WorldWideScience

Sample records for mars exploration program

  1. 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.

  2. 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."

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Increased Science Instrumentation Funding Strengthens Mars Program

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    As the strategic knowledge gaps mature for the exploration of Mars, Mars sample return (MSR), and Phobos/Deimos missions, one approach that becomes more probable involves smaller science instrumentation and integrated science suites. Recent technological advances provide the foundation for a significant evolution of instrumentation; however, the funding support is currently too small to fully utilize these advances. We propose that an increase in funding for instrumentation development occur in the near-term so that these foundational technologies can be applied. These instruments would directly address the significant knowledge gaps for humans to Mars orbit, humans to the Martian surface, and humans to Phobos/ Deimos. They would also address the topics covered by the Decadal Survey and the Mars scientific goals, objectives, investigations and priorities as stated by the MEPAG. We argue that an increase of science instrumentation funding would be of great benefit to the Mars program as well as the potential for human exploration of the Mars system. If the total non-Earth-related planetary science instrumentation budget were increased 100% it would not add an appreciable amount to the overall NASA budget and would provide the real potential for future breakthroughs. If such an approach were implemented in the near-term, NASA would benefit greatly in terms of science knowledge of the Mars, Phobos/Deimos system, exploration risk mitigation, technology development, and public interest.

  18. 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".

  19. 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.

  20. The Exploration of Mars and the Improvement of Living Conditions in Western Asian Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Space is the new frontier. The exploration of a new world, Mars, has been giving people on Earth valuable comparative information about climatic and geological processes occurring here on our home planet. With the Viking 1 and 2, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, etc., spacecrafts, which explored the Red Planet we obtained a great deal information about the extremely arid soil and dry air of Mars in the present, and its watery condition in the distant past. Now there is a decade-long, program of robotic exploration of the martian atmosphere and soil - the 'Mars Surveyor Program', which is a series of small, cheap and fast spacecrafts, carrying very few scientific instruments, to be launched about every two years. Here in this paper, under the principles in the United Nations' Agenda 21, we comment on this new phase of Mars exploration under development, which began in 1996, and its benefits to living conditions in developing countries with desert regions. A peaceful regular research of the arid Mars, will help us to understand much better the dynamics of formation of dry regions here on Earth. We suggest that, if the developing countries participate in that program, they will achieve the scientific understanding to create a practical technology, with which they will acquire ways to future transform their arid areas into a more humid places, and to slow the process of desertification of other regions. This, using their own natural resources and own scientific personnel. That would strongly benefit the living conditions in Western Asian countries, which have many desert regions.

  1. 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.

  2. Mars Technology Program Planetary Protection Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ying

    2006-01-01

    The objectives of the NASA Planetary Protection program are to preserve biological and organic conditions of solar-system bodies for future scientific exploration and to protect the Earth from potential hazardous extraterrestrial contamination. As the exploration of solar system continues, NASA remains committed to the implementation of planetary protection policy and regulations. To fulfill this commitment, the Mars Technology Program (MTP) has invested in a portfolio of tasks for developing necessary technologies to meet planetary protection requirements for the next decade missions.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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.

    2000-01-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, James B.

    2007-01-01

    have its first mobile analytical laboratory operating on the surface of Mars (Mars Science Laboratory) in search of potentially subtle expressions of past life or at least of life-hospitable environments. Meanwhile back here on Planet Earth, NASA will be continuing to implement an increasingly comprehensive program of robotic missions that address major issues associated with global climate variability, and the "state variables" that affect the quality of human life on our home planet. Ultimately, the fmits of NASA's emergent program of Exploration (VSE) will provide never-beforepossible opportunities for scientific leadership and advancement, culminating in a new state of awareness from which to better plan for the sustainability of life on Earth and for extending Earth life to the Moon and eventually to Mars. As NASA nears its 50th anniversary, the unimaginable and unexpected wealth of strategic knowledge its missions have generated about Earth, the Universe, and our local Solar System boggles the mind and serves as a legacy of knowledge for Educators to inspire future generations.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Exploration Technology Program plans and directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldrich, A.; Rosen, R.; Craig, M.; Mankins, J. C.

    During the first part of the next century, the United States will return to the Moon to create a permanent lunar base, and, before the year 2019, we will send a human mission to Mars. In addition to these human operations, the Space Exploration Initiative will integrally incorporate robotic lunar and Mars missions. In achieving these efforts to expand human presence and activity in space and also exerted and frontiers of human knowledge, the SEI will require an array of new technologies. Mission architecture definition is still underway, but previous studies indicate that the SEI will require developments in areas such as advanced engines for space transportation, in-space assembly and construction to support permanent basing of exploration systems in space, and advanced surface operations capabilities including adequate levels of power and surface roving vehicles, and technologies to support safely long-duration human operations in space. Plans are now being put into place to implement an Exploration Technology Program (ETP) which will develop the major technologies needed for SEI. In close coordination with other ongoing U.S. government research and development efforts, the ETP will provide in the near term clear demonstrations of potential exploration technologies, research results to support SEI architecture decisions, and a foundation of mature technology that is ready to be applied in the first round of SEI missions. In addition to the technology needed for the first round of SEI missions, the ETP will also put in place a foundation of research for longer-term technology needs—ultimately leading the human missions to Mars. The Space Exploration Initiative and the Exploration Technology Program will challenge the best and the brightest minds across government, industry and academia, inspiring students of all ages and making possible future terrestial applications of SEI technologies that may create whole new industries for the future.

  16. 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.

  17. Program options to explore ocean worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, B.; Lunine, J.; Sotin, C.; Cwik, T.; Naderi, F.

    2018-02-01

    Including Earth, roughly a dozen water ocean worlds exist in the solar system: the relict worlds Ceres and Mars, vast oceans inside most of the large Jovian and Saturnian icy moons, and Kuiper Belt Objects like Triton, Charon, and Pluto whose geologies are dominated by water and ammonia. Key pieces of the ocean-world science puzzle - which when completed may reveal whether life is widespread in the cosmos, why it exists where it does, and how it originates - are distributed among them. The eventual exploration of all these worlds will yield humanity's total tangible knowledge about life in the universe, essentially forever. Thus, their exploration has existential significance for humanity's self-regard, and indeed perhaps of our place in the natural scheme. The matter of planning how to pursue such a difficult and unprecedented exploration opportunity is therefore historic. The technical challenges are formidable, far harder than at Mars: missions to the Jovian and Saturnian ocean worlds are severely power-limited; trip times can be as much as a half decade and decade, respectively. And the science targets are global-scale oceans beneath kilometers of cryogenic ice. Reaching and exploring them would be a multi-generational undertaking, so again it is essential to plan and prepare. Today, we lack the instrumentation, subsystems, and remote operational-intelligence technologies needed to build and use exploration avatars as good as what we can envision needing. Each ocean world holds a piece of the puzzle, but the three priority targets are Europa at Jupiter, and Enceladus and Titan at Saturn. As with the systematic exploration of Mars, exploring these diverse worlds poses a complex technical and programmatic challenge - a strategic challenge - that needs to be designed and managed if each generation is to see its work bear fruit, and if the space science community is to make most effective use of the public money devoted to the quest. Strategic programs benefit from

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Planetary protection in the framework of the Aurora exploration program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kminek, G.

    The Aurora Exploration Program will give ESA new responsibilities in the field of planetary protection. Until now, ESA had only limited exposure to planetary protection from its own missions. With the proposed ExoMars and MSR missions, however, ESA will enter the realm of the highest planetary protection categories. As a consequence, the Aurora Exploration Program has initiated a number of activities in the field of planetary protection. The first and most important step was to establish a Planetary Protection Working Group (PPWG) that is advising the Exploration Program Advisory Committee (EPAC) on all matters concerning planetary protection. The main task of the PPWG is to provide recommendations regarding: Planetary protection for robotic missions to Mars; Planetary protection for a potential human mission to Mars; Review/evaluate standards & procedures for planetary protection; Identify research needs in the field of planetary protection. As a result of the PPWG deliberations, a number of activities have been initiated: Evaluation of the Microbial Diversity in SC Facilities; Working paper on legal issues of planetary protection and astrobiology; Feasibility study on a Mars Sample Return Containment Facility; Research activities on sterilization procedures; Training course on planetary protection (May, 2004); Workshop on sterilization techniques (fall 2004). In parallel to the PPWG, the Aurora Exploration Program has established an Ethical Working Group (EWG). This working group will address ethical issues related to astrobiology, planetary protection, and manned interplanetary missions. The recommendations of the working groups and the results of the R&D activities form the basis for defining planetary protection specification for Aurora mission studies, and for proposing modification and new inputs to the COSPAR planetary protection policy. Close cooperation and free exchange of relevant information with the NASA planetary protection program is strongly

  1. 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.

  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. Proposal on application of Russian technical facilities for International Mars Research Program for 2009 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polishchuk, Georgy; Pichkhadze, Konstantin; Vorontsov, Victor; Pavel, Kazmerchuk

    2006-07-01

    Recently International Mars Research Program is widely discussed. Well-known initiative of President of the USA, recent progress of American and European scientists and engineers in implementation of “Mars Odyssey” and “Mars-Express” projects and Russian proposals on cooperation and participation in “Phobos Sample Return” mission declare every intention to join efforts in the ambitious Martian Program realization. The final goal of the program for nearly 15 20 years is landing of a man on the Martian surface. Before this event happens another critical stage will be Martian soil sample return. Within the next 10 years, apparently, a major task will be scale research by means of various types of technical facilities. A crucial issue for this research will be creation of research station network which would allow collecting information about planetary conditions at far-remote points. By this time within the frame of “Phobos Sample Return Program” to be launched in 2009 it is planned to deliver some meteorological mini-landers developed by the Russian and Finnish specialists on the Martian surface. From this point view it is also interesting to use balloons capable to cover considerable distance. Such proposals have been made by Russian side for “Scout” mission. European “Aurora” program also anticipates application of wide range of technical means to explore the Martian atmosphere and surface including inflatable devices. Thus, for the International Mars Exploration Program, it seems to be very prospective to use apart from launch vehicles, upper stages etc. such technical means as mini-stations, Mars rovers, penetrators, balloons, etc.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. Strategies for the sustained human exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Damon Frederick

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The NASA research and technology program on space power: A key element of the Space Exploration Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.; Atkins, Kenneth L.

    1991-01-01

    In July 1989, President Bush announced his space exploration initiative of going back to the Moon to stay and then going to Mars. Building upon its ongoing research and technology base, NASA has established an exploration technology program to develop the technologies needed for piloted missions to the Moon and Mars. A key element for the flights and for the planned bases is power. The NASA research and technology program on space power encompasses power sources, energy storage, and power management.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Constructing an Educational Mars Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henke, Stephen A.

    2004-01-01

    January 14th 2004, President George Bush announces his plans to catalyst the space program into a new era of space exploration and discovery. His vision encompasses a robotics program to explore our solar system, a return to the moon, the human exploration of Mars, and to promote international prosperity towards our endeavors. We at NASA now have the task of constructing this vision in a very real timeframe. I have been chosen to begin phase 1 of making this vision a reality. I will be working on creating an Educational Mars Simulation of human exploration of Mars to stimulate interest and involvement with the project from investors and the community. GRC s Computer Services Division (CSD) in collaboration with the Office of Education Programs will be designing models, constructing terrain, and programming this simulation to create a realistic portrayal of human exploration on mars. With recent and past technological breakthroughs in computing, my primary goal can be accomplished with only the aid of 3-4 software packages. Lightwave 3D is the modeling package we have selected to use for the creation of our digital objects. This includes a Mars pressurized rover, rover cockpit, landscape/terrain, and habitat. Once we have the models completed they need textured so Photoshop and Macromedia Fireworks are handy for bringing these objects to life. Before directly importing all of this data into a simulation environment, it is necessary to first render a stunning animation of the desired final product. This animation with represent what we hope to capture out of the simulation and it will include all of the accessories like ray-tracing, fog effects, shadows, anti-aliasing, particle effects, volumetric lighting, and lens flares. Adobe Premier will more than likely be used for video editing and adding ambient noises and music. Lastly, V-Tree is the real-time 3D graphics engine which will facilitate our realistic simulation. Additional information is included in the

  7. 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.

  8. MarsVac: Pneumatic Sampling System for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacny, K.; Mungas, G.; Chu, P.; Craft, J.; Davis, K.

    2008-12-01

    We are proposing a Mars Sample Return scheme whereby a sample of regolith is acquired directly into a Mars Ascent Vehicle using a pneumatic system. Unlike prior developments that used suction to collect fines, the proposed system uses positive pressure to move the regolith. We envisage 3 pneumatic tubes to be embedded inside the 3 legs of the lander. Upon landing, the legs will burry themselves into the regolith and the tubes will fill up with regolith. With one puff of gas, the regolith can be lifted into a sampling chamber onboard of the Mars Ascent Vehicle. An additional chamber can be opened to acquire atmospheric gas and dust. The entire MSR will require 1) an actuator to open/close sampling chamber and 2) a valve to open gas cylinder. In the most recent study related to lunar excavation and funded under the NASA SBIR program we have shown that it is possible lift over 3000 grams of soil with only 1 gram of gas at 1atm. Tests conducted under Mars atmospheric pressure conditions (5 torr). In September of 2008, we will be performing tests at 1/6thg (Moon) and 1/3g (Mars) to determine mass lifting efficiencies in reduced gravities.

  9. 1988 Monitoring Activities Review (MAR) of the environmental monitoring program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-03-01

    The EGandG Idaho Environmental Monitoring (EM) Unit is responsible for coordinating and conducting environmental measurements of radioactive and hazardous contaminants around facilities operated by EGandG Idaho. The EM Unit has several broad program objectives, which include complying with regulatory standards and developing a basis for estimating future impacts of operations at EGandG Idaho facilities. To improve program planning and to provide bases for technical improvement of the monitoring program, the EGandG Environmental Monitoring organization has regularly used the Monitoring Activities Review (MAR) process since 1982. Each MAR is conducted by a committee of individuals selected for their experience in the various types of monitoring performed by the EM organization. Previous MAR studies have focused on procedures for all currently monitored media except biota. Biotic monitoring was initiated following the last MAR. This report focuses on all currently monitored media, and includes the first review of biotic monitoring. The review of biotic monitoring has been conducted at a level of detail consistent with initial MAR reports for other parts of the Waste Management Program Facilities Environmental Monitoring Program. The review of the biotic monitoring activities is presented in Section 5.5 of this report. 21 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Marjorie; Kahmann-Robinson, Julia

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. Development of an Auto-Validation Program for MARS Code Assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Young Jin; Chung, Bub Dong

    2006-01-01

    MARS (Multi-dimensional Analysis of Reactor Safety) code is a best-estimate thermal hydraulic system analysis code developed at KAERI. It is important for a thermal hydraulic computer code to be assessed against theoretical and experimental data to verify and validate the performance and the integrity of the structure, models and correlations of the code. The code assessment efforts for complex thermal hydraulics code such as MARS code can be tedious, time-consuming and require large amount of human intervention in data transfer to see the results in graphic forms. Code developers produce many versions of a code during development and each version need to be verified for integrity. Thus, for MARS code developers, it is desirable to have an automatic way of carrying out the code assessment calculations. In the present work, an Auto-Validation program that carries out the code assessment efforts has been developed. The program uses the user supplied configuration file (with '.vv' extension) which contain commands to read input file, to execute the user selected MARS program, and to generate result graphs. The program can be useful if a same set of code assessments is repeated with different versions of the code. The program is written with the Delphi program language. The program runs under the Microsoft Windows environment

  13. 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)

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palkovic, Lawrence A.; Wilson, Thomas J.

    2005-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A concept for NASA's Mars 2016 astrobiology field laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beegle, Luther W; Wilson, Michael G; Abilleira, Fernando; Jordan, James F; Wilson, Gregory R

    2007-08-01

    The Mars Program Plan includes an integrated and coordinated set of future candidate missions and investigations that meet fundamental science objectives of NASA and the Mars Exploration Program (MEP). At the time this paper was written, these possible future missions are planned in a manner consistent with a projected budget profile for the Mars Program in the next decade (2007-2016). As with all future missions, the funding profile depends on a number of factors that include the exact cost of each mission as well as potential changes to the overall NASA budget. In the current version of the Mars Program Plan, the Astrobiology Field Laboratory (AFL) exists as a candidate project to determine whether there were (or are) habitable zones and life, and how the development of these zones may be related to the overall evolution of the planet. The AFL concept is a surface exploration mission equipped with a major in situ laboratory capable of making significant advancements toward the Mars Program's life-related scientific goals and the overarching Vision for Space Exploration. We have developed several concepts for the AFL that fit within known budget and engineering constraints projected for the 2016 and 2018 Mars mission launch opportunities. The AFL mission architecture proposed here assumes maximum heritage from the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Candidate payload elements for this concept were identified from a set of recommendations put forth by the Astrobiology Field Laboratory Science Steering Group (AFL SSG) in 2004, for the express purpose of identifying overall rover mass and power requirements for such a mission. The conceptual payload includes a Precision Sample Handling and Processing System that would replace and augment the functionality and capabilities provided by the Sample Acquisition Sample Processing and Handling system that is currently part of the 2009 MSL platform.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Mars Exploration Student Data Teams: Building Foundations and Influencing Students to Pursue STEM Careers through Experiences with Authentic Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turney, D.; Grigsby, B.; Murchie, S. L.; Buczkowski, D.; Seelos, K. D.; Nair, H.; McGovern, A.; Morgan, F.; Viviano, C. E.; Goudge, T. A.; Thompson, D.

    2013-12-01

    The Mars Exploration Student Data Teams (MESDT) immerses diverse teams of high school and undergraduate students in an authentic research Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based experience and allows students to be direct participants in the scientific process by working with scientists to analyze data sets from NASA's Mars program, specifically from the CRISM instrument. MESDT was created by Arizona State University's Mars Education Program, and is funded through NASA's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars or CRISM, an instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Students work with teacher mentors and CRISM team members to analyze data, develop hypotheses, conduct research, submit proposals, critique and revise work. All students begin the program with basic Mars curriculum lessons developed by the MESDT education team. This foundation enables the program to be inclusive of all students. Teachers have reported that populations of students with diverse academic needs and abilities have been successful in this program. The use of technology in the classroom allows the MESDT program to successfully reach a nationwide audience and funding provided by NASA's CRISM instrument allows students to participate free of charge. Recent changes to the program incorporate a partnership with United States Geological Survey (USGS) and a CRISM sponsored competitive scholarship for two teams of students to present their work at the annual USGS Planetary Mappers Meeting. Returning MESDT teachers have attributed an increase in student enrollment and interest to this scholarship opportunity. The 2013 USGS Planetary Mappers Meeting was held in Washington DC which provided an opportunity for the students to meet with their Senators at the US Capitol to explain the science work they had done throughout the year as well as the impact that the program had had on their goals for the future. This opportunity extended to the students by the

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2018-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A.

    2018-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Universal geometrical module for MARS program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talanov, V.V.

    1992-01-01

    Geometrical program module for modeling hadron and electromagnetic cascades, which accomplishes comparison of physical coordinates with the particle current state of one of the auxilliary cells, is described. The whole medium wherein the particles are tracked, is divided into a certain number of auxilliary cells. The identification algorithm of the cell, through which the particle trajectory passes, is considered in detail. The described algorithm for cell identification was developed for the MARS program and realized in form of a set of subprograms written in the FORTRAN language. 4 refs., 1 tab

  20. Mars in this century: The Olympia Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyde, Roderick A.; Ishikawa, Muriel Y.; Wood, Lowell L.

    Manned exploration of the inner solar system, typified by a manned expedition of Mars, this side of the indefinite future involves fitting a technical peg into the political hole. If Apollo-level resources are assumed unavailable for such exploratory programs, then non-Apollo means and methods must be employed, involving greater technical and human risks, or else such exploration must be deferred indefinitely. Sketched here is an example of such a relatively high risk alternative, one which could land men on Mars in the next decade, and return them to earth. Two of its key features are a teleoperated rocket fuel generating facility on the lunar surface and an interplanetary mission staging space station at L4, which would serve to enable a continuing solar system exploratory program, with annual mission commencements to points as distant as the Jovian moons. The estimated cost to execute this infrastructure building manned Mars mission is $3 billion, with follow on missions estimated to cost no more than $1 billion each.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    and human exploration. Such measures are needed to comply with what is a scientific, legal, and even moral requirement as we move forward to understand the place of Mars in our solar system, and our relationship to both.

  5. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumrall, John P.

    2007-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Joseph F.; Smyth, David E.

    2004-01-01

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

  13. The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) Wet Chemistry Experiment on the Mars 2001 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grannan, S. M.; Meloy, T. P.; Hecht, H.; Anderson, M. S.; Buehler, M.; Frant, M.; Kounaves, S. P.; Manatt, K. S.; Pike, W. T.; Schubert, W.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) is an instrument suite that will fly on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander Spacecraft. MECA is sponsored by the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) program and will evaluate potential hazards that the dust and soil of Mars might present to astronauts and their equipment on a future human mission to Mars. Four elements constitute the integrated MECA payload: a microscopy station, patch plates, an electrometer, and the wet chemistry experiment (WCE). The WCE is the first application of electrochemical sensors to study soil chemistry on another planetary body, in addition to being the first measurement of soil/water solution properties on Mars. The chemical composition and properties of the watersoluble materials present in the Martian soil are of considerable interest to the planetary science community because characteristic salts are formed by the water-based weathering of rocks, the action of volcanic gases, and biological activity. Thus the characterization of water-soluble soil materials on Mars can provide information on the geochemical history of the planet surface. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Advanced Communication and Networking Technologies for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Mars Mapping Technology Brings Main Street to Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Why send humans to Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, Carl

    1991-01-01

    The proposed Space Exploration Initiative (SDI) to launch a manned flight to Mars is examined in the current light of growing constraints in costs and other human requirements. Sharing the huge costs of such a program among a group of nations might become low enough for the project to be feasible. Robotic missions, equipped with enhanced artificial intelligence, appear to be capable of satisfying mission requirements at 10 percent or less, of the cost of a manned flight. Various additional pros and cons are discussed regarding both SDI generally and a Mars mission. It is suggested that R&D projects be pursued that can be better justified and can also contribute to human mission to Mars if eventually a decision to go is made.

  7. 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.

