WorldWideScience

Sample records for mars exploration missions

  1. 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.

  2. Mission Operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. Mars Exploration Rover Spirit End of Mission Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callas, John L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Justin R.; Hastrup, Rolf C.

    1989-06-01

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

  6. Biomedical Aspects of Lunar and Mars Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John B.

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. A robotic exploration mission to Mars and Phobos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Justin H.; Defosse, Erin; Ho, Quang; Barriga, Ernisto; Davis, Grant; Mccourt, Steve; Smith, Matt

    1993-01-01

    This report discusses the design of a robotic exploration to Mars and Phobos. It begins with the mission's background and objectives, followed by a detailed explanation of various elements of Project Aeneas, including science, spacecraft, probes, and orbital trajectories. In addition, a description of Argos Space Endeavours, management procedures, and overall project costs are presented. Finally, a list of recommendations for future design activity is included.

  9. OHB's Exploration Capabilities Overview Relevant to Mars Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaime, A.; Gerth, I.; Rohrbeck, M.; Scheper, M.

    2018-04-01

    The presentation will give an overview to all the OHB past and current projects that are relevant to the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission, including some valuable lessons learned applicable to the upcoming MSR mission.

  10. Accessing Information on the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Bret G. (Editor)

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Phobos is a scientifically significant destination that would facilitate the development and operation of the human Mars transportation infrastructure, unmanned cargo delivery systems and other Mars surface systems. In addition to developing systems relevant to Mars surface missions, Phobos offers engineering, operational, and public engagement opportunities that could enhance subsequent Mars surface operations. These opportunities include the use of low latency teleoperations to control Mars surface assets associated with exploration science, human landing-site selection and infrastructure development which may include in situ resource utilization (ISRU) to provide liquid oxygen for the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). A human mission to Mars' moons would be preceded by a cargo predeploy of a surface habitat and a pressurized excursion vehicle (PEV) to Mars orbit. Once in Mars orbit, the habitat and PEV would spiral to Phobos using solar electric propulsion based systems, with the habitat descending to the surface and the PEV remaining in orbit. When a crewed mission is launched to Phobos, it would include the remaining systems to support the crew during the Earth-Mars transit and to reach Phobos after insertion in to Mars orbit. The crew would taxi from Mars orbit to Phobos to join with the predeployed systems in a spacecraft that is based on a MAV, dock with and transfer to the PEV in Phobos orbit, and descend in the PEV to the surface habitat. A static Phobos surface habitat was chosen as a baseline architecture, in combination with the PEV that was used to descend from orbit as the main exploration vehicle. The habitat would, however, have limited capability to relocate on the surface to shorten excursion distances required by the PEV during exploration and to provide rescue capability should the PEV become disabled. To supplement exploration capabilities of the PEV, the surface habitat would utilize deployable EVA support structures that allow astronauts to work

  13. Archiving Data From the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.

    2002-12-01

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

  14. 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".

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission: 10 Years of Exploration from Mars Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, M. Daniel; Zurek, Richard W.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter ( MRO ) entered Mars orbit on March 10, 2006. After five months of aerobraking, a series of propulsive maneuvers were used to establish the desired low -altitude science orbit. The spacecraft has been on station in its 255 x 320 k m, sun -synchronous (approximately 3 am -pm ), primary science orbit since September 2006 performing both scientific and Mars programmatic support functions. This paper will provide a summary of the major achievements of the mission to date and the major flight activities planned for the remainder of its third Extended Mission (EM3). Some of the major flight challenges the flight team has faced are also discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Rapp, Donald

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  2. Mars Exploration 2003 to 2013 - An Integrated Perspective: Time Sequencing the Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, G.; McKay, C.

    2000-01-01

    The science goals for the Mars exploration program, together with the HEDS precursor environmental and technology needs, serve as a solid starting point for re-planning the program in an orderly way. Most recently, the community has recognized the significance of subsurface sampling as a key component in "following the water". Accessing samples from hundreds and even thousands of meters beneath the surface is a challenge that will call for technology development and for one or more demonstration missions. Recent mission failures and concerns about the complexity of the previously planned MSR missions indicate that, before we are ready to undertake sample return and deep sampling, the Mars exploration program needs to include: 1) technology development missions; and 2) basic landing site assessment missions. These precursor missions should demonstrate the capability for reliable & accurate soft landing and in situ propellant production. The precursor missions will need to carry out close-up site observations, ground-penetrating radar mapping from orbit and conduct seismic surveys. Clearly the programs should be planned as a single, continuous exploration effort. A prudent minimum list of missions, including surface rovers with ranges of more than 10 km, can be derived from the numerous goals and requirements; they can be sequenced in an orderly way to ensure that time is available to feed forward the results of the precursor missions. One such sequence of missions is proposed for the decade beginning in 2003.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinderson, Elias; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Propulsive maneuver design for the Mars Exploration Rover mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Mars Exploration Rover Terminal Descent Mission Modeling and Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Queen, Eric M.

    2004-01-01

    Because of NASA's added reliance on simulation for successful interplanetary missions, the MER mission has developed a detailed EDL trajectory modeling and simulation. This paper summarizes how the MER EDL sequence of events are modeled, verification of the methods used, and the inputs. This simulation is built upon a multibody parachute trajectory simulation tool that has been developed in POST I1 that accurately simulates the trajectory of multiple vehicles in flight with interacting forces. In this model the parachute and the suspended bodies are treated as 6 Degree-of-Freedom (6 DOF) bodies. The terminal descent phase of the mission consists of several Entry, Descent, Landing (EDL) events, such as parachute deployment, heatshield separation, deployment of the lander from the backshell, deployment of the airbags, RAD firings, TIRS firings, etc. For an accurate, reliable simulation these events need to be modeled seamlessly and robustly so that the simulations will remain numerically stable during Monte-Carlo simulations. This paper also summarizes how the events have been modeled, the numerical issues, and modeling challenges.

  6. Advances in Distributed Operations and Mission Activity Planning for Mars Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Jason M.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Powell, Mark W.; Rabe, Kenneth J.; Shams, Khawaja

    2006-01-01

    A centralized mission activity planning system for any long-term mission, such as the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER), is completely infeasible due to budget and geographic constraints. A distributed operations system is key to addressing these constraints; therefore, future system and software engineers must focus on the problem of how to provide a secure, reliable, and distributed mission activity planning system. We will explain how Maestro, the next generation mission activity planning system, with its heavy emphasis on portability and distributed operations has been able to meet these design challenges. MER has been an excellent proving ground for Maestro's new approach to distributed operations. The backend that has been developed for Maestro could benefit many future missions by reducing the cost of centralized operations system architecture.

  7. Ice Dragon: A Mission to Address Science and Human Exploration Objectives on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Davila, A.; Sanders, G.; Glass, Brian; Gonzales, A.; Heldmann, Jennifer; Karcz, J.; Lemke, L.; Sanders, G.

    2012-01-01

    We present a mission concept where a SpaceX Dragon capsule lands a payload on Mars that samples ground ice to search for evidence of life, assess hazards to future human missions, and demonstrate use of Martian resources.

  8. Mars 2024/2026 Pathfinder Mission: Mars Architectures, Systems, & Technologies for Exploration and Resources

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Integrate In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) sub-systems and examine advanced capabilities and technologies to verify Mars 2024 Forward architecture precursor...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Mars 2024/2026 Pathfinder Mission: Mars Architectures, Systems, and Technologies for Exploration and Resources Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Nancy; Mueller, Robert; Muscatello, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    Integrate In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) sub-systems and examine advanced capabilities and technologies to verify Mars 2024 Forward architecture precursor pathfinder options: Integrated spacecraft/surface infrastructure fluid architecture: propulsion, power, life support center dot Power system feed and propellant scavenging from propulsion system center dot High quality oxygen for life support and EVA Fluid/cryogenic zero-loss transfer and long-term storage center dot Rapid depot-to-rover/spacecraft center dot Slow ISRU plant-to-ascent vehicle Integration of ISRU consumable production center dot Oxygen only from Mars atmosphere carbon dioxide center dot Oxygen, fuel, water, from extraterrestrial soil/regolith Test bed to evaluate long duration life, operations, maintenance on hardware, sensors, and autonomy

  11. Design of Photovoltaic Power System for a Precursor Mission for Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcnatt, Jeremiah; Landis, Geoffrey; Fincannon, James

    2016-01-01

    This project analyzed the viability of a photovoltaic power source for technology demonstration mission to demonstrate Mars in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) to produce propellant for a future human mission, based on technology available within the next ten years. For this assessment, we performed a power-system design study for a scaled ISRU demonstrator lander on the Mars surface based on existing solar array technologies.

  12. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Cooperation and dialogical modeling for designing a safe Human space exploration mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grès, Stéphane; Tognini, Michel; Le Cardinal, Gilles; Zalila, Zyed; Gueydan, Guillaume

    2014-11-01

    This paper proposes an approach for a complex and innovative project requiring international contributions from different communities of knowledge and expertise. Designing a safe and reliable architecture for a manned mission to Mars or the Asteroids necessitates strong cooperation during the early stages of design to prevent and reduce risks for the astronauts at each step of the mission. The stake during design is to deal with the contradictions, antagonisms and paradoxes of the involved partners for the definition and modeling of a shared project of reference. As we see in our research which analyses the cognitive and social aspects of technological risks in major accidents, in such a project, the complexity of the global organization (during design and use) and the integration of a wide and varie d range of sciences and innovative technologies is likely to increase systemic risks as follows: human and cultural mistakes, potential defaults, failures and accidents. We identify as the main danger antiquated centralized models of organization and the operational limits of interdisciplinarity in the sciences. Beyond this, we can see that we need to take carefully into account human cooperation and the quality of relations between heterogeneous partners. Designing an open, self-learning and reliable exploration system able to self-adapt in dangerous and unforeseen situations implies a collective networked intelligence led by a safe process that organizes interaction between the actors and the aims of the project. Our work, supported by the CNES (French Space Agency), proposes an innovative approach to the coordination of a complex project.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Life sciences and Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Mission from Mars - a method for exploring user requirements for children in a narrative space

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dindler, Christian; Ludvigsen, Martin; Lykke-Olesen, Andreas

    2005-01-01

    In this paper a particular design method is propagated as a supplement to existing descriptive approaches to current practice studies especially suitable for gathering requirements for the design of children's technology. The Mission from Mars method was applied during the design of an electronic...... school bag (eBag). The three-hour collaborative session provides a first-hand insight into children's practice in a fun and intriguing way. The method is proposed as a supplement to existing descriptive design methods for interaction design and children....

  1. 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…

  2. Human Mars Surface Mission Nuclear Power Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle A.

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Human exploration mission studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cataldo, Robert L.

    1989-01-01

    The Office of Exploration has established a process whereby all NASA field centers and other NASA Headquarters offices participate in the formulation and analysis of a wide range of mission strategies. These strategies were manifested into specific scenarios or candidate case studies. The case studies provided a systematic approach into analyzing each mission element. First, each case study must address several major themes and rationale including: national pride and international prestige, advancement of scientific knowledge, a catalyst for technology, economic benefits, space enterprise, international cooperation, and education and excellence. Second, the set of candidate case studies are formulated to encompass the technology requirement limits in the life sciences, launch capabilities, space transfer, automation, and robotics in space operations, power, and propulsion. The first set of reference case studies identify three major strategies: human expeditions, science outposts, and evolutionary expansion. During the past year, four case studies were examined to explore these strategies. The expeditionary missions include the Human Expedition to Phobos and Human Expedition to Mars case studies. The Lunar Observatory and Lunar Outpost to Early Mars Evolution case studies examined the later two strategies. This set of case studies established the framework to perform detailed mission analysis and system engineering to define a host of concepts and requirements for various space systems and advanced technologies. The details of each mission are described and, specifically, the results affecting the advanced technologies required to accomplish each mission scenario are presented.

  4. Stanford SsTO Mission to Mars: A Realistic, Safe and Cost Effective Approach to Human Mars Exploration Using the Stanford SsTO Launch System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, Robert D.

    1999-06-01

    In recent years, a lot of time and energy has been spent exploring possible mission scenarios for a human mission to Mars. NASA along with the privately funded Mars Society and a number of universities have come up with many options that could place people on the surface of Mars in a relatively short period of time at a relatively low cost. However, a common theme among all or at least most of these missions is that they require heavy lift vehicles such as the Russian Energia or the NASA proposed Magnum 100MT class vehicle to transport large payloads from the surface of Earth into a staging orbit about Earth. However, there is no current budget or any signs for a future budget to review the Russian Energia, the US made Saturn V, or to design and build a new heavy lift vehicle. However, there is a lot of interest and many companies looking into the possibility of "space planes". These vehicles will have the capability to place a payload into orbit without throwing any parts of the vehicle away. The concept of a space plane is basically that the plane is transported to a given altitude either by it's own power or on the back of another air worthy vehicle before the rocket engines are ignited. From this altitude, a Single Step to Orbit (SsTO) vehicle with a significant payload is possible. This report looks at the possibility of removing the requirement of a heavy lift vehicle by using the Stanford designed Single Step to Orbit.(SsTO) Launch Vehicle. The SsTO would eliminate the need for heavy lift vehicles and actually reduce the cost of the mission because of the very low costs involved with each SSTO launch. Although this scenario may add a small amount of risk assembling transfer vehicles in Earth orbit, it should add no additional risk to the crew.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2008-01-01

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

  7. In-situ resource utilization for the human exploration of Mars : a Bayesian approach to valuation of precursor missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jeffrey H.

    2006-01-01

    The need for sufficient quantities of oxygen, water, and fuel resources to support a crew on the surface of Mars presents a critical logistical issue of whether to transport such resources from Earth or manufacture them on Mars. An approach based on the classical Wildcat Drilling Problem of Bayesian decision theory was applied to the problem of finding water in order to compute the expected value of precursor mission sample information. An implicit (required) probability of finding water on Mars was derived from the value of sample information using the expected mass savings of alternative precursor missions.

  8. Mars exploration study workshop 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, Michael B.; Budden, Nancy Ann

    1993-11-01

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

  9. Demonstration of Critical Systems for Propellant Production on Mars for Science and Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane L.; Gaier, James R.; Zoeckler, Joseph G.; Kolacz, John S.; Wegeng, Robert S.; Rassat, Scot D.; Clark, D. Larry

    2013-01-01

    A Mars hopper has been proposed as a Mars mobility concept that will also demonstrate and advance in-situ resource utilization. The components needed in a Mars propellant production plant have been developed to various levels of technology maturity, but there is little experience with the systems in a Mars environment. Two systems for the acquisition and compression of the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere were designed, assembled, and tested in a Mars environment chamber. A microchannel sorption pump system was able to raise the pressure from 7 Torr to 450 Torr or from 12 Torr to over 700 Torr in two stages. This data now provides information needed to make additional improvements in the sorption pump technology to increase performance, although a system-level analysis might prove that some amount of pre- or post-compression may be a preferred solution. A mini cryofreezer system was also evaluated as an alternative method for carbon dioxide acquisition and compression. Finally, an electrolysis system was tested and successfully demonstrated start-up operation and thermal stability of all components during long-term operation in the chamber.

  10. Development of miniaturized instrumentation for Planetary Exploration and its application to the Mars MetNet Precursor Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero, Hector

    2010-05-01

    In this communication is presented the current development of some miniaturized instruments developed for Lander and Rovers for Planetary exploration. In particular, we present a magnetometer with resolution below 10 nT and mass in the range of 45 g; a sun irradiance spectral sensor with 10 bands (UV-VIS-near IR) and a mass in the range of 75 g. These are being developed for the Finnish, Russian and Spanish MetNet Mars Precursor Mission, to be launched in 2011 within the Phobos Grunt (Sample Return). The magnetometer (at present at EQM level) has two triaxial magnetometers (based on commercial AMR technologies) that operate in gradiometer configuration. Moreover has inside the box there a triaxial accelerometer to get the gravitational orientation of the magnetometer after its deployment. This unit is being designed to operate under the Mars severe conditions (at night) without any thermal conditioning. The sun irradiance spectral irradiance sensor is composed by individual silicon photodiodes with interference filters on each, and collimators to prevent wavelength shifts due to oblique incidence. In order allow discrimination between direct and diffuse ambient light, the photodiodes are deployed on the top and lateral sides of this unit. The instrument is being optimized for deep UV detection, dust optical depth and Phobos transits. The accuracy for detecting some atmospheric gases traces is under study. Besides, INTA is developing optical wireless link technologies modules for operating on Mars at distances over 1 m, to minimize harness, reduce weight and improve Assembly Integration and Test (AIT) tasks. Actual emitter/receiver modules are below 10 g allowing data transmission rates over 1 Mbps.

  11. 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

  12. A Subjective Assessment of Alternative Mission Architecture Operations Concepts for the Human Exploration of Mars at NASA Using a Three-Dimensional Multi-Criteria Decision Making Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavana, Madjid

    2003-01-01

    The primary driver for developing missions to send humans to other planets is to generate significant scientific return. NASA plans human planetary explorations with an acceptable level of risk consistent with other manned operations. Space exploration risks can not be completely eliminated. Therefore, an acceptable level of cost, technical, safety, schedule, and political risks and benefits must be established for exploratory missions. This study uses a three-dimensional multi-criteria decision making model to identify the risks and benefits associated with three alternative mission architecture operations concepts for the human exploration of Mars identified by the Mission Operations Directorate at Johnson Space Center. The three alternatives considered in this study include split, combo lander, and dual scenarios. The model considers the seven phases of the mission including: 1) Earth Vicinity/Departure; 2) Mars Transfer; 3) Mars Arrival; 4) Planetary Surface; 5) Mars Vicinity/Departure; 6) Earth Transfer; and 7) Earth Arrival. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and subjective probability estimation are used to captures the experts belief concerning the risks and benefits of the three alternative scenarios through a series of sequential, rational, and analytical processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Evacuated Airship for Mars Missions

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to overcome some of the limitations of current technologies for Mars exploration and even extend current operational capabilities by introducing the...

  18. Mars - The relationship of robotic and human elements in the IAA International Exploration of Mars study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marov, Mikhail YA.; Duke, Michael B.

    1993-01-01

    The roles of human and robotic missions in Mars exploration are defined in the context of the short- and long-term Mars programs. In particular, it is noted that the currently implemented and planned missions to Mars can be regarded as robotic precursor missions to human exploration. Attention is given to factors that must be considered in formulating the rationale for human flights to Mars and future human Mars settlements and justifying costly projects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

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

  20. Coupling Immersive Experiences with the Use of Mission Data to Encourage Students' Interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math: Examples from the Mars Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, S. L.; Valderrama, P.; Viotti, M. A.; Watt, K.; Wurman, G.

    2004-12-01

    The Mars Exploration Program, in partnership with the Arizona State University Mars Education Program has created and successfully tested innovative pathways and programs that introduce, develop, and reinforce science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - STEM subjects into pre-college curriculum. With launches scheduled every 26 months, Mars has the unique opportunity and ability to have a long-term, systemic influence on science education. Also, because of the high level of interest in Mars, as exemplified by the10 billion Internet hits during the Mars Exploration Rover mission, it is a great vehicle for the infusion of current science into today's classrooms. These Mars education programs have linked current mission science and engineering with the National Education Standards, integrating them in a teacher-friendly and student-friendly format. These linkages are especially synergistic when combined with long-term partnerships between educators, Mars scientists and engineers, as they exemplify real-world collaborations and teamwork. To accommodate many different audience needs, an array of programs and a variety of approaches to these programs have been developed. High tech, low tech and no tech options can be implemented to help insure that as many students can be accommodated and impacted by these programs as possible. These programs are scaled to match the National Education Standards in the grade levels in which students need to become proficient in these subjects. The Mars Student Imaging Project - MSIP allows teams of students from the fifth grade through community college to be immersed in a hands-on program and experience the scientific process firsthand by using the Thermal Emission Imaging System - THEMIS camera to target their own image of Mars using an educational version of the real flight software used to target THEMIS images. The student teams then analyze their image and report their findings to the MSIP website. This project has been in

  1. Red Dragon drill missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  2. Nuclear propulsion tradeoffs for manned Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walton, L.A.; Malloy, J.D.

    1991-01-01

    A conjunction class split/sprint manned Mars exploration mission was studied to evaluate tradeoffs in performance characteristics of nuclear thermal rockets. A Particle Bed Reactor-based nuclear thermal rocket was found to offer a 38% to 52% total mass savings compared with a NERVA-based nuclear thermal rocket for this mission. This advantage is primarily due to the higher thrust-to-weight ratio of the Particle Bed Reactor nuclear rocket. The mission is enabled by nuclear thermal rockets. It cannot be performed practically using chemical propulsion

  3. Human missions to Mars: issues and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, M.; Kminek, G.

    Recent announcements of the planned future human exploration of Mars by both European and US space agencies have raised a host of questions and challenges that must be addressed in advance of long-duration human missions. While detailed mission planning is a long way off, numerous issues can already be identified in the broad context of planetary protection. In this session, a panel of experts will provide brief overviews of the types of challenges ahead, such as the protection of the martian environment; the integration of human and robotic mission elements and operations; precursor scientific information necessary to plan human missions; development and use of nuclear and other technologies for the protection and support of astronauts during the mission; protection of Earth upon return; and societal and ethical questions about human exploration. The session has been designed to encourage and incorporate audience participation in the discussion about the issues and challenges ahead.

  4. Vehicle and Mission Design Options for the Human Exploration of Mars/Phobos Using "Bimodal" NTR and LANTR Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is one of the leading propulsion options for future human missions to Mars because of its high specific impulse (1sp is approximately 850-1000 s) capability and its attractive engine thrust-to-weight ratio (approximately 3-10). To stay within the available mass and payload volume limits of a "Magnum" heavy lift vehicle, a high performance propulsion system is required for trans-Mars injection (TMI). An expendable TMI stage, powered by three 15 thousand pounds force (klbf) NTR engines is currently under consideration by NASA for its Design Reference Mission (DRM). However, because of the miniscule burnup of enriched uranium-235 during the Earth departure phase (approximately 10 grams out of 33 kilograms in each NTR core), disposal of the TMI stage and its engines after a single use is a costly and inefficient use of this high performance stage. By reconfiguring the engines for both propulsive thrust and modest power generation (referred to as "bimodal" operation), a robust, multiple burn, "power-rich" stage with propulsive Mars capture and reuse capability is possible. A family of modular bimodal NTR (BNTR) vehicles are described which utilize a common "core" stage powered by three 15 klbf BNTRs that produce 50 kWe of total electrical power for crew life support, an active refrigeration / reliquification system for long term, zero-boiloff liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage, and high data rate communications. An innovative, spine-like "saddle truss" design connects the core stage and payload element and is open underneath to allow supplemental "in-line" propellant tanks and contingency crew consumables to be easily jettisoned to improve vehicle performance. A "modified" DRM using BNTR transfer vehicles requires fewer transportation system elements, reduces IMLEO and mission risk, and simplifies space operations. By taking the next logical step--use of the BNTR for propulsive capture of all payload elements into Mars orbit--the power

  5. The initial exploration of Mars - Rationale for a return mission to Chryse Planitia and the Viking 1 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

    A discussion of the concepts behind planning a landing site on Mars is presented. On the basis of the engineering constraints and the scientific objectives which are likely to be imposed on the first few missions to the surface, reasons for supporting a return to Chryse Planitia and the Viking 1 landing site are given. Samples from the Hesperian ridged plains would be useful in establishing an absolute age for the present crater chronology, and samples of soils from the vicinity of the Viking 1 lander would be useful in determining the significance of the results from the Viking biological experiments. Soil samples would provide consistency between unmanned and manned missions, may contain fossil microorganisms, and could be useful in determining the mechanism responsible for outflow channel formation.

  6. Low Cost Mars Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Forecasting Proximal Femur and Wrist Fracture Caused by a Fall to the Side during Space Exploration Missions to the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewandowski, Beth E.; Myers, Jerry G.; Sulkowski, C.; Ruehl, K.; Licata, A.

    2008-01-01

    The possibility of bone fracture in space is a concern due to the negative impact it could have on a mission. The Bone Fracture Risk Module (BFxRM) developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center is a statistical simulation that quantifies the probability of bone fracture at specific skeletal locations for particular activities or events during space exploration missions. This paper reports fracture probability predictions for the proximal femur and wrist resulting from a fall to the side during an extravehicular activity (EVA) on specific days of lunar and Martian exploration missions. The risk of fracture at the proximal femur on any given day of the mission is small and fairly constant, although it is slightly greater towards the end of the mission, due to a reduction in proximal femur bone mineral density (BMD). The risk of wrist fracture is greater than the risk of hip fracture and there is an increased risk on Mars since it has a higher gravitational environment than the moon. The BFxRM can be used to help manage the risk of bone fracture in space as an engineering tool that is used during mission operation and resource planning.

  8. Mission Mars India's quest for the red planet

    CERN Document Server

    Lele, Ajey

    2014-01-01

    The objective of the book is to find an answer to the rationale behind the human quest for the Mars exploration. As a comprehensive assessment for this query is undertaken, it is realized that the basic question ‘Why Mars?’ seeks various responses from technological, economic and geopolitical to strategic perspectives. The book is essentially targeted to understand India’s desire to reach Mars. In the process, it also undertakes some implicit questioning of Mars programmes of various other states essentially to facilitate the setting up of the context for an assessment.   The book is divided into two parts: Part I: This covers both science and politics associated with Mars missions in global scenario and discusses the salient features of various Mars Missions undertaken by various countries. Part II: This provides details in regards to India’s Mars Mission.

  9. 21st century early mission concepts for Mars delivery and earth return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Manuel I.; Ilgen, Marc R.

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Microbiological cleanliness of the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Officine Galileo for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistelli, E.; Tacconi, M.

    1999-09-01

    The interest for Mars's exploration is continuously increasing. Officine Galileo is engaged in this endeavor with several programmes. The exobiology is, of course, a stimulating field; presently Officine Galileo is leading a team with Dasa and Tecnospazio, under ESA contract, for the definition of a facility for the search of extinct life on Mars through the detection of indicators of life. The system, to be embarked on a Mars lander, is based on a drill to take rock samples underneath the oxidised soil layer, on a sample preparation and distribution system devoted to condition and bring the sample to a set of analytical instruments to carry out in-situ chemical and mineralogical investigations. The facility benefits of the presence of optical microscope, gas chromatograph, several spectrometers (Raman, Mass, Mossbauer, APX-Ray), and further instruments. In the frame of planetology, Officine Galileo is collaborating with several Principal Investigators to the definition of a set of instruments to be integrated on the Mars 2003 Lander (a NASA-ASI cooperation). A drill (by Tecnospazio), with the main task to collect Mars soil samples for the subsequent storage and return to Earth, will have the capability to perform several soil analyses, e.g. temperature and near infrared reflectivity spectra down to 50 cm depth, surface thermal and electrical conductivity, sounding of electromagnetic properties down to a few hundreds meter, radioactivity. Moreover a kit of instruments for in-situ soil samples analyses if foreseen; it is based on a dust analyser, an IR spectrometer, a thermofluorescence sensor, and a radioactivity analyser. The attention to the Red Planet is growing, in parallel with the findings of present and planned missions. In the following years the technology of Officine Galileo will carry a strong contribution to the science of Mars.

  12. Noctis Landing: A Proposed Landing Site/Exploration Zone for Human Missions to the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Pascal; Acedillo, Shannen; Braham, Stephen; Brown, Adrian; Elphic, Richard; Fong, Terry; Glass, Brian; Hoftun, Christopher; Johansen, Brage W.; Lorber, Kira; hide

    2015-01-01

    ) offer many such outcrop options. -­- Identifiable stratigraphic contacts and cross-cutting relationships from which relative ages can be determined. In place and collapsed canyon walls in NL, TC, and IC offer such opportunities. -­- Other types of ROIs include access points to surrounding plateau top areas for longer term regional exploration. A key attribute of the proposed Noctic Landing site is its strategic location to allow the shortest possible surface excusions to Tharsis and Valles Marineris (VM). VM is the feature and region on Mars that exposes the longest record of Mars' geology and evolution through time. Tharsis is the region of Mars that has experienced the longest and most extensive volcanic history, and might still be volcanically active. Some of the youngest lava flows on Mars have been identified on the western flanks of the Tharsis Bulge, i.e., within driving range of future longrange (500 - 1000 km) pressurized rover traverses. The proposed site also contains ROIs that offer the following Resources (incl. Civil Engineering) characteristics: -­- Access to raw material that exhibits the potential to (1) be used as feedstock for water-generating in situ resource utilization (ISRU) processes and (2) yield significant quantities (greater than 100 MT) of water. The raw material is likely in the form of hydrated minerals, and possibly ice/regolith mix. The top of the raw material deposit is at the surface. -­- Access to a region where infrastructure can be emplaced or constructed. This region is less than 5 km from the LS and contains flat, stable terrain. The region exhibits evidence for an abundant source of loose regolith. Several deep pits in the area combined with the availability of sand suggests that some natural terrain features can be adapted for construction purposes. -­- Access to raw material that exhibits the potential to be used as metal feedstock for ISRU and construction purposes. Iron and sulfur-rich mineral surface deposits have been

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Cryogenic propulsion for lunar and Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redd, Larry

    1988-01-01

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

  16. 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).

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  19. Technology needs for manned Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Bartine, D.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Robotics and automation in Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, Roger D.; Sturms, Francis M., Jr.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Gamber, R. T.

    1992-01-01

    A new approach to the exploration of Mars is examined which relies on the use of smaller and simpler vehicles. The new strategy involves the following principles: limiting science objectives to retrieval of rock samples from several different but geologically homogeneous areas; making use of emerging microspacecraft technologies to significantly reduce the mass of hardware elements; simplifying missions to the absolutely essential elements; and managing risk through the employment of many identical independent pieces some of which may fail. The emerging technologies and their applications to robotic Mars missions are discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. Mars Mission Concepts: SAR and Solar Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsperman, M.; Klaus, K.; Smith, D. B.; Clifford, S. M.; Lawrence, S. J.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction: The time has come to leverage technology advances (including advances in autonomous operation and propulsion technology) to reduce the cost and increase the flight rate of planetary missions, while actively developing a scientific and engineering workforce to achieve national space objectives. Mission Science at Mars: A SAR imaging radar offers an ability to conduct high resolution investigations of the shallow (Models uniquely useful for exploration planning and science purposes. Since the SAR and the notional high-resolution stereo imaging system would be huge data volume producers - to maximize the science return we are currently considering the usage of laser communications systems; this notional spacecraft represents one pathway to evaluate the utility of laser communications in planetary exploration while providing useful science return.. Mission Concept: Using a common space craft for multiple missions reduces costs. Solar electric propulsion (SEP) provides the flexibility required for multiple mission objectives. SEP provides the greatest payload advantage albeit at the sacrifice of mission time. Our concept involves using a SEP enabled space craft (Boeing 702SP) with a highly capable SAR imager that also conducts autonomous rendezvous and docking experiments accomplished from Mars orbit. Our concept of operations is to launch on May 5, 2018 using a launch vehicle with 2000kg launch capacity with a C3 of 7.4. After reaching Mars it takes 145 days to spiral down to a 250 km orbit above the surface of Mars when Mars SAR operations begin. Summary/Conclusions: A robust and compelling Mars mission can be designed to meet the 2018 Mars launch window opportunity. Using advanced in-space power and propulsion technologies like High Power Solar Electric Propulsion provides enormous mission flexibility to execute the baseline science mission and conduct necessary Mars Sample Return Technology Demonstrations in Mars orbit on the same mission. An

  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. 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

  7. Mission analysis for the Martian Moons Explorer (MMX) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campagnola, Stefano; Yam, Chit Hong; Tsuda, Yuichi; Ogawa, Naoko; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro

    2018-05-01

    Mars Moon eXplorer (MMX) is JAXA's next candidate flagship mission to be launched in the early 2020s. MMX will explore the Martian moons and return a sample from Phobos. This paper presents the mission analysis work, focusing on the transfer legs and comparing several architectures, such as hybrid options with chemical and electric propulsion modules. The selected baseline is a chemical-propulsion Phobos sample return, which is discussed in detail with the launch- and return-window analysis. The trajectories are optimized with the jTOP software, using planetary ephemerides for Mars and the Earth; Earth re-entry constraints are modeled with simple analytical equations. Finally, we introduce an analytical approximation of the three-burn capture strategy used in the Mars system. The approximation can be used together with a Lambert solver to quickly determine the transfer Δ v costs.

  8. Writing the History of Space Missions: Rosetta and Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coradini, M.; Russo, A.

