulated landing dynamics. It would be ideal for one tool to simulate the entire EDL sequence, thus avoiding errors that could be introduced by handing off position, velocity, or other fight parameters from one simulation to the other. The desire to have one continuous end-to-end simulation was the motivation for developing the ground interaction model in POST 2. Rover landing, including the detection of the postlanding state, is a very critical part of the MSL mission, as the EDL landing sequence continues for a few seconds after landing. The method explained in this paper illustrates how a simple ground force interaction model has been added to POST 2, which allows simulation of the entire EDL from atmospheric entry through touchdown.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-02-15

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

  11. The Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS) of Three Spectrometers for the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Montmessin, F.; Trokhimovskiy, A.; Fedorova, A. A.; Shakun, A. V.; Grigoriev, A. V.; Moshkin, B. E.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Forget, F.; Lefèvre, F.; Anufreychik, K.; Dzuban, I.; Ivanov, Y. S.; Kalinnikov, Y. K.; Kozlova, T. O.; Kungurov, A.; Makarov, V.; Martynovich, F.; Maslov, I.; Merzlyakov, D.; Moiseev, P. P.; Nikolskiy, Y.; Patrakeev, A.; Patsaev, D.; Santos-Skripko, A.; Sazonov, O.; Semena, N.; Semenov, A.; Shashkin, V.; Sidorov, A.; Stepanov, A. V.; Stupin, I.; Timonin, D.; Titov, A. Y.; Viktorov, A.; Zharkov, A.; Altieri, F.; Arnold, G.; Belyaev, D. A.; Bertaux, J. L.; Betsis, D. S.; Duxbury, N.; Encrenaz, T.; Fouchet, T.; Gérard, J.-C.; Grassi, D.; Guerlet, S.; Hartogh, P.; Kasaba, Y.; Khatuntsev, I.; Krasnopolsky, V. A.; Kuzmin, R. O.; Lellouch, E.; Lopez-Valverde, M. A.; Luginin, M.; Määttänen, A.; Marcq, E.; Martin Torres, J.; Medvedev, A. S.; Millour, E.; Olsen, K. S.; Patel, M. R.; Quantin-Nataf, C.; Rodin, A. V.; Shematovich, V. I.; Thomas, I.; Thomas, N.; Vazquez, L.; Vincendon, M.; Wilquet, V.; Wilson, C. F.; Zasova, L. V.; Zelenyi, L. M.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-02-01

    The Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS) package is an element of the Russian contribution to the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) mission. ACS consists of three separate infrared spectrometers, sharing common mechanical, electrical, and thermal interfaces. This ensemble of spectrometers has been designed and developed in response to the Trace Gas Orbiter mission objectives that specifically address the requirement of high sensitivity instruments to enable the unambiguous detection of trace gases of potential geophysical or biological interest. For this reason, ACS embarks a set of instruments achieving simultaneously very high accuracy (ppt level), very high resolving power (>10,000) and large spectral coverage (0.7 to 17 μm—the visible to thermal infrared range). The near-infrared (NIR) channel is a versatile spectrometer covering the 0.7-1.6 μm spectral range with a resolving power of ˜20,000. NIR employs the combination of an echelle grating with an AOTF (Acousto-Optical Tunable Filter) as diffraction order selector. This channel will be mainly operated in solar occultation and nadir, and can also perform limb observations. The scientific goals of NIR are the measurements of water vapor, aerosols, and dayside or night side airglows. The mid-infrared (MIR) channel is a cross-dispersion echelle instrument dedicated to solar occultation measurements in the 2.2-4.4 μm range. MIR achieves a resolving power of >50,000. It has been designed to accomplish the most sensitive measurements ever of the trace gases present in the Martian atmosphere. The thermal-infrared channel (TIRVIM) is a 2-inch double pendulum Fourier-transform spectrometer encompassing the spectral range of 1.7-17 μm with apodized resolution varying from 0.2 to 1.3 cm-1. TIRVIM is primarily dedicated to profiling temperature from the surface up to ˜60 km and to monitor aerosol abundance in nadir. TIRVIM also has a limb and solar occultation capability. The technical concept of

  12. CROSS DRIVE: A New Interactive and Immersive Approach for Exploring 3D Time-Dependent Mars Atmospheric Data in Distributed Teams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerndt, Andreas M.; Engelke, Wito; Giuranna, Marco; Vandaele, Ann C.; Neary, Lori; Aoki, Shohei; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Garcia, Arturo; Fernando, Terrence; Roberts, David; CROSS DRIVE Team

    2016-10-01

    Atmospheric phenomena of Mars can be highly dynamic and have daily and seasonal variations. Planetary-scale wavelike disturbances, for example, are frequently observed in Mars' polar winter atmosphere. Possible sources of the wave activity were suggested to be dynamical instabilities and quasi-stationary planetary waves, i.e. waves that arise predominantly via zonally asymmetric surface properties. For a comprehensive understanding of these phenomena, single layers of altitude have to be analyzed carefully and relations between different atmospheric quantities and interaction with the surface of Mars have to be considered. The CROSS DRIVE project tries to address the presentation of those data with a global view by means of virtual reality techniques. Complex orbiter data from spectrometer and observation data from Earth are combined with global circulation models and high-resolution terrain data and images available from Mars Express or MRO instruments. Scientists can interactively extract features from those dataset and can change visualization parameters in real-time in order to emphasize findings. Stereoscopic views allow for perception of the actual 3D behavior of Mars's atmosphere. A very important feature of the visualization system is the possibility to connect distributed workspaces together. This enables discussions between distributed working groups. The workspace can scale from virtual reality systems to expert desktop applications to web-based project portals. If multiple virtual environments are connected, the 3D position of each individual user is captured and used to depict the scientist as an avatar in the virtual world. The appearance of the avatar can also scale from simple annotations to complex avatars using tele-presence technology to reconstruct the users in 3D. Any change of the feature set (annotations, cutplanes, volume rendering, etc.) within the VR is immediately exchanged between all connected users. This allows that everybody is always

  13. Possible significance of cubic water-ice, H2O-Ic, in the atmospheric water cycle of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooding, James L.

    1988-01-01

    The possible formation and potential significance of the cubic ice polymorph on Mars is discussed. When water-ice crystallizes on Earth, the ambient conditions of temperature and pressure result in the formation of the hexagonal ice polymorph; however, on Mars, the much lower termperature and pressures may permit the crystallization of the cubic polymorph. Cubic ice has two properties of possible importance on Mars: it is an excellant nucleator of other volatiles (such as CO2), and it undergoes an exothermic transition to hexagonal ice at temperatures above 170 K. These properties may have significant implications for both martian cloud formation and the development of the seasonal polar caps.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Mars Atmospheric Conversion to Methane and Water: An Engineering Model of the Sabatier Reactor with Characterization of Ru/Al2O3 for Long Duration Use on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Anne J.; Shah, Malay; Petersen, Elspeth; Hintze, Paul; Muscatello, Tony

    2017-01-01

    The Atmospheric Processing Module (APM) is a Mars In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technology designed to demonstrate conversion of the Martian atmosphere into methane and water. The Martian atmosphere consists of approximately 95 carbon dioxide (CO2) and residual argon and nitrogen. APM utilizes cryocoolers for CO2 acquisition from a simulated Martian atmosphere and pressure. The captured CO2 is sublimated and pressurized as a feedstock into the Sabatier reactor, which converts CO2 and hydrogen to methane and water. The Sabatier reaction occurs over a packed bed reactor filled with Ru/Al2O3 pellets. The long duration use of the APM system and catalyst was investigated for future scaling and failure limits. Failure of the catalyst was detected by gas chromatography and temperature sensors on the system. Following this, characterization and experimentation with the catalyst was carried out with analysis including x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with elemental dispersive spectroscopy. This paper will discuss results of the catalyst performance, the overall APM Sabatier approach, as well as intrinsic catalyst considerations of the Sabatier reactor performance incorporated into a chemical model.

  17. Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission's Red Planet program: Bridging the gap in elementary school science through climate studies of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2012-12-01

    Although reading, writing, and math examinations are often conducted early in elementary school, science is not typically tested until 4th or 5th grade. The result is a refocus on the tested topics at the expense of the untested ones, despite that standards exist for each topic at all grades. On a national level, science instruction is relegated to a matter of a few hours per week. A 2007 Education Policy study states that elementary school students spend an average of 178 minutes a week on science while spending 500 minutes on literacy. A recent NSTA report in July of 2011 of elementary and middle school teachers confirms that teachers feel pressured to teach math and literacy at the expense of other programs. In our interaction with elementary teachers, it is also apparent that many are uncomfortable with science concepts. In order for us to successfully address the Next Generation Science Standards, teachers must be able to reconcile all of the different requirements placed on them in a given school day and in a given school environment. A unique way to combat the lack of science instruction at elementary grades is to combine literacy into an integrated science program, thereby increasing the number of science contact hours. The Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore program, developed for the MAVEN mission, is a science, art, and literacy program designed to easily fit into a typical 3rd-5th grade instructional day. Red Planet tackles climate change through Mars' geologic history and makes Mars-Earth comparisons, while encouraging students to reflect on the environmental requirements needed to keep a biological organisms (including humans) happy, healthy, and alive. The Red Planet program is currently being pilot tested at Acres Green Elementary School in Colorado.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Propulsive Maneuver Design for the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raofi, Behzad; Bhat, Ramachandra S.; Helfrich, Cliff

    2008-01-01

    On May 25, 2008, the Mars Phoenix Lander (PHX) successfully landed in the northern planes of Mars in order to continue and complement NASA's "follow the water" theme as its predecessor Mars missions, such as Mars Odyssey (ODY) and Mars Exploration Rovers, have done in recent years. Instruments on the lander, through a robotic arm able to deliver soil samples to the deck, will perform in-situ and remote-sensing investigations to characterize the chemistry of materials at the local surface, subsurface, and atmosphere. Lander instruments will also identify the potential history of key indicator elements of significance to the biological potential of Mars, including potential organics within any accessible water ice. Precise trajectory control and targeting were necessary in order to achieve the accurate atmospheric entry conditions required for arriving at the desired landing site. The challenge for the trajectory control maneuver design was to meet or exceed these requirements in the presence of spacecraft limitations as well as other mission constraints. This paper describes the strategies used, including the specialized targeting specifically developed for PHX, in order to design and successfully execute the propulsive maneuvers that delivered the spacecraft to its targeted landing site while satisfying the planetary protection requirements in the presence of flight system constraints.

  20. Planetary entry, descent, and landing technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichkhadze, K.; Vorontsov, V.; Polyakov, A.; Ivankov, A.; Taalas, P.; Pellinen, R.; Harri, A.-M.; Linkin, V.

    2003-04-01

    Martian meteorological lander (MML) is intended for landing on the Martian surface in order to monitor the atmosphere at landing point for one Martian year. MMLs shall become the basic elements of a global network of meteorological mini-landers, observing the dynamics of changes of the atmospheric parameters on the Red Planet. The MML main scientific tasks are as follows: (1) Study of vertical structure of the Martian atmosphere throughout the MML descent; (2) On-surface meteorological observations for one Martian year. One of the essential factors influencing the lander's design is its entry, descent, and landing (EDL) sequence. During Phase A of the MML development, five different options for the lander's design were carefully analyzed. All of these options ensure the accomplishment of the above-mentioned scientific tasks with high effectiveness. CONCEPT A (conventional approach): Two lander options (with a parachute system + airbag and an inflatable airbrake + airbag) were analyzed. They are similar in terms of fulfilling braking phases and completely analogous in landing by means of airbags. CONCEPT B (innovative approach): Three lander options were analyzed. The distinguishing feature is the presence of inflatable braking units (IBU) in their configurations. SELECTED OPTION (innovative approach): Incorporating a unique design approach and modern technologies, the selected option of the lander represents a combination of the options analyzed in the framework of Concept B study. Currently, the selected lander option undergoes systems testing (Phase D1). Several MMLs can be delivered to Mars in frameworks of various missions as primary or piggybacking payload: (1) USA-led "Mars Scout" (2007); (2) France-led "NetLander" (2007/2009); (3) Russia-led "Mars-Deimos-Phobos sample return" (2007); (4) Independent mission (currently under preliminary study); etc.

  1. Bacillus subtilis spore survival and expression of germination-induced bioluminescence after prolonged incubation under simulated Mars atmospheric pressure and composition: implications for planetary protection and lithopanspermia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Wayne L.; Schuerger, Andrew C.

    2005-01-01

    Bacterial endospores in the genus Bacillus are considered good models for studying interplanetary transfer of microbes by natural or human processes. Although spore survival during transfer itself has been the subject of considerable study, the fate of spores in extraterrestrial environments has received less attention. In this report we subjected spores of a strain of Bacillus subtilis, containing luciferase resulting from expression of an sspB-luxAB gene fusion, to simulated martian atmospheric pressure (7-18 mbar) and composition (100% CO(2)) for up to 19 days in a Mars simulation chamber. We report here that survival was similar between spores exposed to Earth conditions and spores exposed up to 19 days to simulated martian conditions. However, germination-induced bioluminescence was lower in spores exposed to simulated martian atmosphere, which suggests sublethal impairment of some endogenous spore germination processes.

  2. Estimating Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance contribution to future sea level rise using the regional atmospheric climate model MAR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fettweis, X.; Franco, B.; Tedesco, M.; van Angelen, J.H.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Gallee, H

    2012-01-01

    We report future projections of Surface Mass Balance (SMB) over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) obtained with the regional climate model MAR, forced by the outputs of three CMIP5 General Circulation Models (GCMs) when considering two different warming scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). The GCMs

  3. Original deep convection in the atmosphere of Mars driven by the radiative impact of dust and water-ice particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiga, A.; Madeleine, J. B.; Hinson, D.; Millour, E.; Forget, F.; Navarro, T.; Määttänen, A.; Montmessin, F.

    2017-09-01

    We unveil two examples of deep convection on Mars - in dust storms and water-ice clouds - to demonstrate that the radiative effect of aerosols and clouds can lead to powerful convective motions just as much as the release of latent heat in moist convection

  4. Integral design method for simple and small Mars lander system using membrane aeroshell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakagami, Ryo; Takahashi, Ryohei; Wachi, Akifumi; Koshiro, Yuki; Maezawa, Hiroyuki; Kasai, Yasko; Nakasuka, Shinichi

    2018-03-01

    To execute Mars surface exploration missions, spacecraft need to overcome the difficulties of the Mars entry, descent, and landing (EDL) sequences. Previous landing missions overcame these challenges with complicated systems that could only be executed by organizations with mature technology and abundant financial resources. In this paper, we propose a novel integral design methodology for a small, simple Mars lander that is achievable even by organizations with limited technology and resources such as universities or emerging countries. We aim to design a lander (including its interplanetary cruise stage) whose size and mass are under 1 m3 and 150 kg, respectively. We adopted only two components for Mars EDL process: a "membrane aeroshell" for the Mars atmospheric entry and descent sequence and one additional mechanism for the landing sequence. The landing mechanism was selected from the following three candidates: (1) solid thrusters, (2) aluminum foam, and (3) a vented airbag. We present a reasonable design process, visualize dependencies among parameters, summarize sizing methods for each component, and propose the way to integrate these components into one system. To demonstrate the effectiveness, we applied this methodology to the actual Mars EDL mission led by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and the University of Tokyo. As a result, an 80 kg class Mars lander with a 1.75 m radius membrane aeroshell and a vented airbag was designed, and the maximum landing shock that the lander will receive was 115 G.

  5. Aerial Deployment and Inflation System for Mars Helium Balloons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachenmeler, Tim; Fairbrother, Debora; Shreves, Chris; Hall, Jeffery, L.; Kerzhanovich, Viktor V.; Pauken, Michael T.; Walsh, Gerald J.; White, Christopher V.

    2009-01-01

    A method is examined for safely deploying and inflating helium balloons for missions at Mars. The key for making it possible to deploy balloons that are light enough to be buoyant in the thin, Martian atmosphere is to mitigate the transient forces on the balloon that might tear it. A fully inflated Mars balloon has a diameter of 10 m, so it must be folded up for the trip to Mars, unfolded upon arrival, and then inflated with helium gas in the atmosphere. Safe entry into the Martian atmosphere requires the use of an aeroshell vehicle, which protects against severe heating and pressure loads associated with the hypersonic entry flight. Drag decelerates the aeroshell to supersonic speeds, then two parachutes deploy to slow the vehicle down to the needed safe speed of 25 to 35 m/s for balloon deployment. The parachute system descent dynamic pressure must be approximately 5 Pa or lower at an altitude of 4 km or more above the surface.

  6. Environment of Mars, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, D.I.

    1988-10-01

    A compilation of scientific knowledge about the planet Mars is provided. Information is divided into three categories: atmospheric data, surface data, and astrodynamic data. The discussion of atmospheric data includes the presentation of nine different models of the Mars atmosphere. Also discussed are Martian atmospheric constituents, winds, clouds, and solar irradiance. The great dust storms of Mars are presented. The section on Mars surface data provides an in-depth examination of the physical and chemical properties observed at the two Viking landing sites. Bulk densities, dielectric constants, and thermal inertias across the planet are then described and related back to those specific features found at the Viking landing sites. The astrodynamic materials provide the astronomical constants, time scales, and reference coordinate frames necessary to perform flightpath analysis, navigation design, and science observation design

  7. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

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

  8. On the structure of the upper atmosphere of Mars according to data from experiments on the Viking space vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izakov, M. N.

    1979-01-01

    Altitude profiles of the concentrations of the atmospheric components measured by the on board mass spectrometers during the descent of Viking lander are discussed by assuming that temperature has a smoother profile, and the eddy mixing coefficients are smaller at altitudes of 120 to 170 km than those formally determined. The influence of acoustic gravitational waves and errors in measurements and calculations are discussed in relation to the convolutions in the altitude profiles of the concentrations of the atmospheric components and the temperature of the atmosphere.

  9. History of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, J.S.

    1988-01-01

    The origin and early history of Mars and the relationship between Mars and the other planets are reviewed. The solar system formation and planetary differentiation are examined using data from planetary missions. Different views of Mars are presented, showing how ideas about the planet have changed as the amount of available observational data has increased. Viking aerography and surface characterization are discussed, including the nature of specific atmospheric components and the implications of surface phenomena. Models for the planetary formation and accretion processes are considered. The value of future missions to Mars is stressed

  10. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Dong

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to achieve the scientific investigation of the terrain, soil characteristics, material composition, magnetic field, atmosphere, etc. The landing process is divided into three phases (entry phase, parachute descent phase and powered descent phase, which are full of risks. There exit lots of indefinite parameters and design constrain to affect the selection of the landing sites and phase switch (mortaring the parachute, separating the heat shield and cutting off the parachute. A number of new technologies (disk-gap-band parachute, guidance and navigation, etc. need to be developed. Mars and Earth have gravity and atmosphere conditions that are significantly different from one another. Meaningful environmental conditions cannot be recreated terrestrially on earth. A full-scale flight validation on earth is difficult. Therefore the end-to-end simulation and some critical subsystem test must be considered instead. The challenges above and the corresponding design solutions are introduced in this paper, which can provide reference for the Mars exploration mission.

  11. 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.

  12. Mars Science Laboratory Heatshield Flight Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahzari, Milad; White, Todd

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Estimating the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance contribution to future sea level rise using the regional atmospheric climate model MAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Fettweis

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available To estimate the sea level rise (SLR originating from changes in surface mass balance (SMB of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS, we present 21st century climate projections obtained with the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional, forced by output of three CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 general circulation models (GCMs. Our results indicate that in a warmer climate, mass gain from increased winter snowfall over the GrIS does not compensate mass loss through increased meltwater run-off in summer. Despite the large spread in the projected near-surface warming, all the MAR projections show similar non-linear increase of GrIS surface melt volume because no change is projected in the general atmospheric circulation over Greenland. By coarsely estimating the GrIS SMB changes from GCM output, we show that the uncertainty from the GCM-based forcing represents about half of the projected SMB changes. In 2100, the CMIP5 ensemble mean projects a GrIS SMB decrease equivalent to a mean SLR of +4 ± 2 cm and +9 ± 4 cm for the RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios respectively. These estimates do not consider the positive melt–elevation feedback, although sensitivity experiments using perturbed ice sheet topographies consistent with the projected SMB changes demonstrate that this is a significant feedback, and highlight the importance of coupling regional climate models to an ice sheet model. Such a coupling will allow the assessment of future response of both surface processes and ice-dynamic changes to rising temperatures, as well as their mutual feedbacks.

  14. A new model for Mars atmospheric dust based upon analysis of ultraviolet through infrared observations from Mariner 9, Viking, and Phobos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, R. T.; Lee, S. W.; Gladstone, G. R.; McMillan, W. W.; Rousch, T.

    1995-01-01

    We propose key modifications to the Toon et al. (1977) model of the particle size distribution and composition of Mars atmospheric dust, based on a variety of spacecraft and wavelength observations of the dust. A much broader (r(sub eff)variance-0.8 micron), smaller particle size (r(sub mode)-0.02 microns) distribution coupled with a "palagonite-like" composition is argued to fit the complete ultraviolet-to-30-micron absorption properties of the dust better than the montmorillonite-basalt r(sub eff)variance= 0.4 micron, r(sub mode)= 0.40 micron dust model of Toon et al. Mariner 9 (infrared interferometer spectrometer) IRIS spectra of high atmospheric dust opacities during the 1971 - 1972 Mars global dust storm are analyzed in terms of the Toon et al. dust model, and a Hawaiian palagonite sample with two different size distribution models incorporating smaller dust particle sizes. Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper (IRTM) emission-phase-function (EPF) observations at 9 microns are analyzed to retrieve 9-micron dust opacities coincident with solar band dust opacities obtained from the same EPF sequences. These EPF dust opacities provide an independent measurement of the visible/9-microns extinction opacity ratio (> or equal to 2) for Mars atmospheric dust, which is consistent with a previous measurement by Martin (1986). Model values for the visible/9-microns opacity ratio and the ultraviolet and visible single-scattering albedos are calculated for the palagonite model with the smaller particle size distributions and compared to the same properties for the Toon et al. model of dust. The montmorillonite model of the dust is found to fit the detailed shape of the dust 9-micron absorption well. However, it predicts structured, deep absorptions at 20 microns which are not observed and requires a separate ultraviolet-visible absorbing component to match the observed behavior of the dust in this wavelength region. The modeled palagonite does not match the 8- to 9-micron

  15. Russian contribution to the ExoMars project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelenyi, L.; Korablev, O.; Rodionov, D.; Khartov, V.; Martynov, M.; Lukyanchikov, A.