  8. Powering the Space Exploration Initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennett, G.L.

    1991-01-01

    The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) establishes the long-term goal of returning to the Moon and then exploring Mars. One of the prerequisites of SEI is the Exploration Technology Program which includes program elements on space nuclear power and surface solar power. These program elements in turn build upon the ongoing NASA research and technology base program in space energy conversion. There is a wide range of missions in NASA's strategic planning and most would benefit from power sources with improved efficiency, lighter weight and reduced cost

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, S. Fred

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Mars Technology Program: Planetary Protection Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ying

    2006-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the development of Planetary Protection Technology in the Mars Technology Program. The goal of the program is to develop technologies that will enable NASA to build, launch, and operate a mission that has subsystems with different Planetary Protection (PP) classifications, specifically for operating a Category IVb-equivalent subsystem from a Category IVa platform. The IVa category of planetary protection requires bioburden reduction (i.e., no sterilization is required) The IVb category in addition to IVa requirements: (i.e., terminal sterilization of spacecraft is required). The differences between the categories are further reviewed.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The humanation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L. W.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2012-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  1. Mars Exploration Study Workshop II. Report of a workshop, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA (USA), 24 - 25 May 1993.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, M. B.; Budden, N. A.

    1993-11-01

    This report, which summarizes the Mars Exploration Study Workshop II, 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.

  2. Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, B. H.; Gennery, D. B.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1989-01-01

    A Mars rover sample return mission has been proposed for the late 1990's. Due to the long speed-of-light delays between earth and Mars, some autonomy on the rover is highly desirable. JPL has been conducting research in two possible modes of rover operation, Computer-Aided Remote Driving and Semiautonomous Navigation. A recently-completed research program used a half-scale testbed vehicle to explore several of the concepts in semiautonomous navigation. A new, full-scale vehicle with all computational and power resources on-board will be used in the coming year to demonstrate relatively fast semiautonomous navigation. The computational and power requirements for Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance are discussed.

  3. 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

  4. 6th international conference on Mars polar science and exploration: Conference summary and five top questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Isaac B.; Diniega, Serina; Beaty, David W.; Thorsteinsson, Thorsteinn; Becerra, Patricio; Bramson, Ali; Clifford, Stephen M.; Hvidberg, Christine S.; Portyankina, Ganna; Piqueux, Sylvain; Spiga, Aymeric; Titus, Timothy N.

    2018-01-01

    We provide a historical context of the International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration and summarize the proceedings from the 6th iteration of this meeting. In particular, we identify five key Mars polar science questions based primarily on presentations and discussions at the conference and discuss the overlap between some of those questions. We briefly describe the seven scientific field trips that were offered at the conference, which greatly supplemented conference discussion of Mars polar processes and landforms. We end with suggestions for measurements, modeling, and laboratory and field work that were highlighted during conference discussion as necessary steps to address key knowledge gaps.

  5. Photometric Observations of Soils and Rocks at the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Arvidson, R. A.; Bell, J. F., III; Farrand, W.; Guinness, E.; Johnson, M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Lemmon, M.; Morris, R. V.; Seelos, F., IV

    2005-01-01

    The Panoramic Cameras (Pancam) on the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers have acquired multispectral reflectance observations of rocks and soils at different incidence, emission, and phase angles that will be used for photometric modeling of surface materials. Phase angle coverage at both sites extends from approx. 0 deg. to approx. 155 deg.

  6. Human Exploration Ethnography of the Haughton-Mars Project, 1998-1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancey, William J.; Swanson, Keith (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    During the past two field seasons, July 1988 and 1999, we have conducted research about the field practices of scientists and engineers at Haughton Crater on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, with the objective of determining how people will live and work on Mars. This broad investigation of field life and work practice, part of the Haughton-Mars Project lead by Pascal Lee, spans social and cognitive anthropology, psychology, and computer science. Our approach involves systematic observation and description of activities, places, and concepts, constituting an ethnography of field science at Haughton. Our focus is on human behaviors-what people do, where, when, with whom, and why. By locating behavior in time and place-in contrast with a purely functional or "task oriented" description of work-we find patterns constituting the choreography of interaction between people, their habitat, and their tools. As such, we view the exploration process in terms of a total system comprising a social organization, facilities, terrain/climate, personal identities, artifacts, and computer tools. Because we are computer scientists seeking to develop new kinds of tools for living and working on Mars, we focus on the existing representational tools (such as documents and measuring devices), learning and improvization (such as use of the internet or informal assistance), and prototype computational systems brought to the field. Our research is based on partnership, by which field scientists and engineers actively contribute to our findings, just as we participate in their work and life.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. First MARS Outpost: Development Considerations and Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, L.

    2002-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

    This videotape is a compilation of the best NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) videos of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions. The mission is described using animation and narration as well as some actual footage of the entire sequence of mission events. Included within these animations are the spacecraft orbit insertion; descent to the Mars surface; deployment of the airbags and instruments; and exploration by Sojourner, the Mars rover. JPL activities at spacecraft control during significant mission events are also included at the end. The spacecraft cameras pan the surrounding Mars terrain and film Sojourner traversing the surface and inspecting rocks. A single, brief, processed image of the Cydonia region (Mars face) at an oblique angle from the Mars Global Surveyor is presented. A description of the Mars Pathfinder mission, instruments, landing and deployment process, Mars approach, spacecraft orbit insertion, rover operation are all described using computer animation. Actual color footage of Sojourner as well as a 360 deg pan of the Mars terrain surrounding the spacecraft is provided. Lower quality black and white photography depicting Sojourner traversing the Mars surface and inspecting Martian rocks also is included.

  15. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-08-01

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

  16. (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

  17. Developing Science Operations Concepts for the Future of Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Rogers, A. D.; McAdam, A.; Evans, C. A.; Graff, T. G.; Garry, W. B.; Whelley,; Scheidt, S.; Carter, L.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Through fly-by, orbiter, rover, and even crewed missions, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been extremely successful in exploring planetary bodies throughout our Solar System. The focus on increasingly complex Mars orbiter and rover missions has helped us understand how Mars has evolved over time and whether life has ever existed on the red planet. However, large strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) still exist in our understanding of the evolution of the Solar System (e.g. the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, Small Bodies Analysis Group, and Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group). Sending humans to these bodies is a critical part of addressing these SKGs in order to transition to a new era of planetary exploration by 2050.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Mars Ascent Vehicle-Propellant Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dankanich, John; Rousseau, Jeremy; Williams, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    This project is to develop and test a new propellant formulation specifically for the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) for the robotic Mars Sample Return mission. The project was initiated under the Planetary Sciences Division In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program and is continuing under the Mars Exploration Program. The two-stage, solid motor-based MAV has been the leading MAV solution for more than a decade. Additional studies show promise for alternative technologies including hybrid and bipropellant options, but the solid motor design has significant propellant density advantages well suited for physical constraints imposed while using the SkyCrane descent stage. The solid motor concept has lower specific impulse (Isp) than alternatives, but if the first stage and payload remain sufficiently small, the two-stage solid MAV represents a potential low risk approach to meet the mission needs. As the need date for the MAV slips, opportunities exist to advance technology with high on-ramp potential. The baseline propellant for the MAV is currently the carboxyl terminated polybutadiene (CTPB) based formulation TP-H-3062 due to its advantageous low temperature mechanical properties and flight heritage. However, the flight heritage is limited and outside the environments, the MAV must endure. The ISPT program competed a propellant formulation project with industry and selected ATK to develop a new propellant formulation specifically for the MAV application. Working with ATK, a large number of propellant formulations were assessed to either increase performance of a CTPB propellant or improve the low temperature mechanical properties of a hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) propellant. Both propellants demonstrated potential to increase performance over heritage options, but an HTPB propellant formulation, TP-H-3544, was selected for production and testing. The test plan includes propellant aging first at high vacuum conditions, representative of the Mars transit

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Human Mars Landing Site and Impacts on Mars Surface Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Stephen J.; Bussey, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes NASA's initial steps for identifying and evaluating candidate Exploration Zones (EZs) and Regions of Interests (ROIs) for the first human crews that will explore the surface of Mars. NASA's current effort to define the exploration of this planet by human crews, known as the Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC), provides the context in which these EZs and ROIs are being considered. The EMC spans all aspects of a human Mars mission including launch from Earth, transit to and from Mars, and operations on the surface of Mars. An EZ is a collection of ROIs located within approximately 100 kilometers of a centralized landing site. ROIs are areas relevant for scientific investigation and/or development/maturation of capabilities and resources necessary for a sustainable human presence. The EZ also contains one or more landing sites and a habitation site that will be used by multiple human crews during missions to explore and utilize the ROIs within the EZ. With the EMC as a conceptual basis, the EZ model has been refined to a point where specific site selection criteria for scientific exploration and in situ resource utilization can be defined. In 2015 these criteria were distributed to the planetary sciences community and the in situ resource utilization and civil engineering communities as part of a call for EZ proposals. The resulting "First Landing Site/Exploration Zone Workshop for Human Missions to the Surface of Mars" was held in October 2015 during which 47 proposals for EZs and ROIs were presented and discussed. Proposed locations spanned all longitudes and all allowable latitudes (+/- 50 degrees). Proposed justification for selecting one of these EZs also spanned a significant portion of the scientific and resource criteria provided to the community. Several important findings resulted from this Workshop including: (a) a strong consensus that, at a scale of 100 km (radius), multiple places on Mars exist that have both sufficient scientific interest

  3. 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.

  4. The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) Wet Chemistry Experiment on the Mars 2001 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grannan, S. M.; Frant, M.; Hecht, M. H.; Kounaves, S. P.; Manatt, K.; Meloy, T. P.; Pike, W. T.; Schubert, W.; West, S.; Wen, X.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) is an instrument suite that will fly on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander Spacecraft. MECA is sponsored by the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) program and will evaluate potential hazards that the dust and soil of Mars might present to astronauts and their equipment on a future human mission to Mars. Four elements constitute the integrated MECA payload: a microscopy station, patch plates, an electrometer, and the wet chemistry laboratory (WCL). The WCL consists of four identical cells, each of which will evaluate a sample of Martian soil in water to determine conductivity, pH, redox potential, dissolved C02 and 02 levels, and concentrations of many soluble ions including sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and the halides. In addition, cyclic voltammetry will be used to evaluate reversible and irreversible oxidants present in the water/soil solution. Anodic stripping voltammetry will be used to measure concentrations of trace metals including lead, copper, and cadmium at ppb levels. Voltammetry is a general electrochemical technique that involves controlling the potential of an electrode while simultaneously measuring the current flowing at that electrode. The WCL experiments will provide information on the corrosivity and reactivity of the Martian soil, as well as on soluble components of the soil which might be toxic to human explorers. They will also guide HEDS scientists in the development of high fidelity Martian soil simulants. In the process of acquiring information relevant to HEDS, the WCL will assess the chemical composition and properties of the salts present in the Martian soil.

  5. 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?

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. The Search for Biosignatures on Mars: Using Predictive Geology to Optimize Exploration Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2011-01-01

    Predicting geologic context from satellite data is a method used on Earth for exploration in areas with limited ground truth. The method can be used to predict facies likely to contain organic-rich shales. Such shales concentrate and preserve organics and are major repositories of organic biosignatures on Earth [1]. Since current surface conditions on Mars are unfavorable for development of abundant life or for preservation of organic remains of past life, the chances are low of encountering organics in surface samples. Thus, focusing martian exploration on sites predicted to contain organic-rich shales would optimize the chances of discovering evidence of life, if it ever existed on that planet.

  13. Towards Mars — Stratospheric Balloons as Test-Beds for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dannenberg, K.

    2018-04-01

    The abstract deals with the possibilities to use stratospheric balloons for Mars science and technology needs, especially with the opportunities offered by the new European infrastructure project HEMERA, recently selected by the European Commission.

  14. Surplus weapons-grade plutonium: a resource for exploring and terraforming Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muscatello, A.C.; Houts, M.G.

    1996-01-01

    With the end of the Cold War, greater than 100 metric tons (MT) of weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) have become surplus to defense needs in the United States and the Former Soviet Union. This paper is a proposal for an option for WGPu disposition, i.e., use of the plutonium as a fuel for nuclear reactors for Mars exploration and eventual terraforming. WGPu was used in nuclear weapons because it has a much smaller critical mass than highly enriched uranium, allowing lighter weapons with consequent longer ranges. Similarly, WGPu reactors would also require smaller amounts of fuel to attain a critical mass, making the reactor much lighter overall and resulting in large savings in launch costs. The greater than 100 MT of WGPu would generate about 1000 billion kilowatt hours of heat energy, much of which could be converted into electricity. The waste heat would also be useful to a Martian outpost or colony. A potential way of getting the WGPu reactors into space is a large gas gun like that being developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to orbit materials by achieving high velocity at the surface, greatly reducing launch costs and enhancing reliability. Reactor components would be launched on conventional rockets or space shuttles, the reactor fuel rods would be injected into orbit using the gas gun, and the reactor would be assembled in space. Implementation of this proposal would allow disposition of a serious, expensive problem on earth by removing the WGPu from the planet and simultaneously provide a very large energy resource for Mars exploration and terraforming

  15. Surplus weapons-grade plutonium: a resource for exploring and terraforming Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muscatello, A.C.; Houts, M.G.

    1996-12-31

    With the end of the Cold War, greater than 100 metric tons (MT) of weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) have become surplus to defense needs in the United States and the Former Soviet Union. This paper is a proposal for an option for WGPu disposition, i.e., use of the plutonium as a fuel for nuclear reactors for Mars exploration and eventual terraforming. WGPu was used in nuclear weapons because it has a much smaller critical mass than highly enriched uranium, allowing lighter weapons with consequent longer ranges. Similarly, WGPu reactors would also require smaller amounts of fuel to attain a critical mass, making the reactor much lighter overall and resulting in large savings in launch costs. The greater than 100 MT of WGPu would generate about 1000 billion kilowatt hours of heat energy, much of which could be converted into electricity. The waste heat would also be useful to a Martian outpost or colony. A potential way of getting the WGPu reactors into space is a large gas gun like that being developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to orbit materials by achieving high velocity at the surface, greatly reducing launch costs and enhancing reliability. Reactor components would be launched on conventional rockets or space shuttles, the reactor fuel rods would be injected into orbit using the gas gun, and the reactor would be assembled in space. Implementation of this proposal would allow disposition of a serious, expensive problem on earth by removing the WGPu from the planet and simultaneously provide a very large energy resource for Mars exploration and terraforming.

  16. 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

  17. Next generation laser-based standoff spectroscopy techniques for Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasda, Patrick J; Acosta-Maeda, Tayro E; Lucey, Paul G; Misra, Anupam K; Sharma, Shiv K; Taylor, G Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    In the recent Mars 2020 Rover Science Definition Team Report, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has sought the capability to detect and identify elements, minerals, and most importantly, biosignatures, at fine scales for the preparation of a retrievable cache of samples. The current Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity, has a remote laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument, a type of quantitative elemental analysis, called the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) that has shown that laser-induced spectroscopy instruments are not only feasible for space exploration, but are reliable and complementary to traditional elemental analysis instruments such as the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer. The superb track record of ChemCam has paved the way for other laser-induced spectroscopy instruments, such as Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy. We have developed a prototype remote LIBS-Raman-fluorescence instrument, Q-switched laser-induced time-resolved spectroscopy (QuaLITy), which is approximately 70 000 times more efficient at recording signals than a commercially available LIBS instrument. The increase in detection limits and sensitivity is due to our development of a directly coupled system, the use of an intensified charge-coupled device image detector, and a pulsed laser that allows for time-resolved measurements. We compare the LIBS capabilities of our system with an Ocean Optics spectrometer instrument at 7 m and 5 m distance. An increase in signal-to-noise ratio of at least an order of magnitude allows for greater quantitative analysis of the elements in a LIBS spectrum with 200-300 μm spatial resolution at 7 m, a Raman instrument capable of 1 mm spatial resolution at 3 m, and bioorganic fluorescence detection at longer distances. Thus, the new QuaLITy instrument fulfills all of the NASA expectations for proposed instruments.

  18. In-Space Transportation for NASA's Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Percy, Thomas K.; McGuire, Melissa; Polsgrove, Tara

    2015-01-01

    . The goal is that, by building an architecture intelligently with all aspects considered, the sustainable Mars program wisely invests limited resources enabling a long-term human Mars exploration program.

  19. Celestial Navigation on the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malay, Benjamin P.

    2001-05-01

    A simple, accurate, and autonomous method of finding position on the surface of Mars currently does not exist. The goal of this project is to develop a celestial navigation process that will fix a position on Mars with 100-meter accuracy. This method requires knowing the position of the stars and planets referenced to the Martian surface with one arcsecond accuracy. This information is contained in an ephemeris known as the Aeronautical Almanac (from Ares, the god of war) . Naval Observatory Vector Astrometry Subroutines (NOVAS) form the basis of the code used to generate the almanac. Planetary position data come the JPL DE405 Planetary Ephemeris. The theoretical accuracy of the almanac is determined mathematically and compared with the Ephemeris for Physical Observations of Mars contained in the Astronautical Almanac. A preliminary design of an autonomous celestial navigation system is presented. Recommendations of how to integrate celestial navigation into NASA=s current Mars exploration program are also discussed. This project is a useful and much-needed first step towards establishing celestial navigation as a practical way to find position on the surface of Mars.

  20. Mars SubsurfAce Sounding by Time-Domain Electromagnetic MeasuRements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tacconi, G.; Minna, L.; Pagnan, S.; Tacconi, M.

    1999-09-01

    MASTER (Mars subsurfAce Sounding by Time-domain Electromagnetic measuRements) is an experimental project proposed to fly aboard the Italian Drill (DEEDRI) payload for the Mars Surveyor Program 2003. MASTER will offer the scientific community the first opportunity to scan Mars subsurface structure by means of the technique employing time-domain electromagnetic measurements TDEM. Up today proposed experiments for scanning the Martian subsurface have focused on exploring the crust of the planet Mars up to few meters, while MASTER will explore electrical structures and related soil characteristics and processes at depths up to hundreds meters at least. TDEM represents an active remote sensing system and will be used likely a ULF/ELF/VLF ``radar." If a certain volumetric zone has different electrical conductivity, the current in the sample will vary generating a secondary scattered electromagnetic field containing the information about the explored volume. The volumetric mean value of the conductivity will be estimated according to the implicit near field e.m. propagation conditions, considering the skin depth (d) and the apparent resistivity (ra) as the most representative and critical parameters. As any active remotely sensed measurements the TDEM system behaves like a ``bistatic" communication channel and is mandatory to investigate the characteristics of the background noise at the receiver site. The MASTER system, can operate also as a passive listening device of the possible electromagnetic background noise on the Mars surface at ULF/ELF/VLF bands. Present paper will describe in details the application of the TDEM method as well as the approaches to the detection and estimation of the e.m. BGN on Mars surface, in terms of man made, natural BGN and intrinsic noise of the sensors and electronic systems. The electromagnetic background noise detection/estimation represents by itself a no cost experiment and the first experiment of this type on Mars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  2. Mud Volcanoes - A New Class of Sites for Geological and Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, C.C.; Oehler, D.Z.; Baker, D.M.

    2009-01-01

    Mud volcanoes provide a unique low-temperature window into the Earth s subsurface - including the deep biosphere - and may prove to be significant sources of atmospheric methane. The identification of analogous features on Mars would provide an important new class of sites for geological and astrobiological exploration. We report new work suggesting that features in Acidalia Planitia are most consistent with their being mud volcanoes.

  3. 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.

  4. Report of the NASA Science Definition Team for the Mars Science Orbiter (MSO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Michael

    2007-01-01

    NASA is considering that its Mars Exploration Program (MEP) will launch an orbiter to Mars in the 2013 launch opportunity. To further explore this opportunity, NASA has formed a Science Definition Team (SDT) for this orbiter mission, provisionally called the Mars Science Orbiter (MSO). Membership and leadership of the SDT are given in Appendix 1. Dr. Michael D. Smith chaired the SDT. The purpose of the SDT was to define the: 1) Scientific objectives of an MSO mission to be launched to Mars no earlier than the 2013 launch opportunity, building on the findings for Plan A [Atmospheric Signatures and Near-Surface Change] of the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) Second Science Analysis Group (SAG-2); 2) Science requirements of instruments that are most likely to make high priority measurements from the MSO platform, giving due consideration to the likely mission, spacecraft and programmatic constraints. The possibilities and opportunities for international partners to provide the needed instrumentation should be considered; 3) Desired orbits and mission profile for optimal scientific return in support of the scientific objectives, and the likely practical capabilities and the potential constraints defined by the science requirements; and 4) Potential science synergies with, or support for, future missions, such as a Mars Sample Return. This shall include imaging for evaluation and certification of future landing sites. As a starting point, the SDT was charged to assume spacecraft capabilities similar to those of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The SDT was further charged to assume that MSO would be scoped to support telecommunications relay of data from, and commands to, landed assets, over a 10 Earth year period following orbit insertion. Missions supported by MSO may include planned international missions such as EXOMARS. The MSO SDT study was conducted during October - December 2007. The SDT was directed to complete its work by December 15, 2007

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Regina M.; Pellis, Neal R.

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Microscope on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This image taken at Meridiani Planum, Mars by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the rover's microscopic imager (circular device in center), located on its instrument deployment device, or 'arm.' The image was acquired on the ninth martian day or sol of the rover's mission.

  7. Continuing to Build a Community Consensus on the Future of Human Space Flight: Report of the Fourth Community Workshop on Achievability and Sustainability of Human Exploration of Mars (AM IV)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thronson, Harley A.; Baker, John; Beaty, David; Carberry, Chris; Craig, Mark; Davis, Richard M.; Drake, Bret G.; Cassady, Joseph; Hays, Lindsay; Hoffman, Stephen J.; hide

    2016-01-01

    To continue to build broadly based consensus on the future of human space exploration, the Fourth Community Workshop on Achievability and Sustainability of Human Exploration of Mars (AM IV), organized by Explore Mars, Inc. and the American Astronautical Society, was held at the Double Tree Inn in Monrovia, CA., December 68, 2016. Approximately 60 invited professionals from the industrial and commercial sectors, academia, and NASA, along with international colleagues, participated in the workshop. These individuals were chosen to be representative of the breadth of interests in astronaut and robotic Mars exploration.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    ) program will be to: 1) reduce development and operational costs by sharing costs with industry; 2) create new markets in cis-lunar space to further reduce operational costs; and 3) enable NASA to develop an affordable and economical exploration Mars architecture. The paper will describe a plan for a proposed LCOTS program, its potential impact to an eventual Mars architecture and its many benefits to NASA, commercial space industry and the US economy.

  10. Testing a Mars science outpost in the Antarctic dry valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D. T.; Mckay, C. P.; Wharton, R. A.; Rummel, J. D.