    2011-10-01

    Mars Express is the first planetary mission accomplished by the European Space Agency (ESA). Launched in early June 2003, the spacecraft entered Mars's orbit on Christmas day of that year, demonstrating the new European commitment to planetary exploration. Following a failed attempt in the mid-­-1980s, two valid proposals for a European mission to Mars were submitted to ESA's decision-­-making bodies in the early 1990s, in step with renewed international interest in Mars exploration. Both were rejected, however, in the competitive selection process for the agency's Science Programme. Eventually, the Mars Express proposal emerged during a severe budgetary crisis in the mid-­-1990s as an exemplar of a "flexible mission" that could reduce project costs and development time. Its successful maneuvering through financial difficulties and conflicting scientific interests was due to the new management approach as well as to the public appeal of Mars exploration. In addition to providing a case study in the functioning of the ESA's Science Programme, the story of Mars Express discussed in this paper provides a case study in the functioning of the European Space Agency's Science Programme and suggests some general considerations on the peculiar position of space research in the general field of the history of science and technology.

  9. 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.

  10. Planetary protection issues linked to human missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, A.

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

  11. Micro-Pressure Sensors for Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, David C.

    1996-01-01

    The joint research interchange effort was directed at the following principal areas: u further development of NASA-Ames' Mars Micro-meteorology mission concept as a viable NASA space mission especially with regard to the science and instrument specifications u interaction with the flight team from NASA's New Millennium 'Deep-Space 2' (DS-2) mission with regard to selection and design of micro-pressure sensors for Mars u further development of micro-pressure sensors suitable for Mars The research work undertaken in the course of the Joint Research Interchange should be placed in the context of an ongoing planetary exploration objective to characterize the climate system on Mars. In particular, a network of small probes globally-distributed on the surface of the planet has often been cited as the only way to address this particular science goal. A team from NASA Ames has proposed such a mission called the Micrometeorology mission, or 'Micro-met' for short. Surface pressure data are all that are required, in principle, to calculate the Martian atmospheric circulation, provided that simultaneous orbital measurements of the atmosphere are also obtained. Consequently, in the proposed Micro-met mission a large number of landers would measure barometric pressure at various locations around Mars, each equipped with a micro-pressure sensor. Much of the time on the JRI was therefore spent working with the engineers and scientists concerned with Micro-met to develop this particular mission concept into a more realistic proposition.

  12. MEDA, The New Instrument for Mars Environment Analysis for the Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Alvarez, Jose F.; Pena-Godino, Antonio; Rodriguez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; Cordoba, Elizabeth; MEDA Team

    2016-08-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Designed to advance high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, the mission will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission will also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) is an integrated full suite of sensors designed to address the Mars 2020 mission objectives of characterization of dust size and morphology and surface weather measurements.MEDA system consists of one control unit and 10 separated sensor enclosures distributed in different positions along the Mars 2020 rover. MEDA is composed of an ARM-based control computer with its flight software application, two wind sensors including mixed ASICs inside, five air temperature sensors, one sky pointing camera complemented with 16 photo- detectors looking up and around, one thermal infrared sensor using five measurement bands, one relative humidity sensor, one pressure sensor and the harness that interconnects all of them. It is a complex system intended to operate in one of the harshest environments possible, the Mars surface, for many years to come.This will become a short term reality thanks to the combination of a strong international science team driving the science and system requirements working together with a powerful industrial organization to design and build the instrument. The instrument is being built right now, with its Critical Design Review at the end of 2016, and the flight model to be provided in 2018.This paper summarizes the main scientific objective of the MEDA instrument, the links between the Mission and the MEDA science objectives, and the challenging environmental Mars requirements. It will then focus on the engineered definition of the instrument, showing the overall

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  14. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-01-01

    A workshop was convened to discuss the subject of planetary protection implementation for Mars lander missions. It was sponsored and organized by the Exobiology Implementation Team of the U.S./Russian Joint Working Group on Space Biomedical and Life Support Systems. The objective of the workshop was to discuss planetary protection issues for the Russian Mars '94 mission, which is currently under development, as well as for additional future Mars lander missions including the planned Mars '96 and U.S. MESUR Pathfinder and Network missions. A series of invited presentations was made to ensure that workshop participants had access to information relevant to the planned discussions. The topics summarized in this report include exobiology science objectives for Mars exploration, current international policy on planetary protection, planetary protection requirements developed for earlier missions, mission plans and designs for future U.S. and Russian Mars landers, biological contamination of spacecraft components, and techniques for spacecraft bioload reduction. In addition, the recent recommendations of the U.S. Space Studies Board (SSB) on this subject were also summarized. Much of the discussion focused on the recommendations of the SSB. The SSB proposed relaxing the planetary protection requirements for those Mars lander missions that do not contain life detection experiments, but maintaining Viking-like requirements for those missions that do contain life detection experiments. The SSB recommendations were found to be acceptable as a guide for future missions, although many questions and concerns about interpretation were raised and are summarized. Significant among the concerns was the need for more quantitative guidelines to prevent misinterpretation by project offices and better access to and use of the Viking data base of bioassays to specify microbial burden targets. Among the questions raised were how will the SSB recommendations be integrated with existing

  15. Planetary protection implementation on future Mars lander missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Robert; Devincenzi, Donald L.

    1993-06-01

    A workshop was convened to discuss the subject of planetary protection implementation for Mars lander missions. It was sponsored and organized by the Exobiology Implementation Team of the U.S./Russian Joint Working Group on Space Biomedical and Life Support Systems. The objective of the workshop was to discuss planetary protection issues for the Russian Mars '94 mission, which is currently under development, as well as for additional future Mars lander missions including the planned Mars '96 and U.S. MESUR Pathfinder and Network missions. A series of invited presentations was made to ensure that workshop participants had access to information relevant to the planned discussions. The topics summarized in this report include exobiology science objectives for Mars exploration, current international policy on planetary protection, planetary protection requirements developed for earlier missions, mission plans and designs for future U.S. and Russian Mars landers, biological contamination of spacecraft components, and techniques for spacecraft bioload reduction. In addition, the recent recommendations of the U.S. Space Studies Board (SSB) on this subject were also summarized. Much of the discussion focused on the recommendations of the SSB. The SSB proposed relaxing the planetary protection requirements for those Mars lander missions that do not contain life detection experiments, but maintaining Viking-like requirements for those missions that do contain life detection experiments. The SSB recommendations were found to be acceptable as a guide for future missions, although many questions and concerns about interpretation were raised and are summarized. Significant among the concerns was the need for more quantitative guidelines to prevent misinterpretation by project offices and better access to and use of the Viking data base of bio-assays to specify microbial burden targets. Among the questions raised were how will the SSB recommendations be integrated with existing

  16. The Human Mars Mission: Transportation assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kos, Larry

    1998-01-01

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

  17. Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criswell, Marvin E.; Race, M. S.; Rummel, J. D.; Baker, A.

    2005-01-01

    This workshop report, long delayed, is the first 21st century contribution to what will likely be a series of reports examining the effects of human exploration on the overall scientific study of Mars. The considerations of human-associated microbial contamination were last studied in a 1990 workshop ("Planetary Protection Issues and Future Mars Missions," NASA CP-10086, 1991), but the timing of that workshop allowed neither a careful examination of the full range of issues, nor an appreciation for the Mars that has been revealed by the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder missions. Future workshops will also have the advantage of Mars Odyssey, the Mars Exploration Rover missions, and ESA's Mars Express, but the Pingree Park workshop reported here had both the NCR's (1992) concern that "Missions carrying humans to Mars will contaminate the planet" and over a decade of careful study of human exploration objectives to guide them and to reconcile. A daunting challenge, and one that is not going to be simple (as the working title of this meeting, "When Ecologies Collide?" might suggest), it is clear that the planetary protection issues will have to be addressed to enable human explorers to safely and competently extend out knowledge about Mars, and its potential as a home for life whether martian or human.

  18. Life support approaches for Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  19. Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

    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

  20. 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.

  1. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  2. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  3. Deep Space 2: The Mars Microprobe Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smrekar, Suzanne; Catling, David; Lorenz, Ralph; Magalhães, Julio; Moersch, Jeffrey; Morgan, Paul; Murray, Bruce; Presley-Holloway, Marsha; Yen, Albert; Zent, Aaron; Blaney, Diana

    The Mars Microprobe Mission will be the second of the New Millennium Program's technology development missions to planetary bodies. The mission consists of two penetrators that weigh 2.4 kg each and are being carried as a piggyback payload on the Mars Polar Lander cruise ring. The spacecraft arrive at Mars on December 3, 1999. The two identical penetrators will impact the surface at ~190 m/s and penetrate up to 0.6 m. They will land within 1 to 10 km of each other and ~50 km from the Polar Lander on the south polar layered terrain. The primary objective of the mission is to demonstrate technologies that will enable future science missions and, in particular, network science missions. A secondary goal is to acquire science data. A subsurface evolved water experiment and a thermal conductivity experiment will estimate the water content and thermal properties of the regolith. The atmospheric density, pressure, and temperature will be derived using descent deceleration data. Impact accelerometer data will be used to determine the depth of penetration, the hardness of the regolith, and the presence or absence of 10 cm scale layers.

  4. Mars mission opportunity and transit time sensitivity for a nuclear thermal rocket propulsion application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Young, A.C.; Mulqueen, J.A.; Nishimuta, E.L.; Emrich, W.J.

    1993-01-01

    President George Bush's 1989 challenge to America to support the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) of ''Back to the Moon and Human Mission to Mars'' gives the space industry an opportunity to develop effective and efficient space transportation systems. This paper presents stage performance and requirements for a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) Mars transportation system to support the human Mars mission of the SEI. Two classes of Mars mission profiles are considered in developing the NTR propulsion vehicle performance and requirements. The two Mars mission classes include the opposition class and conjunction class. The opposition class mission is associated with relatively short Mars stay times ranging from 30 to 90 days and total mission duration of 350 to 600 days. The conjunction class mission is associated with much longer Mars stay times ranging from 500 to 600 days and total mission durations of 875 to 1,000 days. Vehicle mass scaling equations are used to determine the NTR stage mass, size, and performance range required for different Mars mission opportunities and for different Mars mission durations. Mission opportunities considered include launch years 2010 to 2018. The 2010 opportunity is the most demanding launch opportunity and the 2018 opportunity is the least demanding opportunity. NTR vehicle mass and size sensitivity to NTR engine thrust level, engine specific impulse, NTR engine thrust-to-weight ratio, and Mars surface payload are presented. NTR propulsion parameter ranges include those associated with NERVA, particle bed reactor (PBR), low-pressure, and ceramic-metal-type engine design

  5. Mars mission opportunity and transit time sensitivity for a nuclear thermal rocket propulsion application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Archie C.; Mulqueen, John A.; Nishimuta, Ena L.; Emrich, William J.

    1993-01-01

    President George Bush's 1989 challenge to America to support the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) of ``Back to the Moon and Human Mission to Mars'' gives the space industry an opportunity to develop effective and efficient space transportation systems. This paper presents stage performance and requirements for a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) Mars transportation system to support the human Mars mission of the SEI. Two classes of Mars mission profiles are considered in developing the NTR propulsion vehicle performance and requirements. The two Mars mission classes include the opposition class and conjunction class. The opposition class mission is associated with relatively short Mars stay times ranging from 30 to 90 days and total mission duration of 350 to 600 days. The conjunction class mission is associated with much longer Mars stay times ranging from 500 to 600 days and total mission durations of 875 to 1,000 days. Vehicle mass scaling equations are used to determine the NTR stage mass, size, and performance range required for different Mars mission opportunities and for different Mars mission durations. Mission opportunities considered include launch years 2010 to 2018. The 2010 opportunity is the most demanding launch opportunity and the 2018 opportunity is the least demanding opportunity. NTR vehicle mass and size sensitivity to NTR engine thrust level, engine specific impulse, NTR engine thrust-to-weight ratio, and Mars surface payload are presented. NTR propulsion parameter ranges include those associated with NERVA, particle bed reactor (PBR), low-pressure, and ceramic-metal-type engine design.

  6. Integrated Human-Robotic Missions to the Moon and Mars: Mission Operations Design Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishkin, Andrew; Lee, Young; Korth, David; LeBlanc, Troy

    2007-01-01

    For most of the history of space exploration, human and robotic programs have been independent, and have responded to distinct requirements. The NASA Vision for Space Exploration calls for the return of humans to the Moon, and the eventual human exploration of Mars; the complexity of this range of missions will require an unprecedented use of automation and robotics in support of human crews. The challenges of human Mars missions, including roundtrip communications time delays of 6 to 40 minutes, interplanetary transit times of many months, and the need to manage lifecycle costs, will require the evolution of a new mission operations paradigm far less dependent on real-time monitoring and response by an Earthbound operations team. Robotic systems and automation will augment human capability, increase human safety by providing means to perform many tasks without requiring immediate human presence, and enable the transfer of traditional mission control tasks from the ground to crews. Developing and validating the new paradigm and its associated infrastructure may place requirements on operations design for nearer-term lunar missions. The authors, representing both the human and robotic mission operations communities, assess human lunar and Mars mission challenges, and consider how human-robot operations may be integrated to enable efficient joint operations, with the eventual emergence of a unified exploration operations culture.

  7. International cooperation for Mars exploration and sample return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Eugene H.; Boynton, William V.; Cameron, A. G. W.; Carr, Michael H.; Kitchell, Jennifer H.; Mazur, Peter; Pace, Norman R.; Prinn, Ronald G.; Solomon, Sean C.; Wasserburg, Gerald J.

    1990-01-01

    The National Research Council's Space Studies Board has previously recommended that the next major phase of Mars exploration for the United States involve detailed in situ investigations of the surface of Mars and the return to earth for laboratory analysis of selected Martian surface samples. More recently, the European space science community has expressed general interest in the concept of cooperative Mars exploration and sample return. The USSR has now announced plans for a program of Mars exploration incorporating international cooperation. If the opportunity becomes available to participate in Mars exploration, interest is likely to emerge on the part of a number of other countries, such as Japan and Canada. The Space Studies Board's Committee on Cooperative Mars Exploration and Sample Return was asked by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to examine and report on the question of how Mars sample return missions might best be structured for effective implementation by NASA along with international partners. The committee examined alternatives ranging from scientific missions in which the United States would take a substantial lead, with international participation playing only an ancillary role, to missions in which international cooperation would be a basic part of the approach, with the international partners taking on comparably large mission responsibilities. On the basis of scientific strategies developed earlier by the Space Studies Board, the committee considered the scientific and technical basis of such collaboration and the most mutually beneficial arrangements for constructing successful cooperative missions, particularly with the USSR.

  8. Solar-Electrochemical Power System for a Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Withrow, Colleen A.; Morales, Nelson

    1994-01-01

    This report documents a sizing study of a variety of solar electrochemical power systems for the intercenter NASA study known as 'Mars Exploration Reference Mission'. Power systems are characterized for a variety of rovers, habitation modules, and space transport vehicles based on requirements derived from the reference mission. The mission features a six-person crew living on Mars for 500 days. Mission power requirements range from 4 kWe to 120 kWe. Primary hydrogen and oxygen fuel cells, regenerative hydrogen and oxygen fuel cells, sodium sulfur batteries advanced photovoltaic solar arrays of gallium arsenide on germanium with tracking and nontracking mechanisms, and tent solar arrays of gallium arsenide on germanium are evaluated and compared.

  9. The Impact of Mission Duration on a Mars Orbital Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Dale; Earle, Kevin; Cirillo, Bill; Jones, Christopher; Klovstad, Jordan; Grande, Melanie; Stromgren, Chel

    2017-01-01

    Performance alone is insufficient to assess the total impact of changing mission parameters on a space mission concept, architecture, or campaign; the benefit, cost, and risk must also be understood. This paper examines the impact to benefit, cost, and risk of changing the total mission duration of a human Mars orbital mission. The changes in the sizing of the crew habitat, including consumables and spares, was assessed as a function of duration, including trades of different life support strategies; this was used to assess the impact on transportation system requirements. The impact to benefit is minimal, while the impact on cost is dominated by the increases in transportation costs to achieve shorter total durations. The risk is expected to be reduced by decreasing total mission duration; however, large uncertainty exists around the magnitude of that reduction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori M; Westall, Frances

    2010-11-01

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

  16. SEP Mission Design Space for Mars Orbiters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, Ryan C.; Nicholas, Austin K.

    2015-01-01

    The advancement of solar-electric propulsion (SEP) technologies and larger, light-weight solar arrays offer a tremendous advantage to Mars orbiters in terms of both mass and timeline flexibility. These advantages are multiplied for round-trip orbiters (e.g. potential Mars sample return) where a large total Delta V would be required. In this paper we investigate the mission design characteristics of mission concepts utilizing various combinations and types of SEP thrusters, solar arrays, launch vehicles, launch dates, arrival dates, etc. SEP allows for greater than 50% more mass delivered and launch windows of months to years. We also present the SEP analog to the ballistic Porkchop plot - the "Bacon" plot.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, S. J. (Editor); Gaddis, L. R.; Joy, K. H.; Petro, N. E.

    2017-01-01

    The announcement of the Vision for Space Exploration in 2004 sparked a resurgence in lunar missions worldwide. Since the publication of the first "New Views of the Moon" volume, as of 2017 there have been 11 science-focused missions to the Moon. Each of these missions explored different aspects of the Moon's geology, environment, and resource potential. The results from this flotilla of missions have revolutionized lunar science, and resulted in a profoundly new emerging understanding of the Moon. The New Views of the Moon II initiative itself, which is designed to engage the large and vibrant lunar science community to integrate the results of these missions into new consensus viewpoints, is a direct outcome of this impressive array of missions. The "Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006" chapter will "set the stage" for the rest of the volume, introducing the planetary community at large to the diverse array of missions that have explored the Moon in the last decade. Content: This chapter will encompass the following missions: Kaguya; ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun); Chang’e-1; Chandrayaan-1; Moon Impact Probe; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS); Chang’e-2; Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL); Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE); Chang’e-3.

  19. 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.

  20. Exploration Mission Benefits From Logistics Reduction Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Logistics Reduction Technologies for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Implementing a Science-driven Mars Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, J. B.

    2001-12-01

    NASA's newly restructured Mars Exploration Program (MEP) was developed on the basis of the goals, objectives, investigations, and prioritizations established by the Mars Exploration Payload Analysis Group (as summarized previously by Greeley et al., 2001). The underlying scientific strategy is linked to common threads which include the many roles water has played on and within Mars as a "system". The implementation strategy that has been adopted relies heavily on an ever-sharpening program of reconnaissance, beginning with the legacy of the Mars Global Surveyor, continuing with the multispectral and compositional observations of the Mars Odyssey orbiter, and extending to a first step in surface-based reconnaissance with the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers. The results of MGS and Odyssey will serve to focus the trade space of localities where the record, for example, of persistent surface water may have been preserved in a mineralogical sense. The 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will further downselect the subset of sites on Mars where evidence of depositional patterns and aqueous mineralogies (i.e., diagenetic minerals) are most striking at scales as fine as tens to hundreds of meters. Reconnaissance will move to the surface and shallow subsurface in 2007 with the Mars "Smart Lander" (MSL), at which time an extensive array of mobile scientific exploration tools will be used to examine a locality at 10km traverse scales, ultimately asking scientific questions which can be classed as paleobiological (i.e., life inference). Further orbital reconnaissance may be undertaken in 2009, perhaps involving targeted multi-wavelength SAR imaging, in anticipation of a precisely targeted Mars Sample Return mission as early as 2011. This sequence of core program MEP missions will be amplified by the selection of PI-led SCOUT missions, starting in 2007, and continuing every other Mars launch opportunity.

  6. Mars Conjunction Crewed Missions With a Reusable Hybrid Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Raymond G.; Strange, Nathan J.; Qu, Min; Hatten, Noble

    2015-01-01

    A new crew Mars architecture has been developed that provides many potential benefits for NASA-led human Mars moons and surface missions beginning in the 2030s or 2040s. By using both chemical and electric propulsion systems where they are most beneficial and maintaining as much orbital energy as possible, the Hybrid spaceship that carries crew round trip to Mars is pre-integrated before launch and can be delivered to orbit by a single launch. After check-out on the way to cis-lunar space, it is refueled and can travel round trip to Mars in less than 1100 days, with a minimum of 300 days in Mars vicinity (opportunity dependent). The entire spaceship is recaptured into cis-lunar space and can be reused. The spaceship consists of a habitat for 4 crew attached to the Hybrid propulsion stage which uses long duration electric and chemical in-space propulsion technologies that are in use today. The hybrid architecture's con-ops has no in-space assembly of the crew transfer vehicle and requires only rendezvous of crew in a highly elliptical Earth orbit for arrival at and departure from the spaceship. The crew transfer vehicle does not travel to Mars so it only needs be able to last in space for weeks and re-enter at lunar velocities. The spaceship can be refueled and resupplied for multiple trips to Mars (every other opportunity). The hybrid propulsion stage for crewed transits can also be utilized for cargo delivery to Mars every other opportunity in a reusable manner to pre-deploy infrastructure required for Mars vicinity operations. Finally, the Hybrid architecture provides evolution options for mitigating key long-duration space exploration risks, including crew microgravity and radiation exposure.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Joseph F.; Smyth, David E.

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Impact of Utilizing Photos and Deimos as Waypoints for Mars Human Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciolo, Alicia D.; Brown, Kendall

    2015-01-01

    Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars, are interesting exploration destinations that offer extensibility of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) technologies. Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), asteroid rendezvous and docking, and surface operations can be used to land on and explore the moons of Mars. The close Mars vicinity of Phobos and Deimos warrant examining them as waypoints, or intermediate staging orbits, for Mars surface missions. This paper outlines the analysis performed to determine the mass impact of using the moons of Mars both as an intermediate staging point for exploration as well as for in-situ recourse utilization, namely propellant, to determine if the moons are viable options to include in the broader Mars surface exploration architecture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Planetary protection issues related to human missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, A.; Arnould, J.

    2008-09-01

    In accordance with the United Nations Outer Space Treaties [United Nations, Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, UN doc A/RES/34/68, resolution 38/68 of December 1979], currently maintained and promulgated by the Committee on Space Research [COSPAR Planetary Protection Panel, Planetary Protection Policy accepted by the COSPAR Council and Bureau, 20 October 2002, amended 24 March 2005, http://www.cosparhq.org/scistr/PPPolicy.htm], missions exploring the Solar system must meet planetary protection requirements. Planetary protection aims to protect celestial bodies from terrestrial contamination and to protect the Earth environment from potential biological contamination carried by returned samples or space systems that have been in contact with an extraterrestrial environment. From an exobiology perspective, Mars is one of the major targets, and several missions are currently in operation, in transit, or scheduled for its exploration. Some of them include payloads dedicated to the detection of life or traces of life. The next step, over the coming years, will be to return samples from Mars to Earth, with a view to increasing our knowledge in preparation for the first manned mission that is likely to take place within the next few decades. Robotic missions to Mars shall meet planetary protection specifications, currently well documented, and planetary protection programs are implemented in a very reliable manner given that experience in the field spans some 40 years. With regards to sample return missions, a set of stringent requirements has been approved by COSPAR [COSPAR Planetary Protection Panel, Planetary Protection Policy accepted by the COSPAR Council and Bureau, 20 October 2002, amended 24 March 2005, http://www.cosparhq.org/scistr/PPPolicy.htm], and technical challenges must now be overcome in order to preserve the Earth’s biosphere from any eventual contamination risk. In addition to the human dimension of

  13. The CanMars Analogue Mission: Lessons Learned for Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osinski, G. R.; Beaty, D.; Battler, M.; Caudill, C.; Francis, R.; Haltigin, T.; Hipkin, V.; Pilles, E.

    2018-04-01

    We present an overview and lessons learned for Mars Sample Return from CanMars — an analogue mission that simulated a Mars 2020-like cache mission. Data from 39 sols of operations conducted in the Utah desert in 2015 and 2016 are presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Muon radiography for exploration of Mars geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kedar

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Muon radiography is a technique that uses naturally occurring showers of muons (penetrating particles generated by cosmic rays to image the interior of large-scale geological structures in much the same way as standard X-ray radiography is used to image the interior of smaller objects. Recent developments and application of the technique to terrestrial volcanoes have demonstrated that a low-power, passive muon detector can peer deep into geological structures up to several kilometers in size, and provide crisp density profile images of their interior at ten meter scale resolution. Preliminary estimates of muon production on Mars indicate that the near horizontal Martian muon flux, which could be used for muon radiography, is as strong or stronger than that on Earth, making the technique suitable for exploration of numerous high priority geological targets on Mars. The high spatial resolution of muon radiography also makes the technique particularly suited for the discovery and delineation of Martian caverns, the most likely planetary environment for biological activity. As a passive imaging technique, muon radiography uses the perpetually present background cosmic ray radiation as the energy source for probing the interior of structures from the surface of the planet. The passive nature of the measurements provides an opportunity for a low power and low data rate instrument for planetary exploration that could operate as a scientifically valuable primary or secondary instrument in a variety of settings, with minimal impact on the mission's other instruments and operation.

  1. Radiation protection for human missions to the Moon and Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simonsen, L.C.; Nealy, J.E.

    1991-02-01

    Radiation protection assessments are performed for advanced Lunar and Mars manned missions. The Langley cosmic ray transport code and the nucleon transport code are used to quantify the transport and attenuation of galactic cosmic rays and solar proton flares through various shielding media. Galactic cosmic radiation at solar maximum and minimum, as well as various flare scenarios are considered. Propagation data for water, aluminum, liquid hydrogen, lithium hydride, lead, and lunar and Martian regolith (soil) are included. Shield thickness and shield mass estimates required to maintain incurred doses below 30 day and annual limits (as set for Space Station Freedom and used as a guide for space exploration) are determined for simple geometry transfer vehicles. On the surface of Mars, dose estimates are presented for crews with their only protection being the carbon dioxide atmosphere and for crews protected by shielding provided by Martian regolith for a candidate habitat

  2. Preparing for Humans at Mars, MPPG Updates to Strategic Knowledge Gaps and Collaboration with Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, John; Wargo, Michael J.; Beaty, David

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Program Planning Group (MPPG) was an agency wide effort, chartered in March 2012 by the NASA Associate Administrator for Science, in collaboration with NASA's Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, the Chief Scientist, and the Chief Technologist. NASA tasked the MPPG to develop foundations for a program-level architecture for robotic exploration of Mars that is consistent with the President's challenge of sending humans to the Mars system in the decade of the 2030s and responsive to the primary scientific goals of the 2011 NRC Decadal Survey for Planetary Science. The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) also sponsored a Precursor measurement Strategy Analysis Group (P-SAG) to revisit prior assessments of required precursor measurements for the human exploration of Mars. This paper will discuss the key results of the MPPG and P-SAG efforts to update and refine our understanding of the Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs) required to successfully conduct human Mars missions.

  3. Small Habitat Commonality Reduces Cost for Human Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Brand N.; Lepsch, Roger; Martin, John; Howard, Robert; Rucker, Michelle; Zapata, Edgar; McCleskey, Carey; Howe, Scott; Mary, Natalie; Nerren, Philip (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    Most view the Apollo Program as expensive. It was. But, a human mission to Mars will be orders of magnitude more difficult and costly. Recently, NASA's Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) mapped out a step-wise approach for exploring Mars and the Mars-moon system. It is early in the planning process but because approximately 80% of the total life cycle cost is committed during preliminary design, there is an effort to emphasize cost reduction methods up front. Amongst the options, commonality across small habitat elements shows promise for consolidating the high bow-wave costs of Design, Development, Test and Evaluation (DDT&E) while still accommodating each end-item's functionality. In addition to DDT&E, there are other cost and operations benefits to commonality such as reduced logistics, simplified infrastructure integration and with inter-operability, improved safety and simplified training. These benefits are not without a cost. Some habitats are sub-optimized giving up unique attributes for the benefit of the overall architecture and because the first item sets the course for those to follow, rapidly developing technology may be excluded. The small habitats within the EMC include the pressurized crew cabins for the ascent vehicle,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  5. Mission to Mars: Plans and concepts for the first manned landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberg, J. E.

    The manned exploration and settlement of Mars is discussed. The topics considered include: the rationale for a manned landing; spaceships and propulsion for getting to Mars; human factors such as psychological stress, the effects of prolonged weightlessness, and radiation dangers; the return from Mars; site selection and relevant criteria; scientific problems that can be studied by landing men on Mars. Also addressed are economic resources of air and water on Mars and their relevance for transportation and mission planning; the exploration and utilization of Phobos and Deimos; cost factors; the possibilities of the Russians' going to Mars; political and social issues; colonies on Mars; and manipulation of the Martian environment to make it more habitable.

  6. Manned Mars mission communication and data management systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Ronald E.

    1986-01-01

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

  7. A Vision for the Exploration of Mars: Robotic Precursors Followed by Humans to Mars Orbit in 2033

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellers, Piers J.; Garvin, James B.; Kinney, Anne L.; Amato, Michael J.; White, Nicholas E.

    2012-01-01

    The reformulation of the Mars program gives NASA a rare opportunity to deliver a credible vision in which humans, robots, and advancements in information technology combine to open the deep space frontier to Mars. There is a broad challenge in the reformulation of the Mars exploration program that truly sets the stage for: 'a strategic collaboration between the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and the Office of the Chief Technologist, for the next several decades of exploring Mars'.Any strategy that links all three challenge areas listed into a true long term strategic program necessitates discussion. NASA's SMD and HEOMD should accept the President's challenge and vision by developing an integrated program that will enable a human expedition to Mars orbit in 2033 with the goal of returning samples suitable for addressing the question of whether life exists or ever existed on Mars

  8. Mars Exploration Rovers Landing Dispersion Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  9. Mars Surface Systems Common Capabilities and Challenges for Human Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toups, Larry; Hoffman, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes the current status of common systems and operations as they are applied to actual locations on Mars that are representative of Exploration Zones (EZ) - NASA's term for candidate locations where humans could land, live and work on the Martian surface. Given NASA's current concepts for human missions to Mars, an EZ is a collection of Regions of Interest (ROIs) located within approximately 100 kilometers of a centralized landing site. ROIs are areas that are relevant for scientific investigation and/or development/maturation of capabilities and resources necessary for a sustainable human presence. An EZ also contains a habitation site that will be used by multiple human crews during missions to explore and utilize the ROIs within the EZ. The Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC), a description of NASA's current approach to these human Mars missions, assumes that a single EZ will be identified within which NASA will establish a substantial and durable surface infrastructure that will be used by multiple human crews. The process of identifying and eventually selecting this single EZ will likely take many years to finalized. Because of this extended EZ selection process it becomes important to evaluate the current suite of surface systems and operations being evaluated for the EMC as they are likely to perform at a variety of proposed EZ locations and for the types of operations - both scientific and development - that are proposed for these candidate EZs. It is also important to evaluate proposed EZs for their suitability to be explored or developed given the range of capabilities and constraints for the types of surface systems and operations being considered within the EMC. Four locations identified in the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG)'s Human Exploration of Mars Science Analysis Group (HEM-SAG) report are used in this paper as representative of candidate EZs that will emerge from the selection process that NASA has initiated. A field

  10. Atrial Fibrillation During an Exploration Class Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipsett, Mark; Hamilton, Douglas; Lemery, Jay; Polk, James

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews a possible scenario of an astronaut having Atrial Fibrillation during a Mars Mission. In the case review the presentation asks several questions about the alternatives for treatment, medications and the ramifications of the decisions.

  11. Cryogenic Fluid Management Technology for Moon and Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Michael P.; Gaby, Joseph D.; Salerno, Louis J.; Sutherlin, Steven G.

    2010-01-01

    In support of the U.S. Space Exploration Policy, focused cryogenic fluid management technology efforts are underway within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Under the auspices of the Exploration Technology Development Program, cryogenic fluid management technology efforts are being conducted by the Cryogenic Fluid Management Project. Cryogenic Fluid Management Project objectives are to develop storage, transfer, and handling technologies for cryogens to support high performance demands of lunar, and ultimately, Mars missions in the application areas of propulsion, surface systems, and Earth-based ground operations. The targeted use of cryogens and cryogenic technologies for these application areas is anticipated to significantly reduce propellant launch mass and required on-orbit margins, to reduce and even eliminate storage tank boil-off losses for long term missions, to economize ground pad storage and transfer operations, and to expand operational and architectural operations at destination. This paper organizes Cryogenic Fluid Management Project technology efforts according to Exploration Architecture target areas, and discusses the scope of trade studies, analytical modeling, and test efforts presently underway, as well as future plans, to address those target areas. The target areas are: liquid methane/liquid oxygen for propelling the Altair Lander Ascent Stage, liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen for propelling the Altair Lander Descent Stage and Ares V Earth Departure Stage, liquefaction, zero boil-off, and propellant scavenging for Lunar Surface Systems, cold helium and zero boil-off technologies for Earth-Based Ground Operations, and architecture definition studies for long term storage and on-orbit transfer and pressurization of LH2, cryogenic Mars landing and ascent vehicles, and cryogenic production via in situ resource utilization on Mars.