    2014-04-01

    The ExoMars ESA-led mission is dedicated to study of Mars and in particular its habitability. It consists of two launches, one planned in 2016 to deliver to Mars a telecommunication and science orbiter Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and a demonstrator of entry into the atmosphere and landing on the Mars surface, Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM). In 2018 a rover with drilling capability will be delivered to the surface of Mars. Since 2012 this mission, previously planned in cooperation with NASA is being developed in cooperation with Roscosmos. Both launches are planned with Proton-Breeze. In 2016 Russia contributes a significant part of the TGO science payload. In 2018 the landing will be provided by a joint effort capitalizing on the EDM technology. Russia contributes few science instruments for the rover, and leads the development of a long-living geophysical platform on the surface of Mars. Russian science instruments for TGO, the Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS) and the Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutrons Detector (FREND) constituent a half of its scientific payload, European instrument being NOMAD for mapping and detection of trace species, and CASSIS camera for high-resolution mapping of target areas. The ACS package consists of three spectrometers covering spectral range from 0.7 to 17 μm with spectral resolving power reaching 50000. It is dedicated to studies of the composition of the Martian atmosphere and the Martian climate. FREND is a neutron detector with a collimation module, which significantly narrows the field of view of the instrument, allowing to create higher resolution maps of hydrogen-abundant regions on Mars. The spatial resolution of FREND will be ~40 km from the 400- km TGO orbit that is ~10 times better than HEND on Mars-Odyssey. Additionally, FREND includes a dosimeter module for monitoring radiation levels in orbit around Mars. In the 2018 mission, Russia takes the major responsibility of the descent module. The primary

  16. Low Reynolds Number Aerodynamic Characteristics of Several Airplane Configurations Designed to Fly in the Mars Atmosphere at Subsonic Speeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Re, Richard J.; Pendergraft, Odis C., Jr.; Campbell, Richard L.

    2006-01-01

    A 1/4-scale wind tunnel model of an airplane configuration developed for short duration flight at subsonic speeds in the Martian atmosphere has been tested in the Langley Research Center Transonic Dynamics Tunnel. The tunnel was pumped down to extremely low pressures to represent Martian Mach/Reynolds number conditions. Aerodynamic data were obtained and upper and lower surface wind pressures were measured at one spanwise station on some configurations. Three unswept wings of the same planform but different airfoil sections were tested. Horizontal tail incidence was varied as was the deflection of plain and split trailing-edge flaps. One unswept wing configuration was tested with the lower part of the fuselage removed and the vertical/horizontal tail assembly inverted and mounted from beneath the fuselage. A sweptback wing was also tested. Tests were conducted at Mach numbers from 0.50 to 0.90. Wing chord Reynolds number was varied from 40,000 to 100,000 and angles of attack and sideslip were varied from -10deg to 20deg and -10deg to 10deg, respectively.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  18. A computational intelligence approach to the Mars Precision Landing problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birge, Brian Kent, III

    Various proposed Mars missions, such as the Mars Sample Return Mission (MRSR) and the Mars Smart Lander (MSL), require precise re-entry terminal position and velocity states. This is to achieve mission objectives including rendezvous with a previous landed mission, or reaching a particular geographic landmark. The current state of the art footprint is in the magnitude of kilometers. For this research a Mars Precision Landing is achieved with a landed footprint of no more than 100 meters, for a set of initial entry conditions representing worst guess dispersions. Obstacles to reducing the landed footprint include trajectory dispersions due to initial atmospheric entry conditions (entry angle, parachute deployment height, etc.), environment (wind, atmospheric density, etc.), parachute deployment dynamics, unavoidable injection error (propagated error from launch on), etc. Weather and atmospheric models have been developed. Three descent scenarios have been examined. First, terminal re-entry is achieved via a ballistic parachute with concurrent thrusting events while on the parachute, followed by a gravity turn. Second, terminal re-entry is achieved via a ballistic parachute followed by gravity turn to hover and then thrust vector to desired location. Third, a guided parafoil approach followed by vectored thrusting to reach terminal velocity is examined. The guided parafoil is determined to be the best architecture. The purpose of this study is to examine the feasibility of using a computational intelligence strategy to facilitate precision planetary re-entry, specifically to take an approach that is somewhat more intuitive and less rigid, and see where it leads. The test problems used for all research are variations on proposed Mars landing mission scenarios developed by NASA. A relatively recent method of evolutionary computation is Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO), which can be considered to be in the same general class as Genetic Algorithms. An improvement over

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Mars oxygen production system design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Charles E.; Pillow, Linda K.; Perkinson, Robert C.; Brownlie, R. P.; Chwalowski, P.; Carmona, M. F.; Coopersmith, J. P.; Goff, J. C.; Harvey, L. L.; Kovacs, L. A.

    1989-01-01

    The design and construction phase is summarized of the Mars oxygen demonstration project. The basic hardware required to produce oxygen from simulated Mars atmosphere was assembled and tested. Some design problems still remain with the sample collection and storage system. In addition, design and development of computer compatible data acquisition and control instrumentation is ongoing.

  1. On the nature of obstacles braking solar wind near Mars and Venera planets and on specific features of the interaction between solar wind and atmospheres of these planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breus, T.K.; Gringauz, K.I.

    1980-01-01

    Discussed is the nature of obstacles braking solar wind near Mars and Venera according to the data of soviet measurements at ''Mars'' and ''Venera'' series automatic interplanetary stations. It is shown that alongside with essential similarity there exist differences among the zones of flow-around of Venera and Mars by solar wind. Such differences include, particularly, smaller dimensions of the obstacle of Venera as compared with Mars, and correspondingly less remote position of the shock wave front from the planet, different peculiarities of property changes of day-time ionosphere depending on the Sun zenith angle and other. The analysis of the experimental data permits to conclude that ionosphere and correspondingly the induced magnetic field of Venera play a determining role in the formation of the shock wave and the picture of planet flow-around by solar wind, while the determining role in the obstacle formation braking solar wind of Mars is played by the eigen planet field

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobron, Pablo; Wang, Alian; Sobron, Francisco

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. TMBM: Tethered Micro-Balloons on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, M. H.; Greeley, R.; Cutts, J. A.; Yavrouian, A. H.; Murbach, M.

    2000-01-01

    The use of balloons/aerobots on Mars has been under consideration for many years. Concepts include deployment during entry into the atmosphere from a carrier spacecraft, deployment from a lander, use of super-pressurized systems for long duration flights, 'hot-air' systems, etc. Principal advantages include the ability to obtain high-resolution data of the surface because balloons provide a low-altitude platform which moves relatively slowly. Work conducted within the last few years has removed many of the technical difficulties encountered in deployment and operation of balloons/aerobots on Mars. The concept proposed here (a tethered balloon released from a lander) uses a relatively simple approach which would enable aspects of Martian balloons to be tested while providing useful and potentially unique science results. Tethered Micro-Balloons on Mars (TMBM) would be carried to Mars on board a future lander as a stand-alone experiment having a total mass of one to two kilograms. It would consist of a helium balloon of up to 50 cubic meters that is inflated after landing and initially tethered to the lander. Its primary instrumentation would be a camera that would be carried to an altitude of up to tens of meters above the surface. Imaging data would be transmitted to the lander for inclusion in the mission data stream. The tether would be released in stages allowing different resolutions and coverage. In addition during this staged release a lander camera system may observe the motion of the balloon at various heights above he lander. Under some scenarios upon completion of the primary phase of TMBM operations, the tether would be cut, allowing TMBM to drift away from the landing site, during which images would be taken along the ground.

  5. An Approximate Ablative Thermal Protection System Sizing Tool for Entry System Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dec, John A.; Braun, Robert D.

    2006-01-01

    A computer tool to perform entry vehicle ablative thermal protection systems sizing has been developed. Two options for calculating the thermal response are incorporated into the tool. One, an industry-standard, high-fidelity ablation and thermal response program was integrated into the tool, making use of simulated trajectory data to calculate its boundary conditions at the ablating surface. Second, an approximate method that uses heat of ablation data to estimate heat shield recession during entry has been coupled to a one-dimensional finite-difference calculation that calculates the in-depth thermal response. The in-depth solution accounts for material decomposition, but does not account for pyrolysis gas energy absorption through the material. Engineering correlations are used to estimate stagnation point convective and radiative heating as a function of time. The sizing tool calculates recovery enthalpy, wall enthalpy, surface pressure, and heat transfer coefficient. Verification of this tool is performed by comparison to past thermal protection system sizings for the Mars Pathfinder and Stardust entry systems and calculations are performed for an Apollo capsule entering the atmosphere at lunar and Mars return speeds.

  6. Mars Atmospheric Aggregation System API

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The {MAAS} API is an open source REST API built to help make it easier and more efficient to build interactive applications that want to utilize the wealth of...

  7. Nitrogen on Mars: Insights from Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis Study: Phase 1 Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    DwyerCianciolo, Alicia M.; Davis, Jody L.; Komar, David R.; Munk, Michelle M.; Samareh, Jamshid A.; Powell, Richard W.; Shidner, Jeremy D.; Stanley, Douglas O.; Wilhite, Alan W.; Kinney, David J.; hide

    2010-01-01

    NASA senior management commissioned the Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis (EDL-SA) Study in 2008 to identify and roadmap the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) technology investments that the agency needed to make in order to successfully land large payloads at Mars for both robotic and human-scale missions. This paper summarizes the motivation, approach and top-level results from Year 1 of the study, which focused on landing 10-50 mt on Mars, but also included a trade study of the best advanced parachute design for increasing the landed payloads within the EDL architecture of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission

  9. Prediction and Validation of Mars Pathfinder Hypersonic Aerodynamic Data Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnoffo, Peter A.; Braun, Robert D.; Weilmuenster, K. James; Mitcheltree, Robert A.; Engelund, Walter C.; Powell, Richard W.

    1998-01-01

    Postflight analysis of the Mars Pathfinder hypersonic, continuum aerodynamic data base is presented. Measured data include accelerations along the body axis and axis normal directions. Comparisons of preflight simulation and measurements show good agreement. The prediction of two static instabilities associated with movement of the sonic line from the shoulder to the nose and back was confirmed by measured normal accelerations. Reconstruction of atmospheric density during entry has an uncertainty directly proportional to the uncertainty in the predicted axial coefficient. The sensitivity of the moment coefficient to freestream density, kinetic models and center-of-gravity location are examined to provide additional consistency checks of the simulation with flight data. The atmospheric density as derived from axial coefficient and measured axial accelerations falls within the range required for sonic line shift and static stability transition as independently determined from normal accelerations.

  10. US Ports of Entry

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — HSIP Non-Crossing Ports-of-Entry A Port of Entry is any designated place at which a CBP officer is authorized to accept entries of merchandise to collect duties, and...

  11. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, J. C.; Clemmet, J.; Croon, M.; Sims, M. R.; Pullan, D.; Muller, J.-P.; Tao, Y.; Xiong, S.; Putri, A. R.; Parker, T.; Turner, S. M. R.; Pillinger, J. M.

    2017-10-01

    The 2003 Beagle 2 Mars lander has been identified in Isidis Planitia at 90.43° E, 11.53° N, close to the predicted target of 90.50° E, 11.53° N. Beagle 2 was an exobiology lander designed to look for isotopic and compositional signs of life on Mars, as part of the European Space Agency Mars Express (MEX) mission. The 2004 recalculation of the original landing ellipse from a 3-sigma major axis from 174 km to 57 km, and the acquisition of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) imagery at 30 cm per pixel across the target region, led to the initial identification of the lander in 2014. Following this, more HiRISE images, giving a total of 15, including red and blue-green colours, were obtained over the area of interest and searched, which allowed sub-pixel imaging using super high-resolution techniques. The size (approx. 1.5 m), distinctive multilobed shape, high reflectivity relative to the local terrain, specular reflections, and location close to the centre of the planned landing ellipse led to the identification of the Beagle 2 lander. The shape of the imaged lander, although to some extent masked by the specular reflections in the various images, is consistent with deployment of the lander lid and then some or all solar panels. Failure to fully deploy the panels-which may have been caused by damage during landing-would have prohibited communication between the lander and MEX and commencement of science operations. This implies that the main part of the entry, descent and landing sequence, the ejection from MEX, atmospheric entry and parachute deployment, and landing worked as planned with perhaps only the final full panel deployment failing.

  12. Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, J C; Clemmet, J; Croon, M; Sims, M R; Pullan, D; Muller, J-P; Tao, Y; Xiong, S; Putri, A R; Parker, T; Turner, S M R; Pillinger, J M

    2017-10-01

    The 2003 Beagle 2 Mars lander has been identified in Isidis Planitia at 90.43° E, 11.53° N, close to the predicted target of 90.50° E, 11.53° N. Beagle 2 was an exobiology lander designed to look for isotopic and compositional signs of life on Mars, as part of the European Space Agency Mars Express (MEX) mission. The 2004 recalculation of the original landing ellipse from a 3-sigma major axis from 174 km to 57 km, and the acquisition of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) imagery at 30 cm per pixel across the target region, led to the initial identification of the lander in 2014. Following this, more HiRISE images, giving a total of 15, including red and blue-green colours, were obtained over the area of interest and searched, which allowed sub-pixel imaging using super high-resolution techniques. The size (approx. 1.5 m), distinctive multilobed shape, high reflectivity relative to the local terrain, specular reflections, and location close to the centre of the planned landing ellipse led to the identification of the Beagle 2 lander. The shape of the imaged lander, although to some extent masked by the specular reflections in the various images, is consistent with deployment of the lander lid and then some or all solar panels. Failure to fully deploy the panels-which may have been caused by damage during landing-would have prohibited communication between the lander and MEX and commencement of science operations. This implies that the main part of the entry, descent and landing sequence, the ejection from MEX, atmospheric entry and parachute deployment, and landing worked as planned with perhaps only the final full panel deployment failing.

  13. Mars Exploration Rovers Propulsive Maneuver Design

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Present Status and Near Term Activities for the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svedhem, H.; Vago, J. L.

    2017-12-01

    The ExoMars 2016 mission was launched on a Proton rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 14 March 2016 and arrived at Mars on 19 October 2016. The spacecraft is now performing aerobraking to reduce its orbital period from initial post-insertion orbital period of one Sol to the final science orbit with a 2 hours period. The orbital inclination will be 74 degrees. During the aerobraking a wealth of data has been acquired on the state of the atmosphere along the tracks between 140km and the lowest altitude at about 105 km. These data are now being analysed and compared with existing models. In average TGO measures a lower atmospheric density than predicted, but the numbers lay within the expected variability. ExoMars is a joint programme of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos, Russia. It consists of the ExoMars 2016 mission with the Trace Gas Orbiter, TGO, and the Entry Descent and Landing Demonstrator, EDM, named Schiaparelli, and the ExoMars 2020 mission, which carries a lander and a rover. The TGO scientific payload consists of four instruments: ACS and NOMAD, both infrared spectrometers for atmospheric measurements in solar occultation mode and in nadir mode, CASSIS, a multichannel camera with stereo imaging capability, and FREND, an epithermal neutron detector to search for subsurface hydrogen (as proxy for water ice and hydrated minerals). The launch mass of the TGO was 3700 kg, including fuel. In addition to its scientific measurements TGO will act as a relay orbiter for NASA's landers on Mars and as from 2021 for the ESA-Roscosmos Rover and Surface Station.

  15. Tales from the Mars Science Laboratory Thermal Protection System Development (or, Try Not to Panic When Your Heatshield Material Disappears)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Helen H.

    2018-01-01

    In 2012, the entry vehicle for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission was the largest and heaviest vehicle flown to another planet, designed to be able to withstand the largest heat fluxes in the Martian atmosphere ever attempted. The heatshield material that had been successfully used for all previous Mars missions had been baselined in the design, but during the development and qualification testing demonstrated catastrophic and unexplained failures. With only 10 months remaining before the original launch date, the TPS team led by NASA Ames designed and implemented a first-ever tiled, ablative heatshield. Highlights from MSL of the testing difficulties and innovations required to execute a new heatshield design will be presented, along with a sneak peak of the Mars 2020 mission.

  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. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

    trajectory with Mars, on 20 December. It will enter the Martian atmosphere on Christmas day, after five days’ ballistic flight. As it descends, the lander will be protected in the first instance by a heat-shield; two parachutes will then open to provide further deceleration. With its weight down to 30 kg at most, it will land in an equatorial region known as Isidis Planitia. Three airbags will soften the final impact. This crucial phase in the mission will last just ten minutes, from entry into the atmosphere to landing. Meanwhile, the Mars Express probe proper will have performed a series of manœuvres through to a capture orbit. At this point its main motor will fire, providing the deceleration needed to acquire a highly elliptical transition orbit. Attaining the final operational orbit will call for four more firings. This 7.5 hour quasi-polar orbit will take the probe to within 250 km of the planet. Getting to know Mars - inside and out Having landed on Mars, Beagle 2 - named after HMS Beagle, on which Charles Darwin voyaged round the world, developing his evolutionary theory - will deploy its solar panels and the payload adjustable workbench, a set of instruments (two cameras, a microscope and two spectrometers) mounted on the end of a robot arm. It will proceed to explore its new environment, gathering geological and mineralogical data that should, for the first time, allow rock samples to be dated with absolute accuracy. Using a grinder and corer, and the “mole”, a wire-guided mini-robot able to borrow its way under rocks and dig the ground to a depth of 2 m, samples will be collected and then examined in the GAP automated mini-laboratory, equipped with 12 furnaces and a mass spectrometer. The spectrometer will have the job of detecting possible signs of life and dating rock samples. The Mars Express orbiter will carry out a detailed investigation of the planet, pointing its instruments at Mars for between half-an-hour and an hour per orbit and then, for the

  18. 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...

  19. Estimating the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance contribution to future sea level rise using the regional atmospheric climate model MAR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fettweis, X.; Franco, B.; Tedesco, M.; van Angelen, J.H.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Gallée, H.

    2013-01-01

    To estimate the sea level rise (SLR) originating from changes in surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS), we present 21st century climate projections obtained with the regional climate model MAR (Mod`ele Atmosph´erique R´egional), forced by output of three CMIP5 (Coupled Model

  20. Radiative transition probabilities for the main diatomic electronic systems of N2, N2+, NO, O2, CO, CO+, CN, C2 and H2 produced in plasma of atmospheric entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Z.; Zhao, J. M.; Liu, L. H.

    2017-11-01

    Accurate radiative transition probabilities of diatomic electronic systems are required to calculate the discrete radiation of plasmas. However, most of the published transition probabilities are obtained using older spectroscopic constants and electronic transition moment functions (ETMFs), some of which deviates greatly from experimental data. Fortunately, a lot of new spectroscopic constants that include more anharmonic correction terms than the earlier ones have been published over the past few years. In this work, the Einstein coefficients, Franck-Condon factors and absorption band oscillator strengths are calculated for important diatomic radiative transition processes of N2-O2, CO2-N2 and H2 plasmas produced in entering into the atmosphere of Earth, Mars and Jupiter. The most up-to-date spectroscopic constants are selected to reconstruct the potential energy curves by the Rydberg-Klein-Rees (RKR) method. Then the vibrational wave functions are calculated through the resolution of the radial Schrödinger equation for such potential energy curves. These results, together with the latest "ab-initio" ETMFs derived from the literature are used to compute the square of electronic-vibrational transition moments, Einstein coefficients and absorption band oscillator strengths. Moreover, the Franck-Condon factors are determined with the obtained vibrational wave functions. In the supplementary material we present tables of the radiative transition probabilities for 40 band systems of N2, N2+, NO, O2, CO, CO+, CN, C2 and H2 molecules. In addition, the calculated radiative lifetimes are systematically validated by available experimental results.

  1. Austere Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. MetBaro - Pressure Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukka, Harri; Polkko, Jouni; Harri, Ari-Matti; Schmidt, Walter; Leinonen, Jussi; Genzer, Maria; Mäkinen, Teemu

    2010-05-01

    MetNet Mars Mission focused for Martian atmospheric science is based on a new semihard landing vehicle called the MetNet Lander (MNL). The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. MetBaro is the pressure sensor of MetNet Lander designed to work on Martian surface. It is based on Barocap® technology developed by Vaisala, Inc. MetBaro is a capacitive type of sensing device where capasitor plates are moved by ambient pressure. MetBaro device consists of two pressure transducers including a total of 4 Barocap® sensor heads of high-stability and high-resolution types. The long-term stability of MetBaro is in order of 20…50 µBar and resolution a few µBar. MetBaro is small, lightweighed and has low power consumption. It weighs about 50g without wires and controlling FPGA, and consumes 15 mW of power. A similar device has successfully flown in Phoenix mission, where it performed months of measurements on Martian ground. Another device is also part of the Mars Science Laboratory REMS instrument (to be launched in 2011).