    1992-01-01

    Field research conducted in the Antarctic has been providing insights about the nature of Mars in the science disciplines of exobiology and geology. Located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of southern Victoria Land (160 deg and 164 deg E longitude and 76 deg 30 min and 78 deg 30 min S latitude), research outposts are inhabited by teams of 4-6 scientists. It is proposed that the design of these outposts be expanded to enable meaningful tests of many of the systems that will be needed for the successful conduct of exploration activities on Mars. Although there are some important differences between the environment in the Antarctic dry valleys and on Mars, the many similarities and particularly the field science activities, make the dry valleys a useful terrestrial analog to conditions on Mars. Three areas have been identified for testing at a small science outpost in the dry valleys: (1) studying human factors and physiology in an isolated environment; (2) testing emerging technologies (e.g. innovative power management systems, advanced life support facilities including partial bioregenerative life support systems for water recycling and food growth, telerobotics, etc.); and (3) conducting basic scientific research that will enhance understanding of Mars while contributing to the planning for human exploration. It is suggested that an important early result of a Mars habitat program will be the experience gained by interfacing humans and their supporting technology in a remote and stressful environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  12. The Affording Mars Workshop: Background and Recommendations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thronson, Harley A.; Carberry, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    A human mission to Mars is the stated "ultimate" goal for NASA and is widely believed by the public to be the most compelling destination for America's space program. However, widely cited enormous costs - perhaps as much as a trillion dollars for a many-decade campaign - seem to be an impossible hurdle, although political and budget instability over many years may be equally challenging. More recently, a handful of increasingly detailed architectures for initial Mars missions have been developed by commercial companies that have estimated costs much less than widely believed and roughly comparable with previous major human space flight programs: the Apollo Program, the International Space Station, and the space shuttle. Several of these studies are listed in the bibliography to the workshop report. As a consequence of these new scenarios, beginning in spring, 2013 a multiinstitutional planning team began developing the content and invitee list for a winter workshop that would critically assess concepts, initiatives, technology priorities, and programmatic options to reduce significantly the costs of human exploration of Mars. The output of the workshop - findings and recommendations - would be presented in a number of forums and discussed with national leaders in human space flight. It would also be made available to potential international partners. This workshop was planned from the start to be the first in a series. Subsequent meetings, conferences, and symposia will concentrate on topics not able to be covered in December. In addition, to make progress in short meeting, a handful of ground rules were adopted by the planning team and agreed to by the participants. Perhaps the two most notable such ground rules were (1) the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion would be available during the time frame considered by the participants and (2) the International Space Station (ISS) would remain the early linchpin in preparing for Mars exploration over the coming decade

  13. Nuclear rockets: High-performance propulsion for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, C.W.

    1994-05-01

    A new impetus to manned Mars exploration was introduced by President Bush in his Space Exploration Initiative. This has led, in turn, to a renewed interest in high-thrust nuclear thermal rocket propulsion (NTP). The purpose of this report is to give a brief tutorial introduction to NTP and provide a basic understanding of some of the technical issues in the realization of an operational NTP engine. Fundamental physical principles are outlined from which a variety of qualitative advantages of NTP over chemical propulsion systems derive, and quantitative performance comparisons are presented for illustrative Mars missions. Key technologies are described for a representative solid-core heat-exchanger class of engine, based on the extensive development work in the Rover and NERVA nuclear rocket programs (1955 to 1973). The most driving technology, fuel development, is discussed in some detail for these systems. Essential highlights are presented for the 19 full-scale reactor and engine tests performed in these programs. On the basis of these tests, the practicality of graphite-based nuclear rocket engines was established. Finally, several higher-performance advanced concepts are discussed. These have received considerable attention, but have not, as yet, developed enough credibility to receive large-scale development

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Mars Gashopper Airplane, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Gas Hopper Airplane, or "gashopper" is a novel concept for propulsion of a robust Mars flight and surface exploration vehicle that utilizes indigenous CO2...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. Overview of NASA Finesse (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) Science and Exploration Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, J. L.; Lim, D.S.S.; Hughes, S.; Nawotniak, S. Kobs; Garry, B.; Sears, D.; Neish, C.; Osinski, G. R.; Hodges, K.; Downs, M.; hide

    2016-01-01

    NASA's FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) project was selected as a research team by NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). SSERVI is a joint Institute supported by NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD). As such, FINESSE is focused on a science and exploration field-based research program to generate strategic knowledge in preparation for human and robotic exploration of other planetary bodies including our Moon, Mars moons Phobos and Deimos, and near-Earth asteroids. FINESSE embodies the philosophy that "science enables exploration and exploration enables science".

  3. The 2015-2016 SEPMAP Program at NASA JSC: Science, Engineering, and Program Management Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, L.; Archer, D.; Bakalyar, J.; Berger, E.; Blome, E.; Brown, R.; Cox, S.; Curiel, P.; Eid, R.; Eppler, D.; hide

    2017-01-01

    The Systems Engineering Project Management Advancement Program (SEPMAP) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is an employee development program designed to provide graduate level training in project management and systems engineering. The program includes an applied learning project with engineering and integrated science goals requirements. The teams were presented with a task: Collect a representative sample set from a field site using a hexacopter platform, as if performing a scientific reconnaissance to assess whether the site is of sufficient scientific interest to justify exploration by astronauts. Four teams worked through the eighteen-month course to design customized sampling payloads integrated with the hexacopter, and then operate the aircraft to meet sampling requirements of number (= 5) and mass (= 5g each). The "Mars Yard" at JSC was utilized for this purpose. This project activity closely parallels NASA plans for the future exploration of Mars, where remote sites will be reconnoitered ahead of crewed exploration.

  4. Martian Surface Boundary Layer Characterization: Enabling Environmental Data for Science, Engineering and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, C.

    2000-01-01

    For human or large robotic exploration of Mars, engineering devices such as power sources will be utilized that interact closely with the Martian environment. Heat sources for power production, for example, will use the low ambient temperature for efficient heat rejection. The Martian ambient, however, is highly variable, and will have a first order influence on the efficiency and operation of all large-scale equipment. Diurnal changes in temperature, for example, can vary the theoretical efficiency of power production by 15% and affect the choice of equipment, working fluids, and operating parameters. As part of the Mars Exploration program, missions must acquire the environmental data needed for design, operation and maintenance of engineering equipment including the transportation devices. The information should focus on the variability of the environment, and on the differences among locations including latitudes, altitudes, and seasons. This paper outlines some of the WHY's, WHAT's and WHERE's of the needed data, as well as some examples of how this data will be used. Environmental data for engineering design should be considered a priority in Mars Exploration planning. The Mars Thermal Environment Radiator Characterization (MTERC), and Dust Accumulation and Removal Technology (DART) experiments planned for early Mars landers are examples of information needed for even small robotic missions. Large missions will require proportionately more accurate data that encompass larger samples of the Martian surface conditions. In achieving this goal, the Mars Exploration program will also acquire primary data needed for understanding Martian weather, surface evolution, and ground-atmosphere interrelationships.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Masahiro; Kuwata, Yoshiaki

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Past, present, and future life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) 2009 Crew Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrone, Kristine; Cusack, Stacy L.; Garvin, Christy; Kramer, Walter Vernon; Palaia, Joseph E., IV; Shiro, Brian

    2010-01-01

    A crew of six "astronauts" inhabited the Mars Society s Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) for the month of July 2009, conducting a simulated Mars exploration mission. In addition to the various technical achievements during the mission, the crew learned a vast amount about themselves and about human factors relevant to a future mission to Mars. Their experiences, detailed in their own words, show the passion of those with strong commitment to space exploration and detail the human experiences for space explorers including separation from loved ones, interpersonal conflict, dietary considerations, and the exhilaration of surmounting difficult challenges.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Léveillé, Richard

    2010-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Mars Infrared Spectroscopy: From Theory and the Laboratory To Field Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkland, Laurel (Editor); Mustard, John (Editor); McAfee, John (Editor); Hapke, Bruce (Editor); Ramsey, Michael (Editor)

    2002-01-01

    The continuity and timely implementation of the Mars exploration strategy relies heavily on the ability of the planetary community to interpret infrared spectral data. However, the increasing mission rate, data volume, and data variety, combined with the small number of spectroscopists within the planetary community, will require a coordinated community effort for effective and timely interpretation of the newly acquired and planned data sets. Relevant spectroscopic instruments include the 1996 TES, 2001 THEMIS, 2003 Pancam, 2003 Mini-TES, 2003 Mars Express OMEGA, 2003 Mars Express PFS, and 2005 CFUSM. In light of that, leaders of the Mars spectral community met June 4-6 to address the question: What terrestrial theoretical, laboratory, and field studies are most needed to best support timely interpretations of current and planned visible infrared spectrometer data sets, in light of the Mars Program goals? A primary goal of the spectral community is to provide a reservoir of information to enhance and expand the exploration of Mars. Spectroscopy has a long history of providing the fundamental compositional discoveries in the solar system, from atmospheric constituents to surface mineralogy, from earth-based to spacecraft-based observations. However, such spectroscopic compositional discoveries, especially surface mineralogies, have usually come after long periods of detailed integration of remote observations, laboratory analyses, and field measurements. Spectroscopic information of surfaces is particularly complex and often is confounded by interference of broad, overlapping absorption features as well as confusing issues of mixtures, coatings, and grain size effects. Thus some spectroscopic compositional discoveries have come only after many years of research. However, we are entering an era of Mars exploration with missions carrying sophisticated spectrometers launching about every 2 years. It is critical that each mission provide answers to relevant questions

  14. Integrative shell of the program complex MARS (Version 1.0) radiation transfer in three-dimensional geometries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Degtyarev, I.I.; Lokhovitskij, A.E.; Maslov, M.A.; Yazynin, I.A.

    1994-01-01

    The first version of integrative shell of the program complex MARS is written for calculating radiation transfer in the three-dimensional geometries. The integrative shell allows the user to work in convenient form with complex MARS, creat input files data and get graphic visualization of calculated functions. Version 1.0 is adapted for personal computers of types IBM-286,386,486 with operative size memory not smaller than 500K. 5 refs

  15. 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.

  16. Vibration and Acoustic Testing for Mars Micromission Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Dennis L.; Scharton, Terry D.

    1999-01-01

    The objective of the Mars Micromission program being managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA is to develop a common spacecraft that can carry telecommunications equipment and a variety of science payloads for exploration of Mars. The spacecraft will be capable of carrying robot landers and rovers, cameras, probes, balloons, gliders or aircraft, and telecommunications equipment to Mars at much lower cost than recent NASA Mars missions. The lightweight spacecraft (about 220 Kg mass) will be launched in a cooperative venture with CNES as a TWIN auxiliary payload on the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Two or more Mars Micromission launches are planned for each Mars launch opportunity, which occur every 26 months. The Mars launch window for the first mission is November 1, 2002 through April 2003, which is planned to be a Mars airplane technology demonstration mission to coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the Kittyhawk flight. Several subsequent launches will create a telecommunications network orbiting Mars, which will provide for continuous communication with lenders and rovers on the Martian surface. Dedicated science payload flights to Mars are slated to start in 2005. This new cheaper and faster approach to Mars exploration calls for innovative approaches to the qualification of the Mars Micromission spacecraft for the Ariane 5 launch vibration and acoustic environments. JPL has in recent years implemented new approaches to spacecraft testing that may be effectively applied to the Mars Micromission. These include 1) force limited vibration testing, 2) combined loads, vibration and modal testing, and 3) direct acoustic testing. JPL has performed nearly 200 force limited vibration tests in the past 9 years; several of the tests were on spacecraft and large instruments, including the Cassini and Deep Space One spacecraft. Force limiting, which measures and limits the spacecraft base reaction force using triaxial force gages sandwiched between the

  17. Mars Surface Environmental Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Mars Sample Return Architecture Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C. D.; Vijendran, S.

    2018-04-01

    NASA and ESA are exploring potential concepts for a Sample Retrieval Lander and Earth Return Orbiter that could return samples planned to be collected and cached by the Mars 2020 rover mission. We provide an overview of the Mars Sample Return architecture.

  19. 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. Development of a Wrapper Object for MARS TH Systems Code and Its Applications in Object Oriented Programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Sun Byung; Lee, Young Jin; Kim, Hyong Chol; Han, Sam Hee; Kim, Hyun Jik

    2013-01-01

    TMARS is written for the object pascal program language, and 'wraps' the Dynamic Link Library (DLL) manifestation of the MARS-KS code written in Fortran 90. TMARS behaves as a true object and it can be instantiated, inherited, and its methods overloaded. The functionality of TMARS was verified and demonstrated using two programs built under object oriented program environment. One is a text based program for reviewing the data interface of TMARS, and the other is a graphic intensive prototype NPA program for testing the overall performance of TMARS. The prototype NPA was also used to assess the real-time capability of TMARS. The demonstration programs show that application of TMARS is straight forward and that its functions facilitate easy application developments. TMARS, a wrapper object class encapsulating the calculation functions of MARS-KS code, was successfully developed and verification of its functionality was carried out using custom made programs. The verification results show that TMARS is capable of providing reliable TH calculation results and sufficient performance to realize real time calculations

  1. The Explorer program for astronomy and astrophysics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Savage, B.D.; Becklin, E.E.; Cassinelli, J.P.; Dupree, A.K.; Elliot, J.L.; Hoffmann, W.F.; Hudson, H.S.; Jura, M.; Kurfess, J.; Murray, S.S.

    1986-01-01

    This report was prepared to provide NASA with a strategy for proceeding with Explorer-class programs for research in space astronomy and astrophysics. The role of Explorers in astronomy and astrophysics and their past accomplishments are discussed, as are current and future astronomy and astrophysics Explorers. Specific cost needs for an effective Explorer program are considered

  2. Examining Mars with SPICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acton, Charles H.; Bachman, Nathaniel J.; Bytof, Jeff A.; Semenov, Boris V.; Taber, William; Turner, F. Scott; Wright, Edward D.

    1999-01-01

    The International Mars Conference highlights the wealth of scientific data now and soon to be acquired from an international armada of Mars-bound robotic spacecraft. Underlying the planning and interpretation of these scientific observations around and upon Mars are ancillary data and associated software needed to deal with trajectories or locations, instrument pointing, timing and Mars cartographic models. The NASA planetary community has adopted the SPICE system of ancillary data standards and allied tools to fill the need for consistent, reliable access to these basic data and a near limitless range of derived parameters. After substantial rapid growth in its formative years, the SPICE system continues to evolve today to meet new needs and improve ease of use. Adaptations to handle landers and rovers were prototyped on the Mars pathfinder mission and will next be used on Mars '01-'05. Incorporation of new methods to readily handle non-inertial reference frames has vastly extended the capability and simplified many computations. A translation of the SPICE Toolkit software suite to the C language has just been announced. To further support cartographic calculations associated with Mars exploration the SPICE developers at JPL have recently been asked by NASA to work with cartographers to develop standards and allied software for storing and accessing control net and shape model data sets; these will be highly integrated with existing SPICE components. NASA specifically supports the widest possible utilization of SPICE capabilities throughout the international space science community. With NASA backing the Russian Space Agency and Russian Academy of Science adopted the SPICE standards for the Mars 96 mission. The SPICE ephemeris component will shortly become the international standard for agencies using the Deep Space Network. U.S. and European scientists hope that ESA will employ SPICE standards on the Mars Express mission. SPICE is an open set of standards, and

  3. 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.

  4. The key to Mars, Titan and beyond?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Graphical Visualization of Human Exploration Capabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodgers, Erica M.; Williams-Byrd, Julie; Arney, Dale C.; Simon, Matthew A.; Williams, Phillip A.; Barsoum, Christopher; Cowan, Tyler; Larman, Kevin T.; Hay, Jason; Burg, Alex

    2016-01-01

    NASA's pioneering space strategy will require advanced capabilities to expand the boundaries of human exploration on the Journey to Mars (J2M). The Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) architecture serves as a framework to identify critical capabilities that need to be developed and tested in order to enable a range of human exploration destinations and missions. Agency-wide System Maturation Teams (SMT) are responsible for the maturation of these critical exploration capabilities and help formulate, guide and resolve performance gaps associated with the EMC-identified capabilities. Systems Capability Organization Reporting Engine boards (SCOREboards) were developed to integrate the SMT data sets into cohesive human exploration capability stories that can be used to promote dialog and communicate NASA's exploration investments. Each SCOREboard provides a graphical visualization of SMT capability development needs that enable exploration missions, and presents a comprehensive overview of data that outlines a roadmap of system maturation needs critical for the J2M. SCOREboards are generated by a computer program that extracts data from a main repository, sorts the data based on a tiered data reduction structure, and then plots the data according to specified user inputs. The ability to sort and plot varying data categories provides the flexibility to present specific SCOREboard capability roadmaps based on customer requests. This paper presents the development of the SCOREboard computer program and shows multiple complementary, yet different datasets through a unified format designed to facilitate comparison between datasets. Example SCOREboard capability roadmaps are presented followed by a discussion of how the roadmaps are used to: 1) communicate capability developments and readiness of systems for future missions, and 2) influence the definition of NASA's human exploration investment portfolio through capability-driven processes. The paper concludes with a description

  11. 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

  12. 'Mars-shine'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

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

  14. Enumeration of Mars years and seasons since the beginning of telescopic exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piqueux, Sylvain; Byrne, Shane; Titus, Timothy N.; Hansen, Candice J.; Kieffer, Hugh H.

    2015-01-01

    A clarification for the enumeration of Mars Years prior to 1955 is presented, along with a table providing the Julian dates associated with Ls = 0° for Mars Years -183 (beginning of the telescopic study of Mars) to 100. A practical algorithm for computing Ls as a function of the Julian Date is provided. No new science results are presented

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Solar and wind exergy potentials for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delgado-Bonal, Alfonso; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Vázquez-Martín, Sandra; Zorzano, María-Paz

    2016-01-01

    The energy requirements of the planetary exploration spacecrafts constrain the lifetime of the missions, their mobility and capabilities, and the number of instruments onboard. They are limiting factors in planetary exploration. Several missions to the surface of Mars have proven the feasibility and success of solar panels as energy source. The analysis of the exergy efficiency of the solar radiation has been carried out successfully on Earth, however, to date, there is not an extensive research regarding the thermodynamic exergy efficiency of in-situ renewable energy sources on Mars. In this paper, we analyse the obtainable energy (exergy) from solar radiation under Martian conditions. For this analysis we have used the surface environmental variables on Mars measured in-situ by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station onboard the Curiosity rover and from satellite by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer instrument onboard the Mars Global Surveyor satellite mission. We evaluate the exergy efficiency from solar radiation on a global spatial scale using orbital data for a Martian year; and in a one single location in Mars (the Gale crater) but with an appreciable temporal resolution (1 h). Also, we analyse the wind energy as an alternative source of energy for Mars exploration and compare the results with those obtained on Earth. We study the viability of solar and wind energy station for the future exploration of Mars, showing that a small square solar cell of 0.30 m length could maintain a meteorological station on Mars. We conclude that the low density of the atmosphere of Mars is responsible of the low thermal exergy efficiency of solar panels. It also makes the use of wind energy uneffective. Finally, we provide insights for the development of new solar cells on Mars. - Highlights: • We analyse the exergy of solar radiation under Martian environment • Real data from in-situ instruments is used to determine the maximum efficiency of radiation • Wind

  18. Exploration of the Habitability of Mars with the SAM Suite Investigation on the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.

    2008-01-01

    The 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) with a substantially larger payload capability that any other Mars rover, to date, is designed to quantitatively assess a local region on Mars as a potential habitat for present or past life. Its goals are (1) to assess past or present biological potential of a target environment, (2) to characterize geology and geochemistry at the MSL landing site, and (3) to investigate planetary processes that influence habitability. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Suite, in its final stages of integration and test, enables a sensitive search for organic molecules and chemical and isotopic analysis of martian volatiles. MSL contact and remote surface and subsurface survey Instruments establish context for these measurements and facilitate sample identification and selection. The SAM instruments are a gas chromatograph (GC), a mass spectrometer (MS), and a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). These together with supporting sample manipulation and gas processing devices are designed to analyze either the atmospheric composition or gases extracted from solid phase samples such as rocks and fines. For example, one of the core SAM experiment sequences heats a small powdered sample of a Mars rock or soil from ambient to -1300 K in a controlled manner while continuously monitoring evolved gases. This is followed by GCMS analysis of released organics. The general chemical survey is complemented by a specific search for molecular classes that may be relevant to life including atmospheric methane and its carbon isotope with the TLS and biomarkers with the GCMS.

  19. Power system requirements and selection for the space exploration initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biringer, K.L.; Bartine, D.E.; Buden, D.; Foreman, J.; Harrison, S.

    1991-01-01

    The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) seeks to reestablish a US program of manned and unmanned space exploration. The President has called for a program which includes a space station element, a manned habitation of the moon, and a human exploration of Mars. The NASA Synthesis Group has developed four significantly different architectures for the SEI program. One key element of a space exploration effort is the power required to support the missions. The Power Speciality Team of the Synthesis Group was tasked with assessing and evaluating the power requirements and candidate power technologies for such missions. Inputs to the effort came from existing NASA studies as well as other governments agency inputs such as those from DOD and DOE. In addition, there were industry and university briefings and results of solicitations from the AIAA and the general public as part of the NASA outreach effort. Because of the variety of power needs in the SEI program, there will be a need for multiple power system technologies including solar, nuclear and electrochemical. Due to the high rocket masses required to propel payloads to the moon and beyond to Mars, there is great emphasis placed on the need for high power density and high energy density systems. Power system technology development work is needed results will determine the ultimate technology selections. 23 refs., 10 figs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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,

  3. Conceptual Drivers for an Exploration Medical System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonsen, Erik; Hanson, Andrea; Shah, Ronak; Reed, Rebekah; Canga, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Interplanetary spaceflight, such as NASA's proposed three-year mission to Mars, provides unique and novel challenges when compared with human spaceflight to date. Extended distance and multi-year missions introduce new elements of operational complexity and additional risk. These elements include: inability to resupply medications and consumables, inability to evacuate injured or ill crew, uncharted psychosocial conditions, and communication delays that create a requirement for some level of autonomous medical capability. Because of these unique challenges, the approaches used in prior programs have limited application to a Mars mission. On a Mars mission, resource limitations will significantly constrain available medical capabilities, and require a paradigm shift in the approach to medical system design and risk mitigation for crew health. To respond to this need for a new paradigm, the Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) Element is assessing each Mars mission phase-transit, surface stay, rendezvous, extravehicular activity, and return-to identify and prioritize medical needs for the journey beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). ExMC is addressing both planned medical operations, and unplanned contingency medical operations that meld clinical needs and research needs into a single system. This assessment is being used to derive a gap analysis and studies to support meaningful medical capabilities trades. These trades, in turn, allow the exploration medical system design to proceed from both a mission centric and ethics-based approach, and to manage the risks associated with the medical limitations inherent in an exploration class mission. This paper outlines the conceptual drivers used to derive medical system and vehicle needs from an integrated vision of how medical care will be provided within this paradigm. Keywords: (Max 6 keywords: exploration, medicine, spaceflight, Mars, research, NASA)

  4. Reducing the risk to Mars: The gas core nuclear rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, S.D.; DeVolder, B.; Thode, L.; Zerkle, D.