  12. Nuclear technologies for Moon and Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1991-01-01

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

  13. Mars Sample Return as a Feed-Forward into Planetary Protection for Crewed Missions to the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spry, J. A.; Siegel, B.

    2018-04-01

    PP implementation is a required part of crewed exploration of Mars. Determining how PP is achieved is contingent on improved knowledge of Mars, best obtained in part by analysis of martian material of known provenance, as part of a Mars Sample Return mission.

  14. The Icebreaker Mission to Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Mars Navigator: An Interactive Multimedia Program about Mars, Aerospace Engineering, Astronomy, and the JPL Mars Missions. [CD-ROM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramoll, Kurt

    This CD-ROM introduces basic astronomy and aerospace engineering by examining the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions to Mars. It contains numerous animations and narrations in addition to detailed graphics and text. Six interactive laboratories are included to help understand topics such as the…

  16. Applications of Surface Penetrating Radar for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Calculation of Operations Efficiency Factors for Mars Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubach, Sharon

    2014-01-01

    The duration of a mission--and subsequently, the minimum spacecraft lifetime--is a key component in designing the capabilities of a spacecraft during mission formulation. However, determining the duration is not simply a function of how long it will take the spacecraft to execute the activities needed to achieve mission objectives. Instead, the effects of the interaction between the spacecraft and ground operators must also be taken into account. This paper describes a method, using "operations efficiency factors", to account for these effects for Mars surface missions. Typically, this level of analysis has not been performed until much later in the mission development cycle, and has not been able to influence mission or spacecraft design. Further, the notion of moving to sustainable operations during Prime Mission--and the effect that change would have on operations productivity and mission objective choices--has not been encountered until the most recent rover missions (MSL, the (now-cancelled) joint NASA-ESA 2018 Mars rover, and the proposed rover for Mars 2020). Since MSL had a single control center and sun-synchronous relay assets (like MER), estimates of productivity derived from MER prime and extended missions were used. However, Mars 2018's anticipated complexity (there would have been control centers in California and Italy, and a non-sun-synchronous relay asset) required the development of an explicit model of operations efficiency that could handle these complexities. In the case of the proposed Mars 2018 mission, the model was employed to assess the mission return of competing operations concepts, and as an input to component lifetime requirements. In this paper we provide examples of how to calculate the operations efficiency factor for a given operational configuration, and how to apply the factors to surface mission scenarios. This model can be applied to future missions to enable early effective trades between operations design, science mission

  18. 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

  19. Exploring Regolith Depth and Cycling on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Enabling Tethered Exploration on Mars, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Strong science motivations exist for exploring hard to reach terrain on Mars and the leading systems proposed to do so require tethers. While tethers are used...

  2. Comparison of Propulsion Options for Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Water on Mars: Evidence from MER Mission Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    The Viking and the Mars Exploration Rover missions observed that the surface of Mars is encrusted by a thinly cemented layer, or "duricrust". Elemental analyzes at five sites on Mars show that these soils have sulfur content and chlorine content consistent with the presence of sulfates and halides as mineral cements. The soil is highly enriched in the salt-forming elements compared with rock. Analysis of the soil cementation indicates some features which may be evidence of liquid water. At both MER sites, duricrust textures revealed by the Microscopic Imager show features including the presence of fine sand-sized grains, some of which may be aggregates of fine silt and clay, surrounded by a pervasive light colored material that is associated with microtubular structures and networks of microfractures. Stereo views of undisturbed duricrust surfaces reveal rugged microrelief between 2-3 mm and minimal loose material. Comparisons of microscopic images of duricrust soils obtain before and after placement of the Mossbauer spectrometer indicate differing degrees of compaction and cementation. Two models of a transient water hypothesis are offered, a "top down" hypothesis that emphasizes the surface deposition of frost, melting and downward migration of liquid water and a "bottom up" alternative that proposes the presence of interstitial ice/brine, with the upward capillary migration of liquid water. The viability of both of these models ultimately hinges on the availability of seasonally transient liquid water for brief periods.

  4. 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.

  5. Strategies for the sustained human exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Damon Frederick

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

  6. Mars Surface System Common Capabilities and Challenges for Human Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Stephen J.; Toups, Larry

    2016-01-01

    NASA has begun a process to identify and evaluate candidate locations where humans could land, live and work on the martian surface. These locations are referred to as Exploration Zones (EZs). Given current mission concepts, an EZ is a collection of Regions of Interest (ROIs) that are located within approximately 100 kilometers of a centralized landing site. ROIs are areas that are relevant for scientific investigation and/or development/maturation of capabilities and resources necessary for a sustainable human presence. The EZ also contains a landing site and a habitation site that will be used by multiple human crews during missions to explore and utilize the ROIs within the EZ. In parallel with this process, NASA continues to make progress on the Evolvable Mars Campaign examining alternatives that can pioneer an extended human presence on Mars that is Earth independent. This involves ongoing assessments of surface systems and operations to enable a permanent, sustainable human presence. Because of the difficulty in getting equipment and supplies to the surface of Mars, part of these assessments involve identifying those systems and processes that can perform in multiple, sometimes completely unrelated, situations. These assessments have been performed in a very generic surface mission carried out at a very generic surface location. As specific candidate EZs are identified it becomes important to evaluate the current suite of surface systems and operations as they are likely to perform for the specific locations and for the types of operations - both scientific and development - that are proposed for these EZs. It is also important to evaluate the proposed EZs for their suitability to be explored or developed given the range of capabilities and constraints for the types of surface systems and operations being considered within the EMC. This means looking at setting up and operating a field station at a central location within the EZ as well as traversing to and

  7. Study of space reactors for exploration missions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  8. Study of space reactors for exploration missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cliquet, Elisa; Ruault, Jean-Marc; Masson, Frederic; Roux, Jean-Pierre; Paris, Nicolas; Cazale, Brice; Manifacier, Laurent; Poinot-Salanon, Christine

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John B.

    2000-01-01

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

  11. Private ground infrastructures for space exploration missions simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souchier, Alain

    2010-06-01

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

  12. Exploring Mars: The Ares Payload Service (APS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Justin; Lusignan, Bruce

    1999-08-01

    design notably an improved re-entry cooling system and fueling stability analysis were done this year. More technical detail and a proposed international consortium to develop the SSTO is presented in another session of this year's Mars convention. We believe that there will be no human exploration of Mars based on the Shuttle or Expendable launch vehicles, and no resources available except for a cooperative international program. However, just as the world is learning to cooperate in peacekeeping, we hold out the hope that similar cooperation will develop for Mars exploration. With that in mind, this year we asked the question- "How will the human mission get to Mars if it has to use the SsTO for transportation?"

  13. Exploring Mars: the Ares Payload Service (APS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Justin; Lusignan, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    design notably an improved re-entry cooling system and fueling stability analysis were done this year. More technical detail and a proposed international consortium to develop the SSTO is presented in another session of this year's Mars convention. We believe that there will be no human exploration of Mars based on the Shuttle or Expendable launch vehicles, and no resources available except for a cooperative international program. However, just as the world is learning to cooperate in peacekeeping, we hold out the hope that similar cooperation will develop for Mars exploration. With that in mind, this year we asked the question- "How will the human mission get to Mars if it has to use the SsTO for transportation?"

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Mars Pathfinder Microrover- Implementing a Low Cost Planetary Mission Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matijevic, J.

    1996-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder Microrover Flight Experiment (MFEX) is a NASA Office of Space Access and Technology (OSAT) flight experiment which has been delivered and integrated with the Mars Pathfinder (MPF) lander and spacecraft system. The total cost of the MFEX mission, including all subsystem design and development, test, integration with the MPF lander and operations on Mars has been capped at $25 M??is paper discusses the process and the implementation scheme which has resulted in the development of this first Mars rover.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Trades Between Opposition and Conjunction Class Trajectories for Early Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattfeld, Bryan; Stromgren, Chel; Shyface, Hilary; Komar, David R.; Cirillo, William; Goodliff, Kandyce

    2014-01-01

    Candidate human missions to Mars, including NASA's Design Reference Architecture 5.0, have focused on conjunction-class missions with long crewed durations and minimum energy trajectories to reduce total propellant requirements and total launch mass. However, in order to progressively reduce risk and gain experience in interplanetary mission operations, it may be desirable that initial human missions to Mars, whether to the surface or to Mars orbit, have shorter total crewed durations and minimal stay times at the destination. Opposition-class missions require larger total energy requirements relative to conjunction-class missions but offer the potential for much shorter mission durations, potentially reducing risk and overall systems performance requirements. This paper will present a detailed comparison of conjunction-class and opposition-class human missions to Mars vicinity with a focus on how such missions could be integrated into the initial phases of a Mars exploration campaign. The paper will present the results of a trade study that integrates trajectory/propellant analysis, element design, logistics and sparing analysis, and risk assessment to produce a comprehensive comparison of opposition and conjunction exploration mission constructs. Included in the trade study is an assessment of the risk to the crew and the trade offs between the mission duration and element, logistics, and spares mass. The analysis of the mission trade space was conducted using four simulation and analysis tools developed by NASA. Trajectory analyses for Mars destination missions were conducted using VISITOR (Versatile ImpulSive Interplanetary Trajectory OptimizeR), an in-house tool developed by NASA Langley Research Center. Architecture elements were evaluated using EXploration Architecture Model for IN-space and Earth-to-orbit (EXAMINE), a parametric modeling tool that generates exploration architectures through an integrated systems model. Logistics analysis was conducted using

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  20. 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)

  1. Photovoltaic Power for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Sheila G.; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1997-01-01

    Mars is a challenging environment for the use of solar power. The implications of the low temperatures and low light intensity, solar spectrum modified by dust and changing with time of day and year, indirect sunlight, dust storms, deposited dust, wind, and corrosive peroxide-rich soil are discussed with respect to potential photovoltaic power systems. The power systems addressed include a solar-powered rover vehicle and a human base. High transportation costs dictate high efficiency solar cells or alternatively, a 'thin film' solar cell deposited on a lightweight plastic or thin metal foil.

  2. Mars Exploration Rover: surface operations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Defining Medical Capabilities for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. Exploring the potential of MAR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vanderzalm, Joanne

    2014-01-01

    Despite numerous benefits, the full potential for uptake of MAR for use of treated wastewater and urban stormwater has not been realised. CSIRO is currently leading research to address some of the major impediments to uptake of MAR. These include the clogging of the soil or aquifer matrix, leading to reduced infiltration rates; water quality impacts on the receiving aquifer; and uncertainty regarding the economics of MAR schemes. Field-scale application of MAR through national demonstration projects aims to reduce the uncertainty associated with technical and economic feasibility and facilitate water recycling via the aquifer. Current research in the Managed Aquifer Recharge and Recycling Options (MARRO) project provides two case studies using novel infiltration techniques, soil aquifer treatment (SAT) and infiltration galleries, to recharge treated wastewater for non-potable use. SAT at Alice Springs supplements existing groundwater resources for future irrigation supplies, while an infiltration gallery at Floreat (Western Australia) is evaluating the potential of MAR to sustain groundwater-fed wetlands. These infiltration techniques provide an opportunity to optimise the passive treatment processes and minimise water quality impacts on the receiving groundwater. SAT uses open infiltration basins operated intermittently to create alternate wet and dry cycles and optimise natural treatment processes within the subsurface. Power and Water Corporation's Alice Springs SAT scheme has been in operation since 2008 to prevent overflow of treated wastewater to surface water systems and augment the groundwater resource. Wastewater for recharge to a Quaternary sand and gravel aquifer is treated by stabilisation ponds and dissolved air flotation, with filtration added to the treatment train in late 2013. The scheme commenced as four basins with a total recharge area of 7,640 sq.m, but was increased to allow 600,000 m 3 /year recharge to the current, larger capacity of

  5. The Comet Radar Explorer Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, Erik; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Chesley, Steve; Delbo, Marco; Farnham, Tony; Gim, Yonggyu; Grimm, Robert; Herique, Alain; Kofman, Wlodek; Oberst, Juergen; Orosei, Roberto; Piqueux, Sylvain; Plaut, Jeff; Robinson, Mark; Sava, Paul; Heggy, Essam; Kurth, William; Scheeres, Dan; Denevi, Brett; Turtle, Elizabeth; Weissman, Paul

    2014-11-01

    Missions to cometary nuclei have revealed major geological surprises: (1) Global scale layers - do these persist through to the interior? Are they a record of primary accretion? (2) Smooth regions - are they landslides originating on the surface? Are they cryovolcanic? (3) Pits - are they impact craters or sublimation pits, or rooted in the interior? Unambiguous answers to these and other questions can be obtained by high definition 3D radar reflection imaging (RRI) of internal structure. RRI can answer many of the great unknowns in planetary science: How do primitive bodies accrete? Are cometary nuclei mostly ice? What drives their spectacular activity and evolution? The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) mission will image the detailed internal structure of the nucleus of 10P/Tempel 2. This ~16 x 8 x 7 km Jupiter Family Comet (JFC), or its parent body, originated in the outer planets region possibly millions of years before planet formation. CORE arrives post-perihelion and observes the comet’s waning activity from safe distance. Once the nucleus is largely dormant, the spacecraft enters a ~20-km dedicated Radar Mapping Orbit (RMO). The exacting design of the RRI experiment and the precise navigation of RMO will achieve a highly focused 3D radar reflection image of internal structure, to tens of meters resolution, and tomographic images of velocity and attenuation to hundreds of meters resolution, tied to the gravity model and shape. Visible imagers will produce maps of the surface morphology, albedo, color, texture, and photometric response, and images for navigation and shape determination. The cameras will also monitor the structure and dynamics of the coma, and its dusty jets, allowing their correlation in 3D with deep interior structures and surface features. Repeated global high-resolution thermal images will probe the near-surface layers heated by the Sun. Derived maps of thermal inertia will be correlated with the radar boundary response, and photometry and

  6. Power system technologies for the manned Mars mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bents, D.; Patterson, M.J.; Berkopec, F.; Myers, I.; Presler, A.

    1986-01-01

    The high impulse of electric propulsion makes it an attractive option for manned interplanetary missions such as a manned mission to Mars. This option is, however, dependent on the availability of high energy sources for propulsive power in addition to that required for the manned interplanetary transit vehicle. Two power system technologies are presented: nuclear and solar. The ion thruster technology for the interplanetary transit vehicle is described for a typical mission. The power management and distribution system components required for such a mission must be further developed beyond today's technology status. High voltage-high current technology advancements must be achieved. These advancements are described. In addition, large amounts of waste heat must be rejected to the space environment by the thermal management system. Advanced concepts such as the liquid droplet radiator are discussed as possible candidates for the manned Mars mission. These thermal management technologies have great potential for significant weight reductions over the more conventional systems

  7. Optimization of vehicle weight for Mars excursion missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferebee, Melvin J., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    The excursion class mission to Mars is defined as a mission with one year durations coupled with a stay time of up to 30 days. The fuel budget for such a mission is investigated. The overall figure of merit in such an assessment is the vehicle weight ratio, the ratio between the wet vehicle weight to the dry vehicle weight. It is necessary to minimize the overall fuel budget for the mission in order to maximize the benefits that could be obtained by sending humans to Mars. Assumptions used in the analysis are: each mission will depart and terminate in low-earth-orbit (LEO) (500 km circular) and the maximum stay time at Mars is 30 days. The maximum mission duration is one year (355-375 days). The mass returned to LEO is 135,000 kg, the dropoff mass left at Mars is 168,000 kg. Three propulsive techniques for atmospheric interface are investigated: aerobraking, all-chemical propulsion, and nuclear thermal propulsion. By defining the fuel requirements, the space transfer vehicle's configuration is defined.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.

    2006-08-01

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

  9. Korean Mars Mission Design Using KSLV-III

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Joo Song

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Mission opportunities and trajectory characteristics for the future Korean Mars mission have designed and analyzed using KSLV-III(Korea Space Launch Vehicle-III. Korea's first space center, ``NARO space center'' is selected as a launch site. For launch opportunities, year 2033 is investigated under considering the date of space center's completion with KSLV series development status. Optimal magnitude of various maneuvers, Trans Mars Injection (TMI maneuver, Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM, Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI maneuver and Orbit Trim Maneuver (OTM, which are required during the every Mars mission phases are computed with the formulation of nonlinear optimization problems using NPSOL software. Finally, mass budgets for upper stage (launcher for KSLV-III and spacecraft are derived using various optimized maneuver magnitudes. For results, daily launch window from NARO space center for successful Korean Mars mission is avaliable for next 27 minutes starting from Apr. 16. 2033. 12:17:26 (UTC. Maximum spacecraft gross mass which can delivered to Mars is about 206 kg, with propellant mass of 109 kg and structure mass of 97 kg, when on board spacecraft thruster's Isp is assumed to have 290 sec. For upper stage, having structure ratio of 0.15 and Isp value of 280 sec, gross mass is about 1293 kg with propellant mass of 1099 kg and structure mass of 194 kg. However, including 10% margins to computed optimal maneuver values, spacecraft gross mass is reduced to about 148 kg with upper stage's mass of 1352 kg. This work will give various insights, requiring performances to developing of KSLV-III and spacecraft design for future Korean Mars missions.

  10. Astronaut Clothing for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Astrobiology, Mars Exploration and Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Automation, robotics, and inflight training for manned Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Alan C.

    1986-01-01

    The automation, robotics, and inflight training requirements of manned Mars missions will be supported by similar capabilities developed for the space station program. Evolutionary space station onboard training facilities will allow the crewmembers to minimize the amount of training received on the ground by providing extensive onboard access to system and experiment malfunction procedures, maintenance procedures, repair procedures, and associated video sequences. Considerable on-the-job training will also be conducted for space station management, mobile remote manipulator operations, proximity operations with the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (and later the Orbit Transfer Vehicle), and telerobotics and mobile robots. A similar approach could be used for manned Mars mission training with significant additions such as high fidelity image generation and simulation systems such as holographic projection systems for Mars landing, ascent, and rendezvous training. In addition, a substantial increase in the use of automation and robotics for hazardous and tedious tasks would be expected for Mars mission. Mobile robots may be used to assist in the assembly, test and checkout of the Mars spacecraft, in the handling of nuclear components and hazardous chemical propellent transfer operations, in major spacecraft repair tasks which might be needed (repair of a micrometeroid penetration, for example), in the construction of a Mars base, and for routine maintenance of the base when unmanned.

  13. ESA strategy for human exploration and the Lunar Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardini, B.

    As part of ESAs Aurora Exploration programme, the Agency has defined, since 2001, a road map for exploration in which, alongside robotic exploration missions, the International Space Station (ISS) and the Moon play an essential role on the way to other destinations in the Solar System, ultimately to a human mission to Mars in a more distant future. In the frame of the Human Spaceflight programme the first European Lunar Lander Mission, with a launch date on 2018, has been defined, targeting the lunar South Pole region to capitalize on unique illumination conditions and provide the opportunity to carry out scientific investigations in a region of the Moon not explored so far. The Phase B1 industrial study, recently initiated, will consolidate the mission design and prepare the ground for the approval of the full mission development phase at the 2012 ESA Council at Ministerial. This paper describes the mission options which have been investigated in the past Phase A studies and presents the main activities foreseen in the Phase B1 to consolidate the mission design, including a robust bread-boards and technology development programme. In addition, the approach to overcoming the mission's major technical and environmental challenges and the activities to advance the definition of the payload elements will be described.

  14. Mars Hybrid Propulsion System Trajectory Analysis. Part I; Crew Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    NASAs Human spaceflight Architecture team is developing a reusable hybrid transportation architecture in which both chemical and electric propulsion systems are used to send crew and cargo to Mars destinations such as Phobos, Deimos, the surface of Mars, and other orbits around Mars. By combining chemical and electrical propulsion into a single space- ship and applying each where it is more effective, the hybrid architecture enables a series of Mars trajectories that are more fuel-efficient than an all chemical architecture without significant increases in flight times. This paper provides the analysis of the interplanetary segments of the three Evolvable Mars Campaign crew missions to Mars using the hybrid transportation architecture. The trajectory analysis provides departure and arrival dates and propellant needs for the three crew missions that are used by the campaign analysis team for campaign build-up and logistics aggregation analysis. Sensitivity analyses were performed to investigate the impact of mass growth, departure window, and propulsion system performance on the hybrid transportation architecture. The results and system analysis from this paper contribute to analyses of the other human spaceflight architecture team tasks and feed into the definition of the Evolvable Mars Campaign.

  15. Manned Mars flyby mission and configuration concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Archie; Meredith, Ollie; Brothers, Bobby

    1986-01-01

    A concept is presented for a flyby mission of the planet. The mission was sized for the 2001 time period, has a crew of three, uses all propulsive maneuvers, and requires 442 days. Such a flyby mission results in significantly smaller vehicles than would a landing mission, but of course loses the value of the landing and the associated knowledge and prestige. Stay time in the planet vicinity is limited to the swingby trajectory but considerable time still exists for enroute science and research experiments. All propulsive braking was used in the concept due to unacceptable g-levels associated with aerobraking on this trajectory. LEO departure weight for the concept is approximately 594,000 pounds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

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

  17. ISRU in the Context of Future European Human Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, A. M.; Tomatis, C.

    2002-01-01

    ISRU or In-Situ Resource Utilisation is the use of Martian resources to manufacture, typically, life support consumables (e.g. water, oxygen, breathing buffer gases), and propellant for a return journey to Earth. European studies have shown that some 4kg of reaction mass must be launched to LEO to send 1kg payload to Mars orbit, with landing on the Mars surface reducing payload mass still further. This results in very high transportation costs to Mars, and still higher costs for returning payloads to Earth. There is therefore a major incentive to reduce payload mass for any form of Mars return mission (human or otherwise) by generating consumables on the surface. ESA through its GSTP programme has been investigating the system level design of a number of mission elements as potential European contributions to an international human Mars exploration mission intended for the 2020-2030 timeframe. One of these is an ISRU plant, a small chemical factory to convert feedstock brought from Earth (hydrogen), and Martian atmospheric gases (CO2 and trace quantities of nitrogen and argon) into methane and oxygen propellant for Earth return and life support consumables, in advance of the arrival of astronauts. ISRU technology has been the subject of much investigation around the world, but little detailed research or system level studies have been reported in Europe. Furthermore, the potential applicability of European expertise, technology and sub- system studies to Martian ISRU is not well quantified. Study work covered in this paper has compared existing designs (e.g. NASA's Design Reference Mission, DLR and Mars Society studies) with the latest ESA derived requirements for human Mars exploration, and has generated a system level ISRU design. This paper will review and quantify the baseline chemical reactions essential for ISRU, including CO2 collection and purification, Sabatier reduction of CO2 with hydrogen to methane and water, and electrolysis of water in the context of

  18. NASA Laboratory Analysis for Manned Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krihak, Michael K.; Shaw, Tianna E.

    2014-01-01

    The Exploration Laboratory Analysis (ELA) project supports the Exploration Medical Capability Element under the NASA Human Research Program. ELA instrumentation is identified as an essential capability for future exploration missions to diagnose and treat evidence-based medical conditions. However, mission architecture limits the medical equipment, consumables, and procedures that will be available to treat medical conditions during human exploration missions. Allocated resources such as mass, power, volume, and crew time must be used efficiently to optimize the delivery of in-flight medical care. Although commercial instruments can provide the blood and urine based measurements required for exploration missions, these commercial-off-the-shelf devices are prohibitive for deployment in the space environment. The objective of the ELA project is to close the technology gap of current minimally invasive laboratory capabilities and analytical measurements in a manner that the mission architecture constraints impose on exploration missions. Besides micro gravity and radiation tolerances, other principal issues that generally fail to meet NASA requirements include excessive mass, volume, power and consumables, and nominal reagent shelf-life. Though manned exploration missions will not occur for nearly a decade, NASA has already taken strides towards meeting the development of ELA medical diagnostics by developing mission requirements and concepts of operations that are coupled with strategic investments and partnerships towards meeting these challenges. This paper focuses on the remote environment, its challenges, biomedical diagnostics requirements and candidate technologies that may lead to successful blood-urine chemistry and biomolecular measurements in future space exploration missions.

  19. Astrobiology and habitability studies in preparation for future Mars missions: trends from investigating minerals, organics and biota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; Roling, W.F.M.; Thiel, C.S.; Quin, R.; Septhon, M.A.; Stoker, C.; Kotler, M.; Oliveira Lebre Direito, M.S.; Martins, Z.; Orzechowska, G.; Kidd, R.D.; van Sluis, C.A.; Foing, H.

    2011-01-01

    Several robotic exploration missions will travel to Mars during this decade to investigate habitability and the possible presence of life. Field research at Mars analogue sites such as desert environments can provide important constraints for instrument calibration, landing site strategies and

  20. Astrobiology and habitability studies in preparation for future Mars missions : Trends from investigating minerals, organics and biota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; Röling, W.F.M.; Thiel, C.S.; Quinn, R.; Sephton, M.A.; Stoker, C.; Kotler, J.M.; Direito, S.O.L.; Martins, Z.; Orzechowska, G.E.; Kidd, R.D.; Van Sluis, C.A.; Foing, B.H.

    2011-01-01

    Several robotic exploration missions will travel to Mars during this decade to investigate habitability and the possible presence of life. Field research at Mars analogue sites such as desert environments can provide important constraints for instrument calibration, landing site strategies and

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-09-01

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

  2. K-Rankine systems for piloted and cargo Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mills, J.C.; Rovang, R.D.; Johnson, G.A.

    1992-03-01

    Studies are performed to demonstrate the attractiveness of potassium-Rankine (K-Rankine) nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems for both piloted and cargo Mars missions. The key results of the piloted mission study are that a full-up piloted mission can be accomplished with a trip time of less than 390 days with an attractive initial mass in low earth orbit (IMLEO) of 700 metric tons. This is achieved by coupling two advanced cermet fuel reactors (1550 K outlet temperature) to K-Rankine power-conversion systems to produce the 46 MWe needed to power advanced ion engines. This design approach offers an alternative to a more risky split-sprint mission where comparable trip times and IMLEO can be achieved with a nearer-term reactor (SP-100 at 1350 K outlet temperature) technology. The results of the cargo-mission study indicate that a lower-power K-Rankine system (5.5 MWe) operating at SP-100 reactor conditions would best perform a representative Mars cargo transport. A round-trip mission (480 days outbound; 600 day return) to Mars requires only 225 metric tons IMLEO and permit possible system reuse. 6 refs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Bitter, C.

    2008-12-01

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

  5. Mars Surface Mobility Leading to Sustainable Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linne, Diane L.; Barsi, Stephen J.; Sjauw En Wa, Waldy K.; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    A Mars rocket-propelled hopper concept was evaluated for feasibility through analysis and experiments. The approach set forth in this paper is to combine the use of in-situ resources in a new Mars mobility concept that will greatly enhance the science return while providing the first opportunity towards reducing the risk of incorporating ISRU into the critical path for the highly coveted, but currently unaffordable, sample return mission. Experimental tests were performed on a high-pressure, self-throttling gaseous oxygen/methane propulsion system to simulate a two-burn-with-coast hop profile. Analysis of the trajectory, production plant requirements, and vehicle mass indicates that a small hopper vehicle could hop 2 km every 30 days with an initial mass of less than 60 kg. A larger vehicle can hop 15 km every 30 to 60 days with an initial mass of 300 to 430 kg.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rossi, Angelo Pio; Van Gasselt, Stephan

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Mars Habitability, Biosignature Preservation, and Mission Support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Multiple Smaller Missions as a Direct Pathway to Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niles, P. B.; Draper, D. S.; Evans, C. A.; Gibson, E. K.; Graham, L. D.; Jones, J. H.; Lederer, S. M.; Ming, D.; Seaman, C. H.; Archer, P. D.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Recent discoveries by the Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Express, Mars Odyssey, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft include multiple, tantalizing astrobiological targets representing both past and present environments on Mars. The most desirable path to Mars Sample Return (MSR) would be to collect and return samples from that site which provides the clearest examples of the variety of rock types considered a high priority for sample return (pristine igneous, sedimentary, and hydrothermal). Here we propose an MSR architecture in which the next steps (potentially launched in 2018) would entail a series of smaller missions, including caching, to multiple landing sites to verify the presence of high priority sample return targets through in situ analyses. This alternative architecture to one flagship-class sample caching mission to a single site would preserve a direct path to MSR as stipulated by the Planetary Decadal Survey, while permitting investigation of diverse deposit types and providing comparison of the site of returned samples to other aqueous environments on early Mars

  10. Practical methods for near-term piloted Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrin, Robert M.; Weaver, David B.

    1993-01-01

    An evaluation is made of ways of using near-term technologies for direct and semidirect manned Mars missions. A notable feature of the present schemes is the in situ propellant production of CH4/O2 and H2O on the Martian surface in order to reduce surface consumable and return propellant requirements. Medium-energy conjunction class trajectories are shown to be optimal for such missions. Attention is given to the backup plans and abort philosophy of these missions. Either the Russian Energia B or U.S. Saturn VII launch vehicles may be used.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    mission prior to a Mars surface mission should be initiated. 3. A well-planned set of science objectives for a future human-landed mission to Mars is essential in order to sustain coordination among the science and human spaceflight communities. In particular, while it is clear how humans on the surface of Mars would significantly accelerate the pace of the search for past life, it is unclear how humans would play a role in (and not serve as a hindrance to) the search for extant life. Further study should be supported. 4. Sustained formal collaboration among Mars scientists, engineers, technologists, and teams developing scenarios for Mars exploration should be supported. The human and robotic sides of the Mars exploration community need to become further engaged with each other, particularly as we enter a potential period of dual-purpose (science + human precursor) missions. Central to this era is generating mutual support for a Mars sample return architecture as a goal that has crucial value to both the human preparatory program and planetary science.

  12. Mars-Moons Exploration, Reconnaissance and Landed Investigation (MERLIN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, S. L.; Chabot, N. L.; Buczkowski, D.; Arvidson, R. E.; Castillo, J. C.; Peplowski, P. N.; Ernst, C. M.; Rivkin, A.; Eng, D.; Chmielewski, A. B.; Maki, J.; trebi-Ollenu, A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Spence, H. E.; Horanyi, M.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Christian, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Mars-Moons Exploration, Reconnaissance and Landed Investigation (MERLIN) is a NASA Discovery mission proposal to explore the moons of Mars. Previous Mars-focused spacecraft have raised fundamental questions about Mars' moons: What are their origins and compositions? Why do the moons resemble primitive outer solar system D-type objects? How do geologic processes modify their surfaces? MERLIN answers these questions through a combination of orbital and landed measurements, beginning with reconnaissance of Deimos and investigation of the hypothesized Martian dust belts. Orbital reconnaissance of Phobos occurs, followed by low flyovers to characterize a landing site. MERLIN lands on Phobos, conducting a 90-day investigation. Radiation measurements are acquired throughout all mission phases. Phobos' size and mass provide a low-risk landing environment: controlled descent is so slow that the landing is rehearsed, but gravity is high enough that surface operations do not require anchoring. Existing imaging of Phobos reveals low regional slope regions suitable for landing, and provides knowledge for planning orbital and landed investigations. The payload leverages past NASA investments. Orbital imaging is accomplished by a dual multispectral/high-resolution imager rebuilt from MESSENGER/MDIS. Mars' dust environment is measured by the refurbished engineering model of LADEE/LDEX, and the radiation environment by the flight spare of LRO/CRaTER. The landed workspace is characterized by a color stereo imager updated from MER/HazCam. MERLIN's arm deploys landed instrumentation using proven designs from MER, Phoenix, and MSL. Elemental measurements are acquired by a modified version of Rosetta/APXS, and an uncooled gamma-ray spectrometer. Mineralogical measurements are acquired by a microscopic imaging spectrometer developed under MatISSE. MERLIN delivers seminal science traceable to NASA's Strategic Goals and Objectives, Science Plan, and the Decadal Survey. MERLIN's science

  13. Learning to live on a Mars day: fatigue countermeasures during the Phoenix Mars Lander mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barger, Laura K; Sullivan, Jason P; Vincent, Andrea S; Fiedler, Edna R; McKenna, Laurence M; Flynn-Evans, Erin E; Gilliland, Kirby; Sipes, Walter E; Smith, Peter H; Brainard, George C; Lockley, Steven W

    2012-10-01

    To interact with the robotic Phoenix Mars Lander (PML) spacecraft, mission personnel were required to work on a Mars day (24.65 h) for 78 days. This alien schedule presents a challenge to Earth-bound circadian physiology and a potential risk to workplace performance and safety. We evaluated the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of a fatigue management program to facilitate synchronization with the Mars day and alleviate circadian misalignment, sleep loss, and fatigue. Operational field study. PML Science Operations Center. Scientific and technical personnel supporting PML mission. Sleep and fatigue education was offered to all support personnel. A subset (n = 19) were offered a short-wavelength (blue) light panel to aid alertness and mitigate/reduce circadian desynchrony. They were assessed using a daily sleep/work diary, continuous wrist actigraphy, and regular performance tests. Subjects also completed 48-h urine collections biweekly for assessment of the circadian 6-sulphatoxymelatonin rhythm. Most participants (87%) exhibited a circadian period consistent with adaptation to a Mars day. When synchronized, main sleep duration was 5.98 ± 0.94 h, but fell to 4.91 ± 1.22 h when misaligned (P Mars day suggests that future missions should utilize a similar circadian rhythm and fatigue management program to reduce the risk of sleepiness-related errors that jeopardize personnel safety and health during critical missions.