  3. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Aleksashkin, Sergei; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Haukka, Harri

    2015-04-01

    New kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested. 1. MetNet Lander The MetNet landing vehicles are using an inflatable entry and descent system instead of rigid heat shields and parachutes as earlier semi-hard landing devices have used. This way the ratio of the payload mass to the overall mass is optimized. The landing impact will burrow the payload container into the Martian soil providing a more favorable thermal environment for the electronics and a suitable orientation of the telescopic boom with external sensors and the radio link antenna. It is planned to deploy several tens of MNLs on the Martian surface operating at least partly at the same time to allow meteorological network science. 2. Scientific Payload The payload of the two MNL precursor models includes the following instruments: Atmospheric instruments: 1. MetBaro Pressure device 2. MetHumi Humidity device 3. MetTemp Temperature sensors Optical devices: 1. PanCam Panoramic 2. MetSIS Solar irradiance sensor with OWLS optical wireless system for data transfer 3. DS Dust sensor The descent processes dynamic properties are monitored by a special 3-axis accelerometer combined with a 3-axis gyrometer. The data will be sent via auxiliary beacon antenna throughout the

  4. Entry, Descent, and Landing With Propulsive Deceleration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2012-01-01

    The future exploration of the Solar System will require innovations in transportation and the use of entry, descent, and landing (EDL) systems at many planetary landing sites. The cost of space missions has always been prohibitive, and using the natural planetary and planet s moons atmospheres for entry, descent, and landing can reduce the cost, mass, and complexity of these missions. This paper will describe some of the EDL ideas for planetary entry and survey the overall technologies for EDL that may be attractive for future Solar System missions.

  5. 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.

  6. The Small Mars System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fantino, E.; Grassi, M.; Pasolini, P.; Causa, F.; Molfese, C.; Aurigemma, R.; Cimminiello, N.; de la Torre, D.; Dell'Aversana, P.; Esposito, F.; Gramiccia, L.; Paudice, F.; Punzo, F.; Roma, I.; Savino, R.; Zuppardi, G.

    2017-08-01

    The Small Mars System is a proposed mission to Mars. Funded by the European Space Agency, the project has successfully completed Phase 0. The contractor is ALI S.c.a.r.l., and the study team includes the University of Naples ;Federico II;, the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte and the Space Studies Institute of Catalonia. The objectives of the mission are both technological and scientific, and will be achieved by delivering a small Mars lander carrying a dust particle analyser and an aerial drone. The former shall perform in situ measurements of the size distribution and abundance of dust particles suspended in the Martian atmosphere, whereas the latter shall demonstrate low-altitude flight in the rarefied planetary environment. The mission-enabling technology is an innovative umbrella-like heat shield, known as IRENE, developed and patented by ALI. The mission is also a technological demonstration of the shield in the upper atmosphere of Mars. The core characteristics of SMS are the low cost (120 M€) and the small size (320 kg of wet mass at launch, 110 kg at landing), features which stand out with respect to previous Mars landers. To comply with them is extremely challenging at all levels, and sets strict requirements on the choice of the materials, the sizing of payloads and subsystems, their arrangement inside the spacecraft and the launcher's selection. In this contribution, the mission and system concept and design are illustrated and discussed. Special emphasis is given to the innovative features and to the challenges faced in the development of the work.

  7. Atmospheric Electricity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aplin, Karen; Fischer, Georg

    2018-02-01

    Electricity occurs in atmospheres across the Solar System planets and beyond, spanning spectacular lightning displays in clouds of water or dust, to more subtle effects of charge and electric fields. On Earth, lightning is likely to have existed for a long time, based on evidence from fossilized lightning strikes in ancient rocks, but observations of planetary lightning are necessarily much more recent. The generation and observations of lightning and other atmospheric electrical processes, both from within-atmosphere measurements, and spacecraft remote sensing, can be readily studied using a comparative planetology approach, with Earth as a model. All atmospheres contain charged molecules, electrons, and/or molecular clusters created by ionization from cosmic rays and other processes, which may affect an atmosphere's energy balance both through aerosol and cloud formation, and direct absorption of radiation. Several planets are anticipated to host a "global electric circuit" by analogy with the circuit occurring on Earth, where thunderstorms drive current of ions or electrons through weakly conductive parts of the atmosphere. This current flow may further modulate an atmosphere's radiative properties through cloud and aerosol effects. Lightning could potentially have implications for life through its effects on atmospheric chemistry and particle transport. It has been observed on many of the Solar System planets (Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) and it may also be present on Venus and Mars. On Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, lightning is thought to be generated in deep water and ice clouds, but discharges can be generated in dust, as for terrestrial volcanic lightning, and on Mars. Other, less well-understood mechanisms causing discharges in non-water clouds also seem likely. The discovery of thousands of exoplanets has recently led to a range of further exotic possibilities for atmospheric electricity, though lightning detection beyond our Solar System

  8. Flight Simulation of ARES in the Mars Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenney, P. Sean; Croom, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    A report discusses using the Aerial Regional- scale Environmental Survey (ARES) light airplane as an observation platform on Mars in order to gather data. It would have to survive insertion into the atmosphere, fly long enough to meet science objectives, and provide a stable platform. The feasibility of such a platform was tested using the Langley Standard Real- Time Simulation in C++. The unique features of LaSRS++ are: full, six-degrees- of-freedom flight simulation that can be used to evaluate the performance of the aircraft in the Martian environment; capability of flight analysis from start to finish; support of Monte Carlo analysis of aircraft performance; and accepting initial conditions from POST results for the entry and deployment of the entry body. Starting with a general aviation model, the design was tweaked to maintain a stable aircraft under expected Martian conditions. Outer mold lines were adjusted based on experience with the Martian atmosphere. Flight control was modified from a vertical acceleration control law to an angle-of-attack control law. Navigation was modified from a vertical acceleration control system to an alpha control system. In general, a pattern of starting with simple models with well-understood behaviors was selected and modified during testing.

  9. Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juho Sankamo

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This article intends to contribute to the understanding of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The author studies the entry, which is found in all the Gospels, in its Jewish context. The author argues that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on an ass is to be understood as a prophetic sign which was primarily meant to convey a message to the Jews.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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".

  12. Planet Mars story of another world

    CERN Document Server

    Forget, François; Lognonné, Philippe

    2008-01-01

    Give an insight of Mars by adopting an outline based on history rather than on subtopic (atmosphere, surface, interior). This work looks at its evolution, and incorporates the results from the space missions of Mars Express, Spirit and Opportunity. It also examines its formation from the ashes of dead stars, more than 4 5 billion years ago.

  13. '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

  14. Exomars orbiter science and data-relay mission / looking for trace gases on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratacci, Olivier

    EXOMARS Orbiter Module: looking for trace gas on Mars and providing data relay support for future Mars Surface assets O.Fratacci, M.Mesrine, H.Renault, Thales Alenia Space France B.Musetti, M.Montagna, Thales Alenia Space Italy M.Kesselmann, M.Barczewski OHB P.Mitschdoerfer, D.Dellantonio Euro-pean Space Agency / ESTEC The European Space Agency (ESA) in a joint cooperation with NASA, will launch in 2016 the EXOMARS spacecraft composite to develop European landing technologies and provide a science orbiter with data-relay capability around Mars until end 2022. The spacecraft composite is composed of the Orbitr Module (OM), provided by TAS-France, an entry descent and landing demonstrator module (EDM) provided by TAS-Italy, and a set of six scientific payloads to be selected by the JPL during 2010. Recent observations of the planet Mars have indicated detection of methane as well as temporal, perhaps spatial variability in the detected signal while current photochemical models cannot explain the presence of methane in the atmosphere of Mars nor its reported rapid variations in space and time. The triple scientific objectives that drive the selection of these six instruments for the Exomars 2016 mission is to detect trace gases in Mars atmosphere, to characterise their spatial and temporal variation and to explore the source of the key trace gases (e.g. methane) on the surface. The launch is scheduled in January 2016 from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) using an ATLAS V 421 launcher with a total launch mass of 4.4 tons. After release of the EDM on Mars, the OM will perform the Mars Orbit Insertion manoeuvre and then reduce its elliptic orbit by implementing the first European Aerobraking around Mars for about 6 to 9 months, to finally end on a circular 400x400km orbit with an altitude in the range of 350km to 420km. From this orbit, a science phase will follow lasting 2 years in which the Mars atmosphere and surface is continuously observed. Science instruments composed of

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  16. Mechanical design of the Mars Pathfinder mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Howard Jay; Buck, Carl W.; Gillis-Smith, Greg R.; Umland, Jeffrey W.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder mission and the Sojourner rover is reported on, with emphasis on the various mission steps and the performance of the technologies involved. The mechanical design of mission hardware was critical to the success of the entry sequence and the landing operations. The various mechanisms employed are considered.

  17. Methane on Mars: Thermodynamic Equilibrium and Photochemical Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Mars Surface Environmental Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Mars MetNet Mission Payload Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Alexashkin, S.; Guerrero, H.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.

    2012-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is being developed in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission [1] is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide crucial scientific data about the Martian atmospheric phenomena.

  20. Solar radiation on Mars: Update 1991

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

    Detailed information on solar radiation characteristics on Mars are necessary for effective design of future planned solar energy systems operating on the surface of Mars. A procedure and solar radiation related data are presented from which the daily variation of the global, direct beam and diffuse insolation on Mars are calculated. Given the optical depth of the Mars atmosphere, the global radiation is calculated from the normalized net flux function based on multiple wavelength and multiple scattering of the solar radiation. The direct beam was derived from the optical depth using Beer's law, and the diffuse component was obtained from the difference of the global and the direct beam radiation. The optical depths of the Mars atmosphere were derived from images taken of the Sun with a special diode on the cameras used on the two Viking Landers.

  1. Telecommunications Relay Support of the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. An independent assessment of the technical feasibility of the Mars One mission plan - Updated analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do, Sydney; Owens, Andrew; Ho, Koki; Schreiner, Samuel; de Weck, Olivier

    2016-03-01

    In recent years, the Mars One program has gained significant publicity for its plans to colonize the red planet. Beginning in 2025, the program plans to land four people on Mars every 26 months via a series of one-way missions, using exclusively existing technology. This one-way approach has frequently been cited as a key enabler of accelerating the first crewed landing on Mars. While the Mars One program has received considerable attention, little has been published in the technical literature regarding the formulation of its mission architecture. In light of this, we perform an independent analysis of the technical feasibility of the Mars One mission plan, focusing on the architecture of the life support and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) systems, and their impact on sparing and space logistics. To perform this analysis, we adopt an iterative analysis approach in which we model and simulate the mission architecture, assess its feasibility, implement any applicable modifications while attempting to remain within the constraints set forth by Mars One, and then resimulate and reanalyze the revised version of the mission architecture. Where required information regarding the Mars One mission architecture is not available, we assume numerical values derived from standard spaceflight design handbooks and documents. Through four iterations of this process, our analysis finds that the Mars One mission plan, as publicly described, is not feasible. This conclusion is obtained from analyses based on mission assumptions derived from and constrained by statements made by Mars One, and is the result of the following findings: (1) several technologies including ISRU, life support, and entry, descent, and landing (EDL) are not currently "existing, validated and available" as claimed by Mars One; (2) the crop growth area described by Mars One is insufficient to feed their crew; (3) increasing the crop growth area to provide sufficient food for the crew leads to atmospheric

  3. Double entry bookkeeping vs single entry bookkeeping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ileana Andreica

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: A financial management eficiently begin, primarily, with an accounting record kept in the best possible conditions, this being conditioned on the adoption of a uniform forms, rational, clear and simple accounting. Throughout history, there have been known two forms of accounting: the simple and double entry. Romanian society after 1990 underwent a substantial change in social structure, the sector on which put a great emphasis being private, that of small manufacturers, peddler, freelance, who work independently and authorized or as associative form (family enterprises, various associations (owners, tenants, etc., liberal professions, etc.. They are obliged to keep a simple bookkeeping, because they have no juridical personality. Companies with legal personality are required to keep double entry bookkeeping; therefore, knowledge and border demarcation between the two forms of organisation of accounting is an essential. The material used for this work is mainly represented by the financial and accounting documents, by the analysis of the economic, by legislative updated sources, and as the method was used the comparison method, using hypothetical data, in case of an authorized individual and a legal entity. Based on the chosen material, an authorized individual (who perform single entry accounting system and a juridical entity (who perform double entry accounting system were selected comparative case studies, using hypothetical data, were analysed advantages and disadvantages in term of fiscal, if using two accounting systems, then were highlighted some conclusion that result.

  4. Mars geodesy, rotation and gravity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenblatt, Pascal; Dehant, Veronique

    2010-01-01

    This review provides explanations of how geodesy, rotation and gravity can be addressed using radioscience data of an orbiter around a planet or of the lander on its surface. The planet Mars is the center of the discussion. The information one can get from orbitography and radioscience in general concerns the global static gravitational field, the time variation of the gravitational field induced by mass exchange between the atmosphere and the ice caps, the time variation of the gravitational field induced by the tides, the secular changes in the spacecraft's orbit induced by the little moons of Mars named Phobos and Deimos, the gravity induced by particular targets, the Martian ephemerides, and Mars' rotation and orientation. The paper addresses as well the determination of the geophysical parameters of Mars and, in particular, the state of Mars' core and its size, which is important for understanding the planet's evolution. Indeed, the state and dimension of the core determined from the moment of inertia and nutation depend in turn on the percentage of light elements in the core as well as on the core temperature, which is related to heat transport in the mantle. For example, the radius of the core has implications for possible mantle convection scenarios and, in particular, for the presence of a perovskite phase transition at the bottom of the mantle. This is also important for our understanding of the large volcanic province Tharsis on the surface of Mars. (invited reviews)

  5. Sustainable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Phytoremediation of Atmospheric Methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-15

    REPORT Phytoremediation of Atmospheric Methane 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: We have transformed a plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, with the...298 (Rev 8/98) Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 - 31-Mar-2012 Phytoremediation of Atmospheric Methane Report Title ABSTRACT We have transformed a...DD882) Scientific Progress See attachment Technology Transfer 1    Final Report for DARPA project W911NF1010027  Phytoremediation  of Atmospheric

  7. Characterization of Aerodynamic Interactions with the Mars Science Laboratory Reaction Control System Using Computation and Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenenberger, Mark; VanNorman, John; Rhode, Matthew; Paulson, John

    2013-01-01

    On August 5 , 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry capsule successfully entered Mars' atmosphere and landed the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater. The capsule used a reaction control system (RCS) consisting of four pairs of hydrazine thrusters to fly a guided entry. The RCS provided bank control to fly along a flight path commanded by an onboard computer and also damped unwanted rates due to atmospheric disturbances and any dynamic instabilities of the capsule. A preliminary assessment of the MSL's flight data from entry showed that the capsule flew much as predicted. This paper will describe how the MSL aerodynamics team used engineering analyses, computational codes and wind tunnel testing in concert to develop the RCS system and certify it for flight. Over the course of MSL's development, the RCS configuration underwent a number of design iterations to accommodate mechanical constraints, aeroheating concerns and excessive aero/RCS interactions. A brief overview of the MSL RCS configuration design evolution is provided. Then, a brief description is presented of how the computational predictions of RCS jet interactions were validated. The primary work to certify that the RCS interactions were acceptable for flight was centered on validating computational predictions at hypersonic speeds. A comparison of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predictions to wind tunnel force and moment data gathered in the NASA Langley 31-Inch Mach 10 Tunnel was the lynch pin to validating the CFD codes used to predict aero/RCS interactions. Using the CFD predictions and experimental data, an interaction model was developed for Monte Carlo analyses using 6-degree-of-freedom trajectory simulation. The interaction model used in the flight simulation is presented.

  8. Reproducing early Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure by modeling the formation of Mg-Fe-Ca carbonate identified in the Comanche rock outcrops on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berk, Wolfgang; Fu, Yunjiao; Ilger, Jan-Michael

    2012-10-01

    The well defined composition of the Comanche rock's carbonate (Magnesite0.62Siderite0.25Calcite0.11Rhodochrosite0.02) and its host rock's composition, dominated by Mg-rich olivine, enable us to reproduce the atmospheric CO2partial pressure that may have triggered the formation of these carbonates. Hydrogeochemical one-dimensional transport modeling reveals that similar aqueous rock alteration conditions (including CO2partial pressure) may have led to the formation of Mg-Fe-Ca carbonate identified in the Comanche rock outcrops (Gusev Crater) and also in the ultramafic rocks exposed in the Nili Fossae region. Hydrogeochemical conditions enabling the formation of Mg-rich solid solution carbonate result from equilibrium species distributions involving (1) ultramafic rocks (ca. 32 wt% olivine; Fo0.72Fa0.28), (2) pure water, and (3) CO2partial pressures of ca. 0.5 to 2.0 bar at water-to-rock ratios of ca. 500 molH2O mol-1rock and ca. 5°C (278 K). Our modeled carbonate composition (Magnesite0.64Siderite0.28Calcite0.08) matches the measured composition of carbonates preserved in the Comanche rocks. Considerably different carbonate compositions are achieved at (1) higher temperature (85°C), (2) water-to-rock ratios considerably higher and lower than 500 mol mol-1 and (3) CO2partial pressures differing from 1.0 bar in the model set up. The Comanche rocks, hosting the carbonate, may have been subjected to long-lasting (>104 to 105 years) aqueous alteration processes triggered by atmospheric CO2partial pressures of ca. 1.0 bar at low temperature. Their outcrop may represent a fragment of the upper layers of an altered olivine-rich rock column, which is characterized by newly formed Mg-Fe-Ca solid solution carbonate, and phyllosilicate-rich alteration assemblages within deeper (unexposed) units.

  9. MetBaro - Pressure Instrument for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polkko, J.; Haukka, H.; Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Leinonen, J.; Mäkinen, T.

    2009-04-01

    THE METNET MISSION FOCUSED ON THE Martian atmospheric science is based on a new semihard landing vehicle called the MetNet Lander (MNL). The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. MetBaro is the pressure instrument of MetNet Lander designed to work on Martian surface. It is based on Barocap® technology developed by Vaisala, Inc. MetBaro is a capacitic type of sensing device where capasitor plates are moved by ambient pressure. MetBaro device consists of two pressure transducers including a total of 6 Barocap® sensor heads of high-stability and high-resolution types. The long-term stability of MetBaro is in order of 20…50 µBar and resolution a few µBar. MetBaro is small, lightweighed and has low power consumption. It weighs about 50g without wires and controlling FPGA, and consumes 15 mW of power. A similar device has successfully flown in Phoenix mission, where it performed months of measurements on Martian ground. Another device is also part of the Mars Science Laboratory REMS instrument (to be launched in 2011).

  10. MetHumi - Humidity Device for Mars MetNet Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genzer, Maria; Polkko, Jouni; Harri, Ari-Matti; Schmidt, Walter; Leinonen, Jussi; Mäkinen, Teemu; Haukka, Harri

    2010-05-01

    MetNet Mars Mission focused for Martian atmospheric science is based on a new semihard landing vehicle called the MetNet Lander (MNL). The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. MetHumi is the humidity sensor of MetNet Lander designed to work on Martian surface. It is based on Humicap® technology developed by Vaisala, Inc. MetHumi is a capacitive type of sensing device where an active polymer film changes capacitance as function of relative humidity. One MetHumi device package consists of one humidity transducer including three Humicap® sensor heads, an accurate temperature sensor head (Thermocap® by Vaisala, Inc.) and constant reference channels. MetHumi is very small, lightweighed and has low power consumption. It weighs only about 15 g without wires, and consumes 15 mW of power. MetHumi can make meaningful relative humidity measurements in range of 0 - 100%RH down to -70°C ambient temperature, but it survives even -135°C ambient temperature.

  11. Double entry bookkeeping vs single entry bookkeeping

    OpenAIRE

    Ileana Andreica

    2016-01-01

    Abstract: A financial management eficiently begin, primarily, with an accounting record kept in the best possible conditions, this being conditioned on the adoption of a uniform forms, rational, clear and simple accounting. Throughout history, there have been known two forms of accounting: the simple and double entry. Romanian society after 1990 underwent a substantial change in social structure, the sector on which put a great emphasis being private, that of small manufacturers, ped...

  12. The Mars Microprobe Mission: Advanced Micro-Avionics for Exploration Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blue, Randel

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Microprobe Mission is the second spacecraft developed as part of the New Millennium Program deep space missions. The objective of the Microprobe Project is to demonstrate the applicability of key technologies for future planetary missions by developing two probes for deployment on Mars. The probes are designed with a single stage entry, descent, and landing system and impact the Martian surface at speeds of approximately 200 meters per second. The microprobes are composed of two main sections, a forebody section that penetrates to a depth below the Martian surface of 0.5 to 2 meters, and an aftbody section that remains on the surface. Each probe system consists of a number of advanced technology components developed specifically for this mission. These include a non-erosive aeroshell for entry into. the atmosphere, a set of low temperature batteries to supply probe power, an advanced microcontroller to execute the mission sequence, collect the science data, and react to possible system fault conditions, a telecommunications subsystem implemented on a set of custom integrated circuits, and instruments designed to provide science measurements from above and below the Martian surface. All of the electronic components have been designed and fabricated to withstand the severe impact shock environment and to operate correctly at predicted temperatures below -100 C.