    1998-01-01

    The next giant leap for mankind will be the human exploration of Mars. Almost certainly within the next thirty years, a human crew will brave the isolation, the radiation, and the lack of gravity to walk on and explore the Red planet. However, because the mission distances and duration will be hundreds of times greater than the lunar missions, a human crew will face much greater obstacles and a higher risk than those experienced during the Apollo program. A single solution to many of these obstacles is to dramatically decrease the mission duration by developing a high performance propulsion system. The gas-core nuclear rocket (GCNR) has the potential to be such a system. The authors have completed a comparative study of the potential impact that a GCNR could have on a manned Mars mission. The total IMLEO, transit times, and accumulated radiation dose to the crew will be compared with the NASA Design Reference Missions

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. Interactive 3D Mars Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    The Interactive 3D Mars Visualization system provides high-performance, immersive visualization of satellite and surface vehicle imagery of Mars. The software can be used in mission operations to provide the most accurate position information for the Mars rovers to date. When integrated into the mission data pipeline, this system allows mission planners to view the location of the rover on Mars to 0.01-meter accuracy with respect to satellite imagery, with dynamic updates to incorporate the latest position information. Given this information so early in the planning process, rover drivers are able to plan more accurate drive activities for the rover than ever before, increasing the execution of science activities significantly. Scientifically, this 3D mapping information puts all of the science analyses to date into geologic context on a daily basis instead of weeks or months, as was the norm prior to this contribution. This allows the science planners to judge the efficacy of their previously executed science observations much more efficiently, and achieve greater science return as a result. The Interactive 3D Mars surface view is a Mars terrain browsing software interface that encompasses the entire region of exploration for a Mars surface exploration mission. The view is interactive, allowing the user to pan in any direction by clicking and dragging, or to zoom in or out by scrolling the mouse or touchpad. This set currently includes tools for selecting a point of interest, and a ruler tool for displaying the distance between and positions of two points of interest. The mapping information can be harvested and shared through ubiquitous online mapping tools like Google Mars, NASA WorldWind, and Worldwide Telescope.

  9. 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.

  10. Brazilian uranium exploration program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marques, J.P.M.

    1981-01-01

    General information on Brazilian Uranium Exploration Program, are presented. The mineralization processes of uranium depoits are described and the economic power of Brazil uranium reserves is evaluated. (M.C.K.) [pt

  11. Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Owen, Sandra J.

    2012-11-01

    Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop NASA/Ames Research Center May 15-17, 2012 Climate change on Mars has been a subject of great interest to planetary scientists since the 1970's when orbiting spacecraft first discovered fluvial landforms on its ancient surfaces and layered terrains in its polar regions. By far most of the attention has been directed toward understanding how "Early Mars" (i.e., Mars >~3.5 Gya) could have produced environmental conditions favorable for the flow of liquid water on its surface. Unfortunately, in spite of the considerable body of work performed on this subject, no clear consensus has emerged on the nature of the early Martian climate system because of the difficulty in distinguishing between competing ideas given the ambiguities in the available geological, mineralogical, and isotopic records. For several reasons, however, the situation is more tractable for "Recent Mars" (i.e., Mars during past 20 My or so). First, the geologic record is better preserved and evidence for climate change on this time scale has been building since the rejuvenation of the Mars Exploration Program in the late 1990's. The increasing coverage of the planet from orbit and the surface, coupled with accurate measurements of surface topography, increasing spatial resolution of imaging cameras, improved spectral resolution of infrared sensors, and the ability to probe the subsurface with radar, gamma rays, and neutron spectroscopy, has not only improved the characterization of previously known climate features such as polar layered terrains and glacier-related landforms, but has also revealed the existence of many new features related to recent climate change such as polygons, gullies, concentric crater fill, and a latitude dependent mantle. Second, the likely cause of climate change - spin axis/orbital variations - is more pronounced on Mars compared to Earth. Spin axis/orbital variations alter the seasonal and latitudinal distribution of sunlight, which can

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Advantages of a Modular Mars Surface Habitat Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle A.; Hoffman, Stephan J.; Andrews, Alida; Watts, Kevin

    2018-01-01

    Early crewed Mars mission concepts developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) assumed a single, large habitat would house six crew members for a 500-day Mars surface stay. At the end of the first mission, all surface equipment, including the habitat, -would be abandoned and the process would be repeated at a different Martian landing site. This work was documented in a series of NASA publications culminating with the Mars Design Reference Mission 5.0 (NASA-SP-2009-566). The Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) explored whether re-using surface equipment at a single landing site could be more affordable than the Apollo-style explore-abandon-repeat mission cadence. Initial EMC assumptions preserved the single, monolithic habitat, the only difference being a new requirement to reuse the surface habitat for multiple expedition crews. A trade study comparing a single large habitat versus smaller, modular habitats leaned towards the monolithic approach as more mass-efficient. More recent work has focused on the operational aspects of building up Mars surface infrastructure over multiple missions, and has identified compelling advantages of the modular approach that should be considered before making a final decision. This paper explores Mars surface mission operational concepts and integrated system analysis, and presents an argument for the modular habitat approach.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Program of solar wind data analysis utilizing data from Pioneer 6, Mariner 5 and explorer 35

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siscoe, G. L.

    1972-01-01

    A combined data analysis and theoretical program aimed at interpreting and utilizing solar wind data obtained from Pioneer 6, Mariner 5, and Explorer 35 has been completed. A theoretical model of the radial dependence of large scale solar wind inhomogeneities was developed and used to map solar wind variations measured by Explorer 35 to various heliocentric distances and to the orbits of Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The model was also used to determine power spectra velocity, density and temperature variations of 20 R sub s from spectra obtained from the Mariner 5 data at an average heliocentric distance of 180 R sub s. Five stream-stream interaction events in the Pioneer 6 data were analyzed which confirmed the picture of a spiral compression ridge interfacing the two streams and the associated east-west deflections of the solar wind flow. Magnetopause crossings observed in Explorer 35 plasma data were used to develop statics on boundary motions at lunar distance. A study of the geomagnetic disturbance field asymmetry was performed and a model of disturbance field from a partial ring current was developed.

  19. A Case Study in the Mars Landing Site Selection for Science Objects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haingja Seo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available It is a crucial matter to select a landing site for landers or rovers in planning the Mars exploration. The landing site must have not only a scientific value as a landing site, but also geographical features to lead a safe landing for Mars probes. In this regard, this study analyzed landing site of Mars probes and rovers in previous studies and discussed the adequacy of the landing site to scientific missions. Moreover, this study also examined domestic studies on the Mars. The frameworks of these studies will guide the selection of exploration sites and a landing site when sending Mars probe to the Mars through our own efforts. Additionally, this paper will be used as the preliminary data for selection of exploration site and a landing site.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. New NASA Technologies for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2015-01-01

    NASA is developing new technologies to enable planetary exploration. NASA's Space Launch System is an advance vehicle for exploration beyond LEO. Robotic explorers like the Mars Science Laboratory are exploring Mars, making discoveries that will make possible the future human exploration of the planet. In this presentation, we report on technologies being developed at NASA KSC for planetary exploration.

  3. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    , while the weakly magnetic one is bright red. Images returned by the Microscopic Imager reveal the formation of magnetic chains diagnostic of magnetite-rich grains with substantial magnetization (>8 Am-2 kg(-1)). On the basis of Mossbauer spectra the dust contains magnetite, olivine, pyroxene......The Mars Exploration Rovers have accumulated airborne dust on different types of permanent magnets. Images of these magnets document the dynamics of dust capture and removal over time. The strongly magnetic subset of airborne dust appears dark brown to black in Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images......, and nanophase oxides in varying proportions, depending on wind regime and landing site. The dust contains a larger amount of ferric iron (Fe3+/Fe-tot similar to 0.6) than rocks in the Gusev plains (similar to 0.1-0.2) or average Gusev soil (similar to 0.3). Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer data of the dust...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.

    2002-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol

    2004-01-01

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

  7. A geoethical approach to the geological and astrobiological exploration and research of the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Frias, Jesus; Horneck, Gerda; de La Torre Noetzel, Rosa; Rull, Fernando

    Lunar and Mars exploration and research require not only scientific and technological inter-disciplinary cooperation, but also the consideration of budding ethical and scientific integrity issues. COSPAR's planetary protection policy (in coordination with the United Nations Com-mittee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space as well as various other bilateral and multilateral organizations) serves as the consensus standard for biological contamination prevention under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty1 . Space agencies Planetary Protection Policies are mostly consis-tent with the COSPAR policy. Geoethics was formerly promoted in 1991 as a new discipline, involving scientific and societal aspects2 , and its institutionalization was officially established in 2004 with the backing of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development, AGID3 (IUGS/ICSU). Recently, it has been proposed that the integration of geoethical issues in studies on planetary geology and astrobiology would enrich their methodological and con-ceptual character4-6 . The incorporation through geoethics of new questions and approaches associated to the "abiotic world" would involve: 1) extrapolating to space the recently defined and approved IUCN/UNESCO guidelines and recommendations on geodiversity7 as "planetary geodiversity", and 2) widening the classical concept of Planetary Protection, giving an addi-tional "abiotic" dimension to the exploration and research of the Moon and Mars. Given the geological characteristics and planetary evolution of the Moon and Mars, it is obvious that they require tailored geoethical approaches. Some fundamental aspects include, among others: the interrelation with bioethics and organics vs. inorganic contamination in Planetary Protection, the appropriate regulations of some necessary natural disturbances (e.g. on the Moon) dur-ing robotic and manned planetary missions, wilderness/planetary parks8,9 , the correct use of mineralogical and geochemical analytical

  8. Habitable Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) Concept. [Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) Layout and Configuration: 6-Crew, Habitable, Nested Tank Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Victor; Rucker, Michelle

    2013-01-01

    NASA's ultimate goal is the human exploration of Mars. Among the many difficult aspects of a trip to Mars is the return mission that would transport the astronauts from the Martian surface back into Mars orbit. One possible conceptual design to accomplish this task is a two-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). In order to assess this design, a general layout and configuration for the spacecraft must be developed. The objective of my internship was to model a conceptual MAV design to support NASA's latest human Mars mission architecture trade studies, technology prioritization decisions, and mass, cost, and schedule estimates.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Mass and Reliability System (MaRS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) Directorate is responsible for mitigating risk, providing system safety, and lowering risk for space programs from ground to space. The S&MA is divided into 4 divisions: The Space Exploration Division (NC), the International Space Station Division (NE), the Safety & Test Operations Division (NS), and the Quality and Flight Equipment Division (NT). The interns, myself and Arun Aruljothi, will be working with the Risk & Reliability Analysis Branch under the NC Division's. The mission of this division is to identify, characterize, diminish, and communicate risk by implementing an efficient and effective assurance model. The team utilizes Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) and Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) to ensure decisions concerning risks are informed, vehicles are safe and reliable, and program/project requirements are realistic and realized. This project pertains to the Orion mission, so it is geared toward a long duration Human Space Flight Program(s). For space missions, payload is a critical concept; balancing what hardware can be replaced by components verse by Orbital Replacement Units (ORU) or subassemblies is key. For this effort a database was created that combines mass and reliability data, called Mass and Reliability System or MaRS. The U.S. International Space Station (ISS) components are used as reference parts in the MaRS database. Using ISS components as a platform is beneficial because of the historical context and the environment similarities to a space flight mission. MaRS uses a combination of systems: International Space Station PART for failure data, Vehicle Master Database (VMDB) for ORU & components, Maintenance & Analysis Data Set (MADS) for operation hours and other pertinent data, & Hardware History Retrieval System (HHRS) for unit weights. MaRS is populated using a Visual Basic Application. Once populated, the excel spreadsheet is comprised of information on ISS components including

  12. The US planetary exploration program opportunities for international cooperation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, G. A.

    1984-01-01

    Opportunities for international participation in US-sponsored interplanetary missions are discussed on the basis of the recommendations of the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration of the National Academy of Sciences Space Science Board. The initial core missions suggested are a Venus radar mapper, a Mars geoscience/climatology orbiter, a comet-rendezvous/asteroid-flyby mission, and a Titan probe/radar mapper. Subsequent core missions are listed, and the need for cooperation in planning and development stages to facilitate international participation is indicated.

  13. 'Endurance' Courtesy of Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to capture this false-color image of the interior of 'Endurance Crater' on the rover's 188th martian day (Aug. 4, 2004). The image data were relayed to Earth by the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. The image was generated from separate frames using the cameras 750-, 530- and 480-nanometer filters.

  14. FINESSE Spaceward Bound - Teacher Engagement in NASA Science and Exploration Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A. J. P.; Heldmann, J. L.; Sheely, T.; Karlin, J.; Johnson, S.; Rosemore, A.; Hughes, S.; Nawotniak, S. Kobs; Lim, D. S. S.; Garry, W. B.

    2016-01-01

    The FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration) team of NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) is focused on a science and exploration field-based research program aimed at generating strategic knowledge in preparation for the human and robotic exploration of the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, and the moons of Mars. The FINESSE science program is infused with leading edge exploration concepts since "science enables exploration and exploration enables science." The FINESSE education and public outreach program leverages the team's field investigations and educational partnerships to share the excitement of lunar, Near Earth Asteroid, and martian moon science and exploration locally, nationally, and internationally. The FINESSE education plan is in line with all of NASA's Science Mission Directorate science education objectives, particularly to enable STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and leverage efforts through partnerships.

  15. 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.

  16. Community Decadal Panel for Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldavs, Vidvuds

    2016-07-01

    with the addition of resource recovery from asteroids at industrial operations in cislunar space. Preliminary conclusions indicate that by doing more that the cost and risk of individual operations lessens. The cost and risk of the Journey to Mars will be significantly less if a parallel effort is underway with Moon Village. Moon Village is aimed at lunar exploration with a view towards enabling lunar ISRU. Success with lunar ISRU creates sources of fuel, water, and other materials required for missions to Mars. This creates a supplier- customer relationship. This economic aspect is further enhanced with space-based solar power first piloted for lunar applications then applied to terrestrial needs starting with disaster relief. The benefits of shared infrastructure are further augmented through development of industrial operations in cislunar space for asteroid and or lunar materials processing expanding the range of materials that become available for processing into products that do not have to be lifted out of the Earth's gravity well creating the basis for a space economy. The idea of an International Lunar Decade serving as a framework for coordination of international collaboration across multiple missions and fields is explored. [1] http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/space-experts-warn-congress-that-nasas-journey-to-mars-is-illusory/ [2] http://www.nap.edu/catalog/18801/pathways-to-exploration-rationales-and-approaches-for-a-us-program [3] http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/nexgen/Nexgen_Downloads/NexGen_ELA_Report_FINAL.pdf [4] http://strategic.mit.edu/JSR_Final_Manuscript_Ishimatsu.pdf [5] Lunar COTS: An Economical and Sustainable Approach to Reaching Mars, http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/nexgen/Nexgen_Downloads/AIAA2015-4408ZunigaLunarCOTS.pdf

  18. Life On Mars: Past, Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  20. Working Group Reports and Presentations: Mars Settlement and Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Chris

    2006-01-01

    The long-term implications of space exploration must be considered early in the process. With this in mind, the Mars Settlement and Society Group focused on five key areas: Philosophical Framework, Community Infrastructure and Government, Creating Stakeholders, Human Subsystems, and Habitat Design. The team proposes long and short term goals to support getting to and then staying long-term on Mars. All objectives shared the theme that they should engage, inspire, and educate the public with the intent of fostering stakeholders in the exploration of Mars. The objectives of long-term settlement on Mars should not neglect group dynamics, issues of reproduction, and a strong philosophical framework for the establishment of a society.

  1. Simulation of Martian EVA at the Mars Society Arctic Research Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pletser, V.; Zubrin, R.; Quinn, K.

    The Mars Society has established a Mars Arctic Research Station (M.A.R.S.) on Devon Island, North of Canada, in the middle of the Haughton crater formed by the impact of a large meteorite several million years ago. The site was selected for its similarities with the surface of the Mars planet. During the Summer 2001, the MARS Flashline Research Station supported an extended international simulation campaign of human Mars exploration operations. Six rotations of six person crews spent up to ten days each at the MARS Flashline Research Station. International crews, of mixed gender and professional qualifications, conducted various tasks as a Martian crew would do and performed scientific experiments in several fields (Geophysics, Biology, Psychology). One of the goals of this simulation campaign was to assess the operational and technical feasibility of sustaining a crew in an autonomous habitat, conducting a field scientific research program. Operations were conducted as they would be during a Martian mission, including Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) with specially designed unpressurized suits. The second rotation crew conducted seven simulated EVAs for a total of 17 hours, including motorized EVAs with All Terrain Vehicles, to perform field scientific experiments in Biology and Geophysics. Some EVAs were highly successful. For some others, several problems were encountered related to hardware technical failures and to bad weather conditions. The paper will present the experiment programme conducted at the Mars Flashline Research Station, the problems encountered and the lessons learned from an EVA operational point of view. Suggestions to improve foreseen Martian EVA operations will be discussed.

  2. Maps of the Martian Landing Sites and Rover Traverses: Viking 1 and 2, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix Landers, and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Calef, F. J., III; Deen, R. G.; Gengl, H.

    2016-12-01

    The traverse maps produced tactically for the MER and MSL rover missions are the first step in placing the observations made by each vehicle into a local and regional geologic context. For the MER, Phoenix and MSL missions, 25cm/pixel HiRISE data is available for accurately localizing the vehicles. Viking and Mars Pathfinder, however, relied on Viking Orbiter images of several tens of m/pixel to triangulate to horizon features visible both from the ground and from orbit. After Pathfinder, MGS MOC images became available for these landing sites, enabling much better correlations to horizon features and localization predictions to be made, that were then corroborated with HiRISE images beginning 9 years ago. By combining topography data from MGS, Mars Express, and stereo processing of MRO CTX and HiRISE images into orthomosaics (ORRs) and digital elevation models (DEMs), it is possible to localize all the landers and rover positions to an accuracy of a few tens of meters with respect to the Mars global control net, and to better than half a meter with respect to other features within a HiRISE orthomosaic. JPL's MIPL produces point clouds of the MER Navcam stereo images that can be processed into 1cm/pixel ORR/DEMs that are then georeferenced to a HiRISE/CTX base map and DEM. This allows compilation of seamless mosaics of the lander and rover camera-based ORR/DEMs with the HiRISE ORR/DEM that can be viewed in 3 dimensions with GIS programs with that capability. We are re-processing the Viking Lander, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix lander data to allow similar ORR/DEM products to be made for those missions. For the fixed landers and Spirit, we will compile merged surface/CTX/HiRISE ORR/DEMs, that will enable accurate local and regional mapping of these landing sites, and allow comparisons of the results from these missions to be made with current and future surface missions.

  3. 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.

  4. Space Exploration Supply Chain Modeling, Simulation and Analysis Using the SCOR Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata, Edgar; Callinan, Mike; Fayez, Sam

    2006-01-01

    sustained and affordable human and robotic program to explore the solar system and beyond. Extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations. Develop the innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructure both to explore and to support decisions about the destinations for human exploration; and promote international and commercial participation in exploration to further U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests

  5. International Academy of Astronautics 5th cosmic study--preparing for a 21st century program of integrated, Lunar and Martian exploration and development (executive summary).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelle, H H; Stephenson, D G

    2003-04-01

    This report is an initial review of plans for a extensive program to survey and develop the Moon and to explore the planet Mars during the 21st century. It presents current typical plans for separate, associated and fully integrated programs of Lunar and Martian research, exploration and development, and concludes that detailed integrated plans must be prepared and be subject to formal criticism. Before responsible politicians approve a new thrust into space they will demand attractive, defensible, and detailed proposals that explain the WHEN, HOW and WHY of each stage of an expanded program of 21st century space research, development and exploration. In particular, the claims of daring, innovative, but untried systems must be compared with the known performance of existing technologies. The time has come to supersede the present haphazard approach to strategic space studies with a formal international structure to plan for future advanced space missions under the aegis of the world's national space agencies, and supported by governments and the corporate sector. c2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. A new analysis of Mars "Special Regions": findings of the second MEPAG Special Regions Science Analysis Group (SR-SAG2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, John D; Beaty, David W; Jones, Melissa A; Bakermans, Corien; Barlow, Nadine G; Boston, Penelope J; Chevrier, Vincent F; Clark, Benton C; de Vera, Jean-Pierre P; Gough, Raina V; Hallsworth, John E; Head, James W; Hipkin, Victoria J; Kieft, Thomas L; McEwen, Alfred S; Mellon, Michael T; Mikucki, Jill A; Nicholson, Wayne L; Omelon, Christopher R; Peterson, Ronald; Roden, Eric E; Sherwood Lollar, Barbara; Tanaka, Kenneth L; Viola, Donna; Wray, James J

    2014-11-01

    A committee of the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) has reviewed and updated the description of Special Regions on Mars as places where terrestrial organisms might replicate (per the COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy). This review and update was conducted by an international team (SR-SAG2) drawn from both the biological science and Mars exploration communities, focused on understanding when and where Special Regions could occur. The study applied recently available data about martian environments and about terrestrial organisms, building on a previous analysis of Mars Special Regions (2006) undertaken by a similar team. Since then, a new body of highly relevant information has been generated from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (launched in 2005) and Phoenix (2007) and data from Mars Express and the twin Mars Exploration Rovers (all 2003). Results have also been gleaned from the Mars Science Laboratory (launched in 2011). In addition to Mars data, there is a considerable body of new data regarding the known environmental limits to life on Earth-including the potential for terrestrial microbial life to survive and replicate under martian environmental conditions. The SR-SAG2 analysis has included an examination of new Mars models relevant to natural environmental variation in water activity and temperature; a review and reconsideration of the current parameters used to define Special Regions; and updated maps and descriptions of the martian environments recommended for treatment as "Uncertain" or "Special" as natural features or those potentially formed by the influence of future landed spacecraft. Significant changes in our knowledge of the capabilities of terrestrial organisms and the existence of possibly habitable martian environments have led to a new appreciation of where Mars Special Regions may be identified and protected. The SR-SAG also considered the impact of Special Regions on potential future human missions to Mars, both as locations of

  7. The Mars Hopper: Development, Simulation and Experimental Validation of a Radioisotope Exploration Probe for the Martian Surface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nathan D. Jerred; Spencer Cooley; Robert C. O' Brien; Steven D. Howe; James E. O' Brien

    2012-09-01

    An advanced exploration probe has been proposed by the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) to acquire detailed data from the Martian surface and subsurface, ‘hop’ large distances to multiple sites in short periods of time and perform this task repeatedly. Although several similar flying vehicles have been proposed utilizing various power sources and complex designs, e.g. solar-electric and chemical-based, the CSNR’s Mars Hopper is based on a radioisotope thermal rocket (RTR) concept. The Mars Hopper’s design relies on the high specific energies [J/kg] of radioisotopes and enhances their low specific power [W/kg] through the use of a thermal capacitance material to store thermal energy over time. During operation, the RTR transfers the stored thermal energy to a flowing gas, which is then expanded through a converging-diverging nozzle, producing thrust. Between flights, the platform will have ample time to perform in-depth science at each location while the propellant tanks and thermal capacitor recharge. Recharging the propellant tanks is accomplished by sublimation freezing of the ambient CO2 atmosphere with a cryocooler, followed by heating and pressurization to yield a liquid storage state. The proposed Mars Hopper will undergo a ballistic flight, consuming the propellant in both ascent and descent, and by using multiple hopper platforms, information can be gathered on a global scale, enabling better resource resolution and providing valuable information for a possible Mars sample-return mission. The CSNR, collaborating with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and three universities (University of Idaho, Utah State University and Oregon State University), has identified key components and sub-systems necessary for the proposed hopper. Current project activities include the development of a lab-scale prototypic Mars Hopper and test facility, along with computational fluid dynamics (CFD)/thermal-hydraulic models to yield a better understanding of the

  8. MARS A Cosmic Stepping Stone Uncovering Humanity’s Cosmic Context

    CERN Document Server

    Nolan, Kevin

    2008-01-01

    The questions of our origin and cosmic abundance of life are among the most compelling facing humanity. We have determined much about the nature and origin of the Universe and our place in it, but with virtually all evidence of our origin long since gone from our world and an unimaginably vast Universe still to explore, defining answers are difficult to obtain. For all of the difficulties facing us however, the planet Mars may act as a ‘cosmic stepping stone’ in uncovering some of the answers. Although different today, the origin and early history of both Earth and Mars may have been similar enough to consider an origin to life on both. But because Mars’ planetary processes collapsed over three billion years ago – just as life was beginning to flourish on Earth – a significant and unique record of activity from that era perhaps relevant to the origin of life still resides there today. In recognition of this, both the US and Europe are currently engaged in one of the most ambitious programs of explor...