  14. A Comparative Study of Aerocapture Missions with a Mars Destination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, Diane; Miller, Heather C.; Griffin, Brand; James, Bonnie F.; Munk, Michelle M.

    2005-01-01

    Conventional interplanetary spacecraft use propulsive systems to decelerate into orbit. Aerocapture is an alternative approach for orbit capture, in which the spacecraft makes a single pass through a target destination's atmosphere. Although this technique has never been performed, studies show there are substantial benefits of using aerocapture for reduction of propellant mass, spacecraft size, and mission cost. The In-Space Propulsion (ISP) Program, part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, has invested in aerocapture technology development since 2002. Aerocapture investments within ISP are largely driven by mission systems analysis studies, The purpose of this NASA-funded report is to identify and document the fundamental parameters of aerocapture within previous human and robotic Mars mission studies which will assist the community in identifying technology research gaps in human and robotic missions, and provide insight for future technology investments. Upon examination of the final data set, some key attributes within the aerocapture disciplines are identified.

  15. Advanced Solar-propelled Cargo Spacecraft for Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  18. Physiological Health Challenges for Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norsk, Peter

    2015-01-01

    During the next decades, manned space missions are expected to be aiming at the Lagrange points, near Earth asteroids, and Mars flyby and/or landing. The question is therefore: Are we ready to go? To answer this with a yes, we are currently using the International Space Station to develop an integrated human physiological countermeasure suite. The integrated countermeasure suite will most likely encounter: 1) Exercise devices for aerobic, dynamic and resistive exercise training; 2) sensory-motor computer training programs and anti-motion sickness medication for preparing EVAs and G-transitions; 3) lower limb bracelets for preventing and/or treating the VIIP (vision impairment and intracranial pressure) syndrome; 4) nutritional components for maintenance of bone, muscle, the cardiovascular system and preventing oxidative stress and damage and immune deficiencies (e. g. omega-3 fatty acids, PRO/K, anti-oxidants and less salt and iron); 5) bisphosphonates for preventing bone degradation.; 6) lower body compression garment and oral salt and fluid loading for landing on a planetary surface to combat orthostatic intolerance; 7) laboratory analysis equipment for individualized monitoring of biomarkers in blood, urine and saliva for estimation of health status in; 8) advanced ultrasound techniques for monitoring bone and cardiovascular health; and 9) computer modeling programs for individual health status assessments of efficiency and subsequent adjustments of countermeasures. In particular for future missions into deep space, we are concerned with the synergistic effects of weightlessness, radiation, operational constraints and other spaceflight environmental factors. Therefore, increased collaboration between physiological, behavioral, radiation and space vehicle design disciplines are strongly warranted. Another venue we are exploring in NASA's Human Research Program is the usefulness of artificial gravity for mitigating the health risks of long duration weightlessness.

  19. Nuclear thermal rocket propulsion application to Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emrich, W.J. Jr.; Young, A.C.; Mulqueen, J.A.

    1991-01-01

    Options for vehicle configurations are reviewed in which nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) propulsion is used for a reference mission to Mars. The scenario assumes an opposition-class Mars transfer trajectory, a 435-day mission, and the use of a single nuclear engine with 75,000 lbs of thrust. Engine parameters are examined by calculating mission variables for a range of specific impulses and thrust/weight ratios. The reference mission is found to have optimal values of 925 s for the specific impulse and thrust/weight ratios of 4.0 and 0.06 for the engine and total stage ratios respectively. When the engine thrust/weight ratio is at least 4/1 the most critical engine parameter is engine specific impulse for reducing overall stage weight. In the context of this trans-Mars three-burn maneuver the NTR engine with an expander engine cycle is considered a more effective alternative than chemical/aerobrake and other propulsion options

  20. The Mawrth Vallis region of Mars: A potential landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Joseph R; Jean-PierreBibring; Poulet, François; Loizeau, Damien; Mangold, Nicolas; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Bishop, Janice L; Wray, James J; McKeown, Nancy K; Parente, Mario; Hauber, Ernst; Altieri, Francesca; Carrozzo, F Giacomo; Niles, Paul B

    2010-09-01

    The primary objective of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, which will launch in 2011, is to characterize the habitability of a site on Mars through detailed analyses of the composition and geological context of surface materials. Within the framework of established mission goals, we have evaluated the value of a possible landing site in the Mawrth Vallis region of Mars that is targeted directly on some of the most geologically and astrobiologically enticing materials in the Solar System. The area around Mawrth Vallis contains a vast (>1 × 10⁶ km²) deposit of phyllosilicate-rich, ancient, layered rocks. A thick (>150 m) stratigraphic section that exhibits spectral evidence for nontronite, montmorillonite, amorphous silica, kaolinite, saponite, other smectite clay minerals, ferrous mica, and sulfate minerals indicates a rich geological history that may have included multiple aqueous environments. Because phyllosilicates are strong indicators of ancient aqueous activity, and the preservation potential of biosignatures within sedimentary clay deposits is high, martian phyllosilicate deposits are desirable astrobiological targets. The proposed MSL landing site at Mawrth Vallis is located directly on the largest and most phyllosilicate-rich deposit on Mars and is therefore an excellent place to explore for evidence of life or habitability.

  1. Calculation of Operations Efficiency Factors for Mars Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layback, Sharon L.

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Planned Products of the Mars Structure Service for the InSight Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panning, Mark P.; Lognonné, Philippe; Bruce Banerdt, W.; Garcia, Raphaël; Golombek, Matthew; Kedar, Sharon; Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte; Mocquet, Antoine; Teanby, Nick A.; Tromp, Jeroen; Weber, Renee; Beucler, Eric; Blanchette-Guertin, Jean-Francois; Bozdağ, Ebru; Drilleau, Mélanie; Gudkova, Tamara; Hempel, Stefanie; Khan, Amir; Lekić, Vedran; Murdoch, Naomi; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Rivoldini, Atillio; Schmerr, Nicholas; Ruan, Youyi; Verhoeven, Olivier; Gao, Chao; Christensen, Ulrich; Clinton, John; Dehant, Veronique; Giardini, Domenico; Mimoun, David; Thomas Pike, W.; Smrekar, Sue; Wieczorek, Mark; Knapmeyer, Martin; Wookey, James

    2017-10-01

    The InSight lander will deliver geophysical instruments to Mars in 2018, including seismometers installed directly on the surface (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, SEIS). Routine operations will be split into two services, the Mars Structure Service (MSS) and Marsquake Service (MQS), which will be responsible, respectively, for defining the structure models and seismicity catalogs from the mission. The MSS will deliver a series of products before the landing, during the operations, and finally to the Planetary Data System (PDS) archive. Prior to the mission, we assembled a suite of a priori models of Mars, based on estimates of bulk composition and thermal profiles. Initial models during the mission will rely on modeling surface waves and impact-generated body waves independent of prior knowledge of structure. Later modeling will include simultaneous inversion of seismic observations for source and structural parameters. We use Bayesian inversion techniques to obtain robust probability distribution functions of interior structure parameters. Shallow structure will be characterized using the hammering of the heatflow probe mole, as well as measurements of surface wave ellipticity. Crustal scale structure will be constrained by measurements of receiver function and broadband Rayleigh wave ellipticity measurements. Core interacting body wave phases should be observable above modeled martian noise levels, allowing us to constrain deep structure. Normal modes of Mars should also be observable and can be used to estimate the globally averaged 1D structure, while combination with results from the InSight radio science mission and orbital observations will allow for constraint of deeper structure.

  3. A core handling device for the Mars Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwynne, Owen

    1989-01-01

    A core handling device for use on Mars is being designed. To provide a context for the design study, it was assumed that a Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) Mission would have the following characteristics: a year or more in length; visits by the rover to 50 or more sites; 100 or more meter-long cores being drilled by the rover; and the capability of returning about 5 kg of Mars regolith to Earth. These characteristics lead to the belief that in order to bring back a variegated set of samples that can address the range of scientific objetives for a MRSR mission to Mars there needs to be considerable analysis done on board the rover. Furthermore, the discrepancy between the amount of sample gathered and the amount to be returned suggests that there needs to be some method of choosing the optimal set of samples. This type of analysis will require pristine material-unaltered by the drilling process. Since the core drill thermally and mechanically alters the outer diameter (about 10 pct) of the core sample, this outer area cannot be used. The primary function of the core handling device is to extract subsamples from the core and to position these subsamples, and the core itself if needed, with respect to the various analytical instruments that can be used to perform these analyses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. Nuclear power technology requirements for NASA exploration missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bloomfield, H.S.

    1990-01-01

    This paper discusses how future exploration of the Moon and Mars will mandate developments in many areas of technology. In particular, major advances will be required in planet surface power systems and space transportation systems. Critical nuclear technology challenges that can enable strategic self-sufficiency, acceptable operational costs and cost-effective space transportation goals for NASA exploration missions have been identified. Critical technologies for surface power systems include stationary and mobile nuclear reactor and radio-isotope heat sources coupled to static and dynamic power conversion devices. These technologies can provide dramatic reductions in mass leading to operational and transportation cost savings. Critical technologies for space transportation systems include nuclear thermal rocket and nuclear electric propulsion options which present compelling concepts for significantly reducing mass, cost or travel time required for Earth-Mars transport

  6. Slip Validation and Prediction for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeng Yen

    2008-04-01

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

  7. Palmer Quest: A Feasible Nuclear Fission "Vision Mission" to the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carsey, F. D.; Beegle, L. W.; Nakagawa, R.; Elliott, J. O.; Matthews, J. B.; Coleman, M. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Ivaniov, A. B.; Head, J. W.; Milkovich, S.

    2005-01-01

    We are engaged in a NASA Vision Mission study, called Palmer Quest after the American Antarctic explorer Nathaniel Palmer, to assess the presence of life and evaluate the habitability of the basal domain of the Mars polar caps. We address this goal through four objectives: 1. Determine the presence of amino acids, nutrients, and geochemical heterogeneity in the ice sheet. 2. Quantify and characterize the provenance of the amino acids in Mars ice. 3. Assess the stratification of outcropped units for indications of habitable zones. 4. Determine the accumulation of ice, mineralogic material, and amino acids in Mars ice caps over the present epoch. Because of the defined scientific goal for the vision mission, the Palmer Quest focus is astrobiological; however, the results of the study make us optimistic that aggressive multi-platform in-situ missions that address a wide range of objectives, such as climate change, can be supported by variations of the approach used on this mission. Mission Overview: The Palmer Quest baseline

  8. A Novel Approach to Exploring the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brophy, John R.; Carsey, Frank D.; Rodgers, David H.; Soderblom, L. A.; Wilcox, Brian H.

    2000-01-01

    The Martian polar caps contain some of the most important scientific sites on the planet. There is much interest in exploring them with a view to understanding their role in the Mars climate system. By gaining access to the stratigraphy of the polar terrain, it is probable that one can access the climate history of the planet. Additionally, investigations aimed at localizing subsurface water--liquid or solid--are not only of great scientific interest but are also germane to the long-term interests of the manned space flight program. A major difficulty with polar exploration is access. Current techniques using chemical propulsion, Holman transfers, and direct-entry landers with aeroshells have limited capability to access the polar terrain. For the near term the authors propose a new approach to solving this transportation issue by using Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), recently flight demonstrated on NASA's DS1 Mission to an asteroid and a comet. For a longer-term approach there are additional ways in which access to Mars, as well as other planets, can be significantly improved. These include the use of Chaos orbit theory to enable transportation between LaGrange points in the solar system, gossamer structures enabling very low-mass mobility, and advanced ascent vehicles. In this paper the authors describe how a 1000-kG payload can be transported to the surface of Mars and a polar sample obtained and returned to Earth in less than five years using SEP. A vision of how this approach can be integrated into a long-term Mars exploration strategy building toward the future is also discussed.

  9. A Novel Approach to Exploring the Mars Polar Caps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brophy, John R.; Carsey, Frank D.; Rodgers, David H.; Soderblom, L. A.; Wilcox, Brian H.

    2000-08-01

    The Martian polar caps contain some of the most important scientific sites on the planet. There is much interest in exploring them with a view to understanding their role in the Mars climate system. By gaining access to the stratigraphy of the polar terrain, it is probable that one can access the climate history of the planet. Additionally, investigations aimed at localizing subsurface water--liquid or solid--are not only of great scientific interest but are also germane to the long-term interests of the manned space flight program. A major difficulty with polar exploration is access. Current techniques using chemical propulsion, Holman transfers, and direct-entry landers with aeroshells have limited capability to access the polar terrain. For the near term the authors propose a new approach to solving this transportation issue by using Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), recently flight demonstrated on NASA's DS1 Mission to an asteroid and a comet. For a longer-term approach there are additional ways in which access to Mars, as well as other planets, can be significantly improved. These include the use of Chaos orbit theory to enable transportation between LaGrange points in the solar system, gossamer structures enabling very low-mass mobility, and advanced ascent vehicles. In this paper the authors describe how a 1000-kG payload can be transported to the surface of Mars and a polar sample obtained and returned to Earth in less than five years using SEP. A vision of how this approach can be integrated into a long-term Mars exploration strategy building toward the future is also discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  11. Biological life-support systems for Mars mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitelson, J I

    1992-01-01

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

  12. Mars mission performance enhancement with hybrid nuclear propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  13. Low-Latency Teleoperations for Human Exploration and Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupisella, Mark; Wright, Michael; Arney, Dale; Gershman, Bob; Stillwagen, Fred; Bobskill, Marianne; Johnson, James; Shyface, Hilary; Larman, Kevin; Lewis, Ruthan; hide

    2015-01-01

    NASA has been analyzing a number of mission concepts and activities that involve low-latency telerobotic (LLT) operations. One mission concept that will be covered in this presentation is Crew-Assisted Sample Return which involves the crew acquiring samples (1) that have already been delivered to space, and or acquiring samples via LLT from orbit to a planetary surface and then launching the samples to space to be captured in space and then returned to the earth with the crew. Both versions of have key roles for low-latency teleoperations. More broadly, the NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign is exploring a number of other activities that involve LLT, such as: (a) human asteroid missions, (b) PhobosDeimos missions, (c) Mars human landing site reconnaissance and site preparation, and (d) Mars sample handling and analysis. Many of these activities could be conducted from Mars orbit and also with the crew on the Mars surface remotely operating assets elsewhere on the surface, e.g. for exploring Mars special regions and or teleoperating a sample analysis laboratory both of which may help address planetary protection concerns. The operational and technology implications of low-latency teleoperations will be explored, including discussion of relevant items in the NASA Technology Roadmap and also how previously deployed robotic assets from any source could subsequently be used by astronauts via LLT.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sexton, Jeffrey D.

    2007-01-01

    America is returning to the Moon in preparation for the first human footprint on Mars, guided by the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration. This presentation will discuss NASA's mission, the reasons for returning to the Moon and going to Mars, and how NASA will accomplish that mission in ways that promote leadership in space and economic expansion on the new frontier. The primary goals of the Vision for Space Exploration are to finish the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed, to return people to the Moon and go to Mars. The Vision commits NASA and the nation to an agenda of exploration that also includes robotic exploration and technology development, while building on lessons learned over 50 years of hard-won experience. Why the Moon? Many questions about the Moon's potential resources and how its history is linked to that of Earth were spurred by the brief Apollo explorations of the 1960s and 1970s. This new venture will carry more explorers to more diverse landing sites with more capable tools and equipment for extended expeditions. The Moon also will serve as a training ground before embarking on the longer, more difficult trip to Mars. NASA plans to build a lunar outpost at one of the lunar poles, learn to live off the land, and reduce dePendence on Earth for longer missions. America needs to extend its ability to survive in hostile environments close to our home planet before astronauts will reach Mars, a planet very much like Earth. NASA has worked with scientists to define lunar exploration goals and is addressing the opportunities for a range of scientific study on Mars. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within a lifetime and within budget, NASA is building on common hardware, shared knowledge, and unique experience derived from the Apollo Saturn, Space Shuttle and contemporary commercial launch vehicle programs. The journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I

  15. A mission to Mercury and a mission to the moons of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-07-01

    Two Advanced Design Projects were completed this academic year at Penn State - a mission to the planet Mercury and a mission to the moons of Mars (Phobos and Deimos). At the beginning of the fall semester the students were organized into six groups and given their choice of missions. Once a mission was chosen, the students developed conceptual designs. These designs were then evaluated at the end of the fall semester and combined into two separate mission scenarios. To facilitate the work required for each mission, the class was reorganized in the spring semester by combining groups to form two mission teams. An integration team consisting of two members from each group was formed for each mission team so that communication and exchange of information would be easier among the groups. The types of projects designed by the students evolved from numerous discussions with Penn State faculty and mission planners at the Lewis Research Center Advanced Projects Office. Robotic planetary missions throughout the solar system can be considered valuable precursors to human visits and test beds for innovative technology. For example, by studying the composition of the Martian moons, scientists may be able to determine if their resources may be used or synthesized for consumption during a first human visit.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

    exploration. This set of missions can be repeated every two years in order to continue exploration at a variety of sites and gradually establish the infrastructure for a permanent base on Mars.

  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 Relays Satellite Orbit Design Considerations for Global Support of Robotic Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastrup, Rolf; Cesarone, Robert; Cook, Richard; Knocke, Phillip; McOmber, Robert

    1993-01-01

    This paper discusses orbit design considerations for Mars relay satellite (MRS)support of globally distributed robotic surface missions. The orbit results reported in this paper are derived from studies of MRS support for two types of Mars robotic surface missions: 1) the mars Environmental Survey (MESUR) mission, which in its current definition would deploy a global network of up to 16 small landers, and 2)a Small Mars Sample Return (SMSR) mission, which included four globally distributed landers, each with a return stage and one or two rovers, and up to four additional sets of lander/rover elements in an extended mission phase.

  19. Robotic Mission to Mars: Hands-on, minds-on, web-based learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathers, Naomi; Goktogen, Ali; Rankin, John; Anderson, Marion

    2012-11-01

    Problem-based learning has been demonstrated as an effective methodology for developing analytical skills and critical thinking. The use of scenario-based learning incorporates problem-based learning whilst encouraging students to collaborate with their colleagues and dynamically adapt to their environment. This increased interaction stimulates a deeper understanding and the generation of new knowledge. The Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC) uses scenario-based learning in its Mission to Mars, Mission to the Orbiting Space Laboratory and Primary Expedition to the M.A.R.S. Base programs. These programs utilize methodologies such as hands-on applications, immersive-learning, integrated technologies, critical thinking and mentoring to engage students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and highlight potential career paths in science and engineering. The immersive nature of the programs demands specialist environments such as a simulated Mars environment, Mission Control and Space Laboratory, thus restricting these programs to a physical location and limiting student access to the programs. To move beyond these limitations, VSSEC worked with its university partners to develop a web-based mission that delivered the benefits of scenario-based learning within a school environment. The Robotic Mission to Mars allows students to remotely control a real rover, developed by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), on the VSSEC Mars surface. After completing a pre-mission training program and site selection activity, students take on the roles of scientists and engineers in Mission Control to complete a mission and collect data for further analysis. Mission Control is established using software developed by the ACRI Games Technology Lab at La Trobe University using the principles of serious gaming. The software allows students to control the rover, monitor its systems and collect scientific data for analysis. This program encourages

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Nuclear electric propulsion: A better, safer, cheaper transportation system for human exploration of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, J.S.; George, J.A.; Gefert, L.P.; Doherty, M.P.; Sefcik, R.J.

    1994-03-01

    NASA has completed a preliminary mission and systems study of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems for 'split-sprint' human exploration and related robotic cargo missions to Mars. This paper describes the study, the mission architecture selected, the NEP system and technology development needs, proposed development schedules, and estimated development costs. Since current administration policy makers have delayed funding for key technology development activities that could make Mars exploration missions a reality in the near future, NASA will have time to evaluate various alternate mission options, and it appears prudent to ensure that Mars mission plans focus on astronaut and mission safety, while reducing costs to acceptable levels. The split-sprint nuclear electric propulsion system offers trip times comparable to nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems, while providing mission abort opportunities that are not possible with 'reference' mission architectures. Thus, NEP systems offer short transit times for the astronauts, reducing the exposure of the crew to intergalactic cosmic radiation. The high specific impulse of the NEP system, which leads to very low propellant requirements, results in significantly lower 'initial mass in low earth orbit' (IMLEO). Launch vehicle packaging studies show that the NEP system can be launched, assembled, and deployed, with about one less 240-metric-ton heavy lift launch vehicle (HLLV) per mission opportunity - a very Technology development cost of the nuclear reactor for an NEP system would be shared with the proposed nuclear surface power systems, since nuclear systems will be required to provide substantial electrical power on the surface of Mars. The NEP development project plan proposed includes evolutionary technology development for nuclear electric propulsion systems that expands upon SP-100 (Space Power - 100 kw(e)) technology that has been developed for lunar and Mars surface nuclear power

  3. Micro-Inspector Spacecraft for Space Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Juergen; Alkalai, Leon; Lewis, Carol

    2005-01-01

    NASA is seeking to embark on a new set of human and robotic exploration missions back to the Moon, to Mars, and destinations beyond. Key strategic technical challenges will need to be addressed to realize this new vision for space exploration, including improvements in safety and reliability to improve robustness of space operations. Under sponsorship by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), together with its partners in government (NASA Johnson Space Center) and industry (Boeing, Vacco Industries, Ashwin-Ushas Inc.) is developing an ultra-low mass (missions. The micro-inspector will provide remote vehicle inspections to ensure safety and reliability, or to provide monitoring of in-space assembly. The micro-inspector spacecraft represents an inherently modular system addition that can improve safety and support multiple host vehicles in multiple applications. On human missions, it may help extend the reach of human explorers, decreasing human EVA time to reduce mission cost and risk. The micro-inspector development is the continuation of an effort begun under NASA's Office of Aerospace Technology Enabling Concepts and Technology (ECT) program. The micro-inspector uses miniaturized celestial sensors; relies on a combination of solar power and batteries (allowing for unlimited operation in the sun and up to 4 hours in the shade); utilizes a low-pressure, low-leakage liquid butane propellant system for added safety; and includes multi-functional structure for high system-level integration and miniaturization. Versions of this system to be designed and developed under the H&RT program will include additional capabilities for on-board, vision-based navigation, spacecraft inspection, and collision avoidance, and will be demonstrated in a ground-based, space-related environment. These features make the micro-inspector design unique in its ability to serve crewed as well as robotic spacecraft, well beyond Earth-orbit and into arenas such

  4. Trajectory Design Considerations for Exploration Mission 1

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 3D Printed Surgical Instruments Evaluated by a Simulated Crew of a Mars Mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Julielynn Y; Pfahnl, Andreas C

    2016-09-01

    The first space-based fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer became operational in 2014. This study evaluated whether Mars simulation crewmembers of the Hawai'i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) II mission with no prior surgical experience could utilize acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) thermoplastic surgical instruments FDM 3D printed on Earth to complete simulated surgical tasks. This study sought to examine the feasibility of using 3D printed surgical tools when the primary crew medical officer is incapacitated and the back-up crew medical officer must conduct a surgical procedure during a simulated extended space mission. During a 4 mo duration ground-based analog mission, five simulation crewmembers with no prior surgical experience completed 16 timed sets of simulated prepping, draping, incising, and suturing tasks to evaluate the relative speed of using four ABS thermoplastic instruments printed on Earth compared to conventional instruments. All four simulated surgical tasks were successfully performed using 3D printed instruments by Mars simulation crewmembers with no prior surgical experience. There was no substantial difference in time to completion of simulated tasks with control vs. 3D printed sponge stick, towel clamp, scalpel handle, and toothed forceps. These limited findings support further investigation into the creation of an onboard digital catalog of validated 3D printable surgical instrument design files to support autonomous, crew-administered healthcare on Mars missions. Future work could include addressing sterility, biocompatibility, and having astronaut crew medical officers test a wider range of surgical instruments printed in microgravity during actual surgical procedures. Wong JY, Pfahnl AC. 3D printed surgical instruments evaluated by a simulated crew of a Mars mission. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2016; 87(9):806-810.

  7. Nuclear Thermal Rocket/Vehicle Design Options for Future NASA Missions to the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Corban, Robert R.; Mcguire, Melissa L.; Beke, Erik G.

    1995-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) provides a unique propulsion capability to planners/designers of future human exploration missions to the Moon and Mars. In addition to its high specific impulse (approximately 850-1000 s) and engine thrust-to-weight ratio (approximately 3-10), the NTR can also be configured as a 'dual mode' system capable of generating electrical power for spacecraft environmental systems, communications, and enhanced stage operations (e.g., refrigeration for long-term liquid hydrogen storage). At present the Nuclear Propulsion Office (NPO) is examining a variety of mission applications for the NTR ranging from an expendable, single-burn, trans-lunar injection (TLI) stage for NASA's First Lunar Outpost (FLO) mission to all propulsive, multiburn, NTR-powered spacecraft supporting a 'split cargo-piloted sprint' Mars mission architecture. Each application results in a particular set of requirements in areas such as the number of engines and their respective thrust levels, restart capability, fuel operating temperature and lifetime, cryofluid storage, and stage size. Two solid core NTR concepts are examined -- one based on NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) derivative reactor (NDR) technology, and a second concept which utilizes a ternary carbide 'twisted ribbon' fuel form developed by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The NDR and CIS concepts have an established technology database involving significant nuclear testing at or near representative operating conditions. Integrated systems and mission studies indicate that clusters of two to four 15 to 25 klbf NDR or CIS engines are sufficient for most of the lunar and Mars mission scenarios currently under consideration. This paper provides descriptions and performance characteristics for the NDR and CIS concepts, summarizes NASA's First Lunar Outpost and Mars mission scenarios, and describes characteristics for representative cargo and piloted vehicles compatible with a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirmalek, Zara Lenora

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

  9. Habitability during long-duration space missions - Key issues associated with a mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuster, Jack

    1989-01-01

    Isolation and confinement conditions similar to those of a long-duration mission to Mars are examined, focusing on 14 behavioral issues with design implications. Consideration is given to sleep, clothing, exercise, medical support, personal hygiene, food preparation, group interaction, habitat aesthetics, outside communications, recreational opportunities, privacy, waste disposal, onboard training, and the microgravity environment. The results are used to develop operational requirements and habitability design guidelines for interplanetary spacecraft.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J.

    1993-01-01

    The solid core nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) provides an attractive means of providing the propulsive force needed to accomplish a wide array of space missions. With its factor of two or more advantage in Isp over chemical engines, nuclear propulsion provides the opportunity to accomplish space missions which are impractical by other means. This paper focuses on the use of a nuclear thermal rocket to accomplish a variety of space missions with emphasis on the manned Mars mission. The particle bed reactor (PBR) type nuclear engine was chosen as the baseline engine used to conduct the present study because of its perceived versatility over other nuclear propulsion systems in conducting a wide variety of tasks. This study baselines a particle bed reactor engine with an engine thrust-to-weight ratio (~11.5) and a specific impulse of ~950 s. It is shown that a PBR engine of this type will offer distinct advantages over the larger and heavier NERVA type nuclear engines.

  12. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emrich, W.J. Jr.

    1993-01-01

    The solid core nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) provides an attractive means of providing the propulsive force needed to accomplish a wide array of space missions. With its factor of two or more advantage in Isp over chemical engines, nuclear propulsion provides the opportunity to accomplish space missions which are impractical by other means. This paper focuses on the use of a nuclear thermal rocket to accomplish a variety of space missions with emphasis on the manned Mars mission. The particle bed reactor (PBR) type nuclear engine was chosen as the baseline engine used to conduct the present study because of its perceived versatility over other nuclear propulsion systems in conducting a wide variety of tasks. This study baselines a particle bed reactor engine with an engine thrust-to-weight ratio (∼11.5) and a specific impulse of ∼950 s. It is shown that a PBR engine of this type will offer distinct advantages over the larger and heavier NERVA type nuclear engines

  13. The subsurface geology of Río Tinto: material examined during a simulated Mars drilling mission for the Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Schutt, John; Sutter, Brad; Heldmann, Jennifer L; Bell, Mary Sue; Battler, Melissa; Cannon, Howard; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    The 2005 Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) project conducted a simulated 1-month Mars drilling mission in the Río Tinto district, Spain. Dry robotic drilling, core sampling, and biological and geological analytical technologies were collectively tested for the first time for potential use on Mars. Drilling and subsurface sampling and analytical technologies are being explored for Mars because the subsurface is the most likely place to find life on Mars. The objectives of this work are to describe drilling, sampling, and analytical procedures; present the geological analysis of core and borehole material; and examine lessons learned from the drilling simulation. Drilling occurred at an undisclosed location, causing the science team to rely only on mission data for geological and biological interpretations. Core and borehole imaging was used for micromorphological analysis of rock, targeting rock for biological analysis, and making decisions regarding the next day's drilling operations. Drilling reached 606 cm depth into poorly consolidated gossan that allowed only 35% of core recovery and contributed to borehole wall failure during drilling. Core material containing any indication of biology was sampled and analyzed in more detail for its confirmation. Despite the poorly consolidated nature of the subsurface gossan, dry drilling was able to retrieve useful core material for geological and biological analysis. Lessons learned from this drilling simulation can guide the development of dry drilling and subsurface geological and biological analytical technologies for future Mars drilling missions.

  14. A Combined Solar Electric and Storable Chemical Propulsion Vehicle for Piloted Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.; Oleson, Steven R.; Drake, Bret G.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 explored a piloted Mars mission in the 2030 timeframe, focusing on architecture and technology choices. The DRA 5.0 focused on nuclear thermal and cryogenic chemical propulsion system options for the mission. Follow-on work explored both nuclear and solar electric options. One enticing option that was found in a NASA Collaborative Modeling for Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) design study used a combination of a 1-MW-class solar electric propulsion (SEP) system combined with storable chemical systems derived from the planned Orion crew vehicle. It was found that by using each propulsion system at the appropriate phase of the mission, the entire SEP stage and habitat could be placed into orbit with just two planned Space Launch System (SLS) heavy lift launch vehicles assuming the crew would meet up at the Earth-Moon (E-M) L2 point on a separate heavy-lift launch. These appropriate phases use high-thrust chemical propulsion only in gravity wells when the vehicle is piloted and solar electric propulsion for every other phase. Thus the SEP system performs the spiral of the unmanned vehicle from low Earth orbit (LEO) to E-M L2 where the vehicle meets up with the multi-purpose crew vehicle. From here SEP is used to place the vehicle on a trajectory to Mars. With SEP providing a large portion of the required capture and departure changes in velocity (delta V) at Mars, the delta V provided by the chemical propulsion is reduced by a factor of five from what would be needed with chemical propulsion alone at Mars. This trajectory also allows the SEP and habitat vehicle to arrive in the highly elliptic 1-sol parking orbit compatible with envisioned Mars landing concepts. This paper explores mission options using between SEP and chemical propulsion, the design of the SEP system including the solar array and electric propulsion systems, and packaging in the SLS shroud. Design trades of stay time, power level

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

    CERN Document Server

    von Ehrenfried, Manfred “Dutch”

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Trailblazing Medicine Sustaining Explorers During Interplanetary Missions

    CERN Document Server

    Seedhouse, Erik

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  18. Modular Power Standard for Space Explorations Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeftering, Richard C.; Gardner, Brent G.

    2016-01-01

    Future human space exploration will most likely be composed of assemblies of multiple modular spacecraft elements with interconnected electrical power systems. An electrical system composed of a standardized set modular building blocks provides significant development, integration, and operational cost advantages. The modular approach can also provide the flexibility to configure power systems to meet the mission needs. A primary goal of the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Modular Power System (AMPS) project is to establish a Modular Power Standard that is needed to realize these benefits. This paper is intended to give the space exploration community a "first look" at the evolving Modular Power Standard and invite their comments and technical contributions.