  13. An Orbit Propagation Software for Mars Orbiting Spacecraft

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Joo Song

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available An orbit propagation software for the Mars orbiting spacecraft has been developed and verified in preparations for the future Korean Mars missions. Dynamic model for Mars orbiting spacecraft has been studied, and Mars centered coordinate systems are utilized to express spacecraft state vectors. Coordinate corrections to the Mars centered coordinate system have been made to adjust the effects caused by Mars precession and nutation. After spacecraft enters Sphere of Influence (SOI of the Mars, the spacecraft experiences various perturbation effects as it approaches to Mars. Every possible perturbation effect is considered during integrations of spacecraft state vectors. The Mars50c gravity field model and the Mars-GRAM 2001 model are used to compute perturbation effects due to Mars gravity field and Mars atmospheric drag, respectively. To compute exact locations of other planets, JPL's DE405 ephemerides are used. Phobos and Deimos's ephemeris are computed using analytical method because their informations are not released with DE405. Mars Global Surveyor's mapping orbital data are used to verify the developed propagator performances. After one Martian day propagation (12 orbital periods, the results show about maximum ±5 meter errors, in every position state components(radial, cross-track and along-track, when compared to these from the Astrogator propagation in the Satellite Tool Kit. This result shows high reliability of the developed software which can be used to design near Mars missions for Korea, in future.

  14. Border Crossing Entry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Transportation — The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Border Crossing/Entry Data provides summary statistics for inbound crossings at the U.S.-Canadian and the U.S.-Mexican...

  15. Entry and Exit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-03-01

    1. Introduction R Analyses of industrial competition have attained a new vigor with the application of game -theoretic methods. The process of... competition is represented in models that reflect genuine struggles for entry, market power, and continuing survival. Dynamics and informational effects are...presents a few of the models developed recently to study competitive processes that affect a firm’s entry into a market , and the decision to exit. The

  16. Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  17. Seasonal and Static Gravity Field of Mars from MGS, Mars Odyssey and MRO Radio Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, Antonio; Goossens, Sander; Lemoine, Frank G.; Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2016-01-01

    We present a spherical harmonic solution of the static gravity field of Mars to degree and order 120, GMM-3, that has been calculated using the Deep Space Network tracking data of the NASA Mars missions, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). We have also jointly determined spherical harmonic solutions for the static and time-variable gravity field of Mars, and the Mars k 2 Love numbers, exclusive of the gravity contribution of the atmosphere. Consequently, the retrieved time-varying gravity coefficients and the Love number k 2 solely yield seasonal variations in the mass of the polar caps and the solid tides of Mars, respectively. We obtain a Mars Love number k 2 of 0.1697 +/-0.0027 (3- sigma). The inclusion of MRO tracking data results in improved seasonal gravity field coefficients C 30 and, for the first time, C 50 . Refinements of the atmospheric model in our orbit determination program have allowed us to monitor the odd zonal harmonic C 30 for approx.1.5 solar cycles (16 years). This gravity model shows improved correlations with MOLA topography up to 15% larger at higher harmonics ( l = 60–80) than previous solutions.

  18. Charged particles radiation measurements with Liulin-MO dosimeter of FREND instrument aboard ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter during the transit and in high elliptic Mars orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semkova, Jordanka; Koleva, Rositza; Benghin, Victor; Dachev, Tsvetan; Matviichuk, Yuri; Tomov, Borislav; Krastev, Krasimir; Maltchev, Stephan; Dimitrov, Plamen; Mitrofanov, Igor; Malahov, Alexey; Golovin, Dmitry; Mokrousov, Maxim; Sanin, Anton; Litvak, Maxim; Kozyrev, Andrey; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Nikiforov, Sergey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Fedosov, Fedor; Grebennikova, Natalia; Zelenyi, Lev; Shurshakov, Vyacheslav; Drobishev, Sergey

    2018-03-01

    ExoMars is a joint ESA-Rosscosmos program for investigating Mars. Two missions are foreseen within this program: one consisting of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), that carries scientific instruments for the detection of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere and for the location of their source regions, plus an Entry, Descent and landing demonstrator Module (EDM), launched on March 14, 2016; and the other, featuring a rover and a surface platform, with a launch date of 2020. On October 19, 2016 TGO was inserted into high elliptic Mars' orbit. The dosimetric telescope Liulin-MO for measuring the radiation environment onboard the ExoMars 2016 TGO is a module of the Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector (FREND). Here we present first results from measurements of the charged particle fluxes, dose rates, Linear Energy Transfer (LET) spectra and estimation of dose equivalent rates in the interplanetary space during the cruise of TGO to Mars and first results from dosimetric measurements in high elliptic Mars' orbit. A comparison is made with the dose rates obtained by RAD instrument onboard Mars Science Laboratory during the cruise to Mars in 2011-2012 and with the Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) count rates provided by other particle detectors currently in space. The average measured dose rate in Si from GCR during the transit to Mars for the period April 22-September 15, 2016 is 372 ± 37 μGy d-1 and 390 ± 39 μGy d-1 in two perpendicular directions. The dose equivalent rate from GCR for the same time period is about 2 ± 0.3 mSv d-1. This is in good agreement with RAD results for radiation dose rate in Si from GCR in the interplanetary space, taking into account the different solar activity during the measurements of both instruments. About 10% increase of the dose rate, and 15% increase of the dose equivalent rate for 10.5 months flight is observed. It is due to the increase of Liulin-MO particle fluxes for that period and corresponds to the overall GCR intensity

  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. Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Solar radiation on Mars: Stationary photovoltaic array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, J.; Sherman, I.; Landis, G. A.

    1993-01-01

    Solar energy is likely to be an important power source for surface-based operation on Mars. Photovoltaic cells offer many advantages. In this article we have presented analytical expressions and solar radiation data for stationary flat surfaces (horizontal and inclined) as a function of latitude, season and atmospheric dust load (optical depth). The diffuse component of the solar radiation on Mars can be significant, thus greatly affecting the optimal inclination angle of the photovoltaic surface.

  2. Entry: direct control or regulation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perotti, E.; Vorage, M.

    2009-01-01

    We model a setting in which citizens form coalitions to seek preferential entry to a given market. The lower entry the higher firm profits and political contributions, but the lower social welfare. Politicians choose to either control entry directly and be illegally bribed, or regulate entry using a

  3. Photovoltaic Cell Operation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Kerslake, Thomas; Jenkins, Phillip P.; Scheiman, David A.

    2004-01-01

    The Martian surface environment provides peculiar challenges for the operation of solar arrays: low temperature, solar flux with a significant scattered component that varies in intensity and spectrum with the amount of suspended atmospheric dust, and the possibility of performance loss due to dust deposition on the array surface. This paper presents theoretical analyses of solar cell performance on the surface of Mars and measurements of cells under Martian conditions.

  4. Stability of water on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D. W. G.; Moore, S. R.

    2004-11-01

    In order to try to quantify some of the factors determining the evaporation rate of water on Mars, we have been measuring evaporation rates under simulated martian conditions in a large planetary environmental chamber. All of our experiments have been performed at 5.25 Torr (7 mb) total pressure, but we have varied the temperature of the water surface, atmosphere and walls of the chamber (the walls we assume to be somewhat analogous to surrounding surfaces on Mars). We have also monitored the partial pressure of water vapor in the atmosphere to investigate its effect on evaporation rate. Most importantly, we have attempted to model the effect of advection - physical removal of the water vapor by wind or other forms of atmospheric motion - by (1) placing a bag of dry ice in the chamber and (2) by installing a copper cold finger with circulating methanol/dry ice slurry next to the sample and pumping as necessary to maintain 5.25 Torr. As might be expected, the situation is complicated and not readily described theoretically, but several conclusions seem to be emerging. Evaporation rates under nonadvective conditions are 1.2 mm/h and decrease only by about 30% as water vapor builds up in the atmosphere to as much as 40 vol %. Wall temperature and water surface temperature do not appear to affect evaporation rates significantly, but a 20 C increase in atmospheric temperature causes a 40% increase in evaporation rate. The evaporation rate increases by a factor of two in the presence of advection and under advective conditions is not affected significantly by changes in water, air, or wall temperature, or water vapor pressure. These results suggest that atmospheric motion may be the dominant factor in determining water evaporation on Mars.

  5. Solar radiation for Mars power systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

    Detailed information about the solar radiation characteristics on Mars are necessary for effective design of future planned solar energy systems operating on the surface of Mars. A procedure and solar radiation related data from which the diurnally and daily variation of the global, direct (or beam), and diffuse insolation on Mars are calculated, are presented. The radiation data are based on measured optical depth of the Martian atmosphere derived from images taken of the Sun with a special diode on the Viking Lander cameras; and computation based on multiple wavelength and multiple scattering of the solar radiation.

  6. Combining meteorites and missions to explore Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Timothy J; Corrigan, Catherine M; Herd, Christopher D K

    2011-11-29

    Laboratory studies of meteorites and robotic exploration of Mars reveal scant atmosphere, no evidence of plate tectonics, past evidence for abundant water, and a protracted igneous evolution. Despite indirect hints, direct evidence of a martian origin came with the discovery of trapped atmospheric gases in one meteorite. Since then, the study of martian meteorites and findings from missions have been linked. Although the meteorite source locations are unknown, impact ejection modeling and spectral mapping of Mars suggest derivation from small craters in terrains of Amazonian to Hesperian age. Whereas most martian meteorites are young ( 4.5 Ga and formation of enriched and depleted reservoirs. However, the history inferred from martian meteorites conflicts with results from recent Mars missions, calling into doubt whether the igneous histor y inferred from the meteorites is applicable to Mars as a whole. Allan Hills 84001 dates to 4.09 Ga and contains fluid-deposited carbonates. Accompanying debate about the mechanism and temperature of origin of the carbonates came several features suggestive of past microbial life in the carbonates. Although highly disputed, the suggestion spurred interest in habitable extreme environments on Earth and throughout the Solar System. A flotilla of subsequent spacecraft has redefined Mars from a volcanic planet to a hydrologically active planet that may have harbored life. Understanding the history and habitability of Mars depends on understanding the coupling of the atmosphere, surface, and subsurface. Sample return that brings back direct evidence from these diverse reservoirs is essential.

  7. Automated microbial metabolism laboratory. [Viking 75 entry vehicle and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-01-01

    The labeled release concept was advanced to accommodate a post- Viking mission designed to extend the search, to confirm the presence of, and to characterize any Martian life found, and to obtain preliminary information on control of the life detected. The advanced labeled release concept utilizes four test chambers, each of which contains either an active or heat sterilized sample of the Martian soil. A variety of C-14 labeled organic substrates can be added sequentially to each soil sample and the resulting evolved radioactive gas monitored. The concept can also test effects of various inhibitors and environmental parameters on the experimental response. The current Viking '75 labeled release hardware is readily adaptable to the advanced labeled release concept.

  8. The Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing Flight Software

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gostelow, Kim P.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes the design, development, and testing of the EDL program from the perspective of the software engineer. We briefly cover the overall MSL flight software organization, and then the organization of EDL itself. We discuss the timeline, the structure of the GNC code (but not the algorithms as they are covered elsewhere in this conference) and the command and telemetry interfaces. Finally, we cover testing and the influence that testability had on the EDL flight software design.

  9. 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

  10. Mars MetNet Mission Pressure and Humidity Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukka, H.; Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Polkko, J.; Kemppinen, O.; Leinonen, J.

    2012-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is being developed in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission [1] is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). MetBaro and MetHumi are part of the scientific payload of the MNL. Main scientific goal of both devices is to measure the meteorological phenomena (pressure and humidity) of the Martian atmosphere and complement the previous Mars mission atmospheric measurements (Viking and Phoenix) for better understanding of the Martian atmospheric conditions.

  11. Exclusive Dealing and Entry

    OpenAIRE

    João Leão

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines the use of exclusive dealing agreements to prevent the entry of rival firms. An exclusive dealing agreement is a contract between a buyer and a seller where the buyer commits to buy a good exclusively from the seller. One main concern of the literature is to explain how an incumbent seller is able to persuade the buyers to sign an exclusive dealing agreement that deters the entry of a more efficient rival seller. We propose a new explanation when the buyers are downstream ...

  12. 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.

  13. The Mars water cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, D. W.

    1981-01-01

    A model has been developed to test the hypothesis that the observed seasonal and latitudinal distribution of water on Mars is controlled by the sublimation and condensation of surface ice deposits in the Arctic and Antarctic, and the meridional transport of water vapor. Besides reproducing the observed water vapor distribution, the model correctly reproduces the presence of a large permanent ice cap in the Arctic and not in the Antarctic. No permanent ice reservoirs are predicted in the temperate or equatorial zones. Wintertime ice deposits in the Arctic are shown to be the source of the large water vapor abundances observed in the Arctic summertime, and the moderate water vapor abundances in the northern temperate region. Model calculations suggest that a year without dust storms results in very little change in the water vapor distribution. The current water distribution appears to be the equilibrium distribution for present atmospheric conditions.

  14. Lobbying on entry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perotti, E.C.; Volpin, P.

    2004-01-01

    We develop a model of endogenous lobby formation in which wealth inequality and political accountability undermine entry and financial development. Incumbents seek a low level of effective investor protection to prevent potential entrants from raising capital. They succeed because they can promise

  15. Transportation-Driven Mars Surface Operations Supporting an Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toups, Larry; Brown, Kendall; Hoffman, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes the results of a study evaluating options for supporting a series of human missions to a single Mars surface destination. In this scenario the infrastructure emplaced during previous visits to this site is leveraged in following missions. The goal of this single site approach to Mars surface infrastructure is to enable "Steady State" operations by at least 4 crew for up to 500 sols at this site. These characteristics, along with the transportation system used to deliver crew and equipment to and from Mars, are collectively known as the Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC). Information in this paper is presented in the sequence in which it was accomplished. First, a logical buildup sequence of surface infrastructure was developed to achieve the desired "Steady State" operations on the Mars surface. This was based on a concept of operations that met objectives of the EMC. Second, infrastructure capabilities were identified to carry out this concept of operations. Third, systems (in the form of conceptual elements) were identified to provide these capabilities. This included top-level mass, power and volume estimates for these elements. Fourth, the results were then used in analyses to evaluate three options (18t, 27t, and 40t landed mass) of Mars Lander delivery capability to the surface. Finally, Mars arrival mass estimates were generated based upon the entry, descent, and landing requirements for inclusion in separate assessments of in-space transportation capabilities for the EMC.

  16. Radiation chemistry in exploration of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zagorski, Z.P.

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Mars At Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-01-01

    These NASA Hubble Space Telescope views provide the most detailed complete global coverage of the red planet Mars ever seen from Earth. The pictures were taken on February 25, 1995, when Mars was at a distance of 65 million miles (103 million km).To the surprise of researchers, Mars is cloudier than seen in previous years. This means the planet is cooler and drier, because water vapor in the atmosphere freezes out to form ice-crystal clouds. Hubble resolves Martian surface features with a level of detail only exceeded by planetary probes, such as impact craters and other features as small as 30 miles (50 kilometers) across.[Tharsis region] - A crescent-shaped cloud just right of center identifies the immense shield volcano Olympus Mons, which is 340 miles (550 km) across at its base. Warm afternoon air pushed up over the summit forms ice-crystal clouds downwind from the volcano. Farther to the east (right) a line of clouds forms over a row of three extinct volcanoes which are from north to south: Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, Arsia Mons. It's part of an unusual, recurring 'W'-shaped cloud formation that once mystified earlier ground-based observers.[Valles Marineris region] - The 16 mile-high volcano Ascraeus Mons pokes through the cloud deck along the western (left) limb of the planet. Other interesting geologic features include (lower left) Valles Marineris, an immense rift valley the length of the continental United States. Near the image center lies the Chryse basin made up of cratered and chaotic terrain. The oval-looking Argyre impact basin (bottom) appears white due to clouds or frost.[Syrtis Major region] - The dark 'shark fin' feature left of center is Syrtis Major. Below it the giant impact basin Hellas. Clouds cover several great volcanos in the Elysium region near the eastern (right) limb. As clearly seen in the Hubble images, past dust storms in Mars' southern hemisphere have scoured the plains of fine light dust and transported the dust northward. This

  18. 2016 Mars Insight Mission Design and Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhenz, Julie; Paz, Aaron; Mueller, Robert

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Border Crossing/Entry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Transportation — The dataset is known as “Border Crossing/Entry Data.” The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Border Crossing/Entry Data provides summary statistics to the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  5. The Long, Bumpy Road to a Mars Aeronomy Mission (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebowsky, J. M.; Luhmann, J. G.; Bougher, S. W.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2013-12-01

    With the advent of the space age, early focus was put into characterizing the Earth's upper atmosphere with aeronomy missions. These missions were designed to study the upper atmosphere region of a planet where the ionosphere is produced with particular attention given to the composition, properties and motion of atmosphere constituents. In particular a very successful US series of Atmosphere Explorer aeronomy spacecraft (1963-1977) was implemented. This upper atmosphere region is the envelope that all energy from the sun must penetrate and is recognized as an inseparable part of a planet's entire atmosphere. Venus was the next planet to have its upper atmosphere/ionosphere deeply probed via the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (1978-1986) that carried a complement of instruments similar to some flown on the Atmosphere Explorers. The planet which humans have long set their imagination on, Mars, has yet to be subjected to the same detailed upper atmosphere perusal until now, with MAVEN. Not that attempts have been wanting. More than 30 spacecraft launches to Mars were attempted, but half were not successful and those that attained orbit came far short of attaining the same level of knowledge of the Martian upper atmosphere. Other countries had planned Mars aeronomy missions that didn't bear fruit - e.g. Mars-96 and Nozomi and the US did studies for two missions, Mars Aeronomy Orbiter and MUADEE, that never were implemented. This is about to change. NASA's Scout Program singled out two aeronomy missions in its final competition and the selected mission, MAVEN, will fly with the needed sophistication of instruments to finally probe and understand the top of Mars' atmosphere. Was this late selection of a NASA aeronomy mission to Mars a philosophy change in US priorities or was it an accident of planning and budget constraints? Was it driven by the developing knowledge that Mars really had an early atmosphere environment conducive to life and that an aeronomy mission is indeed

  6. Photochemistry of Planetary Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Y. L.

    2005-12-01

    The Space Age started half a century ago. Today, with the completion of a fairly detailed study of the planets of the Solar System, we have begun studying exoplanets (or extrasolar planets). The overriding question in is to ask whether an exoplanet is habitable and harbors life, and if so, what the biosignatures ought to be. This forces us to confront the fundamental question of what controls the composition of an atmosphere. The composition of a planetary atmosphere reflects a balance between thermodynamic equilibrium chemistry (as in the interior of giant planets) and photochemistry (as in the atmosphere of Mars). The terrestrial atmosphere has additional influence from life (biochemistry). The bulk of photochemistry in planetary atmospheres is driven by UV radiation. Photosynthesis may be considered an extension of photochemistry by inventing a molecule (chlorophyll) that can harvest visible light. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of photochemistry is catalytic chemistry, the ability of trace amounts of gases to profoundly affect the composition of the atmosphere. Notable examples include HOx (H, OH and HO2) chemistry on Mars and chlorine chemistry on Earth and Venus. Another remarkable feature of photochemistry is organic synthesis in the outer solar system. The best example is the atmosphere of Titan. Photolysis of methane results in the synthesis of more complex hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon chemistry inevitably leads to the formation of high molecular weight products, giving rise to aerosols when the ambient atmosphere is cool enough for them to condense. These results are supported by the findings of the recent Cassini mission. Lastly, photochemistry leaves a distinctive isotopic signature that can be used to trace back the evolutionary history of the atmosphere. Examples include nitrogen isotopes on Mars and sulfur isotopes on Earth. Returning to the question of biosignatures on an exoplanet, our Solar System experience tells us to look for speciation

  7. Relay Telecommunications for the Coming Decade of Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C.; DePaula, R.

    2010-01-01

    Over the past decade, an evolving network of relay-equipped orbiters has advanced our capabilities for Mars exploration. NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, 2001 Mars Odyssey, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), as well as ESA's Mars Express Orbiter, have provided telecommunications relay services to the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and to the 2007 Phoenix Lander. Based on these successes, a roadmap for continued Mars relay services is in place for the coming decade. MRO and Odyssey will provide key relay support to the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, including capture of critical event telemetry during entry, descent, and landing, as well as support for command and telemetry during surface operations, utilizing new capabilities of the Electra relay payload on MRO and the Electra-Lite payload on MSL to allow significant increase in data return relative to earlier missions. Over the remainder of the decade a number of additional orbiter and lander missions are planned, representing new orbital relay service providers and new landed relay users. In this paper we will outline this Mars relay roadmap, quantifying relay performance over time, illustrating planned support scenarios, and identifying key challenges and technology infusion opportunities.

  8. The Mars Simulation Laboratory, University of Aarhus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrison, J. P.; Field, D.; Finster, K.; Lomstein, B. Aa.; Nørnberg, P.; Ramsing, N. B.; Uggerhøj, E.

    2001-08-01

    Present day Mars presents an extremely hostile environment to organic material. The average temperature is low (-50C), the atmospheric pressure is also low (7mbar) and there is little water over most of the planet. Chemically the surface is extremely oxidising and no signs of organic material have been detected. There is also a strong component of ultra violet radiation in the Martian sun light, lethal to most organisms. At Aarhus University we have constructed a Mars simulation environment which reproduces the physical, chemical and mineralogical conditions on Mars. It is hoped to set limits on where organic matter (or even life) might exist on Mars, for example at some depth under the surface, beneath the polar ice or within rocks. It is also possible to adjust the conditions in the simulation to investigate the most extreme environments in which organisms can be preserved or still function.