  9. Yields of historical exploration programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huslende, T.

    1995-01-01

    The paper relates to an method of evaluation developed for analysing the yield of historical exploration programs by computerized simulation. The most important elements show in coarse features how the results can be used in the different analyses. The evaluation is to be executed annually for the comparison and sorting of data from different offshore sites. Topics are exploration evaluation study, evaluation process, handling of exploration costs, discovered reserves, development projects, cash flow analysis, analysis of results, finding cost, international comparison. 1 ref., 11 figs

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Mars Surveyor Program '01 Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment wet chemistry lab: a sensor array for chemical analysis of the Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kounaves, Samuel P.; Lukow, Stefan R.; Comeau, Brian P.; Hecht, Michael H.; Grannan-Feldman, Sabrina M.; Manatt, Ken; West, Steven J.; Wen, Xiaowen; Frant, Martin; Gillette, Tim

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) instrument was designed, built, and flight qualified for the now canceled MSP (Mars Surveyor Program) '01 Lander. The MECA package consisted of a microscope, electrometer, material patch plates, and a wet chemistry laboratory (WCL). The primary goal of MECA was to analyze the Martian soil (regolith) for possible hazards to future astronauts and to provide a better understanding of Martian regolith geochemistry. The purpose of the WCL was to analyze for a range of soluble ionic chemical species and electrochemical parameters. The heart of the WCL was a sensor array of electrochemically based ion-selective electrodes (ISE). After 20 months storage at -23 degrees C and subsequent extended freeze/thawing cycles, WCL sensors were evaluated to determine both their physical durability and analytical responses. A fractional factorial calibration of the sensors was used to obtain slope, intercept, and all necessary selectivity coefficients simultaneously for selected ISEs. This calibration was used to model five cation and three anion sensors. These data were subsequently used to determine concentrations of several ions in two soil leachate simulants (based on terrestrial seawater and hypothesized Mars brine) and four actual soil samples. The WCL results were compared to simulant and soil samples using ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. The results showed that flight qualification and prolonged low-temperature storage conditions had minimal effects on the sensors. In addition, the analytical optimization method provided quantitative and qualitative data that could be used to accurately identify the chemical composition of the simulants and soils. The WCL has the ability to provide data that can be used to "read" the chemical, geological, and climatic history of Mars, as well as the potential habitability of its regolith.

  13. 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.

  14. Multijunction Solar Cell Technology for Mars Surface Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, Paul M.; Mardesich, Nick; Ewell, Richard C.; Mueller, Robert L.; Endicter, Scott; Aiken, Daniel; Edmondson, Kenneth; Fetze, Chris

    2006-01-01

    Solar cells used for Mars surface applications have been commercial space qualified AM0 optimized devices. Due to the Martian atmosphere, these cells are not optimized for the Mars surface and as a result operate at a reduced efficiency. A multi-year program, MOST (Mars Optimized Solar Cell Technology), managed by JPL and funded by NASA Code S, was initiated in 2004, to develop tools to modify commercial AM0 cells for the Mars surface solar spectrum and to fabricate Mars optimized devices for verification. This effort required defining the surface incident spectrum, developing an appropriate laboratory solar simulator measurement capability, and to develop and test commercial cells modified for the Mars surface spectrum. This paper discusses the program, including results for the initial modified cells. Simulated Mars surface measurements of MER cells and Phoenix Lander cells (2007 launch) are provided to characterize the performance loss for those missions. In addition, the performance of the MER rover solar arrays is updated to reflect their more than two (2) year operation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  16. Properties of Subsurface Soil Cores from Four Geologic Provinces Surrounding Mars Desert Research Station, Utah: Characterizing Analog Martian Soil in a Human Exploration Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Clarke, J. D. A.; Direito, S.; Foing, B.

    2011-01-01

    The DOMEX program is a NASA-MMAMA funded project featuring simulations of human crews on Mars focused on science activities that involve collecting samples from the subsurface using both manual and robotic equipment methods and analyzing them in the field and post mission. A crew simulating a human mission to Mars performed activities focused on subsurface science for 2 weeks in November 2009 at Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah --an important chemical and morphological Mars analog site. Activities performed included 1) survey of the area to identify geologic provinces, 2) obtaining soil and rock samples from each province and characterizing their mineralogy, chemistry, and biology; 3) site selection and reconnaissance for a future drilling mission; 4) deployment and testing of Mars Underground Mole, a percussive robotic soil sampling device; and 5) recording and analyzing how crew time was used to accomplish these tasks. This paper summarizes results from analysis of soil cores

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  18. Exploring Poetry through Interactive Computer Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimchinsky, Howard; Camp, Jocelyn

    The goal of a project was to design, test, and evaluate several computer programs that allow students in introductory literature and poetry courses to explore a poem in detail and, through a dialogue with the program, to develop their own interpretation of it. Computer programs were completed on poems by Robert Frost and W.H. Auden. Both programs…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Human Exploration Science Office (KX) Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun, Tracy A.

    2014-01-01

    expertise in the application of engineering imagery to spaceflight. The team links NASA programs and private industry with imagery capabilities developed and honed through decades of human spaceflight, including imagery integration, imaging assets, imagery data management, and photogrammetric analysis. The team is currently supporting several NASA programs, including commercial demonstration missions. The Earth Science and Remote Sensing Team is responsible for integrating the scientific use of Earth-observation assets onboard the ISS, which consist of externally mounted sensors and crew photography capabilities. This team facilitates collaboration on remote sensing and participates in research with academic organizations and other Government agencies, not only in conjunction with ISS science, but also for planetary exploration and regional environmental/geological studies. Human exploration science focuses on science strategies for future human exploration missions to the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and beyond. This function provides communication and coordination between the science community and mission planners. ARES scientists support the operation of robotic missions (i.e., Mars Exploration Rovers and the Mars Science Laboratory), contribute to the interpretation of returned mission data, and translate robotic mission technologies and techniques to human spaceflight.

  3. Europe is going to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

    The Agency's Science Programme Committee (SPC) approved Mars Express after ESA's Council, meeting at ministerial level in Brussels on 11 and 12 May, had agreed the level of the science budget for the next 4 years, just enough to make the mission affordable. "Mars Express is a mission of opportunity and we felt we just had to jump in and do it. We are convinced it will produce first-rate science", says Hans Balsiger, SPC chairman. As well as being a first for Europe in Mars exploration, Mars Express will pioneer new, cheaper ways of doing space science missions. "With a total cost of just 150 million euros, Mars Express will be the cheapest Mars mission ever undertaken", says Roger Bonnet, ESA's Director of Science. Mars Express will be launched in June 2003. When it arrives at the red planet six months later, it will begin to search for water and life. Seven instruments, provided by space research institutes throughout Europe, will make observations from the main spacecraft as it orbits the planet. Just before the spacecraft arrives, it will release a small lander, provided by research institutes in the UK, that will journey on to the surface to look for signs of life. The lander is called Beagle 2 after the ship in which Charles Darwin sailed round the world in search of evidence supporting his theory of evolution. But just as Darwin had to raise the money for his trip, so the search is on for public and private finance for Beagle 2. "Beagle 2 is an extremely important element of the mission", says Bonnet. Europe's space scientists have envisaged a mission to Mars for over fifteen years. But limited funding has prevented previous proposals from going ahead. The positioning of the planets in 2003, however, offers a particularly favourable passage to the red planet - an opportunity not to be missed. Mars Express will be joined by an international flotilla of spacecraft that will also be using this opportunity to work together on scientific questions and pave the way

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morabito, D.; Hastrup, R.

    2001-07-01

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

  6. 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).

  7. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration, announced in 2004, calls on NASA to finish constructing the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed to return to the Moon and go on the Mars. By exploring space, America continues the tradition of great nations who mastered the Earth, air, and sea, and who then enjoyed the benefits of increased commerce and technological advances. The progress being made today is part of the next chapter in America's history of leadership in space. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within the planned timeline and also within the allowable budget, NASA is building upon the best of proven space transportation systems. Journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Lunar Surface Access Module. What America learns in reaching for the Moon will teach astronauts how to prepare for the first human footprints on Mars. While robotic science may reveal information about the nature of hydrogen on the Moon, it will most likely tale a human being with a rock hammer to find the real truth about the presence of water, a precious natural resource that opens many possibilities for explorers. In this way, the combination of astronauts using a variety of tools and machines provides a special synergy that will vastly improve our understanding of Earth's cosmic neighborhood.

  8. Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) 2009 Expedition Crew Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy; Ferrone, Kristine; Garvin, Christy; Kramer, W. Vernon; Palaia, Joseph, IV; Shiro, Brian

    2009-01-01

    The Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), located on the rim of the Haughton Crater on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, is a simulated Mars habitat that provides operational constraints similar to those which will be faced by future human explorers on Mars. In July 2009, a six-member crew inhabited the isolated habitation module and conducted the twelfth FMARS mission. The crew members conducted frequent EVA operations wearing mock space suits to conduct field experiments under realistic Mars-like conditions. Their scientific campaign spanned a wide range of disciplines and included many firsts for Mars analog research. Among these are the first use of a Class IV medical laser during a Mars simulation, helping to relieve crew stress injuries during the mission. Also employed for the first time in a Mars simulation at FMARS, a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) was used by the space-suited explorers, aiding them in their search for mineral resources. Sites identified by the UAV were then visited by geologists who conducted physical geologic sampling. For the first time, explorers in spacesuits deployed passive seismic equipment to monitor earthquake activity and characterize the planet's interior. They also conducted the first geophysical electromagnetic survey as analog Mars pioneers to search for water and characterize geological features under the surface. The crew collected hydrated minerals and attempted to produce drinkable water from the rocks. A variety of equipment was field tested as well, including new cameras that automatically geotag photos, data-recording GPS units, a tele-presence rover (operated from Florida), as well as MIT-developed mission planning software. As plans develop to return to the Moon and go on to Mars, analog facilities like FMARS can provide significant benefit to NASA and other organizations as they prepare for robust human space exploration. The authors will present preliminary results from these studies as well as their

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Robots and Humans in Planetary Exploration: Working Together?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Lyons, Valerie (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Today's approach to human-robotic cooperation in planetary exploration focuses on using robotic probes as precursors to human exploration. A large portion of current NASA planetary surface exploration is focussed on Mars, and robotic probes are seen as precursors to human exploration in: Learning about operation and mobility on Mars; Learning about the environment of Mars; Mapping the planet and selecting landing sites for human mission; Demonstration of critical technology; Manufacture fuel before human presence, and emplace elements of human-support infrastructure

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  12. Survival and sacrifice in Mars exploration what we know from polar expeditions

    CERN Document Server

    Seedhouse, Erik

    2015-01-01

    With current technology, a voyage to Mars and back will take three years. That’s a lot of time for things to go wrong. But sooner or later a commercial enterprise will commit itself to sending humans to Mars. How will the astronauts survive? Some things to consider are: ith current technology, a voyage to Mars and back will take three years. That’s a lot of time for things to go wrong. But sooner or later a commercial enterprise will commit itself to sending humans to Mars. How will the astronauts survive? Some things to consider are: • Who decides what medical resources are used for whom? Who decides what medical resources are used for whom? • What is the relative weight of mission success and the health of the crew? What is the relative weight of mission success and the health of the crew? • Do we allow crewmembers to sacrifi ce their lives for the good of the mission? Do we allow crewmembers to sacrifi ce their lives for the good of the mission? • And what if a crewmember does perish? Do we sto...

  13. Mars mission program for primary students: Building student and teacher skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathers, Naomi; Pakakis, Michael; Christie, Ian

    2011-09-01

    The Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC) scenario-based programs, including the Mission to Mars and Mission to the Orbiting Space Laboratory, utilize methodologies such as hands-on applications, immersive learning, integrated technologies, critical thinking and mentoring. The use of a scenario provides a real-life context and purpose to what students might otherwise consider disjointed information. These programs engage students in the areas of maths and science, and highlight potential career paths in science and engineering. The introduction of a scenario-based program for primary students engages students in maths and science at a younger age, addressing the issues of basic numeracy and science literacy, thus laying the foundation for stronger senior science initiatives. Primary students absorb more information within the context of the scenario, and presenting information they can see, hear, touch and smell creates a memorable learning and sensory experience. The mission also supports development of teacher skills in the delivery of hands-on science and helps build their confidence to teach science. The Primary Mission to the Mars Base gives primary school students access to an environment and equipment not available in schools. Students wear flight suits for the duration of the program to immerse them in the experience of being an astronaut. Astronauts work in the VSSEC Space Laboratory, which is transformed into a Mars base for the primary program, to conduct experiments in areas such as robotics, human physiology, microbiology, nanotechnology and environmental science. Specialist mission control software has been developed by La Trobe University Centre for Games Technology to provide age appropriate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based problem solving and support the concept of a mission. Students in Mission Control observe the astronauts working in the space laboratory and talk to them via the AV system. This interactive

  14. 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...

  15. Habitat Options to Protect Against Decompression Sickness on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conkin, J.

    2000-07-01

    Men and women are alive today, although perhaps still in diapers, who will explore the surface of Mars. Two achievable goals to enable this exploration are to use Martian resources, and to provide a safe means for unrestricted access to the surface. A cost-effective approach for Mars exploration is to use the available resources, such as water and atmospheric gases. Nitrogen (N2) and Argon (Ar) in a concentration ratio of 1.68/1.0 are available, and could form the inert gas component of a habitat atmosphere at 8.0, 9.0, or 10.0 pounds per square inch absolute (psia). The habitat and space suit must be designed as an integrated, complementary, system: a comfortable living environment about 85% of the time and a safe working environment about 15% of the time. A goal is to provide a system that permits unrestricted exploration of Mars. However the risk of decompression sickness (DCS) during the extravehicular activity (EVA) in a 3.75 psia suit after exposure to either of the three habitat conditions may limit unrestricted exploration.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge

    2017-04-01

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

  18. New Age for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  19. Are we There Yet? ... Developing In-Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) Technologies to Explore and Live on the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassler, Julie A.; Bodiford, Melanie P.; Fiske, Michael R.; Strong, Janet D.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's human exploration initiative poses great opportunity and great risk for manned missions to the Moon and Mars. Engineers and Scientists at the Marshall Space Flight Center are evaluating current technologies for in situ exploration habitat and fabrication and repair applications. Several technologies to be addressed in this paper have technology readiness levels (TRLs) that are currently mature enough to pursue for exploration purposes. However, many technologies offer promising applications but these must be pulled along by the demands and applications of this great initiative. The In Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) program will supply and push state of the art technologies for applications such as habitat structure development, in situ resource utilization for tool and part fabrication, and repair and replacement of common life support elements. This paper will look at the current and future habitat technology applications such as the implementation of in situ environmental elements such as caves, rilles and lavatubes, the development of lunar regolith concrete and structure design and development, thin film and inflatable technologies. We will address current rapid prototyping technologies, their ISFR applications and near term advancements. We will discuss the anticipated need to utilize in situ resources to produce replacement parts and fabricate repairs to vehicles, habitats, life support and quality of life elements. All ISFR technology developments will incorporate automated deployment and robotic construction and fabrication techniques. The current state of the art for these applications is fascinating, but the future is out of this world.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A fundamental parameters approach to calibration of the Mars Exploration Rover Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, J. L.; Lee, M.; Jones, B. N.; Andrushenko, S. M.; Holmes, N. G.; Maxwell, J. A.; Taylor, S. M.

    2009-04-01

    The detection sensitivities of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rovers for a wide range of elements were experimentally determined in 2002 using spectra of geochemical reference materials. A flight spare instrument was similarly calibrated, and the calibration exercise was then continued for this unit with an extended set of geochemical reference materials together with pure elements and simple chemical compounds. The flight spare instrument data are examined in detail here using a newly developed fundamental parameters approach which takes precise account of all the physics inherent in the two X-ray generation techniques involved, namely, X-ray fluorescence and particle-induced X-ray emission. The objectives are to characterize the instrument as fully as possible, to test this new approach, and to determine the accuracy of calibration for major, minor, and trace elements. For some of the lightest elements the resulting calibration exhibits a dependence upon the mineral assemblage of the geological reference material; explanations are suggested for these observations. The results will assist in designing the overall calibration approach for the APXS on the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Embedded clays and sulfates in Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flahaut, J.D.; Carter, J.; Poulet, F.; Bibring, J.P.; van Westrenen, W.; Davies, G.R.; Murchie, S.L.

    2014-01-01

    The area of Meridiani Planum on Mars became of particular interest after the detection of coarse-grained, gray hematite, which led to the choice of this region as final landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Multiple additional minerals have since been detected in the region, both

  6. MARS-OZ - A Design for a Simulated Mars Base in the Australian Outback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willson, D.; Clarke, J. D. A.; Murphy, G.

    Mars Society Australia has developed the design of a simulated Mars base, MARS-OZ, for deployment in outback Australia. MARS-OZ will provide a platform for a diverse range of Mars analogue research in Australia. The simulated base consists of two mobile modules whose dimensions and shape approximate those of horizontally landed bent biconic spacecraft described in an earlier paper. The modules are designed to support field engineering, robotics, architectural, geological, biological and human factors research at varying levels of simulation fidelity. Non-Mars related research can also be accommodated, for example general field geology and biology, and engineering research associated with sustainable, low impact architecture. Crews of up to eight can be accommodated. In addition to its research function, the base also will serve as a centre of space education and outreach activities. The prime site for the MARS-OZ simulated base is located in the northern Flinders Ranges near Arkaroola in South Australia. This region contains many features that provide useful scientific analogues to known or possible past and present conditions on Mars from both a geological and biological perspective. The features will provide a wealth of study opportunities for crews. The very diverse terrain and regolith materials will provide ideal opportunities to field trial a range of equipment, sensors and exploration strategies. If needed, the prime site can be secured from casual visitors, allowing research into human interaction in isolation. Despite its relative isolation, the site is readily accessible by road and air from major Australian centres. This paper provides description of the configuration, design and construction of the proposed facility, its interior layout, equipment and systems fitouts, a detailed cost estimate, and its deployment. We estimate that the deployment of MARS-OZ could occur within nine months of securing funding.

  7. 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…

  8. Discovering the cosmos with small spacecraft the American explorer program

    CERN Document Server

    Harvey, Brian

    2018-01-01

    Explorer was the original American space program and Explorer 1 its first satellite, launched in 1958. Sixty years later, it is the longest continuously running space program in the world, demonstrating to the world how we can explore the cosmos with small spacecraft. Almost a hundred Explorers have already been launched.  Explorers have made some of the fundamental discoveries of the Space Age.Explorer 1 discovered Earth’s radiation belts. Later Explorers surveyed the Sun, the X-ray and ultraviolet universes, black holes, magnetars and gamma ray bursts. An Explorer found the remnant of the Big Bang. One Explorer chased and was the first to intercept a comet. The program went through a period of few launches during the crisis of funding for space science in the 1980s. However, with the era of ‘faster, cheaper, better,’ the program was reinvented, and new exiting missions began to take shape, like Swift and the asteroid hunter WISE.  Discovering the Cosmos with Small Spacecraft gives an account of ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Simulation and Spacecraft Design: Engineering Mars Landings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Erik M

    2015-10-01

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

  12. Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Moon/Mars Landing Commemorative Release: Gusev Crater and Ma'adim Vallis

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    the mouth of Ma'adim Vallis--are composed of sediment that eroded out of the highlands to the south of Gusev Crater. In 1995, the Exobiology Program Office at NASA Headquarters produced a report, An Exobiological Strategy for Mars Exploration (NASA SP-530), that included Gusev Crater as a possible priority site for future Mars exploration because it might once have been a lake.At 12:17 a.m. (PDT) on April 24, 1998-- during Mars Global Surveyor's 259th orbit--MOC obtained the high resolution image of Gusev Crater and Ma'adim Vallis shown above, in part to test some of the proposed hypotheses. The raw image has a scale of 7.3 meters (24 feet) per pixel. At this scale, there are no obvious shorelines that would indicate the past presence of a lake in either Ma'adim Vallis or Gusev Crater. There are several alternative explanations for this absence, including: It is possible that any lake in Gusev occurred so long ago that erosion by wind and hillslope processes have long since removed such features. It is possible that 7.3 meters per pixel is insufficient to identify key diagnostic lake features. It is possible that a lake once existed, but that shore- and near-shore processes as they occur in terrestrial lake environments did not occur on Mars. It is possible no lake ever existed. When Mars Global Surveyor achieves its Mapping Orbit in March 1999, MOC will have the ability to obtain pictures with resolutions around 1.5 meters (5 feet) per pixel. Sometime during the mapping mission, it may be possible to image Gusev Crater again to look for potential lake features and possible future landing sites.Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narici, Livio; Reitz, Guenther

    2016-07-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. OEXP exploration studies technical report. Volume 3: Special reports, studies, and indepth systems assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, B.B.; Bland, D.