  19. RESEARCH ON THE DIGITAL SIMULATION FOR THE WHOLE PROCESS OF MARS EXPLORATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Lyu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available China has paid considerable attention to space exploration and made great strides in the field. The first Chinese Mars Exploration Mission will be carried out in 2020. Digital simulation has been proved to be an effective and efficient means for planning and deduction in many fields. Thus, it was introduced for the Mars exploration in this paper and key technologies was researched above three aspects. First of all, complicated time-space benchmark was combed to support the interplanetary simulation. Secondly, the multi-resolution pyramid model and indexing strategy were adopted to preprocess the geographical environment data, which ensured the efficiency of data loading, browsing, and querying. Then, the activity objects were abstracted and modelled based on four aspects, including property, ephemeris, geometry, and behavior. Therefore, a digital simulation system, called Sino-Mars, was developed. The architecture of Sino- Mars consists of five layers, including data collection, data processing, scenario modelling, visualization and application layer. Using the Chinese Mars Exploration Mission slated for 2020 as an example, we demonstrated the capabilities of Sino-Mars for data integration, visualization, process deduction, and auxiliary analysis.

  20. What and how can affect the exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  1. INTEGRITY -- Integrated Human Exploration Mission Simulation Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  2. Psychological and behavioral changes during confinement in a 520-day simulated interplanetary mission to mars.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Basner

    Full Text Available Behavioral health risks are among the most serious and difficult to mitigate risks of confinement in space craft during long-duration space exploration missions. We report on behavioral and psychological reactions of a multinational crew of 6 healthy males confined in a 550 m(3 chamber for 520 days during the first Earth-based, high-fidelity simulated mission to Mars. Rest-activity of crewmembers was objectively measured throughout the mission with wrist-worn actigraphs. Once weekly throughout the mission crewmembers completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II, Profile of Moods State short form (POMS, conflict questionnaire, the Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT-B, and series of visual analogue scales on stress and fatigue. We observed substantial inter-individual differences in the behavioral responses of crewmembers to the prolonged mission confinement and isolation. The crewmember with the highest average POMS total mood disturbance score throughout the mission also reported symptoms of depression in 93% of mission weeks, which reached mild-to-moderate levels in >10% of mission weeks. Conflicts with mission control were reported five times more often than conflicts among crewmembers. Two crewmembers who had the highest ratings of stress and physical exhaustion accounted for 85% of the perceived conflicts. One of them developed a persistent sleep onset insomnia with ratings of poor sleep quality, which resulted in chronic partial sleep deprivation, elevated ratings of daytime tiredness, and frequent deficits in behavioral alertness. Sleep-wake timing was altered in two other crewmembers, beginning in the first few months of the mission and persisting throughout. Two crewmembers showed neither behavioral disturbances nor reports of psychological distress during the 17-month period of mission confinement. These results highlight the importance of identifying behavioral, psychological, and biological markers of characteristics that

  3. What can in situ ion chromatography offer for Mars exploration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelor, C Phillip; Dasgupta, Purnendu K; Aubrey, Andrew; Davila, Alfonso F; Lee, Michael C; McKay, Christopher P; Liu, Yan; Noell, Aaron C

    2014-07-01

    The successes of the Mars exploration program have led to our unprecedented knowledge of the geological, mineralogical, and elemental composition of the martian surface. To date, however, only one mission, the Phoenix lander, has specifically set out to determine the soluble chemistry of the martian surface. The surprising results, including the detection of perchlorate, demonstrated both the importance of performing soluble ion measurements and the need for improved instrumentation to unambiguously identify all the species present. Ion chromatography (IC) is the state-of-the-art technique for soluble ion analysis on Earth and would therefore be the ideal instrument to send to Mars. A flight IC system must necessarily be small, lightweight, low-power, and have low eluent consumption. We demonstrate here a breadboard system that addresses these issues by using capillary IC at low flow rates with an optimized eluent generator and suppressor. A mix of 12 ions known or plausible for the martian soil, including 4 (oxy)chlorine species, has been separated at flow rates ranging from 1 to 10 μL/min, requiring as little as 200 psi at 1.0 μL/min. This allowed the use of pneumatic displacement pumping from a pressurized aluminum eluent reservoir and the elimination of the high-pressure pump entirely (the single heaviest and most energy-intensive component). All ions could be separated and detected effectively from 0.5 to 100 μM, even when millimolar concentrations of perchlorate were present in the same mixtures.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Mars Science Laboratory: Mission, Landing Site, and Initial Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, John; Blake, D.; Crisp, J.; Edgett, K.; Gellert, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Hassler, D.; Mahaffy, P.; Malin, M.; Meyer, M.; Mitrofanov, I.; Vasavada, A.; Wiens, R.

    2012-10-01

    Scheduled to land on August 5, 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, will conduct an investigation of modern and ancient environments. Recent mission results will be discussed. Curiosity has a lifetime of at least one Mars year ( 23 months), and drive capability of at least 20 km. The MSL science payload was specifically assembled to assess habitability and includes a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and gas analyzer that will search for organic carbon in rocks, regolith fines, and the atmosphere; an x-ray diffractometer that will determine mineralogical diversity; focusable cameras that can image landscapes and rock/regolith textures in natural color; an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer for in situ determination of rock and soil chemistry; a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer to remotely sense the chemical composition of rocks and minerals; an active neutron spectrometer designed to search for water in rocks/regolith; a weather station to measure modern-day environmental variables; and a sensor designed for continuous monitoring of background solar and cosmic radiation. The 155-km diameter Gale Crater was chosen as Curiosity’s field site based on several attributes: an interior mound of ancient flat-lying strata extending almost 5 km above the elevation of the landing site; the lower few hundred meters of the mound show a progression with relative age from clay-bearing to sulfate-bearing strata, separated by an unconformity from overlying likely anhydrous strata; the landing ellipse is characterized by a mixture of alluvial fan and high thermal inertia/high albedo stratified deposits; and a number of stratigraphically/geomorphically distinct fluvial features. Gale’s regional context and strong evidence for a progression through multiple potentially habitable environments, represented by a stratigraphic record of extraordinary extent, insure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars.

  7. Advances in Autonomous Systems for Missions of Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  8. A Lean, Fast Mars Round-trip Mission Architecture: Using Current Technologies for a Human Mission in the 2030s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Lora; Folta, David; Barbee, Brent W.; Vaughn, Frank; Kirchman, Frank; Englander, Jacob; Campbell, Bruce; Thronson, Harley; Lin, Tzu Yu

    2013-01-01

    We present a lean fast-transfer architecture concept for a first human mission to Mars that utilizes current technologies and two pivotal parameters: an end-to-end Mars mission duration of approximately one year, and a deep space habitat of approximately 50 metric tons. These parameters were formulated by a 2012 deep space habitat study conducted at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) that focused on a subset of recognized high- engineering-risk factors that may otherwise limit space travel to destinations such as Mars or near-Earth asteroid (NEA)s. With these constraints, we model and promote Mars mission opportunities in the 2030s enabled by a combination of on-orbit staging, mission element pre-positioning, and unique round-trip trajectories identified by state-of-the-art astrodynamics algorithms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Feasibility of a Dragon-Derived Mars Lander for Scientific and Human-Precursor Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karcz, John S.; Davis, Sanford S.; Allen, Gary A.; Glass, Brian J.; Gonzales, Andrew; Heldmann, Jennifer Lynne; Lemke, Lawrence G.; McKay, Chris; Stoker, Carol R.; Wooster, Paul Douglass; hide

    2013-01-01

    A minimally-modified SpaceX Dragon capsule launched on a Falcon Heavy rocket presents the possibility of a new low-cost, high-capacity Mars lander for robotic missions. We have been evaluating such a "Red Dragon" platform as an option for the Icebreaker Discovery Program mission concept. Dragon is currently in service ferrying cargo to and from the International Space Station, and a crew transport version is in development. The upcoming version, unlike other Earth-return vehicles, exhibits most of the capabilities necessary to land on Mars. In particular, it has a set of high-thrust, throttleable, storable bi-propellant "SuperDraco" engines integrated directly into the capsule that are intended for launch abort and powered landings on Earth. These thrusters provide the possibility of a parachute-free, fully-propulsive deceleration at Mars from supersonic speeds to the surface, a descent approach which would also scale well to larger future human landers. We will discuss the motivations for exploring a Red Dragon lander, the current results of our analysis of its feasibility and capabilities, and the implications of the platform for the Icebreaker mission concept. In particular, we will examine entry, descent, and landing (EDL) in detail. We will also describe the modifications to Dragon necessary for interplanetary cruise, EDL, and operations on the Martian surface. Our analysis to date indicates that a Red Dragon lander is feasible and that it would be capable of delivering more than 1000 kg of payload to sites at elevations three kilometers below the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) reference, which includes sites throughout most of the northern plains and Hellas.

  11. Development and evaluation of bioregenerative menus for Mars habitat missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Maya R.; Catauro, Patricia; Perchonok, Michele

    2012-12-01

    Two 10-day menus were developed in preparation for a Mars habitat mission. The first was built on the assumption, as in previous menu development efforts for closed ecological systems, that the food system would be vegetarian, whereas the second menu introduced shelf-stable, prepackaged meat and entrée items from the current International Space Station (ISS) food system. Both menus delivered an average of 3000 cal daily but the macronutrient proportions resulted in an excess of carbohydrates and dietary fiber per mission nutritional recommendations. Generally, the individual recipes comprising both menus were deemed acceptable by internal sensory panel (average overall acceptability=7.4). The incorporation of existing ISS entrée items did not have a significant effect on the acceptability of the menus. In a final comparison, the food system upmass, or the amount of food that is shipped from the Earth, increased by 297 kg with the addition of prepackaged entrées to the menu. However, the addition of the shipped massed was counterbalanced by a 864 kg reduction in required crops. A further comparison of the crew time required for meal preparation and farming, food system power requirements, and food processing equipment mass is recommended to definitively distinguish the menus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  13. System-level Analysis of Food Moisture Content Requirements for the Mars Dual Lander Transit Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levri, Julie A.; Perchonok, Michele H.

    2004-01-01

    In order to ensure that adequate water resources are available during a mission, any net water loss from the habitat must be balanced with an equivalent amount of required makeup water. Makeup water may come from a variety of sources, including water in shipped tanks, water stored in prepackaged food, product water from fuel cells, and in-situ water resources. This paper specifically addresses the issue of storing required makeup water in prepackaged food versus storing the water in shipped tanks for the Mars Dual Lander Transit Mission, one of the Advanced Life Support Reference Missions. In this paper, water mass balances have been performed for the Dual Lander Transit Mission, to determine the necessary requirement of makeup water under nominal operation (i.e. no consideration of contingency needs), on a daily basis. Contingency issues are briefly discussed with respect to impacts on makeup water storage (shipped tanks versus storage in prepackaged food). The Dual Lander Transit Mission was selected for study because it has been considered by the Johnson Space Center Exploration Office in enough detail to define a reasonable set of scenario options for nominal system operation and contingencies. This study also illustrates the concept that there are multiple, reasonable life support system scenarios for any one particular mission. Thus, the need for a particular commodity can depend upon many variables in the system. In this study, we examine the need for makeup water as it depends upon the configuration of the rest of the life support system.

  14. Solar Power System Evaluated for the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerslake, Thomas W.

    2000-01-01

    The electric power system is a crucial element of any mission for the human exploration of the Martian surface. The bulk of the power generated will be delivered to crew life support systems, extravehicular activity suits, robotic vehicles, and predeployed in situ resource utilization (ISRU) equipment. In one mission scenario, before the crew departs for Mars, the ISRU plant operates for 435 days producing liquefied methane and oxygen for ascent-stage propellants and water for crew life support. About 200 days after ISRU production is completed, the crew arrives for a 500-day surface stay. In this scenario, the power system must operate for a total of 1130 days (equivalent to 1100 Martian "sols"), providing 400 MW-hr of energy to the ISRU plant and up to 18 kW of daytime user power. A photovoltaic power-generation system with regenerative fuel cell (RFC) energy storage has been under study at the NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field. The conceptual power system is dominated by the 4000- m2 class photovoltaic array that is deployed orthogonally as four tent structures, each approximately 5 m on a side and 100-m long. The structures are composed of composite members deployed by an articulating mast, an inflatable boom, or rover vehicles, and are subsequently anchored to the ground. Array panels consist of thin polymer membranes with thin-film solar cells. The array is divided into eight independent electrical sections with solar cell strings operating at 600 V. Energy storage is provided by regenerative fuel cells based on hydrogen-oxygen proton exchange membrane technology. Hydrogen and oxygen reactants are stored in gaseous form at 3000 psi, and the water produced is stored at 14.7 psi. The fuel cell operating temperature is maintained by a 40-m2 deployable pumped-fluid loop radiator that uses water as the working fluid. The power management and distribution (PMAD) architecture features eight independent, regulated 600-Vdc channels. Power management and

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitter, C.; Buxner, S. R.

    2009-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-08

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

  18. The Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Surveyor (ARES): New Mars Science to Reduce Human Risk and Prepare for the Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Croom, Mark A.; Wright, Henry S.; Killough, B. D.; Edwards, W. C.

    2012-01-01

    Obtaining critical measurements for eventual human Mars missions while expanding upon recent Mars scientific discoveries and deriving new scientific knowledge from a unique near surface vantage point is the focus of the Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Surveyor (ARES) exploration mission. The key element of ARES is an instrumented,rocket-powered, well-tested robotic airplane platform, that will fly between one to two kilometers above the surface while traversing hundreds of kilometers to collect and transmit previously unobtainable high spatial measurements relevant to the NASA Mars Exploration Program and the exploration of Mars by humans.

  19. 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.

  20. NASA's New Mars Exploration Program: The Trajectory of Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, James B.; Figueroa, Orlando; Naderi, Firouz M.

    2001-12-01

    NASA's newly restructured Mars Exploration Program (MEP) is finally on the way to Mars with the successful April 7 launch of the 2001 Mars Odyssey Orbiter. In addition, the announcement by the Bush Administration that the exploration of Mars will be a priority within NASA's Office of Space Science further cements the first decade of the new millennium as one of the major thrusts to understand the "new" Mars. Over the course of the past year and a half, an integrated team of managers, scientists, and engineers has crafted a revamped MEP to respond to the scientific as well as management and resource challenges associated with deep space exploration of the Red Planet. This article describes the new program from the perspective of its guiding philosophies, major events, and scientific strategy. It is intended to serve as a roadmap to the next 10-15 years of Mars exploration from the NASA viewpoint. [For further details, see the Mars Exploration Program web site (URL): http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov]. The new MEP will certainly evolve in response to discoveries, to successes, and potentially to setbacks as well. However, the design of the restructured strategy is attentive to risks, and a major attempt to instill resiliency in the program has been adopted. Mars beckons, and the next decade of exploration should provide the impetus for a follow-on decade in which multiple sample returns and other major program directions are executed. Ultimately the vision to consider the first human scientific expeditions to the Red Planet will be enabled. By the end of the first decade of this program, we may know where and how to look for the elusive clues associated with a possible martian biological record, if any was every preserved, even if only as "chemical fossils."

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  2. Mud Volcanoes as Exploration Targets on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Oehler, Dorothy Z.

    2010-01-01

    Tens of thousands of high-albedo mounds occur across the southern part of the Acidalia impact basin on Mars. These structures have geologic, physical, mineralogic, and morphologic characteristics consistent with an origin from a sedimentary process similar to terrestrial mud volcanism. The potential for mud volcanism in the Northern Plains of Mars has been recognized for some time, with candidate mud volcanoes reported from Utopia, Isidis, northern Borealis, Scandia, and the Chryse-Acidalia region. We have proposed that the profusion of mounds in Acidalia is a consequence of this basin's unique geologic setting as the depocenter for the tune fraction of sediments delivered by the outflow channels from the highlands.

  3. NASA's strategy for Mars exploration in the 1990s and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntress, W. T.; Feeley, T. J.; Boyce, J. M.

    NASA's Office of Space Science is changing its approach to all its missions, both current and future. Budget realities are necessitating that we change the way we do business and the way we look at NASA's role in the U.S. Government. These challenges are being met by a new and innovative approach that focuses on achieving a balanced world-class space science program that requires less U.S. resources while providing an enhanced role for technology and education as integral components of our Research and Development (R&D) programs. Our Mars exploration plans, especially the Mars Surveyor program, are a key feature of this new NASA approach to space science. The Mars Surveyor program will be affordable, engaging to the public with global and close-up images of Mars, have high scientific value, employ a distributed risk strategy (two launches per opportunity), and will use significant advanced technologies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jan, Darrell L.

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Tracking and data system support for the Mariner Mars 1971 mission. Volume 3: Orbit insertion through end of primary mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnum, P. W.; Renzetti, N. A.; Textor, G. P.; Kelly, L. B.

    1973-01-01

    The Tracking and Data System (TDS) Support for the Mariner Mars 1971 Mission final report contains the deep space tracking and data acquisition activities in support of orbital operations. During this period a major NASA objective was accomplished: completion of the 180th revolution and 90th day of data gathering with the spacecraft about the planet Mars. Included are presentations of the TDS flight support pass chronology data for each of the Deep Space Stations used, and performance evaluation for the Deep Space Network Telemetry, Tracking, Command, and Monitor Systems. With the loss of Mariner 8 at launch, Mariner 9 assumed the mission plan of Mariner 8, which included the TV mapping cycles and a 12-hr orbital period. The mission plan was modified as a result of a severe dust storm on the surface of Mars, which delayed the start of the TV mapping cycles. Thus, the end of primary mission date was extended to complete the TV mapping cycles.

  6. 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.

  7. Trajectory Options for a Potential Mars Mission Combining Orbiting Science, Relay and a Sample Return Rendezvous Demonstration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinn, Joseph R.; Kerridge, Stuart J.; Wilson, Roby S.

    2012-01-01

    Mars sample return is a major scientific goal of the 2011 US National Research Council Decadal Survey for Planetary Science. Toward achievement of this goal, recent architecture studies have focused on several mission concept options for the 2018/2020 Mars launch opportunities. Mars orbiters play multiple roles in these architectures such as: relay, landing site identification/selection/certification, collection of on-going or new measurements to fill knowledge gaps, and in-orbit collection and transportation of samples from Mars to Earth. This paper reviews orbiter concepts that combine these roles and describes a novel family of relay orbits optimized for surface operations support. Additionally, these roles provide an intersection of objectives for long term NASA science, human exploration, technology development and international collaboration.

  8. Design of a Mars Airplane Propulsion System for the Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey (ARES) Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhl. Christopher A.

    2009-01-01

    The Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey (ARES) is a Mars exploration mission concept with the goal of taking scientific measurements of the atmosphere, surface, and subsurface of Mars by using an airplane as the payload platform. ARES team first conducted a Phase-A study for a 2007 launch opportunity, which was completed in May 2003. Following this study, significant efforts were undertaken to reduce the risk of the atmospheric flight system, under the NASA Langley Planetary Airplane Risk Reduction Project. The concept was then proposed to the Mars Scout program in 2006 for a 2011 launch opportunity. This paper summarizes the design and development of the ARES airplane propulsion subsystem beginning with the inception of the ARES project in 2002 through the submittal of the Mars Scout proposal in July 2006.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Biological implications of the Viking mission to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazur, P.; Barghoorn, E.S.; Jukes, T.H.; Margulis, L.

    1978-01-01

    A central purpose of Viking was to search for evidence that life exists on Mars or may have existed in the past. The missions carried three biology experiments the prime purpose of which was to seek for existing microbial life. They produced clear evidence of chemical reactivity in soil samples, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the chemical reactions were nonbiological in origin. The unexpected release of oxygen by soil moistened with water vapor in the Gas Exchange experiment together with the negative findings of the organic analysis experiment lead to the conclusion that the surface contains powerful oxidants. This conclusion is consistent with models of the atmosphere. The oxidants appear also to have been responsible for the decarboxylation of the organic nutrients that were introduced in the Label Release experiment. The major results of the GEX and LR experiments have been simulated at least qualitatively on Earth. The third, Pyrolytic Release, experiment obtained evidence for organic synthesis by soil samples. Although the mechanism of the synthesis is obscure, the thermal stability of the reaction makes a biological explanation most unlikely. Furthermore, the response of soil samples in all three experiments to the addition of water is not consistent with a biological interpretation. (Auth.)

  11. Biological implications of the Viking mission to Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mazur, P [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (USA); Barghoorn, E S [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (USA). Dept. of Biology; Halvorson, H O [Brandeis Univ., Waltham, MA (USA); Jukes, T H [California Univ., Berkeley (USA). Space Sciences Lab.; Kaplan, I R [California Univ., Los Angeles (USA); Margulis, L [Boston Univ., MA (USA)

    1978-06-01

    A central purpose of Viking was to search for evidence that life exists on Mars or may have existed in the past. The missions carried three biology experiments the prime purpose of which was to seek for existing microbial life. They produced clear evidence of chemical reactivity in soil samples, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the chemical reactions were nonbiological in origin. The unexpected release of oxygen by soil moistened with water vapor in the Gas Exchange experiment together with the negative findings of the organic analysis experiment lead to the conclusion that the surface contains powerful oxidants. This conclusion is consistent with models of the atmosphere. The oxidants appear also to have been responsible for the decarboxylation of the organic nutrients that were introduced in the Label Release experiment. The major results of the GEX and LR experiments have been simulated at least qualitatively on Earth. The third, Pyrolytic Release, experiment obtained evidence for organic synthesis by soil samples. Although the mechanism of the synthesis is obscure, the thermal stability of the reaction makes a biological explanation most unlikely. Furthermore, the response of soil samples in all three experiments to the addition of water is not consistent with a biological interpretation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, James B.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-02

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

  14. In situ NIR reflectance and LIBS measurements in lava tubes in preparation for future Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leveille, R.; Sobron, P.

    2017-12-01

    The ATiLT (Astrobiology Training in Lava Tubes) program addresses Mars astrobiology exploration objectives by performing field work and instrumental analyses in lava tubes as high fidelity analog environments to putative lava tubes on Mars. The main field location for ATiLT is the Lava Beds National Monument (LABE) in Northern California. LABE is situated on the lower north flank of the Medicine Lake Volcano of the Cascade arc. This location features hundreds of caves, most of which are relatively shallow, typically well above the water table, reaching 20-45m below land surface at their maximum depth. Some LABE caves feature `cold sinks' where cold air sinks and becomes trapped in deeper cave passages, thus allowing perennial ice to accumulate despite above freezing surface temperatures. Several lava tube caves in LABE also contain seasonal or perennial ice accumulations, which makes them excellent analogs to Mars lava tubes where the presence of ice has been predicted. While lava tubes are very attractive systems to test hypotheses related to habitability and the possibility for life on Mars, at present there are no comprehensive in-situ instrument-driven characterizations of the mineralogy and geochemistry of lava tubes. ATiLT fills this gap by providing detailed, in-situ investigations with scientific instruments relevant to Mars exploration. Our aim is to help constrain future exploration targets on Mars and define future mission operations and requirements. For this purpose, in May 2017 we carried out a field campaign in several lava tubes at LABE. We deployed two miniature spectroscopic sensors suitable for dark, humid, cave conditions: NIR reflectance (1-5 μm) and LIBS (300-900 nm). The advantages of combining NIR reflectance and LIBS are evident: LIBS can reveal the relative concentration of major (and often trace) elements present in a bulk sample, whereas NIR reflectance yields information on the individual mineral species and their chemical and

  15. Automation and Robotics for Human Mars Exploration (AROMA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Peter; von Richter, Andreas

    2003-01-01

    Automation and Robotics (A&R) systems are a key technology for Mars exploration. All over the world initiatives in this field aim at developing new A&R systems and technologies for planetary surface exploration. From December 2000 to February 2002 Kayser-Threde GmbH, Munich, Germany lead a study called AROMA (Automation and 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 of this effort is to initiate new developments and to maintain the competitiveness of European industry within this field. c2003 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  16. Six-Axis Force-Torque Transducer for Mars 2018 Mission, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A transducer element that is hearty enough for a Mars lander mission needs to be developed so that a six-axis force and torque transducer is possible. The technical...

  17. International Human Mission to Mars: Analyzing A Conceptual Launch and Assembly Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cates, Grant; Stromgren, Chel; Arney, Dale; Cirillo, William; Goodliff, Kandyce

    2014-01-01

    In July of 2013, U.S. Congressman Kennedy (D-Mass.) successfully offered an amendment to H.R. 2687, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2013. "International Participation—The President should invite the United States partners in the International Space Station program and other nations, as appropriate, to participate in an international initiative under the leadership of the United States to achieve the goal of successfully conducting a crewed mission to the surface of Mars." This paper presents a concept for an international campaign to launch and assemble a crewed Mars Transfer Vehicle. NASA’s “Human Exploration of Mars: Design Reference Architecture 5.0” (DRA 5.0) was used as the point of departure for this concept. DRA 5.0 assumed that the launch and assembly campaign would be conducted using NASA launch vehicles. The concept presented utilizes a mixed fleet of NASA Space Launch System (SLS), U.S. commercial and international launch vehicles to accomplish the launch and assembly campaign. This concept has the benefit of potentially reducing the campaign duration. However, the additional complexity of the campaign must also be considered. The reliability of the launch and assembly campaign utilizing SLS launches augmented with commercial and international launch vehicles is analyzed and compared using discrete event simulation.

  18. The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Human Factors and Habitability Challenges for Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitmore, Mihriban

    2015-01-01

    As NASA is planning to send humans deeper into space than ever before, adequate crew health and performance will be critical for mission success. Within the NASA Human Research Program (HRP), the Space Human Factors and Habitability (SHFH) team is responsible for characterizing the risks associated with human capabilities and limitations with respect to long-duration spaceflight, and for providing mitigations (e.g., guidelines, technologies, and tools) to promote safe, reliable and productive missions. SHFH research includes three domains: Advanced Environmental Health (AEH), Advanced Food Technology (AFT), and Space Human Factors Engineering (SHFE). The AEH portfolio focuses on understanding the risk of microbial contamination of the spacecraft and on the development of standards for exposure to potential toxins such as chemicals, bacteria, fungus, and lunar/Martian dust. The two risks that the environmental health project focuses on are adverse health effects due to changes in host-microbe interactions, and risks associated with exposure to dust in planetary surface habitats. This portfolio also proposes countermeasures to these risks by making recommendations that relate to requirements for environmental quality, foods, and crew health on spacecraft and space missions. The AFT portfolio focuses on reducing the mass, volume, and waste of the entire integrated food system to be used in exploration missions, and investigating processing methods to extend the shelf life of food items up to five years, while assuring that exploration crews will have nutritious and palatable foods. The portfolio also delivers improvements in both the food itself and the technologies for storing and preparing it. SHFE sponsors research to establish human factors and habitability standards and guidelines in five risk areas, and provides improved design concepts for advanced crew interfaces and habitability systems. These risk areas include: Incompatible vehicle/habitat design

  2. The human story of Crew 173- capturing a Mars analog mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Niamh; Musilova, Michaela; Pons Lorente, Arnau; Sisaid, Idriss; Naor, Roy; Blake, Richard

    2017-04-01

    An international crew of six scientists, engineers, artists and entrepreneurs with different space specialisations were selected by the Mars Society to take part in a Martian simulation in January 2017. An ambitious outreach and media strategy was developed, aimed at communicating the benefits of missions to Mars to the public and to capture the public's interest by telling the human story of the crew's mission. Entitled Crew 173 Team PRIMA, they entered the Mars Desert Research Station in the Utah Desert and conducted research in 3D printing, hydroponics, geology and astronomy. Both the scientific and community experience of this mission was documented through still image, video, audio, diary and daily journalling by the resident artist of the mission, Niamh Shaw. The full experience of the crew was documented (before, during and after the expedition), to capture each individual experience of the crew and the human experience of isolation of future human space missions.

  3. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP): A Proven, Growth Technology for Fast Transit Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The "fast conjunction" long surface stay mission option was selected for NASA's recent Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study because it provided adequate time at Mars (approx. 540 days) for the crew to explore the planet's geological diversity while also reducing the "1-way" transit times to and from Mars to approx. 6 months. Short transit times are desirable in order to reduce the debilitating physiological effects on the human body that can result from prolonged exposure to the zero-gravity (0-gE) and radiation environments of space. Recent measurements from the RAD detector attached to the Curiosity rover indicate that astronauts would receive a radiation dose of approx. 0.66 Sv (approx. 66 rem)-the limiting value established by NASA-during their 1-year journey in deep space. Proven nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) technology, with its high thrust and high specific impulse (Isp approx. 900 s), can cut 1-way transit times by as much as 50 percent by increasing the propellant capacity of the Mars transfer vehicle (MTV). No large technology scale-ups in engine size are required for these short transit missions either since the smallest engine tested during the Rover program-the 25 klbf "Pewee" engine is sufficient when used in a clustered arrangement of three to four engines. The "Copernicus" crewed MTV developed for DRA 5.0 is a 0-gE design consisting of three basic components: (1) the NTP stage (NTPS); (2) the crewed payload element; and (3) an integrated "saddle truss" and LH2 propellant drop tank assembly that connects the two elements. With a propellant capacity of approx. 190 t, Copernicus can support 1-way transit times ranging from approx. 150 to 220 days over the 15-year synodic cycle. The paper examines the impact on vehicle design of decreasing transit times for the 2033 mission opportunity. With a fourth "upgraded" SLS/HLV launch, an "in-line" LH2 tank element can be added to Copernicus allowing 1-way transit times of 130 days. To achieve 100

  4. Seismic exploration for water on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Page, T.

    1987-01-01

    It is proposed to soft-land three seismometers in the Utopia-Elysium region and three or more radio controlled explosive charges at nearby sites that can be accurately located by an orbiter. Seismic signatures of timed explosions, to be telemetered to the orbiter, will be used to detect present surface layers, including those saturated by volatiles such as water and/or ice. The Viking Landers included seismometers that showed that at present Mars is seismically quiet, and that the mean crustal thickness at the site is about 14 to 18 km. The new seismic landers must be designed to minimize wind vibration noise, and the landing sites selected so that each is well formed on the regolith, not on rock outcrops or in craters. The explosive charges might be mounted on penetrators aimed at nearby smooth areas. They must be equipped with radio emitters for accurate location and radio receivers for timed detonation

  5. Advanced Nuclear Power Concepts for Human Exploration Missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robert L. Cataldo; Lee S. Mason

    2000-01-01

    The design reference mission for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) human mission to Mars supports a philosophy of living off the land in order to reduce crew risk, launch mass, and life-cycle costs associated with logistics resupply to a Mars base. Life-support materials, oxygen, water, and buffer gases, and the crew's ascent-stage propellant would not be brought from Earth but rather manufactured from the Mars atmosphere. The propellants would be made over ∼2 yr, the time between Mars mission launch window opportunities. The production of propellants is very power intensive and depends on type, amount, and time to produce the propellants. Closed-loop life support and food production are also power intensive. With the base having several habitats, a greenhouse, and propellant production capability, total power levels reach well over 125 kW(electric). The most mass-efficient means of satisfying these requirements is through the use of nuclear power. Studies have been performed to identify a potential system concept, described in this paper, using a mobile cart to transport the power system away from the Mars lander and provide adequate separation between the reactor and crew. The studies included an assessment of reactor and power conversion technology options, selection of system and component redundancy, determination of optimum separation distance, and system performance sensitivity to some key operating parameters

  6. Unmanned systems to support the human exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage, Douglas W.

    2010-04-01

    Robots and other unmanned systems will play many critical roles in support of a human presence on Mars, including surveying candidate landing sites, locating ice and mineral resources, establishing power and other infrastructure, performing construction tasks, and transporting equipment and supplies. Many of these systems will require much more strength and power than exploration rovers. The presence of humans on Mars will permit proactive maintenance and repair, and allow teleoperation and operator intervention, supporting multiple dynamic levels of autonomy, so the critical challenges to the use of unmanned systems will occur before humans arrive on Mars. Nevertheless, installed communications and navigation infrastructure should be able to support structured and/or repetitive operations (such as excavation, drilling, or construction) within a "familiar" area with an acceptable level of remote operator intervention. This paper discusses some of the factors involved in developing and deploying unmanned systems to make humans' time on Mars safer and more productive, efficient, and enjoyable.