  9. Cancer Risk Map for the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Myung-Hee Y.; Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2011-01-01

    We discuss calculations of the median and 95th percentile cancer risks on the surface of Mars for different solar conditions. The NASA Space Radiation Cancer Risk 2010 model is used to estimate gender and age specific cancer incidence and mortality risks for astronauts exploring Mars. Organ specific fluence spectra and doses for large solar particle events (SPE) and galactic cosmic rays (GCR) at various levels of solar activity are simulated using the HZETRN/QMSFRG computer code, and the 2010 version of the Badhwar and O Neill GCR model. The NASA JSC propensity model of SPE fluence and occurrence is used to consider upper bounds on SPE fluence for increasing mission lengths. In the transport of particles through the Mars atmosphere, a vertical distribution of Mars atmospheric thickness is calculated from the temperature and pressure data of Mars Global Surveyor, and the directional cosine distribution is implemented to describe the spherically distributed atmospheric distance along the slant path at each elevation on Mars. The resultant directional shielding by Mars atmosphere at each elevation is coupled with vehicle and body shielding for organ dose estimates. Astronaut cancer risks are mapped on the global topography of Mars, which was measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter. Variation of cancer risk on the surface of Mars is due to a 16-km elevation range, and the large difference is obtained between the Tharsis Montes (Ascraeus, Pavonis, and Arsia) and the Hellas impact basin. Cancer incidence risks are found to be about 2-fold higher than mortality risks with a disproportionate increase in skin and thyroid cancers for all astronauts and breast cancer risk for female astronauts. The number of safe days on Mars to be below radiation limits at the 95th percent confidence level is reported for several Mission design scenarios.

  10. The Gravity Field of Mars From MGS, Mars Odyssey, and MRO Radio Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, Antonio; Goossens, Sander; Lemoine, Frank G.; Mazarico, Erwan; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) missions have enabled NASA to conduct reconnaissance and exploration of Mars from orbit for sixteen consecutive years. These radio systems on these spacecraft enabled radio science in orbit around Mars to improve the knowledge of the static structure of the Martian gravitational field. The continuity of the radio tracking data, which cover more than a solar cycle, also provides useful information to characterize the temporal variability of the gravity field, relevant to the planet's internal dynamics and the structure and dynamics of the atmosphere [1]. MGS operated for more than 7 years, between 1999 and 2006, in a frozen sun-synchronous, near-circular, polar orbit with the periapsis at approximately 370 km altitude. ODY and MRO have been orbiting Mars in two separate sun-synchronous orbits at different local times and altitudes. ODY began its mapping phase in 2002 with the periapis at approximately 390 km altitude and 4-5pm Local Solar Time (LST), whereas the MRO science mission started in November 2006 with the periapis at approximately 255 km altitude and 3pm LST. The 16 years of radio tracking data provide useful information on the atmospheric density in the Martian upper atmosphere. We used ODY and MRO radio data to recover the long-term periodicity of the major atmospheric constituents -- CO2, O, and He -- at the orbit altitudes of these two spacecraft [2]. The improved atmospheric model provides a better prediction of the annual and semi-annual variability of the dominant species. Therefore, the inclusion of the recovered model leads to improved orbit determination and an improved gravity field model of Mars with MGS, ODY, and MRO radio tracking data.

  11. 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

    provide the foundation required to enable a variety of possible destinations and missions consistent with the Evolvable Mars Campaign.. The International Space Station will be used to the greatest extent possible for exploration capability and technology development. Beyond this, NASA is evaluating a number of options for Proving Ground missions. An "Asteroid Redirect Mission" will demonstrate needed capabilities (e.g., Solar Electric Propulsion) and transportation systems for the crew (i.e., Space Launch System and Orion) and for cargo (i.e., Asteroid Redirect Vehicle). The Mars 2020 mission and follow-on robotic precursor missions will gather Mars surface environment information and will mature technologies. NASA is considering emplacing a small pressurized module in cis-lunar space to support crewed operations of increasing duration and to serve as a platform for critical exploration capabilities testing (e.g., radiation mitigation; extended duration deep space habitation). In addition, "opportunistic mission operations" could demonstrate capabilities not on the Mars critical path that may, nonetheless, enhance exploration operations (e.g., teleoperations, crew assisted Mars sample return). The Proving Ground may also include "pathfinder" missions to test and demonstrate specific capabilities at Mars (e.g., entry, descent, and landing). This paper describes the (1) process used to conduct an architecture-driven technology development assessment, (2) exploration mission critical and supporting capabilities, and (3) approach for addressing test and demonstration opportunities encompassing the spectrum of flight elements and destinations consistent with the Evolvable Mars Campaign.

  12. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Haukka, H.; Palin, M.; Nikkanen, T.

    2015-10-01

    New kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semihard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  13. Mars MetNet Precursor Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Aleksashkin, S.; Guerrero, H.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Haukka, H.

    2013-09-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Mars Environment and Magnetic Orbiter Scientific and Measurement Objectives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leblanc, F.; Langlais, B.; Fouchet, T.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we summarize our present understanding of Mars' atmosphere, magnetic field, and surface and address past evolution of these features. Key scientific questions concerning Mars' surface, atmosphere, and magnetic field, along with the planet's interaction with solar wind, are discussed......, the appearance of life, and its sustainability. The MEMO main platform combined remote sensing and in situ measurements of the atmosphere and the magnetic field during regular incursions into the martian upper atmosphere. The micro-satellite was designed to perform simultaneous in situ solar wind measurements...

  16. Lunar Entry Downmode Options for Orion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kelly M.; Rea, Jeremy

    2016-01-01

    For Exploration Missions 1 and 2, the Orion capsules will be entering the Earth's atmosphere with speeds in excess of 11 km/s. In the event of a degraded Guidance, Navigation, and Control system, attempting the nominal guided entry may be inadvisable due to the potential for failures that result in a loss of vehicle (or crew, when crew are aboard). In such a case, a method of assuring Earth capture, water landing, and observence of trajectory constraints (heating, loads) is desired. Such a method should also be robust to large state uncertainty and variations in entry interface states. This document will explore four approaches evaluated and their performance in ensuring a safe return of the Orion capsule in the event of onboard system degradation.

  17. A Global Electric Circuit on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delory, G. T.; Farrell, W. M.; Desch, M. D.

    2001-01-01

    We describe conditions on the surface of Mars conducive to the formation of a martian global electric circuit, in a direct analogy to the terrestrial case where atmospheric currents and electric fields are generated worldwide through the charging in thunderstorms. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  18. Montgolfiere balloon missions from Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jack A.

    2005-01-01

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

  19. 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).

  20. Planetary Surface-Atmosphere Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrison, J. P.; Bak, E.; Finster, K.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Holstein-Rathlou, C.; Knak Jensen, S.; Nørnberg, P.

    2013-09-01

    Planetary bodies having an accessible solid surface and significant atmosphere, such as Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan, share common phenomenology. Specifically wind induced transport of surface materials, subsequent erosion, the generation and transport of solid aerosols which leads both to chemical and electrostatic interaction with the atmosphere. How these processes affect the evolution of the atmosphere and surface will be discussed in the context of general planetology and the latest laboratory studies will be presented.

  1. Mars Solar Balloon Landed Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P.; Harpold, D.; Niemann, H.; Atreya, S.; Gorevan, S.; Israel, G.; Bertaux, J. L.; Jones, J.; Owen, T.; Raulin, F.

    1999-01-01

    A Mars surface lander Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) is described to measure the chemical composition of abundant and trace volatile species and isotope ratios for noble gases and other elements. These measurements are relevant to the study of atmospheric evolution and past climatic conditions. A Micromission plan is under study where a surface package including a miniaturized GCMS would be delivered to the surface by a solar heated hot air balloon based system. The balloon system would be deployed about 8 km above the surface of Mars, wherein it would rapidly fill with Martian atmosphere and be heated quickly by the sun. The combined buoyancy and parachuting effects of the solar balloon result in a surface package impact of about 5 m/sec. After delivery of the package to the surface, the balloon would ascend to about 4 km altitude, with imaging and magnetometry data being taken for the remainder of the daylight hours as the balloon is blown with the Martian winds. Total atmospheric entry mass of this mission is estimated to be approximately 50 kg, and it can fit as an Ariane 5 piggyback payload. The GCMS would obtain samples directly from the atmosphere at the surface and also from gases evolved from solid phase material collected from well below the surface with a Sample Acquisition and Transport Mechanism (SATM). The experiment envisioned in the Mars Micromission described would obtain samples from a much greater depth of up to one meter below the surface, and would search for organic molecules trapped in ancient stratified layers well below the oxidized surface. Insitu instruments on upcoming NASA missions working in concert with remote sensing measurement techniques have the potential to provide a more detailed investigation of mineralogy and the extent of simple volatiles such as CO2 and H2O in surface and subsurface solid phase materials. Within the context of subsequent mission opportunities such as those provided by the Ariane 5 piggyback

  2. Geology of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soderblom, L.A.

    1988-01-01

    The geology of Mars and the results of the Mariner 4, 6/7, and 9 missions and the Viking mission are reviewed. The Mars chronology and geologic modification are examined, including chronological models for the inactive planet, the active planet, and crater flux. The importance of surface materials is discussed and a multispectral map of Mars is presented. Suggestions are given for further studies of the geology of Mars using the Viking data. 5 references

  3. Mars: The Viking Discoveries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Bevan M.

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

  4. Mars Aeronomy Observer: Report of the Science Working Team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunten, Donald M.; Slavin, James A.; Brace, Lawrence H.; Deming, Drake; Frank, Louis A.; Grebowsky, Joseph M.; Haberle, Robert M.; Hanson, William B.; Intriligator, Devrie S.; Killeen, Timothy L.; hide

    1986-01-01

    The Mars Aeronomy Observer (MAO) is a candidate follow-on mission to Mars Observer (MO) in the Planetary Observer Program. The four Mariner and two Viking spacecraft sent to Mars between 1965 and 1976 have provided a wealth of information concerning Martian planetology. The Mars Observer, to be launched in 1990, will build on their results by further examining the elemental and mineralogical composition of the surface, the strength and multipolar composition of the planetary magnetic field, the gravitational field and topography, and the circulation of the lower atmosphere. The Mars Aeronomy Observer is intended to address the last major aspects of Martian environment which have yet to be investigated: the upper atmosphere, the ionsphere, and the solar wind interaction region.

  5. 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.

  6. A Study on Re-entry Predictions of Uncontrolled Space Objects for Space Situational Awareness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Eun-Jung; Cho, Sungki; Lee, Deok-Jin; Kim, Siwoo; Jo, Jung Hyun

    2017-12-01

    The key risk analysis technologies for the re-entry of space objects into Earth’s atmosphere are divided into four categories: cataloguing and databases of the re-entry of space objects, lifetime and re-entry trajectory predictions, break-up models after re-entry and multiple debris distribution predictions, and ground impact probability models. In this study, we focused on re- entry prediction, including orbital lifetime assessments, for space situational awareness systems. Re-entry predictions are very difficult and are affected by various sources of uncertainty. In particular, during uncontrolled re-entry, large spacecraft may break into several pieces of debris, and the surviving fragments can be a significant hazard for persons and properties on the ground. In recent years, specific methods and procedures have been developed to provide clear information for predicting and analyzing the re-entry of space objects and for ground-risk assessments. Representative tools include object reentry survival analysis tool (ORSAT) and debris assessment software (DAS) developed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), spacecraft atmospheric re-entry and aerothermal break-up (SCARAB) and debris risk assessment and mitigation analysis (DRAMA) developed by European Space Agency (ESA), and semi-analytic tool for end of life analysis (STELA) developed by Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES). In this study, various surveys of existing re-entry space objects are reviewed, and an efficient re-entry prediction technique is suggested based on STELA, the life-cycle analysis tool for satellites, and DRAMA, a re-entry analysis tool. To verify the proposed method, the re-entry of the Tiangong-1 Space Lab, which is expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere shortly, was simulated. Eventually, these results will provide a basis for space situational awareness risk analyses of the re-entry of space objects.

  7. Investigations Of Surface-Catalyzed Reactions In A Mars Mixture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Max; Owens, W.; Meyers, J.; Fletcher, D. G.

    2011-05-01

    In the design of a thermal protection system (TPS) for a planetary entry vehicle, accurate modeling of the trajectory aero-heating poses a significant challenge owing to large uncertainties in chemical processes taking place at the surface. Even for surface-catalyzed reactions, which have been investigated extensively, there is no consensus on how they should be modeled; or, in some cases, on which reactions are likely to occur. Current TPS designs for Mars missions rely on a super-catalytic boundary condition, which assumes that all dissociated species recombine to the free stream composition.While this is recognized to be the the most conservative approach, discrepancies in aero-heating measurements in ground test facilities preclude less conservative design options, resulting in an increased TPS mass at the expense of scientific pay- load.Using two-photon absorption laser induced fluorescence in a 30 kW inductively coupled plasma torch facility, preliminary studies have been performed to obtain spatially-resolved measurements of the dominant species in a plasma boundary layer for a Martian atmosphere mixture over catalytic and non-catalytic surfaces.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge

    2017-04-01

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

  9. An Entry Flight Controls Analysis for a Reusable Launch Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun, Philip

    2000-01-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center has been performing studies to address the feasibility of various single-stage to orbit concepts for use by NASA and the commercial launch industry to provide a lower cost access to space. Some work on the conceptual design of a typical lifting body concept vehicle, designated VentureStar(sup TM) has been conducted in cooperation with the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. This paper will address the results of a preliminary flight controls assessment of this vehicle concept during the atmospheric entry phase of flight. The work includes control analysis from hypersonic flight at the atmospheric entry through supersonic speeds to final approach and landing at subsonic conditions. The requirements of the flight control effectors are determined over the full range of entry vehicle Mach number conditions. The analysis was performed for a typical maximum crossrange entry trajectory utilizing angle of attack to limit entry heating and providing for energy management, and bank angle to modulation of the lift vector to provide downrange and crossrange capability to fly the vehicle to a specified landing site. Sensitivity of the vehicle open and closed loop characteristics to CG location, control surface mixing strategy and wind gusts are included in the results. An alternative control surface mixing strategy utilizing a reverse aileron technique demonstrated a significant reduction in RCS torque and fuel required to perform bank maneuvers during entry. The results of the control analysis revealed challenges for an early vehicle configuration in the areas of hypersonic pitch trim and subsonic longitudinal controllability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Owen, Sandra J.

    2012-11-01

    mobilize and redistribute volatile reservoirs both on and below the surface. And for Mars, these variations are large. In the past 20 My, for example, the obliquity is believed to have varied from a low of 15° to a high of 45° with a regular oscillation time scale of ~10^5 years. These variations are typically less than two degrees on the Earth. Mars, therefore, offers a natural laboratory for the study of orbitally induced climate change on a terrestrial planet. Finally, general circulation models (GCMs) for Mars have reached a level of sophistication that justifies their application to the study of spin axis/orbitally forced climate change. With recent advances in computer technology the models can run at reasonable spatial resolution for many Mars years with physics packages that include cloud microphysics, radiative transfer in scattering/absorbing atmospheres, surface heat budgets, boundary layer schemes, and a host of other processes. To be sure, the models will undergo continual improvement, but with carefully designed experiments they can now provide insights into mechanisms of climate change in the recent past. Thus, the geologic record is better preserved, the forcing function is large, and GCMs have become useful tools. While research efforts in each of these areas have progressed considerably over the past several decades, they have proceeded mostly on independent paths occasionally leading to conflicting ideas. To remedy this situation and accelerate progress in the area, the NASA/Ames Research Center's Mars General Circulation Modeling Group hosted a 3-day workshop on May 15-17, 2012 that brought together the geological and atmospheric science communities to collectively discuss the evidence for recent climate change on Mars, the nature of the change required, and how that change could be brought about. Over 50 researchers, students, and post-docs from the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan attended the meeting. The program and abstracts from the workshop are

  13. Solar Radiation on Mars: Tracking Photovoltaic Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Joseph; Flood, Dennis J.; Crutchik, Marcos

    1994-01-01

    A photovoltaic power source for surface-based operation on Mars can offer many advantages. Detailed information on solar radiation characteristics on Mars and the insolation on various types of collector surfaces are necessary for effective design of future planned photovoltaic systems. In this article we have presented analytical expressions for solar radiation calculation and solar radiation data for single axis (of various types) and two axis tracking surfaces and compared the insulation to horizontal and inclined surfaces. For clear skies (low atmospheric dust load) tracking surfaces resulted in higher insolation than stationary surfaces, whereas for highly dusty atmospheres, the difference is small. The insolation on the different types of stationary and tracking surfaces depend on latitude, season and optical depth of the atmosphere, and the duration of system operation. These insolations have to be compared for each mission.

  14. Physics-Based Modeling of Meteor Entry and Breakup

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhu, Dinesh K.; Agrawal, Parul; Allen, Gary A., Jr.; Bauschlicher, Charles W., Jr.; Brandis, Aaron M.; Chen, Yih-Kang; Jaffe, Richard L.; Palmer, Grant E.; Saunders, David A.; Stern, Eric C.; hide

    2015-01-01

    A new research effort at NASA Ames Research Center has been initiated in Planetary Defense, which integrates the disciplines of planetary science, atmospheric entry physics, and physics-based risk assessment. This paper describes work within the new program and is focused on meteor entry and breakup.Over the last six decades significant effort was expended in the US and in Europe to understand meteor entry including ablation, fragmentation and airburst (if any) for various types of meteors ranging from stony to iron spectral types. These efforts have produced primarily empirical mathematical models based on observations. Weaknesses of these models, apart from their empiricism, are reliance on idealized shapes (spheres, cylinders, etc.) and simplified models for thermal response of meteoritic materials to aerodynamic and radiative heating. Furthermore, the fragmentation and energy release of meteors (airburst) is poorly understood.On the other hand, flight of human-made atmospheric entry capsules is well understood. The capsules and their requisite heatshields are designed and margined to survive entry. However, the highest speed Earth entry for capsules is 13 kms (Stardust). Furthermore, Earth entry capsules have never exceeded diameters of 5 m, nor have their peak aerothermal environments exceeded 0.3 atm and 1 kW/sq cm. The aims of the current work are: (i) to define the aerothermal environments for objects with entry velocities from 13 to 20 kms; (ii) to explore various hypotheses of fragmentation and airburst of stony meteors in the near term; (iii) to explore the possibility of performing relevant ground-based tests to verify candidate hypotheses; and (iv) to quantify the energy released in airbursts. The results of the new simulations will be used to anchor said risk assessment analyses. With these aims in mind, state-of-the-art entry capsule design tools are being extended for meteor entries. We describe: (i) applications of current simulation tools to

  15. Advertising and generic market entry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Königbauer, Ingrid

    2007-03-01

    The effect of purely persuasive advertising on generic market entry and social welfare is analysed. An incumbent has the possibility to invest in advertising which affects the prescribing physician's perceived relative qualities of the brand-name and the generic version of the drug. Advertising creates product differentiation and can induce generic market entry which is deterred without differentiation due to strong Bertrand competition. However, over-investment in advertising can deter generic market entry under certain conditions and reduces welfare as compared to accommodated market entry.

  16. Entry-Control Systems Handbook

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-09-01

    The function of an entry-control system in a total Physical Protection System is to allow the movement of authorized personnel and material through normal access routes, yet detect and delay unauthorized movement of personnel and material from uncontrolled areas. The ten chapters of this handbook cover: introduction, credentials, personnel identity verification systems, special nuclear materials monitors, metal detectors, explosives sensors, package search systems, criteria for selection of entry-control equipment, machine-aided manual entry-control systems, and automated entry-control systems. A system example and its cost are included as an appendix

  17. New Model for Ionospheric Irregularities at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keskinen, M. J.

    2018-03-01

    A new model for ionospheric irregularities at Mars is presented. It is shown that wind-driven currents in the dynamo region of the Martian ionosphere can be unstable to the electromagnetic gradient drift instability. This plasma instability can generate ionospheric density and magnetic field irregularities with scale sizes of approximately 15-20 km down to a few kilometers. We show that the instability-driven magnetic field fluctuation amplitudes relative to background are correlated with the ionospheric density fluctuation amplitudes relative to background. Our results can explain recent observations made by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft in the Martian ionosphere dynamo region.

  18. Trajectory Reconstruction and Uncertainty Analysis Using Mars Science Laboratory Pre-Flight Scale Model Aeroballistic Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugo, Rafael A.; Tolson, Robert H.; Schoenenberger, Mark

    2013-01-01

    As part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) trajectory reconstruction effort at NASA Langley Research Center, free-flight aeroballistic experiments of instrumented MSL scale models was conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The models carried an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a flush air data system (FADS) similar to the MSL Entry Atmospheric Data System (MEADS) that provided data types similar to those from the MSL entry. Multiple sources of redundant data were available, including tracking radar and on-board magnetometers. These experimental data enabled the testing and validation of the various tools and methodologies that will be used for MSL trajectory reconstruction. The aerodynamic parameters Mach number, angle of attack, and sideslip angle were estimated using minimum variance with a priori to combine the pressure data and pre-flight computational fluid dynamics (CFD) data. Both linear and non-linear pressure model terms were also estimated for each pressure transducer as a measure of the errors introduced by CFD and transducer calibration. Parameter uncertainties were estimated using a "consider parameters" approach.

  19. The GEM-Mars general circulation model for Mars: Description and evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neary, L.; Daerden, F.