    1988-12-01

    The Office of Exploration (OEXP) at NASA has been tasked with defining and recommending alternatives for an early 1990's national decision on a focused program of manned exploration of the Solar System. The Mission analysis and System Engineering (MASE) group, which is managed by the Exploration Studies Office at the Johnson Space Center, is responsible for coordinating the technical studies necessary for accomplishing such a task. This technical report, produced by the MASE, describes the process used to conduct exploration studies and discusses the mission developed in a case study approach. The four case studies developed in FY88 include: (1) a manned expedition to PHOBOS; (2) a manned expedition to MARS; (3) a lunar surface observatory; and a lunar outpost to early Mars evolution. The final outcome of this effort is a set of programmatic and technical conclusions and recommendations for the following year's work

  18. Field reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars, based on Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and MRO HiRISE observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; McCoy, T.; Yingst, A.; Ruff, S.; Farrand, W.; McSween, Y.; Powell, M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Bell, J.F.; Grant, J.; Greeley, R.; DesMarais, D.; Schmidt, M.; Cabrol, N.A.; Haldemann, A.; Lewis, K.W.; Wang, A.E.; Schroder, C.; Blaney, D.; Cohen, B.; Yen, A.; Farmer, J.; Gellert, Ralf; Guinness, E.A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhfer, G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.W.; Rice, M.; deSouza, P.; Hurowitz, J.

    2011-01-01

    Chemical, mineralogic, and lithologic ground truth was acquired for the first time on Mars in terrain units mapped using orbital Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (MRO HiRISE) image data. Examination of several dozen outcrops shows that Mars is geologically complex at meter length scales, the record of its geologic history is well exposed, stratigraphic units may be identified and correlated across significant areas on the ground, and outcrops and geologic relationships between materials may be analyzed with techniques commonly employed in terrestrial field geology. Despite their burial during the course of Martian geologic time by widespread epiclastic materials, mobile fines, and fall deposits, the selective exhumation of deep and well-preserved geologic units has exposed undisturbed outcrops, stratigraphic sections, and structural information much as they are preserved and exposed on Earth. A rich geologic record awaits skilled future field investigators on Mars. The correlation of ground observations and orbital images enables construction of a corresponding geologic reconnaissance map. Most of the outcrops visited are interpreted to be pyroclastic, impactite, and epiclastic deposits overlying an unexposed substrate, probably related to a modified Gusev crater central peak. Fluids have altered chemistry and mineralogy of these protoliths in degrees that vary substantially within the same map unit. Examination of the rocks exposed above and below the major unconformity between the plains lavas and the Columbia Hills directly confirms the general conclusion from remote sensing in previous studies over past years that the early history of Mars was a time of more intense deposition and modification of the surface. Although the availability of fluids and the chemical and mineral activity declined from this early period, significant later volcanism and fluid convection enabled additional, if localized, chemical activity

  19. Exploring Subseafloor Life with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Sobecky

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Deep drilling of marine sediments and igneous crust offers a unique opportunity to explore how life persists and evolves in the Earth’s deepest subsurface ecosystems. Resource availability deep beneath the seafloor may impose constraints on microbial growth and dispersal patterns that differ greatly from those in the surface world. Processes that mediate microbial evolution and diversity may also be very different in these habitats, which approach and probably passthe extreme limits of life. Communities in parts of the deep subsurface may resemble primordial microbial ecosystems, and may serve as analogues of life on other planetary bodies, such as Mars or Europa, that have or once had water.

  20. The challenges and benefits of lunar exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Aaron

    1992-01-01

    Three decades into the Space Age, the United States is experiencing a fundamental shift in space policy with the adoption of a broad national goal to expand human presence and activity beyond Earth orbit and out into the Solar System. These plans mark a turning point in American space exploration, for they entail a shift away from singular forays to a long-term, evolutionary program of exploration and utilization of space. No longer limited to the technical and operational specifics of any one vehicle or any one mission plan, this new approach will involve a fleet of spacecraft and a stable of off-planet research laboratories, industrial facilities, and exploration programs. The challenges inherent in this program are immense, but so too are the benefits. Central to this new space architecture is the concept of using a lunar base for in-situ resource utilization, and for the development of planetary surface exploration systems, applicable to the Moon, Mars, and other planetary bodies in the Solar System. This paper discusses the technical, economic, and political challenges involved in this new approach, and details the latest thinking on the benefits that could come from bold new endeavors on the final frontier.

  1. Water and Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. Systems Analysis Programs for Hands-on Integrated Reliability Evaluations (SAPHIRE), Version 5.0: Models and Results Database (MAR-D) reference manual. Volume 8

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, K.D.; Skinner, N.L.

    1994-07-01

    The Systems Analysis Programs for Hands-on Integrated Reliability Evaluations (SAPHIRE) refers to a set of several microcomputer programs that were developed to create and analyze probabilistic risk assessments (PRAs), primarily for nuclear power plants. The primary function of MAR-D is to create a data repository for completed PRAs and Individual Plant Examinations (IPEs) by providing input, conversion, and output capabilities for data used by IRRAS, SARA, SETS, and FRANTIC software. As probabilistic risk assessments and individual plant examinations are submitted to the NRC for review, MAR-D can be used to convert the models and results from the study for use with IRRAS and SARA. Then, these data can be easily accessed by future studies and will be in a form that will enhance the analysis process. This reference manual provides an overview of the functions available within MAR-D and step-by-step operating instructions

  3. Exploration for fossil and nuclear fuels from orbital altitudes. [results of ERTS program for oil exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, N. M.

    1974-01-01

    Results from the ERTS program pertinent to exploration for oil, gas, and uranium are discussed. A review of achievements in relevant geological studies from ERTS, and a survey of accomplishments oriented towards exploration for energy sources are presented along with an evaluation of the prospects and limitations of the space platform approach to fuel exploration, and an examination of continuing programs designed to prove out the use of ERTS and other space system in exploring for fuel resources.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Exploring Community Radio Programming Practices to Inform ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A collective case study (multi-site) design was used to probe educational programming practices used in community radio. The paper explores how community radio station programming engages listeners in community generated education programmes that are produced through collaborative work with radio listener clubs.

  7. The resources of Mars for human settlement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Thomas R.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1989-01-01

    Spacecraft exploration of Marshas shown that the essential resources necessary for life support are present on the Martian surface. The key life-support compounds O2, N2, and H2O are available on Mars. The soil could be used as radiation shielding and could provide many useful industrial and construction materials. Compounds with high chemical energy, such as rocket fuels, can be manufactured in-situ on Mars. Solar power, and possibly wind power, are available and practical on Mars. Preliminary engineering studies indicate that fairly autonomous processes can be designed to extract and stockpile Martian consumables.

  8. Fuel behavior modeling using the MARS computer code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faya, S.C.S.; Faya, A.J.G.

    1983-01-01

    The fuel behaviour modeling code MARS against experimental data, was evaluated. Two cases were selected: an early comercial PWR rod (Maine Yankee rod) and an experimental rod from the Canadian BWR program (Canadian rod). The MARS predictions are compared with experimental data and predictions made by other fuel modeling codes. Improvements are suggested for some fuel behaviour models. Mars results are satisfactory based on the data available. (Author) [pt

  9. 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)).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigue, Christine M.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Ancient aliens on mars

    CERN Document Server

    Bara, Mike

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Contribution of magnetic measurements onboard NetLander to Mars exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Menvielle, M.; Musmann, G.; Kuhnke, F.

    2000-01-01

    between the environment of the planet and solar radiation, and a secondary source, the electric currents induced in the conductive planet. The continuous recording of the time variations of the magnetic field at the surface of Mars by means of three component magnetometers installed onboard Net...

  17. 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

  18. What Counts in After School? Findings from the Massachusetts Afterschool Research Study (MARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth M. Miller

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the Massachusetts Afterschool Research Study (MARS. Conducted during 2003-2005, MARS took an in-depth look at program structure and quality in 78 varied programs across Massachusetts, using data sources that included interviews with program directors, afterschool program site observations, school district student data, attendance data, and surveys with afterschool program staff, day school teachers, and afterschool program youth. The MARS study offers many useful insights into what afterschool programs look like, approaches to providing high quality experiences for youth, and the connections between high quality and improved outcomes for the young people attending these programs. The results may be useful to programs, policy makers, and others in the field by deepening our understanding of how youth participation leads to a variety of youth outcomes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, David; Noon, Don

    1998-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Mars Array Technology Experiment Developed to Test Solar Arrays on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    Solar arrays will be the power supply for future missions to the planet Mars, including landers, rovers, and eventually human missions to explore the Martian surface. Until Mars Pathfinder landed in July 1997, no solar array had been used on the surface. The MATE package is intended to measure the solar energy reaching the surface, characterize the Martian environment to gather the baseline information required for designing power systems for long-duration missions, and to quantify the performance and degradation of advanced solar cells on the Martian surface. To measure the properties of sunlight reaching the Martian surface, MATE incorporates two radiometers and a visible/NIR spectrometer. The radiometers consist of multiple thermocouple junctions using thin-film technology. These devices generate a voltage proportional to the solar intensity. One radiometer measures the global broadband solar intensity, including both the direct and scattered sunlight, with a field of view of approximately 130. The second radiometer incorporates a slit to measure the direct (unscattered) intensity radiation. The direct radiometer can only be read once per day, with the Sun passing over the slit. The spectrometer measures the global solar spectrum with two 256-element photodiode arrays, one Si sensitive in the visible range (300 to 1100 nm), and a second InGaAs sensitive to the near infrared (900 to 1700 nm). This range covers 86 percent of the total energy from the Sun, with approximately 5-nm resolution. Each photodiode array has its own fiber-optic feed and grating. Although the purpose of the MATE is to gather data useful in designing solar arrays for Mars surface power systems, the radiometer and spectrometer measurements are expected to also provide important scientific data for characterizing the properties of suspended atmospheric dust. In addition to measuring the solar environment of Mars, MATE will measure the performance of five different individual solar cell types

  3. Exploring the Educational Benefits of Introducing Aspect-Oriented Programming Into a Programming Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boticki, I.; Katic, M.; Martin,S.

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores the educational benefits of introducing the aspect-oriented programming paradigm into a programming course in a study on a sample of 75 undergraduate software engineering students. It discusses how using the aspect-oriented paradigm, in addition to the object-oriented programming paradigm, affects students' programs, their exam…

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Mars - robust automatic backbone assignment of proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, Young-Sang; Zweckstetter, Markus

    2004-01-01

    MARS a program for robust automatic backbone assignment of 13 C/ 15 N labeled proteins is presented. MARS does not require tight thresholds for establishing sequential connectivity or detailed adjustment of these thresholds and it can work with a wide variety of NMR experiments. Using only 13 C α / 13 C β connectivity information, MARS allows automatic, error-free assignment of 96% of the 370-residue maltose-binding protein. MARS can successfully be used when data are missing for a substantial portion of residues or for proteins with very high chemical shift degeneracy such as partially or fully unfolded proteins. Other sources of information, such as residue specific information or known assignments from a homologues protein, can be included into the assignment process. MARS exports its result in SPARKY format. This allows visual validation and integration of automated and manual assignment

  8. Observations of Crew Dynamics During Mars Analog Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy L.

    2009-01-01

    Crewmembers on Mars missions will face new and unique challenges compared to those in close communications proximity to Mission Control centers. Crews on Mars will likely become more autonomous and responsible for their day-to-day planning. These explorers will need to make frequent real time decisions without the assistance of large ground support teams. Ground-centric control will no longer be an option due to the communications delays. As a result of the new decision making model, crew dynamics and leadership styles of future astronauts may become significantly different from the demands of today. As a volunteer for the Mars Society on two Mars analog missions, this presenter will discuss observations made during isolated, surface exploration simulations. The need for careful crew selections, not just based on individual skill sets, but on overall team interactions becomes apparent very quickly when the crew is planning their own days and deciding their own priorities. Even more important is the selection of a Mission Commander who can lead a team of highly skilled individuals with strong and varied opinions in a way that promotes crew consensus, maintains fairness, and prevents unnecessary crew fatigue.

  9. Toward a global space exploration program: A stepping stone approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrenfreund, Pascale; McKay, Chris; Rummel, John D.; Foing, Bernard H.; Neal, Clive R.; Masson-Zwaan, Tanja; Ansdell, Megan; Peter, Nicolas; Zarnecki, John; Mackwell, Steve; Perino, Maria Antionetta; Billings, Linda; Mankins, John; Race, Margaret

    2012-01-01

    In response to the growing importance of space exploration in future planning, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Exploration (PEX) was chartered to provide independent scientific advice to support the development of exploration programs and to safeguard the potential scientific assets of solar system objects. In this report, PEX elaborates a stepwise approach to achieve a new level of space cooperation that can help develop world-wide capabilities in space science and exploration and support a transition that will lead to a global space exploration program. The proposed stepping stones are intended to transcend cross-cultural barriers, leading to the development of technical interfaces and shared legal frameworks and fostering coordination and cooperation on a broad front. Input for this report was drawn from expertise provided by COSPAR Associates within the international community and via the contacts they maintain in various scientific entities. The report provides a summary and synthesis of science roadmaps and recommendations for planetary exploration produced by many national and international working groups, aiming to encourage and exploit synergies among similar programs. While science and technology represent the core and, often, the drivers for space exploration, several other disciplines and their stakeholders (Earth science, space law, and others) should be more robustly interlinked and involved than they have been to date. The report argues that a shared vision is crucial to this linkage, and to providing a direction that enables new countries and stakeholders to join and engage in the overall space exploration effort. Building a basic space technology capacity within a wider range of countries, ensuring new actors in space act responsibly, and increasing public awareness and engagement are concrete steps that can provide a broader interest in space exploration, worldwide, and build a solid basis for program sustainability. By engaging

  10. Energy storage considerations for a robotic Mars surface sampler

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Donnell, P.M.; Cataldo, R.L.; Gonzalez-Sanabria, O.D.

    1988-01-01

    Manned exploration of Mars is being proposed by the National Commission on Space for the next century. To accomplish this task with minimal resupply cost for extended stay times, use of Mars' resources is essential. Methods must be developed to manufacture or extract water and oxygen from elements indigenous to Mars before they send explorers to the planet. Therefore, they must send precursor surveying equipment to determine Mars' resources to a greater extent than is now known from Viking 1 and Viking 2 data. A 1992 launch is planned for the Mars Observer that will contribute greater mapping resolution and expand the scientific data base. The proposed rover will provide scientists with the necessary information about abundant resources that would guide the required technology development needed to support a manned Mars infrastructure. The actual rover operations plan for both the sample return and extended mission will have a large impact on rover capabilities and the power system supplying power for traversing and scientific instrumentation. POWER SOURCE AND CONVERSION. Several power source/conversion options for the rover have been identified. These include power generation on the lander, Entry Vehicle (EV), Mars Orbiter Vehicle (MOV) and on the rover itself. Power from the lander would require the rover to return to landing site to recharge the energy storage systems, which limits rover excursions to one-half the range of the storage capacity. For on-board rover power, a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) has been considered with the appropriate energy storage to handle peak power demands

  11. The politics of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Harrison H.

    1986-01-01

    A discussion is presented comparing past and present major accomplishments of the U.S. and the Soviet Union in space. It concludes that the Soviets are presently well ahead of the U.S. in several specific aspects of space accomplishment and speculates that the Soviet strategy is directed towards sending a man to the vicinity of Mars by the end of this century. A major successful multinational space endeavor, INTELSAT, is reviewed and it is suggested that the manned exploration of Mars offers a unique opportunity for another such major international cooperative effort. The current attitude of U.S. leadership and the general public is assessed as uniformed or ambivalent about the perceived threat of Soviet dominance in space.

  12. Conducting Rock Mass Rating for tunnel construction on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beemer, Heidi D.; Worrells, D. Scott

    2017-10-01

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

  13. Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

    The probe, weighing in at 1 120 kg, was built on ESA’s behalf by a European team led by Astrium. It set out on its journey to Mars aboard a Soyuz-Fregat launcher, under Starsem operational management. The launcher lifted off from Baïkonur in Kazakhstan on 2 June at 23.45 local time (17:45 GMT). An interim orbit around the Earth was reached following a first firing of the Fregat upper stage. One hour and thirty-two minutes after lift off the probe was injected into its interplanetary orbit. "Europe is on its way to Mars to stake its claim in the most detailed and complete exploration ever done of the Red Planet. We can be very proud of this and of the speed with which have achieved this goal", said David Southwood, ESA's Director of Science witnessing the launch from Baikonur. Contact with Mars Express has been established by ESOC, ESA’s satellite control centre, located in Darmstadt, Germany. The probe is pointing correctly towards the Sun and has deployed its solar panels. All on-board systems are operating faultlessly. Two days from now, the probe will perform a corrective manœuvre that will place it in a Mars-bound trajectory, while the Fregat stage, trailing behind, will vanish into space - there will be no risk of it crashing into and contaminating the Red Planet. Mars Express will then travel away from Earth at a speed exceeding 30 km/s (3 km/s in relation to the Earth), on a six-month and 400 million kilometre journey through the solar system. Once all payload operations have been checked out, the probe will be largely deactivated. During this period, the spacecraft will contact Earth only once a day. Mid-journey correction of its trajectory is scheduled for September. There in time for Christmas Following reactivation of its systems at the end of November, Mars Express will get ready to release Beagle 2. The 60 kg capsule containing the tiny lander does not incorporate its own propulsion and steering system and will be released into a collision

  14. Transitioning a Fundamental Research Program to Align with the NASA Exploration Initiative-Perspectives from Microgravity Combustion Science and Fluid Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutliff, Thomas J.; Kohl, Fred J.

    2004-01-01

    A new Vision for Space Exploration was announced earlier this year by U.S. President George W. Bush. NASA has evaluated on-going programs for strategic alignment with this vision. The evaluation proceeded at a rapid pace and is resulting in changes to the scope and focus of experimental research that will be conducted in support of the new vision. The existing network of researchers in the physical sciences - a highly capable, independent, and loosely knitted community - typically have shared conclusions derived from their work within appropriate discipline-specific peer reviewed journals and publications. The initial result of introducing this Vision for Space Exploration has been to shift research focus from a broad coverage of numerous, widely varying topics into a research program focused on a nearly-singular set of supporting research objectives to enable advances in space exploration. Two of these traditional physical science research disciplines, Combustion Science and Fluid Physics, are implementing a course adjustment from a portfolio dominated by "Fundamental Science Research" to one focused nearly exclusively on supporting the Exploration Vision. Underlying scientific and engineering competencies and infrastructure of the Microgravity Combustion Science and Fluid Physics disciplines do provide essential research capabilities to support the contemporary thrusts of human life support, radiation countermeasures, human health, low gravity research for propulsion and materials and, ultimately, research conducted on the Moon and Mars. A perspective on how these two research disciplines responded to the course change will be presented. The relevance to the new NASA direction is provided, while demonstrating through two examples how the prior investment in fundamental research is being brought to bear on solving the issues confronting the successful implementation of the exploration goals.

  15. Red Planet Mania: The Public Response to the 2003 Mars Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albin, E. F.; Dundee, D. A.

    2003-12-01

    Interest in Mars is at an all time high. For many weeks leading up to and after August 27th or, the date of opposition, record crowds flocked to observatories for a look at Mars. Even after the media "dropped" the event and moved on to other stories, the public response was still unusually strong. It is suggested that such an overwhelming public enthusiasm can be taken as good reason to seek a higher level of government funding for astronomy and the exploration of the Red Planet. Our observations and impressions of the public response to the close approach of Mars were taken from the authors affiliation with the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, Georgia - a museum which houses a well-equipped planetarium and observatory. The 500 seat planetarium features a Zeiss Mark V projector beneath a 21 meter diameter dome. A 0.9 meter reflecting telescope, situated not far from the planetarium, provided for stunning views of the Red Planet. Fernbank staff produced an original planetarium presentation entitled "Visions of Mars." Due to overflow crowds, special extended showings were offered. After the planetarium program, members of the public were invited to the observatory for a look at Mars. An average of approximately 120 people each hour looked through the telescope. On many evenings, centered around opposition, the observatory remained open from 9:00 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. the following morning. On each of these nights, we estimate that at least 950 people saw Mars through our telescope. An important tool, an Astrovid CCD video camera, was attached to a piggybacked 11-inch telescope. This instrument proved invaluable in preparing observers for their actual observation. Features such as a Polar Ice Cap, Syrtis Major, and Tharsis were easily identified on the TV monitor and then readily spotted through the telescope.

  16. Optimization of System Maturity and Equivalent System Mass for Exploration Systems Development Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnaye, Romulo; Tan, Weiping; Ramirez-Marquez, Jose; Sauser, Bruce

    2010-01-01

    The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently pursuing the development of the next generation of human spacecraft and exploration systems throughout the Constellation Program. This includes, among others, habitation technologies for supporting lunar and Mars exploration. The key to these systems is the Exploration Life Support (ELS) system that composes several technology development projects related to atmosphere revitalization, water recovery, waste management and habitation. The proper functioning of these technologies is meant to produce sufficient and balanced resources of water, air, and food to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for long-term human habitation and exploration of space.

  17. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Robotic rovers and landers have enabled the mineralogical, chemical, and physical characterization of loose, unconsolidated materials on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists refer to the regolith material as "soil." NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s. Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian "soil" and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements. The study of martian surface materials and how they might react as agricultural soils opens a new frontier for researchers in the soil science community. Other potential applications for surface "soils" include (i) sources for extraction of essential plant-growth nutrients, (ii) sources of O2, H2, CO2, and H2O, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, and (iv) shielding materials surrounding outpost structures to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from radiation. There are many challenges that will have to be addressed by soil scientists prior to human exploration over the next two decades.

  18. SGTR assessment using MARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raines, J.C.; Dawson, S.M.; Deitke, B.; Henry, R.E.