  7. Development and Demonstration of Sustainable Surface Infrastructure for Moon/Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.; Larson, William E.; Picard, Martin

    2011-01-01

    For long-term human exploration of the Moon and Mars to be practical, affordable, and sustainable, future missions must be able to identify and utilize resources at the site of exploration. The ability to characterize, extract, processes, and separate products from local material, known as In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), can provide significant reductions in launch mass, logistics, and development costs while reducing risk through increased mission flexibility and protection as well as increased mission capabilities in the areas of power and transportation. Making mission critical consumables like propellants, fuel cell reagents and life support gases, as well as in-situ crew/hardware protection and energy storage capabilities can significantly enhance robotic and human science and exploration missions, however other mission systems need to be designed to interface with and utilize these in-situ developed products and services from the start or the benefits will be minimized or eliminated. This requires a level of surface and transportation system development coordination not typically utilized during early technology and system development activities. An approach being utilized by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Canadian Space Agency has been to utilize joint analogue field demonstrations to focus technology development activities to demonstrate and integrate new and potentially game changing. mission critical capabilities that would enable an affordable and sustainable surface infrastructure for lunar and Mars robotic and human exploration. Two analogue field tests performed in November 2008 and February 2010 demonstrated first generation capabilities for lunar resource prospecting, exploration site preparation, and oxygen extraction from regolith while initiating integration with mobility, science, fuel cell power, and propulsion disciplines. A third analogue field test currently planned for June 2012 will continue and expand

  8. Joint US-USSR Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floyd, S. R.; Trombka, J. I.; Evans, L. G.; Starr, R.; Squyres, S. W.; Surkov, Iu. A.; Moskaleva, L. P.; Shcheglov, O.; Mitugov, A. G.; Rester, A. C.

    1991-01-01

    The Long duration Antarctic Mars calibration Balloon (LAMB) project has been established at Goddard Space Flight Center for the evaluation and cross calibration of U.S. and USSR remote sensing gamma-ray and neutron detectors. These detectors are analogs of those flown on the Soviet Phobos mission around Mars and those to be flown on the upcoming U.S. Mars Observer mission. Cosmic rays, which are normally filtered out by the atmosphere, and the earth's magnetic field, will induce gamma-ray and neutron emissions from about a half ton of simulated Mars soil aboard the gondola. The cross calibration of these instruments should greatly facilitate the data analysis from both missions and play a role in U.S.-USSR cooperation in space.

  9. 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

  10. Working hours, sleep, salivary cortisol, fatigue and neuro-behavior during Mars analog mission: five crews study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Balwant; Foing, Bernard H; Kaur, Jasdeep

    2012-05-16

    The buoyancy of humans in exploring extreme space environments has been established during missions to the moon. Long duration missions like mission to Mars however, requires humans to adapt to systemic and complex environments beyond the human body's capacity. Astronauts will encounter both physiological and psychological extremes during this trip. Very few studies are conducted on effect of long duration work and sleepiness on cognitive performance. So, this study was planned to find out effects of leadership responsibility, sleepiness and long duration working hours on cognitive performance. The 30 members (leadership: normal; 10:20) were selected from MDRS crews (Mars Desert Research Station, USA). Neurobehavioral test performance, self-ratings of fatigue and sleepiness, and salivary cortisol levels were evaluated during first day, mid and end day of mission. The leadership group did not show any signs of reduced test performance, even in elevated fatigue and sleepiness. The leadership group had faster reaction times on end of mission as compared to first and after 7 day of mission. Salivary cortisol levels were significantly higher in leadership group as compared to normal group. The results suggest that long duration work and sleepiness does not affect the cognitive performance of crew member. Further study is required while taking into account all factors and large sample size to prove this fact. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Nonablative lightweight thermal protection system for Mars Aeroflyby Sample collection mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Toshiyuki; Aoki, Takuya; Ogasawara, Toshio; Fujita, Kazuhisa

    2017-07-01

    In this study, the concept of a nonablative lightweight thermal protection system (NALT) were proposed for a Mars exploration mission currently under investigation in Japan. The NALT consists of a carbon/carbon (C/C) composite skin, insulator tiles, and a honeycomb sandwich panel. Basic thermal characteristics of the NALT were obtained by conducting heating tests in high-enthalpy facilities. Thermal conductivity values of the insulator tiles as well as the emissivity values of the C/C skin were measured to develop a numerical analysis code for predicting NALT's thermal performance in flight environments. Finally, a breadboard model of a 600-mm diameter NALT aeroshell was developed and qualified through vibration and thermal vacuum tests.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Dosimetry of a Deep-Space (Mars) Mission using Measurements from RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, D.; Zeitlin, C.; Ehresmann, B.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F.; Guo, J.; Matthiae, D.; Reitz, G.

    2017-12-01

    The space radiation environment is one of the outstanding challenges of a manned deep-space mission to Mars. To improve our understanding and take us one step closer to enabling a human Mars to mission, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has been characterizing the radiation environment, both during cruise and on the surface of Mars for the past 5 years. Perhaps the most significant difference between space radiation and radiation exposures from terrestrial exposures is that space radiation includes a significant component of heavy ions from Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs). Acute exposures from Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) are possible during and around solar maximum, but the energies from SEPs are generally lower and more easily shielded. Thus the greater concern for long duration deep-space missions is the GCR exposure. In this presentation, I will review the the past 5 years of MSL RAD observations and discuss current approaches to radiation risk estimation used by NASA and other space agencies.

  14. United States Human Access to Space, Exploration of the Moon and Preparation for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhatigan, Jennifer L.

    2009-01-01

    In the past, men like Leonardo da Vinci and Jules Verne imagined the future and envisioned fantastic inventions such as winged flying machines, submarines, and parachutes, and posited human adventures like transoceanic flight and journeys to the Moon. Today, many of their ideas are reality and form the basis for our modern world. While individual visionaries like da Vinci and Verne are remembered for the accuracy of their predictions, today entire nations are involved in the process of envisioning and defining the future development of mankind, both on and beyond the Earth itself. Recently, Russian, European, and Chinese teams have all announced plans for developing their own next generation human space vehicles. The Chinese have announced their intention to conduct human lunar exploration, and have flown three crewed space missions since 2003, including a flight with three crew members to test their extravehicular (spacewalking) capabilities in September 2008. Very soon, the prestige, economic development, scientific discovery, and strategic security advantage historically associated with leadership in space exploration and exploitation may no longer be the undisputed province of the United States. Much like the sponsors of the seafaring explorers of da Vinci's age, we are motivated by the opportunity to obtain new knowledge and new resources for the growth and development of our own civilization. NASA's new Constellation Program, established in 2005, is tasked with maintaining the United States leadership in space, exploring the Moon, creating a sustained human lunar presence, and eventually extending human operations to Mars and beyond. Through 2008, the Constellation Program developed a full set of detailed program requirements and is now completing the preliminary design phase for the new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, and the associated infrastructure necessary for humans to explore the Moon. Component testing is well

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  16. Safe passage: astronaut care for exploration missions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ball, John; Evans, Charles H

    2001-01-01

    .... As space missions increase in duration from months to years and extend well beyond Earth’s orbit, so will the attendant risks of working in these extreme and isolated environmental conditions...

  17. The radiometric performances of the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer for Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomba, E.; Colangeli, L.; Formisano, V.; Piccioni, G.; Cafaro, N.; Moroz, V.

    1999-04-01

    The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) is a Fourier transform interferometer, operating in the range 1.2-45 μm. The instrument, previously included in the payload of the failed mission Mars ‧96, is proposed for the future space mission Mars Express, under study by ESA. The present paper is aimed at presenting the radiometric performances of PFS. The two channels (LW and SW) forming PFS were analysed and characterised in terms of sensitivity and noise equivalent brightness. To cover the wide spectral range of PFS, different blackbodies were used for calibration. The built-in blackbodies, needed for the in-flight calibrations, were also characterised. The results show that the LW channel is comparable with IRIS Mariner 9 in terms of noise equivalent brightness. The SW channel performances, while satisfactorily, could be improved by lowering the sensor operative temperature. A simple model of the Mars radiance is used in order to calculate the signal-to-noise ratio on the spectra in typical observation conditions. The computed signal-to-noise ratio for the LW channel varies between 430 and 40, while for the SW channel it ranges from 150 to 30. The radiometric analyses confirm that PFS performances are compliant with the design requirements of the instrument. PFS is fully validated for future remote exploration of the atmosphere and the surface of Mars.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez, Jorge I; Farmer, Jack D; Sellar, R Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A; Blaney, Diana L

    2014-02-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Mars-Microscopic imager-Multispectral imaging-Spectroscopy-Habitability-Arm instrument.

  3. Dual-mode, high energy utilization system concept for mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2000-01-01

    This paper describes a dual-mode, high energy utilization system concept based on the Pellet Bed Reactor (PeBR) to support future manned missions to Mars. The system uses proven Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) engines to partially convert the reactor thermal power to electricity. The electric power generated is kept the same during the propulsion and the power modes, but the reactor thermal power in the former could be several times higher, while maintaining the reactor temperatures almost constant. During the propulsion mode, the electric power of the system, minus ∼1-5 kW e for house keeping, is used to operate a Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). In addition, the reactor thermal power, plus more than 85% of the head load of the CBC engine radiators, are used to heat hydrogen. The hot hydrogen is mixed with the high temperature plasma in a VASIMR to provide both high thrust and I sp >35,000 N.s/kg, reducing the travel time to Mars to about 3 months. The electric power also supports surface exploration of Mars. The fuel temperature and the inlet temperatures of the He-Xe working fluid to the nuclear reactor core and the CBC turbine are maintained almost constant during both the propulsion and power modes to minimize thermal stresses. Also, the exit temperature of the He-Xe from the reactor core is kept at least 200 K below the maximum fuel design temperature. The present system has no single point failure and could be tested fully assembled in a ground facility using electric heaters in place of the nuclear reactor. Operation and design parameters of a 40-kW e prototype are presented and discussed to illustrate the operation and design principles of the proposed system

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  5. PADME (Phobos And Deimos and Mars Environment): A Proposed NASA Discovery Mission to Investigate the Two Moons of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Pascal; Benna, Mehdi; Britt, Daniel; Colaprete, Anthony; Davis, Warren; Delory, Greg; Elphic, Richard; Fulsang, Ejner; Genova, Anthony; Glavin, Daniel; hide

    2015-01-01

    After 40 years of solar system exploration by spacecraft, the origin of Mars's satellites, remains vexingly unknown. There are three prevailing hypotheses concerning their origin: H1: They are captured small bodies from the outer main belt or beyond; H2: They are reaccreted Mars impact ejecta; H3: They are remnants of Mars' formation. There are many variants of these hypotheses, but as stated, these three capture the key ideas and constraints on their nature. So far, data and modeling have not allowed any one of these hypotheses to be verified or excluded. Each one of these hypotheses has important implications for the evolution of the solar system, the formation and evolution of planets and satellites, and the delivery of water and organics to Early Mars and Early Earth. Determining the origin of Phobos and Deimos is identified by the NASA and the NRC Decadal Survey as the most important science goal at these bodies.

  6. Life sciences - On the critical path for missions of exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulzman, Frank M.; Connors, Mary M.; Gaiser, Karen

    1988-01-01

    Life sciences are important and critical to the safety and success of manned and long-duration space missions. The life science issues covered include gravitational physiology, space radiation, medical care delivery, environmental maintenance, bioregenerative systems, crew and human factors within and outside the spacecraft. The history of the role of life sciences in the space program is traced from the Apollo era, through the Skylab era to the Space Shuttle era. The life science issues of the space station program and manned missions to the moon and Mars are covered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  8. Physicochemical and biological technologies for future exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  9. Technology under Moon and Mars Analog Missions Activities (MMAMA)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA Analog Missions research addresses the need for integrated interdisciplinary field experiments as an integral part of preparation for planned human and robotic...

  10. Advanced Exploration Technologies: Micro and Nano Technologies Enabling Space Missions in the 21st Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krabach, Timothy

    1998-01-01

    Some of the many new and advanced exploration technologies which will enable space missions in the 21st century and specifically the Manned Mars Mission are explored in this presentation. Some of these are the system on a chip, the Computed-Tomography imaging Spectrometer, the digital camera on a chip, and other Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology for space. Some of these MEMS are the silicon micromachined microgyroscope, a subliming solid micro-thruster, a micro-ion thruster, a silicon seismometer, a dewpoint microhygrometer, a micro laser doppler anemometer, and tunable diode laser (TDL) sensors. The advanced technology insertion is critical for NASA to decrease mass, volume, power and mission costs, and increase functionality, science potential and robustness.

  11. Viking mission and the search for life on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klein, H.P.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Nuclear power systems for Lunar and Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sovie, R.J.; Bozek, J.M.

    1994-01-01

    Initial studies of a variety of mission scenarios for the new Space Exploration Initiative, and the technologies necessary to enable or significantly enhance them, have identified the development of advanced space power systems - whether solar, chemical or nuclear - to be of prime importance. Lightweight, compact, reliable power systems for planetary rovers and a variety of surface vehicles, utility surface power, and power for advanced propulsion systems were identified as critical needs for these missions. This paper discusses these mission scenarios, the concomitant power system requirements; the power system options considered and identifies the significant potential benefits of nuclear power for meeting the power needs of the above applications

  15. Developing Fabrication Technologies to Provide On Demand Manufacturing for Exploration of the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Monica S.; Good, James E.; Gilley, Scott D.; Howard, Richard W.

    2006-01-01

    NASA's human exploration initiative poses great opportunity and risk for manned and robotic missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Engineers and scientists at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) are developing technologies for in situ fabrication capabilities during lunar and Martian surface operations utilizing provisioned and locally refined materials. Current fabrication technologies must be advanced to support the special demands and applications of the space exploration initiative such as power, weight and volume constraints. In Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) will advance state-of-the-art technologies in support of habitat structure development, tools, and mechanical part fabrication. The repair and replacement of space mission components, such as life support items or crew exercise equipment, fall within the ISFR scope. This paper will address current fabrication technologies relative to meeting ISFR targeted capabilities, near-term advancement goals, and systematic evaluation of various fabrication methods.

  16. 'Bimodal' NTR and LANTR propulsion for human missions to Mars/Phobos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is one of the leading propulsion options for future human missions to Mars due to its high specific impulse (Isp ∼850-1000 s) and attractive engine thrust-to-weight ratio (∼3-10). Because only a miniscule amount of enriched uranium-235 fuel is consumed in a NTR during the primary propulsion maneuvers of a typical Mars mission, engines configured for both propulsive thrust and modest power generation (referred to as 'bimodal' operation) provide the basis for a robust, 'power-rich' stage enabling propulsive Mars capture and reuse capability. A family of modular 'bimodal' NTR (BNTR) vehicles are described which utilize a common 'core' stage powered by three 66.7 kN (∼15 klbf) BNTRs that produce 50 kWe of total electrical power for crew life support, an active refrigeration/reliquification system for long term, 'zero-boiloff' liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ) storage, and high data rate communications. Compared to other propulsion options, a Mars mission architecture using BNTR transfer vehicles requires fewer transportation system elements which reduces mission mass, cost and risk because of simplified space operations. For difficult Mars options, such as a Phobos rendezvous and sample return mission, volume (not mass) constraints limit the performance of the 'all LH 2 ' BNTR stage. The use of ''LOX-augmented' NTR (LANTR) engines, operating at a modest oxygen-to-hydrogen (O/H) mixture ratio (MR) of 0.5, helps to increase 'bulk' propellant density and total thrust during the trans-Mars injection (TMI) burn. On all subsequent burns, the bimodal LANTR engines operate on LH 2 only (MR=0) to maximize vehicle performance while staying within the mass limits of two ∼80 t 'Magnum' heavy lift launch vehicles (HLLVs)

  17. Mars Comm/Nav MicroSat Network Using the Multi-Mission Bus Launched Piggyback by Ariane 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastrup, R. C.; Cesarone, R. J.; Morabito, D. D.

    1999-01-01

    Recently, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory completed a Mars Exploration Program Architecture Definition Study with strong international participation. The recommendations of this study include establishment of a low cost in-situ communications and navigation satellite network to provide enabling and enhancing support for the international exploration of Mars. This would be the first step toward establishing a "virtual presence throughout the solar system" as called for in NASA's Strategic Plan. Response to the proposed comm/nav satellite network has been very favorably received, as reflected by the inclusion of a line item in NASA's budget submittal to Congress, which provides funding for implementation of the network with first launch in the 2003 opportunity. Funding has already been provided for a phase A study being conducted this year. This paper presents the planned implementation of the comm/nav network, which will utilize microsats based on a multi-mission spacecraft bus being designed for launch by the Ariane 5 as a secondary payload. A companion paper at this conference, entitled "The Multi-Purpose Mars Micro-Mission System Design Utilizing Ariane 5 Piggyback Launch", describes the multimission bus design. This paper addresses the application of the multi-mission bus to the comm/nav microsat mission. Following an introduction, which provides the background that has led to the proposed comm/nav network, the paper discusses the projected user needs with emphasis on the various possible robotic missions (landers, rovers, ascent vehicles, balloons, aircraft, etc.) progressing toward eventual piloted missions. Next, the paper describes the concept for an evolving network of comm/nav microsats and the expected capability to satisfy the user needs. Results of communications and navigation performance analysis are summarized for attractive satellite constellation configurations. The important comm/nav microsat functional requirements on the multi-mission

  18. Science Applications of a Multispectral Microscopic Imager for the Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Key Words: Mars—Microscopic imager—Multispectral imaging

  19. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Jorge; Farmer, Jack; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Genta, Giancarlo

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-03-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  4. Multi-Modal Neurodiagnostic Tool for Exploration Missions, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Manned Mission Space Exploration Utilizing a Flexible Universal Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, P.; Barez, F.; Gowda, A.

    2018-02-01

    The proposed ASMS, Inc. "Flexible Universal Module" is in support of NASA's Deep Space Gateway project. The Flexible Universal Module provides a possible habitation or manufacturing environment in support of Manned Mission for Space Exploration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 78 FR 55762 - National Environmental Policy Act; Mars 2020 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-11

    ... set of soil and rock samples that could be returned to Earth in the future, and test new technology to... landing site based upon data from past and current missions. The rover would be equipped with new... past habitability of the landing region and search for evidence of past life; (c) assemble a...

  8. The Viking mission search for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  9. Wind-Driven Wireless Networked System of Mobile Sensors for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodi, Faranak; Murphy, Neil

    2013-01-01

    A revolutionary way is proposed of studying the surface of Mars using a wind-driven network of mobile sensors: GOWON. GOWON would be a scalable, self-powered and autonomous distributed system that could allow in situ mapping of a wide range of environmental phenomena in a much larger portion of the surface of Mars compared to earlier missions. It could improve the possibility of finding rare phenomena such as "blueberries' or bio-signatures and mapping their occurrence, through random wind-driven search. It would explore difficult terrains that were beyond the reach of previous missions, such as regions with very steep slopes and cluttered surfaces. GOWON has a potentially long life span, as individual elements can be added to the array periodically. It could potentially provide a cost-effective solution for mapping wide areas of Martian terrain, enabling leaving a long-lasting sensing and searching infrastructure on the surface of Mars. The system proposed here addresses this opportunity using technology advances in a distributed system of wind-driven sensors, referred to as Moballs.

  10. The Calibration Target for the Mars 2020 SHERLOC Instrument: Multiple Science Roles for Future Manned and Unmanned Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman/fluorescence instrument selected as part of the Mars 2020 rover instrument suite. SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover arm and its primary role is to identify carbonaceous species in martian samples, which may be selected for inclusion into a returnable sample cache. The SHERLOC instrument will require the use of a calibration target, and by design, multiple science roles will be addressed in the design of the target. Samples of materials used in NASA Extravehicular Mobility unit (EMU, or "space suit") manufacture have been included in the target to serve as both solid polymer calibration targets for SHERLOC instrument function, as well as for testing the resiliency of those materials under martian ambient conditions. A martian meteorite will also be included in the target to serve as a well-characterized example of a martian rock that contains trace carbonaceous material. This rock will be the first rock that we know of that has completed a round trip between planets and will therefore serve an EPO role to attract public attention to science and planetary exploration. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).

  11. Carl Sagan and the Exploration of Mars and Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, Owen B.; Condon, Estelle P. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Inspired by childhood readings of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Carl Sagan's first interest in planetary science focused on Mars and Venus. Typical of much of his career he was skeptical of early views about these planets. Early in this century it was thought that the Martian wave of darkening, a seasonal albedo change on the planet, was biological in origin. He suggested instead that it was due to massive dust storms, as was later shown to be the case. He was the first to recognize that Mars has huge topography gradients across its surface. During the spacecraft era, as ancient river valleys were found on the planet, he directed studies of Mars' ancient climate. He suggested that changes in the planets orbit were involved in climate shifts on Mars, just as they are on Earth. Carl had an early interest in Venus. Contradictory observations led to a controversy about the surface temperature, and Carl was one of the first to recognize that Venus has a massive greenhouse effect at work warming its surface. His work on radiative transfer led to an algorithm that was extensively used by modelers of the Earth's climate and whose derivatives still dominate the calculation of radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres today. Carl inspired a vast number of young scientists through his enthusiasm for new ideas and discoveries, his skeptical approach, and his boundless energy. I had the privilege to work in Carl's laboratory during the peak of the era of Mars' initial exploration. It was an exciting time, and place. Carl made it a wonderful experience.

  12. India's mission to Mars cost less than the movie Gravity: Multidimensional View in Engineering Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rani, Meenu; Kumar, Pawan; Vandana, Vandana

    2016-07-01

    Over the years, Mars has been the centre of attraction for science fiction writers, Hollywood movie makers, astrologers, astronomers and the scientific community. For scientists and technologists, Mars continues to be an enigma. This is essentially because even tough humans have dreamt for long about human colonisation of Mars. Indian space programme had a very humble beginning during the early 1960s. India launched its first satellite in 1975 with assistance from the erstwhile USSR. India achieved the status of space-faring nation2 by 1980, and by the end of 2014 has launched around 75 satellites. India has become the first nation to reach Mars on its maiden attempt after its Mars Orbiter Mission completed its 10-month journey and successfully entered the Red Planet's orbit. The Mars Orbiter Mission, a low-cost 74 million project, blasted off from Earth on November 5, 2013, aboard an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. At its initial stage, the rocket booster placed the probe into Earth's orbit before the craft fired the engines to break free of Earth's gravity en route to Mars. This is India's first mission into such deep space to search for evidence of life on the Red Planet. But the mission's primary objective is technological-if successful, the country will be joining an elite club of nations: the United States, Russia and Europe. India is becoming known for low-cost innovation in diverse fields such as healthcare and education. The technological capability being demonstrated and the knowledge gained from the operations of the mission will be invaluable in future developments and also in the training of the flight operations and mission control staff. All of this capability can be carried forward to future launches and operations. The sustained presence of methane observed by previous missions suggests that an active production mechanism is at work, most likely tectonic in nature, although there are some suggestions that it may point to a biological origin

  13. Hybrid rocket propulsion systems for outer planet exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jens, Elizabeth T.; Cantwell, Brian J.; Hubbard, G. Scott

    2016-11-01

    Outer planet exploration missions require significant propulsive capability, particularly to achieve orbit insertion. Missions to explore the moons of outer planets place even more demanding requirements on propulsion systems, since they involve multiple large ΔV maneuvers. Hybrid rockets present a favorable alternative to conventional propulsion systems for many of these missions. They typically enjoy higher specific impulse than solids, can be throttled, stopped/restarted, and have more flexibility in their packaging configuration. Hybrids are more compact and easier to throttle than liquids and have similar performance levels. In order to investigate the suitability of these propulsion systems for exploration missions, this paper presents novel hybrid motor designs for two interplanetary missions. Hybrid propulsion systems for missions to Europa and Uranus are presented and compared to conventional in-space propulsion systems. The hybrid motor design for each of these missions is optimized across a range of parameters, including propellant selection, O/F ratio, nozzle area ratio, and chamber pressure. Details of the design process are described in order to provide guidance for researchers wishing to evaluate hybrid rocket motor designs for other missions and applications.

  14. Design of a Mars Airplane Propulsion System for the Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey (ARES) Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhl, Christopher A.

    2008-01-01

    The Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey (ARES) is a Mars exploration mission concept that utilizes a rocket propelled airplane to take scientific measurements of atmospheric, surface, and subsurface phenomena. The liquid rocket propulsion system design has matured through several design cycles and trade studies since the inception of the ARES concept in 2002. This paper describes the process of selecting a bipropellant system over other propulsion system options, and provides details on the rocket system design, thrusters, propellant tank and PMD design, propellant isolation, and flow control hardware. The paper also summarizes computer model results of thruster plume interactions and simulated flight performance. The airplane has a 6.25 m wingspan with a total wet mass of 185 kg and has to ability to fly over 600 km through the atmosphere of Mars with 45 kg of MMH / MON3 propellant.

  15. 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.

  16. Applications of Intelligent Tutoring Systems to Human-Robotic Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancey, William J.

    2004-01-01

    Space missions with small crews extending over several years with time-delay preventing normal conversations with people on earth will raise many challenges for training. Of special interest are possible three-year missions to Mars, requiring refresher instruction and learning new skills based on unexpected problems with machines and environmental conditions. For example, the crew will be required to monitor and repair more complex life support systems for air and water recycling than we even know how to build today. Highly educated astronauts, often with several doctorate degrees, require a very different mode of interaction than we have developed for school children or even typical college students. Explanation methods may need to differ-using analogies and techniques from different domains-depending on whether the astronaut is an astrophysicist, a pilot, or a geologist.Virtual reality (e.g., for Hubble repair missions) and "integrated" simulations (involving role-playing and emphasizing failure scenarios) are the most common advanced forms of instruction used in space flight today. The emphasis is on collaborative, embodied interaction with the same workstations and tools used in practice (e.g., a cockpit simulator). Otherwise, computerized instructional technology used by NASA is not model-based or tutorial in nature. This discussion will review some of the key instructional methods used at NASA over the past two decades and consider why ITS methods have not been exploited. Some of the problems and opportunities for training for Mars missions are examined, including how using robots in exploration activities will help but raise new training problems. These ideas will be illustrated with examples from the BrahmsVE system in which a browser- based virtual reality display with avatars allows interacting with a distributed multiagent system, in which agents can be people, robots, or software programs. Using BrahmsVE may provide a way for astronauts to interact with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  19. Drilling on the Moon and Mars: Developing the Science Approach for Subsurface Exploration with Human Crews

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Zavaleta, J.; Bell, M.; Direto, S.; Foing, B.; Blake, D.; Kim, S.

    2010-01-01

    DOMEX (Drilling on the Moon and Mars in Human Exploration) is using analog missions to develop the approach for using human crews to perform science activities on the Moon and Mars involving exploration and sampling of the subsurface. Subsurface science is an important activity that may be uniquely enabled by human crews. DOMEX provides an opportunity to plan and execute planetary mission science activities without the expense and overhead of a planetary mission. Objectives: The objective of this first in a series of DOMEX missions were to 1) explore the regional area to understand the geologic context and determine stratigraphy and geologic history of various geologic units in the area. 2) Explore for and characterize sites for deploying a deep (10 m depth) drilling system in a subsequent field season. 3) Perform GPR on candidate drill sites. 4) Select sites that represent different geological units deposited in different epochs and collect soil cores using sterile procedures for mineralogical, organic and biological analysis. 5) Operate the MUM in 3 different sites representing different geological units and soil characteristics. 6) Collect rock and soil samples of sites visited and analyze them at the habitat. Results: At mission start the crew performed a regional survey to identify major geologic units that were correlated to recognized stratigraphy and regional geologic maps. Several candidate drill sites were identified. During the rest of the mission, successful GPR surveys were conducted in four locations. Soil cores were collected in 5 locations representing soils from 4 different geologic units, to depths up to 1m. Soil cores from two locations were analyzed with PCR in the laboratory. The remainder were reserved for subsequent analysis. XRD analysis was performed in the habitat and in the field on 39 samples, to assist with sample characterization, conservation, and archiving. MUM was deployed at 3 field locations and 1 test location (outside the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Nuclear propulsion - A vital technology for the exploration of Mars and the planets beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1989-01-01

    The physics and technology issues and performance potential of various direct thrust fission and fusion propulsion concepts are examined. Next to chemical propulsion the solid core fission thermal rocket (SCR) is the only other concept to be experimentally tested at the power (approx 1.5 to 5.0 GW) and thrust levels (approx 0.33 to 1.11 MN) required for manned Mars missions. With a specific impulse of approx 850 s, the SCR can perform various near-earth, cislunar and interplanetary missions with lower mass and cost requirements than its chemical counterpart. The gas core fission thermal rocket, with a specific power and impulse of approx 50 kW/kg and 5000 s offers the potential for quick courier trips to Mars (of about 80 days) or longer duration exploration cargo missions (lasting about 280 days) with starting masses of about 1000 m tons. Convenient transportation to the outer Solar System will require the development of magnetic and inertial fusion rockets (IFRs). Possessing specific powers and impulses of approx 100 kW/kg and 200-300 kilosecs, IFRs will usher in the era of the true Solar System class spaceship. Even Pluto will be accessible with roundtrip times of less than 2 years and starting masses of about 1500 m tons.

  4. Nuclear propulsion: A vital technology for the exploration of Mars and the planets beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1988-01-01

    The physics and technology issues and performance potential of various direct thrust fission and fusion propulsion concepts are examined. Next to chemical propulsion the solid core fission thermal rocket (SCR) is the olny other concept to be experimentally tested at the power (approx 1.5 to 5.0 GW) and thrust levels (approx 0.33 to 1.11 MN) required for manned Mars missions. With a specific impulse of approx 850 s, the SCR can perform various near-Earth, cislunar and interplanetary missions with lower mass and cost requirements than its chemical counterpart. The gas core fission thermal rocket, with a specific power and impulse of approx 50 kW/kg and 5000 s offers the potential for quick courier trips to Mars (of about 80 days) or longer duration exploration cargo missions (lasting about 280 days) with starting masses of about 1000 m tons. Convenient transportation to the outer Solar System will require the development of magnetic and inertial fusion rockets (IFRs). Possessing specific powers and impulses of approx 100 kW/kg and 200-300 kilosecs, IFRs will usher in the era of the true Solar System class speceship. Even Pluto will be accessible with roundtrip times of less than 2 years and starting masses of about 1500 m tons.

  5. Recent Accomplishments in Mars Exploration: The Rover Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  6. Mission Techniques for Exploring Saturn's icy moons Titan and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reh, Kim; Coustenis, Athena; Lunine, Jonathan; Matson, Dennis; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Vargas, Andre; Beauchamp, Pat; Spilker, Tom; Strange, Nathan; Elliott, John

    2010-05-01

    The future exploration of Titan is of high priority for the solar system exploration community as recommended by the 2003 National Research Council (NRC) Decadal Survey [1] and ESA's Cosmic Vision Program themes. Cassini-Huygens discoveries continue to emphasize that Titan is a complex world with very many Earth-like features. Titan has a dense, nitrogen atmosphere, an active climate and meteorological cycles where conditions are such that the working fluid, methane, plays the role that water does on Earth. Titan's surface, with lakes and seas, broad river valleys, sand dunes and mountains was formed by processes like those that have shaped the Earth. Supporting this panoply of Earth-like processes is an ice crust that floats atop what might be a liquid water ocean. Furthermore, Titan is rich in very many different organic compounds—more so than any place in the solar system, except Earth. The Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) concept that followed the 2007 TandEM ESA CV proposal [2] and the 2007 Titan Explorer NASA Flagship study [3], was examined [4,5] and prioritized by NASA and ESA in February 2009 as a mission to follow the Europa Jupiter System Mission. The TSSM study, like others before it, again concluded that an orbiter, a montgolfiѐre hot-air balloon and a surface package (e.g. lake lander, Geosaucer (instrumented heat shield), …) are very high priority elements for any future mission to Titan. Such missions could be conceived as Flagship/Cosmic Vision L-Class or as individual smaller missions that could possibly fit within NASA's New Frontiers or ESA's Cosmic Vision M-Class budgets. As a result of a multitude of Titan mission studies, several mission concepts have been developed that potentially fit within various cost classes. Also, a clear blueprint has been laid out for early efforts critical toward reducing the risks inherent in such missions. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of potential Titan (and Enceladus) mission

  7. Effect of NTP technology levels on engine sizing for a 2005 piloted Mars mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burr, Annette D.; Cross, Elden H.; Widman, Frederick W.; North, D. Michael

    1993-01-01

    Previous vehicle mass studies were performed for Mars launch windows in the 2010-2018 time frame. Within the last year, a study was performed to determine the effects of various Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) engine and mission parameters on Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (MLEO) for a piloted Mars mission during the 2005 opportunity. Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) and Enabler-type reactors were compared. Parameters evaluated included engine thrust, number of engines, number of Trans-Mars Injection (TMI) burns, engine thrust/weight, engine out capability, engine burn time, and Isp. Earth and Mars departure dates and outbound and return travel times were optimized for a 240-day total interplanetary transfer time (long-duration stay mission). Parameters which were seen to reduce IMLEO included a greater number of perigee burns, multiple engines, and higher Isp. Optimum engine thrust varied substantially depending on the configuration. Engine models developed jointly by Rocketdyne and Westinghouse within the last year formed the basis for the Enabler thrust optimization study.