    2018-01-01

    GEM-Mars is a gridpoint-based three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM) of the Mars atmosphere extending from the surface to approximately 150 km based on the GEM (Global Environmental Multiscale) model, part of the operational weather forecasting and data assimilation system for Canada. After the initial modification for Mars, the model has undergone considerable changes. GEM-Mars is now based on GEM 4.2.0 and many physical parameterizations have been added for Mars-specific atmospheric processes and surface-atmosphere exchange. The model simulates interactive carbon dioxide-, dust-, water- and atmospheric chemistry cycles. Dust and water ice clouds are radiatively active. Size distributed dust is lifted by saltation and dust devils. The model includes 16 chemical species (CO2, Argon, N2, O2, CO, H2O, CH4, O3, O(1D), O, H, H2, OH, HO2, H2O2 and O2(a1Δg)) and has fully interactive photochemistry (15 reactions) and gas-phase chemistry (31 reactions). GEM-Mars provides a good simulation of the water and ozone cycles. A variety of other passive tracers can be included for dedicated studies, such as the emission of methane. The model has both a hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic formulation, and together with a flexible grid definition provides a single platform for simulations on a variety of horizontal scales. The model code is fully parallelized using OMP and MPI. Model results are evaluated by comparison to a selection of observations from instruments on the surface and in orbit, relating to atmosphere and surface temperature and pressure, dust and ice content, polar ice mass, polar argon, and global water and ozone vertical columns. GEM-Mars will play an integral part in the analysis and interpretation of data that is received by the NOMAD spectrometer on the ESA-Roskosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The present paper provides an overview of the current status and capabilities of the GEM-Mars model and lays the foundations for more in-depth studies in support

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Scientific Payload Of The Emirates Mars Mission: Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (Emirs) Overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altunaiji, E. S.; Edwards, C. S.; Christensen, P. R.; Smith, M. D.; Badri, K. M., Sr.

    2017-12-01

    The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) will launch in 2020 to explore the dynamics in the atmosphere of Mars on a global scale. EMM has three scientific instruments to an improved understanding of circulation and weather in the Martian lower and middle atmosphere. Two of the EMM's instruments, which are the Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI) and Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) will focus on the lower atmosphere observing dust, ice clouds, water vapor and ozone. On the other hand, the third instrument Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) will focus on both the thermosphere of the planet and its exosphere. The EMIRS instrument, shown in Figure 1, is an interferometric thermal infrared spectrometer that is jointly developed by Arizona State University (ASU) and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). It builds on a long heritage of thermal infrared spectrometers designed, built, and managed, by ASU's Mars Space Flight Facility, including the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), and the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES). EMIRS operates in the 6-40+ µm range with 5 cm-1 spectral sampling, enabled by a Chemical Vapor-Deposited (CVD) diamond beamsplitter and state of the art electronics. This instrument utilizes a 3×3 detector array and a scan mirror to make high-precision infrared radiance measurements over most of a Martian hemisphere. The EMIRS instrument is optimized to capture the integrated, lower-middle atmosphere dynamics over a Martian hemisphere and will capture 60 global images per week ( 20 images per orbit) at a resolution of 100-300 km/pixel. After processing through an atmospheric retrieval algorithm, EMIRS will determine the vertical temperature profiles to 50km altitude and measure the column integrated global distribution and abundances of key atmospheric parameters (e.g. dust, water ice (clouds) and water vapor) over the Martian day, seasons and year.

  2. The nitrogen cycle on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    1989-01-01

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

  3. Mars Exploration Rover Heat Shield Recontact Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Indigenous Fixed Nitrogen on Mars: Implications for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Anaerobic Nitrogen Fixers on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, B. G.

    2000-07-01

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

  6. Quick trips to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hornung, R.

    1991-01-01

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

  7. Mars at Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Origin of atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marx, Gy [Eotvos Lorand Tudomanyegyetem, Budapest (Hungary). Atomfizikai Tanszek

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of the atmosphere of the Earth is described. Starting from the hot Universe the main steps of the ''cooling-down'' process as the different states of the condensation of the matter are discussed. After this nuclear evolution the chemical evolution could start on the solid Earth's crust. In the reductive primordial atmosphere mainly due to ultraviolet rays the basic molecules for life as sugars and amino acids were formed. The photosynthesis of the plants has later produced the oxygen being present in the recent atmosphere. The question whether pollution could affect the auto-stabilization loop of the atmosphere is also discussed. Finally the possibility of life on the Mars is studied.

  9. The origin of atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marx, Gy.

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of the atmosphere of the Earth is described. Starting from the hot Universe the main steps of the ''cooling-down'' process as the different states of the condensation of the matter are discussed. After this nuclear evolution the chemical evolution could start on the solid Earth's crust. In the reductive primordial atmosphere mainly due to ultraviolet rays the basic molecules for life as sugars and amino acids were formed. The photosynthesis of the plants has later produced the oxygen being present in the recent atmosphere. The question whether the pollution could affect the auto-stabilization loop of the atmosphere is also discussed. Finally the possibility of life on the Mars is studied. (Sz.Z.)

  10. Mars Stratigraphy Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  11. Energy storage considerations for a robotic Mars surface sampler

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Donnell, P.M.; Cataldo, R.L.; Gonzalez-Sanabria, O.D.

    1988-01-01

    Manned exploration of Mars is being proposed by the National Commission on Space for the next century. To accomplish this task with minimal resupply cost for extended stay times, use of Mars' resources is essential. Methods must be developed to manufacture or extract water and oxygen from elements indigenous to Mars before they send explorers to the planet. Therefore, they must send precursor surveying equipment to determine Mars' resources to a greater extent than is now known from Viking 1 and Viking 2 data. A 1992 launch is planned for the Mars Observer that will contribute greater mapping resolution and expand the scientific data base. The proposed rover will provide scientists with the necessary information about abundant resources that would guide the required technology development needed to support a manned Mars infrastructure. The actual rover operations plan for both the sample return and extended mission will have a large impact on rover capabilities and the power system supplying power for traversing and scientific instrumentation. POWER SOURCE AND CONVERSION. Several power source/conversion options for the rover have been identified. These include power generation on the lander, Entry Vehicle (EV), Mars Orbiter Vehicle (MOV) and on the rover itself. Power from the lander would require the rover to return to landing site to recharge the energy storage systems, which limits rover excursions to one-half the range of the storage capacity. For on-board rover power, a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) has been considered with the appropriate energy storage to handle peak power demands

  12. Mars, solar wind, and supernova - implications of the Viking data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimizu, M.

    1977-01-01

    A scenario for the evolution of the Martian atmosphere consistent with various data of the Viking 1 and 2 and the Mariner 9 has been presented: Mars was formed from Renazzo-type meteorites polluted by the products of supernova explosion. A dense ancient Martian atmosphere has been swept away by the solar wind and the present tenuous atmosphere was supplied recently by the volcanic gas from the Tharsis region, after the occurrence of the magnetic field. (Auth.)

  13. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  14. Mars together and FIRE and ICE: Report of the joint US/Russian technical working groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-10-01

    The Cold War's end opened an opportunity for greater cooperation in planetary exploration for the United States and Russia. Two study groups were formed, Mars Together and FIRE and ICE. The Mars Together team developed a concept for a flight in 1998 that merged one U.S. Mars Surveyor 98 mission with the former Russian Mars 96 mission to further understanding of the Mars surface and atmosphere. The FIRE and ICE team developed concepts for a dual-spacecraft mission to the solar corona and for a mission to Pluto. The missions, scientific potential, and open issues are described.

  15. Mars together and FIRE and ICE: Report of the joint US/Russian technical working groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    The Cold War's end opened an opportunity for greater cooperation in planetary exploration for the United States and Russia. Two study groups were formed, Mars Together and FIRE and ICE. The Mars Together team developed a concept for a flight in 1998 that merged one U.S. Mars Surveyor 98 mission with the former Russian Mars 96 mission to further understanding of the Mars surface and atmosphere. The FIRE and ICE team developed concepts for a dual-spacecraft mission to the solar corona and for a mission to Pluto. The missions, scientific potential, and open issues are described.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Building Virtual Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  20. Microscope on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Mars Sample Handling Functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, M. A.; Mattingly, R. L.

    2018-04-01

    The final leg of a Mars Sample Return campaign would be an entity that we have referred to as Mars Returned Sample Handling (MRSH.) This talk will address our current view of the functional requirements on MRSH, focused on the Sample Receiving Facility (SRF).

  2. IJslandse inzichten op Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vet, S.

    2013-01-01

    Vulkaanuitbarstingen onder gletsjers, zoals de vliegverkeer-verlammende uitbarsting van de vulkaan Eyjafjallajökull in IJsland in 2010, lijken in veel opzichten op vulkaanuitbarstingen die ooit op Mars voorkwamen. Dankzij de landschappelijke gelijkenissen tussen onze aarde en Mars is het mogelijk om

  3. Entry Threat and Entry Deterrence: The Timing of Broadband Rollout

    OpenAIRE

    Mo Xiao; Peter F. Orazem

    2007-01-01

    Past empirical literature provides strong evidence that competition increases when new firms enter a market. However, rarely have economists been able to examine how competition changes with the threat of entry. This paper uses the evolution of the zip code level market structure of facilities-based broadband providers from 1999 to 2004 to investigate how a firm adjusts its entry strategy when facing the threat of additional entrants. We identify the potential entrant into a local market as t...

  4. Clouds in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Määttänen, Anni; Montmessin, Franck

    2018-01-01

    Although resembling an extremely dry desert, planet Mars hosts clouds in its atmosphere. Every day somewhere on the planet a part of the tiny amount of water vapor held by the atmosphere can condense as ice crystals to form cirrus-type clouds. The existence of water ice clouds has been known for a long time, and they have been studied for decades, leading to the establishment of a well-known climatology and understanding of their formation and properties. Despite their thinness, they have a clear impact on the atmospheric temperatures, thus affecting the Martian climate. Another, more exotic type of clouds forms as well on Mars. The atmospheric temperatures can plunge to such frigid values that the major gaseous component of the atmosphere, CO2, condenses as ice crystals. These clouds form in the cold polar night where they also contribute to the formation of the CO2 ice polar cap, and also in the mesosphere at very high altitudes, near the edge of space, analogously to the noctilucent clouds on Earth. The mesospheric clouds are a fairly recent discovery and have put our understanding of the Martian atmosphere to a test. On Mars, cloud crystals form on ice nuclei, mostly provided by the omnipresent dust. Thus, the clouds link the three major climatic cycles: those of the two major volatiles, H2O and CO2; and that of dust, which is a major climatic agent itself.

  5. Solar and wind exergy potentials for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Automation &robotics for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, W.; von Richter, A.; Bertrand, R.

    2003-04-01

    Automation and Robotics (A&R) are currently considered as a key technology for Mars exploration. initiatives in this field aim at developing new A&R systems and technologies for planetary surface exploration. Kayser-Threde led the study AROMA (Automation &Robotics for Human Mars Exploration) under ESA contract in order to define a reference architecture of A&R elements in support of a human Mars exploration program. One of the goals was to define new developments and to maintain the competitiveness of European industry within this field. We present a summary of the A&R study in respect to a particular system: The Autonomous Research Island (ARI). In the Mars exploration scenario initially a robotic outpost system lands at pre-selected sites in order to search for life forms and water and to analyze the surface, geology and atmosphere. A&R systems, i.e. rovers and autonomous instrument packages, perform a number of missions with scientific and technology development objectives on the surface of Mars as part of preparations for a human exploration mission. In the Robotic Outpost Phase ARI is conceived as an automated lander which can perform in-situ analysis. It consists of a service module and a micro-rover system for local investigations. Such a system is already under investigation and development in other TRP activities. The micro-rover system provides local mobility for in-situ scientific investigations at a given landing or deployment site. In the long run ARI supports also human Mars missions. An astronaut crew would travel larger distances in a pressurized rover on Mars. Whenever interesting features on the surface are identified, the crew would interrupt the travel and perform local investigations. In order to save crew time ARI could be deployed by the astronauts to perform time-consuming investigations as for example in-situ geochemistry analysis of rocks/soil. Later, the crew could recover the research island for refurbishment and deployment at another

  7. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Anemometers for Mars. [Viking '75 wind measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, R. M.; Greene, G. C.

    1974-01-01

    An investigation is conducted concerning the problems involved in the conduction of wind measurements on the planet Mars, taking into account the currently known characteristics of the Martian atmosphere. Problems introduced by the presence of the lander are examined. The suitability of several different types of anemometers for making the measurements is discussed, giving attention to rotating anemometers, sonic anemometers, ion tracers, drag force anemometers, pitot tubes, and thermal anemometers.

  9. Bolide Airbursts as a Seismic Source for the 2018 Mars InSight Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevanović, J.; Teanby, N. A.; Wookey, J.; Selby, N.; Daubar, I. J.; Vaubaillon, J.; Garcia, R.

    2017-10-01

    In 2018, NASA will launch InSight, a single-station suite of geophysical instruments, designed to characterise the martian interior. We investigate the seismo-acoustic signal generated by a bolide entering the martian atmosphere and exploding in a terminal airburst, and assess this phenomenon as a potential observable for the SEIS seismic payload. Terrestrial analogue data from four recent events are used to identify diagnostic airburst characteristics in both the time and frequency domain. In order to estimate a potential number of detectable events for InSight, we first model the impactor source population from observations made on the Earth, scaled for planetary radius, entry velocity and source density. We go on to calculate a range of potential airbursts from the larger incident impactor population. We estimate there to be {˜} 1000 events of this nature per year on Mars. To then derive a detectable number of airbursts for InSight, we scale this number according to atmospheric attenuation, air-to-ground coupling inefficiencies and by instrument capability for SEIS. We predict between 10-200 detectable events per year for InSight.

  10. Heat-shield for Extreme Entry Environment Technology (HEEET) Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Ellerby, Don; Gage, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The Heat shield for Extreme Entry Environment Technology (HEEET) Project is a NASA STMD and SMD co-funded effort. The goal is to develop and mission infuse a new ablative Thermal Protection System that can withstand extreme entry. It is targeted to support NASA's high priority missions, as defined in the latest decadal survey, to destinations such as Venus and Saturn in-situ robotic science missions. Entry into these planetary atmospheres results in extreme heating. The entry peak heat-flux and associated pressure are estimated to be between one and two orders of magnitude higher than those experienced by Mars Science Laboratory or Lunar return missions. In the recent New Frontiers community announcement NASA has indicated that it is considering providing an increase to the PI managed mission cost (PIMMC) for investigations utilizing the Heat Shield for Extreme Entry Environment Technology (HEEET) and in addition, NASA is considering limiting the risk assessment to only their accommodation on the spacecraft and the mission environment. The HEEET ablative TPS utilizes 3D weaving technology to manufacture a dual layer material architecture. The 3-D weaving allows for flat panels to be woven. The dual layer consists of a top layer designed to withstand the extreme external environment while the inner or insulating layer by design, is designed to achieve low thermal conductivity, and it keeps the heat from conducting towards the structure underneath. Both arc jet testing combined with material properties have been used to develop thermal response models that allows for comparison of performance with heritage carbon phenolic. A 50% mass efficiency is achieved by the dual layer construct compared to carbon phenolic for a broad range of missions both to Saturn and Venus. The 3-D woven flat preforms are molded to achieve the shape as they are compliant and then resin infusion with curing forms a rigid panels. These panels are then bonded on to the aeroshell structure. Gaps

  11. Mechanically-Deployed Hypersonic Decelerator and Conformal Ablator Technologies for Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Wercinski, Paul F.; Beck, Robin A. S.; Hamm, Kenneth R.; Yount, Bryan C.; Makino, A.; Smith, B.; Gage, P.; Prabhu, D.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of a mechanically deployable hypersonic decelerator, developed initially for high mass (40 MT) human Mars missions, is currently funded by OCT for technology maturation. The ADEPT (Adaptive, Deployable Entry and Placement Technology) project has broad, game-changing applicability to in situ science missions to Venus, Mars, and the Outer Planets. Combined with maturation of conformal ablator technology (another current OCT investment), the two technologies provide unique low mass mission enabling capabilities otherwise not achievable by current rigid aeroshell or by inflatables. If this abstract is accepted, we will present results that illustrate the mission enabling capabilities of the mechanically deployable architecture for: (1) robotic Mars (Discovery or New Frontiers class) in the near term; (2) alternate approaches to landing MSL-class payloads, without the need for supersonic parachute or lifting entry, in the mid-term; and (3) Heavy mass and human missions to Mars in the long term.

  12. Corporate Author Entries. Revision 5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hendricks, P.L.

    1986-05-01

    This reference authority has been created and is maintained to provide standard forms for recording the names of organizations consistently in bibliographic citations. This revision includes approximately 42,000 entries established since 1973

  13. Staging atmospheres

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Mikkel; Bjerregaard, Peter; Sørensen, Tim Flohr

    2015-01-01

    The article introduces the special issue on staging atmospheres by surveying the philosophical, political and anthropological literature on atmosphere, and explores the relationship between atmosphere, material culture, subjectivity and affect. Atmosphere seems to occupy one of the classic...

  14. Preservation of Reduced Carbon on Mars: Implications for Understanding Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela; Fogel, Marilyn; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    Upcoming Mars missions (e.g., Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars, Astrobiology Field Laboratory, and Mars Sample Return) will search for evidence of extant and fossil microbial habitats and the potential for future habitation. Understanding the distribution and composition of reduced carbon (or organic carbon) is critical for unraveling the Martian carbon cycle, potential for life, and possible biosignature record. Reduced carbon may be produced from biological, geochemical, or interstellar processes; however, evidence for reduced carbon on Mars is lacking with the exception of parts per billion of atmospheric methane. In contrast, abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide may reflect surface oxidation of reduced carbon and accumulation over geological timescales. This suggests that there is an undetected or lost pool of reduced carbon - a pool that may host molecular biosignatures, a characteristic of extant or extinct habitability. In this presentation, we will evaluate factors influencing the preservation potential for organic molecules in rocks on Earth and Martian. We,draw examples from organic molecules in sulfates, basalts, and ancient shales from Mars-analog settings to show how the distribution of organics and their structural patterns will aid Mars habitability studies.

  15. Network Competition and Entry Deterrence

    OpenAIRE

    Calzada, Joan; Valletti, Tommaso

    2005-01-01

    We develop a model of logit demand that extends to a multi-firm industry the traditional duopoly framework of network competition with access charges. Firstly, we show that, when incumbents do not face the threat of entry and compete in prices, they inefficiently establish the reciprocal access charge below cost. This inefficiency disappears if incumbents compete in utilities instead of prices. Secondly, we study how incumbents change their choices under the threat of entry when they determin...

  16. Currency union entries and trade

    OpenAIRE

    Nitsch, Volker

    2005-01-01

    Recent research suggests that adopting a common currency increases bilateral trade. In this paper, I explore experiences of currency union entry in the post-war period and find no effect on trade. Previous results derived from a large panel data set (covering more than 200 countries from 1948 through 1997) appear to depend crucially on the assumption of symmetry between currency union exits and entries: While countries leaving a currency union experience significant declines in trade, currenc...

  17. SGTR assessment using MARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raines, J.C.; Dawson, S.M.; Deitke, B.; Henry, R.E.

    1996-01-01

    During the course of a plant accident, a consistent understanding of the plant response is vital to support an accident manager's decision making process. One tool that can provide assistance to the plant staff in assessing conditions in the plant during accident conditions is the MAAP Accident Response System (MARS) software. During an accident, MARS utilizes the on-line data from the plant instrumentation to initialize the Modular Accident Analysis Program (MAAP) code. Once initialized, MARS tracks and characterizes the plant behavior through the use of integrated logic modules. These logic modules provide the user with important information about the status of systems and the possible cause of the accident. The MARS logic modules evaluate relevant available plant instrumentation and the observations of the operating staff using fuzzy logic. The fuzzy logic is applied to provide a transition between areas where one is absolutely sure that a situation has not occurred to a condition where one is absolutely certain that a situation has occurred. One example of the use of logic modules in MARS is illustrated by that used to assess if a steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) event has occurred. Each piece of relevant plant data is evaluated to determine if it is consistent with the symptoms of a SGTR. Each of the evaluations for the individual plant instruments and the operating staff observations are assembled to determine an overall confidence which characterizes the likelihood that a SGTR is occurring. Additional MARS logic modules are used to determine confidence levels for other types of accident events. The conclusions arrived at by each individual logic module are expressed as confidence levels. The logic module confidence levels can be graphically displayed using the MARS Graphical Users Interface (GUI), to indicate the confidence level MARS has assessed for each accident type. The GUI shows the identification of the possible accident types, but is not limited

  18. Case for a wet, warm climate on early Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pollack, J.B.; Kasting, J.F.; Richardson, S.M.; Poliakoff, K.

    1987-01-01

    Arguments are presented in support of the idea that Mars possessed a dense CO 2 atmosphere and a wet, warm climate early in its history. The plausibility of a CO 2 greenhouse is tested by formulating a simple model of the CO 2 geochemical cycle on early Mars. By scaling the rate of silicate weathering on Earth, researchers estimated a weathering time constant of the order of several times 10 to the 7th power years for early Mars. Thus, a dense atmosphere could have existed for a geologically significant time period (approx. 10 to the 9th power years) only if atmospheric CO 2 was being continuously resupplied. The most likely mechanism by which this could have been accomplished is the thermal decomposition of carbonate rocks induced directly or indirectly by intense, global scale volcanism

  19. The seasonal cycle of water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, B. M.

    1985-01-01

    A review of the behavior of water in the Mars atmosphere and subsurface is appropriate now that data from the Mariner and Viking spacecraft have been analyzed and discussed for several years following completion of those missions. Observations and analyses pertinent to the seasonal cycle of water vapor in the atmosphere of Mars are reviewed, with attention toward transport of water and the seasonal exchange of water between the atmosphere and various non-atmospheric reservoirs. Possible seasonally-accessible sources and sinks for water include water ice on or within the seasonal and residual polar caps; surface or subsurface ice in the high-latitude regions of the planet; adsorbed or chemically-bound water within the near-surface regolith; or surface or subsurface liquid water. The stability of water within each of these reservoirs is discussed, as are the mechanisms for driving exchange of the water with the atmosphere and the timescales for exchange. Specific conclusions are reached about the distribution of water and the viability of each mechanism as a seasonal reservoir. Discussion is also included of the behavior of water on longer timescales, driven by the variations in solar forcing due to the quasi-periodic variations of the orbital obliquity. Finally, specific suggestions are made for future observations from spacecraft which would further define or constrain the seasonal cycle of water.