    1996-01-01

    During the course of a plant accident, a consistent understanding of the plant response is vital to support an accident manager's decision making process. One tool that can provide assistance to the plant staff in assessing conditions in the plant during accident conditions is the MAAP Accident Response System (MARS) software. During an accident, MARS utilizes the on-line data from the plant instrumentation to initialize the Modular Accident Analysis Program (MAAP) code. Once initialized, MARS tracks and characterizes the plant behavior through the use of integrated logic modules. These logic modules provide the user with important information about the status of systems and the possible cause of the accident. The MARS logic modules evaluate relevant available plant instrumentation and the observations of the operating staff using fuzzy logic. The fuzzy logic is applied to provide a transition between areas where one is absolutely sure that a situation has not occurred to a condition where one is absolutely certain that a situation has occurred. One example of the use of logic modules in MARS is illustrated by that used to assess if a steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) event has occurred. Each piece of relevant plant data is evaluated to determine if it is consistent with the symptoms of a SGTR. Each of the evaluations for the individual plant instruments and the operating staff observations are assembled to determine an overall confidence which characterizes the likelihood that a SGTR is occurring. Additional MARS logic modules are used to determine confidence levels for other types of accident events. The conclusions arrived at by each individual logic module are expressed as confidence levels. The logic module confidence levels can be graphically displayed using the MARS Graphical Users Interface (GUI), to indicate the confidence level MARS has assessed for each accident type. The GUI shows the identification of the possible accident types, but is not limited

  19. Mars Global Surveyor Data Analysis Program. Origins of Small Volcanic Cones: Eruption Mechanisms and Implications for Water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagents, Sarah A.; Greeley, Ronald; Thordarson, Thorvaldur

    2002-01-01

    The goal of the proposed work was to determine the origins of small volcanic cones observed in Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) data, and their implications for regolith ice stores and magma volatile contents. For this 1-year study, our approach involved a combination of: Quantitative morphologic analysis and interpretation of Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data; Numerical modeling of eruption processes responsible for producing the observed features; Fieldwork on terrestrial analogs in Iceland. Following this approach, this study succeeded in furthering our understanding of (i) the spatial and temporal distribution of near-surface water ice, as defined by the distribution and sizes of rootless volcanic cones ("pseudocraters"), and (ii) the properties, eruption conditions, and volatile contents of magmas producing primary vent cones.

  20. Finding the team for Mars: a psychological and human factors analysis of a Mars Desert Research Station crew.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, Benjamin D; Hancock, P A; Deaton, John; Suedfeld, Peter

    2012-01-01

    A two-week mission in March and April of 2011 sent six team members to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). MDRS, a research facility in the high Utah desert, provides an analogue for the harsh and unusual working conditions that will be faced by men and women who one day explore Mars. During the mission a selection of quantitative and qualitative psychological tests were administered to the international, multidisciplinary team. A selection of the results are presented along with discussion.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. A Rover Mobility Platform with Autonomous Capability to Enable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulford, P.; Langley, C.; Shaw, A.

    2018-04-01

    The next step in understanding Mars is sample return. In Fall 2016, the CSA conducted an analogue deployment using the Mars Exploration Science Rover. An objective was to demonstrate the maturity of the rover's guidance, navigation, and control.

  5. The Effect of Gamma Radiation on Mars Mineral Matrices: Implications for Perchlorate Formation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, A. C.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Pavlov, A.; Lewis, J.

    2017-12-01

    Observations by the Phoenix Wet Chemistry Lab of the Martian surface indicate the presence of perchlorate in high concentrations. Additional observations by the Sample Analysis at Mars and the Viking Landers indirectly support the presence of perchlorate at other localities on Mars. The evidence for perchlorate at several localities on Mars coupled with its detection in Martian meteorite EETA79001 suggests that perchlorate is present globally on Mars. The presence of perchlorate on Mars further complicates the search for organic molecules indicative of past life. While perchlorate is kinetically limited in Martian conditions, the intermediate species associated with its formation or decomposition, such as chlorate or chlorite, could oxidize Martian organic species. As a result, it is vital to understand the mechanism of perchlorate formation on Mars in order to determine its role in the degradation of organics. Here, we explore an alternate mechanism of formation of perchlorate by bombarding Cl-salts and Mars-relevant mineral mixtures with gamma radiation both with and without the presence of liquid water, under vacuum. Previous work has shown that OClO can form from both UV radiation and energetic electrons bombardment of Cl-ices or Cl-salts, which then reacts with either OH- or O-radicals to produce perchlorate. Past research has suggested that liquid water or ice is the source of these hydroxyl and oxygen radicals, which limits the location of perchlorate formation on Mars. We demonstrate that trace amounts of perchlorate are potentially formed in samples containing silica dioxide or iron oxide and Cl-salts both with and without liquid water. Perchlorate was also detected in a portion of samples that were not irradiated, suggesting possible contamination. We did not detect perchlorate in samples that contained sulfate minerals. If perchlorate was formed without liquid water, it is possible that oxide minerals could be a potential source of oxygen radicals

  6. Mars One the ultimate reality TV show?

    CERN Document Server

    Seedhouse, Erik

    2017-01-01

    This book dissects the hype and hubris of the Mars One venture. Every aspect of the mission design is scrutinized, from the haphazard selection process to the unproven mission architecture. A controversial project, many professional astronauts consider Mars One a reckless attempt, yet it gained popular attention. This go-to reference guide provides the reader with insights into the myriad issues arising from the project's loss of funding, loss of sponsorship, loss of TV rights. It explains what contributed to an overly optimistic assessment of Mars One's mission-specific technology, and what captivated the public and the many willing candidates despite these flaws. From the author of Survival and Sacrifice in Mars Exploration (2015) among many more books on spacefaring, this is yet another up-to-the-minute account of an emerging player in the private space market from an expert on the subject.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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. %).

  10. Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  12. Mineralogy of an Active Eolian Sediment from the Namib Dune, Gale Crater, Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Achilles, C. N.; Downs, R. T.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Treiman, A. H.; Morrison, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Ewing, R. C.; Chipera, S. J.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Gellert, R.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses of the

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  16. Mars: A Freshmen Year Seminar of Science and Science-fiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svec, Michael; Moffett, D. A.; Winiski, M.

    2013-06-01

    "Mars: On the shoulder of giants" is a freshmen year seminar developed collaboratively between the physics, education, and center for teaching and learning. This course focuses on how scientific knowledge is developed through the lens of our changing view of Mars throughout history. Analyses of current studies of Mars are juxtaposed against historical understanding and perceptions of the planet found in scientific and popular literature of the day, as well as the movies. Kim Stanley Robinson’s "Red Mars" provides a unifying story throughout the course complimented by Fredrick Taylor’s "The Scientific Exploration of Mars" and Hartmann’s "A Traveler’s Guide to Mars." Based on the three-years of experience, the authors advocate the use of the speculative science-fiction novel and argue for its use in high school and undergraduate courses including those for science majors. Many of the students who selected this seminar went on to major in science and in subsequent interviews discussed the influence of science fiction on their decision to major in science. Science fiction provided story, science, and speculation that became a rich medium for critical-thinking skills and critical literacy. Student reflections indicated that science fiction served as a reminder of why they study science, a source for imagination, and exploration of science as a human endeavor. Based on this experience, we propose five elements for selecting science-fiction for inclusion in science classes: 1) Provides a deep description of the science content or technologies, 2) Describes science and technologies are plausible or accurate to the time period, 3) Contains a novum or plausible innovation that plays a key element in the speculation, 4) Exploration of the impact on society or humanity, and, 5) Shows science and technology as human endeavors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Ryan B.; Bell, James F.

    2013-03-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  1. "Dust Devils": Gardening Agents on the Surface of Mars, and Hidden Hazards to Human Exploration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Smith, P.; White, B.; Farrell, W.

    1999-09-01

    Dust devils are familiar sites in the and regions of the world: they can produce quite spectacular displays of dust lofting when the vortices scavenge very loose dust from a dry lake bed or from recently disturbed agricultural fields. If one were to arrive at the center of an arid region, take one photograph, or even a series of photographs over a period of several days, then return the images for laboratory analysis, it would be most likely concluded that the region was inactive from an aeolian perspective. No images of general dust movement were obtained, nor were any dust devils "caught on camera" owing to their ephemeral and unpredictable appearance, and the fact that there was deceptively little residue of their actions. If, however, a camera were to take a 360 degree continuous recording over a period of a year, and the film were then to be shown at high speed over a period a several minutes, the impression might be that of a region ravaged by air vorticity and dust movement. Extrapolate this over geological time, and it is possible to visualize dust devils as prime aeolian agents, rather than insignificant vagaries of nature, On Mars, the thin atmosphere permits the surface of the planet to be heated but it does not itself retain heat with the capacity of the earth's atmosphere. This gives rise to greater thermal instability near the surface of Mars as "warm" air pockets diapiritically inject themselves into higher atmospheric layers. Resulting boundary-layer vorticity on Mars might therefore be expected to produce dust devils in abundance, if only seasonally. The spectacular images of dust devils obtained by Pathfinder within its brief functional period on the planet testify to the probability of highly frequent surface vorticity in light of the above reasoning about observational probability. Notably, the Pathfinder devils appeared to be at least a kilometer in height. There are several consequences for the geology of Mars, and for human exploration, if

  2. First Grinding of a Rock on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The round, shallow depression in this image resulted from history's first grinding of a rock on Mars. The rock abrasion tool on NASA's Spirit rover ground off the surface of a patch 45.5 millimeters (1.8 inches) in diameter on a rock called Adirondack during Spirit's 34th sol on Mars, Feb. 6, 2004. The hole is 2.65 millimeters (0.1 inch) deep, exposing fresh interior material of the rock for close inspection with the rover's microscopic imager and two spectrometers on the robotic arm. This image was taken by Spirit's panoramic camera, providing a quick visual check of the success of the grinding. The rock abrasion tools on both Mars Exploration Rovers were supplied by Honeybee Robotics, New York, N.Y.

  3. Robotic exploration of the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Ulivi, Paolo

    In Robotic Exploration of the Solar System, Paolo Ulivi and David Harland provide a comprehensive account of the design and managment of deep-space missions, the spacecraft involved - some flown, others not - their instruments, and their scientific results. This third volume in the series covers launches in the period 1997 to 2003 and features: - a chapter entirely devoted to the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn; - coverage of planetary missions of the period, including the Deep Space 1 mission and the Stardust and Hayabusa sample returns from comets and asteroids; - extensive coverage of Mars exploration, the failed 1999 missions, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The story will continue in Part 4.

  4. Surface navigation on Mars with a Navigation Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  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 Using Laser Instrument, Artist's Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    This artist's conception of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory portrays use of the rover's ChemCam instrument to identify the chemical composition of a rock sample on the surface of Mars. ChemCam is innovative for planetary exploration in using a technique referred to as laser breakdown spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of samples from distances of up to about 8 meters (25 feet) away. ChemCam is led by a team at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in Toulouse, France. Mars Science Laboratory, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life, is in development at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a launch opportunity in 2009. The mission is managed by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

  7. Monitoring and Acquisition Real-time System (MARS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Corbin

    2013-01-01

    MARS is a graphical user interface (GUI) written in MATLAB and Java, allowing the user to configure and control the Scalable Parallel Architecture for Real-Time Acquisition and Analysis (SPARTAA) data acquisition system. SPARTAA not only acquires data, but also allows for complex algorithms to be applied to the acquired data in real time. The MARS client allows the user to set up and configure all settings regarding the data channels attached to the system, as well as have complete control over starting and stopping data acquisition. It provides a unique "Test" programming environment, allowing the user to create tests consisting of a series of alarms, each of which contains any number of data channels. Each alarm is configured with a particular algorithm, determining the type of processing that will be applied on each data channel and tested against a defined threshold. Tests can be uploaded to SPARTAA, thereby teaching it how to process the data. The uniqueness of MARS is in its capability to be adaptable easily to many test configurations. MARS sends and receives protocols via TCP/IP, which allows for quick integration into almost any test environment. The use of MATLAB and Java as the programming languages allows for developers to integrate the software across multiple operating platforms.

  8. The Argyre Region as a Prime Target for in situ Astrobiological Exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairén, Alberto G; Dohm, James M; Rodríguez, J Alexis P; Uceda, Esther R; Kargel, Jeffrey; Soare, Richard; Cleaves, H James; Oehler, Dorothy; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Essefi, Elhoucine; Banks, Maria E; Komatsu, Goro; Fink, Wolfgang; Robbins, Stuart; Yan, Jianguo; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Maruyama, Shigenori; Baker, Victor R

    2016-02-01

    At the time before ∼3.5 Ga that life originated and began to spread on Earth, Mars was a wetter and more geologically dynamic planet than it is today. The Argyre basin, in the southern cratered highlands of Mars, formed from a giant impact at ∼3.93 Ga, which generated an enormous basin approximately 1800 km in diameter. The early post-impact environment of the Argyre basin possibly contained many of the ingredients that are thought to be necessary for life: abundant and long-lived liquid water, biogenic elements, and energy sources, all of which would have supported a regional environment favorable for the origin and the persistence of life. We discuss the astrobiological significance of some landscape features and terrain types in the Argyre region that are promising and accessible sites for astrobiological exploration. These include (i) deposits related to the hydrothermal activity associated with the Argyre impact event, subsequent impacts, and those associated with the migration of heated water along Argyre-induced basement structures; (ii) constructs along the floor of the basin that could mark venting of volatiles, possibly related to the development of mud volcanoes; (iii) features interpreted as ice-cored mounds (open-system pingos), whose origin and development could be the result of deeply seated groundwater upwelling to the surface; (iv) sedimentary deposits related to the formation of glaciers along the basin's margins, such as evidenced by the ridges interpreted to be eskers on the basin floor; (v) sedimentary deposits related to the formation of lakes in both the primary Argyre basin and other smaller impact-derived basins along the margin, including those in the highly degraded rim materials; and (vi) crater-wall gullies, whose morphology points to a structural origin and discharge of (wet) flows.

  9. 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.

  10. AIAA Educator Academy - Mars Rover Curriculum: A 6 week multidisciplinary space science based curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriquez, E.; Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.; Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Kapral, A.

    2013-12-01

    The Curiosity mission has captured the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The AIAA and the University of Houston have developed a flexible curriculum program that offers children in-depth science and language arts learning culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students learn to research Mars in order to pick a science question about Mars that is of interest to them. They learn principles of spacecraft design in order to build a model of a Mars rover to carry out their mission on the surface of Mars. The model is a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The project's unique strength lies in engaging students in the process of spacecraft design and interesting them in aerospace engineering careers. The project is aimed at elementary and secondary education. Not only will these students learn about scientific fields relevant to the mission (space science, physics, geology, robotics, and more), they will gain an appreciation for how this knowledge is used to tackle complex problems. The low cost of the event makes it an ideal enrichment vehicle for low income schools. It provides activities that provide professional development to educators, curricular support resources using NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) content, and provides family opportunities for involvement in K-12 student learning. This paper will describe the structure and organization of the 6 week curriculum. A set of 30 new 5E lesson plans have been written to support this project as a classroom activity. The challenge of developing interactive

  11. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  12. An experimental study to support the search for organics at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poch, Olivier; Stalport, Fabien; Noblet, Audrey; Szopa, Cyril; Coll, Patrice

    2012-07-01

    Several evidences suggest that early Mars offered favorable conditions for long-term sustaining water. As a consequence, we can assume that processes related to prebiotic chemistry, and even the emergence of life, may have occurred on early Mars. In those days, organic matter may have been widespread on Mars, due to exogenous delivery from small bodies, or endogenous chemical processes. The search for these organic relics is one of the main objectives of Mars exploration missions to come. But for about 3 Gy, due to the harsh environmental conditions of the Mars surface (UV radiation, oxidants etc.), the inventory of organic compounds at the current surface or subsurface of Mars may have been narrowed. Two major questions raised by this putative evolution are: What is the evolution pattern of organics in the Martian environment? What types of molecules would have been preserved, and if so, in which conditions? We address these questions using an experimental device dedicated to simulate the processes susceptible to have an effect on organic matter in the current environmental conditions of the Mars surface and subsurface. This experimental setup is part of a project called MOMIE, for Mars Organic Molecules Irradiation and Evolution. We study the evolution of some of the most likely molecular compounds potentially synthesized or brought to Mars (amino acids, hydrocarbons, nucleobases etc.). Nanometers thin deposits of a molecular compound or of a mineral in which the molecular compound has been embedded are allowed to evolve at mean Martian pressure and temperature, under a UV radiation environment similar to the Martian one. Qualitative and quantitative changes of the sample are monitored during the simulation, especially using infrared spectroscopy. We will present and compare the evolution of several organics submitted to these conditions. These experiments will provide essential insights to guide and discuss in situ analyses at Mars, particularly during the

  13. Space exploration and colonization - Towards a space faring society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Walter E.

    1990-01-01

    Development trends of space exploration and colonization since 1957 are reviewed, and a five-phase evolutionary program planned for the long-term future is described. The International Geosphere-Biosphere program which is intended to provide the database on enviromental changes of the earth as a global system is considered. Evolution encompasses the anticipated advantages of such NASA observation projects as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Gamma Ray Observatory, the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility, and the Cosmic Background Explorer. Attention is given to requirements for space colonization, including development of artificial gravity and countermeasures to mitigate zero gravity problems; robotics and systems aimed to minimize human exposure to the space environment; the use of nuclear propulsion; and international collaboration on lunar-Mars projects. It is recommended that nuclear energy sources be developed for both propulsion and as extraterrestrial power plants.

  14. Teacher education program explores building professional learning ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2016-05-02

    May 2, 2016 ... Teacher education program explores building professional learning ... table in the Bengaluru Rural District Institute of Education and Training ICT lab. ... more people go online in Asia, digital privacy is increasingly seen as an ...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xiuqiang; Li, Shuang; Huang, Xiangyu

    2018-03-01

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

  17. Small Spacecraft Constellation Concept for Mars Atmospheric Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Sniffing out the Story on the Habitability Potential of Mars: Follow the Volatiles!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela Gales

    2013-01-01

    Curiosity's primary goal is to explore and quantitatively assess a local region on Mars' surface as a potential habitat for life, past or present. This presentation will discuss what makes a habitable environment with some scientific data from the mars rover.

  20. Planetary Simulation Chambers bring Mars to laboratory studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mateo-Marti, E.

    2016-07-01

    Although space missions provide fundamental and unique knowledge for planetary exploration, they are always costly and extremely time-consuming. Due to the obvious technical and economical limitations of in-situ planetary exploration, laboratory simulations are among the most feasible research options for making advances in planetary exploration. Therefore, laboratory simulations of planetary environments are a necessary and complementary option to expensive space missions. Simulation chambers are economical, more versatile, and allow for a higher number of experiments than space missions. Laboratory-based facilities are able to mimic the conditions found in the atmospheres and on the surfaces of a majority of planetary objects. Number of relevant applications in Mars planetary exploration will be described in order to provide an understanding about the potential and flexibility of planetary simulation chambers systems: mainly, stability and presence of certain minerals on Mars surface; and microorganisms potential habitability under planetary environmental conditions would be studied. Therefore, simulation chambers will be a promising tools and necessary platform to design future planetary space mission and to validate in-situ measurements from orbital or rover observations. (Author)

  1. Creating an Immersive Mars Experience Using Unity3D

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    Between the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, NASA has collected over 280,000 images while studying the Martian surface. This number will continue to grow, with Opportunity continuing to send images and with another rover, Curiosity, launching soon. Using data collected by and for these Mars rovers, I am contributing to the creation of virtual experiences that will expose the general public to Mars. These experiences not only work to increase public knowledge, but they attempt to do so in an engaging manner more conducive to knowledge retention by letting others view Mars through the rovers' eyes. My contributions include supporting image viewing (for example, allowing users to click on panoramic images of the Martian surface to access closer range photos) as well as enabling tagging of points of interest. By creating a more interactive way of viewing the information we have about Mars, we are not just educating the public about a neighboring planet. We are showing the importance of doing such research.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  3. Sustainable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Cancer Risk Map for the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Evaporation Rates of Brine on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Nuclear Energy for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear power and propulsion systems can enable exciting space exploration missions. These include bases on the moon and Mars; and the exploration, development, and utilization of the solar system. In the near-term, fission surface power systems could provide abundant, constant, cost-effective power anywhere on the surface of the Moon or Mars, independent of available sunlight. Affordable access to Mars, the asteroid belt, or other destinations could be provided by nuclear thermal rockets. In the further term, high performance fission power supplies could enable both extremely high power levels on planetary surfaces and fission electric propulsion vehicles for rapid, efficient cargo and crew transfer. Advanced fission propulsion systems could eventually allow routine access to the entire solar system. Fission systems could also enable the utilization of resources within the solar system. Fusion and antimatter systems may also be viable in the future

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. The Electrostatic Environments of Mars and the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2011-01-01

    The electrical activity present in the environment near the surfaces of Mars and the moon has very different origins and presents a challenge to manned and robotic planetary exploration missions. Mars is covered with a layer of dust that has been redistributed throughout the entire planet by global dust storms. Dust, levitated by these storms as well as by the frequent dust devils, is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the multiple grain collisions in the dust-laden atmosphere. Dust covering the surface of the moon is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the solar wind, cosmic rays, and the solar radiation itself through the photoelectric effect. Electrostatically charged dust has a large tendency to adhere to surfaces. NASA's Mars exploration rovers have shown that atmospheric dust falling on solar panels can decrease their efficiency to the point of rendering the rover unusable. And as the Apollo missions to the moon showed, lunar dust adhesion can hinder manned and unmanned lunar exploration activities. Taking advantage of the electrical activity on both planetary system bodies, dust removal technologies are now being developed that use electrostatic and dielectrophoretic forces to produce controlled dust motion. This paper presents a short review of the theoretical and semiempirical models that have been developed for the lunar and Martian electrical environments.

  9. The electrostatic environments of Mars and the Moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calle, C I

    2011-01-01

    The electrical activity present in the environment near the surfaces of Mars and the moon has very different origins and presents a challenge to manned and robotic planetary exploration missions. Mars is covered with a layer of dust that has been redistributed throughout the entire planet by global dust storms. Dust, levitated by these storms as well as by the frequent dust devils, is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the multiple grain collisions in the dust-laden atmosphere. Dust covering the surface of the moon is expected to be electrostatically charged due to the solar wind, cosmic rays, and the solar radiation itself through the photoelectric effect. Electrostatically charged dust has a large tendency to adhere to surfaces. NASA's Mars exploration rovers have shown that atmospheric dust falling on solar panels can decrease their efficiency to the point of rendering the rover unusable. And as the Apollo missions to the moon showed, lunar dust adhesion can hinder manned and unmanned lunar exploration activities. Taking advantage of the electrical activity on both planetary system bodies, dust removal technologies are now being developed that use electrostatic and dielectrophoretic forces to produce controlled dust motion. This paper presents a short review of the theoretical and semiempirical models that have been developed for the lunar and Martian electrical environments.

  10. Processing OMEGA/Mars Express hyperspectral imagery from radiance-at-sensor to surface reflectance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, W.H.; Ruitenbeek, F.J.A. van; Werff, H.M.A. van der; Zegers, T.E.; Oosthoek, J.H.P.; Marsh, S.H.; Meer, F.D. van der

    2014-01-01

    OMEGA/Mars Express hyperspectral imagery is an excellent source of data for exploring the surface composition of the planet Mars. Compared to terrestrial hyperspectral imagery, the data are challenging to work with; scene-specific transmission models are lacking, spectral features are shallow making

  11. Mars 2020 Rover SHERLOC Calibration Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graff, Trevor; Fries, Marc; Burton, Aaron; Ross, Amy; Larson, Kristine; Garrison, Dan; Calaway, Mike; Tran, Vinh; Bhartia, Roh; Beegle, Luther

    2016-01-01

    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. The SHERLOC instrument requires a calibration target which is being designed and fabricated at JSC as part of our continued science participation in Mars robotic missions. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Alenia Spazio: Space Programs for Solar System Exploration .