  8. Sleeping in Space: An Unexpected Challenge for Future Mars Explorers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn-Evans, Erin

    2018-01-01

    This talk will serve as the keynote address for a research symposium being held at Washington State University. The purpose of the talk is to provide researchers and students at WSU with an overview about what it is like to sleep in space. Dr. Flynn-Evans will begin by highlighting how sleep is different in movies and science fiction compared to real life. She will next cover basic information about sleep and circadian rhythms, including how sleep works on earth. She will explain how people have circadian rhythms of different lengths and how the circadian clock has to be re-set each day. She will also describe how jet-lag works as an example of what happens during circadian misalignment. Dr. Flynn-Evans will also describe how sleep is different in space and will highlight the challenges that astronauts face in low-earth orbit. She will discuss how astronauts have a shorter sleep duration in space relative to on the ground and how their schedules can shift due to operational constraints. She will also describe how these issues affect alertness and performance. She will then discuss how sleep and scheduling may be different on a long-duration mission to Mars. She will discuss the differences in light and day length on earth and mars and illustrate how those differences pose significant challenges to sleep and circadian rhythms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  10. NASA Radiation Protection Research for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, John W.; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Tripathi, Ram K.; Heinbockel, John H.; Tweed, John; Mertens, Christopher J.; Walker, Steve A.; Blattnig, Steven R.; Zeitlin, Cary J.

    2006-01-01

    The HZETRN code was used in recent trade studies for renewed lunar exploration and currently used in engineering development of the next generation of space vehicles, habitats, and EVA equipment. A new version of the HZETRN code capable of simulating high charge and energy (HZE) ions, light-ions and neutrons with either laboratory or space boundary conditions with enhanced neutron and light-ion propagation is under development. Atomic and nuclear model requirements to support that development will be discussed. Such engineering design codes require establishing validation processes using laboratory ion beams and space flight measurements in realistic geometries. We discuss limitations of code validation due to the currently available data and recommend priorities for new data sets.

  11. Low-latency Science Exploration of Planetary Bodies: a Demonstration Using ISS in Support of Mars Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thronson, Harley A.; Valinia, Azita; Bleacher, Jacob; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Garvin, Jim; Petro, Noah

    2014-01-01

    We summarize a proposed experiment to use the International Space Station to formally examine the application and validation of low-latency telepresence for surface exploration from space as an alternative, precursor, or potentially as an adjunct to astronaut "boots on the ground." The approach is to develop and propose controlled experiments, which build upon previous field studies and which will assess the effects of different latencies (0 to 500 msec), task complexity, and alternate forms of feedback to the operator. These experiments serve as an example of a pathfinder for NASA's roadmap of missions to Mars with low-latency telerobotic exploration as a precursor to astronaut's landing on the surface to conduct geological tasks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  13. Some Strategic Considerations Related to the Potential Use of Water Resource Deposits on Mars by Future Human Explorers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaty, D.W.; Mueller, R.P.; Bussey, D.B.; Davis, R.M.; Hays, L.E.; Hoffman, S.J.

    2016-01-01

    A long-term base on Mars, at the center of an "Exploration Zone", would require substantial quantities of in-situ resources. Although water is not the only resource on Mars of potential interest, it stands out as the one that most dominates long-lead strategic planning. It is needed for multiple purposes for various human activities (including our own survival!), and in significant quantities. The absence of viable deposits could make a surface "field station" logistically unsustainable. Therefore, identification of deposits, and development of the technology needed to make use of these deposits, are an important priority in the period leading up to a human mission to Mars. Given our present understanding of Mars, ice and hydrated minerals appear to be the best potential sources for the quantity of water expected to be needed. The methods for their extraction would be different for these two classes of deposits, and at the present time it is unknown which would ultimately be an optimal solution. The deposits themselves would also ultimately have to be judged by certain economics that take into account information about geologic and engineering attributes and the "cost" of obtaining this information. Ultimately much of this information would need to come from precursor missions, which would be essential if utilization of martian is situ water resources is to become a part of human exploration of Mars.

  14. ChemCam activities and discoveries during the nominal mission of the Mars Science Laboratory in Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurice, Sylvestre; Clegg, Samuel M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Gasnault, O.; Rapin, W.; Forni, O.; Cousin, Agnes; Sautter, V.; Mangold, Nicolas; Le Deit, L.; Nachon, Marion; Anderson, Ryan; Lanza, Nina; Fabre, Cecile; Payre, Valerie; Lasue, Jeremie; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; LeVeille, Richard A.; Barraclough, Bruce; Beck, Pierre; Bender, Steven C.; Berger, Gilles; Bridges, John C.; Bridges, Nathan; Dromert, Gilles; Dyar, M. Darby; Francis, Raymond; Frydenvang, Jens; Gondet, B.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Langevin, Yves; Madsen Morten B.,; Melikechi, N.; Lacour, J.-L.; Le Mouelic, Stephane; Lewin, Eric; Newsom, Horton E.; Ollila, Ann M.; Pinet, Patrick; Schroder, S.; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Tokar, Robert L.; Toplis, M.J.; d'Uston, Claude; Vaniman, David; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2016-01-01

    At Gale crater, Mars, ChemCam acquired its first laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) target on Sol 13 of the landed portion of the mission (a Sol is a Mars day). Up to Sol 800, more than 188000 LIBS spectra were acquired on more than 5800 points distributed over about 650 individual targets. We present a comprehensive review of ChemCam scientific accomplishments during that period, together with a focus on the lessons learned from the first use of LIBS in space. For data processing, we describe new tools that had to be developed to account for the uniqueness of Mars data. With regard to chemistry, we present a summary of the composition range measured on Mars for major-element oxides (SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, FeOT, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O) based on various multivariate models, with associated precisions. ChemCam also observed H, and the non-metallic elements C, O, P, and S, which are usually difficult to quantify with LIBS. F and Cl are observed through their molecular lines. We discuss the most relevant LIBS lines for detection of minor and trace elements (Li, Rb, Sr, Ba, Cr, Mn, Ni, and Zn). These results were obtained thanks to comprehensive ground reference datasets, which are set to mimic the expected mineralogy and chemistry on Mars. With regard to the first use of LIBS in space, we analyze and quantify, often for the first time, each of the advantages of using stand-off LIBS in space: no sample preparation, analysis within its petrological context, dust removal, sub-millimeter scale investigation, multi-point analysis, the ability to carry out statistical surveys and whole-rock analyses, and rapid data acquisition. We conclude with a discussion of ChemCam performance to survey the geochemistry of Mars, and its valuable support of decisions about selecting where and whether to make observations with more time and resource-intensive tools in the rover's instrument suite. In the end, we present a bird's-eye view of the many scientific results: discovery of felsic

  15. Mission to the Solar System: Exploration and Discovery. A Mission and Technology Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulkis, S. (Editor); Stetson, D. S. (Editor); Stofan, E. R. (Editor)

    1998-01-01

    Solar System exploration addresses some of humanity's most fundamental questions: How and when did life form on Earth? Does life exist elsewhere in the Solar System or in the Universe? - How did the Solar System form and evolve in time? - What can the other planets teach us about the Earth? This document describes a Mission and Technology Roadmap for addressing these and other fundamental Solar System Questions. A Roadmap Development Team of scientists, engineers, educators, and technologists worked to define the next evolutionary steps in in situ exploration, sample return, and completion of the overall Solar System survey. Guidelines were to "develop aa visionary, but affordable, mission and technology development Roadmap for the exploration of the Solar System in the 2000 to 2012 timeframe." The Roadmap provides a catalog of potential flight missions. (Supporting research and technology, ground-based observations, and laboratory research, which are no less important than flight missions, are not included in this Roadmap.)

  16. Sample Handling and Processing on Mars for Future Astrobiology Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beegle, Luther; Kirby, James P.; Fisher, Anita; Hodyss, Robert; Saltzman, Alison; Soto, Juancarlos; Lasnik, James; Roark, Shane

    2011-01-01

    In most analytical investigations, there is a need to process complex field samples for the unique detection of analytes especially when detecting low concentration organic molecules that may identify extraterrestrial life. Sample processing for analytical instruments is time, resource and manpower consuming in terrestrial laboratories. Every step in this laborious process will have to be automated for in situ life detection. We have developed, and are currently demonstrating, an automated wet chemistry preparation system that can operate autonomously on Earth and is designed to operate under Martian ambient conditions. This will enable a complete wet chemistry laboratory as part of future missions. Our system, namely the Automated Sample Processing System (ASPS) receives fines, extracts organics through solvent extraction, processes the extract by removing non-organic soluble species and delivers sample to multiple instruments for analysis (including for non-organic soluble species).

  17. Ferric sulfates on Mars: Surface Explorations and Laboratory Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, A.; Ling, Z.; Freeman, J. J.

    2008-12-01

    Recent results from missions to Mars have reinforced the importance of sulfates for Mars science. They are the hosts of water, the sinks of acidity, and maybe the most active species in the past and current surface/near-surface processes on Mars. Fe-sulfate was found frequently by Spirit and Opportunity rovers: jarosite in Meridiani Planum outcrops and a less specific "ferric sulfate" in the salty soils excavated by Spirit at Gusev Crater. Pancam spectral analysis suggests a variety of ferric sulfates in these soils, i.e. ferricopiapite, jarosite, fibroferrite, and rhomboclase. A change in the Pancam spectral features occurred in Tyrone soils after ~ 190 sols of exposure to surface conditions. Dehydration of ferric sulfate is a possible cause. We synthesized eight ferric sulfates and conducted a series of hydration/dehydration experiments. Our goal was to establish the stability fields and phase transition pathways of these ferric sulfates. In our experiments, water activity, temperature, and starting structure are the variables. No redox state change was observed. Acidic, neutral, and basic salts were used. Ferric sulfate sample containers were placed into relative humidity buffer solutions that maintain static relative humidity levels at three temperatures. The five starting phases were ferricopiapite (Fe4.67(SO4)6(OH)2.20H2O), kornelite (Fe2(SO4)3.7H2O), rhomboclase (FeH(SO4)2.4H2O), pentahydrite (Fe2(SO4)3.5H2O), and an amorphous phase (Fe2(SO4)3.5H2O). A total of one hundred fifty experiments have been running for nearly ten months. Thousands of coupled Raman and gravimetric measurements were made at intermediate steps to monitor the phase transitions. The first order discovery from these experiments is the extremely large stability field of ferricopiapite. Ferricopiapite is the major ferric sulfate to precipitate from a Fe3+-S-rich aqueous solution at mid-low temperature, and it has the highest H2O/Fe ratio (~ 4.3). However, unlike the Mg-sulfate with highest

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Beaty, David W.

    2010-01-01

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

  19. PFERD Mission: Pluto Flyby Exploration/Research Design

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  20. Use of High-Power Brayton Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for a 2033 Mars Round-Trip Mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGuire, Melissa L.; Martini, Michael C.; Packard, Thomas W.; Weglian, John E.; Gilland, James H.

    2006-01-01

    The Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) team, led by the NASA Langley Research Center, is tasked with exploring revolutionary new approaches to enabling NASA to achieve its strategic goals and objectives in future missions. This paper provides the details from the 2004-2005 RASC study of a point-design that uses a high-power nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) based space transportation architecture to support a manned mission to Mars. The study assumes a high-temperature liquid-metal cooled fission reactor with a Brayton power conversion system to generate the electrical power required by magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters. The architecture includes a cargo vehicle with an NEP system providing 5 MW of electrical power and a crewed vehicle with an NEP system with two reactors providing a combined total of 10 MW of electrical power. Both vehicles use a low-thrust, high-efficiency (5000 sec specific impulse) MPD system to conduct a spiral-out of the Earth gravity well, a low-thrust heliocentric trajectory, and a spiral-in at Mars with arrival late in 2033. The cargo vehicle carries two moon landers to Mars and arrives shortly before the crewed vehicle. The crewed vehicle and cargo vehicle rendezvous in Mars orbit and, over the course of the 60-day stay, the crew conducts nine-day excursions to Phobos and Deimos with the landers. The crewed vehicle then spirals out of Martian orbit and returns via a low-thrust trajectory to conduct an Earth flyby. The crew separates from the vehicle prior to Earth flyby and aerobrakes for a direct-entry landing

  1. A Strategic Approach to Medical Care for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. A method to evaluate utility for architectural comparisons for a campaign to explore the surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Eric D.; Webb, Ryan R.; deWeck, Olivier L.

    2016-11-01

    There is a general consensus that Mars is the next high priority destination for human space exploration. There has been no lack of analysis and recommendations for human missions to Mars, including, for example, the NASA Design Reference Architectures and the Mars Direct proposal. These studies and others usually employ the traditional approach of selecting a baseline mission architecture and running individual trade studies. However, this can cause blind spots, as not all combinations are explored. An alternative approach is to holistically analyze the entire architectural trade-space such that all of the possible system interactions are identified and measured. In such a framework, an optimal design is sought by minimizing cost for maximal value. While cost is relatively easy to model for manned spaceflight, value is more difficult to define. In our efforts to develop a surface base architecture for the MIT Mars 2040 project, we explored several methods for quantifying value, including technology development benefits, challenge, and various metrics for measuring scientific return. We developed a science multi-score method that combines astrobiology and geologic research goals, which is weighted by the crew-member hours that can be used for scientific research rather than other activities.

  3. Transport vehicle for manned Mars missions powered by inertial confinement fusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orth, C.D.; Klein, G.; Sercel, J.; Hoffman, N.; Murray, K.; Chang-Diaz, F.

    1987-01-01

    Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) is an ideal engine power source for manned spacecraft to Mars because of its inherently high power-to-mass ratios and high specific impulses. We have produced a concept for a vehicle powered by ICF and utilizing a magnetic thrust chamber to avoid plasma thermalization with wall structures and the resultant degradation of specific impulse that are unavoidable with the use of mechanical thrust chambers. This vehicle is capable of 100-day manned Mars missions with a 100-metric-ton payload and a total vehicle launch mass near 6000 metric tons, based on advanced technology assumed to be available by A.D. 2020. Such short-duration missions minimize radiation exposures and physiological deterioration of astronauts

  4. A Review of New and Developing Technology to Significantly Improve Mars Sample-Return Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carsey, F.; Brophy, J.; Gilmore, M.; Rodgers, D.; Wilcox, B.

    2000-07-01

    A JPL development activity was initiated in FY 1999 for the purpose of examining and evaluating technologies that could materially improve future (i.e., beyond the 2005 launch) Mars sample return missions. The scope of the technology review was comprehensive and end-to-end; the goal was to improve mass, cost, risk, and scientific return. A specific objective was to assess approaches to sample return with only one Earth launch. While the objective of the study was specifically for sample-return, in-situ missions can also benefit from using many of the technologies examined.

  5. Nuclear risk assessment for the Mars 2020 mission environmental impact statement.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clayton, Daniel James; Bignell, John L.; Jones, Christopher Andrew; Rohe, Daniel Peter; Flores, Gregg J.; Bartel, Timothy James; Gelbard, Fred; Le, San; Morrow, Charles.; Potter, Donald L.; Young, Larry W.; Bixler, Nathan E.; Lipinski, Ronald J.

    2014-01-01

    In the summer of 2020, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to launch a spacecraft as part of the Mars 2020 mission. One option for the rover on the proposed spacecraft uses a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) to provide continuous electrical and thermal power for the mission. An alternative option being considered is a set of solar panels for electrical power with up to 80 Light-Weight Radioisotope Heater Units (LWRHUs) for local component heating. Both the MMRTG and the LWRHUs use radioactive plutonium dioxide. NASA is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The EIS will include information on the risks of mission accidents to the general public and on-site workers at the launch complex. This Nuclear Risk Assessment (NRA) addresses the responses of the MMRTG or LWRHU options to potential accident and abort conditions during the launch opportunity for the Mars 2020 mission and the associated consequences. This information provides the technical basis for the radiological risks of both options for the EIS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. A One-year, Short-Stay Crewed Mars Mission Using Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Electric Propulsion (BNTEP) - A Preliminary Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    A crewed mission to Mars poses a signi cant challenge in dealing with the physiolog- ical issues that arise with the crew being exposed to a near zero-gravity environment as well as signi cant solar and galactic radiation for such a long duration. While long sur- face stay missions exceeding 500 days are the ultimate goal for human Mars exploration, short round trip, short surface stay missions could be an important intermediate step that would allow NASA to demonstrate technology as well as study the physiological e ects on the crew. However, for a 1-year round trip mission, the outbound and inbound hy- perbolic velocity at Earth and Mars can be very large resulting in a signi cant propellant requirement for a high thrust system like Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP). Similarly, a low thrust Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) system requires high electrical power lev- els (10 megawatts electric (MWe) or more), plus advanced power conversion technology to achieve the lower speci c mass values needed for such a mission. A Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Electric Propulsion (BNTEP) system is examined here that uses three high thrust Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Rocket (BNTR) engines allowing short departure and capture maneuvers. The engines also generate electrical power that drives a low thrust Electric Propulsion (EP) system used for ecient interplanetary transit. This combined system can help reduce the total launch mass, system and operational requirements that would otherwise be required for equivalent NEP or Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) mission. The BNTEP system is a hybrid propulsion concept where the BNTR reactors operate in two separate modes. During high-thrust mode operation, each BNTR provides 10's of kilo- Newtons of thrust at reasonably high speci c impulse (Isp) of 900 seconds for impulsive trans-planetary injection and orbital insertion maneuvers. When in power generation / EP mode, the BNTR reactors are coupled to a Brayton power conversion system allowing each

  8. The weather on Mars on the basis of the measurements carried out by the Vikings mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macris, C.J.; Petropoulos, B.Ch.

    1982-01-01

    The authors summarize some new results concerning the Mars atmosphere obtained after the Vikings mission. On the basis of the results of the measurements made by the Viking 2 lander and Viking orbiter, the values of pressure and density corresponding to the altitudes from 28 to 100 km and different molecular weights have been computed. The computed values have been compared with the ones measured by Viking 2. (Auth.)

  9. Operationalizing the 21st Century Learning Skills Framework for the NASA Mission to Mars Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Burgess; Research, MSI; Evaluation Team; Interactive Videoconferences Teamlt/p>, MSI

    2013-06-01

    Internal evaluators working with the NASA Mission to Mars program, an out-of-school collaborative videoconferencing program at the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago (MSI), developed an observation protocol to collect evidence about the collaborative learning opportunities offered by the program’s unique technology. Details about the protocol’s development are discussed, along with results of the pilot observations of the program.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope Jane

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample Return Missions: Recommendations from a 2009 NRC Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret; Farmer, Jack

    A 2009 report by the National Research Council (NRC) reviewed a previous study on Mars Sample Return (1997) and provided updated recommendations for future sample return mis-sions based on our current understanding about Mars and its biological potential, as well as advances in technology and analytical capabilities. The committee* made 12 specific recommen-dations that fall into three general categories—one related to current scientific understanding, ten based on changes in the technical and/or policy environment, and one aimed at public com-munication. Substantive changes from the 1997 report relate mainly to protocols and methods, technology and infrastructure, and general oversight. This presentation provides an overview of the 2009 report and its recommendations and analyzes how they may impact mission designs and plans. The full report, Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample Return Missions is available online at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?recordi d = 12576 * Study participants: Jack D. Farmer, Arizona State University (chair) James F. Bell III, Cornell University Kathleen C. Benison, Central Michigan University William V. Boynton, University of Arizona Sherry L. Cady, Portland State University F. Grant Ferris, University of Toronto Duncan MacPherson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Margaret S. Race, SETI Institute Mark H. Thiemens, University of California, San Diego Meenakshi Wadhwa, Arizona State University

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Exploring Mars for Evidence of Habitable Environments and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Comparing NASA and ESA Cost Estimating Methods for Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Charles D.; vanPelt, Michel O.

    2004-01-01

    To compare working methodologies between the cost engineering functions in NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), as well as to set-up cost engineering capabilities for future manned Mars projects and other studies which involve similar subsystem technologies in MSFC and ESTEC, a demonstration cost estimate exercise was organized. This exercise was a direct way of enhancing not only cooperation between agencies but also both agencies commitment to credible cost analyses. Cost engineers in MSFC and ESTEC independently prepared life-cycle cost estimates for a reference human Mars project and subsequently compared the results and estimate methods in detail. As a non-sensitive, public domain reference case for human Mars projects, the Mars Direct concept was chosen. In this paper the results of the exercise are shown; the differences and similarities in estimate methodologies, philosophies, and databases between MSFC and ESTEC, as well as the estimate results for the Mars Direct concept. The most significant differences are explained and possible estimate improvements identified. In addition, the Mars Direct plan and the extensive cost breakdown structure jointly set-up by MSFC and ESTEC for this concept are presented. It was found that NASA applied estimate models mainly based on historic Apollo and Space Shuttle cost data, taking into account the changes in technology since then. ESA used models mostly based on European satellite and launcher cost data, taking into account the higher equipment and testing standards for human space flight. Most of NASA's and ESA s estimates for the Mars Direct case are comparable, but there are some important, consistent differences in the estimates for: 1) Large Structures and Thermal Control subsystems; 2) System Level Management, Engineering, Product Assurance and Assembly, Integration and Test/Verification activities; 3) Mission Control; 4) Space Agency Program Level

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, I. David

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kereszturi, Akos

    2012-11-01

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

  18. Medical and technology requirements for human solar system exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicogossian, Arnauld; Harris, Leonard; Couch, Lana; Sulzman, Frank; Gaiser, Karen

    1989-01-01

    Measures that need to be taken to cope with the health problems posed by zero gravity and radiation in manned solar system exploration missions are discussed. The particular systems that will be used aboard Space Station Freedom are addressed, and relevant human factors problems are examined. The development of a controlled ecological life support system is addressed.

  19. Simultaneous Determination of Structure and Event Location Using Body and Surface Wave Measurements at a Single Station: Preparation for Mars Data from the InSight Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panning, M. P.; Banerdt, W. B.; Beucler, E.; Blanchette-Guertin, J. F.; Boese, M.; Clinton, J. F.; Drilleau, M.; James, S. R.; Kawamura, T.; Khan, A.; Lognonne, P. H.; Mocquet, A.; van Driel, M.

    2015-12-01

    An important challenge for the upcoming InSight mission to Mars, which will deliver a broadband seismic station to Mars along with other geophysical instruments in 2016, is to accurately determine event locations with the use of a single station. Locations are critical for the primary objective of the mission, determining the internal structure of Mars, as well as a secondary objective of measuring the activity of distribution of seismic events. As part of the mission planning process, a variety of techniques have been explored for location of marsquakes and inversion of structure, and preliminary procedures and software are already under development as part of the InSight Mars Quake and Mars Structure Services. One proposed method, involving the use of recordings of multiple-orbit surface waves, has already been tested with synthetic data and Earth recordings. This method has the strength of not requiring an a priori velocity model of Mars for quake location, but will only be practical for larger events. For smaller events where only first orbit surface waves and body waves are observable, other methods are required. In this study, we implement a transdimensional Bayesian inversion approach to simultaneously invert for basic velocity structure and location parameters (epicentral distance and origin time) using only measurements of body wave arrival times and dispersion of first orbit surface waves. The method is tested with synthetic data with expected Mars noise and Earth data for single events and groups of events and evaluated for errors in both location and structural determination, as well as tradeoffs between resolvable parameters and the effect of 3D crustal variations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Assessment of Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M. P.

    2005-05-01

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

  3. Cell biology and biotechnology research for exploration of the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellis, N.; North, R.

    Health risks generated by human long exposure to radiation, microgravity, and unknown factors in the planetary environment are the major unresolved issues for human space exploration. A complete characterization of human and other biological systems adaptation processes to long-duration space missions is necessary for the development of countermeasures. The utilization of cell and engineered tissue cultures in space research and exploration complements research in human, animal, and plant subjects. We can bring a small number of humans, animals, or plants to the ISS, Moon, and Mars. However, we can investigate millions of their cells during these missions. Furthermore, many experiments can not be performed on humans, e.g. radiation exposure, cardiac muscle. Cells from critical tissues and tissue constructs per se are excellent subjects for experiments that address underlying mechanisms important to countermeasures. The development of cell tissue engineered for replacement, implantation of biomaterial to induce tissue regeneration (e.g. absorbable collagen matrix for guiding tissue regeneration in periodontal surgery), and immunoisolation (e.g. biopolymer coating on transplanted tissues to ward off immunological rejection) are good examples of cell research and biotechnology applications. NASA Cell Biology and Biotechnology research include Bone/Muscle and Cardiovascular cell culture and tissue engineering; Environmental Health and Life Support Systems; Immune System; Radiation; Gravity Thresholds ; and Advanced Biotechnology Development to increase the understanding of animal and plant cell adaptive behavior when exposed to space, and to advance technologies that facilitates exploration. Cell systems can be used to investigate processes related to food, microbial proliferation, waste management, biofilms and biomaterials. The NASA Cell Science Program has the advantage of conducting research in microgravity based on significantly small resources, and the ability to

  4. European Space Agency's Fluorescence Explorer Mission: Concept and Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, G.; Moreno, J. F.; Goulas, Y.; Huth, A.; Middleton, E.; Miglietta, F.; Nedbal, L.; Rascher, U.; Verhoef, W.; Drusch, M.

    2012-12-01

    The Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) is a dedicated satellite for the detection and measurement of solar-induced fluorescence (SIF). It is one of two candidate missions currently under evaluation by ESA for deployment in its Earth Explorer 8 program, with Phase A/B1 assessments now underway. FLEX is planned as a tandem mission with ESA's core mission Sentinel-3, and would carry an instrument, FLORIS, optimized for discrimination of the fluorescence signal in terrestrial vegetation. The FLEX mission would be the first to be focussed upon optimization of SIF detection in terrestrial vegetation, and using finer spatial resolution than is available with current satellites. It would open up a novel avenue for monitoring photosynthetic function from space, with diverse potential applications. Plant photosynthetic tissues absorbing sunlight in the wavebands of photosynthetically active radiation (400 to 700 nm) emit fluorescence in the form of red and far-red light. This signal confers a small but measurable contribution to apparent reflectance spectra, and with appropriate analysis it may be detected and quantified. Over the last 15-20 years, techniques for SIF detection have progressed from contact or near-contact methods using single leaves to remote techniques using airborne sensors and towers over plant canopies. Ongoing developments in instrumentation, atmospheric correction procedures, signal extraction techniques, and utilization of the SIF signal itself are all critical aspects of progress in this area. The FLEX mission would crystallize developments to date into a state-of-the-art pioneering mission targeting actual photosynthetic function. This compares to existing methods which address only potential function. Thus, FLEX could serve to provide real-time data on vegetation health and stress status, and inputs for parameterization of photosynthetic models (e.g. with measures of light-use efficiency). SIF might be correlated or modelled to photosynthetic rates or

  5. Modeling and Simulation for Multi-Missions Space Exploration Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Max

    2011-01-01

    Asteroids and Near-Earth Objects [NEOs] are of great interest for future space missions. The Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle [MMSEV] is being considered for future Near Earth Object missions and requires detailed planning and study of its Guidance, Navigation, and Control [GNC]. A possible mission of the MMSEV to a NEO would be to navigate the spacecraft to a stationary orbit with respect to the rotating asteroid and proceed to anchor into the surface of the asteroid with robotic arms. The Dynamics and Real-Time Simulation [DARTS] laboratory develops reusable models and simulations for the design and analysis of missions. In this paper, the development of guidance and anchoring models are presented together with their role in achieving mission objectives and relationships to other parts of the simulation. One important aspect of guidance is in developing methods to represent the evolution of kinematic frames related to the tasks to be achieved by the spacecraft and its robot arms. In this paper, we compare various types of mathematical interpolation methods for position and quaternion frames. Subsequent work will be on analyzing the spacecraft guidance system with different movements of the arms. With the analyzed data, the guidance system can be adjusted to minimize the errors in performing precision maneuvers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  7. Recommendations relative to the scientific missions of a Mars Automated Roving Vehicle (MARV)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, R. L. (Editor)

    1973-01-01

    Scientific objectives of the MARV mission are outlined and specific science systems requirements and experimental payloads defined. All aspects of the Martian surface relative to biotic and geologic elements and those relating to geophysical and geochemical properties are explored.

  8. Target selection and mass estimation for manned NEO exploration using a baseline mission design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boden, Ralf C.; Hein, Andreas M.; Kawaguchi, Junichiro

    2015-06-01

    In recent years Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) have received an increased amount of interest as a target for human exploration. NEOs offer scientifically interesting targets, and at the same time function as a stepping stone for achieving future Mars missions. The aim of this research is to identify promising targets from the large number of known NEOs that qualify for a manned sample-return mission with a maximum duration of one year. By developing a baseline mission design and a mass estimation model, mission opportunities are evaluated based on on-orbit mass requirements, safety considerations, and the properties of the potential targets. A selection of promising NEOs is presented and the effects of mission requirements and restrictions are discussed. Regarding safety aspects, the use of free-return trajectories provides the lowest on-orbit mass, when compared to an alternative design that uses system redundancies to ensure return of the spacecraft to Earth. It is discovered that, although a number of targets are accessible within the analysed time frame, no NEO offers both easy access and high incentive for its exploration. Under the discussed aspects a first human exploration mission going beyond the vicinity of Earth will require a trade off between targets that provide easy access and those that are of scientific interest. This lack of optimal mission opportunities can be seen in the small number of only 4 NEOs that meet all requirements for a sample-return mission and remain below an on-orbit mass of 500 metric Tons (mT). All of them require a mass between 315 and 492 mT. Even less ideal, smaller asteroids that are better accessible require an on-orbit mass that exceeds the launch capability of future heavy lift vehicles (HLV) such as SLS by at least 30 mT. These mass requirements show that additional efforts are necessary to increase the number of available targets and reduce on-orbit mass requirements through advanced mission architectures. The need for on

  9. Regenerative Energy Storage System for Space Exploration Missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wærnhus Ivar

    2017-01-01

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

  10. The UV Sensor Onboard the Mars Science Laboratory Mission: Correction and Generation of UV Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente-Retortillo, Á.; Martinez, G.; Renno, N. O.; Lemmon, M. T.; Gomez-Elvira, J.

    2017-12-01

    The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station UV sensor (UVS) onboard the Mars Science Laboratory mission has completed more than 1750 sols of measurements, providing an unprecedented coverage ranging from diurnal to interannual times scales [1,2]. The UVS is comprised of six photodiodes to measure the UV flux in the ranges 200-380, 320-380, 280-320, 200-280, 230-290 and 300-350 nm [3]. UV fluxes in units of W/m2 can be found in the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS). However, dust deposition on the UVS and a non-physical discontinuity in the calibration functions when the solar zenith angle is above 30º cause errors in these fluxes that increase with time. We have developed a technique to correct UV fluxes from the effects of dust degradation and inconsistencies in the angular response of the UVS. The photodiode output currents (available in the PDS as lower-level TELRDR products), ancillary data records (available in the PDS as ADR products) and dust opacity values derived from Mastcam observations are used for performing the corrections. The corrections have been applied to the UVA band (320-380 nm) for the first 1000 sols of the mission, providing excellent results [4]. We plan to correct the UV fluxes on each of the six UVS bands and to make these results available in the PDS. Data products generated by this study will allow comparisons of the UV radiation environment at Gale crater with that at the locations of the future missions ExoMars 2020 and Mars 2020, as well as the assessment of the potential survivability of biological contaminants brought to Mars from Earth. References: [1] Smith, M. D., et al. (2016), Aerosol optical depth as observed by the Mars Science Laboratory REMS UV photodiodes, Icarus, 280, 234-248. [2] Vicente-Retortillo, Á., et al. (2017), Determination of dust aerosol particle size at Gale Crater using REMS UVS and Mastcam measurements, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 3502-3508. [3] Gómez-Elvira, J., et al. (2012), REMS: The environmental sensor

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

    CERN Document Server

    Wiens, Roger

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Mission to Mars by catalyzed nuclear reactions of the commercialized cold fusion power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woo, Tae Ho

    2016-01-01

    The chemical compound source is deficient to reach to the power as much as the journey to Mars, unless the massive equipment is installed like the nuclear fusion reactor. However, there is very significant limitations of making up the facility due to the propellant power. Therefore, the light and cheap energy source, Low energy nuclear reactions (LENRs), powered rocket has been proposed. In this paper, the power conditions by LENRs are analyzed. After the successful Apollo mission to Moon of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the U.S. government, the civilian companies have proposed for the manned mission to Mars for the commercial journey purposes. The nuclear power has been a critical issue for the energy source in the travel, especially, by the LENR of LENUCO, Champaign, USA. As the velocity of the rocket increases, the mass flow rate decreases. It could be imaginable to take the reasonable velocity of spacecraft. The energy of the travel system is and will be created for the better one in economical and safe method. There is the imagination of boarding pass for spacecraft ticket shows the selected companies of cold fusion products. In order to solve the limitations of the conventional power sources like the chemical and solar energies, it is reasonable to design LENR concept. Since the economical and safe spacecraft is very important in the long journey on and beyond the Mars orbit, a new energy source, LENR, should be studied much more

  13. Mission to Mars by catalyzed nuclear reactions of the commercialized cold fusion power

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woo, Tae Ho [Yonsei University, Wonju (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-05-15

    The chemical compound source is deficient to reach to the power as much as the journey to Mars, unless the massive equipment is installed like the nuclear fusion reactor. However, there is very significant limitations of making up the facility due to the propellant power. Therefore, the light and cheap energy source, Low energy nuclear reactions (LENRs), powered rocket has been proposed. In this paper, the power conditions by LENRs are analyzed. After the successful Apollo mission to Moon of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the U.S. government, the civilian companies have proposed for the manned mission to Mars for the commercial journey purposes. The nuclear power has been a critical issue for the energy source in the travel, especially, by the LENR of LENUCO, Champaign, USA. As the velocity of the rocket increases, the mass flow rate decreases. It could be imaginable to take the reasonable velocity of spacecraft. The energy of the travel system is and will be created for the better one in economical and safe method. There is the imagination of boarding pass for spacecraft ticket shows the selected companies of cold fusion products. In order to solve the limitations of the conventional power sources like the chemical and solar energies, it is reasonable to design LENR concept. Since the economical and safe spacecraft is very important in the long journey on and beyond the Mars orbit, a new energy source, LENR, should be studied much more.