  20. SAM : an experiment dedicated to the Carbon Quest at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Patrice; Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris; Cabane, Michel; Tan, F.; Coscia, D.; Nolan, T.; Rahen, E.; Teinturier, S.; Goutail, J. P.; Martin, D.; Montaron, C.; Galic, A.

    SAM is a suite of instruments that will be onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The SAM team consist of scientists and engineers at GSFC, U. Paris/CNRS, JPL, and Honeybee Robotics, along with many additional external partners. SAM's five science goals will address three of the most fundamental questions about the ability of Mars to support life -past, present, and future. Question 1: What does the inventory of carbon compounds near the surface of Mars tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 1: Survey carbon compound sources and evaluate their possible mechanism of formation and destruction. 2.Goal 2: Search for organic compounds of biotic and prebiotic importance expecially methane. Question 2: What are the chemical and isotopic states of the lighter elements in the solids and atmosphere of Mars and what do they tell us about its potential habitability? 1.Goal 3: Reveal the chemical and isotopic state of elements (i.e., N, H, O, S and others) that are important for life as we know it. 2.Goal 4: Evaluate the habitability of Mars by studying its atmospheric chemistry and the composition of trace species that are evidence of interactions between the atmosphere and soil. Question 3: Were past habitability conditions different from today's? 1.Goal 5: Understand atmospheric and climatic evolution through measurements of noble gas and light element isotopes.

  1. Low Energy Electrons in the Mars Plasma Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, Richard

    2001-01-01

    The ionosphere of Mars is rather poorly understood. The only direct measurements were performed by the Viking 1 and 2 landers in 1976, both of which carried a Retarding Potential Analyzer. The RPA was designed to measure ion properties during the descent, although electron fluxes were estimated from changes in the ion currents. Using these derived low-energy electron fluxes, Mantas and Hanson studied the photoelectron and the solar wind electron interactions with the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. Unanswered questions remain regarding the origin of the low-energy electron fluxes in the vicinity of the Mars plasma boundary. Crider, in an analysis of Mars Global Surveyor Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer measurements, has attributed the formation of the magnetic pile-up boundary to electron impact ionization of exospheric neutral species by solar wind electrons. However, the role of photoelectrons escaping from the lower ionosphere was not determined. In the proposed work, we will examine the role of solar wind and ionospheric photoelectrons in producing ionization in the upper ionosphere of Mars. Low-energy (internal (photoelectron) sources of ionization, and accounts for Auger electron production. The code will be used to analyze Mars Global Surveyor measurements of solar wind and photoelectrons down to altitudes below 200 km in the Mars ionosphere, in order to determine the relative roles of solar wind and escaping photoelectrons in maintaining plasma densities in the region of the Mars plasma boundary.

  2. Advanced Communication and Networking Technologies for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  3. New insights on the collisional escape of light neutrals from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gacesa, Marko; Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-04-01

    Photodissociative recombination (PDR) of atmospheric molecules on Mars is a major mechanism of production of hot (suprathermal) atoms with sufficient kinetic energy to either directly escape to space or to eject other atmospheric species. This collisional ejection mechanism is important for evaluating the escape rates of all light neutrals that are too heavy to escape via Jeans escape. In particular, it plays a role in estimating the total volume of escaped water constituents (i.e., O and H) from Mars, as well as influences evolution of the atmospheric [D]/[H] ratio1. We present revised estimates of total collisional escape rates of neutral light elements including H, He, and H2, based on recent (years 2015-2016) atmospheric density profiles obtained from the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission. We also estimate the contribution to the collisional escape from Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs) produced in charge-exchange of solar wind H+ and He+ ions with atmospheric gases2,3. Scattering of hot oxygen and atmospheric species of interest is modeled using fully-quantum reactive scattering formalism1,3. The escape rates are evaluated using a 1D model of the atmosphere supplemented with MAVEN measurements of the neutrals. Finally, new estimates of contributions of these non-thermal mechanisms to the estimated PDR escape rates from young Mars4 are presented. [1] M. Gacesa and V. Kharchenko, "Non-thermal escape of molecular hydrogen from Mars", Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L10203 (2012). [2] N. Lewkow and V. Kharchenko, "Precipitation of Energetic Neutral Atoms and Escape Fluxes induced from the Mars Atmosphere", Astroph. J., 790, 98 (2014). [3] M. Gacesa, N. Lewkow, and V. Kharchenko, "Non-thermal production and escape of OH from the upper atmosphere of Mars", Icarus 284, 90 (2017). [4] J. Zhao, F. Tian, Y. Ni, and X. Huang, "DR-induced escape of O and C from early Mars", Icarus 284, 305 (2017).

  4. Frost on Mars Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Fractionation and fragmentation of glass cosmic spherules during atmospheric entry

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rudraswami, N.G.; ShyamPrasad, M.; Babu, E.V.S.S.K.; VijayaKumar, T.; Feng, W.; Plane, J.M.C.

    al., 2007; Cordier et al., 2011a). For the present study we collected large sized (≥200 µm) cosmic spherules by sieving massive quantities of deep sea sediments from the Central Indian Ocean. Out of the 481 spherules that were isolated, 36... al., 2007). We have also collected three long (~6m) cores in this area, in addition to the surface sediment samples, which contained Australasian microtektites of 0.77 Ma age. From the ten surface sediment samples that are examined for this study...

  6. Atmospheres of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kivelson, M.G.; Schubert, G.

    1986-01-01

    Properties of the planets are identified - such as size, spin rate, and distance from the sun - that are important in understanding the characteristics of their atmospheres. Venus, earth and Mars have surface-temperature differences only partly explained by the decrease of solar radiation flux with distance from the sun. More significant effects arise from the variations in the degree to which the atmospheres act as absorbers of planetary thermal reradiation. Atmospheric circulation on a global scale also varies markedly among the three planets. 5 references

  7. Mars Sample Return Landed with Red Dragon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Lemke, Lawrence G.

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Experimental simulations of oxidizing conditions and organic decomposition on the surface of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoker, C.R.; Mancinelli, R.L.; Mckay, C.P.

    1988-01-01

    One important scientific objective of a Mars Rover Sample Return mission would be to look for traces of living and extinct life on Mars. An instrument to search for organic carbon may be the simplest instrument that could screen samples which are interesting from a biological point of view. An experimental program is described which would help to understand the nature of the oxidizing soil on Mars and the mechanism responsible for organic degradation on the Martian surface. This is approached by lab simulations of the actual conditions that occur on Mars, particularly the oxidant production by atmospheric photochemistry, and the combined effects of UV light and oxidants in decomposing organic compounds. The results will be used to formulate models of the photochemistry of the atmospheric, the atmosphere-soil interaction, and the diffusion of reactive compounds into the soils. This information will provide insights and constraints on the design of a sampling strategy to search for organic compounds on Mars

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  10. Mars Technology Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA’s Mars Exploration Program (MEP) calls for a series of highly ambitious missions over the next decade and beyond. The overall goals of the MEP must be...

  11. Mars Electric Reusable Flyer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — One of the main issues with a Mars flight vehicle concept that can be reused and cover long distances for maximum surface data gathering is its ability to take off,...

  12. Thermal inertia and surface heterogeneity on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, Nathaniel E.

    Thermal inertia derived from temperature observations is critical for understanding surface geology and assessing potential landing sites on Mars. Derivation methods generally assume uniform surface properties for any given observation. Consequently, horizontal heterogeneity and near-surface layering may yield apparent thermal inertia that varies with time of day and season. To evaluate the effects of horizontal heterogeneity, I modeled the thermal behavior of surfaces containing idealized material mixtures (dust, sand, duricrust, and rocks) and differing slope facets. These surfaces exhibit diurnal and seasonal variability in apparent thermal inertia of several 100 tiu, 1 even for components with moderately contrasting thermal properties. To isolate surface effects on the derived thermal inertia of Mars, I mapped inter- annual and seasonal changes in albedo and atmospheric dust opacity, accounting for their effects in a modified derivation algorithm. Global analysis of three Mars years of MGS-TES 2 data reveals diurnal and seasonal variations of ~200 tiu in the mid-latitudes and 600 tiu or greater in the polar regions. Correlation of TES results and modeled apparent thermal inertia of heterogeneous surfaces indicates pervasive surface heterogeneity on Mars. At TES resolution, the near-surface thermal response is broadly dominated by layering and is consistent with the presence of duricrusts over fines in the mid-latitudes and dry soils over ground ice in the polar regions. Horizontal surface mixtures also play a role and may dominate at higher resolution. In general, thermal inertia obtained from single observations or annually averaged maps may misrepresent surface properties. In lieu of a robust heterogeneous- surface derivation technique, repeat coverage can be used together with forward-modeling results to constrain the near-surface heterogeneity of Mars. 1 tiu == J m -2 K -1 s - 2 Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Shelby J.

    1989-01-01

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

  14. MARS software package status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azhgirej, I.L.; Talanov, V.V.

    2000-01-01

    The MARS software package is intended for simulating the nuclear-electromagnetic cascades and the secondary neutrons and muons transport in the heterogeneous medium of arbitrary complexity in the magnetic fields presence. The inclusive approach to describing the particle production in the nuclear and electromagnetic interactions and by the unstable particles decay is realized in the package. The MARS software package was actively applied for solving various radiation physical problems [ru

  15. Status of MARS Code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N.V. Mokhov

    2003-04-09

    Status and recent developments of the MARS 14 Monte Carlo code system for simulation of hadronic and electromagnetic cascades in shielding, accelerator and detector components in the energy range from a fraction of an electronvolt up to 100 TeV are described. these include physics models both in strong and electromagnetic interaction sectors, variance reduction techniques, residual dose, geometry, tracking, histograming. MAD-MARS Beam Line Build and Graphical-User Interface.

  16. 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.

  17. A Reexamination of Deuterium Fractionation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathare, A.; Paige, D. A.

    1997-07-01

    The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the Martian atmosphere is enhanced by a factor of 5 with respect to the terrestrial value, probably due to fractionation associated with thermal Jeans escape from the top of the atmosphere. Theoretical analyses of the relative efficiency of H and D escape have suggested that the deuterium enrichment implies Mars has outgassed the vast majority of its H2O and that the Martian atmosphere is presently not exchanging water with a juvenile reservoir. However, measurements of high and variable D/H values within hydrous minerals in SNC meteorites strongly suggest that mixing between the atmosphere and juvenile water has taken place. Furthermore, the lack of any observed enrichment of atmospheric (18) O with respect to (16) O, in spite of fractionating nonthermal escape mechanisms, indicates buffering by some juvenile source of oxygen, most probably in the form of a surface or subsurface reservoir of water. We propose that this apparent paradox in the interpretation of isotopic hydrogen and oxygen fractionation --or lack thereof-- can be resolved by re-examining the standard model of deuterium fractionation efficiency on Mars. Specifically, we demonstrate the importance of using upper atmospheric temperatures more representative of the range experienced by the Martian exosphere over the course of the solar cycle. Preliminary calculations involving changes in effusion velocity and diffusive separation as a function of exospheric temperature indicate that incorporating these more representative lower exospheric temperatures will reduce the relative efficiency of D escape, in which case the observed enrichment of deuterium can indeed result from exchange with a juvenile source of water. We are in the process of confirming these computations with a one-dimensional upper atmospheric photochemical model that considers the effects of changing solar activity and exospheric temperature on ionospheric composition. If our initial calculations are

  18. Secular Climate Change on Mars: An Update Using One Mars Year of MSL Pressure Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, R. M.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; de la Torre Juarez, M.; Harri, A-M.; Hollingsworth, J. L.; Kahanpaa, H.; Kahre, M. A.; Lemmon, M.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Mischna, M.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) on Mars is an icy reservoir of CO2. If all the CO2 trapped in the SPRC were released to the atmosphere the mean annual global surface pressure would rise by approximately 20 Pa. Repeated MOC and HiRISE imaging of scarp retreat within the SPRC led to suggestions that the SPRC is losing mass. Estimates for the loss rate vary between 0. 5 Pa per Mars Decade to 13 Pa per Mars Decade. Assuming 80% of this loss goes directly into the atmosphere, an estimate based on some modeling (Haberle and Kahre, 2010), and that the loss is monotonic, the global annual mean surface pressure should have increased between approximately 1-20 Pa since the Viking mission (approximately 20 Mars years ago). Surface pressure measurements by the Phoenix Lander only 2.5 Mars years ago were found to be consistent with these loss rates. Last year at this meeting we compared surface pressure data from the MSL mission through sol 360 with that from Viking Lander 2 (VL-2) for the same period to determine if the trend continues. The results were ambiguous. This year we have a full Mars year of MSL data to work with. Using the Ames GCM to compensate for dynamics and environmental differences, our analysis suggests that the mean annual pressure has decreased by approximately 8 Pa since Viking. This result implies that the SPRC has gained (not lost) mass since Viking. However, the estimated uncertainties in our analysis are easily at the 10 Pa level and possibly higher. Chief among these are the hydrostatic adjustment of surface pressure from grid point elevations to actual elevations and the simulated regional environmental conditions at the lander sites. For these reasons, the most reasonable conclusion is that there is no significant difference in the size of the atmosphere between now and Viking. This implies, but does not demand, that the mass of the SPRC has not changed since Viking. Of course, year-to-year variations are possible as implied by the Phoenix data

  19. Jovian atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allison, M.; Travis, L.D.

    1986-10-01

    A conference on the atmosphere of Jupiter produced papers in the areas of thermal and ortho-para hydrogen structure, clouds and chemistry, atmospheric structure, global dynamics, synoptic features and processes, atmospheric dynamics, and future spaceflight opportunities. A session on the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune was included, and the atmosphere of Saturn was discussed in several papers

  20. The MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis: Exploration Class Simulation Overview and Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    DwyerCianciolo, Alicia M.; Davis, Jody L.; Shidner, Jeremy D.; Powell, Richard W.

    2010-01-01

    NASA senior management commissioned the Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Analysis (EDL-SA) Study in 2008 to identify and roadmap the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) technology investments that the agency needed to make in order to successfully land large payloads at Mars for both robotic and exploration or human-scale missions. The year one exploration class mission activity considered technologies capable of delivering a 40-mt payload. This paper provides an overview of the exploration class mission study, including technologies considered, models developed and initial simulation results from the EDL-SA year one effort.

  2. Radio Telescopes to Keep Sharp Eye on Mars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-05-01

    As NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander descends through the Red Planet's atmosphere toward its landing on May 25, its progress will be scrutinized by radio telescopes from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). At NRAO control rooms in Green Bank, West Virginia, and Socorro, New Mexico, scientists, engineers and technicians will be tracking the faint signal from the lander, 171 million miles from Earth. The GBT Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF To make a safe landing, Phoenix must make a risky descent, slowing down from nearly 13,000 mph at the top of the Martian atmosphere to only 5 mph in the final seconds before touchdown. NASA officials point out that fewer than half of all Mars landing missions have been successful, but the scientific rewards of success are worth the risk. Major events in the spacecraft's atmospheric entry, descent and landing will be marked by changes in the Doppler Shift in the frequency of the vehicle's radio signal. Doppler Shift is the change in frequency caused by relative motion between the transmitter and receiver. At Green Bank, NRAO and NASA personnel will use the giant Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to follow the Doppler changes and verify that the descent is going as planned. The radio signal from Phoenix is designed to be received by other spacecraft in Mars orbit, then relayed to Earth. However, the GBT, a dish antenna with more than two acres of collecting surface and highly-sensitive receivers, can directly receive the transmissions from Phoenix. "We'll see the frequency change as Phoenix slows down in the Martian atmosphere, then there will be a big change when the parachute deploys," said NRAO astronomer Frank Ghigo. When the spacecraft's rocket thrusters slow it down for its final, gentle touchdown, its radio frequency will stabilize, Ghigo said. "We'll have confirmation of these major events through our direct reception several seconds earlier than the controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion

  3. Examining Mars with SPICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acton, Charles H.; Bachman, Nathaniel J.; Bytof, Jeff A.; Semenov, Boris V.; Taber, William; Turner, F. Scott; Wright, Edward D.

    1999-01-01

    The International Mars Conference highlights the wealth of scientific data now and soon to be acquired from an international armada of Mars-bound robotic spacecraft. Underlying the planning and interpretation of these scientific observations around and upon Mars are ancillary data and associated software needed to deal with trajectories or locations, instrument pointing, timing and Mars cartographic models. The NASA planetary community has adopted the SPICE system of ancillary data standards and allied tools to fill the need for consistent, reliable access to these basic data and a near limitless range of derived parameters. After substantial rapid growth in its formative years, the SPICE system continues to evolve today to meet new needs and improve ease of use. Adaptations to handle landers and rovers were prototyped on the Mars pathfinder mission and will next be used on Mars '01-'05. Incorporation of new methods to readily handle non-inertial reference frames has vastly extended the capability and simplified many computations. A translation of the SPICE Toolkit software suite to the C language has just been announced. To further support cartographic calculations associated with Mars exploration the SPICE developers at JPL have recently been asked by NASA to work with cartographers to develop standards and allied software for storing and accessing control net and shape model data sets; these will be highly integrated with existing SPICE components. NASA specifically supports the widest possible utilization of SPICE capabilities throughout the international space science community. With NASA backing the Russian Space Agency and Russian Academy of Science adopted the SPICE standards for the Mars 96 mission. The SPICE ephemeris component will shortly become the international standard for agencies using the Deep Space Network. U.S. and European scientists hope that ESA will employ SPICE standards on the Mars Express mission. SPICE is an open set of standards, and

  4. 31 CFR 315.3 - Converting definitive savings bonds to book-entry bonds in New Treasury Direct.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... book-entry bonds through New Treasury Direct, an online system for holding Treasury securities. The Web... definitive savings bonds should follow online instructions for conversion. Regulations governing converted bonds are found at 31 CFR part 363. [70 FR 14941, Mar. 23, 2005] ...

  5. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred; Shirbacheh, M; Sankarankandath, V

    2012-01-19

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

  6. Mars Express - ESA sets ambitious goals for the first European mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

    Mars has always fascinated human beings. No other planet has been visited so many times by spacecraft. And still, it has not been easy to unveil its secrets. Martian mysteries seem to have increased in quantity and complexity with every mission. When the first spacecraft were sent - the Mariner series in 1960s - the public was expecting an Earth ‘twin’, a green, inhabited planet full of oceans. Mariner shattered this dream by showing a barren surface. This was followed by the Viking probes which searched for life unsuccessfully in 1976. Mars appeared dry, cold and uninhabited: the Earth’s opposite. Now, two decades later, modern spacecraft have changed that view, but they have also returned more questions. Current data show that Mars was probably much warmer in the past. Scientists now think that Mars had oceans, so it could have been a suitable place for life in the past. “We do not know what happened to the planet in the past. Which process turned Mars into the dry, cold world we see today?” says Agustin Chicarro, ESA’s Mars Express project scientist. “With Mars Express, we will find out. Above all, we aim to obtain a complete global view of the planet - its history, its geology, how it has evolved. Real planetology!” Mars Express will reach the Red Planet by the end of December 2003, after a trip of just over six months. Six days before injection into its final orbit, Mars Express will eject the lander, Beagle 2, named after the ship on which Charles Darwin found inspiration to formulate his theory of evolution. The Mars Express orbiter will observe the planet and its atmosphere from a near-polar orbit, and will remain in operation for at least a whole Martian year (687 Earth days). Beagle 2 will land in an equatorial region that was probably flooded in the past, and where traces of life may have been preserved. The Mars Express orbiter carries seven advanced experiments, in addition to the Beagle 2 lander. The orbiter’s instruments have been

  7. Ionospheric Irregularities at Mars Probed by MARSIS Topside Sounding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Y.; Gurnett, D. A.; Kopf, A. J.; Halekas, J. S.; Ruhunusiri, S.

    2018-01-01

    The upper ionosphere of Mars contains a variety of perturbations driven by solar wind forcing from above and upward propagating atmospheric waves from below. Here we explore the global distribution and variability of ionospheric irregularities around the exobase at Mars by analyzing topside sounding data from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on board Mars Express. As irregular structure gives rise to off-vertical echoes with excess propagation time, the diffuseness of ionospheric echo traces can be used as a diagnostic tool for perturbed reflection surfaces. The observed properties of diffuse echoes above unmagnetized regions suggest that ionospheric irregularities with horizontal wavelengths of tens to hundreds of kilometers are particularly enhanced in the winter hemisphere and at high solar zenith angles. Given the known inverse dependence of neutral gravity wave amplitudes on the background atmospheric temperature, the ionospheric irregularities probed by MARSIS are most likely associated with plasma perturbations driven by atmospheric gravity waves. Though extreme events with unusually diffuse echoes are more frequently observed for high solar wind dynamic pressures during some time intervals, the vast majority of the diffuse echo events are unaffected by varying solar wind conditions, implying limited influence of solar wind forcing on the generation of ionospheric irregularities. Combination of remote and in situ measurements of ionospheric irregularities would offer the opportunity for a better understanding of the ionospheric dynamics at Mars.

  8. OA 2014-5 Dataset - Limited Entry and Open Access cost earnings survey collecting 2014-15 data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project collects economic data from vessel owners participating in the West Coast limited entry fixed gear and open access groundfish, salmon, crab, and shrimp...

  9. Regolith Derived Heat Shield for Planetary Body Entry and Descent System with In Situ Fabrication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogue, Michael D.; Meuller, Robert P.; Sibille, Laurent; Hintze, Paul E.; Rasky, Daniel J.