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, A.

    Alenia Spazio is the major Italian space industry and one of the largest in Europe, with 2,400 highly skilled employees and 16,000 square meters of clean rooms and laboratories for advanced technological research that are among the most modern and well-equipped in Europe. The company has wide experience in the design, development, assembly, integration, verification and testing of complete space systems: satellites for telecommunications and navigation, remote sensing, meteorology and scientific applications; manned systems and space infrastructures; launch, transport and re-entry systems, and control centres. Alenia Spazio has contributed to the construction of over 200 satellites and taken part in the most important national and international space programmes, from the International Space Station to the new European global navigation system Galileo. Focusing on Solar System exploration, in the last 10 years the Company took part, with different roles, to the major European and also NASA missions in the field: Rosetta, Mars Express, Cassini; will soon take part in Venus Express, and is planning the future with Bepi Colombo, Solar Orbiter, GAIA and Exomars. In this paper, as in the presentation, a very important Earth Observation mission is also presented: GOCE. All in all, the Earth is by all means part of the Solar system as well and we like to see it as a planet to be explored.

  14. The New National Vision for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sackheim, Robert L.; Geveden, Rex; King, David A.

    2004-01-01

    From the Apollo landings on the Moon, to robotic surveys of the Sun and the planets, to the compelling images captured by advanced space telescopes, U.S. achievements in space have revolutionized humanity s view of the universe and have inspired Americans and people around the world. These achievements also have led to the development of technologies that have widespread applications to address problems on Earth. As the world enters the second century of powered flight, it is appropriate to articulate a new vision that will define and guide U.S. space exploration activities for the next several decades. Today, humanity has the potential to seek answers to the most fundamental questions posed about the existence of life beyond Earth. Telescopes have found planets around other stars. Robotic probes have identified potential resources on the Moon, and evidence of water - a key ingredient for life - has been found on Mars and the moons of Jupiter. Direct human experience in space has fundamentally altered our perspective of humanity and our place in the universe. Humans have the ability to respond to the unexpected developments inherent in space travel and possess unique skills that enhance discoveries. Just as Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo challenged a generation of Americans, a renewed U.S. space exploration program with a significant human component can inspire us - and our youth - to greater achievements on Earth and in space. The loss of Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia and their crews are a stark reminder of the inherent risks of space flight and the severity of the challenges posed by space exploration. In preparation for future human exploration, we must advance our ability to live and work safely in space and, at the same time, develop the technologies to extend humanity s reach to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The new technologies required for further space exploration also will improve the Nation s other space activities and may provide applications that

  15. 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.

  16. Assessing Group Dynamics in a Mars Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, S. L.

    2007-10-01

    International interest in psychosocial functioning generally and issues of group and inter-group function for space crews has increased as focus has shifted towards longer duration spaceflight and, particularly, the issues involved in sending a human crew to Mars (Kanas, et al., 2001; Dawson, 2002). Planning documents for a human mission to Mars such as the NASA Design Reference Mission (DRM 1.0) emphasize the need for adaptability of crewmembers and autonomy in the crew as a whole (Hoffman and Kaplan, 1997). Similarly a major study by the International Space University (ISU, 1991) emphasized the need for autonomy and initiative for a Mars crew given that many of the scenarios that will be encountered on Mars cannot be rehearsed on earth and given the lack of any realistic possibility for rescue of the crew. This research project was only one subset of data collected during the larger AustroMars Expedition at the Mars Desert Research Facility (MDRS) in 2006. The participating crew comprises part of a multi-year investigation on teams utilizing the MDRS facility. The program of research has included numerous researchers since 2002 with a progressive evolution of key foci addressing stress, personality, coping, adaptation, cognitive functioning, and group identity assessed across the duration period of the individual missions.

  17. Optimizing Mars Sphere of Influence Maneuvers for NASA's Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Human Spaceflight Architecture Team is refining human exploration architectures that will extend human presence to the Martian surface. For both Mars orbital and surface missions, NASA's Evolvable Mars Campaign assumes that cargo and crew can be delivered repeatedly to the same destination. Up to this point, interplanetary trajectories have been optimized to minimize the total propulsive requirements of the in-space transportation systems, while the pre-deployed assets and surface systems are optimized to minimize their respective propulsive requirements separate from the in-space transportation system. There is a need to investigate the coupled problem of optimizing the interplanetary trajectory and optimizing the maneuvers within Mars's sphere of influence. This paper provides a description of the ongoing method development, analysis and initial results of the effort to resolve the discontinuity between the interplanetary trajectory and the Mars sphere of influence trajectories. Assessment of Phobos and Deimos orbital missions shows the in-space transportation and crew taxi allocations are adequate for missions in the 2030s. Because the surface site has yet to be selected, the transportation elements must be sized to provide enough capability to provide surface access to all landing sites under consideration. Analysis shows access to sites from elliptical parking orbits with a lander that is designed for sub-periapsis landing location is either infeasible or requires expensive orbital maneuvers for many latitude ranges. In this case the locus of potential arrival perigee vectors identifies the potential maximum north or south latitudes accessible. Higher arrival velocities can decrease reorientation costs and increase landing site availability. Utilizing hyperbolic arrival and departure vectors in the optimization scheme will increase transportation site accessibility and provide more optimal solutions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  1. Project Icarus: Stakeholder Scenarios for an Interstellar Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, A. M.; Tziolas, A. C.; Osborne, R.

    The Project Icarus Study Group's objective is to design a mainly fusion-propelled interstellar probe. The starting point are the results of the Daedalus study, which was conducted by the British Interplanetary Society during the 1970's. As the Daedalus study already indicated, interstellar probes will be the result of a large scale, decade-long development program. To sustain a program over such long periods, the commitment of key stakeholders is vital. Although previous publications identified political and societal preconditions to an interstellar exploration program, there is a lack of more specific scientific and political stakeholder scenarios. This paper develops stakeholder scenarios which allow for a more detailed sustainability assessment of future programs. For this purpose, key stakeholder groups and their needs are identified and scientific and political scenarios derived. Political scenarios are based on patterns of past space programs but unprecedented scenarios are considered as well. Although it is very difficult to sustain an interstellar exploration program, there are scenarios in which this seems to be possible, e.g. the discovery of life within the solar system and on an exoplanet, a global technology development program, and dual-use of technologies for defence and security purposes. This is a submission of the Project Icarus Study Group.

  2. Developing the "Lunar Vicinity" Scenario of the Global Exploration Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, G.; Neal, C. R.; Crawford, I. A.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2014-04-01

    The Global Exploration Roadmap (GER, [1]) has been developed by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG - comprised of 14 space agencies) to define various pathways to getting humans beyond low Earth orbit and eventually to Mars. Such pathways include visiting asteroids or the Moon before going on to Mars. This document has been written at a very high level and many details are still to be determined. However, a number of important papers regarding international space exploration can form a basis for this document (e.g. [2,3]). In this presentation, we focus on developing the "Lunar Vicinity" scenario by adding detail via mapping a number of recent reports/documents into the GER. Precedence for this scenario is given by Szajnfarber et al. [4] who stated "We find that when international partners are considered endogenously, the argument for a "flexible path" approach is weakened substantially. This is because international contributions can make "Moon first" economically feasible". The documents highlighted here are in no way meant to be all encompassing and other documents can and should be added, (e.g., the JAXA Space Exploration Roadmap). This exercise is intended to demonstrate that existing documents can be mapped into the GER despite the major differences in granularity, and that this mapping is a way to promote broader national and international buy-in to the Lunar Vicinity scenario. The documents used here are: the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Exploration report on developing a global space exploration program [5], the Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs) report from the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) [6], the Lunar Exploration Roadmap developed by LEAG [7], the National Research Council report Scientific Context for the Exploration of the Moon (SCEM) [8], the scientific rationale for resuming lunar surface exploration [9], the astrobiological benefits of human space exploration [9,10].

  3. 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

  4. New Thematic Solar System Exploration Products for Scientists and Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowes, Lesile; Wessen, Alice; Davis, Phil; Lindstrom, Marilyn

    2004-01-01

    The next several years are an exciting time in the exploration of the solar system. NASA and its international partners have a veritable armada of spaceships heading out to the far reaches of the solar system. We'll send the first spacecraft beyond our solar system into interstellar space. We'll launch our first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt and just our second to Mercury (the first in 30 years). We'll continue our intensive exploration of Mars and begin our detailed study of Saturn and its moons. We'll visit asteroids and comets and bring home pieces of the Sun and a comet. This is truly an unprecedented period of exploration and discovery! To facilitate access to information and to provide the thematic context for these missions NASA s Solar System Exploration Program and Solar System Exploration Education Forum have developed several products.

  5. Curiosity: the Mars Science Laboratory Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard A.

    2012-01-01

    The Curiosity rover landed successfully in Gale Crater, Mars on August 5, 2012. This event was a dramatic high point in the decade long effort to design, build, test and fly the most sophisticated scientific vehicle ever sent to Mars. The real achievements of the mission have only just begun, however, as Curiosity is now searching for signs that Mars once possessed habitable environments. The Mars Science Laboratory Project has been one of the most ambitious and challenging planetary projects that NASA has undertaken. It started in the successful aftermath of the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover project and was designed to take significant steps forward in both engineering and scientific capabilities. This included a new landing system capable of emplacing a large mobile vehicle over a wide range of potential landing sites, advanced sample acquisition and handling capabilities that can retrieve samples from both rocks and soil, and a high reliability avionics suite that is designed to permit long duration surface operations. It also includes a set of ten sophisticated scientific instruments that will investigate both the geological context of the landing site plus analyze samples to understand the chemical & organic composition of rocks & soil found there. The Gale Crater site has been specifically selected as a promising location where ancient habitable environments may have existed and for which evidence may be preserved. Curiosity will spend a minimum of one Mars year (about two Earth years) looking for this evidence. This paper will report on the progress of the mission over the first few months of surface operations, plus look retrospectively at lessons learned during both the development and cruise operations phase of the mission..

  6. High-Performance, Space-Storable, Bi-Propellant Program Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Steven J.

    2002-01-01

    Bipropellant propulsion systems currently represent the largest bus subsystem for many missions. These missions range from low Earth orbit satellite to geosynchronous communications and planetary exploration. The payoff of high performance bipropellant systems is illustrated by the fact that Aerojet Redmond has qualified a commercial NTO/MMH engine based on the high Isp technology recently delivered by this program. They are now qualifying a NTO/hydrazine version of this engine. The advanced rhenium thrust chambers recently provided by this program have raised the performance of earth storable propellants from 315 sec to 328 sec of specific impulse. The recently introduced rhenium technology is the first new technology introduced to satellite propulsion in 30 years. Typically, the lead time required to develop and qualify new chemical thruster technology is not compatible with program development schedules. These technology development programs must be supported by a long term, Base R&T Program, if the technology s to be matured. This technology program then addresses the need for high performance, storable, on-board chemical propulsion for planetary rendezvous and descent/ascent. The primary NASA customer for this technology is Space Science, which identifies this need for such programs as Mars Surface Return, Titan Explorer, Neptune Orbiter, and Europa Lander. High performance (390 sec) chemical propulsion is estimated to add 105% payload to the Mars Sample Return mission or alternatively reduce the launch mass by 33%. In many cases, the use of existing (flight heritage) propellant technology is accommodated by reducing mission objectives and/or increasing enroute travel times sacrificing the science value per unit cost of the program. Therefore, a high performance storable thruster utilizing fluorinated oxidizers with hydrazine is being developed.

  7. Graphical user interface development for the MARS code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, J.-J.; Hwang, M.; Lee, Y.J.; Kim, K.D.; Chung, B.D.

    2003-01-01

    KAERI has developed the best-estimate thermal-hydraulic system code MARS using the RELAP5/MOD3 and COBRA-TF codes. To exploit the excellent features of the two codes, we consolidated the two codes. Then, to improve the readability, maintainability, and portability of the consolidated code, all the subroutines were completely restructured by employing a modular data structure. At present, a major part of the MARS code development program is underway to improve the existing capabilities. The code couplings with three-dimensional neutron kinetics, containment analysis, and transient critical heat flux calculations have also been carried out. At the same time, graphical user interface (GUI) tools have been developed for user friendliness. This paper presents the main features of the MARS GUI. The primary objective of the GUI development was to provide a valuable aid for all levels of MARS users in their output interpretation and interactive controls. Especially, an interactive control function was designed to allow operator actions during simulation so that users can utilize the MARS code like conventional nuclear plant analyzers (NPAs). (author)

  8. Candidate cave entrances on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushing, Glen E.

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents newly discovered candidate cave entrances into Martian near-surface lava tubes, volcano-tectonic fracture systems, and pit craters and describes their characteristics and exploration possibilities. These candidates are all collapse features that occur either intermittently along laterally continuous trench-like depressions or in the floors of sheer-walled atypical pit craters. As viewed from orbit, locations of most candidates are visibly consistent with known terrestrial features such as tube-fed lava flows, volcano-tectonic fractures, and pit craters, each of which forms by mechanisms that can produce caves. Although we cannot determine subsurface extents of the Martian features discussed here, some may continue unimpeded for many kilometers if terrestrial examples are indeed analogous. The features presented here were identified in images acquired by the Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System visible-wavelength camera, and by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Context Camera. Select candidates have since been targeted by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment. Martian caves are promising potential sites for future human habitation and astrobiology investigations; understanding their characteristics is critical for long-term mission planning and for developing the necessary exploration technologies.

  9. HRSCview: a web-based data exploration system for the Mars Express HRSC instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, G.; Walter, S.; Neukum, G.

    2007-08-01

    The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the ESA Mars Express spacecraft has been orbiting Mars since January 2004. By spring 2007 it had returned around 2 terabytes of image data, covering around 35% of the Martian surface in stereo and colour at a resolu-tion of 10-20 m/pixel. HRSCview provides a rapid means to explore these images up to their full resolu-tion with the data-subsetting, sub-sampling, stretching and compositing being carried out on-the-fly by the image server. It is a joint website of the Free University of Berlin and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The system operates by on-the-fly processing of the six HRSC level-4 image products: the map-projected ortho-rectified nadir pan-chromatic and four colour channels, and the stereo-derived DTM (digital terrain model). The user generates a request via the web-page for an image with several parameters: the centre of the view in surface coordinates, the image resolution in metres/pixel, the image dimensions, and one of several colour modes. If there is HRSC coverage at the given location, the necessary segments are extracted from the full orbit images, resampled to the required resolution, and composited according to the user's choice. In all modes the nadir channel, which has the highest resolu-tion, is included in the composite so that the maximum detail is always retained. The images are stretched ac-cording to the current view: this applies to the eleva-tion colour scale, as well as the nadir brightness and the colour channels. There are modes for raw colour, stretched colour, enhanced colour (exaggerated colour differences), and a synthetic 'Mars-like' colour stretch. A colour ratio mode is given as an alternative way to examine colour differences (R=IR/R, G=R/G and B=G/B). The final image is packaged as a JPEG file and returned to the user over the web. Each request requires approximately 1 second to process. A link is provided from each view to a data product page, where header items describing

  10. Mars together and FIRE and ICE: Report of the joint US/Russian technical working groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-10-01

    The Cold War's end opened an opportunity for greater cooperation in planetary exploration for the United States and Russia. Two study groups were formed, Mars Together and FIRE and ICE. The Mars Together team developed a concept for a flight in 1998 that merged one U.S. Mars Surveyor 98 mission with the former Russian Mars 96 mission to further understanding of the Mars surface and atmosphere. The FIRE and ICE team developed concepts for a dual-spacecraft mission to the solar corona and for a mission to Pluto. The missions, scientific potential, and open issues are described.

  11. Mars together and FIRE and ICE: Report of the joint US/Russian technical working groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    The Cold War's end opened an opportunity for greater cooperation in planetary exploration for the United States and Russia. Two study groups were formed, Mars Together and FIRE and ICE. The Mars Together team developed a concept for a flight in 1998 that merged one U.S. Mars Surveyor 98 mission with the former Russian Mars 96 mission to further understanding of the Mars surface and atmosphere. The FIRE and ICE team developed concepts for a dual-spacecraft mission to the solar corona and for a mission to Pluto. The missions, scientific potential, and open issues are described.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Soft Rock Yields Clues to Mars' Past

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1 This image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rock outcrop dubbed 'Clovis.' The rock was discovered to be softer than other rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater after the rover easily ground a hole into it with its rock abrasion tool. Spirit's solar panels can be seen in the foreground. This image was taken by the rover's navigation camera on sol 205 (July 31, 2004). Elemental Trio Found in 'Clovis' Figure 1 above shows that the interior of the rock dubbed 'Clovis' contains higher concentrations of sulfur, bromine and chlorine than basaltic, or volcanic, rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater. The data were taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer after the rover dug into Clovis with its rock abrasion tool. The findings might indicate that this rock was chemically altered, and that fluids once flowed through the rock depositing these elements.

  15. In Situ Visible to Short Wavelength Imaging Spectroscopy with the Ultra Compact Imaging Spectrometer (UCIS): Case Studies from the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaney, D.; Mouroulis, P.; Green, R.; Rodriguez, J.; Sellar, G.; Van Gorp, B.; Wilson, D.

    2011-01-01

    In Situ imaging spectroscopy provides a way to address complex questions of geological evolution for both aqueous and igneous processes by mapping mineral composition at the spatial scale of rocks and outcrops. Examination of locations studied by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity can provide examples of the potential utility and define the needed measurement requirements. A compact instrument is needed to be able to adequately address these science questions from a rover platform. The Ultra Compact Imaging Spectrometer (UCIS) is an instrument designed to address the science need and implementation constraints.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    In situ exploration of planetary environments allows biochemical analysis of sub-centimeter-scale samples; however, landing sites are selected a priori based on measurable meter- to kilometer-scale geological features. Optimizing life detection mission science return requires both understanding the expected biomarker distributions across sample sites at different scales and efficiently using first-stage in situ geochemical instruments to justify later-stage biological or chemical analysis. Icelandic volcanic regions have an extensive history as Mars analogue sites due to desiccation, low nutrient availability, and temperature extremes, in addition to the advantages of geological youth and isolation from anthropogenic contamination. Many Icelandic analogue sites are also rugged and remote enough to create the same type of instrumentation and sampling constraints typically faced by robotic exploration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Monitoring Java Programs with Java PathExplorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havelund, Klaus; Rosu, Grigore; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We present recent work on the development Java PathExplorer (JPAX), a tool for monitoring the execution of Java programs. JPAX can be used during program testing to gain increased information about program executions, and can potentially furthermore be applied during operation to survey safety critical systems. The tool facilitates automated instrumentation of a program's late code which will then omit events to an observer during its execution. The observer checks the events against user provided high level requirement specifications, for example temporal logic formulae, and against lower level error detection procedures, for example concurrency related such as deadlock and data race algorithms. High level requirement specifications together with their underlying logics are defined in the Maude rewriting logic, and then can either be directly checked using the Maude rewriting engine, or be first translated to efficient data structures and then checked in Java.

  3. Stimulating Public Interest in Lunar Exploration and Enhancing Science Literacy Through Library Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shipp, S.; Nelson, B.; Stockman, S.; Weir, H.; Carter, B.; Bleacher, L.

    2008-07-01

    Libraries are vibrant learning places, seeking partners in science programming. LPI's Explore! program offers a model for public engagement in lunar exploration in libraries, as shown by materials created collaboratively with the LRO E/PO team.

  4. Mineralogy of an active eolian sediment from the Namib dune, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achilles, C. N.; Downs, R. T.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Treiman, A. H.; Morrison, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Ewing, R. C.; Chipera, S. J.; Yen, A. S.; Bristow, T. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Gellert, R.; Hazen, R. M.; Fendrich, K. V.; Craig, P. I.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Des Marais, D. J.; Farmer, J. D.; Sarrazin, P. C.; Morookian, J. M.

    2017-11-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses of the history of the dune material and offers an important opportunity for ground truth of orbital observations. CheMin's analysis of the mineralogy and phase chemistry of modern and ancient Gale crater dune fields, together with other measurements by Curiosity's science payload, provides new insights into present and past eolian processes on Mars.

  5. 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.

  6. Thermophysical Properties of Mars' North Polar Layered Deposits and Related Materials from Mars Odyssey THEMIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, A. R.; Richardson, M. I.; Byrne, S.; Ivanov, A. B.; Christensen, P. R.

    2003-01-01

    The presence of a thick sequence of horizontal layers of ice-rich material at Mars north pole, dissected by troughs and eroding at its margins, is undoubtedly telling us something about the evolution of Mars climate [1,2] we just don t know what yet. The North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD) most likely formed as astronomically driven climate variations led to the deposition of conformable, areally extensive layers of ice and dust over the polar region. More recently, the balance seems to have fundamentally shifted to net erosion, as evidenced by the many troughs within the NPLD and the steep, arcuate scarps present near its margins, both of which expose layering. We defined a number of Regions of Interest ROI) for THEMIS to target as part of the Mars Odyssey Participating Scientist program. We use these THEMIS data in order to understand the morphology and color/thermal properties of the NPLD and related materials over relevant (i.e., m to km) spatial scales. We have assembled color mosaics of our ROIs in order to map the distribution of ices, the different layered units, dark material, and underlying basement. The color information from THEMIS is crucial for distinguishing these different units which are less distinct on Mars Orbiter Camera images. We wish to understand the nature of the marginal scarps and their relationship to the dark material. Our next, more ambitious goal is to derive the thermophysical properties of the different geologic materials using THEMIS and Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer TES) data.

  7. International Space Education Outreach: Taking Exploration to the Global Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreschel, T. W.; Lichtenberger, L. A.; Chetirkin, P. V.; Garner, L. C.; Barfus, J. R.; Nazarenko, V. I.

    2005-01-01

    With the development of the International Space Station and the need for international collaboration for returning to the moon and developing a mission to Mars, NASA has embarked on developing international educational programs related to space exploration. In addition, with the explosion of educational technology, linking students on a global basis is more easily accomplished. This technology is bringing national and international issues into the classroom, including global environmental issues, the global marketplace, and global collaboration in space. We present the successes and lessons learned concerning international educational and public outreach programs that we have been involved in for NASA as well as the importance of sustaining these international peer collaborative programs for the future generations. These programs will undoubtedly be critical in enhancing the classroom environment and will affect the achievements in and attitudes towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

  8. The Nautilus Exploration Program: Utilizing Live Ocean Exploration as a Platform for STEM Education and Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fundis, A.; Cook, M.; Sutton, K.; Garson, S.; Poulton, S.; Munro, S.

    2016-02-01

    By sparking interest in scientific inquiry and engineering design at a young age through exposure to ocean exploration and innovative technologies, and building on that interest throughout students'