  14. Mirror fusion propulsion system - A performance comparison with alternate propulsion systems for the manned Mars mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deveny, M.; Carpenter, S.; O'connell, T.; Schulze, N.

    1993-06-01

    The performance characteristics of several propulsion technologies applied to piloted Mars missions are compared. The characteristics that are compared are Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO), mission flexibility, and flight times. The propulsion systems being compared are both demonstrated and envisioned: Chemical (or Cryogenic), Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) solid core, NTR gas core, Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and a mirror fusion space propulsion system. The proposed magnetic mirror fusion reactor, known as the Mirror Fusion Propulsion System (MFPS), is described. The description is an overview of a design study that was conducted to convert a mirror reactor experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) into a viable space propulsion system. Design principles geared towards minimizing mass and maximizing power available for thrust are identified and applied to the LLNL reactor design, resulting in the MFPS. The MFPS' design evolution, reactor and fuel choices, and system configuration are described. Results of the performance comparison shows that the MFPS minimizes flight time to 60 to 90 days for flights to Mars while allowing continuous return-home capability while at Mars. Total MFPS IMLEO including propellant and payloads is kept to about 1,000 metric tons. 50 refs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Akshay; Singh, Amit

    2012-07-01

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

  16. AstroBiology Explorer Mission Concepts (ABE/ASPIRE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott; Ennico, Kimberly A.

    2006-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) and the Astrobiology Space InfraRed Explorer (ASPIRE) Mission Concepts are two missions designed to address the questions (1) Where do we come from? and (2) Are we alone? as outlined in NASA s Origins Program using infrared spectroscopy to explore the identity, abundance, and distribution of molecules of astrobiological importance throughout the Universe. The ABE mission s observational program is focused on six tasks to: (1) Investigate the evolution of ice and organics in dense clouds and star formation regions, and the young stellar/planetary systems that form in them; (2) Measure the evolution of complex organic molecules in stellar outflows; (3) Study the organic composition of a wide variety of solar system objects including asteroids, comets, and the planets and their satellites; (4) Identify organic compounds in the diffuse interstellar medium and determine their distribution , abundance, and change with environment; (5) Detect and identify organic compounds in other galaxies and determine their dependence on galactic type; and (6) Measure deuterium enrichments in interstellar organics and use them as tracers of chemical processes. The ASPIRE mission s observational program expands upon ABE's core mission and adds tasks that (7) Address the role of silicates in interstellar organic chemistry; and (8) Use different resolution spectra to assess the relative roles and abundances of gas- and solid-state materials. ABE (ASPIRE) achieves these goals using a highly sensitive, cryogenically-cooled telescope in an Earth drift-away heliocentric orbit, armed with a suite of infrared spectrometers that cover the 2.5-20(40) micron spectral region at moderate spectral resolution (R>2000). ASPIRE's spectrometer complement also includes a high-resolution (R>25,000) module over the 4-8 micron spectral region. Both missions target lists are chosen to observe a statistically significant sample of a large number of objects of varied types in

  17. Using Mars Mission Analogs and Authentic Experiences to Stimulate STEM Learning in K-14 Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, S. L.; Grigsby, B.; Valderrama, P.; Watt, K.

    2005-12-01

    Today, in many of the classrooms across our nation, K-12 educators are finding it more difficult to engage their students in the subjects that will help them to succeed to a more productive way of life - science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Finally, add to this formidable task a diverse set of learners (demographically and skill level) of an average classroom and the constraints of high stakes testing. Quite a challenge, indeed! The Arizona State University (ASU) Mars Education Program, in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Public Engagement Team have created programming, curriculum, and activities that help to bridge the gap between STEM learning and student interest. Starting with the Standards in the STEM areas - the areas which teachers are tasked to teach already, our team has modeled the STEM-based curriculum after the way that NASA's Mars team conducts their work and research. There is much challenge in the statement "Science for All Americans" when it comes to applying it equally to all classrooms across the U.S. To make sure that these curricular materials and hands-on experiences are available to any teacher and student, the ASU Mars Education Program has adopted a "high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech" approach. In other words, materials and programming have to be available and doable with whatever capabilities a classroom might possess. Using this approach, successful examples of Mars-based educational materials include Marsbound and the Mars Student Imaging Project. The Marsbound simulation is based on National Technology Standards and seemingly low tech. However, the simplicity of this simulation is quickly forgotten as it follows the familiar NASA scenario of building a mission to Mars with engineering constraints. Student teams use a set of equipment cards and a playmat (both available at no cost) to build their mission and balance it according to the constraints given. Students soon realize there is a lot of complexity to

  18. Human exploration and settlement of Mars - The roles of humans and robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, Michael B.

    1991-01-01

    The scientific objectives and strategies for human settlement on Mars are examined in the context of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An integrated strategy for humans and robots in the exploration and settlement of Mars is examined. Such an effort would feature robotic, telerobotic, and human-supervised robotic phases.

  19. Review of NASA approach to space radiation risk assessments for Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucinotta, Francis A

    2015-02-01

    Long duration space missions present unique radiation protection challenges due to the complexity of the space radiation environment, which includes high charge and energy particles and other highly ionizing radiation such as neutrons. Based on a recommendation by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, a 3% lifetime risk of exposure-induced death for cancer has been used as a basis for risk limitation by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for low-Earth orbit missions. NASA has developed a risk-based approach to radiation exposure limits that accounts for individual factors (age, gender, and smoking history) and assesses the uncertainties in risk estimates. New radiation quality factors with associated probability distribution functions to represent the quality factor's uncertainty have been developed based on track structure models and recent radiobiology data for high charge and energy particles. The current radiation dose limits are reviewed for spaceflight and the various qualitative and quantitative uncertainties that impact the risk of exposure-induced death estimates using the NASA Space Cancer Risk (NSCR) model. NSCR estimates of the number of "safe days" in deep space to be within exposure limits and risk estimates for a Mars exploration mission are described.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Impact of rocket propulsion technology on the radiation risk in missions to Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Durante, M. [GSI Helmholtzzentrum fur Schwerionenforschung, Biophysics Department, Darmstadt (Germany); Technical University of Darmstadt, Department of Condensed Matter Physics, Darmstadt (Germany); Bruno, C. [Dipartimento di Meccanica e Aeronautica, Universita -La Sapienza-, Roma (Italy)

    2010-10-15

    Exposure to cosmic radiation is today acknowledged as a major obstacle to human missions to Mars. In fact, in addition to the poor knowledge on the late effects of heavy ions in the cosmic rays, simple countermeasures are apparently not available. Shielding is indeed very problematic in space, because of mass problems and the high-energy of the cosmic rays, and radio-protective drugs or dietary supplements are not effective. However, the simplest countermeasure for reducing radiation risk is to shorten the duration time, particularly the transit time to Mars, where the dose rate is higher than on the planet surface. Here we show that using nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) rockets, the transit time could be substantially reduced to a point where radiation risk could be considered acceptable even with the current uncertainty on late effects. (authors)

  3. Terrain Safety Assessment in Support of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipp, Devin

    2012-01-01

    In August 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. The process to select the MSL landing site took over five years and began with over 50 initial candidate sites from which four finalist sites were chosen. The four finalist sites were examined in detail to assess overall science merit, EDL safety, and rover traversability on the surface. Ultimately, the engineering assessments demonstrated a high level of safety and robustness at all four finalist sites and differences in the assessment across those sites were small enough that neither EDL safety nor rover traversability considerations could significantly discriminate among the final four sites. Thus the MSL landing site at Gale Crater was selected from among the four finalists primarily on the basis of science considerations.

  4. An Analog Rover Exploration Mission for Education and Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  5. Mission-directed path planning for planetary rover exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tompkins, Paul

    2005-07-01

    Robotic rovers uniquely benefit planetary exploration---they enable regional exploration with the precision of in-situ measurements, a combination impossible from an orbiting spacecraft or fixed lander. Mission planning for planetary rover exploration currently utilizes sophisticated software for activity planning and scheduling, but simplified path planning and execution approaches tailored for localized operations to individual targets. This approach is insufficient for the investigation of multiple, regionally distributed targets in a single command cycle. Path planning tailored for this task must consider the impact of large scale terrain on power, speed and regional access; the effect of route timing on resource availability; the limitations of finite resource capacity and other operational constraints on vehicle range and timing; and the mutual influence between traverses and upstream and downstream stationary activities. Encapsulating this reasoning in an efficient autonomous planner would allow a rover to continue operating rationally despite significant deviations from an initial plan. This research presents mission-directed path planning that enables an autonomous, strategic reasoning capability for robotic explorers. Planning operates in a space of position, time and energy. Unlike previous hierarchical approaches, it treats these dimensions simultaneously to enable globally-optimal solutions. The approach calls on a near incremental search algorithm designed for planning and re-planning under global constraints, in spaces of higher than two dimensions. Solutions under this method specify routes that avoid terrain obstacles, optimize the collection and use of rechargable energy, satisfy local and global mission constraints, and account for the time and energy of interleaved mission activities. Furthermore, the approach efficiently re-plans in response to updates in vehicle state and world models, and is well suited to online operation aboard a robot

  6. Assessment of the advantages and feasibility of a nuclear rocket for a manned Mars mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, S.D.

    1986-01-01

    The feasibility of rebuilding and testing a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) for the Mars mission was investigted. Calculations indicate that an NTR would substantially reduce the Earth-orbit assemble mass compared to LOX/LH 2 systems. The mass savings were 36 and 65% for the cases of total aerobraking and of total propulsive braking respectively. Consequently, the cost savings for a single mission of using an NTR, if aerobraking is feasible, are probably insufficient to warrant the NTR development. If multiple missions are planned or if propulsive braking is desired at Mars and/or at Earth, then the savings of about $7 billion will easily pay for the NTR. Estimates of the cost of rebuilding a NTR were based on the previous NERVA program's budget plus additional costs to develop a flight ready engine. The total cost to build the engine would be between $4 to 5 billion. The concept of developing a full-power test stand at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific appears very feasible. The added expense of building facilities on the island should be less than $1.4 billion

  7. How safe is safe enough? Radiation risk for a human mission to Mars.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francis A Cucinotta

    Full Text Available Astronauts on a mission to Mars would be exposed for up to 3 years to galactic cosmic rays (GCR--made up of high-energy protons and high charge (Z and energy (E (HZE nuclei. GCR exposure rate increases about three times as spacecraft venture out of Earth orbit into deep space where protection of the Earth's magnetosphere and solid body are lost. NASA's radiation standard limits astronaut exposures to a 3% risk of exposure induced death (REID at the upper 95% confidence interval (CI of the risk estimate. Fatal cancer risk has been considered the dominant risk for GCR, however recent epidemiological analysis of radiation risks for circulatory diseases allow for predictions of REID for circulatory diseases to be included with cancer risk predictions for space missions. Using NASA's models of risks and uncertainties, we predicted that central estimates for radiation induced mortality and morbidity could exceed 5% and 10% with upper 95% CI near 10% and 20%, respectively for a Mars mission. Additional risks to the central nervous system (CNS and qualitative differences in the biological effects of GCR compared to terrestrial radiation may significantly increase these estimates, and will require new knowledge to evaluate.

  8. Telescience - Concepts and contributions to the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchant, Will; Dobson, Carl; Chakrabarti, Supriya; Malina, Roger F.

    1987-01-01

    It is shown how the contradictory goals of low-cost and fast data turnaround characterizing the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) mission can be achieved via the early use of telescience style transparent tools and simulations. The use of transparent tools reduces the parallel development of capability while ensuring that valuable prelaunch experience is not lost in the operations phase. Efforts made to upgrade the 'EUVE electronics' simulator are described.

  9. An Advanced Neutron Spectrometer for Future Manned Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Predictions of space radiation fatality risk for exploration missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

    In this paper we describe revisions to the NASA Space Cancer Risk (NSCR) model focusing on updates to probability distribution functions (PDF) representing the uncertainties in the radiation quality factor (QF) model parameters and the dose and dose-rate reduction effectiveness factor (DDREF). We integrate recent heavy ion data on liver, colorectal, intestinal, lung, and Harderian gland tumors with other data from fission neutron experiments into the model analysis. In an earlier work we introduced distinct QFs for leukemia and solid cancer risk predictions, and here we consider liver cancer risks separately because of the higher RBE's reported in mouse experiments compared to other tumors types, and distinct risk factors for liver cancer for astronauts compared to the U.S. The revised model is used to make predictions of fatal cancer and circulatory disease risks for 1-year deep space and International Space Station (ISS) missions, and a 940 day Mars mission. We analyzed the contribution of the various model parameter uncertainties to the overall uncertainty, which shows that the uncertainties in relative biological effectiveness (RBE) factors at high LET due to statistical uncertainties and differences across tissue types and mouse strains are the dominant uncertainty. NASA's exposure limits are approached or exceeded for each mission scenario considered. Two main conclusions are made: 1) Reducing the current estimate of about a 3-fold uncertainty to a 2-fold or lower uncertainty will require much more expansive animal carcinogenesis studies in order to reduce statistical uncertainties and understand tissue, sex and genetic variations. 2) Alternative model assumptions such as non-targeted effects, increased tumor lethality and decreased latency at high LET, and non-cancer mortality risks from circulatory diseases could significantly increase risk estimates to several times higher than the NASA limits. Copyright © 2017 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. The effect of long-term confinement and the efficacy of exercise countermeasures on muscle strength during a simulated mission to Mars: data from the Mars500 study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffney, Christopher J; Fomina, Elena; Babich, Dennis; Kitov, Vladimir; Uskov, Konstantin; Green, David A

    2017-11-13

    Isolation and long duration spaceflight are associated with musculoskeletal deconditioning. Mars500 was a unique, high-fidelity analogue of the psychological challenges of a 520-day manned mission to Mars. We aimed to explore the effect of musculoskeletal deconditioning on three outcome measures: (1) if lower limb muscle strength was reduced during the 520-day isolation; (2) if type I or II muscle fibres were differentially affected; and (3) whether any 70-day exercise interventions prevented any isolation-induced loss of strength. Six healthy male subjects (mean ± SEM) (34 ± 3 years; 1.76 ± 0.02 metres; 83.7 ± 4.8 kg) provided written, informed consent to participate. The subjects' maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) was assessed isometrically in the calf (predominantly type I fibres), and maximal voluntary isokinetic force (MVIF) was assessed in the quadriceps/hamstrings (predominantly type II fibres) at 0.2 and 0.4 ms -1 using the Multifunctional Dynamometer for Space (MDS) at 35-day intervals throughout Mars500. Exercise interventions were completed 3-7 days/week throughout the 520-day isolation in a counterbalanced design excluding 142-177 days (rest period) and 251-284 days (simulated Mars landing). Exercise interventions included motorized treadmill running, non-motorized treadmill running, cycle ergometry, elastomer-based resistance exercise, whole-body vibration (WBV), and resistance exercise using MDS. Calf MVC did not reduce across the 520-day isolation and MDS increased strength by 18% compared to before that of 70-day exercise intervention. In contrast, there was a significant bilateral loss of MVIF across the 520 days at both 0.2 ms -1 (R 2  = 0.53; P = 0.001) and 0.4 ms -1 (0.4 ms -1 ; R 2  = 0.42; P = 0.007). WBV (+ 3.7 and 8.8%) and MDS (+ 4.9 and 5.2%) afforded the best protection against isolation-induced loss of MVIF, although MDS was the only intervention to prevent bilateral loss of calf MVC and leg MVIF at 0

  13. Overview of an Integrated Medical System for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Sharmila; Rubin, David

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Design, qualification and operation of nuclear rockets for safe Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Madsen, W.W.; Olson, T.S.; Redd, L.R.

    1993-01-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion modules planned for use on crew missions to Mars improve mission reliability and overall safety of the mission. This, as well as all other systems, are greatly enhanced if the system specifications take into account safety from design initiation, and operational considerations are well thought through and applied. For instance, the use of multiple engines in the propulsion module can lead to very high system safety and reliability. Operational safety enhancements may include: the use of multiple perigee burns, thus allowing time to ensure that all systems are functioning properly prior to departure from Earth orbit; the ability to perform all other parts of the mission in a degraded mode with little or no degradation of the mission; and the safe disposal of the nuclear propulsion module in a heliocentric orbit out of the ecliptic plane. The standards used to qualify nuclear rockets are one of the main cost drivers of the program. Concepts and systems that minimize cost and risk will rely on use of the element and component levels to demonstrate technology readiness and validation. Subsystem or systems testing then is only needed for verification of performance. Also, these will be the safest concepts because they will be more thoroughly understood and the safety margins will be well established and confirmed by tests

  15. Statistics provide guidance for indigenous organic carbon detection on Mars missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sephton, Mark A; Carter, Jonathan N

    2014-08-01

    Data from the Viking and Mars Science Laboratory missions indicate the presence of organic compounds that are not definitively martian in origin. Both contamination and confounding mineralogies have been suggested as alternatives to indigenous organic carbon. Intuitive thought suggests that we are repeatedly obtaining data that confirms the same level of uncertainty. Bayesian statistics may suggest otherwise. If an organic detection method has a true positive to false positive ratio greater than one, then repeated organic matter detection progressively increases the probability of indigeneity. Bayesian statistics also reveal that methods with higher ratios of true positives to false positives give higher overall probabilities and that detection of organic matter in a sample with a higher prior probability of indigenous organic carbon produces greater confidence. Bayesian statistics, therefore, provide guidance for the planning and operation of organic carbon detection activities on Mars. Suggestions for future organic carbon detection missions and instruments are as follows: (i) On Earth, instruments should be tested with analog samples of known organic content to determine their true positive to false positive ratios. (ii) On the mission, for an instrument with a true positive to false positive ratio above one, it should be recognized that each positive detection of organic carbon will result in a progressive increase in the probability of indigenous organic carbon being present; repeated measurements, therefore, can overcome some of the deficiencies of a less-than-definitive test. (iii) For a fixed number of analyses, the highest true positive to false positive ratio method or instrument will provide the greatest probability that indigenous organic carbon is present. (iv) On Mars, analyses should concentrate on samples with highest prior probability of indigenous organic carbon; intuitive desires to contrast samples of high prior probability and low prior

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Exploration Life Support Technology Development for Lunar Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Chemical and Biological Substances Decontamination Study for Mars Missions and Terrestrial Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pottage, Thomas; Walker, James; Bennett, Allan; Vrublevskis, John; Hovland, Scott

    This study, funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and undertaken by the Health Protec-tion Agency, UK supported by Systems Engineering and Assessment Ltd., was devised to select suitable current decontamination technologies for development for future manned missions to the Moon and Mars. There is a requirement to decontaminate the habitat module due to the concerns about astronaut ill health, microbial deterioration of materials and potential forward contamination in the case of Mars. In the case of the MIR space station, biodeterioration of components and materials occurred, and dangerous levels of airborne microorganisms were detected during air sampling procedures which lead to the introduction of microbial exposure limits (as MORD SSP 50260) to ensure the health of the crew. COSPAR planetary protection guidelines highlight the need to reduce any potential forward or backwards contamination issues that may occur through the use of Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) suits whilst on Mars. Decontamination of the suit exterior must be completed before any EVA activity on Mars, whilst a further decontamination cycle must be completed after entry to the airlock following EVA. Technologies and techniques have also been investigated for the microbial reduction of the interior surfaces of the EVA suit to stop biodeterioration of the materials and protect the user from pathogenic microbe accumulation. The first work package reviewed the systems description and requirements as detailed in the statement of work. The requirements were broken down into 12 further requirement sections, where they were updated and expanded, resulted in Technical Note (TN) 1 which was then used as the base document for WP2 and WP3. WP2 investigated the current technologies available for the decontamination of the habitat module interior on missions of up to 6 months and missions that have durations of greater than 6 months. A comprehensive review was carried out for the different methods that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandura, Louise

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Performance, Calibration and Stability of the Mars InSight Mission Pressure Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banfield, Don; Banerdt, Bruce; Hurst, Ken; Grinblat, Jonny; murray, alex; Carpenter, Scott

    2017-10-01

    The NASA Mars InSight Discovery Mission is primarily aimed at understanding the seismic environment at Mars and in turn the interior structure of the planet. To this end, it carries a set of very sensitive seismometers to characterize fine ground movements from quakes, impacts and tides. However, to remove atmospheric perturbations that would otherwise corrupt the seismic signals, InSight also carries a pressure sensor of unprecedented sensitivity and frequency response for a Mars mission.The instrument is based on a commercial spacecraft pressure sensor built by the Tavis Corporation. Tavis heritage transducers have provided pressure measurements on several interplanetary missions, starting with a similar application on the Viking Landers. The sensor developed for the Insight mission is their most sensitive device. That same sensitivity was the root of the challenges faced in the design and development for Insight. It uses inductive sensing of a deformable membrane, and includes an internal temperature sensor to compensate for temperature effects in its overall response.The technical requirement on the pressure sensor performance is 0.01(f/0.1)^(-2/3) Pa/sqrt(Hz) between 0.01 and 0.1 Hz, and 0.01 Pa/sqrt(Hz) between 0.1 and 1 Hz. The actual noise spectrum is about 0.01(f/0.3)^(-2/3) Pa/sqrt(Hz) between 0.01 and 1 Hz, and its frequency response (including inlet plumbing) has good response up to about 10 Hz Nyquist (it will be sampled at 20 Hz).Achieving the required sensitivity proved to be a difficult engineering challenge, which necessitated extensive experimentation and prototyping of the electronics design. In addition, a late discovery of the introduction of noise by the signal processing chain into the measurement stream forced a last-minute change in the instrument’s firmware.The flight unit has been calibrated twice, separated by a time span of about 2 years due to the delay in launching the InSight mission. This has the benefit of allowing a direct

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Considerations: These missions would be the first human expeditions to interplanetary bodies beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars, Phobos and Deimos, and other Solar System destinations. Current analyses of operational concepts suggest that stay times of 15 to 30 days may be possible at a NEA with total mission duration limits of 180 days or less. Hence, these missions would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while simultaneously conducting detailed investigations of these primitive objects with instruments and equipment that exceed the mass and power capabilities delivered by robotic spacecraft. All of these activities will be vital for refinement of resource characterization/identification and development of extraction/utilization technologies to be used on airless bodies under low- or micro-gravity conditions. In addition, gaining enhanced understanding of a NEA's geotechnical properties and its gross internal structure will assist the development of hazard mitigation techniques for planetary defense. Conclusions: The scientific, resource utilization, and hazard mitigation benefits, along with the programmatic and operational benefits of a human venture beyond the Earth-Moon system, make a piloted sample return mission to a NEA using NASA's proposed human exploration systems a compelling endeavor.

  4. 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.

  5. Academic Training: Surviving in space: the challenges of a manned mission to Mars

    CERN Multimedia

    Françoise Benz

    2005-01-01

    2005-2006 ACADEMIC TRAINING PROGRAMME LECTURE SERIES 26, 27, 28 October from 11:00 to 12:00 - Main Auditorium, bldg. 500 Surviving in space: the challenges of a manned mission to Mars by L. S. Pinsky / Univ. Houston, USA Program : Lecture I: Understanding the Space Radiation Environment Lecture II: Dosimetry and the Effects of the Exposure of Human Tissue to Heavily Ionizing Radiation Lecture III: Modelling the Interaction of the Space Radiation in Spacecraft & Humans, and Assessing the Risks on a Mission to Mars... ENSEIGNEMENT ACADEMIQUE ACADEMIC TRAINING Françoise Benz 73127 academic.training@cern.ch If you wish to participate in one of the following courses, please tell to your supervisor and apply electronically from the course description pages that can be found on the Web at: http://www.cern.ch/Training/ or fill in an 'application for training' form available from your Departmental Secretariat or from your DTO (Departmental Training Officer). Applications will be accepted in the order ...

  6. Mineralogical, chemical, organic and microbial properties of subsurface soil cores from Mars Desert Research Station (Utah, USA): Phyllosilicate and sulfate analogues to Mars mission landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Clarke, Jonathan; Direito, Susana O. L.; Blake, David; Martin, Kevin R.; Zavaleta, Jhony; Foing, Bernard

    2011-07-01

    We collected and analysed soil cores from four geologic units surrounding Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Utah, USA, including Mancos Shale, Dakota Sandstone, Morrison formation (Brushy Basin member) and Summerville formation. The area is an important geochemical and morphological analogue to terrains on Mars. Soils were analysed for mineralogy by a Terra X-ray diffractometer (XRD), a field version of the CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission (2012 landing). Soluble ion chemistry, total organic content and identity and distribution of microbial populations were also determined. The Terra data reveal that Mancos and Morrison soils are rich in phyllosilicates similar to those observed on Mars from orbital measurements (montmorillonite, nontronite and illite). Evaporite minerals observed include gypsum, thenardite, polyhalite and calcite. Soil chemical analysis shows sulfate the dominant anion in all soils and SO4>>CO3, as on Mars. The cation pattern Na>Ca>Mg is seen in all soils except for the Summerville where Ca>Na. In all soils, SO4 correlates with Na, suggesting sodium sulfates are the dominant phase. Oxidizable organics are low in all soils and range from a high of 0.7% in the Mancos samples to undetectable at a detection limit of 0.1% in the Morrison soils. Minerals rich in chromium and vanadium were identified in Morrison soils that result from diagenetic replacement of organic compounds. Depositional environment, geologic history and mineralogy all affect the ability to preserve and detect organic compounds. Subsurface biosphere populations were revealed to contain organisms from all three domains (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya) with cell density between 3.0×106 and 1.8×107 cells ml-1 at the deepest depth. These measurements are analogous to data that could be obtained on future robotic or human Mars missions and results are relevant to the MSL mission that will investigate phyllosilicates on Mars.

  7. Evolution of Safety Analysis to Support New Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrasher, Chard W.

    2008-01-01

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

  8. The High Energy Transient Explorer (HETE): Mission and science overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ricker, G.R.; Crew, G.B.; Doty, J.P.; Vanderspek, R.; Villasenor, J.; Atteia, J.-L.; Fenimore, E.E.; Galassi, M.; Graziani, C.; Lamb, D.Q.; Hurley, K.; Jernigan, J.G.; Kawai, N.; Matsuoka, M.; Pizzichini, G.; Shirasaki, Y.; Tamagawa, T.; Vedrenne, G.; Woosley, S.E.; Yoshida, A.

    2003-01-01

    The High Energy Transient Explorer (HETE ) mission is devoted to the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) using soft X-ray, medium X-ray, and gamma-ray instruments mounted on a compact spacecraft. The HETE satellite was launched into equatorial orbit on 9 October 2000. A science team from France, Japan, Brazil, India, Italy, and the US is responsible for the HETE mission, which was completed for ∼ 1/3 the cost of a NASA Small Explorer (SMEX). The HETE mission is unique in that it is entirely 'self-contained', insofar as it relies upon dedicated tracking, data acquisition, mission operations, and data analysis facilities run by members of its international Science Team. A powerful feature of HETE is its potential for localizing GRBs within seconds of the trigger with good precision (∼ 10') using medium energy X-rays and, for a subset of bright GRBs, improving the localization to ∼ 30''accuracy using low energy X-rays. Real-time GRB localizations are transmitted to ground observers within seconds via a dedicated network of 14 automated 'Burst Alert Stations', thereby allowing prompt optical, IR, and radio follow-up, leading to the identification of counterparts for a large fraction of HETE -localized GRBs. HETE is the only satellite that can provide near-real time localizations of GRBs, and that can localize GRBs that do not have X-ray, optical, and radio afterglows, during the next two years. These capabilities are the key to allowing HETE to probe further the unique physics that produces the brightest known photon sources in the universe. To date (December 2002), HETE has produced 31 GRB localizations. Localization accuracies are routinely in the 4'- 20' range; for the five GRBs with SXC localization, accuracies are ∼1-2'. In addition, HETE has detected ∼ 25 bursts from soft gamma repeaters (SGRs), and >600 X-ray bursts (XRBs)

  9. Exploring Cognition Using Software Defined Radios for NASA Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Dale J.; Reinhart, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Microbial biodiversity assessment of the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2016 mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koskinen, Kaisa; Rettberg, Petra; Pukall, Rüdiger; Auerbach, Anna; Wink, Lisa; Barczyk, Simon; Perras, Alexandra; Mahnert, Alexander; Margheritis, Diana; Kminek, Gerhard; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine

    2017-10-25

    The ExoMars 2016 mission, consisting of the Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli lander, was launched on March 14 2016 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan and reached its destination in October 2016. The Schiaparelli lander was subject to strict requirements for microbial cleanliness according to the obligatory planetary protection policy. To reach the required cleanliness, the ExoMars 2016 flight hardware was assembled in a newly built, biocontrolled cleanroom complex at Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy. In this study, we performed microbiological surveys of the cleanroom facilities and the spacecraft hardware before and during the assembly, integration and testing (AIT) activities. Besides the European Space Agency (ESA) standard bioburden assay, that served as a proxy for the microbiological contamination in general, we performed various alternative cultivation assays and utilised molecular techniques, including quantitative PCR and next generation sequencing, to assess the absolute and relative abundance and broadest diversity of microorganisms and their signatures in the cleanroom and on the spacecraft hardware. Our results show that the bioburden, detected microbial contamination and microbial diversity decreased continuously after the cleanroom was decontaminated with more effective cleaning agents and during the ongoing AIT. The studied cleanrooms and change room were occupied by very distinct microbial communities: Overall, the change room harboured a higher number and diversity of microorganisms, including Propionibacterium, which was found to be significantly increased in the change room. In particular, the so called alternative cultivation assays proved important in detecting a broader cultivable diversity than covered by the standard bioburden assay and thus completed the picture on the cleanroom microbiota. During the whole project, the bioburden stayed at acceptable level and did not raise any concern for the ExoMars 2016 mission. The cleanroom complex at

  11. A drill-soil system modelization for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finzi, A. E.; Lavagna, M.; Rocchitelli, G.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a first approach to the problem of modeling a drilling process to be carried on in the space environment by a dedicated payload. Systems devoted to work in space present very strict requirements in many different fields such as thermal response, electric power demand, reliability and so on. Thus, models devoted to the operational behaviour simulation represent a fundamental help in the design phase and give a great improvement in the final product quality. As the required power is the crucial constraint within drilling devices, the tool-soil interaction modelization and simulation are finalized to the computation of the power demand as a function of both the drill and the soil parameters. An accurate study of the tool and the soil separately has been firstly carried on and, secondly their interaction has been analyzed. The Dee-Dri system, designed by Tecnospazio and to be part of the lander components in the NASA's Mars Sample Return Mission, has been taken as the tool reference. The Deep-Drill system is a complex rotary tool devoted to the soil perforation and sample collection; it has to operate in a Martian zone made of rocks similar to the terrestrial basalt, then the modelization is restricted to the interaction analysis between the tool and materials belonging to the rock set. The tool geometric modelization has been faced by a finite element approach with a Langrangian formulation: for the static analysis a refined model is assumed considering both the actual geometry of the head and the rod screws; a simplified model has been used to deal with the dynamic analysis. The soil representation is based on the Mohr-Coulomb crack criterion and an Eulerian approach has been selected to model it. However, software limitations in dealing with the tool-soil interface definition required assuming a Langrangian formulation for the soil too. The interaction between the soil and the tool has been modeled by extending the two-dimensional Nishimatsu

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  13. 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 th