    2012-01-01

    This NIAC project investigated an innovative approach to provide heat shield protection to spacecraft after launch and prior to each EDL thus potentially realizing significant launch mass savings. Heat shields fabricated in situ can provide a thermal-protection system for spacecraft that routinely enter a planetary atmosphere. By fabricating the heat shield with space resources from materials available on moons and asteroids, it is possible to avoid launching the heat-shield mass from Earth. Regolith has extremely good insulating properties and the silicates it contains can be used in the fabrication and molding of thermal-protection materials. Such in situ developed heat shields have been suggested before by Lewis. Prior research efforts have shown that regolith properties can be compatible with very-high temperature resistance. Our project team is highly experienced in regolith processing and thermal protection systems (TPS). Routine access to space and return from any planetary surface requires dealing with heat loads experienced by the spacecraft during reentry. Our team addresses some of the key issues with the EDL of human-scale missions through a highly innovative investigation of heat shields that can be fabricated in space by using local resources on asteroids and moons. Most space missions are one-way trips, dedicated to placing an asset in space for economical or scientific gain. However, for human missions, a very-reliable heat-shield system is necessary to protect the crew from the intense heat experienced at very high entry velocities of approximately 11 km/s at approximately Mach 33 (Apollo). For a human mission to Mars, the return problem is even more difficult, with predicted velocities of up to 14 km/s, at approximately Mach 42 at the Earth-atmosphere entry. In addition to human return, it is very likely that future space-travel architecture will include returning cargo to the Earth, either for scientific purposes or for commercial reasons

  10. Guidelines for 2008 MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    HR Department

    2008-01-01

    Full details of the Merit Appraisal and Recognition Scheme (MARS) are available via the HR Department’s homepage or directly on the Department’s MARS web page: https://cern.ch/hr-dept/ https://cern.ch/hr-eguide/mars/mars.asp You will find on these pages: MARS procedures including the MARS timetable for proposals and decisions; Regulations with links to the scheme’s statutory basis; Frequently Asked Questions; Useful documents with links to relevant documentation; e.g. mandate of the Senior Staff Advisory Committee (SSAC); Related links and contacts. HR Department Tel. 73566

  11. Entry Facilitation by Environmental Groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Made, Allard; Schoonbeek, Lambert

    We consider a model of vertical product differentiation where consumers care about the environmental damage their consumption causes. An environmental group is capable of increasing consumers' environmental concern via a costly campaign. We show that the prospect of such a campaign can induce entry

  12. Ebola virus host cell entry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Yasuteru

    2015-01-01

    Ebola virus is an enveloped virus with filamentous structure and causes a severe hemorrhagic fever in human and nonhuman primates. Host cell entry is the first essential step in the viral life cycle, which has been extensively studied as one of the therapeutic targets. A virus factor of cell entry is a surface glycoprotein (GP), which is an only essential viral protein in the step, as well as the unique particle structure. The virus also interacts with a lot of host factors to successfully enter host cells. Ebola virus at first binds to cell surface proteins and internalizes into cells, followed by trafficking through endosomal vesicles to intracellular acidic compartments. There, host proteases process GPs, which can interact with an intracellular receptor. Then, under an appropriate circumstance, viral and endosomal membranes are fused, which is enhanced by major structural changes of GPs, to complete host cell entry. Recently the basic research of Ebola virus infection mechanism has markedly progressed, largely contributed by identification of host factors and detailed structural analyses of GPs. This article highlights the mechanism of Ebola virus host cell entry, including recent findings.

  13. Mars ISRU for Production of Mission Critical Consumables - Options, Recent Studies, and Current State of the Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, G. B.; Paz, A.; Oryshchyn, L.; Araghi, K.; Muscatello, A.; Linne, D.; Kleinhenz, J.; Peters, T.

    2015-01-01

    In 1978, a ground breaking paper titled, "Feasibility of Rocket Propellant Production on Mars" by Ash, Dowler, and Varsi discussed how ascent propellants could be manufactured on the Mars surface from carbon dioxide collected from the atmosphere to reduce launch mass. Since then, the concept of making mission critical consumables such as propellants, fuel cell reactants, and life support consumables from local resources, commonly known as In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), for robotic and human missions to Mars has been studied many times. In the late 1990's, NASA initiated a series of Mars Human Design Reference Missions (DRMs), the first of which was released in 1997. These studies primarily focused on evaluating the impact of making propellants on Mars for crew ascent to Mars orbit, but creating large caches of life support consumables (water & oxygen) as a backup for regenerative life support systems for long-duration surface stays (>500 days) was also considered in Mars DRM 3.0. Until science data from the Mars Odyssey orbiter and subsequent robotic missions revealed that water may be widely accessable across the surface of Mars, prior Mars ISRU studies were limited to processing Mars atmospheric resources (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, oxygen, and water vapor). In December 2007, NASA completed the Mars Human Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study which considered water on Mars as a potential resource for the first time in a human mission architecture. While knowledge of both water resources on Mars and the hardware required to excavate and extract the water were very preliminary, the study concluded that a significant reduction in mass and significant enhancements to the mission architecture were possible if Mars water resources were utilized. Two subsequent Mars ISRU studies aimed at reexamining ISRU technologies, processing options, and advancements in the state-of-the-art since 2007 and to better understand the volume and packaging associated

  14. Smectite Formation in Acid Sulfate Environments on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretyazhko, T. S.; Niles, P. B.; Sutter, B.; Clark, J. V.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.

    2017-01-01

    Phyllosilicates of the smectite group detected in Noachian and early Hesperian terrains on Mars were hypothesized to form under aqueous conditions that were globally neutral to alkaline. These pH conditions and the presence of a CO2-rich atmosphere should have been favorable for the formation of large carbonate deposits. However, large-scale carbonate deposits have not been detected on Mars. We hypothesized that smectite deposits are consistent with perhaps widespread acidic aqueous conditions that prevented carbonate precipitation. The objective of our work was to investigate smectite formation under acid sulfate conditions in order to provide insight into the possible geochemical conditions required for smectite formation on Mars. Hydrothermal batch incubation experiments were performed with Mars-analogue, glass-rich, basalt simulant in the presence of sulfuric acid of variable concentration.

  15. Multijunction Solar Cell Technology for Mars Surface Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, Paul M.; Mardesich, Nick; Ewell, Richard C.; Mueller, Robert L.; Endicter, Scott; Aiken, Daniel; Edmondson, Kenneth; Fetze, Chris

    2006-01-01

    Solar cells used for Mars surface applications have been commercial space qualified AM0 optimized devices. Due to the Martian atmosphere, these cells are not optimized for the Mars surface and as a result operate at a reduced efficiency. A multi-year program, MOST (Mars Optimized Solar Cell Technology), managed by JPL and funded by NASA Code S, was initiated in 2004, to develop tools to modify commercial AM0 cells for the Mars surface solar spectrum and to fabricate Mars optimized devices for verification. This effort required defining the surface incident spectrum, developing an appropriate laboratory solar simulator measurement capability, and to develop and test commercial cells modified for the Mars surface spectrum. This paper discusses the program, including results for the initial modified cells. Simulated Mars surface measurements of MER cells and Phoenix Lander cells (2007 launch) are provided to characterize the performance loss for those missions. In addition, the performance of the MER rover solar arrays is updated to reflect their more than two (2) year operation.

  16. MetNet Network Mission for Martian Atmospheric Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Alexashkin, S.; Arrugeo, I.; Schmidt, W.; Vazquez, L.; Genzer, M.; Haukka, H.

    2014-07-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars called MetNet is being developed for martian atmospheric investigations. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy tens of small landers on the martian surface.

  17. Finding the right rocks on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargraves, R. B.; Knudsen, J. M.; Madsen, M. B.; Bertelsen, P.

    Locating a rock on the surface of Mars that bears unambiguous evidence of the existence—prior or present—of life on that planet is, understandably, the “Holy Grail” of NASAs sample return missions. Remote recognition of such a rock on Mars will not be easy. We do know, however, that present in the Martian crust—especially in the “Southern highlands”—is rock carrying strong natural remanent magnetization (NRM). Characterization of such magnetized rock has profound implications for adding to our knowledge about the origin and early evolution of the Martian interior, lithosphere, atmosphere, and possibly even Martian life forms [Ward and Brownlee, 2000]. Moreover, it should be possible to recognize such rocks by use of a simple magnetic compass mounted on a Rover.

  18. 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.

  19. The Emirates Mars Mission Science Data Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craft, J.; Al Hammadi, O.; DeWolfe, A. W.; Staley, B.; Schafer, C.; Pankratz, C. K.

    2017-12-01

    The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), led by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is expected to arrive at Mars in January 2021. The EMM Science Data Center (SDC) is to be developed as a joint effort between MBRSC and the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). The EMM SDC is responsible for the production, management, distribution, and archiving of science data collected from the three instruments on board the Hope spacecraft.With the respective SDC teams on opposite sides of the world evolutionary techniques and cloud-based technologies are being utilized in the development of the EMM SDC. This presentation will provide a top down view of the EMM SDC, summarizing the cloud-based technologies being implemented in the design, as well as the tools, best practices, and lessons learned for software development and management in a geographically distributed team.

  20. Water extraction on Mars for an expanding human colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralphs, M; Franz, B; Baker, T; Howe, S

    2015-11-01

    In-situ water extraction is necessary for an extended human presence on Mars. This study looks at the water requirements of an expanding human colony on Mars and the general systems needed to supply that water from the martian atmosphere and regolith. The proposed combination of systems in order to supply the necessary water includes a system similar to Honeybee Robotics' Mobile In-Situ Water Extractor (MISWE) that uses convection, a system similar to MISWE but that directs microwave energy down a borehole, a greenhouse or hothouse type system, and a system similar to the Mars Atmospheric Resource Recovery System (MARRS). It is demonstrated that a large water extraction system that can take advantage of large deposits of water ice at site specific locations is necessary to keep up with the demands of a growing colony. Copyright © 2015 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Remanent magnetism at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, S. A.; Ness, N. F.

    1988-01-01

    It is shown that a strong case can be made for an intrinsic magnetic field of dynamo origin for Mars earlier in its history. The typical equatorial magnetic field intensity would have been equal to about 0.01-0.1 gauss. The earlier dynamo activity is no longer extant, but a significant remanent magnetic field may exist. A highly non-dipole magnetic field could result from the remanent magnetization of the surface. Remanent magnetization may thus play an important role in the Mars solar wind interactions, in contrast to Venus with its surface temperatures above the Curie point. The anomalous characteristics of Mars'solar wind interaction compared to that of Venus may be explicable on this basis.

  2. Spiders from Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Atmospheric contamination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gruetter, Juerg

    1997-01-01

    It is about the levels of contamination in center America, the population's perception on the problem, effects of the atmospheric contamination, effects in the environment, causes of the atmospheric contamination, possibilities to reduce the atmospheric contamination and list of Roeco Swisscontac in atmospheric contamination

  4. The Surface of Mars: A Post-Viking View.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Michael H.

    1983-01-01

    Highlights current information on the martian surface. Topics include a planetary overview (atmosphere, dust storms, water vapor/ice, soil analysis) and surface features (craters, volcanoes, canyons/channels, polar regions, wind-related features). Similarities/differences between Mars and Earth are also discussed. (JN)

  5. Mars Gashopper Airplane, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Gas Hopper Airplane, or "gashopper" is a novel concept for propulsion of a robust Mars flight and surface exploration vehicle that utilizes indigenous CO2...

  6. Frost on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image shows bluish-white frost seen on the Martian surface near NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The image was taken by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 131st Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 7, 2008). Frost is expected to continue to appear in images as fall, then winter approach Mars' northern plains. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  7. The stratigraphy of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.

    1986-01-01

    A global stratigraphy of Mars was developed from a global geologic map series derived from Viking images; the stratigraphy is composed of three maps. A new chronostratigraphic classification system which consists of lower, middle, and upper Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian systems is described. The crater-density boundaries of the chronostratigraphic units and the absolute ages of the Martian epochs aer estimated. The relative ages of major geologic units and featues are calculated and analyzed. The geologic history of Mars is summarized on the maps in terms of epochs.

  8. 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

  9. Minimally Intrusive Embedded Sensors for High Mass to Mars Thermal Protection Systems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The safety and overall mission success of space vehicles rely heavily on the integrity of the TPS to protect valuable payload during atmospheric entry. Future...

  10. Mars Array Technology Experiment Developed to Test Solar Arrays on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    Solar arrays will be the power supply for future missions to the planet Mars, including landers, rovers, and eventually human missions to explore the Martian surface. Until Mars Pathfinder landed in July 1997, no solar array had been used on the surface. The MATE package is intended to measure the solar energy reaching the surface, characterize the Martian environment to gather the baseline information required for designing power systems for long-duration missions, and to quantify the performance and degradation of advanced solar cells on the Martian surface. To measure the properties of sunlight reaching the Martian surface, MATE incorporates two radiometers and a visible/NIR spectrometer. The radiometers consist of multiple thermocouple junctions using thin-film technology. These devices generate a voltage proportional to the solar intensity. One radiometer measures the global broadband solar intensity, including both the direct and scattered sunlight, with a field of view of approximately 130. The second radiometer incorporates a slit to measure the direct (unscattered) intensity radiation. The direct radiometer can only be read once per day, with the Sun passing over the slit. The spectrometer measures the global solar spectrum with two 256-element photodiode arrays, one Si sensitive in the visible range (300 to 1100 nm), and a second InGaAs sensitive to the near infrared (900 to 1700 nm). This range covers 86 percent of the total energy from the Sun, with approximately 5-nm resolution. Each photodiode array has its own fiber-optic feed and grating. Although the purpose of the MATE is to gather data useful in designing solar arrays for Mars surface power systems, the radiometer and spectrometer measurements are expected to also provide important scientific data for characterizing the properties of suspended atmospheric dust. In addition to measuring the solar environment of Mars, MATE will measure the performance of five different individual solar cell types

  11. Mars Science Laboratory Launch-Arrival Space Study: A Pork Chop Plot Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia Dwyer; Powell, Richard; Lockwood, Mary Kae

    2006-01-01

    Launch-Arrival, or "pork chop", plot analysis can provide mission designers with valuable information and insight into a specific launch and arrival space selected for a mission. The study begins with the array of entry states for each pair of selected Earth launch and Mars arrival dates, and nominal entry, descent and landing trajectories are simulated for each pair. Parameters of interest, such as maximum heat rate, are plotted in launch-arrival space. The plots help to quickly identify launch and arrival regions that are not feasible under current constraints or technology and also provide information as to what technologies may need to be developed to reach a desired region. This paper provides a discussion of the development, application, and results of a pork chop plot analysis to the Mars Science Laboratory mission. This technique is easily applicable to other missions at Mars and other destinations.

  12. Errors in Viking Lander Atmospheric Profiles Discovered Using MOLA Topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Withers, Paul; Lorenz, R. D.; Neumann, G. A.

    2002-01-01

    Each Viking lander measured a topographic profile during entry. Comparing to MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter), we find a vertical error of 1-2 km in the Viking trajectory. This introduces a systematic error of 10-20% in the Viking densities and pressures at a given altitude. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, J. E.

    2006-05-01

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

  14. A technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter in SAEF-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a technician works on the Mars Climate Orbiter which is scheduled to launch on Dec. 10, 1998, aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The Mars Climate Orbiter is heading for Mars where it will primarily support its companion Mars Polar Lander spacecraft, planned for launch on Jan. 3, 1999. After that, the Mars Climate Orbiter's instruments will monitor the Martian atmosphere and image the planet's surface on a daily basis for one Martian year (two Earth years). It will observe the appearance and movement of atmospheric dust and water vapor, as well as characterize seasonal changes on the surface. The detailed images of the surface features will provide important clues to the planet's early climate history and give scientists more information about possible liquid water reserves beneath the surface.

  15. 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

  16. Flavivirus Entry Receptors: An Update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Perera-Lecoin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Flaviviruses enter host cells by endocytosis initiated when the virus particles interact with cell surface receptors. The current model suggests that flaviviruses use at least two different sets of molecules for infectious entry: attachment factors that concentrate and/or recruit viruses on the cell surface and primary receptor(s that bind to virions and direct them to the endocytic pathway. Here, we present the currently available knowledge regarding the flavivirus receptors described so far with specific attention to C-type lectin receptors and the phosphatidylserine receptors, T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM and TYRO3, AXL and MER (TAM. Their role in flavivirus attachment and entry as well as their implication in the virus biology will be discussed in depth.

  17. An improved model of radiative transfer for the NLTE problem in the NIR bands of CO2 and CO molecules in the daytime atmosphere of Mars. 2. Population of vibrational states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogibalov, V. P.; Shved, G. M.

    2017-09-01

    The near-infrared (NIR) emission of the Martian atmosphere in the CO2 bands at 4.3, 2.7, 2.0, 1.6, 1.4, 1.3, 1.2, and 1.05 µm and in the CO bands at 4.7, 2.3, 1.6, and 1.2 µm is mainly generated under nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) conditions for vibrational states, the transitions from which form the specified bands. The paper presents the results of simulations of the population of these states under NLTE for daytime conditions. In the cold high-latitude troposphere, the NLTE takes place much lower than in the troposphere under typical temperature conditions. If the NIR-radiation reflection from the surface is ignored, the population of high vibrational states substantially decreases, at least, in some layer of the lower atmosphere. However, inelastic collisions of CO2 and CO molecules with O atoms produce no considerable influence on the values of populations. The population of vibrational states, the transitions from which form NIR bands, is also almost insensitive to possible large values of the quenching-in-collision rate constants of vibrational states higher than CO2(0001). However, very large errors in the estimates of the population of vibrational states of the CO2 molecule (rather than the CO molecule!) can be caused by the uncertainty in the values of the rate constant of exchange between CO2 molecules by the energy quantum of the asymmetric stretching vibrational mode. For this intermolecular exchange, we recommend a possible way to restrict the vibrational excitation degree of the molecule that is a collision partner and to maintain simultaneously a sufficiently high accuracy in the population estimate.

  18. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

    This videotape is a compilation of the best NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) videos of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions. The mission is described using animation and narration as well as some actual footage of the entire sequence of mission events. Included within these animations are the spacecraft orbit insertion; descent to the Mars surface; deployment of the airbags and instruments; and exploration by Sojourner, the Mars rover. JPL activities at spacecraft control during significant mission events are also included at the end. The spacecraft cameras pan the surrounding Mars terrain and film Sojourner traversing the surface and inspecting rocks. A single, brief, processed image of the Cydonia region (Mars face) at an oblique angle from the Mars Global Surveyor is presented. A description of the Mars Pathfinder mission, instruments, landing and deployment process, Mars approach, spacecraft orbit insertion, rover operation are all described using computer animation. Actual color footage of Sojourner as well as a 360 deg pan of the Mars terrain surrounding the spacecraft is provided. Lower quality black and white photography depicting Sojourner traversing the Mars surface and inspecting Martian rocks also is included.

  19. DREAMS-SIS: The Solar Irradiance Sensor on-board the ExoMars 2016 lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arruego, I.; Apéstigue, V.; Jiménez-Martín, J.; Martínez-Oter, J.; Álvarez-Ríos, F. J.; González-Guerrero, M.; Rivas, J.; Azcue, J.; Martín, I.; Toledo, D.; Gómez, L.; Jiménez-Michavila, M.; Yela, M.

    2017-07-01

    The Solar Irradiance Sensor (SIS) was part of the DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk assessment, and Environment Analyzer on the Martian Surface) payload package on board the ExoMars 2016 Entry and Descent Module (EDM), "Schiaparelli". DREAMS was a meteorological station aimed at the measurement of several atmospheric parameters, as well as the presence of electric fields, during the surface operations of EDM. DREAMS-SIS is a highly miniaturized lightweight sensor designed for small meteorological stations, capable of estimating the aerosol optical depth (AOD) several times per sol, as well as performing a direct measurement of the global (direct plus scattered) irradiance on the Martian surface in the spectral range between 200 and 1100 nm. AOD is estimated from the irradiance measurements at two different spectral bands - Ultraviolet (UV) and near infrared (NIR) - which also enables color index (CI) analysis for the detection of clouds. Despite the failure in the landing of Schiaparelli, DREAMS-SIS is a valuable precursor for new developments being carried-on at present. The concept and design of DREAMS-SIS are here presented and its operating principles, supported by preliminary results from a short validation test, are described. Lessons learnt and future work towards a new generation of Sun irradiance sensors is also outlined.

  20. Mars at war

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-04-01

    Whether the climate of early Mars was warm and wet or cold and dry remains unclear, but the debate is overheated. With a growing toolbox and increasing data to tackle the open questions, progress is possible if there is openness to bridging the divide.

  1. Watersporen op Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; Cammeraat, L.H.; Jansen, B.

    2005-01-01

    SAMENVATTING De discussie over het voorkomen van water op Mars, in vaste of vloeibare vorm, nu en in het verleden, is nog steeds in volle gang. Dat geldt ook voor het effect van mogelijk aanwezig water op de landschapsontwikkeling van de Rode Planeet. Met het vrijkomen van steeds meer nieuwe

  2. Ancient aliens on mars

    CERN Document Server

    Bara, Mike

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Mars Mission Specialist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Bill; Ogden, Kate; Walker, Becky; Bledsoe, Leslie; Hardage, Lauren

    2018-01-01

    For the last several years, the authors have implemented an integrated Mars Colony project for their third-grade classes. Students explored several considerations related to colonizing and inhabiting a new world, including food sources, types of citizens, transportation, and housing design. Nearly everything about the project was open-ended, full…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Rapp, Donald

    2016-01-01

    A mission to send humans to explore the surface of Mars has been the ultimate goal of planetary exploration since the 1950s, when von Braun conjectured a flotilla of 10 interplanetary vessels carrying a crew of at least 70 humans. Since then, more than 1,000 studies were carried out on human missions to Mars, but after 60 years of study, we remain in the early planning stages. The second edition of this book now includes an annotated history of Mars mission studies, wit